Police have delivered a bombshell update in their investigation into shocking alleged anti-Semitic phrases chanted during a pro-Palestine protest at the Sydney Opera House.
Video and audio clips from the Opera House protest, which took place on October 9, just two days after Hamas terrorists slaughtered hundreds of Jewish men, women and children in Israel on October 7, purported to show a group of men chanting “gas the Jews”.
NSW Police Deputy Commissioner Mal Lanyon said during a press conference on Friday an “eminent” and independent expert had concluded the phrase used at the protest was “where’s the Jews”.
“The expert has concluded with overwhelming certainty that the phrase chanted during that protest, as recorded on the audio and visual files, was ‘where’s the Jews?’” he said.
“There is a compilation video, which has a number of audio and visual files, those audio and visual files have not been doctored, they are simply cuts from a more ‘parent file’.
“When examined, the parent file and the video compilation have the same audio and visual and from that the expert has been able to conclude they are the words that were used.”
Celebrations erupted in parts of Australia after the Hamas terror attack and videos from the Opera House event gained international attention, with the clips circulating widely on social media and in the international press.
Deputy Commissioner Lanyon confirmed the phrase “fuck the Jews” was chanted during the protest.
“There is evidence of that,” he said.
He also said the police had received several statements from witnesses stating they heard the phrase “gas the Jews”, but they could not attribute the phrase to any single individual.
“There have been offensive words used as part of that protest there,” the deputy commissioner said.
The expert was from the National Centre of Biometrics Science, he said, and had been used extensively by the police in the past.
The expert’s analysis and conclusions were only recently received by the police, he added.
Executive Council of Australian Jewry co-CEO Alex Ryvchin said chanting “where’s the Jews” was as bad as “gas the Jews”.
“Multiple independent witnesses have verified and declared that the ‘gas the Jews’ phrase was used. We know what we heard, and the world knows what was said,” he said on Friday in response to the report.
“The exact words used in these chants is not the core issue.
“The core issue is that on October 9, before Israel had even commenced its military response, just two days after the greatest atrocity inflicted on the Jewish people since the Holocaust, a mob of thugs gathered at one of our nation’s most cherished sites to celebrate the mass slaughter and rape of Israelis, to burn Israeli flags and to chant threateningly towards fellow Australians.”
A wave of anti-Semitism has washed over the country since October 7.
The Executive Council of Australia Jewry recorded 662 anti-Semitic incidents across October and November 2023 a 738 per cent increase on the number of incidents recorded in the previous year.
In one incident from early December, food and a box decorated with swastikas was thrown at a group of 13-year-old girls wearing their school uniforms.
In another, a man on a tram in Melbourne told a Jewish man he would “gun down 10,000 of you tomorrow” if he had a machine gun.
“I’m going to blow a hole through your synagogue,” he is recorded as saying.
Mr Ryvchin said Jewish families were now being forced to have “difficult conversations” about their place in Australia.
“Parents are speaking to their children about not disclosing their Jewishness in public, about hiding Jewish attire and symbols,” he said.
“The fact that in our society, in our time, these conversations are taking place, that one segment of our community feels that unsafe and that vulnerable from other Australians, it’s a shame for our country.”