Sydney protest calls for intifada

December 18, 2017 by Julie Nathan
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Once again, Sydney Town Hall was the scene of flags emblazoned with images of guns, chants calling for an uprising and ethnic cleansing, and hate-filled war-cries in the name of Allah. NSW state politicians, Labor’s Shaoquett Moselmane and the Greens’ Mehreen Faruqi, were among those who addressed the crowd of approximately 800 Muslim protesters, most of them wearing Islamic and Middle Eastern dress, and a small assortment of socialists and others.

The event on Sunday was to protest the recognition by the US President of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Trump’s declaration was merely a recognition of the fact that Jerusalem has been the seat of government in Israel since 1948; it did not pre-empt any outcome in Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. The protest in Sydney was one of several across Australia.

Shaoquett Moselmane asserted that “Jerusalem is, always was and always will be, the capital of Palestine” – but could not give even one example from history when this was the case. He condemned Donald Trump, and condemned the Balfour Declaration (which supported a national home for the Jewish people in Palestine). Moselmane denounced the “70 year occupation” of Palestine, meaning that he considers the State of Israel itself to be “occupied Palestine” with no right to exist. Moselmane’s words deny the right of self-determination for the Jewish people in their national homeland.

Mehreen Faruqi reverted to name-calling, invoking the mindless mantra that designates Israel as a “settler colonial apartheid state”. She demanded the “return of refugees” (and their descendants ad infinitum) to Israel, rather than to a Palestinian state. Such a demand, if implemented, would turn Israel into another majority Arab state, thus destroying Israel as the world’s only Jewish majority state. She then stated that “the Greens will continue to stand” in support of Palestine.

One Palestinian speaker, Jamil, an older man, said he would speak in Arabic, as what he wanted to say was “not good to say in English”. He then proceeded into an angry tirade in Arabic with flying fist, eliciting wild cheers from the crowd. Shouts of “Allahu Akbar” (Allah is great) burst forth from the agitated crowd.

During the speeches outside Town Hall and the march to the US Consulate in Martin Place, the protesters bellowed three main chants: “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free”; “Resistance is justified, while Palestine is occupied”; and “Intifada, intifada”. These chants deny Israel’s right to exist, and call for the destruction of Israel, and its Jewish population, through armed violence.

The most egregious placard was one referring to Jews as pigs and monkeys through the use of images of the animals and Stars of David. This characterisation of Jews derives from several verses in the Quran (2:65, 5:60, and 7:166) which refer to Jews as the descendants of apes and pigs. In addition, the placard had an image of lions, referring to Palestinians, with the word “Target” between them and the Jews, thus conveying the message that Palestinians are to hunt and target Jews.

Another placard read: “The only response to Trump’s decision is a Third Intifada”. Other placards read: “Jerusalem is the eternal capital of Palestine”, “Stop Israeli apartheid and genocide of Palestinians”, and “The Capital of Israel is Hell”. A man selling badges had one which bore the words: “Go to hell fucking Zionist”.

There were many Palestinian flags present. There were also the flags of armed Palestinian militias including Fatah, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) (which carried out a series of plane hijackings in the 1960s and 1970s), and the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) (which perpetrated the Ma’alot massacre in

Julie Nathan

1974 in which 25 schoolchildren and teachers were killed). There were several Hezbollah flags flying, some were draped around people. Hezbollah’s External Security Organisation is proscribed as a terrorist entity by the EU, US, Arab League, Australia, and other countries.

Sydney University academic, Dr. Tim Anderson, proudly held a Hezbollah flag in the form of a fringed banner. Anderson has been a vocal supporter of Syrian dictator, Bashar al-Assad, and has defended Assad against accusations that his forces have used chemical weapons against Syrian civilians. Hezbollah is a Lebanese Shite Islamist group which aims at the destruction of Israel. Hezbollah has a history of promoting antisemitic conspiracy theories, Holocaust denial, and terrorist acts against Jews. It is widely held to have been responsible for the bombing of the AMIA Jewish centre in Argentina in 1994 killing 85 people.

To protest about the pronouncements of a foreign leader is part of our democratic way of life. However, when such protests wave the flags of proscribed terrorist organisations, including flags bearing assault rifles and other weapons, when placards call Jews apes and pigs, when protesters chant calling for an uprising and ethnic cleansing, and when politicians deny to the Jewish people their right to national self-determination, then the protest has crossed the line into vilification and incitement. This is unacceptable in a society that purports to oppose racism and incitement to violence.


