- Dutton warns Aussie Jews at risk
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- READ MORE: PM erupts at Dutton
The opposition leader wrote to Prime Minister Anthony Albanese proposing a meeting with premiers and chief ministers to crack down on anti-Jewish behaviour and promote social cohesion.
‘I fear that there will be a significant act within our country which will cause harm to people in the Jewish community, or the community more broadly, at a time when temperatures are rising,’ he told reporters.
In his letter, Mr Dutton said Jewish Australians feared for their personal safety.
‘Many are scared to display religious symbols or wear religious garments and many Jewish Australians are so concerned for the safety of their children they are refusing to allow them to wear school uniforms which identify them as pupils of Jewish schools,’ he said.
In parliament on Wednesday Mr Albanese responded with fury to Mr Dutton’s suggestions the government was not doing enough to ensure the safety of Jewish Australians.
Mr Albanese yelled that he made ‘no apologies for standing up against anti-Semitism’ and noted that ‘Jewish Australians are fearful at the moment’.
‘The sort of activity that is occurring is scaring them – and I stand with them. No-one, no-one should threaten people because of their religion or race in this country.
‘But it is also the case that Arab Australians and women wearing hijabs in the streets of Sydney and Melbourne are being threatened and I stand against them again.
‘The idea of selective human rights is one that I stand against – so I’m opposed to any innocent life being lost, whether it be as a result of the terrorism of Hamas in Israel… Innocent babies, I’m against being killed in Gaza.’
Meanwhile manikin ‘dead bodies’ were dumped on the doorsteps of Labor MPs on Wednesday by a group demanding Australia support a ceasefire in Gaza.
The group, No More Bodies in Gaza, put 15 mock corpses outside seven Labor MPs’ offices in Victoria and Tasmania on Wednesday.
Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles, Immigration Minister Andrew Giles, Government Services Minister Bill Shorten and Housing Minister Julie Collins were some of the politicians who were targeted in the demonstration.
Cabinet minister Ed Husic, one of two Muslim ministers in the government, said too many Palestinians had died.
‘The numbers absolutely are causing people deep concern. I have been worried for quite some time that Palestinians would shoulder the burden,’ Mr Husic told ABC TV on Wednesday.
‘Hamas should be held to account. But I’ve got to say, 4000 children losing their lives, they are not Hamas.’
Mr Albanese met with the Israeli ambassador in Canberra on Tuesday and is expected to discuss the war on the sidelines of the APEC summit later this week.
Tensions between Israeli and Palestinian supporters have led to a number ugly scenes around the country with the Melbourne suburb of Caufield being a particular flashpoint after a well-known burger shop burnt down in a suspected case of arson.
Burgertory burned down about 4am on Friday with CCTV footage showing a white-hot flash as an explosion appears to go off inside the store before two figures in hoodies can be seen running off down the street.
Hash Tayeh, who transformed his business into Australia’s largest independently-owned burger chain after founding it in 2018, has prominently led cries of ‘From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free’ at a Melbourne rally a fortnight ago.
Hours after the fire, pro-Israel and pro-Palestine supporters clashed outside a nearby convenience store before huge protests involving about 400 people erupted on Friday night.
Police in Melbourne are also investigating an incident where a man on a bicycle was chased by a woman who tried to grab an Israeli flag he was displaying.
Cyclist Ronen Martin-Cohen said he was accosted by a woman who tried to grab his Israeli flag before two other men assaulted him at 8pm on Sunday night in the inner southeast Melbourne cafe and restaurant thoroughfare of Chapel St.
Footage of the incident shows a woman chasing Mr Martin-Cohen and grabbing at the flag on the back of his bicycle, leading the pair to wrestle for control of the bike.
Two men then run towards Mr Martin-Cohen as he kicks out at one of them.
The fracas continues in the middle of the road until bystanders move to break it up, leaving Mr Martin-Cohen curled up on the asphalt.
‘It was first a lady that approached me,’ Mr Martin-Cohen told Nine news.
‘Started to argue ‘why do you support Israel?’.
‘I was pushed to the ground and then they kicked me mainly in the chest and back.’
Police are also investigating a shocking incident captured in video on Saturday night of a Toyota HiLux ute seemingly swerving onto a footpath narrowly missing Israel supporters.
Footage of the incident in Caulfield, east Melbourne, was shared by Jewish advocate Menachem Vorchheimer on Monday.
The short clip shows a man and woman jumping from the side of the road as the vehicle veers towards them and mounts the curb where a group of protesters were holding Israeli flags on Friday.
A Victoria Police spokesman confirmed to Daily Mail Australia it received reports about the incident on Saturday.
‘Officers were told a HiLux ute, half mounted a kerb on Hawthorn Road, Caulfield and drove at a man and a woman on 10 November, about 7.05pm,’ he said.
‘A 46-year-old Armadale man and a 55-year-old St Kilda East woman, who were standing on the footpath at the time, moved out of the way of the HiLux to avoid being struck before the vehicle drove away.
‘The pair were uninjured during the incident.
‘Anyone who witnessed the incident, with CCTV or dashcam footage is urged to contact Crime Stoppers.’