What was claimed to be a 'Pro-Palestinian' rally in Melbourne turned ugly over the weekend, as approximately 10,000 attendees descended into alarming anti-Semitic chants and incendiary rhetoric.
The event, which began at the State Library and culminated on the steps of the state parliament, took a dark turn when protesters were heard chanting pro-Hamas slogans.
Amid the crowd, chants of “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” reverberated — a slogan that implies the obliteration of Israel in advocating for a Palestinian state from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.
A speaker from the Islamic Council of Victoria allegedly justified terrorist attacks on Israeli civilians as a "legitimate reaction to Israeli occupation," a statement captured in a video shared by the Australian Jewish Association (AJA) on social media.
The AJA condemned the rally, highlighting the prevalence of anti-Semitic content and expressing concern about the rising hate in Australia.
The situation was further exacerbated by Victorian Greens Senator Janet Rice, who, while condemning attacks on civilians, led chants of “end the occupation” and called for an "end to violence and war crimes."
This disturbing trend follows the contentious decision by the NSW Greens to vote against a motion expressing support for Israel, a move criticised as "inexcusable" by NSW opposition leader Mark Speakman.
Victoria Police, anticipating potential unrest, had deployed a significant police presence across Melbourne's CBD to ensure community safety.
These events in Melbourne echo similar chaotic scenes in Sydney earlier in the week when protesters burned an Israeli flag and chanted hateful slogans including "gas the Jews", underscoring the deepening tensions surrounding the Israeli-Hamas conflict within Australian communities.