BDS hammered in NSW Legislative Council

September 16, 2011 by J-Wire Staff
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Only one voice  in the NSW Legislative Council was heard following the debate on a motion condemning BDS…the same voice that declared to the Council  during debate “as an Australian Jew…”

Dr John Kaye’s voice was the only one against the motion when voices were called for at the end of the debate. Two other members who had opposed the motion which saw the Greens split in dealing with the  condemnation of the BDS campaign focusing on the the Israeli Strauss Group’s Max Brenner Chocolate shops, remained silent.

The motion condemning the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel was  moved by Parliamentary Secretary David Clarke.

J-Wire presents the two and a half hour debate in its entirety:


    • That this House:
        • (a) notes with concern the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Campaign against
        • legitimate businesses operating in Australia which provide jobs to hundreds of Australians,
        • (b) calls on all members to condemn the targeting of Max Brenner Chocolate Cafes by anti-Israel
        • protestors,
        • (c) notes that some of the rhetoric used by proponents of the BDS campaign has descended into
        • anti-Semitism, and
        • (d) condemns anti-Semitism in all its forms.

The Hon. DAVID CLARKE (Parliamentary Secretary) [11.11 a.m.]: The boycott, divestment and sanctions [BDS] campaign directed world-wide against the state of Israel is a campaign that is misleading and deceitful. It is a campaign that is devious and destructive. It is a campaign that engenders hate mongering and promotes division. This whole world-wide boycott, divestment and sanctions operation should be repudiated and rejected by all people of decency and goodwill, and today I hope that this House will vote to repudiate and reject it as well. Today I hope that this House will reject the whole BDS campaign, not by a handful of votes, but overwhelmingly and comprehensively. Today I hope that this whole BDS campaign is repudiated by the Government and by the Opposition and by the cross bench voting as one.


David Clarke

Those who fuel this campaign say that it targets some of Israel’s policies but the truth of the matter is that it does not target Israel’s policies; it targets Israel’s legitimacy. The truth is that it targets Israel’s right to exist. The truth is that the campaign’s end result would see the state of Israel cease to exist as the state envisaged by the United Nations when it voted to recognise its legitimacy back in 1947. This House needs to make clear that it stands four square behind the right of Israel to exist in peace, and to make clear that it recognises that right unambiguously. It needs to make clear that it recognises the right of Israel to continue to exist as the free and democratic nation that it is, side by side with all other free and democratic nations. This House needs to make abundantly clear that it will not be suckered in by this whole BDS propaganda push which seeks to delegitimise the state of Israel.

The BDS campaign has at the core of its platform that there should be a right of return to Israel, not just of all Palestinians who claim to have lived in Israel at the time of its independence in 1948 and who left for whatever reason; it demands that all of the descendants of those who departed for whatever reason should also have the right of return—every child, every grandchild, every great grandchild should likewise have the automatic right of return. This would mean not just scores of thousands or even several hundred thousand; it would mean millions, even many millions. The United Nations in 1947 envisaged two states in Palestine, one Jewish and one Arab. The result of the BDS campaign would see Israel, as a predominantly Jewish state, face the destruction of its Jewish character. That is not what the United Nations envisaged over six decades ago and it is not what Australia, as a member of the United Nations six decades ago, envisaged either. And it is not something that we should, by our silence, conspire to allow to occur.

The platform of the BDS campaign demands that Israel commit national suicide, and this Parliament should not be complicit in demanding that Israel commit that suicide. There are forces in this world that seek the destruction of Israel by whatever means they can. The terrorists of Hezbollah and Hamas seek to achieve it by firing their rockets on the civilians of Israel. The late but unlamented Osama bin Laden devoted the last 20 years of his life to the same goal and the President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has declared the same goal as a policy of state. The platform of the BDS campaign would result in the same goal as well. Who is spearheading the BDS campaign? Overseas those involved are many and diverse but here in Australia those who spearhead the campaign and are at the core of energising it are clearly defined. First of all it should be noted that it is not being driven by the Palestinian Australian community. At the apex of the BDS campaign here in Australia is Senator Lee Rhiannon.

In the days of the Cold War she was a communist activist, a leading light in the Moscow-directed Socialist Party of Australia. At that time her mind was not much focused on boycotts, divestment and sanctions—at least not against the Soviet Union or Cuba or North Korea or any of the other satellite communist nations of Eastern Europe. Whilst these were all places recognised in the free world as being devoid of democracy and of human rights, sanctions against these nation did not figure on Lee Rhiannon’s “must do” list. But today Senator Rhiannon is re-energised. She has got over the collapse of the Soviet empire and is now at it with the boycotts, divestment and sanctions campaign with her sights squarely set on Israel. Giving her and the whole anti-Israel BDS push an energising army of cadres is the whole political edifice built around the Socialist Alliance, an outfit that has its origins in the Trotskyite Socialist Workers League. It is Marxist. It declares itself as far left. It is anti-capitalist and it is linked with the Green Left Weekly and, among others, affiliated to the Worker-Communist Party of Iraq in Australia.

In its pantheon of heroes, apart from Karl Marx himself, you will find Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, Fidel Castro and Che Guevara. Apart from BDS, the Socialist Alliance has been active in all sorts of campaigns. For instance, in 2008 it organised protests against the visit to Sydney of Pope Benedict XVI. World-wide, many businesses have been targeted by the BDS campaign: Estée Lauder, Sara Lee, L’Oreal, the Body Shop, and Motorola. None of them have political connotations. Here in Australia the campaign has zeroed in on the Max Brenner chocolate shops. These Australian outlets have been targeted by demonstrators to pressure the public to boycott them. At some demonstrations there has been violence. At some demonstrations there have been arrests—19 at one demonstration alone. At some demonstrations there has been a nasty and growing trend toward the use of out-and-out anti-Semitic slogans.

The BDS organisers could have chosen to demonstrate outside the Israeli Embassy—that at least would have been a political target—but, no, they have chosen to target a private business, and one which happens to be Jewish. This is a very nasty trend and this is something we do not want in Australia. That is why more and more people, ordinary everyday Australians, are going out of their way to give their patronage to the Max Brenner chocolate shops. They are showing solidarity with small business owners. They are saying to BDS protesters, “We are not going to be intimidated by people like you”. They are saying, “We don’t like this victimisation of these small business owners”. They are saying, “We don’t like hearing some of those vicious, racially over-toned things that are being said at some of these demonstrations”.

Some 750 people are employed in the Max Brenner shops throughout Australia—students and young people generally. They, like the owners of those businesses, are innocent. They have done nothing wrong. They are guilty of nothing. It could be our son or our daughter who works there. They are not politically involved. And the business owners who are being politically stalked and harassed are not politically involved either. This is a shameful thing. This is a wicked thing. This is an un-Australian thing. We need to take a stand. As members of Parliament we need to speak out and we need to act. As the Parliament of the people of New South Wales we need to speak out for what we know people are thinking—just as the people of Marrickville made clear what they thought. We need to make clear that we do not support this boycott. We need to make clear that we do not support a boycott the basis of which is to impose upon the sovereign state of Israel a policy that the initiators of BDS know full well would lead to the disintegration of Israel as the entity that the United Nations gave its support to more than 60 years ago.

We need to make clear that we repudiate boycotts and intimidatory actions against Australian businesses, that we repudiate these actions which put the jobs of hundreds of Australians, especially young Australians, at risk. We need to make clear that we condemn the violence that we have seen at some of these boycott demonstrations, and the criminal actions that we have seen at some of these demonstrations. We need to make clear that we are disgusted and sickened by the racism, by the anti-Semitism that we are increasingly witnessing at some of these protests. Dear parliamentary colleagues, today we need to take a stand—a stand for decency. We need to show that our nation is not and never will be ruled by the mob. We need to pass this motion which is before us.

The Hon. WALT SECORD:  I fully support the motion condemning the global boycott, divestment and sanctions [BDS] campaign against Israel. I thank my colleague for providing members with an opportunity to show our support for and solidarity with the Jewish community in Israel, and to place our views on BDS on the record. Across Australia we have seen consistent protests and growing rallies aimed at intimidating customers and workers at Max Brenner Chocolates. At a recent Melbourne protest workers and customers were accused of no less than supporting displacement and genocide.

Walt Secord

 Let us put this into perspective. This is a chocolate cafe. It is a food business. It is not a manufacturer of landmines or military weapons. Max Brenner makes and sells hot chocolate and serves waffles. There is no reasoning to these protests. Hence I must conclude that Max Brenner is targeted for one reason: because it is an Israeli business and it is a Jewish business. This is why I condemn these BDS campaign protests in the strongest terms, because the BDS is simply part of an attempt to isolate Israel, to destroy Israeli industry, Israeli creativity and Israeli culture. That such a movement has reached Australia is a concern. What is even more distressing is the racist rhetoric employed in the BDS campaign. On occasions some of those supporting BDS have lapsed into what I can only describe as naked anti-Semitism. That has no place in Australian political debate.

Members of this Chamber will be aware of my interest in and connection with the Jewish community and my time spent as a journalist at the Australian Jewish News. Members may not be aware that Australia has the honour of being home to the highest percentage of Holocaust survivors in a Jewish community outside Israel. So it is understandable that there is strong concern about BDS in Australia, especially in the Jewish community. They know firsthand what can follow once businesses are singled out simply because they are owned by Jewish people. They know firsthand what happened in Europe in the 1930s and 1940s when businesses were identified as being Jewish. I am certain that those involved in the BDS protests would say such comparisons are unreasonable and hyperbole. But I disagree.

The experience of history, repeatedly, is that this is where it starts. States do not slide into systemic racism overnight. Instead, liberties are traded off one at a time. I never thought I would see the day when a Jewish business was targeted in Australia, and that is what is occurring with the BDS. Max Brenner has 11 branches in New South Wales. It is owned by the Strauss Group, Israel’s second-largest food and beverage company. It provides 750 jobs, and it pays taxes. It has broken no laws. The reality of the BDS campaign is that it is an unrelenting attempt to target business because it is connected to Israel and the Jewish community.

