SYDNEY, Australia (JTA) — A Sydney Jewish man was attacked during a pro-Palestinian rally and a major Melbourne synagogue was painted with anti-Israel slogans.
The 47-year-old man, who declined to be named, was attacked Dec. 29 when about 1,000 demonstrators ground Sydney’s city center to a standstill as they marched against Israel’s airstrikes on Gaza, according to a report in the Australian Jewish News.
News of the attack came as Temple Beth Israel, Melbourne’s largest Progressive synagogue, was painted with anti-Semitic and anti-Israel slogans earlier this week.
The Sydney man, who suffered a dislocated shoulder that may require surgery, unwittingly became caught up in the crowd and, faced with the vitriolic anti-Israel slogans, exchanged words with several protesters, according to the report.
Moments after he left the scene, he said three men chased and attacked him. The man was treated at a hospital and reported the incident to police two days later. Police are investigating the incident.
“I love Israel,” the paper quoted him as saying. “They were there to demonstrate. It’s just that I was there by myself and there were thousands of them.”
A communitywide pro-Israel rally is scheduled for Sunday at Central Synagogue, Sydney’s largest synagogue.