Palestine Town Hall Protest: Why I Waving an Israeli Flag at a Sydney Rally
A church pastor has recalled the horrific moment he was chased away by an “angry mob” after disrupting a pro-Palestinian rally and waving an Israeli flag.
Mark Leach arrived at the rally organized by the Palestine Action Group Sydney at City Hall in the city’s CBD on Monday afternoon.
He hid the flag in a tennis bag before taking it out and waving it towards the side of the demonstration where furious pro-Palestinian activists had gathered.
Dramatic footage showed the moment Mr Leach, who was wearing a clergy collar, was confronted by a “small crowd”.
He was chased from the steps as pro-Palestinian chants rang out in the background, with one man shouting: “Get out of here.”
Mr Leach defended his actions by revealing that he was driven to take drastic measures because he was the child of a “German Jewish mother who fled the Holocaust”.
Mark Leach arrived at the Palestine Action Group Sydney rally at City Hall in the city’s CBD on Monday afternoon to show his support for Israel.
Mr Leach, who was wearing a clergy collar, was then quickly confronted by a “small crowd of angry, insult-throwing large Muslims”, who chased him from the steps of City Hall.
“I wanted to take a small stand against the genocidal hatred of Hamas supported by the pro-Palestinian crowd,” he wrote on the social media platform X.
“I wanted to show the Jews of Australia that Christians (who after all are just followers of a Jew) would stand up for themselves and Israel in the face of so much hatred and contempt.
“This afternoon I was chased off the steps of the cathedral. I ran, followed by a small crowd of large, angry Muslims who were shouting abuse at me.
“I ran down George St and hid behind a police van. The police dispersed the group that was looking for me. I haven’t been this scared in a long, long time.
Mr Leach said Australia was “the best country in the world” but added that democracy and freedom of speech were being “eroded” during Monday’s protest.
“I took a small stand because we cannot, we must not give in to such fear,” he said.
“We cannot fear upsetting Islamic sensibilities and thereby self-censor our speech, our religion and our policing.”
He later admitted that the situation at City Hall had been “too volatile” and he instead moved to the Sydney Opera House to watch the sails light up blue and white in support of Israel.
Mr. Leach is seen confronting pro-Palestinian supporters after showing up to the rally with an Israeli flag.
A man wearing a high visibility shirt shouted at Mr Leach to “get out of here”
“They (the police) were careful to tell me that they could not guarantee my safety in this situation, although they would do their best,” he tweeted after leaving the demonstration.
Mr Leach is the father of young Liberal candidate Freya Leach, who was photographed throwing leaflets supporting Palestine into bins at Sydney University.
The photo was shared by the university’s student newspaper, Honi Soit.
“So much for speaking freely,” the caption read.
Ms Leach, who campaigned for the seat of Balmain, hit back and defended her position.
“If you want to defend the rape, kidnapping and murder of innocent Israeli citizens, I will proudly throw your pamphlets in the trash,” she tweeted in response.
Mr Leach is the father of young Liberal candidate Freya Leach, who was photographed throwing leaflets supporting Palestine into the trash bin at Sydney University.