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AIJAC questions handling of pro-Palestinian protestors ambushing visiting families of Israeli murder victims and hostages

Nov 30, 2023 | Colin Rubenstein

Pro-Palestinian protestors waiting in the lobby for the Israeli families of those murdered or taken hostage by Hamas
Pro-Palestinian protestors waiting in the lobby for the Israeli families of those murdered or taken hostage by Hamas

Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council Executive Director Dr Colin Rubenstein has questioned the handling of an incident involving pro-Palestinian protestors who ambushed the families of Israeli murder victims and hostages at a Melbourne hotel last night.

Dr Rubenstein said:

“There should be unanimous agreement that the repugnant actions of the pro-Palestinian protestors last night, targeting the innocent families of Israelis taken hostage or murdered by Hamas, went far beyond the standards of decent human behaviour and should not have been permitted by the authorities.”

The deplorable incident in which protestors stormed a CBD hotel to intimidate these families visiting this country appears to have been mishandled by the police, with the Israeli visitors removed to a police station, allowing the attempted intimidation by protestors to effectively succeed.

The treatment meted out to these families was deeply disturbing.

It is unjust and unacceptable that it was the victims, subjected to the hostile actions of the pro-Palestinian protestors who thronged the hotel lobby, that were taken to a police station, rather than the protestors being held accountable.

There are serious questions that need to be answered: Why was the police response to remove the victims, rather than apprehending, or at the very least dispersing, the protestors? Why were the perpetrators allowed to not only intimidate their targets but inconvenience everyone staying at the hotel?

Why were our ‘move on’ powers not employed by police in this situation?  There would appear to be fundamental problems with the response that require immediate answers from both Victoria Police and the Victorian Government.”

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