THE NSW Young Greens have been criticised for stating on Yom Hashoah that both the Liberal and Labor parties love “locking people in concentration camps”.
The comment was part of a graphic posted on the NSW Young Greens’ Facebook page designed to show how the Greens are different to the major parties.
But the comment, which was posted on Yom Hashoah, was met with fierce criticism. One Facebook user noted that it was Yom Hashoah and asked why they would use the term concentration camps for political point scoring.
“This is deeply offensive to myself and many other Jews,” a Facebook user wrote.
“You can argue about human rights conditions but pick a different word. Concentration camps are linked with Nazi Germany and some of humanity’s worst ever atrocities. I hope you will apologise at least for this.”
Shannon Bowes, co-secretary of the NSW Young Greens, responded that the post was “sitting in drafts for a week and was not intentionally posted on Yom Hashoah.
“I’m sorry about the timing. But we also can’t deny that the offshore detention centres on Nauru and Manus are concentration camps.”
Anti-Defamation Commission chairman Dvir Abramovich said that cynically using the horrors of the Holocaust to criticise the government’s and Labor’s detention policy trivialises and cheapens the murder of millions of people, insults their memory and needlessly causes further pain to the survivors.
“We call on Richard Di Natale to tell the NSW Greens that invoking hurtful and shockingly insensitive comparisons to the Nazi death camps in order to score a political point is misguided and unacceptable, and that he urges them to apologise,” said Abramovich.
The Facebook post came less than three weeks after the University of Sydney Students’ Representative Council (SRC) condemned the NSW Young Greens for boycotting an Australasian Union of Jewish Students (AUJS) event.
“This is not about Israel or Palestine, this is boycotting events run for over 9000 Jewish students in Australia, many of whom have little or nothing to do with the situation in Israel/Palestine,” the SRC motion read.
“There is a clear difference between concerns about Israel, and the boycotting of members of a faith community.”