Jewish leaders in Bondi, Australia – a suburb outside of Sydney – are reportedly shocked at local authorities’ unprecedented decision to block the construction of a synagogue amid fears that it could be a target for Islamic militants.
According to News.com.au, the decision – initially made by the Waverly Council – was upheld by the Land and Environment Court in a ruling this week.
One key issue that has prompted the prohibition of the synagogue’s construction is the proposed location; a few hundred meters from Australia’s most popular beach.
Apparently, Islam’s inherent disdain for Judaism combined with the religion’s love of crowded areas presents too much of a risk for the synagogue to be approved.
Ironically, the blast walls and setback buildings included in the synagogue’s construction plan were ultimately used as evidence for the fact that Bondi beach is too unsuitable a location for a Jewish synagogue.
Unsurprisingly, Jewish leaders in Bondi are furious.
“It’s a very sad day for Australia if an established community, which needs a house of worship, is refused permission to build it because of fear that others may pose a threat,” News.com.au quotes the North South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies Chief Executive Vic Alhadeff as stating.
“This simply shows how we’re all losing our freedoms. Those who want us to be afraid are winning, and this ill-conceived judgement represents a dangerous precedent.”
“Its implications are enormous,” News.com.au quotes Rabbi Yehoram Ulman as stating. “It basically implies that no Jewish organization should be allowed to exist in residential areas. It stands to stifle Jewish existence and activity in Sydney and indeed, by creating a precedent, the whole of Australia, and by extension rewarding terrorism.”
The Daily Mail further quotes outspoken Australian-Jewish gym owner Avi Yemini as stating, “wake up Australia – we have officially submitted to Islam. If this is the road we are taking we have become a pack of cowards. We have let them dictate what religions are okay in Australia and not.”
Many online have shared similar sentiments.
I assume they don't have any banks either, given the risk that one might be robbed.
— Jonathan Diamond (@jdiamondla) August 4, 2017
Not my country, but this is unacceptable on any level. They can't worship because somebody MIGHT want to hurt them? Cowardly.
— Sandra Tutton (@SandraTutton) August 4, 2017
Messed up. Maybe they should also ban liquor & jewelry stores, & banks because those businesses will invite terrorism of armed robberies.
— Russell P. Petcoff (@russpetcoff) August 4, 2017
This is terrible. When we stop doing normal things because of the threat of terrorism, the terrorists have won.
— Calendatrix (@MagistraGoetz) August 4, 2017
So the terrorists win. They get to veto anything that they don't like. This type of cowardice is beneath contempt.
— David Williams (@davidi_williams) August 4, 2017
this was not well thought out. They are giving in to the terrorists. SMH
— Paul Chung (@PaulChung1976) August 4, 2017
Wrong to do. Should defend, not ban!
— Talladelphia (@JanetTa00959461) August 4, 2017
Are they banning gay clubs and places that serve alcohol too?
— Steven (@ArlingtonSteve) August 4, 2017