A local council in Australia has banned the construction of a Jewish synagogue in Bondi out of fear that it could become a target of Islamic terrorism.
“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,” reports news.com.au. “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.”
Adding insult to injury, the council is preventing the synagogue from submitting a plan with aggressive security measures. Their rationale? The measures would risk the “safety and security of future users of the Synagogue, nearby residents, motorists and pedestrians in Wellington Street and the physical measures proposed to deal with the identified threats will have an unacceptable impact on the streetscape and adjoining properties.”
Put another way, a strong security presence wouldn’t look all that great on the street corner.
The council’s campaign to shut down the synagogue has the already besieged Jewish community distraught. Community leaders are livid over what they see as a blatant infringement on freedom of religion.
“The decision is unprecedented,” Rabbi Yehoram Ulman, head of Bondi’s local Jewish community, 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.”
According to NSW Jewish Board of Deputies chief executive Vic Alhadeff, the “ill-conceived judgment represents a dangerous precedent” because it incentivizes Muslim extremists to double-down on their targeting of Jews. In other words, if Islamo-supremacists believe that the state will shut down expressions of Jewish faith, then they will inevitably continue to increase attacks on Jews to the point where Judaism is forced to go underground.