Jews, Palestinians Protest Netanyahu's Opening of Synagogue in Australia
Former Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu opened a new synagogue in Melbourne Sunday amid protests from anti-occupation Jewish organizations and Palestinian groups, Israel Radio and AFP reported.
More than 50 police blockaded the quiet residential street after about 100 people from Palestinian and anti-occupation Jewish groups staged a peaceful protest outside the synagogue.
The protesters, who chanted "Out Israel Out," raised the Palestinian flag and waved olive branches.
During the ceremony, Netanyahu was quoted as blaming “pro-Arafat propagandists for vilifying the Israeli people.”
"Jerusalem has been our city for 3,000 years and will remain our land for 3,000 years," he told the 500 invited guests.
"We seek peace with our neighbors but it must be a peace based on truth.
"Any attempt to strike a Middle East peace deal based on lies will collapse," he said, referring to Palestinian claims that Israelis have taken their land - specifically, the vast area of land seized by Israel far outside its UN mandate in 1967.
Friends of Palestine spokesman Taimor Hazou told AFP: "Netanyahu has been calling for the escalation of the conflict and invasion of Palestinian territories and the reoccupation of Hebron.”
Several synagogues have been vandalized in Europe since the breakout of the Intifada late September.
Israel's insistence that it represents all the world's Jews has helped fan the flames of anti-Semitism by linking the entire religion and people with widely televised Israeli attacks on Palestinian civilians in the Occupied Territories – Albawaba.com
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