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August 3, 2017 4:47 pm

Australian Jews Outraged as Local Council Bans Construction of Sydney Synagogue, Citing Fear of Potential Terror Attack

avatar by Ben Cohen

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Worshipers at the Great Synagogue in Sydney. Photo: File.

The shock decision by a planning committee to deny permission for the construction of a new synagogue in Sydney on the grounds that it would be a security risk has “effectively placed in jeopardy the future of Jewish life in Australia,” a prominent Jewish critic of the move said on Thursday.

“The decision is unprecedented,” Rabbi Yehoram Ulman told Australian media after the Land and Environment Court backed the decision by Waverley Council to ban the construction of a new synagogue in the well-heeled Sydney suburb of Bondi — expressing the fear that it would become a target for Islamist terrorists.

“Its implications are enormous,” Rabbi Ulman said. “It basically implies that no Jewish organization should be allowed to exist in residential areas. It stands to stifle Jewish existence and activity in Sydney and indeed, by creating a precedent, the whole of Australia, and by extension rewarding terrorism.”

Local Jewish leader Vic Alhadeff said he had never heard of any other religious group being denied a place of worship just because they were targeted by outside extremists and the move was a dangerous precedent.

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“It’s a very sad day for Australia if an established community, which needs a house of worship, is refused permission to build it because of fear that others may pose a threat,” he said. “This simply shows how we’re all losing our freedoms. Those who want us to be afraid are winning, and this ill-conceived judgment represents a dangerous precedent.”

In refusing the synagogue application, the council asserted that “the site is not suitable for the proposed synagogue use as the Preliminary Threat and Risk Analysis relied on by the Applicant raises concerns as to the safety and security of future users of the Synagogue, nearby residents, motorists and pedestrians in Wellington Street” — the proposed location of the synagogue near Australia’s famous Bondi Beach.

Efforts by the synagogue’s advocates to enhance the building’s security with protective walls that can withstand explosive blasts were rejected by the council on aesthetic grounds. “The physical measures proposed to deal with the identified threats will have an unacceptable impact on the streetscape and adjoining properties,” the council said.

Around 120,000 Jews live in Australia, with 50,000 located in the Sydney area.

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  • Bacchus

    We have a corrupt biased and prejudiced government. allowing mosques but not Synagogues. This is an evil government hell bent on oppressing Gods people. How much more oppression will Halal Mal allow????

  • patrick k

    Local Muslims, in the spirit of unity, have offered to buy the land and build a mosque. A mosque they mention that would allow visitors, including Jews. The mosque was approved.

    Just kidding, sort of.

  • Aliquantillus

    This decision is like the easy and cynical solution of “blaming the victim” when something happens, now extended to blaming the possible victim even before it has happened. If we reconstruct the real argument here, the Sydney Council is complicit in Antisemitism, because its underlying way of reasoning is as follows: The presence of Jews attracks terrorists and thus Jewish presence should be diminished or outlawed. What else is this but Antisemitism under the guise of security concerns? While the terrorists want the physical extermination of Jews, the City Council would like to discourage or prevent the presence of Jews. This decision is unacceptable and if necessary it should be challenged in court.

  • Nemesis

    Sad to see Australia going the way of Europe, but this is actually great news! Just imagine what 100.000 Ozzie Jews will do for Israel’s economy and military..

  • Monty Pogoda

    I hope it means more Australian Jews will make Aliya

  • cbusa

    Here’s an idea. How about banning the people from Sydney who are most likely to CAUSE terror. Did their threat analysis narrow down a particular population?

  • garry pollack

    Be the first to comment.

  • Hillel

    I am not surprised. We live in a climate where and ex premier of NSW one Bob Carr who has a plaque in his honour at the Maroubra synagogue, incidentally not far from Bondi, who now advocates for the destruction of the Jewish state in place of the invented Palestinian state. When in 2014 GAza war brought out a new National “Socialist” organisation called the “88” club who distributed fliers around jewish homes in Bondi and surrounding suburbs threatening their annihilation. Where did they get the mailing list if not from Waverly council? Lots can be said but antisemitisim is alive and well. I recall a history class in 1974 at Gore Hill Tech in North Sydney where an Aussie guy told the class that his grandfather had told him how the Japs were about to invade so he and his brothers sold their properties like so many others to the bloody jews who bought the properties for nothing, while they headed to the outback to be safe. The history teacher, a Scotsman, replied, ” shows you who the patriots were”. That rebuttal wouldn’t happen today.

  • ricardo

    It is time Jews learn a lesson or two from the black people and vent our anger in a manner that people realize they cannot just keep beating us up and we just bow our heads in sorrow and move on.

  • zvi gross

    This is unbelievable. Will they refuse a Jewish kindergarten as well, or wedding hall or school on that grounds? But Mosque would be fine as the Jews are not blood thirsty to threaten them? Is that called Justice and the rule of law? More like the rule of law of the jungle!!!

  • Harry Rag

    you guys get the message, time to start packing

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