The Australian Greens “have shown themselves to be in the camp of Israel-haters and not a group that the Jewish people can rely on for political or moral support”.
So declared Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council executive director Colin Rubenstein this week after all eleven of the party’s senators staged a walkout during question time on Monday.
After accusing Israel of “carpet-bombing Gaza, targeting civilians and committing war crimes for the world to see”, Greens deputy leader Mehreen Faruqi, wearing a keffiyeh, demanded the government call for a ceasefire.
“The Coalition is morally bankrupt when it comes to Palestine and Labor has shown itself to be heartless, gutless, powerless,” she continued. “Today, we bring the people’s protest into parliament. Free, free Palestine,” she declared, with her first in the air, before the senators staged their walkout.
Rubenstein said he was disgusted by the public walk-out and “theatrics” in the national parliament. “Put simply, the Australian Greens deserve to be condemned,” he said.
Zionist Federation of Australia president Jeremy Leibler noted the Greens didn’t walk out “when Syrian forces literally starved Palestinians to death”.
“They are silent about Lebanon’s persecution of Palestinians. The Greens barely uttered a word about the half-million deaths in Syria or the hundreds of thousands of deaths in Yemen. Pakistan is ethnically cleansing 1.8 million Afghans right now, but the Greens are silent,” he said.
“Only when Israel is involved do the Greens find their voice. There’s a word for that.”
Executive Council of Australian Jewry co-CEO Alex Ryvchin said, “The Greens have shown themselves to be the enemies of peace and launderers for antisemites at home and murderous thugs abroad”.
“Their inability to condemn the mass atrocities of October 7 without attempting to justify crimes that no decent person would ever justify destroyed what little human rights credentials they had,” he said.
Greens leader Adam Bandt has also been slammed for promoting a pro-Palestinian rally with a map showing the entire land of Israel as Palestine on social media.
“Bandt either knows the anti-Israel movement wants to strip Jews of their homeland and he supports them anyway or he is still somehow oblivious to their plainly stated violent aims,” said Ryvchin.
“Either way, since October 7, he has shown himself to be devoid of integrity and moral clarity while being attracted to antisemites.”
Rubenstein stated Bandt “has now implicitly endorsed calls for the destruction of Israel. This puts the Greens completely outside mainstream political discourse and debate”.
In a letter to Bandt, Leibler said “to make this map real would require removing the Jews of Israel and destroying the State of Israel. Following October 7, one can only imagine how”.
He added, “To be clear, you are associating yourself with a hateful organisation that yearns for the destruction of Israel and mocks the victims of terror by Hamas, a designated terror organisation.
“I trust you understand that this has an enormous impact on the Jewish communities of Australia – because by your participation, you legitimise this antisemitism.”