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Eideh Be Worried If I Were You

Piers Akerman has written an opinion piece in The Daily Telegraph, dealing with a worrying political development in Melbourne – an ostensibly pro-Syrian/pro-terrorism/anti-Israel Member of Parliament.

Victoria’s Labor Premier Steve Bracks will take his third oath of office in coming days and as he does so, he will introduce new ALP Upper House MP Khalil Eideh, a dual Syrian-Australian citizen who has sworn his absolute loyalty to the tyrannical dictatorship of Syria.

 

Like Lakemba’s Sheik Taj el-Dene Elhilaly, Eideh has already claimed to have had his words taken out of context and to have had his flowery Arabic phrases misinterpreted but there is no doubt that controversial letters which surfaced during his stormy pre-selection battle are genuine and the translations in which he expressed his loyalty to the Syrian dictatorship, accurate.

 

Like Elhilaly, who enjoyed the sponsorship of a number of senior NSW ALP figures including former prime minister Paul Keating, the millionaire trucking company boss, has enjoyed the support of senior Victorian Labor identities, notably those from the Socialist Left, including Senator Kim Carr.

 

Just as Keating over-ruled all advice to ensure Elhilaly was granted Australian citizenship even though he had breached his own undertakings to leave the nation, Bracks has played ignored all protestations about Eideh’s ability to represent Victorians when he has professed his allegiance to a nation which sponsors international terrorism, and stood mute when Eideh was assured of a safe place, second on the Labor ticket after popular Sports Minister Justin Madden.

 

Though he came to Australia as a teenager in 1970, Eideh has maintained such strong ties to Syria that he felt obliged to inform the Syrian dictatorship of his concerns about events within the Australian Syrian community, in his role as head of the Alawi Islamic Association, and as a member of the Syrian Social Nationalist Party, a self-proclaimed anti-Semitic revolutionary Arabic group.

 

In his first letter to the Syrian government, Eideh introduced himself as an “Arab Syrian citizen” and complained that Syrian influence in Melbourne, Australia, was “completely absent and doesn’t play any role in the Australian political arena”.

 

In his second, he expressed concert about the activities of Syria’s then honorary consul Issa Zaraybi and the Association Baath Party which he said were creating conflict in the local Syrian community through intimidation.

 

Writing to Syrian dictator President Assad, he said: “At a time when the danger and threat from the colonial and Zionist is increasing on our Arabic world in general, particularly our Arab-Syrian country, at a time when it is required that all forces mobilise their power in our country Syria and overseas and be recruited to support our crucial causes and support the Arab Syrian stance, an oppressive mentality surfaced in Melbourne, Australia, aiming to create a tremendous crisis within the Alawi Islamic Association.”

 

He ended that anxious note with a ringing pledge: “Loyalty, absolute loyalty to your courageous and wise leadership and we pledge to continue to be faithful soldiers behind your victorious leadership.”

—-

In Eideh’s last publicly reported address, to mark the second anniversary of the first president Assad’s presidency, in 2002, he expressed his view of those celebrated cultural differences noting: “Satan’s brigades are getting ready to enslave the Arab world … We could see the light of your soul in the face of the martyrs, the heroes, the greatest of free Arabs – those who carry the flag of dawn from South Lebanon and Palestine.”

Earlier this year, Eideh addressed fears he was pro-Syrian, pro-terror, and anti-Israel with the following statement to the Australian Jewish News:

Despite recent media attention about my loyalties – I want to reassure Victorians that if elected I will represent and uphold the central values of multiculturalism and ethnic tolerance.

 

I have spent the last 36 years of my life living in Australia and that is where my loyalties lie.  

 

I abhor and reject terrorism and all it represents.  I would never assist a regime that supports or promotes terrorism.

 

 If elected, I will continue to work towards a tolerant and diverse society that embraces and celebrates cultural differences.

However, Eideh was again forced to deny he was pro-Syrian, pro-terror, and anti-Israel, after the Herald Sun published documents revealing a possible link between Eideh and the anti-Semitic Syrian National Socialist Party (SNSP).

A Labor Party candidate in this month‚Äôs Victorian State Election has fiercely denied accusations he has links with an extremist anti-Israel group.

 

Syrian-born Khalil Eideh told the AJN this week in a statement that he has no “input, influence or control” over the local branch of the Syrian National Socialist Party (SNSP), whose members reportedly attended a function he hosted in 2002.

 

According to documents obtained by the Sunday Herald Sun, copies of which were forwarded to the AJN, SNSP members attended the Islamic Alawi Association function while Eideh was its president and at which he delivered a speech.

 

An SNSP publication is also reported to have claimed that ‚ÄúZionist fingers‚Äù are behind a campaign to discredit Eideh as well as ‚Äúthe fearless Syria … and its president [and] the resistance in Lebanon‚Äù.

 

A spokesperson for Eideh said the 2002 Alawi event was a public function and Eideh had no control over who purchased tickets. He also said MPs from both sides of politics attended the event.

 

But Jewish Community Council of Victoria president Anton Block said any connection between Eideh and the SNSP would contradict assurances the trucking magnate made in an August 2 letter, in which he declared his support for Israel “to exist and to defend its territorial boundaries” and the banning of terrorist organisations.

 

“When one looks at the representations that Eideh made to the Jewish community, I’m not sure where this apparent connection [with the SNSP] puts him,” Block said. “At the very least, he needs to state what his position is vis-a-vis SNSP. He needs to make that very clear.”

 

Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council executive director Dr Colin Rubenstein agreed that Eideh must “immediately, publicly and explicitly dissociate from the SSNP and its genocidal beliefs about Jews and Israel”.

 

This week, Eideh reiterated his previous pledge, saying, “I have a long history of strongly and publicly condemning terrorism and outlined this when I met with representatives of the Jewish community in recent months.”

 

The SNSP, which meets in the northern suburb of Brunswick and reportedly supports suicide bombers, is currently under investigation by Australian security agencies.

It doesn’t look too good to me, but in the interests of fairness, I have written to Mr Eideh, requesting that he respond to these accusations.

About the author

Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
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