With this repugnant campaign growing in momentum, it is important for us as political leaders to show our support to the workers and businesses that are being threatened. That is why the Leader of the Opposition and I visited Max Brenner’s on 16 August in an official capacity to show our solidarity. That is why in early June I also lodged a series of questions on notice in the Legislative Council with the police Minister on how police are responding to protests outside Max Brenner’s. I note that the Minister, the Hon. Mike Gallacher, has treated the issue seriously and thoughtfully. In late August I had the honour of being elected deputy chair of the Parliamentary Friends of Israel. It is now one of the largest parliamentary groups.

Some 60 parliamentarians, from the conservative and progressive side of politics, turned up to the inaugural meeting. I believe the emergence of the BDS campaign in New South Wales shows how timely it is to revive the Parliamentary Friends of Israel. I also note that other principled stands are being taken at a national level to support Israel. The Australian Government will join Canada, Israel, the United States and several European countries in withdrawing from the controversial 22 September United Nations conference known as Durban III. As the Government noted, Australia has no interest in joining an “unbalanced criticism of Israel and the airing of anti-Semitic views”. This follows the Federal Labor Government’s boycott of the 2009 conference. Members may recall that this was the infamous venue where the Iranian President unleashed a vitriolic attack on Israel and Jewish people. This is the slippery slope on which political debate about Israel now stands. And, by withdrawing from the New York conference, the Federal Government has taken a principled stand on anti-Semitism. Today this Chamber can also take a principled stand by formally condemning a campaign that seeks to delegitimise Israel and the Jewish community.

 While issues surrounding Israel and the two-state solution are complex, those who truly seek to resolve them would not resort to such tactics as those of the BDS. Those who truly seek a peaceful and lasting solution know that rather than boycotting Israel we should be actively engaging with the nation. And Australia is engaging with Israel. Bilateral trade last year between Israel and Australia totalled $715 million, an increase from the 2009 total of $602 million. Australian exports to Israel grew by almost 10 per cent on the back of minerals and base metals. In turn, Israel sold $528 million worth of materials to Australia, an increase of 22 per cent on 2009 figures. So, beyond the obvious moral issues at stake, there are significant trade and civic interests that deserve our attention. 

But, sadly, the Max Brenner protests are not the only reason BDS has attracted media attention in New South Wales. I refer to the sorry saga of Marrickville Council—and I will do so only briefly. In a move that reeked of politics over policy and common sense, Marrickville Council passed a resolution backing a call to boycott all Israeli products as well as sporting, academic and government exchanges. It had not even sought advice from its own council officers as to the financial impact on its own operations, and within days the boycott began to unravel. After intense public pressure Marrickville Council was forced to back down. There is no other way to describe the Marrickville Council events other than as illogical and foolish. But the situation with Marrickville Council should serve as a wake-up call to all of us who support Israel and a tolerant and diverse society. We cannot assume that common sense will prevail. Marrickville proved that.

The sight of customers being accused of supporting racism because they buy hot chocolate shows that commonsense is slipping again. The BDS is not about commonsense or rational arguments; the BDS is an attempt to de-legitimise the State of Israel through outrageous protests and inflammatory rhetoric. Such tactics serve no good purpose—not for Israel, not for the Palestinians and not for the citizens of New South Wales. Those tactics have no place in our civil and diverse society, which is why I vehemently oppose the BDS campaign. I commend the motion to the House, and stand side by side with the Jewish community and the State of Israel.

The Hon. TREVOR KHAN: I support the motion moved by the Hon. David Clarke and note that the campaign to which this motion relates goes back to 2005. The campaign seeks to attack Israel, in essence, through a series of boycotts on a number of businesses. I would have thought that anyone who had a political motivation to assist a particular outcome would have adopted a targeted approach. In the American experience 10 companies were nominated to be boycotted in order to achieve the positive outcome that was sought by the campaign. Some of the companies to be boycotted by the campaign included Motorola, L’Oréal which owns the Body Shop, Estée Lauder, Intel and Sara Lee, to name just a few. Apparently the boycott works on the basis of encouraging people not to buy phones, food such as cakes or, as we know in the Australian experience, coffee and waffles, which is indicative of a desire to have a protest for the sake of a having a protest, or a gripe for the sake of having a gripe.

Trevor Khan

In the Max Brenner experience in Australia, people have been subjected to abuse and harassment when they have gone into these shops for a cup of coffee. What logical purpose would be served by such an approach and what benefits could be gained from it? I suggest that the benefits are to be found in the nature of the protest and the opportunity afforded to those in society who want to whinge. Who would seek to gain advantage from such an approach? In May 2011 Ms Lee Rhiannon, on behalf of The Greens, updated The Greens website, which shows support for the anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanction [BDS] campaign. She referred to previous resolutions that were agreed at The Greens national conferences going back to 2006 and also to her 7 December 2010 media release.

Recently Ms Lee Rhiannon sought to endorse and maintain a position of support for the BDS. She supports the disruption to normal commerce such as that conducted by Max Brenner; to the rights of normal citizens to go about their business, including having something apparently as heinous as a cup of coffee; and to citizens being subjected to abuse. It is being suggested that citizens in this country are in a sense engaging in something inappropriate simply by buying a product from a store in Australia, which is hard to believe. On 7 December 2010 this view was expressed on The Greens website and half an hour ago it was still to be found on that website:

    • Greens NSW State Council has agreed to back a series of military, trade and services boycotts of Israel and to support the growing international BDS (Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions) movement.
    • Greens NSW Senator-elect Lee Rhiannon said, “Delegates from our Greens local groups across NSW unanimously endorsed this comprehensive proposal as a way to support Palestinian self-determination and to help bring peace to the people of Israel and Palestine.

I will refer later to that issue. The media release also states:

    • (Proposal passed by Greens NSW SDC below.)
    • “We are hopeful that the t Greens’ back of the BDS movement will win more Australian support for this important cause.
    • “The Greens have decided to support the BDS campaign, which builds on the US civil rights movement and international campaign against apartheid South Africa.

Many members would be aware of my views of events that have occurred in the United States over time. In her own way, Ms Lee Rhiannon seeks to equate the civil rights movement of the United States of America, where people died in the streets, with the antiapartheid movement where people in cells were beaten to death. She seeks to equate those movements with the BDS movement in Australia which abuses people outside coffee shops. What a shameful game of politics! The Greens are garnering a few more of their Socialist Alliance buddies in an attempt to win additional votes. This hypocritical exercise—which is not based on principles but which is an attempt at scoring cheap political points—shows Ms Lee Rhiannon’s true colours and the colours of some of The Greens who sit in this Chamber. I support the motion.

The Hon. MELINDA PAVEY (Parliamentary Secretary): It is with honour that I support the motion moved by the Hon. David Clarke which notes with concern the anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanction [BDS] campaign against the Max Brenner chain in New South Wales and Australia. As a committee member of the Israeli Friendship Group of the New South Wales Parliament it is good to see so many members from all sides of politics joining in supporting the people of Jewish heritage in this country. I note that the Hon. Walt Secord said that Australia had the highest percentage of Holocaust survivors of any country outside Israel who have served our country incredibly well—whether it be through Westfield, the biggest chain of retail property owners in the world, or the Pratt Group with its magnificent heritage of employing people, in particular, in regional areas, exporting throughout the world and with divisions in the United States of America. They have served our country well through the heritage they have brought and the economic opportunity they have created for themselves and this country.

Melinda Pavey

Only about three weeks ago we discussed in this House a motion commemorating the passing of one of our finest Australian war heroes, Nancy Wake. In Austria in the 1930s Nancy Wake saw the most horrific things being committed against Jewish people while she was a European correspondent for the Hearst chain of newspapers, which turned her life around and encouraged her to stand up to fascism and to the Nazism rule of France. It is significant to note that an Australian led the charge and stood up to what was being perpetrated at that time. It is also unbelievable that that type of action is infiltrating our country in the twenty-first century.

The point has been so eloquently put by all members who have spoken in this debate that we are talking about a chain of coffee shops which has 11 branches in New South Wales, which employs 750 people who serve hot chocolate and waffles and which creates opportunities. It is appalling that members of The Greens are using their position in that party against our own citizens. That is why members on this side of the House support this motion. I acknowledge today the presence in the gallery of the Head of the Jewish Board of Deputies Yair Miller and Chief Executive Officer Vic Alhadeff. It is great to have them here to see members from all sides of politics joining in support of this motion. We do not want this attack on our tolerance and diversity to continue.

The Hon. MARIE FICARRA (Parliamentary Secretary) : I support this serious motion moved by the Hon. David Clarke and congratulate him and other members of the House on their bipartisan support for it. This issue concerns many Australians because it represents the ugliness that has emerged in our society. People were shocked when they heard what was happening, did not believe it and did not know

Marie Ficarra

what it was about. When it was explained they were incredulous that this was occurring in Australia. We must stamp out this sort of activity now. Evil will continue to flourish if good men and women do and say nothing. We are elected to speak out on behalf of the many silent citizens who find this sort of thing abominable.

As members know, the Max Brenner shops are owned by the Strauss Group, which is the second largest Israeli food and beverage company in the world. Because of that they have been targeted by the boycott, divestment and sanctions [BDS] movement. I make a prediction now that BDS will become one of the most evil acronyms we know. It is already tainted with evil. When considering this anti-Israeli boycott of the Max Brenner chocolate shops I reflected on what inspired me to join the Liberal Party more than 30 years ago. I believed then and I still believe in the philosophies which the party espouses and in which many Australians believe and hold dear, in particular, the inalienable rights and freedoms of all people. They include the right to live in a parliamentary democracy and the right to freedom of thought, worship, speech and association.

We believe in a just and humane society in which the importance of family and the rule of law and justice are maintained. We also believe in equal opportunity for all Australians and the encouragement and facilitation of wealth creation so that we can all enjoy the highest possible standard of living, health, education and social justice. Simply put, the Liberal Party of Australia reflects the views of many Australians in believing in individual freedom and free enterprise. The boycott of Max Brenner chocolate franchises in Australia does nothing other than adversely impact on small businesses and hardworking, innocent Australians who are simply doing their job. Being dragged into this global racist campaign is hurting their livelihood. As many speakers have said, Australians rally when they learn about racist and unreasonable attacks on small businesses, whether it be Max Brenner’s shops or some other business. In that situation good Australians of all nationalities will rally and support the business concerned. They condemn any politicians and political parties that stand by and allow this to happen without a comment, particularly the political parties involved in organising protesters.

