‘Deeply offensive to community’

The sign erected in Brighton.

A LARGE sign depicting a swastika inside a Star of David adjacent to the words, “Zionism is anti Jew and Gentile” erected at a property near the corner of Brickwood and Head streets in Brighton has been labelled “deplorable” by communal leaders. 

The sign, attributed to the Protector Party, also appears to include the image of ultra-Orthodox Jewish men holding a banner which depicts the Israeli flag and the slogan, “Judaism rejects Zionism.” 

Local Jewish resident Rodney Edelsten reported the sign to The AJN after he passed it while driving to his home over the weekend.

“I found it quite abhorrent,” he said, adding that his wife lost many family members in the Holocaust.

“What upset me most was actually seeing a swastika inside a Magen David.”

The Anti-Defamation Commission (ADC) also received several complaints.

“Enough is enough. We cannot treat this despicable incident as business as usual. No one in Melbourne of 2019 should be menaced by this sickening symbol of hate and oppression which is aimed squarely at Jews, though deeply offensive to the entire community,” commented ADC chairman Dvir Abramovich. 

President of the Jewish Community Council of Victoria Jennifer Huppert has also slammed the sign. “These comments, signs such as those seen in Brighton and the use of swastikas or other Nazi symbolism are deplorable, and have no place in our political discourse,” she remarked. 

Protector Party founder John Tiger Casley, who calls himself a “Christian Jew”, ran as the Independent candidate for Goldstein in the 2019 election.

When asked by The AJN how he thought Shoah survivors would feel if they saw the symbol of the swastika within the Star of David, he retorted, “I don’t think that is logical thinking.

“Because I think it’s terrible what the Nazis did to the Jews; and I also think it is very nasty what the Zionists are doing to the Palestinians. It’s the same thing.”

He said the sign “espouses love” and its aim was to “educate everybody to understand that Zionism is an evil force”.

“They are the new Nazis and we don’t want them. Zionism is apartheid, racist, terrorism. The way they treat the Palestinians.”

Casley also believes Hamas are “certainly not” a terrorist group, but merely “fighting for the freedom of their people”.

Bayside City Council’s director of city planning and amenity Hamish Reid told The AJN, “Council officers have given the property owners a direction to remove the sign as it is not permitted to be displayed without a planning permit.”

The AJN understands that council officers issued a notice to comply on Wednesday and if the sign has not been removed by Monday, they will take further action.