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Bondi – beyond the Pale! And ‘Judenrein’?

In the deep Australian winter, comes a chilling judgment from the New South Wales Land and Environment Court, a plan to build a synagogue is refused by a planning authority, partly on the ground that it presents an unacceptable risk to neighbours, due to the threat of terrorist attack.

In New South Wales, the Local Authority objected to the proposed development with a ‘Contention 3’, which was tested in proceedings before the Land and Environment Court.

Site Suitability
3. The proposed development should be refused as the site is not suitable for
the proposed synagogue use as the Preliminary Threat and Risk Analysis relied on by the Applicant raises concerns as to the safety and security of future users of the Synagogue, nearby residents, motorists and pedestrians in Wellington Street and the physical measures proposed to deal with the identified threats will have an unacceptable impact on the streetscape and adjoining properties.

And the Court found against the Friends of Refugees from Eastern Europe, who wished to build a synagogue:

Who bears the onus of proof?

Having found that Contention 3 identifies a potential unacceptable risk of threat and there is a factual basis for the contention, the onus to address the contention rests with the applicant.
Is the evidence of Mr Rothchild sufficient to address Contention 3?

For reasons set out in the previous paragraphs I do not accept that Mr Rothchild has provided sufficient evidence to address Contention 3.

So, as we can’t keep you safe, you can’t build on your own land. I have long wondered how long it would take Lefties to use planning law to well, enforce a policy of ‘Separate Development‘, that well-known Lefty plan from elsewhere in the Southern Hemisphere, now swept away.

It is a judgment that presumes that the State cannot uphold the law (and in that it may be right!). It also has an indirect consequence of pointing to something like the ‘Pale of Settlement‘ of Tsarist Russia, where the law determined where Jews may or may not live, but here, live freely. To be fair to those Tsars, others apart from Jews had restrictions on their movements and residence, but that is not to excuse them. And to be fair to the Court, they are not targeting Jews, just simply upholding the law, following precedence perhaps, or even orders. The same could happen to Christians next, all you need to do is terrorise them, it seems.

In my understanding, ‘beyond the Pale‘ derived from English settlement in Ireland going out beyond the protection of the law. Ironically, here the law says that under it, you are beyond its protection, at least if you are an observant Jew, or near to one.

I have some modest, tongue-in-cheek suggestions for these unsafe Antipodeans:

1. Re-submit the application but ask to build a mosque, church or temple.

2. Offer to become Crypto-Jews, like those of Belmonte in Portugal, who finally felt safe and ‘came out’ in 1917 (rather poor timing given looming events in Germany, but thankfully they remained safe) having hidden their faith for centuries.

3. Build a proper Ghetto like Venice, and with a few canals you might have a tourist attraction, and wait for Napoleon to liberate you.

Advance Australia Fair.

Footnote (edit): This council is in the Federal constituency of Australia’s Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull.

Edit: 10th August 2017 H/T to Confused Old Misfit below: The Daily Mail reports that the Council have now agreed to the Synagogue being built. I wonder why?

20 comments to Bondi – beyond the Pale! And ‘Judenrein’?

  • NickM

    This is not unusual

  • David Axup

    The decision is drawing a lot of condemnation down here and it will be interesting to see how it all pans out in the near future. Based on the decision that there is a likelihood of terrorism then your point given as; “Re-submit the application but ask to build a mosque, church or temple” any application for a mosque should also meet the same fate as it was from a mosque that the firearm used by a jihadist to murder Curtis Chang, an accountant in the employ of the NSW Police, was sourced. Or perhaps a source of terror does not count.

    There are a lot of Australians, not just Jewish Australians, very pissed off with this weak kneed capitulation by a planning authority. If a provision of the NSW law is responsible for the decision that law needs changing a.s.a.p.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    David, I hope you are correct.

  • And this happens in a country whose most famous general is a Jew: Sir John Monash was commander of the Australian Army in 1918 and victor of the battle of Amiens (the battle which convinced Ludendorf that defeat was inevitable). A country whose head of state during the rise of Hitler was a Jew (governor-general Sir Isaac Isaacs), something that early nazi historian Steve Roberts liked to mention to nazis he met by showing them his Australian passport with the governor-general’s signature (The House that Hitler Built).

