Unwelcome art

February 10, 2019 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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Sunday morning walkers and joggers were astounded to see the art wall on Sydney’s fabled Bondi Beach daubed in swastikas.

Walt Secord and Marjorie O’Neill show the swastikas

NSW Labor frontbencher Walt Secord and Labor candidate for Coogee Dr Marjorie O’Neill visited the Bondi Beach Promenade to publicly condemn the swastika daubing attack which occurred overnight.

Dr O’Neill, who is also a Waverley Labor Councillor spoke to the council staff and asked that the offensive material be removed – after the appropriate police investigation.

Mr Secord, who is also deputy chair of the NSW Parliamentary Friends of Israel described the swastika attack at Bondi Beach as “sickening”.

Dr O’Neill said the attack was an “affront to those who survived the Shoah and the brave Australians who fought Nazism and fascism during World War II.”

“This attack seems to have been carried out by more than simple vandals and was a clearly calculated racially-motivated hate crime aimed to cause maximum offence – especially as they targeted an Aboriginal-themed mural,” Dr O’Neill said.

Mr Secord said: “we are appalled by these sickening attacks and they have no place in our society. Those who carried out the attack are gutless cowards.”

“We have to be vigilant and speak out against these sorts of sickening attacks.”

Dr Kerryn Phelps speaks to council workers

Dr Kerryn Phelps is the Federal Independent MP for  Wentworth in which Bondi is located. She spoke to council workers who are removing the swastikas. Dr Kerryn Phelps told J-Wire: “The people of the Eastern suburbs are outraged this morning to discover the anti-Semitic graffiti at iconic Bondi Beach. I was pleased to see Waverley Council workers promptly on the job, trying to repair the damage. There has been an unprecedented increase in anti-Semitic attacks in Australia over the past year.  This mirrors similar increases in the US and Europe. This episode is further evidence of the need to increase funding for security for theJewish community. We must have a public education program about the impact of racism and anti-Semitism so that we do not repeat the mistakes of the past. We also need to have serious penalties for hate crimes. 

We need to do whatever we can stamp out the expression of anti-Semitism in all its forms.

NSW Jewish Board of Deputies President Lesli Berger commented: “To say that the Jewish community is appalled at this expression of wanton racism is a severe understatement. The swastika represents the ultimate in race hatred and all Australians of goodwill will stand together in condemning this shocking display.”

Waverley’s Mayor John Wakefield told J-Wire: “The Police have been alerted and Council’s cleaning crew are being deployed. Council staff are inspecting CCTV footage and will work with Police to find the perpetrator. 

“This is a disgraceful act and Waverley Council and the community of Waverley stand united against anti-semitism and racially motivated crime.”

The Bondi Beach art wall

Mayor John Wakefield told J-Wire CCTV footage is being reviewed.

He added: ‘There were 11 swastikas on five murals and one door outside Eastgate at Bondi Junction. Approx five murals defaced. Council have removed all symbols from the murals.

At least one has to be completely redone.”

Waverley Councillor Leon Goltsman added: “These isolated disgraceful acts of hatred & cowardice is not a representation of our local community. Waverley is still one of the most welcoming and cultural accepting places to live.”

State Liberal MP Gabrielle Upton tweeted: “I thoroughly condemn anti-semitism of any kind. The spray painting overnight in our local area is shocking. We must always be vigilant against any form of racism and hatred.”

 

Comments

One Response to “Unwelcome art”
  1. Malvina Malinek says:

    I do not understand this sudden increase in swastikas graffity in Australia.
    Perhaps it is time the Federal RSL Executive should look into making this emblem which tens of thousands of Australians fought against and died fighting it in WW2 illegal to be displayed publicly in Australia. This is not just an anti-Jewish symbol. It is an affront to all the millions who gave their lives to bury it together with Hitler and the Nazis, as well as their evil ideology.
    Why should anyone think they can now display it withou impunity wherever and whenever they like?

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