Scott Morrison has told a rally of about 10,000 people that some Palestinian supporters who chant phrases such as “from the river to the sea” are “ignorant” of the meaning of those words and are being anti-Semitic.
Speaking at Sydney’s Never Again is Now rally at The Domain on Sunday, the former prime minister suggested there had been cases of anti-Semitism in Australia rather than support for Israel following the Hamas attack on October 7.
“Instead of support, we have seen those who live under the freedom of democracy in this country call for the extinction of the State of Israel from the river to the sea,” he said.
Morrison drew applause when he said people were “ignoring the true meaning of those words” and the “violent and anti-Semitic nature of those statements.”
Former Prime Minister Scott Morrison addressed a large crowd at an anti-Semitism rally in Sydney on Sunday.
“Our presence here today is to witness these acts of antisemitism, denounce them and express solidarity with Jewish people across Australia and around the world,” Mr Morrison said.
“Remove the cloak of sentiment, self-proclaimed respectability and asserted moral superiority, and reveal the dark heart of anti-Semitism that continues to linger beneath the surface, both here in Australia and elsewhere.”
Morrison also advocated a two-state solution, although he said both states had to be “competent and focused on the well-being, freedom, security, advancement and flourishing of their own people.”
“Peace is not simply the absence of conflict, which we all wish to see for both Israelis and Palestinians, but the presence of freedom, justice and security, behind secure borders, where people can live their lives free from oppression, fear and persecution”. ,’ he said.
Responding to Mr Morrison’s speech, Nick Everett of Friends of Palestine WA told NCA NewsWire: “The slogan ‘from the river to the sea’ is a demand for equal rights and justice for Palestinians living throughout historic Palestine, from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.’
Groups such as Friends of Palestine and Unionists for Palestine have consistently said they are not calling for Israel’s extinction, but rather an end to the country’s occupation of Gaza.
Unionists for Palestine spokesperson Grace Brooks said last month there must be justice and human rights for all.
Palestinian people to achieve a peaceful and lasting solution to the conflict.
“The decades-long occupation and apartheid regime in Israel-Palestine must come to an end,” he said.
‘As unionists we will fight so that all people, regardless of their faith or ethnicity, have equal rights and self-determination.
“Until there is peace and justice, we will continue the campaign for a free Palestine.”
Around 10,000 Sydneysiders attended the rally at The Domain on Sunday.
Protesters waved flags and signs at the demonstration.
Political activist and businessman Warren Mundine also denounced the handling of the protests at the Sydney Opera House, which followed the October 7 attacks.
While initial reports said protesters were chanting “Fuck the Jews” and “Gas the Jews”, New South Wales Police later said an expert review found that attendees were actually chanting: ” Where are the Jews?”
Mundine said that while he was a “huge supporter” of police, he was “horrified” that the event was allowed to go ahead.
“Seeing the police standing there and doing nothing almost broke me,” he said.
“Anyone who has looked at history for even a second knows that when a society tolerates an angry mob turning against the Jews, it will lead the society down an ugly and destructive path.”
Scott Morrison (left) said there had been cases of anti-Semitism in Australia rather than support for Israel following the Hamas attack on October 7.
NSW MP’s ‘tentacle’ comments lashed
Politicians from both the Labor Party and the Liberal Party also criticized comments made by NSW Greens MP Jenny Leong in which she spoke of the “tentacles” of the Jewish lobby and unwittingly referred to a historical antisemitic caricature.
The Newtown MP has since apologized for the “inappropriate description”.
Representing Opposition Leader Peter Dutton, Berowra MP Julian Leeser also said Greens and far-left politicians had an “ideological obsession” with hostility against people of faith.
He referenced Ms Leong’s comments and said they were an example of people questioning “the right of their fellow Australians to participate in the life of this nation”.
NSW Liberal senator Hollie Hughes said the far-left comments were divisive.
“They seek to divide us, they want to bring anti-Semitism to our communities, to our schools and to our parliament,” he said.
Former NSW Treasurer and Labor Friends of Israel co-organiser Eric Roozendaal echoed the criticism.
“There are some politicians who seek to exploit divisions in our society and who openly showed contempt for Australian Jews,” he said.
He also criticized feminist influencer and author Clementine Ford for sharing a list containing the names and details of Jewish creatives on social media.
“Now we have a so-called influencer like that horrible Clementine Ford,” Mr. Roozendaal said.
‘She’s posting lists, telling haters exactly where they can find Jews. That’s what we’ve come to.
Jacqui Lambie (left) and Scott Morrison (right) were among those in attendance.
About 10,000 people attended Sunday’s demonstration.
NAIN co-founder Mark Leach said the event was a response to a 738 per cent increase in anti-Semitic incidents reported across Australia.
The figures were reported by the Executive Council of Australian Jews in December, which said it had been alerted to 662 incidents in October and November last year.
“We want to mobilize Christian and wider Australian protest to push back against the anti-Semitic hatred we are seeing across Australia,” said Mr Leach, who is also a senior Anglican minister.
“We want to build a cohesive and strong society where everyone, including our Jewish friends, can prosper in peace.”
Tasmanian President Jacqui Lambie, New South Wales Senator Hollie Hughes, Australian Christian Lobby director Michelle Pearse, Anglican Minister Mark Leach and former Deputy Prime Minister John Anderson will also speak at the event.
ANTI-SEMITISM DEMONSTRATION IN SYDNEY
The Dominion was full of people waving flags, including the Australian flag, the Israeli flag and the Iranian flag before the 1979 Revolution.
George Citer, 77, said he believed Australians needed to “come together”.
“I want to say this is very important, the Australian community stands united against antisemitism,” he said.
‘You have people from the wider community coming together. “This is the Australian way.”
A NSW Police spokeswoman said the demonstration was a planned authorized assembly and would have a highly visible police presence.
“The community can be assured that we will provide a safe environment for everyone and that we have appropriate law enforcement responses,” they said.