Jews told to stay home and dragged away from protest at Opera House
Sydney Opera House Israel-Palestine protest: Anger as Jews are told to stay home and dragged away from protest – while radical Muslims shout vile anti-Semitic comments, throw flares, and chant ‘gas the Jews’
- Almost 2,000 people marched on Sydney Opera House
- Chants of ‘f*** the Jews’ and ‘Allahu Akbar’ rang out
- Flares and other projectiles thrown at police barricade
- Radical Muslims burnt the Star of David in front of cops
- Counter-protester arrested for unfurling Israeli flag
- ‘Despicable’ scenes condemned across political spectrum
- READ MORE: Police form ring of steel around the Sydney Opera House
Pro-Palestinian protesters were allowed to chant ‘gas the Jews’ and burn the Star of David in front of Sydney’s Opera House on Monday night – while a counter-demonstrator was arrested for attempting to fly the Israeli flag.
The ‘despicable’ scenes have been roundly condemned by leaders from across the political spectrum.
Attorney General Michael Daley – the highest law officer in NSW – admitted to being unaware of the protest in a car crash interview with 2GB’s Ben Fordham on Tuesday morning, before urgently back-pedalling and calling for people to ‘calm down and stay at home’.
Police are now under fire for allowing the rally to go ahead – while telling Jewish Australians to ‘stay home’ for their own safety.
The rally, organised by the Palestine Action Group Sydney, saw vast numbers of pro-Palestine activists gather at Town Hall in Sydney’s CBD on Monday evening before marching to the Opera House where its sails were it up in blue and white in support of Israel.
There were scenes of chaos as the demonstration was hijacked by radical Muslims – some wearing black masks – who hurled lit flares at police and chanted ‘f*** Israel’ and ‘f*** the Jews’ beneath the steps of the Opera House (pictured)
Daily Mail Australia witnessed a large crowd of men attempting to set light to an Israeli flag with firecrackers before resorting to stamping on it and tearing it into shreds (pictured)
In the end, the sails were only lit up for a short time and in muted colours.
Israeli supporters largely stayed away, with some watching the illumination from the other side of Circular Quay.
There were scenes of chaos at the Opera House as the demonstration was hijacked by radical Muslims – some wearing black masks – who threw lit flares at police and chanted ‘f*** Israel’ and ‘f*** the Jews’ beneath the steps of the iconic harbouside venue.
At one point, there were even chants of ‘gas the Jews’.
Daily Mail Australia witnessed a large crowd of men attempting to set light to an Israeli flag with firecrackers before stamping on it and tearing it to shreds.
Cries of ‘Allahu Akbar’ (God is great in Arabic) and ‘death to the Jews’ rang out as some members of the crowd swarmed towards the police barrier, brandishing torn pieces of the Israeli flag – despite the rally organisers calling for protesters to respect the police.
Over 100 cops formed a ring of steel along the steps of the Opera House and didn’t intervene when flares or other projectiles were thrown at them.
Instead, they placed the lit flares in buckets of water as acrid smoke filled the air.
On Tuesday morning, Assistant Commissioner Tony Cooke said police were looking at CCTV footage in an attempt to identify the flare-throwers.
‘I’m very disappointed in the strongest possible terms that people saw fit to utilise flares and what not,’ Assistant Commissioner Cooke said.
The rally, organised by the Palestine Action Group Sydney, saw vast numbers of pro-Palestine activists gather at Town Hall in Sydney’s CBD before marching to the Opera House
‘However, I can tell you the entire rally and footage was covered by CCTV footage and an operation has been established to look into the issues last night and we will attempt to identify people who committed offences and will take appropriate actions to put them before the courts where it is possible.’
The hands-off approach on the night will undoubtedly prompt accusations of bias given that counter-protesters who had earlier attempted to wave the flag of Israel were arrested by police.
As protesters arrived at Town Hall earlier in the evening, a man clutching an Israeli flag was dragged away by three police officers for ‘disrupting the peace’ – before he even had a chance to unfurl it.
In an video of the incident taken by Daily Mail Australia, the man can be heard repeatedly saying ‘I’ve done nothing wrong’.
