Greens candidate quits debate over Zionist host

June 9, 2016 by Henry Benjamin
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The Greens candidate for Melbourne Ports has pulled out of a public debate because it is being co-hosted by Zionism Victoria…but Greens candidates will attend an Australian Palestinian Advocacy Network  [APAN] forum in Melbourne. 

The debate is scheduled for June 22 and is being co-hosted by The Australian Jewish News and Zionism Victoria.

Stephanie Hodgkins-May Photo: Twitter

Stephanie Hodgins-May  Photo: Twitter

Stephanie Hodgins-May is reported as having said “I don’t believe it is appropriate to speak at an event co-organised by a politically-active organisation.

Hodgins-May accepted the invitation to speak at the debate but told media she had “missed” the notification about Zionism Victoria in an email sent to her on May-30. reported “Following tweets by journalist Jarni Blakkarly yesterday, Hodgins-May sent him a direct message on Twitter, which he has since published, saying ‘your tweet was the first I learned of Zionism Victoria hosting so I plan to follow-up with the organisers’”.

Blakkarly also posted a tweet claiming that Zionism Victoria referred to Palestine biased media as “Arab Lovers”

Jarni Blakkarly on Twitter: %22. @denniallen @geoffrey_payne @Greens Zionism Victoria's website also refers to #Palestine %22bias%22 … 2016-06-09 16-38-01But the Zionism Victoria website states the very opposite in its directive for advocacy.

“Hysterical or excessively angry language will alienate readers. Write clearly and rationally. It can be difficult to remain rational and maintain a calm tone when media coverage has been terribly biased against Israel and done something like praising terrorist actions; however calm and rational language succeeds in getting readers to take note. So, for example, say ‘I was disappointed with your apologetics for Hamas terrorists – there can be no justification for the deliberate targeting of young children’, and don’t say ‘your support of disgusting terrorists shows that you and your paper are nothing but Arab lovers, who don’t understand that Hamas, Arafat, and their ilk are just murderers’.

Blakkarly deleted the “Arab lovers” tweet after being told that he had read the ZV post out of context.

Greens MP Adam Bandt is reported to be planning to attend a forum next week organised by APAN who are calling for members of the public to support Palestine and backs the BDS campaign.

Hodgins-May told media that she had worked at the United Nations and said that “I was unaware that it was being co-hosted by an organisation that holds strong political views including in relation to the United Nations.”

The sitting member for Melbourne Ports Labor MP Michael Danby said: “This is shameful. The Greens Party mask is finally off. The Greens boycott of the Jewish community shows their deep and intractable antagonism towards the Australian Jewish community.

Jane Rapke

Jane Rapke

Zionism Victoria is a roof body organisation of cross-spectrum groups which support Israel, including pluralistic Australian Union of Jewish Students (AUJS), which operates across Australian universities, the international affiliate of the Israeli Labour Party, Ameinu Australia, and includes socialist Zionist youth movements like Hashomer Hatzair and Habonim Dror.

“This is as great an insult to these left-leaning Zionist groups as it is to the rest of the community.”

Michael Danby

Michael Danby

“The Greens Party candidate from Daylesford, an advisor to Greens Leader Di Natale, is unfit to represent Melbourne Ports. Nearly a third of the electorate is of Jewish heritage. Refusing to address this public forum on the bigoted grounds that she has is an insult to the local community.”

“Approximately 71% of Australian Jewish residents of Melbourne Ports have family in Israel”, Danby recounted. “If she doesn’t want to represent our local Jewish community, or even speak to them, she cannot be their local Member. Greens leader Richard Di Natale must sack her.”

Speaking of NAPAN, Danby said. “This is a purely political group that is not a community organisation, nor does it represent tens of thousands of local residents, unlike the Jewish group the Greens are boycotting in Melbourne Ports.”

Danby said Party leader Richard Di Natale, who cloaks himself as more moderate than other Green Senators such as Lee Rhiannon, must replace Hodgins-May with someone who will speak freely to all groups in Melbourne Ports.

Zionism Victoria said that the ill-informed prejudice of the candidate toward the organisation is particularly regrettable and reflects adversely on her suitability as the representative of all of the citizens of Melbourne Ports.

Zeddy Lawrence

Zeddy Lawrence

“Her decision is all the more galling given that the Greens candidate for Melbourne seems to have no problem participating in a forum organised by the Australian Palestinian Advocacy Network (APAN) and exposes the Greens animus toward Israel” said Jane Rapke, Executive Director of Zionism Victoria.  “The forum is about giving our community the opportunity to get to know the candidates and their positions on a range of issues but even if it was solely about Israel there is no excuse for a candidate in this electorate to dodge whatever hard questions might be asked about her party’s platform on this issue of great importance to the Jewish voters of Melbourne Ports”.

