Australian counter-terrorism police (file)
Australian counter-terrorism police (file) Reuters

The Australian Jewish community remains in lockdown overnight, reported The Australian Jewish News.

The Community Security Group (CSG) – the local Jewish community's security arm – raised the threat level to “severe” on Monday, when a terrorist went into Sydney’s Lindt Chocolate shop and took hostages.

“Jewish schools cancelled excursions and maintained tightened security measures,” wrote AJN. “Rabbinic Council of NSW president Rabbi Yehoram Ulman said prayers for those hostages stuck into the Lindt Cafe. He prayed for the safe return of all involved, including the police, and a quick and safe end to the siege. The heightened alert will remain on Tuesday unless advised by the CSG.”

There is no reason to suspect a specifically anti-Semitic motive in the attack at this point. According to local reports, the terrorist has said that the attack is being carried out on behalf of ISIS. Messages in this vein were apparently communicated by some of the hostages via Facebook, and it is believed that this was done at the behest of the terrorist.

Yuval, an Israeli who lives in Australia, told Arutz Sheva that there are large communities of Lebanese, Afghans, Pakistani, Syrian and Iraqi Muslims in Australia, as well as Muslims from eastern Asia, inclusing Singapore, Malays and Indonesians.

In August, a group of drunken anti-Semites terrorized a school bus filled with Jewish students in Australia, shouting Nazi slogans and threatening to murder everyone on board.

Speaking to Australia's Daily Telegraph, mother Jackie Blackburn said her 12, 10 and eight-year-old daughters, who were on their way home from Mount Sinai, Mariah and Emanuel kindergarten in Bondi, were left "traumatized" by the attack.

She said she was alerted to the incident after her daughter called her hysterical with fear.

"She said: ‘Hey Mummy, please help us, there are eight strange men who have been let on to a school bus and they are screaming ‘Heil Hitler! Kill the Jews!’ they want to cut out our throats’."

In October of last year, an anti-Semitic attack in Sydney's eastern suburbs left one man badly 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.

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.