Sites in Australia defaced with swastikas

Sites in Bondi Beach defaced with more than 20 swastikas. Jewish community condemns incident.

Ben Ariel ,

Swastika (illustration)
Swastika (illustration)

Sites in Bondi Beach in Australia were defaced with more than 20 swastikas over the weekend, The Australian reported Sunday.

The anti-Semitic symbol was spray-painted on a wall that runs along Bondi Beach promenade and also at a Bondi Junction shopping center, according to the report.

Authorities believe the vandals struck on Saturday night. Sydney’s Jewish community was appalled over the incident.

“The people of Bondi and indeed all Australians of goodwill will stand together in condemning this shocking display,” NSW Jewish Board of Deputies CEO Vic Alhadeff told The Australian.

Kerryn Phelps, the independent member for Wentworth, said her community was horrified by the vandalism.

“The Wentworth community is united in outrage by the news that swastikas were graffitied on the murals around Bondi Beach. There is no place for anti-Semitism in Australia,” he said.

Police attended Queen Elizabeth Drive, which runs along the famous beach, early Saturday morning following reports of “malicious damage” along the promenade wall.

Officers found a section of the mural wall, including one that featured an Aboriginal artwork, had been defaced with about 20 symbols, according to The Australian.

A short time later, three more were found at a shopping center at Bondi Junction.

Police are investigating and urging any witnesses to come forward with information.

Last month, an aged care facility that is home to Holocaust survivors in Australia was defaced with swastikas by a neo-Nazi organization.

The extremist group, Antipodean Resistance, vandalized the front gates of the Emmy Monash Aged Care in Caulfield, southeast Melbourne, with their swastika-laden logo. The vandalism was discovered by a man who was visiting his parents, both aged 94.

Last November, the Executive Council of Australian Jewry reported an unprecedented 60 per cent rise in anti-Semitic incidents across Australia in 2018, compared with the previous year.

There were more incidents reported in NSW than in any other state, hosting 166 out of 366 recorded episodes, noted The Australian.

The Report on anti-Semitism in Australia also identified an increase in overt neo-Nazi activity by groups such as Antipodean Resistance, who describe themselves as being “the Hitlers you’ve been waiting for”.

In September, the group targeted the electoral office of Mike Kelly, an Australian member of Parliament whose wife is Jewish, throwing pig’s entrails at the front door.

The attack followed an earlier attack by the Antipodean Resistance on September 1 on another office belonging to Kelly, in which the group plastered swastika stickers on the door.

NSW Police would not confirm whether the Antipodean Resistance was a suspect for the latest vandalism in Bondi.