Unlike Christians, or indeed Muslims, Jewish people are not permitted to drive to their places of worship on the Sabbath. They must walk, which explains why Jewish people tend to congregate around the shul.

Which brings us to the latest outrage: a few months back, the Jewish community in Bondi applied for permission to build a new synagogue on Wellington Street. Some problems were anticipated, but it’s fair to say that nobody expected Land and Environment commissioner Graham Brown to cite, among other things, the “potential risk” to the public, including from “a potential terrorist threat”.

Can you believe it? For at least 200 years Australia has ushered the traumatised and persecuted on to these shores, with the promise of peace.

But now, if you’re Jewish, this decision — responsibility for which has been passed back and forth between the local council and the commission — you’re a threat to everyone else, forcing you back into hiding.

How is this moral?

Read the article by Catherine Overington in The Australian (subscription required).

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