Published On: Sat, Aug 5th, 2017

Australia: Court upholds decisions to block permit for Bondi synagogue due to fear of terrorist attack

Australia’s Jewish community has expressed dismay and outrage mounts after the Land and Environment Court backed the decision by Waverley Council to prohibit the construction of the synagogue in Wellington St, Bondi near Australia’s most famous beach because it was too much of a security risk and could be a target by Muslim terrorists, Islamic State or otherwise.

The council contended that “the site is not suitable for the proposed synagogue use as the Preliminary Threat and Risk Analysis relied on by the Applicant raises concerns as to the safety and security of future users of the Synagogue, nearby residents, motorists and pedestrians in Wellington Street.”

photo/Islamic State flag

The court also said that “it is also a valid question to ask whether the raised the [crime prevention through environmental design process] is the appropriate means to address a potential terrorist threat.” “It would seem that a more sophisticated risk assessment process could be required for matters such as a potential terrorist threat.”

Radical Islamist groups and their supporters have called for attacks against symbols and sites of the Jewish community worldwide, and European jihadis have carried out several attacks against the Jewish community in recent years.

“The decision is unprecedented,” Rabbi Yehoram Ulman, director of the Bondi Beach Friends of Refugees of Eastern Europe said in a statement. “Its implications are enormous. It basically implies that no Jewish organization 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.”

“By pulling the terror threat argument they [the council] have shown that they are completely out of touch both with the reality and with needs of their constituency. They have effectively placed in jeopardy the future of Jewish life in Australia,” he added.

NSW Jewish Board of Deputies chief executive Vic Alhadeff told news.com.au he had never heard of any other religious group being denied a place of worship just because they were targeted by outside extremists and that the move was a dangerous precedent.

“It’s a very sad day for Australia if an established community, which needs a house of worship, is refused permission to build it because of fear that others may pose a threat,” he said.

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- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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