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Australian Beating Victims: 'We Thank G-d We Are Alive'

Victims of an anti-Semitic attack in Australia demand justice for the perpetrators, and thank authorities for their help.
By David Lev
First Publish: 10/28/2013, 4:28 PM

Illustration: Australian police
Illustration: Australian police
Reuters

Members of the Behar family, who were attacked Saturday as they walked in a suburb of Sydney, Australia, issued a statement Monday thanking G-d that they survived, and praising Australian authorities for their efforts in helping them and tracking down the perpetrators.

“We thank G-d that we are alive,” the family said in a statement. “Our overriding concern is that such an attack should not happen again – to anyone.”

The family said that they were not seeking revenge against the perpetrators, but that they did want them to be punished as an example for others.

“Our objective at this time is not vengeance, but justice and concern. We want justice to be done in regard to the perpetrators. And we are concerned about the need for the education of future generations about the importance of goodwill and tolerance, and the need for society to embrace those concepts. We would like to see proactive measures in that regard,” the statement said, adding that “people should be free to walk the streets in safety, without fear of being attacked because of the color of their skin or the race to which they belong.”

The victims, five members of the Behar family, 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 have arrested three of the alleged perpetrators.

The family thanked authorities for their intervention and quick response to the incident.

“We wish to thank the police for their fast response on the night of the incident, as well as St Vincent’s Hospital emergency staff, the ambulance service, the shopkeepers who offered assistance, the locals who tried to help, the hotel bouncers who eventually came to our aid,” the statement said.

“We also thank the Premier, Opposition Leader, ministers, shadow ministers, MPs and leaders of the many faith groups and organisations across the wider community which have expressed support and concern. We also thank friends and members of the community. The support is deeply appreciated and reminds us that what occurred is not what Australia is about,” it added.