Monday, August 20, 2007

Anti-Semitic bashing in Melbourne

From The Australian, August 20, 2007, by Natasha Robinson ...

MELBOURNE'S Jewish community has been rocked by an anti-Semitic attack in which a teenager was bashed with a baseball bat and a restaurant diner punched in the face.

Police are investigating the series of violent incidents, which occurred shortly after midnight on Saturday night in Balaclava, in Melbourne's Jewish heartland. A 17-year-old boy, an Orthodox Jew, was bashed with a baseball bat by three men who also smashed cars parked outside a Jewish restaurant.

The attack started when three men approached a group of Jewish men who were standing outside a restaurant on Carlisle Street in Balaclava. When the Jewish men went inside the restaurant, Mr Glicks, the men followed, punched a diner in the face and smashed windows.

The Jewish group B'nai B'rith said yesterday the attackers also vandalised cars parked outside the restaurant. Police were called, but the attackers had fled by the time they arrived.

However, about half an hour later, the men returned, this time with baseball bats. Teenager Alon Tam told The Australian he was walking along the street when he heard his friends shouting "Run, run, they're coming". Two men armed with baseball bats then started hitting him.

"They each came up to me with a baseball bat and came from both sides, bashing me, and told me that I'm a Jew and I deserve to die," Mr Tam said. He said he was hit on the chest and arms but managed to escape major injury. He was treated at the scene, but did not need to attend hospital.

Police were again called following the assault. Helicopters scoured the area looking for the attackers, but the men were not found.

Jewish groups yesterday condemned the attack, which they said was particularly concerning given that it occurred within a few hundred metres of an attack on Jewish man Menachem Vorchheimer, who was set upon by a group of young footballers in the same suburb in October last year.

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