Coalition’s CCTV pledge
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Coalition’s CCTV pledge

THE Coalition will invest $143,000 in enhanced CCTV at Bondi Beach to fight back against a recent spate of antisemitic graffiti if re-elected next month.

From left: Waverley Liberal councillor Sally Betts, Liberal candidate for Wentworth Dave Sharma, and NSW Jewish Board of Deputies acting president Isabelle Shapiro at the Bondi promenade where swastikas  were daubed last week.
From left: Waverley Liberal councillor Sally Betts, Liberal candidate for Wentworth Dave Sharma, and NSW Jewish Board of Deputies acting president Isabelle Shapiro at the Bondi promenade where swastikas were daubed last week.

THE Coalition will invest $143,000 in enhanced CCTV at Bondi Beach to fight back against a recent spate of antisemitic graffiti if re-elected next month.

The announcement comes less than a week after swastikas and racist phrases were scrawled along art murals on the Bondi promenade for the second time in just over two months.

“What has happened here recently is part of growing antisemitism worldwide and the Coalition government has acted fast in committing to improve security on the Bondi promenade with enhanced CCTV,” Liberal candidate for Wentworth Dave Sharma said.

“These enhanced security measures should act as a deterrent and allow law enforcement agencies to prosecute fully these crimes of hateful bigotry.”

NSW Jewish Board of Deputies CEO Vic Alhadeff welcomed the announcement, noting the “alarming spike” in antisemitic incidents across Sydney in recent weeks.

“This funding commitment will help ensure the security and wellbeing of the Bondi community, including its Jewish residents, and is greatly appreciated,” he said.

Waverley Mayor John Wakefield told The AJN that Council is “committed to maintaining public safety at Bondi Beach through various security measures including CCTV surveillance which is currently in place”. 

But Liberal Waverley councillor Leon Goltsman said, “The CCTV in place is there to survey the tides … it doesn’t protect people on the majority of the promenade, and doesn’t deter graffiti, otherwise we wouldn’t be having it in the first place.”

Meanwhile, swastikas and Nazi comparisons continue to plague the federal election campaign, with Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Jewish MP Julian Leeser both targeted over the past week.

Morrison lashed out at a group of “keyboard warriors” who on the weekend compared his worshipping at an Easter church service to the Nazi salute. “It’s disgusting … these grubs are gutless,” he said.

And on the eve of Pesach, Liberal Berowra MP Leeser had his election posters defaced with swastikas and Hitler moustaches.

“It was shocking and is out of character for the people of the Berowra electorate. However, it is a reminder that we need to do more to educate people on the evils of antisemitism,” Leeser told The AJN.

Executive Council of Australian Jewry co-CEO Alex Ryvchin said it was a “deplorable and shameful act that unmistakably targets Julian because he is a Jew”.

EVAN ZLATKIS

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