Melbourne City Council joins anti-Israel groups to sponsor Palestine National Day

November 15, 2022 by J-Wire
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The Melbourne City Council and Federation Square  have sponsored today’s Palestine National Day.

The Australian Jewish Association (AJA) says it was shocked to learn that Melbourne City Council has inserted itself into international politics by partnering with anti-Israel organisations.

AJA President, Dr David Adler said: “This is not some innocent cultural festival. Multiple promotional materials created for this event have totally wiped the State of Israel from the map. This rhetoric of denying the Jewish people any right to their Homeland is popular amongst terrorist groups like Hamas.

Amongst the groups that Melbourne City Council has partnered with are some of the most radical anti-Israel activist groups in Victoria. It appears the Council has not done its homework before handing out ratepayers’ funds.

We want to give the City of Melbourne the benefit of the doubt and assume that they have been duped into supporting this radical campaign and are not actively attempting to promote a foreign policy position contrary to that of Australia.

The Australian Jewish Association calls on Melbourne City Council to urgently distance itself from this extremist anti-Israel event and its organisers and demand the return of ratepayers’ funds.”

The executive director of The Australia/Israel and Jewish Affairs Council Dr Colin Rubenstein told J-Wire: “AIJAC, of course, supports Palestinian Australians, like all other communities,  celebrating their culture and history, and understands that the inclusion of the Melbourne City Council logo on the publicity for the Palestinian National Day event was likely the result of a condition on a community grant for that event, requiring the Council’s contribution be acknowledged.

Nonetheless, it is very disappointing that the Council logo appears alongside those of some organisations that advocate for the BDS campaign against Israel and others whose very logo makes clear that their aim is the destruction of the Jewish state. We hope the Council will review the circumstances that led to this unfortunate situation and act to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.”

The president of the Jewish Community Council of Victoria, Daniel Aghion, told J-Wire: “The JCCV would never deny the lawful right of Palestinian organisations to hold a public event in the City of Melbourne. But we will not be attending.”


5 Responses to “Melbourne City Council joins anti-Israel groups to sponsor Palestine National Day”
  1. Liat Kirby says:

    You need to be a bit more up front than that in your response, Dr Colin Rubenstein. Pussy-footing around will get us nowhere.

  2. marta mikey frid says:

    No difference between our Politicians and the Spanish ones. The Spanish are even lending their Parliament building for celebrating the Independence of Palestine. And, who are the vanguard of this joint commemoration but the Jews themselves: Shapira (an ex IDF soldier) and Eitan Bronshtein who was proud to photograph himself with and actress who is known for saying that “The Holocaust was the best thing that happened to the Jews” ?
    As we say, who needs enemies with friends like these?

    Marta Mikey Frid

  3. Maurice Klein says:

    Nakba-catastrophe, that the Arab world was not successful with their very on holocaust of trying to eliminate 600,000 Jews in Israel 1948. They tried again 1967 and 1973, the Palestinians are still trying calling for all Jews in the world to be killed.

  4. michael kuttner says:

    Isn’t it wonderful how the Jewish “establishment” spokespersons try to have a “bob each way?” Dr. David Adler has hit the nail on the head. This has nothing to do with a “palestinian” pride day of culture and history. It has everything to do with freeing Palestine from the Jews – just look at their logo. Pretending otherwise is a losing default reaction.

    • David Schulberg says:

      I have been in correspondence with the Melbourne City Council over this:

      City of Melbourne Media Team,

      I appreciate your response to my concerns over the sponsorship of Palestine National Day by the City of Melbourne.

      You have indicated that applicants are required to meet the program’s criteria to be eligible for funding, but are you not concerned that the map of Israel on APAN’s promotional material for this event has been masked out by the Palestinian flag, which indicates the wish of APAN to obliterate the state of Israel. At their rallies they regularly utter slogans like ‘Palestine will be free from the river to sea’, which is a catch cry for the elimination of the Jewish state.

      I don’t know who the member of the Jewish community is that you consulted, but certainly the vast majority of the Jewish community, according to surveys, support the right for Israel to exist. Perhaps the ‘Jewish’ person to whom you have referred is an outlier.

      Furthermore, APAN has a track record of Israelophobic behaviour, opposing the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism which has been adopted by our state and federal governments and endorsing boycotts of Israeli academics and organisations that do business with Israel.

      David Schulberg

      From: City of Melbourne Media
      Sent: Tuesday, 15 November 2022 2:56 PM
      To: David Schulberg
      Subject: City of Melbourne – Customer Service request

      Hi David,

      I believe you were after some further information on the Australia Palestine Advocacy Network event. Please see below:

      · The City of Melbourne’s Connected Communities Grants program is dedicated to growing and supporting community relationships through a diverse range of local projects, events and initiatives.

      o The Australia Palestine Advocacy Network received funding through the City of Melbourne’s 2021 Connected Communities Grants program for an event celebrating Palestinian culture, including music, performances and community market stalls. The event was postponed last year due to COVID-19 restrictions, and was rescheduled for 2022.

      · Applicants are required to meet the program’s criteria to be eligible for funding, and applications are assessed by an independent external panel comprised of diverse experiences and backgrounds, including a member of Melbourne’s Jewish community. The panel did not raise any concerns about the application as part of the assessment process.

      · The City of Melbourne is one of Victoria’s most diverse communities – 55 per cent of residents were born overseas, and 46 per cent speak a language other than English.

      Many thanks,

      City of Melbourne media team

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