An officer told him: ‘You’ve been arrested in relation to a breach of the peace.’
A speaker then told the booing crowd: ‘Zionists don’t deserve our attention.’
In total, Daily Mail Australia witnessed three individuals attempt to fly an Israeli flag before being chased away by protesters or arrested by the police ‘for their own safety’.
Israel supporters kept their distance, watching the display from the other side of Circular Quay
Abigail Lane, 23, a social care student originally from Tasmania, had an Israeli flag with the word ‘peace’ taken from her by police.
‘A police officer came and snatched it out of my hands and said: “Why the hell are you going in there with that sign? What the hell do you think you’re doing?”,’ she said.
‘I said: “I’m not Palestinian, I’m not Israeli. I’m just Irish-Australian and I don’t like that we are inciting hate here in Sydney. My sign said love not hate”.
‘I don’t think inciting more anger and violence is the solution.’
Shockingly, NSW Police felt compelled to warn Sydney’s Jewish community from entering Sydney’s CBD on Monday evening over safety concerns.
‘NSW police are urging the community not to attend the Sydney Opera House or Town Hall this evening,’ an email from the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies to members read.
The protesters marched from Town Hall to the Sydney Opera House, chanting ‘Free Palestine’
‘Community members already in the CBD should be vigilant as protesters are likely to seek to march from Town Hall to the Sydney Opera House.
‘The events tonight may pose a risk to the safety of community members and you are strongly urged not to attend.’
One TikToker pointed out that the police had kept protesters away from the sails of the Opera House which were lit up in blue and white in support of Israel (pictured)
Assistant Commissioner Cooke admitted NSW Police had arrested a man who attempted to unfurl an Israeli flag at Town Hall.
‘A person was removed from the Town Hall rally who was carrying a flag for his safety,’ he said.
‘He was arrested to prevent a breach of the peace for his safety. He was removed and released.’
He added: ‘This is New South Wales, we do not expect people to bring conflict from other places to the streets of Sydney. Violence will not be tolerated and we were able to manage that to assure that there was no conflict last night.’
Meanwhile, Mr Daley admitted he had not been aware of the protest because he was ‘working late’.
The NSW Attorney General urgently called for people to ‘calm down and stay at home’.
‘Stop dividing into teams and competing with each other with various forums or on the streets, this is Australia, not Israel or Palestine,’ Mr Daley said.
Opposition Leader Peter Dutton branded the Opera House scenes ‘despicable’ and criticised Prime Minister Anthony Albanese for allowing the protest to go ahead.
‘These were despicable scenes in Sydney tonight and they are unimaginable in modern Australia. I condemn the actions of the activists and protesters,’ Mr Dutton said.
A large crowd has gathered outside the Opera House
NSW Premier Chris Minns said he ‘deplored’ the rally and described it as being ‘against the tenets of our multicultural community’.
‘We lit up the Opera House in support of innocent people who have had their lives slaughtered or loved ones kidnapped,’ Mr Minns told Sunrise.
‘The community expectation from the vast majority of people I have spoken to in the past 48 hours has been horror at the actions of Hamas and also the demonstrations that have taken place in Sydney in the past 48 hours.’
Mr Albanese earlier called on pro-Palestinian protesters to abandon the rally, claiming there was ‘nothing to celebrate from the loss of innocent lives’.
‘I just find it abhorrent and it should be condemned, but unequivocally by everyone,’ Mr Albanese told 2GB’s Drive with Chris O’Keefe.
Robert Gregory, CEO of the Australian Jewish Association said ‘Australians should be very worried’.
‘The police gave a warning for Jews not to come into the area,’ Mr Gregory said.
‘Think about that. Imagine if there were mobs hunting blacks or gays in Sydney’s CBD.
‘Imagine if the police warned blacks or gays not to come into Sydney’s CBD.’
READ MORE: Police form ring of steel around the Sydney Opera House as hundreds of pro-Palestine protesters demonstrate against iconic building’s sails being lit up in support of Israel in wake of Hamas attacks
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