Anti-Israel Outburst at Mandela Memorial
The President of the Indigenous Social Justice Association, Sydney, Ray Jackson has stood by hateful and anti-Israel comments made at a memorial service for Nelson Mandela in Sydney last weekend.
In his speech Ray Jackson made references to the “Palestinian struggle” and “Zionist Hegemony” which were met with boos from sections of the audience among which were members of the local Jewish community.
One woman who confronted Jackson at the memorial about what she deemed to be his “hate-filled speech” claimed she was subsequently abused by members of the audience.
“I was told that Israel is a racist state and that they wished for Israel to be pushed into the sea and me with it,” said Jenny Hillman, curator for Shalom Gamarada, an organisation which funds Indigenous students to study at the UNSW and offers residential scholarships and support.
“What was worse was that one of the people abusing me was a woman who said she was Jewish with holocaust survivors as parents. It was ugly and I think the sentiments were utterly despicable and were incited by Mr Jackson’s speech,” Jenny Hillman said.
Ray Jackson has told J-Wire he absolutely stands by his comments made at the memorial.
He said when he was invited to speak he chose to discuss his personal outlook on “Mandela as the freedom fighter and his very strong support of the Palestinian struggle.
“I am saying that the government of Israel is a zionist government but I do not think my comments on the day were inciteful. If members of the Jewish community were offended, I’m sorry but that’s not my problem.”
“Mr Mandela’s achievements were as a freedom fighter of people in struggle and that included the Palestinians, the Cubans and the Australian Aborigines,” He said.
“This is the side of Mandela that hasn’t been getting out. They were two classes of people in struggle working together: the black South Africans and the Palestinians.”
Ray Jackson said he was giving his own personal view and not an aboriginal view on the life of Nelson Mandela.
“Whilst he (Nelson Mandela) was into forgiveness and tolerance and Christ knows what else, there was another side of Mandela that has not been coming out since his death and that is his role as a freedom fighter.”
Jenny Hillman said she reminded Mr Jackson that Nelson Mandela was given his first job by a Jewish law firm and was hidden by a Jewish family from his apartheid captors and that his fight for human rights was supported by Jewish activists.
She said Mr Jackson needed to rethink his bias, and learn to stop inciting anger.
A spokesman for Tanya Plibersek said she had not been aware of Mr Jackson’s comments on the day as she had left the service early, however Hillman claims she was there at the time the comments were made.