I strongly believe that this is an infringement of people’s rights and freedoms and an attack on free enterprise and I congratulate my colleagues on the stand they are taking on this issue. I include Greens member the Hon. Jeremy Buckingham, for whom I have great respect because he has spoken out against this campaign. This campaign is counterproductive to the cause of peace and human rights in the Middle East—it achieves nothing. Many others have spoken out about this boycott and I will place their names on the record. A member of the Israeli Knesset, Nitzan Horowitz, spoke in England about his opposition to the boycott of Israeli citizens and institutions and slammed the idea of a single bilateral nation as a recipe for failure and civil war. He stated:

    • I am against boycotts. I don’t think this is a positive way to act.

Bernard-Henri Lévy has also spoken out against the boycott. His words are very relevant:

    • I believe in the power of ideas and, even more, that of the truth. In such circumstances, I am always in favour of debate, the clash of opinions, even the confrontation of convictions—hence, not of censure.
    • And the fact is that, in this particular circumstance, that is to say in this matter of the Boycott, Disinvestment and Sanctions campaign that was to be the main issue of the Ecole normale meeting, I would have been more than happy to be able to present those who speak sincerely with facts and, basically, evidence that seems to have escaped them: namely that we are faced here with a skilfully orchestrated … anti-democratic and, in a word, perfectly despicable campaign.

 People in Australia have a right to conduct their business and to attend any retail outlet they want in safety and harmony without being abused or having their normal activity disrupted in any way. This is a peaceful, democratic and law-abiding society. People who purchase goods at Max Brenner shops or any other Israeli business should not be bombarded, intimidated or prevented from entering those premises. I sincerely believe that targeting these shops does nothing for peace and human rights but unnecessarily inflames the situation, and, indeed, has a deleterious and discrediting effect on the campaign.

Like all other members who have spoken in this debate and many others in this House I support this motion. We acknowledge the great contribution made to this country by Israeli-Australian citizens. I also acknowledge Yair Miller and Vic Alhadeff from the Jewish Board of Deputies for their strong contribution to democracy and justice. The contribution of Israeli-Australian citizens to our family life, society, business enterprise, the professions, art and culture is outstanding not only in Australia but also globally. However, they are most respected for their contribution to humanity. We must never forget the evils of Nazism or bend to anti-Semitic racism. We must take every opportunity to speak out against it and to act against. It is a great honour to support this motion.

Reverend the Hon. FRED NILE: On behalf the Christian Democratic Party I am very pleased to support this motion moved by the Hon. David Clarke, which states:

    • That this House:
    • (a) notes with concern the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanction (BDS) Campaign against legitimate businesses operating in Australia which provide jobs to hundreds of Australians,
    • (b) calls on all members to condemn the targeting of Max Brenner Chocolate Cafes by anti-Israel protestors,
    • (c) notes that some of the rhetoric used by proponents of the BDS campaign has descended into anti-Semitism, and
    • (d) condemns anti-Semitism in all its forms.


The Rev Fred Nile

I also acknowledge the representatives of the Jewish Board of Deputies in the gallery and thank them for their support. Some members of the House are Jewish and I do not think the rest of us can fully comprehend the impact that an attack of this type would have on Jewish people.

As a non-Jew, I wish to identify with the Jewish people at this time and sympathise with them for the strong feeling of revulsion that these types of campaigns cause in the hearts of every Jewish person.

As members know, I covered a number of issues on this matter in my adjournment speech on Wednesday 7 September. I am pleased to be a member of the Parliamentary Friends of Israel group and a member of the committee organising events. There will be publicised future events that all members can attend. I am concerned not only about the attacks on Max Brenner chocolate cafes; I am concerned also that this is the thin edge of the wedge. If one looks at the official website of the boycott, divestment and sanction organisation, one establishes that the attacks on Max Brenner shops are only a minor part of what the campaign involves. I believe the organisers are testing public opinion in Australia to see whether they can get away with this type of attack. If they succeed, the attack will be expanded, as I will demonstrate in a moment because I have a list of other companies that the group is anticipating will be attacked in the future.

The organisation’s official site talks about boycotting Israeli sporting activities, goods associated with Israel and cultural and academic institutions, that is, universities and colleges. It also refers to artists and others. The divestment aspect covers even university investment portfolios, checking where universities have investments and calling on them to cancel those investments. The boycott, divestment and sanction campaign is very extensive. The third aspect involves calling for sanctions against Israel and having its membership removed from various diplomatic and economic forums, such as the United Nations. This most serious issue, which involves not just one business in Melbourne, is set to expand. Hopefully that will not happen because of public and political reaction at all levels—from Federal Parliament to this and other State parliaments. Opposition will kill this boycott, divestment and sanction campaign and stop it in its tracks.

Some of the publicity relating to protests that have taken place outside Max Brennan chocolate cafes involves posters which state, “Max, Max, Murderer!” No attempt is being made to engage in intelligent debate; this organisation is interested only in smearing people. Other posters which read, “Israel Murders Innocent People”, were used in Melbourne—in our own country. This campaign does not involve only one company. According to information published by this organisation—and this might come as a shock to many companies—in due course this boycott will be expanded to include Starbucks, McDonalds, Burger King, Coca-Cola, Heinz, Hertz, Holiday Inn, Marriott, KFC, Johnson and Johnson, Planet Hollywood, Pizza Hut, Pepsi, Sara Lee, Subway, and even Toys R Us. In my opinion, these people are off the planet in threatening to target these companies in the future.

I believe that we should not be in any way tolerant of this campaign but reject it absolutely and stop it in its tracks. It is a most evil activity and one that should not be tolerated. I mentioned in my adjournment speech what happened in Germany. Probably, in some people’s minds, they were just watching stormtroopers standing outside various businesses that were owned by Jewish people, stopping customers from entering those shops. The Nazis tested public opinion and, when there was no reaction, they moved to the next stage of closing those shops, smashing shop windows and so on. Then we had what the Nazis regarded as the final solution, which was taking Jewish people to concentration camps and removing them from the face of the Earth. That was the end of their campaign. We cannot be tolerant of even the smallest beginnings of this anti-Semitic campaign. I draw members’ attention to an excellent article in the Canberra Times, which states:

    • An essential part of the compact of a free society is that all its citizens are afforded protection from persecution and freedom from fear.

It goes on to state:

    • The BDS has crossed the line between a protest which is anti-Israeli policy and one which is anti-Semitic. And by failing to denounce such anti-Semitic protest, the Australian Greens are a party to hateful intolerance.
    • The health of a civil society depends upon a complex web of reciprocal and mutual obligation. Once we become complacent about protests directed at Jewish people and businesses in Australia, the political and civil freedoms we all enjoy are threatened.

I must refer to the strange policy attitude of The Greens. Their leader, Senator Brown, indicated that he is not supportive of the boycotts, but when a motion was moved in the Federal Parliament to condemn them, the Federal Greens voted against it. It is important for us to have unity in our State Parliament on this issue and that all members join us today in supporting this motion.

Dr JOHN KAYE : I cannot support this motion and will be voting against it. This motion is a cheap attempt to smear the boycott, divestment and sanction movement as anti-Jewish when it is not. It is an attempt to allege that there is anti-Semitism on the side of the boycott, divestment and sanction debate when there is no evidence of such anti-Semitism.

Dr John Kaye

There is direct evidence that the anti-boycott, divestment and sanction side is being supported by those with excellent fascist connections, the Australian Protectionist Party—and not just fascist connections, but connections to holocaust deniers. This motion attempts to exploit the real horror of anti-Semitism and its most appalling manifestation in the holocaust to achieve cheap political points. It cheapens the memory of the six million people who died in the holocaust and the many more who suffered terribly under Nazism. As such, I cannot support the motion and will be voting against it.

Lest it be said that voting against this motion in any way implies any lack of condemnation of anti-Semitism, I put on the record again that The Greens moved a motion this morning to condemn anti-Semitism in all its forms. I did that in order to ensure that the wedge that was designed into this motion, for those who felt the need to vote against it, would not be used. There is, of course, a legitimate debate about advancing the rights of Palestinians who have been dispossessed by Israel, who have been left stateless, without human rights, and who have been left with a dysfunctional territory. As pointed out by the Hon. Trevor Khan, in October 2011 the New South Wales Greens supported the boycott, divestment and sanction mechanism. It is on our website, despite the Government Whip saying that it is not. It is there and if Trevor Khan could find it surely anybody could find it.

The Greens recognise it as a mechanism to address the appalling situation of the Palestinian people and the role that the policies of the Israeli Government have played in promoting those conditions. Just as the consumer, trade and sporting boycotts against South Africa brought about change in that country, it is The Greens’ belief that these boycotts can bring about change in Israel and Palestine. The Greens recognise that there are those who do not believe that Palestinians face a systemic denial of their rights and there are those who do not support boycotts, divestments and sanctions as a way of achieving an improvement in rights. It is their right to believe so. 

The Greens recognise that there were those during the campaign against apartheid in South Africa who thought that the blacks in South Africa got quite a good deal. Some felt that the boycotts would not help the blacks in South Africa—the Liberal Party and The Nationals were full of such people. Who can forget Joh Bjelke-Petersen, a former Premier of Queensland, who fought vigorously against the boycotting of South African sporting events? History shows that those people were dead wrong. History shows that those people supported an unconscionable denial of human rights based on racial background. History shows that the boycotts were an important ingredient in bringing about change in that state and in bringing about a new era, where human rights were no longer determined upon the ethnic, religious or racial backgrounds of people who lived in that state.

I have no doubt that history will show that those who oppose boycotts, divestments and sanctions, those who give Israel unqualified support, are doing no favours to the citizens of Israel and they are ignoring the realities of the systematic denial of human rights to Palestinians. The boycott, divestment and sanction campaign is controversial and there are a range of opinions on it—as was the case with the boycotts against South Africa. Those who support boycotts, divestment and sanctions are not afraid of criticism and debate. There ought to be criticism and debate about a tactic that is highly controversial, but that criticism and debate should be founded in fact. It should not be founded in a fantasy borne of ideology.

