Thursday, October 31, 2013

Attack In Bondi


Question of the Week: 



I thought I heard on the news this morning that 5 Jews in Bondi were attacked by youths shouting antisemitic insults. I hope it is wrong. I wonder what is wrong with our world when I look at the disgraceful treatment of the Jewish people. In the Middle East you are the only friends we have. Antisemitism makes no sense at all. You are not aggressors, you only try to maintain a peaceful existence. A very friendly people who have suffered atrocities that ought never be forgotten. And now Jews are attacked on the streets of Sydney!? If it indeed happened, please accept my deepest apology on behalf of my country.



An Ordinary Aussie




I am afraid you heard right, this attack did happen. And I thank you for your sincere words of support to our community at this painful time.


As you say, antisemitism doesn't make sense. Only complete fools and amoral academics are able to justify singling out Jews for contempt. The rest of us are better off not understanding their hatred.


But I think this unfortunate episode tells us something else about Australia. As a fifth generation Australian myself, my pride in our wonderful country has only grown this week. I'll tell you why.


After the Jewish family was attacked by this mob, witnesses intervened to try to save them. A security guard from a nearby pub rushed over, and a taxi driver passing by jumped out of his cab to try and hold back the assailants. These everyday heroes endangered themselves to help complete strangers in the middle of the night.


The attack was indeed a despicable act of mindless violence. But it was not unique. It could have happened anywhere in the world at any time in history. But the outpouring of support from the government and the police, the media and religious leaders, and ordinary Aussies like yourself, could only happen in a place like Australia.


The cowardly mob who picked a fight with a couple of sweet grandparents are not representative of the ordinary Aussie. The bystanders who bravely intervened are. And so are you.


G-d bless,

Rabbi Moss


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