Sunday 27 October 2013

Race Discrimination Commissioner Tim Soutphommasane has condemned an attack on a Jewish family in Bondi yesterday.

Dr Soutphommasane said he is deeply concerned by the violence, which appears to have been racially motivated.

He said the attack warrants our absolute condemnation.

“Everyone in our society is entitled to lead their lives without fearing they will be targeted for assault because of their racial or ethnic background.

"Unfortunately, racism is still expressed in violent forms. 

“In this case, the attack appears to have developed from a verbal confrontation, and it is a reminder that racial vilification can escalate into racial violence," Dr Soutphommasane said.

The Commissioner has extended his thoughts to the family injured in the attack.

According to ABC reports, three people have been charged over the alleged anti-Semitic attack.

The ABC said four men and a woman were walking home in Bondi in the early hours of Saturday when a group of about eight young men began yelling anti-Semitic insults at them.

The confrontation turned into a physical fight. All five family members, aged between 27 and 66, were injured during the attack.

The injured family members suffered concussion, lacerations and bruising. One person also suffered a fractured cheekbone and a possible broken nose. All five family members were taken to St Vincent's Hospital.

Dr Soutphommasane said he is determined to continue the efforts of the National Anti-Racism Strategy, which is led by the Australian Human Rights Commission.

The Anti-Racism Strategy provides educational materials to schools and includes a public education campaign, Racism. It Stops With Me, which aims to empower Australians to stand up to racism, wherever it occurs.