Senator authorises pro-Palestinian poster

May 17, 2016 by J-Wire Staff
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A Pro-Palestinian poster advertising a Nakba Day rally was “authorised and printed” by Senator Lee Rhiannon together with leaflets distributed at the event.

Senator Lee Rhiannon at the rally

Senator Lee Rhiannon at the rally

The Nakba day rally was held in Sydney at the Town Hall at which NSW Greens Senator Rhiannon addressed the small crowd saying “the great crime of the 20th century is now the great crime of the 21st century – that is the Nakba. It started in 1948, it’s the longest military occupation in history.”

Peter Slezak at the rally

Peter Slezak at the rally

Senator Rhiannon has confirmed that she used parliamentary funds to finance the banners and leaflets for the rally.

By dating the ‘occupation’ to 1948, Rhiannon is saying that the whole of Israel is under occupation. Dating ‘the occupation’ to 1948 is a denial that Israel is a legitimate state.

Following comments by the rally’s MC that Israel has “Judaised our villages, our culture, our land”, Lee Rhiannon said: “the great crime of the 20th century is now the great crime of the 21st century – that is the Nakba. It started in 1948, it’s the longest military occupation in history.”

Julie Nathan attended the rally and told J-Wire that Senator Rhiannon had spoken of going to Lebanon and of the situation there for Palestinians. “There are 1.5 million Palestinians in refugee camps in Lebanon. They are not allowed to work, not allowed to build, have no electricity, have no water. They are living under the most appalling situation because Israel dispossessed them. … Join the Greens campaign to end military ties with Israel.”

From the river to the sea

From the river to the sea

Nathan added that Sydney professor Peter Slezak had told the gathering: “I represent APAN, the Australia Palestine Advocacy Network, the largest umbrella group for Palestine in Australia. APAN has now come out in support of BDS. There are flyers and sticking going around, go onto the website on your mobile phone, email a letter to your MP. I vote Palestine.”

A participant in the rally was photographed holding a poster condemning “ROTHSCHILD ZIONISM”. The Rothschilds are a banking family of Jewish background, whom antisemites routinely refer to as ‘proof’ that Jews control the world’s money, media and politics.

Rothschild reference

Rothschild reference

Another poster at the rally drew an obscene analogy between the State of Israel and Nazi Germany – “ONE HOLOCAUST DOESN’T JUSTIFY ANOTHER.” The anti-Israel campaigners have worked out that Holocaust denial isn’t credible, so instead they try to dilute the legacy of the Holocaust by calling every tragedy a ‘Holocaust’.

Robust discussion of the conflict and its human impact on both Israelis and Palestinians is completely legitimate and required for any peaceful resolution. However equating a war between two armed groups to the systematic, industrial-scale murder of millions of unarmed Jews by Nazi Germany is an insult not only to historical truth but also to the Jewish survivors.


National Chairperson of AUJS Michael Fisher said: “We do not challenge the rights of individuals to attend these rallies, nor do we seek to stifle legitimate discussion of the conflict. However, much of the discourse at these rallies is not legitimate debate. Instead, it lays bare the unabashed hatred of Jews that has descended like a plague on the anti-Israel movement. Furthermore, it demonstrates that though these protestors speak of peace and justice, it is clearly a rhetorical smokescreen for their hatred, which is at the heart of their activism.

We call on Senator Rhiannon, the Socialist Alternative, the Australia Palestine Advocacy Network and Students for Palestine to publicly dissociate themselves from, and condemn, the many manifestations of antisemitism at the rallies they have supported. Sadly, the importation of anti-Jewish slurs into the anti-Israel discourse has created a toxic atmosphere on Australian campuses and serves to threaten and marginalise Jewish students.

It is time for the national leaders of the anti-Israel movement to either reject the antisemitism in their midst or to accept responsibility for it.”

Sydney’s Daily Telegraph reported that Senator Rhiannon had printed the posters and leaflets using taxpayers’ funds.  The paper added that “senators are allowed $103,000 for taxpayer-funded printing and communications related to their parliamentary and electoral duties.”

The actual wording of the directive about the Printing and Communications Entitlement:

Senators and Members are provided with a printing and communications entitlement to:

  • support their role as members of the Australian Parliament; and
  • to help them communicate with members of the public in relation to their duties as elected representatives.

Notated among the restrictions is the direction “the material must be for parliamentary or electorate purposes”.

ZFA president Dr. Danny Lamm said, “The Australian Greens have been unable to shake their reputation for being the go-to party for anti-Israel sentiment and behaviour. At first it was on a “discreet” local level and over the years it has it has seeped into Federal politics, particularly from Senator Rhiannon and her support for the blatantly anti-Semitic BDS campaign. Her presence at pro-Palestinian, anti-Israeli rallies over the past few years has shown how the line between anti-Israel sentiment and anti-Semitism is blurred.


The fact that tax-payers money was used to print flyers for this latest rally against a staunch ally of this country is not only an outrageous misuse of funds, but also beggars the question, what else is she using taxpayers money to fund?”



oster advertising the rally authorised by Senator Rhiannon

Poster advertising the rally authorised by Senator Rhiannon

Leaflets distributed at the rally some bearing authorisation from Senator Rhiannon.