Julie Nathan is the Research Officer for the Executive Council of Australian Jewry


13 Responses to “Sydney protest calls for intifada”
  1. Eleonora Mostert says:

    It may not generate sympathy towards Israel or the Jews but fear of Muslims will subdue any actions taken against them and will fuel the Muslims into even more as there is no one who will stand against them, their hatred,their lies and their violence.

  2. Michel Gompes says:

    Our Constitution allows Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Assembly. These Muslims would have sought permission from the NSW Government/ Police to have this demonstration.
    But I am totally disturbed and shocked by what I saw and what was tolerated by the Police ( which I did not even see !) . This devilish uproar and vile mass of vulgar misfits is far worse than any Nazi demonstrations during Hitler’s Germany.
    What bothers me most is that our Police allowed these 800 warmongers to continue their screaming without taking any action to disperse them. I also did not notice any comment in the Sydney Morning Herald or on the National TV news. Is this cowardice ?
    Our own Government being quiet and allowing murder threats from such filth to the Jewish citizens of Australia ? Did we emigrate to the wrong country ?

  3. Liat Kirby says:

    You’re absolutely right, Stephen Perry. These rallies are a show of aggression and strength and can be extremely intimidating. They can also contribute to snowballing of more protests and move from violence of words to physical violence. The wider Australian population certainly don’t have sympathy towards Israel and the more we speak out the better.

    • Steven Meyer says:

      Let us have a reality check.

      You wrote:

      “The wider Australian population certainly don’t have sympathy towards Israel and the more we speak out the better.”

      So far as I can see:

      –For the vast majority of Australians, Israel is not an important issue

      –The majority, among the minority for whom Israel is important, are in the anti-Israel camp and I doubt there is anything we can say that will change their minds.

      –It is possible that crowds of Muslims marching through the streets of Sydney yelling Allahu Akhbar will simply spook the wider Australian public about Islam which, in a small way, may benefit Israel.

      –Israel is of no strategic importance to Australia but Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim nation, is. That partly explains why, despite protestations of undying love for Israel from the Libs, Australia abstained from yesterday’s vote at the UN.

      So it goes.

  4. Liat Kirby says:

    Thank you for this excellent report, Julie, on what was an occasion at Sydney Town Hall that can best be described as shameful. Democracy is one thing with all that it allows, but this was a hatefest that went way over the top. Perhaps forward your findings to the appropriate people in authority rather than limiting them to exposure on J-Wire. There needs to be both awareness and redress of the situation.

    Australian politicians are involved and both Labor and the Greens need to answer to that. So much for Richard Di Natale’s words of assurance to Australian Jews on J-Wire recently, where he came out against racial vilification and hatred.

  5. Philip Mendes says:

    Julie – Nice piece, isn’t Faruqi the so-called moderate who is replacing Lee Rhiannon in the Senate?

  6. Henry Herzog says:

    If Moselmane isn’t thrown out of the Labor party I’ll throw out my Labor membership card.

  7. David Adler says:

    Good report.

    To further understand the Islamic hatred of Jews and the antisemitic dimensions of Islamic theology (which has more antisemitism than even Hitler’s Mein Kamf), the reference below is useful:

    “Al Yahud: Eternal Islamic Enmity and the Jews” by Elias Al-Maqdisi and Sam Solomon

  8. Steven Meyer says:

    Fortunately these protests are usually counterproductive. I doubt this one will generate much sympathy for the Palestinian cause among the wider Australia public.

    • Stephen Perry says:

      It’s more complex than that. For some these rallies are not about sympathy; they are a signal of strength and can have a role in intimidation. A large part of why, as the saying goes – ‘good men … do nothing’.

      • Steven Meyer says:

        I suspect that a mere 800 Muslims yelling “Allahu Akhbar” will irritate rather than intimidate most Australians. As a show of strength its a fizzle.

        But even granted your premise, what is it you think “good men”, or “good women” for that matter, should do in this case?

        If your answer is that the government should restrict the right to protest be careful what you wish for. Restrictions on free speech invariably get used against Jews. The cure may be worse than the disease.

  9. john nemesh says:

    now send all this to the Australian, smh, crikey, abc–and see what happens ..if anything…

  10. David Itzkowic says:

    well said Julie.

    such events are very disturbing, lets hope the police are watching for any ongoing violence or incitement, although I dont know what anybody will do about it

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