Melbourne illegal engagement couple go into hiding after death threats and backlash
So far, six people have tested positive after attending the party. One was contagious at the party and five attendees have since been infected. Video / Sky News Australia
The young couple whose lockdown illegal engagement party enraged Melburnians and made international headlines last week are said to be in hiding after being pummeled by anti-Semitic hate speech and death threats.
Images of the 69-person rally in St Kilda sparked a wave of vile rhetoric directed against the Jewish community as tighter restrictions were imposed hours after the damning video was released.
Now, according to the Daily Mail, the newly engaged couple have been forced into hiding, using private security services to protect themselves.
The number of Covid-19 cases now linked to their engagement party has risen to at least 10 in recent days, with organizers fined AU $ 5,500 ($ 5,740) each.
Victoria Chief Police Commissioner Shane Patton said four people had already been fined.
“Two of them went to the parents of the bride-to-be and two of them also went to the engaged couple,” Patton said.
“The investigation is still ongoing, it has obviously been hampered to some extent by the fact that they are isolated.”
The Caulfield North event was publicly disclosed after the video was shared within a WhatsApp group, the Daily Mail reports, going viral hours after it was shared.
The video shows guests laughing at a joke made by the groom about the event held during Melbourne’s sixth lockdown where people are not allowed to congregate in private residences.
“It’s clearly legal, it’s a group therapy session, that’s why my dad is here,” the groom-to-be, part-time teacher and law student, told the room full of unmasked participants. .
One guest joked, “he’s a mental health clinician,” while another said “the doctor is here” as laughter erupted in the room.
Australia’s main health regulator is currently investigating two doctors allegedly present.
The holiday was originally condemned by Rabbi St Kilda Ronnie Figdor, who said the couple “should have known better”, reflecting the community’s disappointment with the family.
But local Jewish leaders have since sunk into the earth as angry Australians turned their hatred against the community as a whole.
The “selfish” event was also initially criticized by Prime Minister Daniel Andrews, who ranted that the onus was now on contact tracers to spend “literally thousands of hours” chasing participants’ movements.
“These are shitty choices and they keep us all locked up longer than we should be,” Andrews said.
“Every time even a small number of people make very bad choices, selfish choices, it takes away the hard work that so many millions of others are doing, and it prolongs those blockages because it increases the likelihood that we will have more cases. . “
As the anger turned into ugly attacks on the Jewish community, he later condemned the reaction “just plain bad”.
“The (engagement) was not a function of being Jewish,” he said.
“It was a stupid function. Breaking the rules was not a reflection of the Jewish community in general. It is unacceptable and harmful for anyone to trade in anti-Semitic comments.”
Covid Commander Jeroen Weimar, who had mentioned that members of the Orthodox community were among those who tested positive at a coronavirus briefing, then apologized for inadvertently stoking the flames, saying that it was a “bad choice of words”.
“I am extremely disappointed that my words were interpreted as an insult or criticism of the Orthodox Jewish community – it was absolutely not intended,” he said Thursday.
“I apologize to the Melbourne Jewish community for the harm and harm my words have done.”
Jewish organizations have reported an increase in anti-Semitic messages and social media posts after the engagement party reports.
Since the footage went viral, a Victorian hospital worker has been fired for posting a shocking insult online.
The clinical assistant said dozens of Jews who attended the party in violation of Melbourne’s lockdown laws should be “put in a gas chamber.”
After criticizing social media, the Royal Melbourne Hospital said the odious statement did not reflect the values of the organization.
“We are aware of a member of the hospital support staff who made a heinous and shameful anti-Semitic comment on Facebook,” he said in a statement Monday.
“We do not tolerate racial or religious hatred, contempt or ridicule.
“The staff member is no longer an employee of the hospital and we apologize for the hurt and anger this has caused.
“We support and support our Jewish staff, our patients and our community. “