A FACEBOOK network of senior students from two of Sydney's most elite private schools have offended the Jewish community with anti-Semitic slurs.
Students from The Scots College in Bellevue Hill created a Facebook site called Jew Parking Appreciation Group which describes "Jew parking" as an art which often occurs at "Bellevue (Jew) Hill".
The site, which has 51 members, contains a link to The Scots Year 12 Boys, 2008, and The Scots College networks, and is administered by Scots students.
It is connected to another network created and officiated by Scots College students with postings that include "support Holocaust denial" and a link to another internet address called "F--- Israel and Their Holocaust Bullshit".
The site contains what appears to be Arabic writing, giving it the appearance of a mock Islamic site.
One of the four "officers" heading the site is a student from Kambala School for Girls in Rose Bay. The site has 47 members.
A Scots College Year 12 student involved in the Facebook network yesterday told the Herald that while he could understand how Jews might be offended by comments on the website, they were part of a "big in-joke" shared among students from eastern suburbs private schools.
"There was no intention of causing conflict or racial hatred," the student, who did not want his name published, said.
"It is a big in-joke among the private schools and young people in the eastern suburbs.
"We have Jewish friends and girlfriends."
The NSW Jewish Board of Deputies contacted The Scots College yesterday to lodge a complaint about the student network and the anti-Semitic comments on Facebook.
The board's chief executive officer, Vic Alhadeff, said it was not a laughing matter.
"No jokes or comments which have a negative racial stereotype attached are inoffensive," he said.
"The issue is a slippery slope. Any comments which propose a racial stereotype are offensive."
Mr Alhadeff became aware of the racial slurs at the weekend before he contacted Facebook to ask for their removal.
Following his call, the comments "Jew Rats", "F------ Mercedes Jews" were withdrawn from the site.
"When I saw the Facebook group on Saturday night, it included numerous offensive comments about Jews. It had a related group containing derogatory comments about women," Mr Alhadeff said.
"Society has to send a clear message that those who indulge in racial hatred and other obscenities will be exposed and condemned."
The principal of The Scots College, Ian Lambert, said the school provided a nurturing environment for students of Jewish background. "If any have caused offence that is regrettable. We would never condone any level of ethic hatred and abuse."
The principal of Kambala, Margaret White, said she would be very surprised if any of her girls were involved.
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