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Palestinian activist notified of arrest for allegedly inciting hatred

Hashem Tayeh has emerged as a prominent organiser and leader of the pro-Palestinian protest movement in Victoria over the past nine months.
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Activist and founder of Burgertory Hash Tayeh (centre) is seen during a pro-Palestinian rally Victoria in Melbourne, Sunday, June 9, 2024. (AAP Image/James Ross)

Published: 11 July 2024

Last updated: 11 July 2024

Police will arrest Palestinian activist and businessman Hashem Tayeh next week over allegations he incited hatred of Jewish people while leading protests against Israel’s war in Gaza.

The 33-year-old Burgertory chain owner will be arrested and interviewed as part of an investigation into whether chants and speeches at rallies and demonstrations in the CBD have breached the Racial and Religious Tolerance Act. No charge had yet been laid.

Tayeh declined to comment, but has repeatedly rejected allegations he is antisemitic on social media.

Victoria Police said “it is standard practice for police to interview persons of interest about their alleged behaviour while a matter is being investigated. This is a voluntary interview.”

“Victoria Police takes all allegations of antisemitic and offensive behaviour extremely seriously and will not shy away from interviewing people in relation to potential offences.”

The detective is investigating whether Tayeh broke the law by reciting chants such as “all Zionists are terrorists” and other statements equating Zionism with terrorism, and whether Tayeh’s involvement in organising the protest movement amounts to a crime.

Other persons of interest may be identified and spoken to as part of this matter.

The legislation makes “serious vilification” on the basis of race or religion a crime punishable by six months’ jail.

The only person to be convicted in Victoria under the terms of the legislation, which is more than 20 years old, was neo-Nazi extremist Blair Cottrell in 2017, for inciting hatred against Muslims after he staged a mock beheading during a protest against the building of a mosque in Bendigo.


Palestinian activist Hash Tayeh told he will be arrested for allegedly inciting hatred (The Age, paywall)


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