NSW State Parliament Labor MPS speak out against BDS

May 12, 2021 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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Two senior NSW ALP Shadow Ministers have spoken against the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement within the NSW ALP and vowed to oppose motions at the State-level.

Chris Minns

The MPs were NSW Shadow Treasurer and deputy chair of the NSW Parliamentary Friends of Israel Walt Secord and Kogarah MP and Shadow Minister for Transport Chris Minns. Mr Secord was speaking in the adjournment debate and Mr Minns was speaking during Private Member’s Statements in the NSW Parliament.

Mr Secord told State Parliament’s Legislative Council: As Deputy Chair of the NSW Parliamentary Friends of Israel group and patron of the New South Wales Labor Israel Action Committee, I remind members that the Australian Labor Party [ALP] has supported the modern State of Israel since its creation as a nation more than 73 years ago. It is well known that I support a two-state solution for Israel and the Palestinians and oppose vehemently the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions [BDS] movement.

“I first spoke against the BDS movement in the Parliament on 15 September 2011 when it reared its ugly head with the ludicrous targeting of the Max Brenner chocolate cafe in Marrickville. BDS masquerades as a social justice movement but does nothing to advance peace. It is vile, discriminatory, anti-Semitic and incites hatred and violence.

Walt Secord

It has no place in mainstream political debate. Importantly, it fails to acknowledge that Israel is the only democracy in the region and is straight out of the discredited Jeremy Corbyn playbook. Unfortunately, some elements in the various branches of my political party circulate BDS motions. As a senior member of NSW Labor, I feel that members have a responsibility to nip this lunacy in the bud and speak out publicly against it. Those who support BDS are united by one goal: to destroy Israel. I pledge to fight the movement and resist anyone who promotes it in New South Wales and Australia more widely,” Mr Secord said.

Mr Minns told State parliament’s Legislative Assembly: “As a regular guest at the (Southern Sydney) Synagogue over my six years as a member of Parliament, I have routinely taken questions from the community about all manner of local, national and international issues.

“One issue that has persistently emerged is that of economic sanctions against the State of Israel, sometimes referred to as the “BDS movement”. I do not support economic sanctions against the State of Israel. We all long for peace in the Middle East and a two‑State solution, but economic sanctions against Israel—a country this House and my party has supported for over 73 years—may place in peril the only democracy in that region. I would not support a motion with a similar sentiment directing Australia to work with other nations to sanction Israel, such as the motion that is currently circulating in local branches,” Mr Minns said.

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