Deputy police commissioner for the Australian state of New South Wales Mal Lanyon seemingly pulled a page from the Lithuanian playbook last week, providing cover for a mob hellbent on pogrom at the Sydney Opera House who chanted “gas the Jews” on October 9, before Israel initiated its self-declared war on Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
According to Lanyon, Strike Force Mealing, a special working group tasked with investigating possible criminal offenses at the gathering, hired an acoustics expert who reviewed audio recordings and decided the crowd was actually chanting “Where’s the Jews?” despite numerous ear-witnesses at the event and voluminous video footage which indicated they had in fact clearly chanted “Gas the Jews!”
“The expert has concluded with overwhelming certainty that the phrase chanted during that protest as recorded on the audio-visual files was ‘where’s the Jews,’ not another phrase as otherwise widely reported,” he said.
The day after the protest, NSW oremier Chris Minns had condemned the rally, describing it at “abhorrent.”
“There was a situation last night where racial epithets were thrown at the Jewish community by mere fact that they were members of the Jewish community, which is shocking and abusive and potentially a crime if there was an incitement to raise violence,” Minns had told reporters.
Executive Council of Australian Jewry co-CEO Alex Ryvchin said multiple independent witnesses have verified and declared that the ‘gas the Jews’ phrase, which attracted international media attention was used.
“Where’s the Jews, if that was indeed what was chanted, is in many ways far worse because it shows a desire to menace, threaten and find Jews and no doubt do some horrible things if they were able to find them,” he told the ABC.
Ryvchin said the exact words used was not the “core issue.”
“The core issue is that on October 9, before Israel had even commenced its military response, just two days after the greatest atrocity inflicted on the Jewish people since the Holocaust, a mob of thugs gathered at one of our nation’s most cherished sites to celebrate the mass slaughter and rape of Israelis, to burn Israeli flags and to chant threateningly towards fellow Australians.”
Federal Opposition Leader Peter Dutton said “the accounts from that night speak for themselves” and that it was “a moment of national shame that shouldn’t have been allowed to take place.”
Lithuanian authorities have consistently refused to enforce laws against Nazi glorification when “ethnic” swastikas are used publicly, even as corporate logos. Police have consistently ignored anti-Semitic vandalism and attacks on the Lithuanian Jewish community while local municipalities remain quite keen in tearing down Soviet statues and symbols. According to the Lithuanian lawd against glorifying authoritarian regimes, symbols of the Nazi and Soviet regimes are equally subjects to law enforcement. Lithuanian authorities have refused to take down numerous monuments to Lithuanian Nazi volunteers while providing only limited permission for Holocaust memorials.
Australians consider the Sydney Opera House the quintessential image of Australia around the world. Police detained at least one person at the October 9 gathering for waving an Israeli flag.
Nazi Germany used Prussic acid tablets under the trade name Zyklon B (Cyclone B) which dissolved on exposure to the air into cyanide gas to murder millions of Jews at the Nazi death camps during the Holocaust. “Gas the Jews” is a call to genocide and the extermination of Jews. The United Nations Treaty for the Prevention and Punishment of the Commission of the Crime of Genocide, which the Commonwealth of Australia signed on to on December 11, 1948, and ratified in parliament on July 8, 1949, specifically names calls for genocide as complicity in the crime of genocide.
Partial story here.