Greens staffer infuriates Jewish leaders

April 2, 2019 by David Marlow
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David Jeffrey, a staffer for Macnamara Greens candidate Steph Hodgins-May has been found to have made comments about a year ago that have infuriated Jewish community leaders reportedly calling deaths in Gaza ‘genocide’, and used hashtags on Facebook including #NoPrideInGenocide and #F_kFascism in relation to Israel and Gaza.

The Melbourne electorate of Macnamara is home to the largest Jewish community in Australia with about 10% of its population identifying as Jewish, and there have been incidents in the past where the Greens candidate has refused to attend events that have involved Israel supporting organisations.

Dr Dvir Abramovich, Chairman of the Anti-Defamation Commission, said, “This language and accusations are simply unacceptable, especially coming from a person associated with a candidate for political office.  To label Israel’s self-defence actions, based on its need to defend its population and combat threats to its security after rockets are launched at its civilians a ‘genocide is outrageous and divorced from reality. We call on Mr Jeffery to apologise for his inflammatory comments, which were not made innocently or dispassionately, and urge Steph Hodgins-May to take firm action to ensure that such anti-Israel rhetoric is never again uttered by her staff.”

Alex Ryvchin, Co-CEO of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ) said, “These appalling comments represent the lowest form of activism, where one side in a conflict is characterised as pure evil while the other is cast as a heroic victim. The comments betray a complete contempt for the sovereign rights of the Jewish people, ignorance of fact and history, and a dangerous denigration of public debate to childish abuse, which can serve to incite hatred.”

Stephanie Hodgkins-May Photo: Twitter

 

“That a political staffer should hold such extreme and hateful views will appal not just the Jewish community, but anyone who values honest, respectful debate.”

“I’m glad the staffer had the awareness to eventually delete the comments, but given how recently these comments were made, the position Mr Jeffrey holds, and the depth of loathing his comments reveal, Ms Hodgins-May should assure voters that she rejects this hate speech. She might also like to consider whether she wishes to be associated with a person of Mr Jeffery’s temperament and intellectual capacity.”

Jennifer Huppert, JCCV President said, “What he said was offensive and has no place in the political discourse.  I hope the Greens consider these things when employing staff in the future.”

Sharene Hambur, President of Zionism Victoria said, “This post by Mr Jeffrey is, unfortunately, typical of the comments that come from those who would deny Israel its rights to defend its borders and is completely divorced from history and the situation on the ground.  Comments such as this can only serve to incite hatred and should be roundly condemned”.

Zionist Federation of Australia President Jeremy Leibler said the sentiment from Mr Jeffrey’s comments was not unique in the Greens.

He said Ms Hodgins-May withdrew from a Jewish community debate in 2016 because it was co-hosted by Zionism Victoria, and pointed to Julian Burnside, the Greens candidate in Kooyong, who has previously supported the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel.

J-Wire approached Greens Leader Richard Di Natale, candidate Stephanie Hodgkins-May and staffer David Jeffrey.  To date, no responses were received.

Comments

3 Responses to “Greens staffer infuriates Jewish leaders”
  1. Lynne Newington says:

    Fortunately, not all Green’s members have the same mentality……

  2. Liat Kirby says:

    Yes, I remember Stephanie Hodgkins-May withdrawing from a debate that was to take place in 2016 due to the fact that Zionism Victoria was co-hosting it. Not much point going to her for support, nor Richard Di Natale. The Greens, as a party, are pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel.

    • Lynne Newington says:

      Maybe the one I know is a closet member…..as a casual acquaintance I hadn’t made it clear who I was or what my views were at the time.

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