Local Greens candidate Stephanie Hodgins-May has announced she will pull out of the only Melbourne Ports candidates’ debate, after having agreed to participate “because one of the co-hosts” was the Jewish community roof body, Zionism Victoria.
Michael Danby, Member for Melbourne Ports, said:
“This is shameful. The Greens Party mask is finally off. The Greens boycott of the Jewish community shows their deep and intractable antagonism towards the Australian Jewish community.
Zionism Victoria is a roof body organisation of cross-spectrum groups which support Israel, including pluralistic Australian Union of Jewish Students (AUJS), which operates across Australian universities, the international affiliate of the Israeli Labour Party, Ameinu Australia, and includes socialist Zionist youth movements like Hashomer Hatzair and Habonim Dror.
“The Greens Party candidate from Daylesford, an advisor to Greens Leader Di Natale, is unfit to represent Melbourne Ports. Nearly a third of the electorate is of Jewish heritage. Refusing to address this public forum on the bigoted grounds that she has is an insult to the local community.”
“Approximately 71% of Australian Jewish residents of Melbourne Ports have family in Israel”, Danby recounted. “If she doesn’t want to represent our local Jewish community, or even speak to them, she cannot be their local Member. Greens leader Richard Di Natale must sack her.”
“Her excuse that candidates shouldn’t address politically active groups makes no sense. She is a political candidate and political staffer for the Green Political Party. She wants to be a representative of a diverse Melbourne Ports community – candidates for such a position speak to all kinds of groups, whether or not they agree with them,” Danby said.
Green Party hypocrisy and bigotry is underlined by the activity in the neighbouring seat of Melbourne, where Green Member for Melbourne Adam Bandt will address a forum held by the Australian Palestinian Advocacy Network,” Danby said. “This is a purely political group that is not a community organisation, nor does it represent tens of thousands of local residents, unlike the Jewish group the Greens are boycotting in Melbourne Ports.”
Michael Danby said Party leader Richard Di Natale, who cloaks himself as more moderate than other Green Senators such as Lee Rhiannon, will replace Hodgins-May with someone who will speak freely to all groups in Melbourne Ports.