BDS in Australia is deeply against the grain

from Q&A last night: Audience jeers over comment.

Tensions escalated after a member of the audience pointed out that the Jewish community faced a “dual threat” from the far right and from extremists.

Tim Wilson said it had to be dealt with from the top.

“I don’t want to see any further discrimination in our country, be it racist discrimination or other forms of discrimination. We’ve got to do what we can to deal with it … it’s something that has to come from the top,” he said.

Mr Wilson then pointed out the Greens supporting the BDS motion (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) was a “direct attack” on the Jewish community.

“I’m going to need to jump in there,” Ms Jacobs interjected.

“Firstly, I don’t actually think that’s Greens policy, I’m happy to be corrected if I’m not true but boycotts are not about anti-Semitism,” Ms Jacobs said.

She said anti-Semitism was about “targeting an Israeli state that is inflicting an apartheid regime,” which was met with furious jeers from the audience.

“You can jeer all you want but Palestinians have the right to live and go about their lives as do Israelis,” Ms Jacobs said.

Mr Wilson hit back at her.

“I need to say very directly that Israel is not an apartheid state,” he said as the audience erupted in applause.

In 1931, even as the Nazis were rolling into Germany, Australia chose as its Governor-General Sir Issac Issacs. It’s still a different country out here. Even among the left, although not among the Greens, anti-semitism is anathema.

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