Political Leaders Finally Unite Against Malevolent, Divisive Forces

After months of political and ­social division, a frightening rise of anti-Semitism, threatening and damaging attacks on federal parliamentarians’ offices, increasingly tense street protests, the spreading of lies about the Israeli-Gaza conflict and warnings of Islamist extremist involvement in pro-Palestinian campaigns, Anthony Albanese and Peter Dutton have joined forces. This is a critical moment for Australia’s cohesion and governance after months of spreading lawlessness and threats to day-to-day democratic practices and principles. The realignment of leadership into a clear, passionate, and direct statement of condemnation for terror and anti-Semitism without equivocation is a telling moment in a critical time for Australia’s ­social cohesion, immigration outlook and multiculturalism. Ironically, it took the common irritant of destructive and juvenile Greens behaviour to bring Labor more assuredly in line with the Coalition. In what was the most dramatic parliamentary question time in the two years of the Albanese government there was a powerful coming together of political leadership as well as clear declarations that have been missing since Labor’s first ambivalent reaction to the horrific October 7 Hamas terror attacks in Israel, in which 1200 people were killed and hundreds of others kidnapped.

The Prime Minister, passionate at last, launched a parliamentary assault on Adam Bandt and the Greens’ irresponsible actions in not lowering the dangerously rising temperature of debate and fueling divisions. “It is unacceptable that misinformation has been consciously and deliberately spread by some Green senators and MPs who have engaged in this demonstration outside offices and online. That includes knowingly misrepresenting motions moved in this parliament,” Albanese said, directing his comments to Bandt across the chamber. After the revelation that Albanese had been locked out of his office since January because of pro-Palestinian protests and warned of Islamist extremist involvement in protests on campuses and outside MPs’ offices, he declared: “Enough is enough. All of us have a responsibility to prevent conflict in the Middle East from being used as a platform for prejudice here at home. “There is no place for anti-Semitism, prejudice of any sort, Islamophobia, in our communities, at our universities or outside of electoral offices.”

He warned that the demonstrations, supported by the Greens, were undermining the Palestinian cause among the Australian public. For months, the Albanese government has been accused of not clearly stating support for Israel after the terror attacks nor taking stronger action in support of Jewish Australians who had been subjected to increasing levels of hatred and prejudice. For Albanese, the last straw was a series of complaints from fellow Labor MPs whose offices were being blockaded, damaged, and vandalised with staff unable to do their jobs and fearful for their safety. Albanese has also been enraged – as have other Labor MPs – by Greens campaigns online accusing the government of condoning genocide and supplying weapons to Israel that are being used to bomb babies. This was a pivotal moment for Albanese and Labor because there had been a hesitation to speak passionately for fear of upsetting large Islamic populations in key electorates and it may yet cost the ALP support especially in outer suburbs and Greens-dominated electorates.

But, in the end, long frustration, growing anger at the disinformation campaign from the Greens, the realisation damage was being done to the Palestinian cause – a cause Albanese has supported for most of his life – and pressure to do something to stem anti-Semitism caused the Prime Minister to speak definitively and passionately. Tony Burke backed the Prime Minister’s attack, accusing the Greens of sending an “inaccurate message” to Australians and the world that the Australian government backed genocide. The Opposition Leader, who has staunchly backed Australian Jews, attacked anti-Semitism, and criticised Labor for not speaking forthrightly enough since October 7, when Penny Wong initially called for “restraint” from Israel. Dutton did not need a second invitation to grab the opportunity to deliver an address. “Those who seek for their own political purposes and their own political advancement to pour fuel on this fire, deserve the condemnation of this chamber,” he said. “It has no place, and we will take every action we need as a chamber to make sure that we condemn those acts of anti-Semitism in our country. And the Greens political party today is properly and rightly condemned.”

The unusual unanimity, even alliance, of the major parties was demonstrated in the crushing of Bandt’s attempt to condemn the government for “complicity in genocide” and providing arms to Israel, with only the four Greens MPs voting for the motion. At last, the reaction from the top was no longer appeasement, tolerance of lawlessness, fear of political backlash and a cowering to progressive forces in connivance with sinister elements seeking to exploit social division.

Source: Compiled by APN from media reports

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