Premier slams ‘evil’ antisemitism as illegal engagement party cases grow

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has condemned the "appalling commentary" towards the Jewish community after an illegal engagement party was held at the weekend.

Of today's 24 new local cases of COVID-19, three were connected to the illegal event where 69 people chose to defy lockdown by gathering at a Caulfield North home.

A video of the party showed dozens of people packed inside the private residence blatantly breaching lockdown orders.

LIVE UPDATES: People fined for breaking Melbourne curfew

A total of six coronavirus cases are now linked to the illegal event, including the original infected man.

Mr Andrews today defended the Jewish community following reports the partygoers had copped harassment after news broke of the illegal party.

The premier emphasised the partygoers breaking the rules was not a reflection of the Jewish community as a whole.

"Antisemitism is unacceptable and evil," he said.

"And we have a zero-tolerance approach to that in our state. The event that we spoke about at some length yesterday was not a function of being Jewish.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews

"It was an illegal function. Those people are being dealt with. Them breaking the rules was not a reflection on the Jewish community more broadly."

Mr Andrews said the illegal engagement party was "not an act of faith or culture".

Victoria's Chief Health Officer Professor Brett Sutton also said he was "horrified" to see anti-Semitic hate directed towards the Jewish community overnight.

"It's profoundly wrong," he said.

"It is destructive to the public health response."

READ MORE: Victoria records 24 new cases of COVID-19

Chief Police Commissioner Shane Patton said officers had received reports of harassment towards the people who attended the party.

"That has to stop," he said.

"We're the ones who will deal with that matter."

Commissioner Patton yesterday revealed the partygoers could face fines worth more than a collective $350,000 for breaching the city's lockdown.

"We're working with the people who were involved in those breaches," he said.

"They're being cooperative with us."

The mother of the groom yesterday responded to the criticism, telling 9News they did the wrong thing, but that did not excuse the vicious hate they had received.

"We did wrong but the hate coming our way is just so mean," she said.

"Look into your heart and try to find forgiveness."

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