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Victim of Sydney Attack: That's Why We Need Israel

The victims of the vicious attack at Bondi have been released from hospital. One of them is the JNF representative in Australia.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 10/27/2013, 8:48 PM

Bondi beach
Bondi beach
Reuters

All victims of the Sabbath's anti-Semitic attack in Sydney, Australia, have been released from hospital, according to J-Wire, a website that provides Jewish online news from Australia.

St Vincent’s Hospital spokesman David Faktor told J-Wire that 66-year-old Eli Behar was discharged from the hospital Sunday.

"He had suffered a minor fracture of the skull," he added. "Two of the four victims admitted to the hospital were allowed to go home yesterday after treatment and the fourth patient, Shlomo Ben Haim left later in the day. He suffered a broken nose and injury to his eye.” Behar’s 62-year-old wife, Leah, a teacher at Kesser Torah College, was also injured in the attack.

Ben Haim is the JNF representative in Australia. "Unfortunately, what happened to us of Sabbath eve proves beyond a doubt how fatefully important the existence of the Jewish state is for any Jew, no matter where he is," he said Sunday, according to Maariv.

"We hope that this incident is not repeated and that the warm community in Australia in general, and in Sydney in particular, will know how to combat such phenomena and will know that the state of Israel is also there to protect them."

Eli Behar told J-Wire: “We were walking home after Friday night dinner when a group of youths started shouting racist anti-Semitics remarks. They followed us and then they attacked us. There were no weapons although they did try to smash a bottle over my son’s head. We spent three hours with the police today and can only hope that they catch the rest of them."

“I grew up in Bondi and never experienced a single incident of anti-Semitism, not even verbal. For decades, Bondi has been famous for its relaxed, free-wheeling and culturally diverse  way of life.  Many Jewish people live there. There are numerous shuls, kosher eateries, a kosher butcher, kosher bakeries, kosher grocery stores and Jewish communal institutions. It is not uncommon to see men walking along the street wearing kippot or Chasidic garb, often strolling with their families.  Sometimes they are the objects of verbal abuse but violence is rare. Last night’s violence was exceptional."

Behar's son, Shlomo, posted on his Facebook page: "To all my friends and family from around the world, it's very comforting to see everyone's concern and support and to have such close friends, on behalf of my family and myself I want to thank you all so much for your assistance through this time. Thank God we are all home and doing much better now.

"I do hope we can put an end to any anti-Semitic or racist attacks, no matter what your color, religion, faith or where you're from, no one should have to go through something like this."