Greens endorse anti-Israel candidate for Melbourne Ports

Greens endorse anti-Israel candidate for Melbourne Ports

Media release — Senator Paterson — Monday 1 August, 2017


Greens endorse anti-Israel candidate for Melbourne Ports

Victorian Liberal Senator James Paterson has condemned the nomination of Steph Hodgins-May as Greens candidate for Melbourne Ports.

“As the Liberal Party’s patron Senator for Melbourne Ports, I am disappointed the Greens have nominated a candidate with a track record of hostility towards the Jewish community,” Senator Paterson said.

In an Instagram post announcing her candidacy, Ms Hodgins-May stated that “the people of Ports deserve a representative… who stands for their shared values.”

However, Melbourne Ports has the second highest number of Jewish-Australians of any electorate in the country. As the Greens candidate in 2016, Ms Hodgins-May boycotted an event co-hosted by The Australian Jewish News and Zionism Victoria – an organisation representing more than 50 Jewish community groups.

“The people of Melbourne Ports deserve a representative who strongly supports the Jewish community and Israel’s right to exist, not a candidate who refuses to share a stage with supporters of Israel,” said Senator Paterson.

Ms Hodgins-May justified her decision to boycott the event by claiming it was inappropriate “to speak at an event co-organised by a politically active organisation.” But during the same election campaign, Melbourne Greens MP Adam Bandt attended a forum hosted by the Australia Palestine Advocacy Network (APAN), an organisation that supports the anti-Israel Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign.

“Although this is a disappointing decision by the Greens, given their long record of anti-Israel activism, it is not a surprising one,” said Senator Paterson.

In 2010, the Greens NSW passed a resolution “call[ing] upon all Australians and the Australian government to boycott Israeli goods, trading and military arrangements, and sporting, cultural and academic events…”

This was followed by the Greens-dominated Marrickville Council being the first municipality in Australia to implement the BDS – a position they were later forced to reverse after a public backlash.

In 2016, Greens leader Richard Di Natale shamefully used a parliamentary condolence debate to launch an extraordinary attack on former Israeli President and Nobel Peace Prize winner Shimon Peres.

“It would be a travesty for Melbourne’s largest Jewish community to be represented by an anti-Israel MP. There will be only one safe choice for supporters of Israel and the Jewish community in Melbourne Ports at the next election – put the Greens last,” said Senator Paterson.

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