Bus attack mentioned in parliament

August 8, 2014 by J-Wire Staff
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NSW State Labor MP Ron Hoenig has condemned the attack on Wednesday by a group of youths on a bus carrying pupils from three Jewish day schools.

Hoenig, who is the Shadow Minister for Ports and Energy said:I rise today to condemn yesterday’s attacks on young Jewish school students, schools that service children in my electorate.

Ron Hoenig

Ron Hoenig   Photo: Henry Benjamin

Firstly, I wish to express my outrage that in 2014, Australia is a country where this behaviour exists.

Not 10 months ago Members of this House stood up and condemned the heinous attacks on Australian Jews in Bondi.

It appears now that this anti-Semitism has filtered down to the younger generation…. It is a terrifying prospect.

The children, aged between 5 and 12 who were victims of this atrocious behaviour attended Jewish Day Schools Mt Sinai College, Moriah College, and Emanuel School.

Two of these schools my two sons attended.

We do not tolerate this kind of reprehensible behaviour in Australia and it should not be tolerated anywhere in the world.

Where is the hope when recently, a Hamas television station aired a children’s show which told children to “join the fight and kill Jews”.

Children were asked what they wanted to be when they grew up and responded with “a policeman so I can shoot all the Jews.” The television presenter’s response was “good.”

How can there be hope when anywhere in the world a generation of children are being fed these messages.

I hope that this persecution has not reached our shores.

For thousands of years, Jewish people have borne the brunt of persecution.

Recent events throughout the world that we condemn are a world away;

In France, Arabic rioters looted and burned Jewish shops and attacked synagogues. In Germany this month an Imam preached death, saying “Oh Allah destroy the Zionist Jews …. Count them and kill them to the very last one.” In Austria, Israeli soccer players playing a friendly social match were kicked by pro-Palestinian protestors. In Brussels this year four Jews were gunned down allegedly by a French Muslim.

What has always distinguished Australia from many other Western countries is our acceptance of other religions and cultural groups.

When I attend Arabic Friends of Labor functions I am warmly greeted. My friend, the Hon. Shaoquett Moselmane from the Other Place has no hesitation in inviting me to functions where we both know different views are held… There is a reciprocal respect for each other’s positions. That is Australia.

Australia is when I walk to the synagogue on Shabbat or on festivals through Eastlakes wearing a Yamaka and pass my friends in the Muslim community, many Bangladeshi, and am greeted with warmth, friendship and respect.

What is not Australia is this kind of behaviour.

To think that Attorney General Senator Brandis stated that “people do have the right to be bigots”.

Senator – this is what happens when people think they can be a bigot…. They then act like a bigot…. The bench mark is set.

It seems that this attack on the Jewish students was not targeted. The teenagers were local hoodlums who were allegedly intoxicated.

Exactly what was said to the students is not clear; however the Principal of Mt Sinai College has confirmed that what was said frightened the students significantly enough for the school psychologist to be brought into school today.

The Daily Telegraph reports that the perpetrators yelled “Kill the Jews”, “Palestine must kill you Jews” “We are going to cut your throats and slice your throats open” and “Heil Hitler”.

This disgusting anti-Semitic behaviour, no doubt fuelled by the conflict in the Middle East has absolutely no place in our communities.

I understand that for some time Mt Sinai College has been making representations through the Member for Maroubra. Mt Sinai has been requesting for a consistent bus driver for security reasons, so that children can be identified that should be on the bus.

I am told that this driver has subsequently picked up these intoxicated hoodlums who then saw the Jewish students on the bus and proceeded with their appalling attack.

This event is likely to have a lasting effect on these students.

There comes a time when enough is enough. When innocent children in Australia become victims of abuse fuelled by a conflict they have nothing to do with, there must be change.

Two attacks in ten months sends frightening signals. It is time for a change and it starts with us as community leaders.



One Response to “Bus attack mentioned in parliament”
  1. Paul Winter says:

    Fine speech Ron. You just failed to name the school which the Jew-hating boys attend. You also fail to put party solidarity before Jewish principles in associating with the Hon Mosulmane who just a few months ago was reprimanded for his obnoxious views on Israel.

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