A local council who blocked the building of a synagogue it deemed a ‘terror threat’ is reportedly set to backflip on its decision in the wake of widespread outrage.
Waverley Council last week blocked an application for the new synagogue at Bondi, in Sydney’s east, claiming the building of worship could be targeted by terrorists.
The council’s decision was slammed in the days following, with widespread anger on social media and a major rally planned by conservative Jewish activist Avi Yemini.
But Waverley Council seemingly bowed to the growing weight of public pressure on Wednesday, with Mr. Yemini claiming the municipality has reached an agreement that will see the synagogue built as originally planned.
Having campaigned heavily for the synagogue to be approved, Mr. Yemini told Daily Mail Australia the decision showed ‘common sense had prevailed’.
‘The rabbi is happy, they’re going to take the application as it was originally planned and so by the end of the year they should have a synagogue,’ he said.
‘They’re going to work through the security details but the rabbi is happy the council finally came to the table.
‘It seems the pressure on them was a bit too much so they changed their tone and they respected him and his application. They’ve done a total backflip.’
A spokeswoman for Waverley Council said an understanding had been reached with the two parties and that it was ‘likely’ the synagogue would be built.
‘The Mayor, Councillors or the General Manager have no say in any DA. They are determined by an independent panel. FREE are entitled to submit a new DA for this site and it would be considered on its merits,’ the spokeswoman told Daily Mail Australia.
The council previously claimed the site proposed for the synagogue was a ‘potential risk to users and other members of the general public’.
But Mr. Yemini said that while council were concerned about the threat of terror, their initial decision to block the synagogue was only letting ‘terrorists win’.
‘Every day Australians were outraged by the idea that we have to change and give in to Islamic terror,’ he told Daily Mail Australia.
‘When you set a precedent that victims have to change what they do, how they act and what they’re allowed because of Islamic terrorism, where does it end?
‘The moment you change what you do, they win. Now after this decision, everybody knows across Australia that we don’t let Islamic terror win.’
Mr. Yemini also said that the rally planned for this weekend had been cancelled in the wake of the good news.
The decision comes a week after the Land and Environment Court backed Waverley Council’s decision to prohibit the construction, partly due to a terror threat.
The decision enraged Jewish leaders who claim the community was being prevented from practicing its religion because of the threat of extremism.
NSW Jewish Board of Deputies boss Vic Alhadeff told news.com.au the ruling set a ‘dangerous precedent’.
‘It’s a very sad day for Australia if an established community, which needs a house of worship, is refused permission to build it because of fear that others may pose a threat,’ he said.
‘This simply shows how we’re all losing our freedoms. Those who want us to be afraid are winning, and this ill-conceived judgment represents a dangerous precedent.’
Daily Mail Australia has contacted Waverley Council for comment on their decision.