Sydney: Jewish Family of 5 Viciously Attacked in Street
Police charged three people Saturday over an anti-Semitic attack in Sydney's eastern suburbs that left one man seriously injured.
Four men and a woman were walking on Blair Street, Bondi, at about 12:30 AM Saturday, on their way home from a Sabbath eve meal, when a group of about eight young men began yelling anti-Semitic insults at them, and then attacked them.
The five suffered injuries including a fractured cheekbone, broken nose, concussion, lacerations and bruising. Police said the victims are four men, aged 27 to 66, and a 62-year-old woman. One man, who is in his sixties, suffered serious internal head injuries. According to Israel's Channel 2 television, he is in critical condition.
Police arrested two 17-year-olds and a 23-year-old man at the scene, but the rest of the attackers managed to run away.
The two teenagers were charged with affray – fighting or terrorizing people in a public place – and breach of bail. They were refused bail and will appear in children's court tomorrow.
The 23-year-old was charged with affray and granted bail.
St Vincent's Hospital spokesman David Faktor, a member of the Bondi Jewish community, told the Sydney Morning Herald that the victims told him the attack was unprovoked and racially motivated.
He said the victims were members of a family, and that they did not know their attackers or do anything to incite the violence. He said the male victims were wearing skullcaps and told him the attack felt like it went for about 15 minutes.
''Any kind of serious unprovoked attack is of great concern but the fact it was racially motivated is all the more concerning,'' Faktor said.
''It is extremely shocking that an attack like this could happen in Australia, let alone in Bondi being such a multicultural area.''
Faktor said the families of the victims are "very upset" and cannot understand why people would want to hurt them.
"You certainly don't come to Bondi and expect that," he said. "Maybe in Germany in the 1930s and Russia in the 1970s but certainly in Sydney, Australia, Bondi you just don't expect an unprovoked attack."
Beach Road Hotel licensee Ben Pearce told the Morning Herald that four bouncers and two managers from the hotel jumped into the brawl in an effort to break it up and were able to restrain a couple of the attackers before the police arrived.
''The guys did the best they could to grab as many of [the attackers] as possible,'' Pearce said. ''The fact that it had that extra component [was racially motivated] makes it even more ugly. 'If it ever happened again we'd do the same to try and help.''