Some prominent Australians have stood up against the BDSers.
Federal Labor MP Michael Danby hosted household names on a bitterly cold evening at Max Brenner’s chocolate shop on SYdney’s Broadway…sending a message to those who support boycotts against Israel and have use the Brenner company as a target for their protests.
At one table, Danby was joined in conversation by former NSW treasurer Eric Roozendahl, journalists Gerard Henderson and Jana Wendt, ex-Labor Party president Warren Mundine, Australian Workers Union secretary Paul Howes and comedian Austen Tayshus aka Sandy Gutman.
But they were not alone in the busy restaurant. Many members of the Sydney community were at adjoining tables showing their support for the anti-BDS gathering including the executive director of The Executive Council of Australian Jewry Peter Wertheim, former president Robert Goot and Yair Miller, president of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies.
Recently, a Max Brenner store in Melbourne was the scene of a protest supporting a boycott against Israel. Three policemen were injured and 19 protesters arrested.
Mundine told media that the boycott was not anti-Israel but “anti-Jewish”.
Paul Howes said: “The violence outside the Melbourne outlet earlier this month shocked me. The violence I witnessed in our media after the anti-Israel BDS mob targeted a Jewish-owned business was far too reminiscent of Hitler-era mobs targeting Jewish businesses in Berlin. We have to nip this in the bud. There is simply no excuse for the Extremist Far Left seemingly mimicking the behaviour of the Nazi thugs. A Jewish-owned shop was surrounded by Far Left protestors, some of them linked arms, demanding people not patronise the shop because it supplies sweets to the Israeli Army. Australians of all political hues have to show they won’t stand by and allow this to be an established part of social discourse in this country.”
“ Violence of any sort during protests is abhorrent. Violence based on religious and ethnic hatred must be firmly opposed in our multicultural society,” Paul Howes added.
Michael Danby said: “ It is a tribute to the real spirit of Australia that these identities , so well known in public life, Paul Howes, Warren Mundine, Sandy Gutman, Jana Wendt, Gerard Henderson and Eric Roozendahl, turned out to identify with the Australian Jewish Community to repudiate the boycotters. The boycott against Revlon because the chairman is a member of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre and the call to boycott Westfield are contained in the official glossy boycott brochure. Lets call a spade a spade. These people advocate a boycott of Jewish commerce”
He added: “Boycott activists and Greens political party Senator Lee Rhiannon claimed in Sydney on Friday night that she wanted to extend the Boycott. She also falsely claimed the Boycott was peaceful. We know better that in Sydney and in Melbourne the Socialist Alternative and Hamas supporters are violent and aggressive.
Anyone who wants to see what these people really stand for need to only look at the slogan chanted by them when they protest Max Brenner or other Israeli and Jewish shops. There slogan From the River to the Sea is an Hamas slogan. These people are violent extremists and bigots. Our latest manifestation at Max Brenner is a sign that mainstream Australia does not support these extreme views.”
Update: The Australian adds this:
Wendt said she felt the tolerance of Australian society was under threat if people did not learn from history.
“As the daughter of refugees whose lives were critically affected by both fascism and communism, I’m grateful for what Australia has to offer,” she said.
“It is a truism, but we can’t afford to ignore the lessons of history.”
For those not familar with Jana Wendt, she is an Australian icon. Here’s an example of her work.