NSW Young Greens decline AUJS invitations
The Australasian Union of Jewish Students invited members the NSW Young Greens to a meeting with bipartisan young political staffers at the NSW Parliament.But co-convener of the NSW Young Greens Kleon Toffetti confirmed to the Daily Telegraph “We have a longstanding position of not supporting this organisation because … they support the occupation of Palestine illegally.”
The Telegraph wrote in an email: “It is true that NSWYG have a history of not engaging with AUJS, and I expect that this will continue for the foreseeable future.”
A spokesperson for Greens leader Richard di Natale told J-Wire: “The NSW Young Greens are an independent body and we have nothing to do with them. They exercise total independence and in general their views do necessarily reflect ours.”
In a joint statement Isabelle Polgar and Ariel Zohar of AUJS said: “The Australasian Union of Jewish Students (AUJS) is angered and disappointed that the NSW Young Greens have informed AUJS it is their official policy to boycott Jewish students. AUJS, the peak representative body of thousands of Jewish tertiary students across Australia and New Zealand, is a pluralistic organisation committed to engaging Jewish students with political parties and activists across the spectrum.
The fact that the NSW Young Greens have chosen to boycott an opportunity to engage with Jewish students on account of their mistaken beliefs about AUJS’ attitudes towards foreign policy speaks volumes of their problematic attitudes towards the Jewish community.
To reduce Australian Jews entirely to their political perspectives on a conflict occurring overseas, and to erroneously pigeonhole the entire Jewish student community as ‘support(ing) the occupation of Palestine’ demonstrates the deep, systematic prejudices which pervade the NSW Young Greens.
This is in line with the far-left trend where hatred for Israel is so strong that it can result in the antisemitic effect where the Jewish community is boycotted for the supposed crime of self-defining its cultural, ethnic and national identity.
We are deeply concerned that the youth wing of the NSW Greens has a policy of refusing to engage with Jewish students. This makes a mockery of the Greens’ recent support for diversity and multiculturalism in the context of the 18C debate.
We hope the NSW Young Greens are swiftly and clearly condemned by the senior party to avoid any suggestion that the Young Greens contempt for the Jewish community is shared by the senior leadership.
AUJS calls on the Leader of the Australian Greens, Richard Di Natale, to unequivocally condemn the executive of the NSW Young Greens and clarify that the Australian Greens want nothing to do with boycotts of the Jewish community.
It is inconceivable that these young leaders could one day become future leaders of the Greens.”
J-Wire contacted Kleon Toffetti who responded: “I will be declining any further comment, or engaging with any media around this.”