What some young Jews do in their spare time; defend occupying Israel

Following my story last week in Crikey about Sydney’s Marrickville council endorsing BDS against Israeli apartheid, the following letter appeared in Friday’s Crikey:

Simon Sawday, Australasian Union of Jewish Students, Vice Chairperson, writes: Re. “NSW election: Greens Marrickville candidate labelled ”˜Hamas harlot’”. As the Vice Chairperson of the Australasian Union of Jewish Students (AUJS), I was appalled to see AUJS accused of hanging Anti Greens posters in the city during the Mardi Gras in one of Crikey’s articles by Antony Loewenstein.

Firstly, this accusation has no basis, I would be glad to hear Mr Loewenstein’s source, if he has one.

Secondly, it’s part of the AUJS constitution not to endorse any political party, which is something our executives understand and abide by.

I’m very disappointed that we’ve been wrongfully accused of this on a site as popular as Crikey and would appreciate it if the facts surrounding this are corrected, even if it’s just to say that the accusation has no solid basis and is purely an opinion held by Mr Loewenstein.

And here is my response today:

Two reliable people told me separately last week, after the Marrickville council meeting, that they had heard Jewish participants at the meeting say AUJS were behind the anti-Greens posters. Other people, including the Liberal candidate for Marrickville, were there.

Furthermore, AUJS may not officially back any political party in elections, but they have a history of attacking the Greens on campuses in Sydney and Melbourne, accusing them of anti-Semitism. I have both seen and heard this. And often it comes not from the leadership itself but from AUJS members.

Text and images ©2023 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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