“Israel is an illegitimate state. Israel has no right to exist,” shouted the speaker, to thunderous applause and cheers from the thousands packed into the square.
Flying alongside the sea of Palestinian flags were also Hezbollah flags, Jihadist flags and signs equating Israel with Nazi Germany.
But this wasn’t in Gaza or Ramallah. It wasn’t in Tehran, or even Cairo. It was Sunday’s pro-Gaza rally at the Town Hall in Sydney.
The speaker was University of Sydney student representative council member Ridah Hassan. Other speakers included prominent Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign supporters Associate Professor Jake Lynch, Jewish anti-Zionist Vivienne Porzsolt and Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon.
And while the event’s MC tried to point out that the rally was against Israel’s military operation in Gaza and not against Jews, “anti-Semitism was flying high”, according to Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ) research officer Julie Nathan.
“It was open, unashamed and palpable. The images through posters and flags were not just anti-Israel, but anti-Semitic to its core,” she said…