The boycott, divestment and sanction campaign is no more anti-Semitic than are those who called an end to the attacks on the front-line ethnic groups in Burma are anti-Burman. The boycott, divestment and sanction campaign is no more anti-Semitic than those of us who have criticised the Syrian Government and its policies and called for boycotts against that government—as the mover of the motion and I did at a meeting in this Chamber two nights ago. That does not make the Hon. David Clarke or me anti-Syrian; it makes us concerned for the systematic abuse of human rights in Syria. Those of us who support boycotts, divestments and sanctions are not anti-Israel, are not anti-Semitic and are not anti-Jewish; we are concerned about the systematic abuse of human rights.

I cannot support the motion, just as my Greens colleagues Bob Brown and Christine Milne in the Senate and other senators voted against a similar motion moved by The Nationals member Senator Boswell. The motion before the House today is somewhat of a copy of Senator Boswell’s motion. That motion was a nasty wedge and this motion is a nasty wedge. As an Australian Jew I find the exploitation of false accusations of anti-Semitism particularly obnoxious. Others of similar ethnic and religious backgrounds to me might disagree and say there is anti-Semitism; it is their right to do so. But let us be absolutely clear, the boycott, divestment and sanction campaign is not anti-Semitic. One might not like that it targets Israel or that it targets shops that are owned by Israelis, but it does not target shops that are owned by Jews. It has no connection to the appalling tactics implemented by the Nazis during the Holocaust. I am not the only person of Jewish extraction who believes this. Vivienne Porzsolt is a spokesperson for Jews Against the Occupation in Sydney, and she has worked for years for a just peace between Israelis and Palestinians. In April this year she wrote:

    • I know many Jews feel deeply threatened by the boycott, divestments sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel.
    • It feels like a threat to eliminate Israel. For so many Jews, Israel is a guarantee of survival, so BDS is a threat to Jewish survival and ipso facto anti-Semitic.
    • But principled opposition to the state of Israel is not anti-Semitic. Boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against the state of Israel are not anti-Semitic. BDS is not aimed at Israel or Israelis or Jews as such; it is aimed at the institutions of the state of Israel until it abides by international law.

She goes on to say:

    • Israel is in breach of international law and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in so many ways: torture, collective punishment, transferring settlers to land under occupation, refusal to allow Palestinians displaced in the wars of 1948 and 1967 to return to the land of their birth, disproportionate response to attacks, illegal destruction of Palestinian homes, crops and olive groves; continuing alienation of land; the illegal blockade of Gaza; the systematic discrimination in access to land, education and resources within Israel and ongoing military occupation.
    • It is fundamentally dishonest to attack opposition to Israel as anti-Semitic. It is intended to silence legitimate criticism. It also makes it impossible to challenge the real anti-Semitism that is, unfortunately, on the increase.
    • Jews Against the Occupation supports the broad-based call from Palestinian civil society for boycotts, divestment and sanctions of Israel until it abides by international law.
    • It is the only non-violent way to put real pressure on Israel. It is in the proud tradition of Ghandi and Martin Luther King.
    • Criticism of Israel in the name of justice and human rights is much more in line with traditional Jewish ethics than the narrow focus of the shortest Zionist movement.
    • “Never again” must mean “never again” for all people, not just Jews.

I echo Vivienne Porzsolt’s words. She is saying that there is a range of opinions amongst Jews with respect to the Middle East. Those who seek to say that the Jewish community is 100 per cent opposed to the boycotts, divestments and sanctions are simply wrong. The mover of the motion seeks to close the attack on the boycott, divestment and sanction campaign under the mantle of anti-Semitism. But the accusation surely does not sit comfortably with him. He is the same David Clarke who twice—once in April 2005 and then in April 2007—attended a commemoration of the rise of the fascist Ustasha Government into power in Croatia in April 1941. He is the same David Clarke who was reprimanded by the chief executive officer of the Jewish Board of Deputies, Mr Vic Alhadeff, who I acknowledge is present in the gallery today. In the Jewish News of 26 April 2007, Mr Alhadeff said of the Hon. David Clarke:

    • The function—

that is, the function attended by Mr Clarke—

    • celebrated Hitler’s establishment of the Nazi state of Croatia … This is a state that supported the Jasenovac extermination camp,
    • where hundreds of thousands of people were murdered, including 60,000 Jews … It is very troubling that such a brutal regime still finds support in democratic Australia.

There is no excuse for the Hon. David Clarke moving this motion when he so shamefully supported the celebration of the Nazi regime in Croatia. Like so many who come from the extreme Right, today he finds himself with the fanatical support of Israel. He joins with groups such as the Australian Protectionist Party and others in opposing the boycotts, divestments and sanctions campaign. Many in the Jewish community will be shocked to see the way the Hon. David Clarke summons up the memory of the Holocaust when his mentor—

The PRESIDENT: Order! Dr John Kaye is well past the point of merely addressing the motion. He is making serious reflections on the Hon. David Clarke, who has taken exception to them. The Hon. David Clarke, who moved the motion, will have an opportunity to respond to the comments of Dr John Kaye in his reply. However, if Dr John Kaye wishes to continue to explore these matters he should do so by way of substantive motion.

Dr JOHN KAYE: Use of the memory of the Holocaust for political purposes, as has been done in the Chamber today, is unconscionable. It is unconscionable because it holds to ransom the memory of people who cannot speak for themselves, the many people who were fine supporters of social justice and who stood up for the rights of other oppressed people. I cannot support this motion. Earlier this week Bob Brown, Christine Milne and the other Greens senators voted against the motions put forward by Senator Boswell and Senator Abetz. I will follow their lead and vote against this motion. I move:

    • That the motion be amended by deleting paragraph (a).

The boycott, divestment and sanction movement is a valid expression of democracy. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission found that the boycotts did not in any way interfere with company profits. It is a legitimate way for individuals to protest. It is a way for individuals to say that they cannot tolerate the treatment of the Palestinian people, just as they cannot tolerate the treatment of other people who are abused around the world. If the Hon. David Clarke and supporters of this motion were serious about supporting the future of the Jewish people they would desist in giving unqualified support to Israel. The future of the Jewish people in the Middle East will be determined by a settlement that respects the human rights of the Palestinian people.

Those who live outside Israel, who give that unqualified support and refuse to tolerate any criticism of Israel, do the Jewish people no favour. All they do is create an environment in which the Jewish people and the state of Israel continue to operate without respect for the human rights of the Palestinian people. As long as that continues there will not be peace or human rights in the Middle East. This motion does nothing to advance the cause of human rights and peace in the Middle East; it works against them. This motion does nothing to respect the systemic denial of the Palestinians in the Middle East, and it does nothing to respect the rights of Australians to legitimately protest when they see injustice internationally. I am opposed to the motion.

The Hon. SCOT MacDONALD : I support the motion. I did not know it was being moved today so I do not have extensive notes; I am going on my instincts. I am a member of the Israeli friendship community and I acknowledge the presence of the Board of Deputies. I shall make a couple of observations on the boycott, divestment and sanction [BDS] campaign from an economic, domestic and

Scot MacDonald

international perspective. I think the most recent figure I heard was that the Marrickville brainwave would cost the Marrickville ratepayers $3 million; it would disadvantage them in many ways, their services would cost extra and they would have to forgo some services. For a local government body such as Marrickville Council to indulge in foreign affairs—I think I mentioned this in another speech on the Marrickville issue—is terrible. It is not what local government is about. It is far beyond the skills, capacity and knowledge of councillors.

The electors of Marrickville passed judgement on those attitudes and, thankfully, the mayor of Marrickville was not elected to Parliament. That would have been a grave mistake for the lower House. In terms of the international perspective and the economic impact from campaigns such as the boycott, divestment and sanction, I do not support boycotts in any way, shape or form. The history of them is weak, especially in South Africa, which has been mentioned several times in this debate. I think the great losers from boycotts are always the voiceless, the disadvantaged, the poor, the unskilled—those who do not have a say in these matters. What would be the outcome of the boycott, divestment and sanction campaign if it flowed through to Israel? It would largely impact on the Palestinians. Why do we have such discord and discontent amongst the Palestinians? Because inevitably they are at the bottom of the economic chain in that region.

 Most companies that have been mentioned employ Palestinians. Hundreds of people travel from Palestine every day to work in the factories. What would be the outcome of boycotts and a reduction in economic activity by infrastructure technology, defence and food firms, et cetera? It would result in more economic disadvantage for the Palestinians. What would be the product of that? Probably more youth, particularly males, would be unemployed. They have some of the highest unemployment in Israel. In conclusion, the boycott, divestment and sanction campaign is muddle-headed. The impact would be most keenly felt by the Palestinians, and it would lead to greater discontent, more conflict and loss of life in Israel and Palestine.

The Hon. ROBERT BORSAK : As time is limited I simply place on record that the Shooters and Fishers Party totally supports the motion. For both personal and policy reasons, we think it is a good motion and we will be voting for it.

Mr DAVID SHOEBRIDGE : At the outset let me say that there are elements of this motion that I support as a member of The Greens New South Wales. I support paragraph (d), which states:

    • (d) condemns anti-Semitism in all its forms.

I confirm my support for the motion moved earlier by my colleague Dr John Kaye that did just that. Indeed, I echo and commend the words of my Greens colleague Dr John Kaye in his contribution to the House. If the motion were drafted to condemn violence, including violent protests, I would support it. However, the motion goes well beyond these matters; therefore, I do not support it and I will be voting against it. I join with my Federal colleagues—including Senator Bob Brown, Senator Christine Milne and Senator Lee Rhiannon—who opposed a similar motion in the Federal Senate earlier this week.

I am a proud member of The Greens New South Wales. I have a deep respect for our history, our structures and the decisions the party makes. One core principle underpinning The Greens New South Wales is peace and non-violence. We oppose violence and promote peace wherever we can. The Greens oppose the use of violence by police and protesters alike. We oppose violence by Israelis and Palestinians. We also respect the right of people to protest as fundamental to a healthy, functioning democracy. This is true even when we disagree with those protesters. For example, when 300 hopelessly misguided individuals went to Canberra to protest against the carbon tax I did not agree with them, but my Greens colleagues and I respected their right to protest.

