Pro-Palestine protestors in Australia have chanted violently antisemitic slogans at a demonstration held as the death toll in Israel continued to climb during the ongoing Hamas terrorist attack.
Around 1,000 pro-Palestine demonstrators marched through downtown Sydney on Monday evening to the city's Opera House, which the government had illuminated in the colours of the Israeli flag in solidarity with the country.
The death toll stood at around 900, while scores of kidnapped Israelis remained unaccounted for.
Footage shared by the Australian Jewish Association appeared to show a small group outside the Opera House lighting flares and chanting "gas the Jews".
Other chants heard at the rally included “f*** the Jews” and “f*** Israel”.
Jewish groups and Australia’s prime minister Anthony Albanese condemned the chanting.
Speaking to Sky News, Albanese said the scenes at the protest were “horrific”, adding: "We are a tolerant multicultural nation.
“I understand that people have deep views about issues relating to the Middle East conflict but here in Australia we have to deal with political discourse in a respectful way."
UNCUT VERSION - SHOCKING— Australian Jewish Association (@AustralianJA) October 9, 2023
"Gas the Jews' on the steps of the Sydney Opera House pic.twitter.com/kLv9QMex65
Foreign minister Penny Wong added: “There is no place in Australia for antisemitism or prejudice or hatred of any kind and we should all stand firm against the sort of antisemitic language that unfortunately some engaged [in] – just as we should stand firm against all prejudice.
“It goes to who we are as a country and it goes to one of our greatest strengths, which is our diversity but our unity around values.”
Protesters marched on the Sydney Opera House (Photo: Getty)
Zionist Federation of Australia president Jeremy Leibler raised questions as to why the rally on Monday night was allowed to take place.
He added: “It is appalling that at a time when Hamas is murdering Jews on the streets of Israel, the streets of Australia have been deemed unsafe for Jews.”
Australia stands with our friend Israel in this time.— Anthony Albanese (@AlboMP) October 7, 2023
We condemn the indiscriminate and abhorrent attacks by Hamas on Israel, its cities and civilians.
We recognise Israel’s right to defend itself.
New South Wales state police told a news conference on Tuesday it was reviewing footage from the protest to determine if offences were committed.
Protest organiser Palestine Action Group Sydney defended its right to protest "apartheid" in Israel but said a small number of "vile antisemitic attendees" had no place in their movement.
“We are an anti-racist and anti-colonial movement and we refuse to fight racism with racism," the group said in a post on social media.
“If you are an antisemite, you are not welcome at our rallies and are not a part of our movement. As we did today, we will ask you to leave and we will continue to do this."