It has been reported that a Jewish man in Melbourne was physically attacked by two Arabic speaking men while walking in Elsternwick on Thursday night.
According to the Jewish Community Council of Victoria it appears from the words used by the attackers that he was targeted only because he was clearly identifiable as a Jew.
The man was punched and verbally abused.
JCCV president Nina Bassat said, “This was an act of cowardice and aggression that has no place in our society.
“Our community members should be free to walk on the streets of Melbourne and to live a peaceful life in what has until now been a model of multicultural harmonious co-existence. We must all ensure that this harmony is protected.”
Dvir Abramovich, chair of the B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation Commission added, “This shameful attack is another disturbing reminder that Jewish people in our community continue to be singled out because of their religion. This kind of anti-Semitic targeting is unacceptable and must be denounced and countered in the strongest terms possible by all communal leaders. We will not stand for such violence and I look forward to seeing those responsible arrested and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
“It is also my hope that we do not see a pattern where anti-Israel attitudes related to the conflict in Israel and Gaza spill over into attacks on Australian Jews. When a victim is assaulted and intimidated because of his or her faith other members of that group feel threatened and unsafe and the impact reverberates throughout the entire community.”