When Reverend the Hon. Fred Nile wants to protest against Greens policies—such as abortion law reform, euthanasia or marriage equality—and organises supporters to protest outside Parliament House or in the Domain I will not agree with what he is protesting about, but I will respect the fact that he and his supporters have a right to protest as a sign of a functioning democracy. I cannot support this motion as it seeks to condemn people for exercising their right to protest. I have not been involved in the Max Brenner protests. The Greens New South Wales have not endorsed any of them, but I respect the right of those protesters to make their views known and to use peaceful protests to raise their concerns about the plight of Palestinians under occupation, those in refugee camps and those suffering from an unjust trade blockade in the Gaza.

 I will not condemn people of goodwill who are protesting on our streets for the rights of oppressed people, such as the Palestinians. The protests outside Max Brenner clearly have been controversial. I may not choose to protest outside one of these premises in New South Wales, but I will not condemn those people of goodwill who choose to peacefully protest and raise in the way they see best the plight of the Palestinian people and the culpability of the Israeli state in that plight. The motion attacks the boycott, divestment and sanction [BDS] campaign. Many people from across the globe have drawn inspiration from this global movement to promote the human rights of Palestinian people. The movement was initiated by Palestinian civil society in 2005 and is coordinated by the Palestinian boycott, divestment and sanction national committee established in 2007. The boycott, divestment and sanction campaign is one strategy to allow people of conscience to play an effective role in the Palestinian struggle for justice.

As the committee says on its website:

    • For decades Israel has denied the Palestinians their fundamental rights of freedom, equality and self-determination through ethnic cleansing, colonisation, racial discrimination and military occupation. Despite abundant condemnation of Israel’s policies by the UN, other international bodies and pre-eminent human rights organisations, the world community has failed to hold Israel accountable and enforce compliance with basic principles of law. Israel’s crimes have continued with impunity.
    • In view of this continued failure Palestinian civil society called for global citizens’ response on 9 July 2005 a year after the International Court of Justice’s historic advisory opinion on the illegality of Israel’s Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, a clear majority of Palestinian civil society called upon their counterparts and people of conscience all over the world to launch broad boycotts, implement divestment initiatives and to demand sanctions against Israel until Palestinian rights are recognised in full compliance with international law.

This is a peaceful movement. It is an option raised by many Palestinians in place of a further armed struggle or intifada. We must not forget this. For many people struggling with occupation, armed struggle is an option. By contrast, the boycott, divestment and sanction campaign is rooted in peace and non-violence. It is a campaign that The Greens New South Wales support. The boycott, divestment and sanction campaign seeks to place pressure on the Israeli Government until it meets its obligations under international law by:

    • (1) ending its occupation and colonisation of all Arab lands occupied in June 1967 and dismantling the wall;
    • (2) recognising the fundamental rights of the Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and
    • (3) respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.

Many members of this House would support these goals if they took the time to read and understand them. However, opponents go to great lengths to discredit supporters of this movement by talking about anti-Semitism, by talking about violence and by alleging incorrectly that the boycott, divestment and sanction campaign denies Israel’s right to exist. It simply does not. As I have set out above, none of these allegations is true of the principles of the boycott, divestment and sanction campaign. Of course, no movement is perfect. No global grassroots campaign is without difficulties. I am opposed to people being violent, racist or discriminatory whatever banner they do it under—including if it happens under the banner of the Liberal Party, the banner of the boycott, divestment and sanction campaign, or any other banner.

This is not an issue that I have sought to make the focus of my time in the New South Wales Parliament. However, given the motion has been moved, I note that I am opposed to the illegal occupation of the Palestinian territories by the Israeli Government. I also oppose the continued expansion of settlements in the West Bank, both in density and size. There are now more than 230 illegal settlements in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights. All are illegal under international law and have been repeatedly condemned in the United Nations, yet nothing changes on the ground. Since 1967 more than 24,000 Palestinian homes have been destroyed in the occupation. This is simply wrong.

I am opposed to the ritual humiliation of Palestinians at checkpoints by members of the Israeli Army. Again, it is wrong. Of course, I fully support the right of Israel to exist in safe, secure and United Nations mandated borders. This is a fact enshrined in The Greens policy at both a State and Federal level. I emphasise this fact. The boycott, divestment and sanction campaign acknowledges the right of Israel to exist, but it also confirms that Israel, like all nations, has an obligation to those people who live within its borders. It is within its power to respect the rights of those people and it is a necessity that Israel respects the rights of Palestinians, including the right to self-determination.

The boycott, divestment and sanction campaign in Australia has been answered and supported by groups as diverse as the Australian Council of Churches, the Victorian Trades Hall and various unions, including the Electrical Trades Union, the Australian Manufacturing and Workers Union, the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union, the Queensland Branch of the Rail, Tram and Bus Union and the Finance Sector Union. It is supported in one form or another by groups and individuals across the globe, including many local governments. Indeed, it is supported by the socialist left of the New South Wales Labor Party. One notable supporter of the boycott, divestment and sanction campaign is Nobel Laureate, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who recently wrote to Marrickville Greens Mayor, Fiona Byrne, and three fellow councillors in relation to the campaign. I quote from Desmond Tutu’s letter:

    • We in South Africa, who both suffered Apartheid and defeated it, have the moral right and responsibility to name and shame institutionalised separation, exclusion and domination by one ethnic group over others. In my own eyes I have seen how the Palestinians are oppressed, dispossessed and exiled.
    • We call on all our Jewish and Israeli sisters and brothers to oppose the occupation, and work for equality, justice and peace, between the River and the Sea, in the same way that so many South African Whites took risks to oppose the crime of Apartheid.

It continues:

    • International Boycotts Divestment and Sanctions against the Apartheid regime, combined with the mass struggle inside South Africa, led to our victory. I recall that after the very strong actions to prevent Apartheid sportsmen competing with Australians, that Councils, starting with Wollongong, declared their cities “Apartheid-free” areas, and this was a great contribution.
    • Sometimes taking a public stand for what is ethical and right brings costs, but social justice on a local or global scale requires faith and courage.

Paragraph (d) of the motion speaks about condemning anti-Semitism in all its forms. I think we should recognise that includes condemning anti-Semitism where we see it appear in New South Wales politics. Sadly, it has raised its head in the ranks of the Liberal Party in New South Wales. My colleague Dr John Kaye spoke of the attendance by the Hon. David Clarke at that appalling celebration of Croatia’s independence in April 2007 and 2005. I join with Dr John Kaye in condemning the Hon. David Clarke in that regard.

Again we must look towards the Liberal Party’s rather unfortunate flirting with anti-Semitism, including allowing into its ranks a gentleman by the name of Lyenko Urbanchich, who had an absolutely appalling history. He held a senior position in the then German quisling Slovenian administration that commenced in 1943. He had an appalling history of anti-Semitism. Indeed, he spewed forth streams of Nazi propaganda in the position that he held in the Slovenian administration at the time. Unfortunately for Australia, he migrated here in 1950. Unfortunately for opponents of anti-Semitism, he joined the Liberal Party. Indeed, in 1964 Mr Urbanchich was president of the Liberal Party’s branch of Kings Cross. But he went beyond that: he took a central role in the Liberal Party. At the peak of Lyenko Urbanchich’s success—

The Hon. MARIE FICARRA: Point of order: Mr President, I refer you to your earlier ruling in relation to comments made by Dr John Kaye in similar circumstances. I did not know Mr Urbanchich. He is dead and cannot defend himself. The comments of Mr David Shoebridge have nothing to do with the motion before the House. They are not relevant.

Dr John Kaye: To the point of order: Your ruling in relation to my speech was about comments I made about a member who was present in the House. I abided by your ruling. Mr David Shoebridge is not talking about somebody who is present in the House; he is talking about somebody who is not here. Other members chose to attack another person who is not here: Ms Lee Rhiannon. They thought that that was absolutely fine.

The PRESIDENT: Order! Earlier I made a ruling in relation to Dr John Kaye making reflections on another member of this House. The second part of the point of order taken by the Hon. Marie Ficarra referred to relevance. Paragraph (d) of the motion states:

    • (d) condemns anti-Semitism in all its forms.

If the comments of Mr David Shoebridge are directed towards that paragraph of the motion they are in order. However, I ask the member to ensure that his comments are relevant to that paragraph in all his observations.

Mr DAVID SHOEBRIDGE: Mr President, I note and appreciate your ruling. The peak of Urbanchich’s success came in 1977, when he helped form the Liberal Ethnic Council. I take the following from the obituary of Urbanchich written by Mark Aarons, “As council president, he automatically had a seat on the State executive. Other council executive members included his close ally, David Clarke,” who, it was

David Shoebridge

said, learnt ethnic branch-stacking techniques from his mentor, and today leads a faction of the Liberal Party. It is well known that the Hon. David Clarke helped organise the numbers to narrowly save Mr Urbanchich—

The Hon. John Ajaka: Point of order—

The PRESIDENT: Order! The member is clearly casting reflections on a member of the House in remarks he has already made and appeared to be ready to continue. Mr David Shoebridge should bear in mind the rulings that have been made on this issue, because the standing orders are quite clear.

Mr DAVID SHOEBRIDGE: Again, I note and respect your ruling, Mr President. So when this House joins in condemning anti-Semitism, as it did earlier today in a motion that I proudly and happily supported, it must recognise that doing so condemns anti-Semitism wheresoever it appears, in whatever form it appears. Of course, that is a sentiment that The Greens—I, my colleague John Kaye and other members of The Greens—fully and sincerely support. The strong and principled opposition to anti-Semitism, and falsely drawing a connection between the BDS campaign and anti-Semitism for what is a shallow and cheap political point, goes against that campaign, that strong sense of unity that we should all be building against anti-Semitism. I will not be supporting this motion.

The Hon. ERIC ROOZENDAAL: I support the motion moved by the Hon. David Clarke. In doing so I want to record some facts in Hansard. I think it is important to understand the history of the BDS campaign, because there seems to be some misunderstanding about the BDS and how it was created. The BDS was not created in 2004, as has been claimed by previous speakers in this debate. The BDS was created out of Durban I in 2001. Durban I, which was of course supposedly the United Nations conference against racism held in Durban, was one of the low points in the history of the United Nations. It became a hate-fest against Israel and became blatantly anti-Semitic—to the point that a number of Western countries, including the United States of America and Australia, boycotted conferences following Durban I.

