"It has been close to a year since the last State election since Marrickville and the BDS issue found a national stage. It was one of the achievements of not just the Australian Jewish community but the Coalition and the Labor Party that BDS faced an abrupt rejection on that stage.
The concern throughout NSW was that the row during the BDS debates was expected. Commonsense does not comply with a local council self-imposing economic sanctions on one nation which is locked in a struggle for peace. [My emphasis]
Senator Lee Rhiannon’s Greens looked likely to pick up a cluster of seats”in the NSW State election but were left demoralised finishing behind Labor on primary votes in the only seat they ended up winning.
The candidate for Marrickville, Fiona Byrne, tripped over herself in many public statements…confused that her Utopian vision of a world with a weakened Israel was poorly received outside the confines of her urban hamlet.
BDS in Australia has since then become another a failed movement of radical activists which shamefully attached itself to a municipal council for a few months.
This humiliating public defeat of the BDS was an achievement of the people in this room. The politicians, Liberal, National, Labor and some Greens. When we hear about BDS now, it’s not coming from the mouths of prominent politicians or mayors or respected journals. It’s been shouted from poorly-attended protests or the back of police cars or from Communists who stayed with Stalin.
One year on and the movement in New South Wales to undermine the economy in the Middle East’s only democracy is as dead as Fiona Byrne’s brief career in international diplomacy."The ambassador continued:
"I thank the people in this room on behalf of the State of Israel for their courage during that time. I thank Premier Barry O’Farrell and his colleagues for their uncompromising stand for the future of that Council. I thank the Leader of the Opposition John Robertson and his colleagues for mounting the progressive case for the future of Israel… and especially I want thank those Greens MPs and candidates who stood tall and opposed BDS citing their own values of principal and justice for which some of their colleagues have no tolerance. I thank all involved who have helped see off this anti-Jewish and anti-Israel sentiment in our community. ..in our newspapers on our streets we must also thank the voters of New South Wales.”Of Marrickviile Council, which overturned its espousal of BDS and has a new mayor, he said:
“I encourage them to learn more about my tiny, tiny miraculous country in the Middle East, awash with the principals of democracy, values freedom and a culture not enjoyed by the autocratic and theocratic regimes that surround us.” [My emphasis]For full report and photos see J-Wire
Labor state parliamentarian Walt Secord, a co-convenor of the event, told The Australian newspaper that he wholeheartedly agreed with Mr Rotem regarding the Greens:
"Their tactics were schoolyard foreign affairs and almost borderline anti-Semitism."Fiona Byrne reportedly has no comment: see more from that newspaper here