    Who’d have thought that, after getting power by labelling all who disagreed with them nazis, the politically correct would become such eager cringers to nazis themselves.

  • Greg

    Not so much is it “…a judgment that presumes that the State cannot uphold the law”, but one that presumes the State (or citizens apparently) cannot defend the synagogue during an attack or prevent attacks. The latter is a failing of the State, the former a state forced on citizens by anti-gun laws, laws that suppress speech against Jihadis, and a thousand other failings (policies!) of the State, well known to this blog.

    The questions and answers aren’t the hard part; we know what to do: take the battle to the Jihadis, on all fronts. The willingness to do it, in the face of State opposition, is the challenge.

  • Paul Marks

    Under the utilitarian view of law this is to be expected.

    Remember, according to Mr Bentham, rights are “nonsense” and natural rights are “nonsense on stilts” – natural justice means nothing to such people (indeed Mr Bentham’s “Westminster Review” people paid for a copy of the works of Mr Hobbes to be placed in every library in the country – in the hope that people would be cured of their “reactionary” belief in moral rights under natural law). What matters, in this view of law, is the greatest happiness of the greatest number – so, for example, if most people are made happy by an innocent man being punished for a crime they did not commit then carry out the punishment. Indeed the whole concept of individual moral guilt and innocence is, essentially, rejected by this view of law – what matters are the CONSEQUENCES.

    Such sayings of Common Lawyers as “let justice be done – though the Heavens fall!” would horrify modern legal thinkers. What matters to such people is the happiness of most people – there are more Muslims now in this Australian city than there are Jews, and they are (at least privately) made happy by this ruling. And what of all the general population put at risk of terrorist attack by having a Jewish place of worship? The fact that the Jews would not be attacking but, rather, would be the ones attacked is of no relevance at all according to this view of law.

    And, of course, if we remember Mr Hobbes and Mr Hume (as well as Mr Bentham) people do not really CHOOSE their actions anyway – so one can not blame Islamist attackers for attacking, if stimulated by the sight of a Jewish place of worship (they can not choose not to attack – and anyway it is the nasty CONSEQUENCES of the attack that matter not “reactionary” concepts of guilt and innocence).

    Therefore the Australian officials have acted in line with fashionable philosophy and legal thought – so move along people, nothing to see here.

  • Paul Marks

    Remember saying “I do not believe in natural rights – I believe in natural law, natural justice” will not avail you, Mr Bentham (like Mr Hume and Mr Hobbes before him) was ready for that one. And was able to show that such a view still relied on metaphysics (boo-hiss) specifically the existence of the human person (the soul – boo-hiss).

    The 20th century Logical Positivists (great admirers of Mr Hume and so on) carried this to its logical conclusion – and totally freed themselves from “moral chains”, by showing (to their own satisfaction) that moral good and evil, right and wrong, were just “boo and cheer words” – one can not be doing something morally wrong, if there is no such thing as morally wrong (and one does not really make choices anyway).

    So, again, the officials in Australia have done nothing wrong – so move along people, nothing to see here.

    And anyway, so the officials will be thinking privately to themselves, would not the Jews be happier without their religion? After all Mr Hume (and Mr Hobbes and Mr Bentham) “proved” that religion was silly nonsense.

    “But would not Muslims, therefore, be happier without their religion?”

    You Islamophobic racist – you will punished for comments likely to lead to public violence. Jews are unlikely to react violently to the insulting of their religion, but Muslims are likely to react violently – so the CONSEQUENCES of attacks on the two religions are quite different (and only consequences matter – there is no “honour” or “natural justice”).

    “Freedom of Speech” – you hopeless reactionary, that is outdated as private property rights. When do you think this is – 1689 to 1710 with Sir John Holt as Chief Justice? We moderns have moved beyond the idea of private rights against the state. You will be quoting the Constitution of Texas (1876) at me next.

  • Alisa

    This is the direct result of the State doing so many things that it should not be doing, that it has neither ability nor willingness left to do the one thing it is supposed to be doing – namely, protecting its citizens and their property.

    I may be naive, but I would hardly go as far as using the term ‘Judenrein’, or even assuming that the people affected happening to be Jewish was of any relevance to the officials making the decision – Hanlon’s Razor and all that, although I’d probably err on the side of cowardice, rather than mere stupidity.