BDS is about turning the legitimate state of Israel, the Jewish homeland, into an illegitimate state. People will sugar coat it in any way they want—some who have spoken in this debate have done that, and I understand the discomfort of The Greens as they attempt to justify their support for the BDS at the same time as attacking other people in this place—but let us look at what the BDS is about. It is about saying that the state of Israel is the new apartheid South Africa. That is the essence of the BDS campaign. It manifests itself over Max Brenner chocolates shops as a consequence of a decision made by those people.

Why do people feel uncomfortable about this BDS campaign? I feel uncomfortable to see Jewish shops, Israeli shops, being targeted because that brings back images very similar to those seen pre-war in Nazi Germany, Austria and other places. I think that is a legitimate concern. It is interesting that people say, “We passed a resolution earlier condemning the Syrian Government for atrocities being committed there.” I do not see the BDS campaigning outside a Syrian kebab shop. I do not see people targeting Syrian stores in this country—or stores that have an association with the Syrian Government or have businesses in Syria.

Dr John Kaye: Name one.

The Hon. ERIC ROOZENDAAL: Let us just look at who the BDS believes are guilty: McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Volvo, Starbucks, Max Brenner, Dannon—the list goes on. Those are some of the companies that BDS is targeting. Sure, if they want to do that, that is fine. But they need to understand, and The Greens need to understand, that there is a distinct discomfort in watching particular civilian stores being targeted in a way that is very similar to what happened in pre-war Nazi Germany. I think that is a legitimate concern for people to have. The strategy that came out of Durban I—one of the most notorious stains on United Nations history—was to try to equate the state of Israel with apartheid South Africa. The BDS tries to equate Israel as an apartheid state in order to de-legitimise it. That is the objective. Its objective is not a two-state resolution.

What was the chant at the Max Brenner store in Victoria? It was, “From the River to the Sea.” What does that mean? It means they want to see one state running from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean—one state. The basic theory of the BDS is that removing the only Jewish state in the Middle East and turning it into an Arab state will somehow contribute to peace.

Dr John Kaye: That’s not true.

Eric Roozendaal

The Hon. ERIC ROOZENDAAL: I hear the chants from members behind me, “That’s not true.” Unfortunately for some members of this House, documentation, including the boycott, divestment and sanctions manual issued by Australians for Palestine, shows it is true. That manual contains some very interesting things—apart from the extensive list of shops of United States companies that do business with Israel. It is this document that raises the issue of the Holocaust and equates the treatment of the Palestinians with the treatment of Jews in the Holocaust—not I; it is in this document. That is a fact.

Some of the organisations that this document, the guide to how to run the BDS, says should be avoided include, according to the BDS, companies like trade unions linking Israel and Palestine. Do not associate with them, says the BDS manifest, because they actually encourage a two-state solution in the Middle East. Do not be involved with the Peres Centre for Peace—another organisation directly targeted by the BDS group, which says we must not associate with them. Do not associate with StandWithUs—another peace movement in the Middle East. And do not associate with Invest for Peace, which argues that the best way to have a two-state solution in the Middle East is to build the economies of both the Palestinians and the Israelis. Those are organisations that BDS prohibits people from being directly involved with, according to the BDS manifesto. That is the sort of action we are seeing in Victoria.

It is important to understand that this strategy of trying to make Israel the new apartheid nation is a very deliberate one: basically, they want to make it unpopular to support Israel or have any involvement with Israel. Of course, the Jewish community has many different views on Israel. I am not a supporter of everything that happens in Israel. I am not particularly a supporter of the present government in Israel. However, I do support the right of Israel to exist in secure and safe borders. It is interesting that we heard about a long list of crimes committed by the state of Israel—this one Jewish state about the size of Tasmania, surrounded by such broad democracies as Egypt, Jordan, Syria, and with other neighbours Iraq, Iran, Yemen and Libya. All of those nations are just absolute stars of democracies!

Under the second major platform of the BDS we are led to believe that the resolution of all the problems in the Middle East will come from the abolition of the state of Israel—from the river to the sea. Take away this little Jewish state stuck in the centre of the Middle East and all of the problems in the Middle East will be resolved. The problems in Libya will disappear. The problems in Egypt will disappear. The problems in Syria will disappear. The problems in Lebanon will disappear. Herein lies the basic fault in the BDS campaign: it is targeted very viciously, and very deliberately, at the existence of the state of Israel. The BDS cloaks what it is really about in nice and different acronyms, but it is very clear what it is about: de-legitimising the existence of the state of Israel—from the river to the sea.

Members might ask: Where does the slogan “From the river to the sea” come from? It is not an original slogan of the BDS; it is, of course, the slogan of Hamas—that democracy-loving organisation which is prohibited in many Western countries around the world. The manifesto of the BDS published by Australians for Palestine mentions Hamas as just a Palestinian organisation that is doing many good things for the Palestinians. Perhaps it is doing good things for some Palestinians. But I feel uncomfortable when the slogan chanted outside Max Brenner stores is the same slogan as that of a recognised terrorist organisation.

I do not understand or see the connection between a white chocolate frappé and Max Brenner and resolving the problems of the Middle East. I see a sinister campaign run by some extremists who seem to have infiltrated one particular political party to try to de-legitimise Israel, a strategy clearly planned at Durban I and now being consistently followed to try to destroy the reputation of Israel.

We need to think carefully about this motion, because it is a good motion. The manifestation that we have seen of the BDS in this country has been very disappointing. Protests have been violent and targeted by extremists on both sides. Indeed, the BDS is extreme and some of the opponents from the right-wing political party cited by a previous speaker are also extremist. I have heard all these arguments before. I have been called a communist Zionist, a fascist Zionist—often in the same day in my time at university. I have heard it all before and I have seen it before. I recognise if it quacks like a duck and walks like a duck it is usually a duck.

I support a two-state solution in Palestine and Israel, as do most reasonably minded people. They believe that the final outcome to the challenges in that part of the Middle East will be a two-state solution. What the final boundaries will be is something to be resolved, but I do not support the BDS campaign, which does not seek a two-state solution. Its terms are “from the river to the sea”. It seeks to have one Palestinian state and argues that all of the problems of the Middle East will go if this is achieved. Two earlier speakers have explained the various crimes of Israel. They failed to mention that the small sovereign state of Israel has been through numerous wars in its very short existence.

Indeed, in the past decade more than 10,000 rockets and mortars have been launched into Israel. Members should think about the current debate in the community in relation to the refugee issue and boats arriving in this country. Where would we be today if 10,000 mortars and rockets had landed on Australian soil in the past 10 years? Indeed, we can understand why both the Israelis and the Jewish community are concerned about a seeming complete imbalance in the debate. I do not pretend for one second that the Palestinians have had a great deal in the state of Israel the whole time. I am quite reasonable about that. I believe that a two-state outcome is the solution. Whether Hamas can ever be a partner in peace is something to be seen, but certainly while it still commits itself in writing to the destruction of the state of Israel that seems very unlikely.

 Here in Australia, with our values of a democracy, I certainly support protest. People are welcome to protest outside the Israeli Embassy. Why do they target a Jewish chocolate shop? They should cut out the middle man and protest outside synagogues, because almost everybody at the synagogues would be supportive of the state of Israel. There may be a few there who are not but the majority would support it. A couple of high holidays are imminent. So the protests could be outside synagogues. These people target stores in a deliberate media campaign to de-legitimise the state of Israel. They believe that if they can destroy the reputation of a Jewish chocolate shop they can destroy the reputation of the sovereign state of the Jewish homeland. That is why I say to the House: We must support this motion.

The Hon. David Clarke and I do not see eye to eye on many issues. Indeed, in the past I have taken advantage of the rules of this House to have a few jibes at the Hon. David Clarke. However, as bad as the Hon. David Clarke may be in some aspects of his life, and I will not judge those today, do not be fooled by the red herrings raised by The Greens about what is happening in the Liberal Party. That is a debate for another day.

Dr John Kaye: You don’t care about that?

The Hon. ERIC ROOZENDAAL: No. The Greens are trying to distract attention from the debate. I do care about it and I have raised it in this House but today we are debating the BDS. Dr John Kaye is the one who claimed the Holocaust should not be raised yet it is raised in the campaign’s own document. I will always support the right of people to protest. I have protested many times, and I have been the subject of protests in my life as well, but when Jewish chocolate shops are targeted on the slimmest of reasons I know something is going wrong. Yes, I feel uncomfortable when I look at images of people standing outside Max Brenner’s and people being violent. I think I have seen those images before somewhere and I am uncomfortable with that. This BDS campaign is sinister and is designed to de-legitimise the state of Israel. It does not help this country of Australia. It does not come up with a solution.

The BDS group does not believe in a two separate state solution but it believes basically in the extinguishment of the state of Israel to be replaced by a Palestinian state. It believes that on that basis somehow all the problems in the Middle East will be solved. I do not think the rebels in Libya are particularly concerned about what is happening with the BDS right now. I do not think the oppressed people of Syria are concerned about what is happening with the BDS right now as they try to overthrow the Assad regime. The real solution will come through peace, negotiation and reconciliation. That is exactly what the BDS will not do.

The Hon. CATE FAEHRMANN : The Greens have a strong and principled position on the question of the Israel-Palestine conflict in the Middle East. The Australian Greens resolution on the matter makes clear our support for the rights and aspirations of both the Palestinian and the Israeli people to live in peace and security in their own independent, sovereign States. The ongoing injustices against the Palestinian people, including ongoing occupation of the Palestinian territories and the expropriation of Palestinian land and resources for Israeli settlements, is unacceptable. The Greens are extremely critical of Israeli Government actions in this area. 

Cate Faehrmann

The motion moved by the Hon. David Clarke deals specifically with recent events in Australia and protests which have targeted the Max Brenner stores. The motion is, of course, as we all know in this place, a highly cynical exercise. This is an attempt to score political points and has nothing to do with finding a just peace in the Middle East, as many speakers have said. I will address the content of the motion. Paragraph (a) notes with concern the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign targeting businesses which operate in Australia. The campaign is a tactic used by some Palestinian human rights campaigners. The BDS urges various forms of boycott against Israel until it meets its obligations under international law. I agree that this tactic has been extremely controversial and its success in Australia has been brought into question. The Greens New South Wales are currently undertaking a review of BDS.

