Protesters targeting mining magnate Joseph Gutnick have abandoned plans to rally outside a Melbourne synagogue on the Sabbath, after an eleventh-hour realisation that their action could be viewed as anti-Semitic.
Students for Palestine, a group associated with the Socialist Alternative, had planned to protest later this month at the Adass Gutnick Hall against Mr Gutnick’s business presence in the West Bank, where there is a shopping centre bearing his name. The Gutnick hall in Ripponlea, in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs, was built by Mr Gutnick in memory of his mother and is used for religious and teaching purposes.
Students for Palestine was still advertising the hall as the venue for its protest yesterday morning, but after being contacted by The Weekend Australian, organiser Vashti Kenway said the group had decided to move the protest to outside Mr Gutnick’s company office.
Ms Kenway said someone from within the Ripponlea congregation had contacted her to say there were “anti-Zionist Jews” among those attending Sabbath services there.
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