01 Aug 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.