Paragraph (b) condemns the targeting of Max Brenner by protesters. While I do not agree with much of what other members have said in this debate, I share the concern of some members that the tone and public perception of these protests have been counterproductive and they are of concern to me. The Greens do not endorse the Max Brenner protests. The Greens are not involved in the organisation, promotion or otherwise of these events. I note that some members have tried to directly link The Greens with those protests. We are not officially involved and we do not endorse it. The word “condemn”, however, in paragraph (b) can mean to sentence someone or to condemn something as unfit to use or similar. All members need to be very careful how we use this term and, indeed, whom we condemn. To that end I move:

    • That the question be amended as follows:
    • 1. In paragraph (b), omit “calls on all members to condemn” and insert instead “notes with concern”, and
    • 2. Insert after paragraph (d):
        • (e) supports Australia’s rich heritage of peaceful protest and the right of all Australians to participate in peaceful protest”.

The right to peaceful protest is something The Greens fundamentally support and, we believe, should be emphasised. I note that many members of this Chamber have said that they support the right of legitimate peaceful protest.

Paragraph (c) notes that some of the rhetoric used by those involved in the boycott, disinvestment and sanctions campaign have descended into anti-Semitism. In my view certain chants used at the protest have descended into that domain. The Hon. Eric Roozendaal mentioned the “From the river to the sea” chant. I echo his concerns about it and do not support its use. It is unfortunate and it should be condemned. I therefore support paragraph (c) of the motion. Paragraph (d) calls on the House to condemn anti-Semitism in all its forms. Dr John Kaye moved a similar motion this morning and it was agreed to by this House. The sentiment in that paragraph is of course completely noncontroversial and I also support it.

I urge all members to support my amendments. I recognise that they may not succeed, and if they do not I have no choice but to support the motion as it stands. I note that the motion moved in the Senate this week, which The Greens supported, was slightly different from this motion. It did mention The Greens, Greens member of the Legislative Council Jeremy Buckingham and other issues. It is therefore very different from this motion. In fact, if the motion moved by Senator Boswell in the Senate were moved in this House I, too, would vote against it. However, I do not support the way in which this motion is being used as a political weapon against The Greens. It is being used in a manner similar to that used by the Hon. Penny Sharpe when she moved a motion about Marrickville Council garbage workers going on strike. Like that motion, this motion is being used to bash The Greens. I have given this motion a great deal of considered thought and I have found it difficult to arrive at this decision, but I can only vote in support of it.

The Hon. JOHN AJAKA (Parliamentary Secretary) [12.52 p.m.]: I support the motion and congratulate the mover, the Hon. David Clarke, on moving it. I note what has been said by other speakers and, in particular, the Hon. Trevor Khan and the Hon. Eric Roozendaal. I will not deal with the issues they have raised other than to say that I agree with them. This form of boycott as pushed by the boycott, disinvestment and sanctions movement is nothing more than prejudice and racism. With all due respect to some members who say that this is simply another form of protest in a democratic society, I cannot agree. It is a form of racism and prejudice directed at one part of our community. 


John Ajaka

We take great pride in the multicultural nature of this country and this State. As the Premier has said on many occasions, we take pride in the fact that that is one of our greatest assets. I take pride in being part of a multicultural community. My father was born in Lebanon and my mother was born in Palestine-Jerusalem. I say that because she has two birth certificates: one says that she was born in Palestine and the other says she was born in Jerusalem. I was born in Australia. If this type of boycott were directed at an Islamic, Catholic or Jewish community or any other religious or cultural community it would not be acceptable. It is a form of prejudice and racism and I cannot accept it. We in this country welcome people who want to do business here, because they provide jobs and resources. I must admit that I have had a few Brenner waffles—perhaps too many. It is unacceptable that such a business is being subjected to this dreadful boycott. 

My office library contains the first book that I read, Mein Kampf. I read it as a year 11 student while studying advanced history. I still have it, but not because I respect it; in fact, I detest it and its message. I have kept it as a reminder of the potential outcome of a protest such as the one we are witnessing against one religious or ethnic community. It is a reminder that that should never happen in Australia. We cannot allow this type of prejudice and racism to fester and spread. It is not a protest; it is the dreadful beginning of a movement targeting one culture and one religion. I cannot accept that and I will not allow it to happen: I will do everything I can to prevent it. That is why a protest against a business such as Max Brenner’s is unacceptable. It is not a protest; it is a fundamental attack. For those reasons, I reject the boycott, disinvestment and sanctions movement and everything it represents. I support this motion and ask all honourable members to do likewise. Let this House be a house that continually stands against any form of prejudice and racism.


The Hon. SHAOQUETT MOSELMANE : Like my colleagues, I was not aware that this motion was to be debated today. I support paragraph (d) of the motion and condemn all forms of discrimination, anti-Semitism and racism. I condemn it in this House and everywhere else.I ask the mover of the motion not only to condemn anti-Semitism but also to follow my lead in condemning the

Shaoquette Moselmane

cheap political motivation behind the rest of the motion. I do not believe that the rest of the motion is genuine. Unfortunately, this is nothing more than wedge politics. Just as we argued that Marrickville Council should not interfere in international politics, we in this House also should not interfere in international politics. 

I do not know Max Brenner but I offer him my best wishes. I have not eaten the chocolate or the waffles that his shops offer. However, I wish him the same success that I wish any Australian business operators who are doing the best they can for their family. I also know nothing about the boycott, disinvestment and sanctions movement, but I do know that the politics motivating the movement should be condemned. Although that movement is shameful, this motion is designed simply to drive a wedge between members of this House.

 I cannot support what the Israelis are doing. I come from southern Lebanon, which the Israelis have invaded many times. I was there when the tanks rolled in and the jets roared overhead. My family was there when 10 of my father’s first cousins in a car were the victims of an Israeli missile attack and eight were killed. The Israelis have occupied southern Lebanon for 25 years and created a southern Lebanese army of mercenaries whose job it is to punish the local people. That must also be condemned. 

I support the comments made by Dr John Kaye and Mr David Shoebridge to the extent that people who have suffered under the Israeli occupation of southern Lebanon or elsewhere—leaving aside the Palestinians at this point—must have a say and their rights must be recognised.

The Palestinians, who have been made homeless as a result of the Israeli state for the last 60 years, must be recognised. They are human beings who have rights. They have as much right as Israelis, and everybody recognises that. In my inaugural speech I said that Israelis and Palestinians have a right to exist side by side. The Israelis must have their state, as should the Palestinians. They are, like you and me, human beings who have a right to live in their homeland. Although it has been 60 years, some of them still have keys to their homes and wait for the opportunity to return. 

It is not much for people to be able to protest, to have a say democratically in a non-violent way. People can protest on the street here if they wish. I am happy for them to so as long as they do not infringe upon the rights of others. I do not think these protests will infringe on the rights of others. I do not support targeting a business, but there is a principle behind this, human beings are behind this and the Palestinian people have suffered for so long. I call on the Israeli state to make peace with the Palestinians, to give them their rights and to allow Palestinians a homeland. If it does not do so, we will continue to have this debate for many years to come.

In conclusion, I respect the Hon. David Clarke. I have had a good relationship with him since becoming a member of this Chamber. I call on him, as he condemns anti-Semitism, to move motions to condemn the vilification of the Muslim community in this House and outside. I ask the Hon. David Clarke to move a motion condemning all forms of anti-Muslim sentiments happening here in this House.

The Hon. LUKE FOLEY (Leader of the Opposition):Boycott, divestment and sanction activists regularly demonise Israel as an apartheid state, even though the analogy between Israel, where Arabs exercise full citizenship rights, and apartheid South Africa is utterly specious. Israel is a pluralist democracy with an elected Parliament, independent courts, a free

Luke Foley

press and vigorous intellectual debate. Israel is a lot more accommodating of human rights, individual freedoms and democratic movements than any other nation in its region. It is, of course, possible to support Israel’s right to exist and right to self-defence while at the same time oppose its excesses and counterproductive policies, such as ongoing construction of illegal settlements. I am no fan of Israel’s current Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Lieberman, but the Israeli polity alone in the Middle East permits opposition.

I recognise that the Palestinian people have suffered greatly in pursuit of their legitimate aspiration—a national homeland of their own. I also recognise that Israel cannot make peace with those that seek to deny its existence. International campaigns to impose trade and cultural boycotts serve the purpose of delegitimising the state of Israel and, in doing so, they feed the eliminationist narrative of Hezbollah, Hamas, Iran and all those who want Israel wiped off the map, and they align themselves with their putrid racism of those groups, their holocaust denial, promotion of anti-Semitic stereotypes and raw sewage Nazi ideology.

Israel is currently held to a far higher standard than any other country. Israel has not always got the balance right between human rights and legitimate security requirements, but where are the campaigns to boycott the serial abusers of human rights, such as Iran, North Korea, Sudan and Zimbabwe, or the regimes in Cuba and Venezuela that are lauded by some who promote the boycott, divestment and sanction against Israel? The call to boycott Jewish commerce is Europe’s oldest political appeal. That call today goes under the name of the boycott, divestment and sanction campaign. I condemn it. 

The Hon. JAN BARHAM: I acknowledge that The Greens have a principle of peace and non-violence and an adopted position of support for the legitimate rights and aspirations of the Palestinian and Israeli people to live in peace and security in their own independent sovereign states. I respect that there are many different views on this issue and, in particular, I

Jan Barham

acknowledge the contribution of the Hon. Shaoquett Moselmane and his emotional words. The amendments proposed by other Greens members are valid and should be considered by the House. For example, some of the language used in the motion is improved by the amendment moved by the Hon. Cate Faehrmann.

I acknowledge the concern that has been expressed with respect to the boycott, divestment and sanction protests and the protest against Max Brenner. Many of my Jewish friends have raised their concerns about where this might go if left unchecked and the types of people it is attracting—extremists from the Right or the Left, however one would describe them. It is a worrying situation for many people. I agree with the Hon. Shaoquett Moselmane, who said that this is a foreign policy matter and not really a matter for this place. However, I recognise the concerns expressed by the Australian public. There is misinformation. Many people feel fear at a time of unrest in the world, particularly as they watch other protests happening.

My position is to reluctantly support the motion, mindful that it may be used politically and that people may delight in raising an issue such as this to create division. I find it abhorrent that there are consistent attacks against The Greens and generalisations made to condemn all Greens. We have clear and long-term principles about peace and non-violence, about seeking resolution in peaceful and non-violent ways, about supporting people’s rights and aspirations, and about seeking to uphold United Nations resolutions, international law and conventions, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. 

