IJC Statement on decision of Australian court to deny construction of Synagogue
The Israeli-Jewish Congress (IJC) is outraged at the disgraceful decision of a local court in Australia to reject the construction of a new Synagogue in Sydney on the basis that it may become the target of a terror attack.
The proposed Synagogue was to be constructed by a local Chabad congregation known as Friends of Refugees of Eastern Europe (‘FREE’) in the Sydney suburb of Bondi, which is home to one of the largest Jewish communities in Australia.
This decision, which is a denial of the basic right to religious freedom, is essentially a victory for the jihadist extremists, rewarding terror and violence, and cowering to their intimidation.
It also has the potential to set a very dangerous precedent for Jewish communities in Europe and around the world, with Courts and authorities potentially relying on the excuse to ban construction of Jewish institutions and holy places on the purported basis that they are in a residential area and represent a threat to security.
Will this same principle now also be applied to Churches and other houses of worship, which are also subjected to threat of Islamic terror? Or will this single out just the Jewish community? The proper response in such situation would be resoundingly refusing to bow to the Islamic extremists, while providing adequate security measures to the Jewish community and permitting Jewish life to continue to thrive.
This situation, and the dangerous precedent in its assault on Jewish life it has created, also underscores the urgent need for Jewish unity, to stand up for those communities who are seeing their way of life and basic rights come under attack, wherever they may be.
IJC reiterates our total support with the Jewish community of Sydney and Australia in this matter and call on the relevant authorities to reverse this decision without delay.