Anti-Israel protestors bound their hands with Israeli flags and taped
their mouths shut on the steps of the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court in
Australia demonstrating against the trial of Boycott, Divestment and
Sanctions (BDS) activists that began this week, The Australian Jewish
The so-called “Brenner 19” were detained for demonstrating against
the Israeli chocolate retailer, Max Brenner, in July of last year and
are facing charges including trespassing, besetting and assault.
The chocolate factory is owned by the Strauss Group, Israel’s second-
largest food and beverage company, which also provides care rations
to the Israeli army, including the Golani and the Givati brigades.
Defendant Omar Hassan said Max Brenner was targeted because it
provides care packages to the Israeli Army.
James Crafti, a Jewish defendant who is among the “Brenner 19,” said
that, “Anti-Semitism is caused by a false connection between Jewish
people and the State of Israel.”
While protestors claimed the Victorian government was engaging in a
political “witch-hunt”, president of the Jewish Community Council of
Victoria (JCCV), Nina Bassat, said police had acted in accordance
with the law.
“The legal system is in place and some people choose to see it as a
witch-hunt,” Bassat stated. “The police escalated their reaction when
the protestors became less mindful of the rule of law. That’s when
the police had to step in and be more vigilant.”