The Hon. SOPHIE COTSIS: I support this important motion. I congratulate all members on their contributions to this debate. In particular, I congratulate the Hon. Eric Roozendaal on his passionate speech.

Sophie Cotsis

I am an Australian with Hellenic heritage. My ancestors fought strongly, were butchered and died in their fight against totalitarian regimes. My ancestors fought for freedom, democracy and peace, and I will continue to fight for those values. Australia is a civil democratic society. I will always fight against racism. I will always fight against those who discriminate against people because of their religion, race or where they came from. I stand shoulder to shoulder with the Jewish community in New South Wales and Australia against the boycott, divestment and sanction campaign. I stand against those people who believe that protesting outside a chocolate shop is okay. History demonstrates it is not okay. I encourage members to visit the State Library and read what happened in the history books. 

This is a damaging campaign against hardworking businesspeople; against those hardworking, diligent, enterprising Australians who wake up every morning to do the right thing for their country, their employees and their communities. The boycott, divestment and sanction campaign damages the hard work that most of us as community leaders have worked tirelessly for in our diverse communities: to live, work and raise families in a peaceful, free and harmonious democratic civil society. I am concerned about the focus of this campaign, which is to target businesses that, in many cases, are owned and operated by people of the Jewish faith. This type of action—even if it is not intended to do so—is evocative of some of the worst crimes to have ever taken place in our history. Targeting stores owned by Jewish people cannot help but arouse memories of those events and many find that painful and traumatic. It must stop. I commend the motion to the House.

The Hon. DAVID CLARKE (Parliamentary Secretary), in reply: I thank all members for their contributions to this debate. The Hon. Shaoquett Moselmane made a contribution to the debate. He is a good man who is well liked in this Chamber. I understand why he feels as he does on these issues, but this is a specific motion. The Hon. Shaoquett Moselmane was speaking in general terms. The two issues are not in conflict. From time to time I attend functions held in the Muslim community. In fact, for three years running I have been the only member to have attended the annual function of the Bosnian-Muslim community, the celebration of Eid.

However, the comments made by Dr John Kaye are another issue. Dr John Kaye said we were making cheap political points and that the purpose of the motion was to cause wedges. I did not bring The Greens into this debate. I did not do that out of respect for people such as the Hon. Jeremy Buckingham and Hon. Jan Barham. Even though we have grave differences on policies, the Hon. Jeremy Buckingham and the Hon. Jan Barham are liked and respected in this House. I did not bring The Greens into this debate in the vain hope that people such as Dr John Kaye might come on board. Dr John Kaye spoke about the use of the memory of the Holocaust as being unconscionable. That was a vile and shameful thing for him to say. I did not hear any member in this Chamber speak about the Holocaust in any way other than in a respectful way. Mr David Shoebridge and Dr John Kaye said we do not tolerate any criticism of Israel.

 The Government criticises the boycott, divestment and sanction campaign because the platform contains the seeds of destruction of the State of Israel because of its unnecessarily wide definition of “Palestinian refugees”. The Hon. Eric Roozendaal referred to supporters of the boycott, divestment and sanction campaign as being from the river to the sea—we all know what that means. I now turn to some of the comments Dr John Kaye made about me. I can hold my head up high in opposing anti-Semitism, opposing racism and opposing Nazism, and so can my family. Holding my head up high will overcome people such as Dr John Kaye any day of the week. My stand on these issues over many years, and my actions, speak for themselves. They will not be undone by the smears of people such as Dr John Kaye or Mr David Shoebridge. I commend the motion to the House.

Question—That the amendment of Dr John Kaye be agreed to—put.

The House divided.

Ayes, 5

Mr BuckinghamDr KayeMr ShoebridgeTellers,Ms Barham

Ms Faehrmann

Noes, 31

Mr AjakaMr BlairMr BorsakMr BrownMr Clarke

Ms Cotsis

Mr Donnelly

Ms Fazio

Ms Ficarra

Mr Foley

Mr Gallacher

Mr GayMr GreenMr KhanMr LynnMr MacDonald

Mrs Maclaren-Jones

Mr Mason-Cox

Mrs Mitchell

Reverend Nile

Mrs Pavey

Mr Primrose

Mr RoozendaalMr SearleMr SecordMs SharpeMr Veitch

Ms Westwood

Mr Whan



Mr Colless

Dr Phelps


Question resolved in the negative.


Amendment of Mr John Kaye negatived.

Question—That the amendment of the Hon. Cate Faehrmann be agreed to—put and resolved in the negative.

Amendment of the Hon. Cate Faehrmann negatived.


Motion agreed to.


11 Responses to “BDS hammered in NSW Legislative Council”
  1. Darrin Hodges says:

    @Ben, Where did I say Mosley founded the Fabian society? Thanks.

  2. Otto Waldmann says:

    Anxious to spread vacuous brandings,Ben dribbles his anti Jewish venom with such generosity that mild transgressions of fanciful “philosophies of politics” make for public embarassement,which must be quite OK for Ben, since he is not disclosing his full identity. Thus we are constantly left with long expired musings of the disturbing kind. And since we still don’t knoiw who he is,his contributions are as valid as a mere whistle in the wind. It is quite diferrent when known politicians, for example, indulge in absurdities and prejudice, such as some of the “principled” Greens above. They are, indeed, worthy of our worries !

  3. ben says:

    Hello Hodges

    The fabian society was founded by Sydney and Beatrice Webb. Mosley had nothing to do with it. gald you expose your smear.

  4. Darrin Hodges says:

    “Was that during oswald Mosley’s little attempt at British fascism ?”

    Mosley was a Fabian socialist. The formulator of fascist theory, Mussolini, was a socialist. Fascism, along with its bastard cousin Nazism, are socialist-right doctrines. If you want to see a fascist Ben, just look in the mirror.

  5. ben says:

    Hello Shirlee

    I don’t want you to go elsewhere and play. I would like to see a factual defence of you Zionism.

  6. ben says:

    Shirlee you seem to forget the official catholic doctrine of deicide or the fact that the Spanish catholic church was a staunch supporter of Franco or the fact that the Vatican had signed a treaty with the fascists.

  7. ben says:

    Hello Shirlee

    I can see Zionist slander at work here. I said Christiann fundamentalists and christian fascists, not that Christians are fascists. The statement you wrote – the spelling is correct – needs little qualification for the status of fascism. And you lived in East London during the fasicst period! Was that during oswald Mosley’s little attempt at British fascism ?
    And the BDS movenebt is targetted at companies benifitting from Israel’s colonisation of the West Bank not Jewish owned businesses, but Israeli and other businessess. As you can see I have replied with facts and not slander and abuse which only display the moral and inttelectual emptyness of Zionist hasbara.

  8. Rita says:

    Reading David Shoebridge’s speech, it seems to me that he indulges in what is also known as “having a bet each way”.

    @ J-Wire: you are fast becoming a MUST-READ part of the internet ! 🙂 Thanks for this article, especially for the photos; it’s good also to see the faces of our more decent (and courageous) representatives who seem to be in the majority.

  9. David Shoebridge says:

    Please note this story is wrong. Dr John Kaye was not the only voice against the motion. I joined with him in opposing the motion. The content of my speech that you reproduced above confirms this.

  10. Shirlee says:

    Ben.. I do wish you’d go elsewhere to play !!!

    I suggest that you look further than your nose, before bad mouthing people you know nothing about and learn to spell. I implore you

    If you are under the impression that Christians are Fascists, then you haven’t a clue as to what a Fascist is. I sure do, I grew up in the East End of London, during the Fascist era and the people of whom you speak, you couldn’t be further removed if they tried.

    As to the ADL, from what I am lead to believe from people who have attended their meetings, they are certainly not antisemites, far from it.

    In regards to the APP, I’d strongly advise you not to denigrate people you know nothing about, based on assumption. I know a good many members of the NSW APP ,I can tell you they are more loyal and true to Jews and Israel, than many of our own.

    This is a post from one I know well, taken from on another site

    “I’m a member of the APP and I see myself as a conservative-activist. I also support Israel’s right to exist as a sovereign state and more, I see Israel as an integral part of this great project of civilisation; a project currently under immense pressure from the Socialist AND Islamic Jihadists. I make no apology for my intense abhorrence of that violent, bigoted death cult that masquerades as a religion, none at all.

    We were there ( @ Max Brenner’s ) to not only support a legally trading business, but to oppose the violent leftwing extremists who use this BDS (Bad, Dumb and Stupid) campaign as a fig leaf for their own deeply rooted anti-semitism. They also hate Australia at least as much as they hate Israel.

    The truth is, Australia has a long history with Israel, even before its creation as a modern state. From the great cavalry charge of the Australian Light Horse at Beersheba in October 1917, to Australian soldiers doing volunteer work, sharing the comradeship through the pioneering spirit in the kibbutzim during WWII, through to Australian political and diplomatic efforts that saw the creation and recognition of Israel. Israel has become a beacon of light surrounded by a sea of violent medieval darkness.

    In the days following the successful rally, the APP has been described on various blogs as a ‘dog with fleas’ and ‘street filth’ by those who lacked the chutzpah to seek a Schedule one from the Newtown police in order to occupy the area in front of Max Brenner. It is not our intention to be the face of the anti-BDS movement, but we hope to get the ball rolling in a big way.

    We will however, continue on the fight against these feral leftwing extremists until people get it in their heads that sitting in a coffee shop pretending to ignore the chants for the destruction of Israel is simply not an option. Doing nothing is not an option anymore, the ferals have to pushed back under the slimey rock from which they crawled from under.”

    Have a look at this link. I suffered the most vile hatred and antisemitism at the hands of these feral BDS people

  11. ben says:

    John Kay is the Spinoza of today! He was the one voice that dared speak the truth about the smear and slander over the BDS and the fact that the anti-BDS charges are promoted by those who until yesterday would be anti-semites – the Christian factists, the Australian Defence League, the Australian Protectionist Party et al. No amount of smear and slander will hide the truth any longer for the simple reson that both Israel and its chief benefactor have lost all credibility in the eyes of the world and benefactor is sinking fast under debt and wars that it cannot win.

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