  • bobby b

    What a great way to ensure that the threat of terroristic violence becomes an even more common method of attempting to affect the public’s deliberative processes!

    I suppose they could have empowered jihadi subhumans more effectively by directly subsidizing them, but this ranks a close second.

  • Mr Ed

    I would hardly go as far as using the term ‘Judenrein’, or even assuming that the people affected happening to be Jewish was of any relevance to the officials making the decision

    Alisa, that’s why I put it in inverted commas. The purpose of the decision is ‘public safety’ (like that Committee from the French Revolution). The fact that it was a Synagogue was a factor in the decision, based on the ISIS threat to Jews.

    The judgment states (citing Counsel for the Council, Mr McEwen SC)

    “Mr McEwen submits that Exhibit H is not contested by the council. The PTRA identifies a threat of terrorism to Australia and does this by noting under the heading “Threat” that Australia faces an ongoing threat of terrorism “at home”, carried out by supporters of ISIS. It notes that countries involved in military operations against ISIS are subject to a greater threat than those not involved. It then refers to the Australian National Security Internet Website which evidences that the national terrorism threat advisory system is currently advising a threat level of “probable”. The threat is then further qualified in Exhibit H where Mr Rothchild states:
    “Unfortunately, strong antisemitic undertones pervade much of ISIS’ online presence and literature.
    This has manifested itself in both attacks and prevented attacks that have been aimed at Jewish communities in various parts of the world. Exhibit H also gives examples of recent terrorist attacks in Australia. The “Threat” section of Exhibit H finishes with the following statement:
    Whilst ISIS represents the latest threat manifestation, Jewish communities in Australia and around the world are no strangers to the threat of violence and as such will generally take security measures into account when planning, constructing or renovating a building.
    Mr McEwen notes that the PTRA “Threat Scenario differentiates between threats relevant to Australia” and other threats “which are considered unlikely or extreme”. It identifies a number of possible scenarios, including a large car bomb (500kg), a small car bomb (100kg), a parcel bomb (10-15kg), a suicide bomber (10kg), a thrown object or hand grenade attack (thrown from public area into compound), small arms attack shooting at entrances, assembly areas or windows from street or neighbouring balconies, a Molotov Cocktail and arson (thrown from public area into compound), forced entry and organised riot , use of weapons and equipment to force entry and chemical and biological attack. The PTRA states:
    “This Report relates to the security aspects of the synagogue and those elements shared by the synagogue and the apartment block only”.
    Mr McEwen submits that Exhibit H or Exhibit J or any other evidence before the Court contains no assessment whatsoever of the impact on nearby residents, motorists and pedestrians in Wellington Street as a consequence of the threats identified in the PTRA. He submits that this is at the heart of council’s Contention 3.

    Aren’t they really saying that this is a ‘Jewish problem’? (with the ironic resonance that goes with that?), and it’s easier if we don’t let the Jews do what others can do?

    Why not say ‘Build it, and if there is a hazard, the State and Federal Governments damn well better see that there is no ‘probable’ threat.’?

  • Laird

    A variant on the “heckler’s veto”.

  • rxc

    The west’s self-imposed descent into dhimmitude continues apace.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    It also has an indirect consequence of pointing to something like the ‘Pale of Settlement‘ of Tsarist Russia, where the law determined where Jews may or may not live, but here, live freely.


    And yet there is an important difference.

    What caused the Pale of Settlement? A number of factors but overall it was a consequence of strength. To colonize new lands by encouraging Jewish migration there and integrating those lands into the greater economy of the Empire. To prevent ethnic strife while seeking to somewhat assimilate to a degree the Jewish population into greater society. To bolster the trading posts of certain areas by encouraging Jewish settlement there. To protect the merchant class certain areas of Russia from Jewish competition, thereby stabilizing society and shoring up political support. These factors reveal that a central ruler had the power and incentive to actually enact policies that it thought were for the long-term benefit of society.

    Whether these are good or bad reasons to restrict the movement of people and whether or not the movement of people can ever be justifiably restricted, there can be no doubt that the Pale of Settlement was a consequence of strength, it was a consequence of the Tzars seeking to protect the security of their rule, it was a consequence of stable rulers seeking to enhance the Russian Empire’s long-term civil order and economy.

