‘No evidence’ antisemitic phrase was chanted at Opera House

NSW Police has concluded that 'where's the Jews', not 'gas the Jews', was chanted by pro-Palestinian protestors at the Sydney Opera House on October 9.

Participants of a Free Palestine rally react outside the Sydney Opera House in Sydney, Monday, October 9, 2023. Photo: AAP Image/Dean Lewins
Participants of a Free Palestine rally react outside the Sydney Opera House in Sydney, Monday, October 9, 2023. Photo: AAP Image/Dean Lewins

NSW Police says it has found “no evidence” the statement “gas the Jews” was chanted during an unauthorised protest at the Sydney Opera House on October 9.

The pro-Palestinian protest, which took place just two days after the horrific Hamas attacks on Israelis, made global headlines after a video claimed a group were heard chanting the offensive phrase.

But forensic analysis of the audio has concluded the protestors were chanting, “Where’s the Jews”.

NSW Police established Strike Force Mealing to investigate “reported unlawful activity” at the Sydney Opera House” on October 9.

“Police received reports following the protest suggesting that an offensive antisemitic phrase was chanted during the event,” NSW Police said in a statement on Friday.

“As a result of independent forensic analysis of audio-video files of the demonstration provided to investigators, police have no evidence that this phrase was used.”

Pro-Palestinian protesters gathered at the Sydney Opera House on Monday night.Photo: AAP Image/Dean Lewins

Investigators also obtained statements from “several individuals who attended the protest indicating they heard the phrase however these statements have not attributed the phrase to any specific individual”, police added.

“As a result of that examination, the expert has concluded with overwhelming certainty that the phrase chanted during that protest, as recorded on the audio and visual files, was, ‘Where’s the Jews?’” he said.

“Not another phrase, as otherwise widely reported.”

While the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies has accepted the findings, the demonstration at the Opera House remains “a night of national shame and infamy”.

The Sydney Jewish community was told to stay away from the Opera House that night, despite its iconic sails being lit up in blue and white to mourn the victims of the October 7 massacre.

The sails of Sydney Opera House shone blue and white on Monday October 9 2023, in solidarity with the people of Israel.

“Less than 48 hours after 1,200 innocent human beings were murdered, raped and mutilated and hundreds were taken hostage – activists menacingly chanted “F**k the Jews” and “Where’s the Jews?” whilst burning an Israeli flag and throwing flares at the Opera House”, NSW JBD said in a statement.

“If they wanted to know where we were whilst they were out celebrating, we were at home mourning our dead family and friends and worrying about those who had been taken hostage.

“Based on the Police advice to the Jewish community to stay away from the CBD, we can only imagine what would have happened if they had found “the Jews”.

“This was a night where dangerous and unadulterated antisemitism found manifestation in the shadow of one of our nation’s greatest landmarks. No one should be distracted into thinking otherwise.”

Zionist Federation of Australia president Jeremy Leibler said, “The crowd at the Sydney Opera House were revelling in the massacre of Hamas on October 7, and spewing revolting antisemitism – including chanting ‘f**k the Jews’ and ‘where’s the Jews’. This vile rally was purposefully designed to prevent the Sydney Jewish community from gathering in mourning and solidarity.”

read more: