A LOCAL council has banned the construction of a synagogue in Bondi because it could be a terrorist target, in a shock move that religious leaders say has caved in to Islamic extremism and created a dangerous precedent.
The decision, which has rocked the longstanding Jewish community in the iconic suburb, was upheld in court this week as the nation reeled from the alleged airline terror threat and debate raged over increased security measures at airports and other public places.
The Land and Environment Court backed the decision by Waverley Council to prohibit the construction of the synagogue in Wellington St, Bondi — just a few hundred metres from Australia’s most famous beach — because it was too much of a security risk for users and local residents.
Jewish leaders are shocked the decision appears to suggest they cannot freely practice their religion because they are the target of hate by Islamist extremists — and that the council has used their own risk assessment of the threat posed by IS against it.
Isn’t this disgusting. They’re saying that because you may be targeted by violent extremists due to your religion, we won’t let you have a synagogue near a populated area – that way only the Jews get killed when it gets blown up – and not anyone else nearby.
The head of the local Jewish community said the council and the court had effectively stifled freedom of religion and rewarded terrorism.
“The decision is unprecedented,” Rabbi Yehoram Ulman told news.com.au.
“Its implications are enormous. It basically implies that no Jewish organisation should be allowed to exist in residential areas. It stands to stifle Jewish existence and activity in Sydney and indeed, by creating a precedent, the whole of Australia, and by extension rewarding terrorism.”
Imagine if a Council ruled that (for example) a black community centre can’t be built near a beach in case the KKK firebomb it.