The raising of the Palestinian flag outside the chambers of Canterbury-Bankstown Council in Sydney's west has sparked controversy. The gesture, seen as support for Palestinians amidst the ongoing conflict with Israel, has drawn criticism from Jewish leaders. Canterbury-Bankstown Council has become the first Australian council to fly the Palestinian flag outside a council precinct, a move that has divided the local community. The flag is expected to remain raised until a ceasefire is declared in the conflict. Canterbury-Bankstown Councillor Khodr Saleh hoisted the flag, with several locals gathered around, chanting 'Free Palestine.' Saleh took to Facebook to announce the display of support, calling for a ceasefire and a free Palestine. The motion to fly the flag was approved by the council, although some councillors were absent. The proposal has received praise from many, with residents thanking Saleh for validating their feelings.
However, the move has been condemned by Jewish leaders in Australia, who find the support for Palestinians in the midst of the conflict incomprehensible. The president of the Australian Jewish Association, Dr. David Adler, criticized the council for lacking empathy for the Jewish community. He likened the gesture to flying the German flag after Kristallnacht or the Japanese flag after Pearl Harbour.
The conflict between Hamas and Israel has claimed the lives of thousands of Palestinians and Israelis, leading to global division. In Australia, a pro-Palestine rally in Sydney turned chaotic, with protesters chanting anti-Semitic slogans and burning the Star of David. The rally was seized by radical Muslims who threw lit flares and chanted derogatory phrases against Israel and Jews.
The ongoing war has raised tensions and emotions worldwide, with the Palestinian flag outside a council adding to the controversy. The display of support for Palestinians in a major Australian council has evoked both praise and criticism, highlighting the deep-seated divisions on this issue.