    This decision in Australia, meanwhile, is a consequence of weakness, of capitulation to circumstances (de facto inability of citizens to enjoy their de jure rights) that are not within the scope of a democratic government to fix but would be within the state’s control to fix were the state a healthy, secure, centralized, and properly incentivized governance body.

    This decision obviously is terrible – it erodes property rights, betrays a lack of will, surrenders to terror, and violates religious freedom to name just a few.

    This decision may be reversed soon or measures may over the next few years be taken legislatively to try to prevent such decisions in the future.

    But I think that this sort of decision will occur with increasing frequency in most of the Western world (read: Europe and Anglosphere) – not next year and perhaps not even in the next decade (because order-conserving elements surge in rebuke to the inevitable Progressive tide from time to time in most democracies and achieve nominal, temporary lurches as a result). But over the next 30, 50, 70 years we’ll see the fruits of the West’s weak knees and ineffectual governing structure with rising frequency. Why? Because what caused this decision is endemic to democracy: weakness: no secure, central, powerful authority able to protect the values of its people, a lack of rulers with the will, incentive, and power to take difficult decisions to protect its citizens and civil society over the long-term.

  • Alisa

    Ed, that is what they are saying, and I get all that. My only point is that I see no reason to assume that the decision is motivated by antisemitism, which is what the term ‘Judenrein’ implies to my mind.

  • Paul Marks

    The Pale of Settlement of the Jews in Russia was not really about colonising new lands – the Cossacks (and others) really handled the settlement of new lands, it was about bigotry (intolerance).

    As for Australia – yes S.M. it is about weakness, MORAL weakness. Everyone fights a war every day between good and evil – a war inside themselves. The officials have used fashionable philosophy and legal thought as excuses to give in to evil – they know, deep down, that they have behaved wickedly. But fashionable philosophy and legal thought gives them lots of excuses (some of which I have pointed out – there are others) that is what fashionable philosophy and legal thought is for, to give excuses to give into evil. Both the evil in the external world and the evil in one’s self.


    Historically Australia is one of the least antisemitic nations on Earth – proud of its Jewish Generals (such as Monash in the First World War) and so on. However, Australia has changed – become a rather P.C. place. Today Jews, especially religious Jews, are a problem – and weak (morally weak) people do not like problems.

    I remember a few years ago watching Australians line up to hand in their firearms – foolishly people had accepted gun registration some years before this (registration tends to be used for confiscation).

    Think about it – a once proud and free people giving up their birth right to defend themselves and their families (and defend others). Lining up in rural towns for ritual humiliation by the government.

    The lack of an uprising over the end of Freedom of Speech (the Andrew Bolt case) came as no shock to me after this.

    If people do not defend their liberties ON PRINCIPLE, if they treat everything as a matter of calculation (utility calculation – what makes them the most comfortable) then they lose their liberties.

    It is as simple, and as brutal, as that.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    As for Australia – yes S.M. it is about weakness, MORAL weakness. Everyone fights a war every day between good and evil – a war inside themselves.

    1. If external factors outside an individual do impact whether the individual makes a morally weak or a morally strong decision then how would you know? Or are you of the view that external factors outside the individual CANNOT contribute to causing morally weak decisions?
    2. If there were things (external things, outside the individual) to be gained by making a morally weak decision then how would you know? Or are you of the opinion that such things CANNOT contribute to causing an individual to make a morally weak decision in general?

  • Nicholas (Unlicenced Joker) Gray

    You foreigners don’t understand! We Australians pride ourselves on our multiculturalism, and that means that we let in lots of people, including Muslims, and they then object to anything Jewish to the local politicians, and the politicians take fright and suck up to the new voters. An ex-premiere (like a governor in US terms), Bob Carr, admitted that he was seeking to change his party’s policies on Palestine because of the growing number of muslims in his area.

  • Steve

    How do they build banks? Provocation to bank robbers!
    etc … etc … etc

  • Confused Old Misfit

    Have heard this evening (Oz time)on the Steve Price 2GB radio show that the decision is to be reversed.

  • Confused Old Misfit

    Daily Mail says council backed down