Ms Rapke urged Ms Hodgins-May to reconsider her decision and join the debate.

Editor of  The Australian Jewish News Zeddy Lawrence told J-Wire he would welcome her rejoining the debate. He said: “Her pulling our is the height of hypocrisy given that Adam Bandt will attend the APAN forum.”

He added: “She had the perfect opportunity to state the Greens’ position relevant to the Jewish community. This current situation would seem to reinforce their position in regard to Israel.

Dr Danny Lamm, President of the Zionist Federation of Australia said, “I am not surprised other than at the fact that it has taken the Greens this long to reveal their true colours.  It is ironic that that Adam Bandt, the only Greens member in the lower house, will be appearing on a panel hosted by the APAN discussing ‘Palestine and Israel: adopting a just position.’”

“The hypocrisy of a political party refusing to speak at one function because of a supposed set of principles, while appearing at another function in disregard of the same alleged principles is breathtaking” Dr Lamm said.

Steph Hodgin-May was offered equal time with the other candidates in Melbourne Ports to put her party’s position on a range of issues and her withdrawal from this function says a lot about her attitude toward and disdain for the voters and especially the Jewish voters of Melbourne Ports who would be rightly concerned about her party’s position on Israel and the Palestinians.”

“Her refusal to appear in front of the community is just another link in the ever-growing chain of anti-Israel positions and strategies of the Greens party whose ranks include many who support the vile BDS campaign.  Their constant failure to meaningfully condemn genocidal terrorist organisations such as Hamas while at the same time condemning Israel at every opportunity is indicative of this organisation’s prejudice”.


4 Responses to “Greens candidate quits debate over Zionist host”
  1. Otto Waldmann says:

    Preeety hard to abstain from using “emotional” terms when describing the behaviour of people, our beloved Greens, who, not only seem alienated from reality, excessively leaning over in favour of excessive political sides ( see the palestinians ), but who cannot resist making fools of themselves in almost all public fora they insist on turning – or, as in this case NOT – up.
    Can’t say we are lucky the palestinian cause has made serious inroads into revealing to the decent world that they are a menace to real peace, as Jews in the main suffered in the process, but, at least in a much more peaceful Australia, palestine and terror have been seen as analogue by a vast majority. Yet these people, the cause-searching Greens , insist on being fellow travellers to absurdity ridden, totally foreign, hysterically manifested BDS kinda politically self-destructive agendas. Some kind of electoral strategy, I must say, but who am I to give them eitzes !!!
    Could get more “emotional”, but better keep me precious emotions for the dear, more worthy ones. My Bubele, Felix, for instance, who has just received his PhD at Cambridge , just in case the current topic needs this bit of info…..

  2. Sjirk Bangma says:

    Although I have been a Greens voter for many years, because of their strong position on the environment, I am totally opposed to their position on Israel. The Palestine / Israel conflict is a major concern for all involved. The fact remains that a terrorist government is leading the people and advocating violence against Israel. Israel has a full right to defend itself. Let us not forget that if Palestinians dropped all their weapons tomorrow nothing would happen from the Israeli side but if it were the other way around it would be the “death” of Israel. I accept that Israel has questions to answer as well, but a call for BDS should be rejected outright by the Greens. Surely any form of dialogue and debate on the topic should be welcomed. Not appearing at this debate in an electorate with such a large Jewish representation is the height of hypocrisy. M/S Hodgins- May should reconsider her position or Mr Di Natali should sack her.

  3. Liat Kirby-Nagar says:

    It’s simply breath-taking to see the active advocacy for the Palestinians emerging in real form from the Greens. Richard Di Natale needs to get his house in order and realise that the Greens can never be considered a political party that can represent the people, while they are so divisive, as well as prejudiced against a portion of the population. It’s especially offensive with Melbourne Ports in mind and the number of Jews living in that electorate.
    Hodgins-May must stand down or be dismissed for her partisan and deeply flawed politics. That she can consider Zionism Victoria ‘politically active’, but embrace the Palestinian Advocacy group is just a bad joke. In reality, she probably doesn’t have a clue as to the make-up of Zionism Victoria or what it stands for – she just hears or sees the word ‘Zionism’ and runs amok. And what a lovely word it is, too.

  4. Jack Chrapot says:

    A politician without the courage of addressing all of her constituents is the last person I would vote for and that’s exactly what will happen when I vote at the coming election. I will put Madame Hyphen last.

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