'Blatant Racism'

Greens slammed over Leong, ‘genocide’ claims

"To have blatant racism and targeting of a minority community, from a major political organisation in this country is just shattering," says Josh Burns.

Federal MP Josh Burns tables the letter.Photo: Screenshot
Federal MP Josh Burns tables the letter.Photo: Screenshot

Jewish Australians “don’t feel safe and respected by the Greens”, Member for Macnamara Josh Burns told federal Parliament on Monday morning.

Burns’ speech came after a week in which a video surfaced of NSW state Greens MP Jenny Leong accusing the Jewish lobby of using “tentacles” to “influence power” and during which federal Greens MPs attacked Israel in both the House and Senate.

He called Leong’s rant “one of the most blatant, racist and bigoted statements by any elected official in Australia”.

“Not one Greens MP, state or federal, has called out and publicly rebuked Ms Leong,” he said.

“To have blatant racism and targeting of a minority community, from a major political organisation in this country is just shattering.”

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese last Thursday told the House, “I condemn totally any form of antisemitism, including the comments by my local member, the member for Newtown.”

The Zionist Federation of Australia wrote to Albanese on Monday to thank him for the condemnation.

Leong’s comments were also condemned last week by Member for Berowra Julian Leeser and Liberal Senator Maria Kovacic.

“This type of discourse is completely unacceptable in our country and brings shame upon our public institutions,” Senator Kovacic said.

Leong offered an apology of sorts last Thursday. “I used an inappropriate word and framed an argument in an inappropriate way which caused offence … for that I apologise,” she said.

“My intention was to criticise those who back in a Zionist agenda and pro-genocide, pro-apartheid stance.

“I take accountability for my words and promise to do better. I also promise to continue speaking out about the ongoing genocidal attacks and apartheid occurring in Gaza.”

Meanwhile, Israeli ambassador Amir Maimon last week invited federal Greens MPs to view the unedited videos of Hamas’ October 7 atrocities.

“Given the amount of time the Greens have devoted to attacking Israel in Parliament this week, I call on an Adam Bandt, Mehreen Faruqi, Jordon Steele-John and every Greens MP and senator to set aside 42 minutes in their schedules next week in Canberra to watch the raw footage proudly recorded by Hamas terrorists on October 7, when they put their genocidal antisemitic ideology into action – attempting to ethnically cleanse Israel of Jews, massacring and kidnapping Israeli women and children, and committing unspeakable crimes against humanity,” he said in a post by the Israeli embassy on X.

That followed the Greens calling for an immediate ceasefire and for the Albanese government to end its support of Israel in the current war. Greens leader Adam Bandt last Wednesday moved a motion to suspend stating orders and call for an immediate and permanent ceasefire in Gaza.

“Labor must stop backing the invasion of Gaza and help stop a genocide,” he said.

“If the facts aren’t enough for Labor to change its mind, then listen to the International Court of Justice because they have concluded that there is a plausible case of genocide here.

“This has moved beyond self-defence. This is now a slaughter.”

Opposition Leader Peter Dutton called it “a disgraceful motion”.

“It ignores what actually caused this war. It fails to even mention Hamas, a listed terrorist organisation,” he said.

“We need to point out that the Greens – and they’re not ashamed of it – have shown antisemitic conduct at a state level and here in the federal Parliament on a daily basis.”

In the Senate that day, Greens Senator David Shoebridge presented a petition “to establish an urgent parliamentary inquiry to inquire into the involvement of Australian nationals in the IDF’s operations in the OPT and to ask for an Australian Federal Police investigation of those individuals involved in the IDF’s offensive”.

In the Victorian state Parliament that same day, four Greens MPs were ejected after displaying signs that read “Vic Labor stop arming Israel”.

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