Wong slams Mashni

Foreign Minister Penny Wong has described comments and a past criminal act by Australia Palestine Advocacy Network (APAN) president Nasser Mashni as "reprehensible".

Foreign Minister Penny Wong. Photo: Peter Haskin
Foreign Minister Penny Wong. Photo: Peter Haskin

The mainstream press has revealed the property developer and Greens donor called a Palestinian terrorist a “hero”, liked a tweet calling Hamas’s October 7 terrorist rampage “a logical response” to Israeli actions and on his radio show said, “The power structures that exist in the world all focus upon Zionism.” Mashni also disagreed with the government proscribing Hamas in its entirety as a terrorist organisation. He rejects a two-state solution.

According to the Herald Sun, Mashni on X described six Palestinian prison escapees as “Palestinian heroes”. One, Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades terrorist Zakaria Al-Zoubeidi, planned a Tel Aviv suicide bombing during the Second Intifada. Another, Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist Eham Kamamji, kidnapped and murdered an Israeli teenager.

The Age revealed that on his radio show, Mashni followed his “power structures” comment by explaining, “Israel is the domino. Israel falls over … the world is a far better place once we destroy Western imperialist control of the world.”

The Herald Sun also revealed that in 1991, Mashni, then 22, beat a 15-year-old boy, locked him in the boot of his car and drove him to a field where he threatened to break his legs. He pleaded guilty on several counts, receiving a suspended sentence.

Senator Wong shared a photo of herself with Mashni on Instagram on October 18. Asked whether she now regretted the meeting and whether she would meet him again, she told The AJN, “Comments and actions by Mr Mashni have been reprehensible.

“A government can’t just talk to people we agree with. I have made clear to Mr Mashni our view, that Israel has a right to exist and a right to defend itself.”

Meanwhile, Sky News reported last week that a charity of which Mashni is a founding board member, Olive Kids, sends funds to a front in Gaza for a terror group.

Both NGO monitor and Washington Institute counterterrorism expert Matthew Levitt say the Union of Health Work Committees has links with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

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