Which is why this story in Murdoch’s Australian – fair and balanced as usual, presuming that simply protesting outside a company with ties to the IDF is anti-Semitic by definition – is so revealing. There’s fear that BDS is taking off globally and what do critics do? Allege anti-Semitism and desperately hope that nobody talks about why; Israeli society and its policies are about humiliating Palestinians:
A group of prominent Australians met for a hot chocolate last night in a peaceful protest against violence in front of a Jewish business that was recently targeted as part of an anti-Israel boycott.
Labor MP Michael Danby, Australian Workers Union secretary Paul Howes, former Labor Party president Warren Mundine, comedian Sandy Gutman, aka Austen Tayshus, and journalist Jana Wendt were among those who spoke out against a violent protest on July 1 outside the Max Brenner chocolate shop in Melbourne in which three police officers were hurt and 19 protesters arrested.
Mr Danby, who organised last night’s meeting and is one of three Jewish federal MPs, said the violent protest had been a reminder to him of the need for vigilance against anti-Semitism, and it was worrying that Greens senator Lee Rhiannon was a vocal supporter of the boycott.
“The impetus was an ugly, violent demonstration in Melbourne and Senator Rhiannon’s determination to take this boycott further,” he said. “She would like to see it introduced into the Senate and into politics.
“We remember the precedence of the 1930s; my father came from Germany, and (at) any sign of this kind of behaviour we have to draw a line in the sand.”
Senator Rhiannon has said that she still supports the Israel boycott – known as BDS – but federal Greens leader Bob Brown says he does not support it and the boycott would not become Greens policy. The BDS is still part of NSW Greens policy.
Mr Howes said the far-left protesters were “mimicking the behaviour of the Nazi thugs” and it was necessary to “nip this in the bud”.
“I would say the bulk of the people who are voting Greens have no understanding of the xenophobic, extremist and abhorrent policies they are voting for,” he said.
Wendt said she felt the tolerance of Australian society was under threat if people did not learn from history.
“As the daughter of refugees whose lives were critically affected by both fascism and communism, I’m grateful for what Australia has to offer,” she said.
“It is a truism, but we can’t afford to ignore the lessons of history.”
Mr Mundine said the boycott was “not anti-Israel but anti-Jewish.”