Saturday, July 30, 2011

Anti-BDS hot chocolate in Australia

From The Australian:
A GROUP of prominent Australians met for a hot chocolate last night in a peaceful protest against violence in front of a Jewish business that was recently targeted as part of an anti-Israel boycott.

Labor MP Michael Danby, Australian Workers Union secretary Paul Howes, former Labor Party president Warren Mundine, comedian Sandy Gutman, aka Austen Tayshus, and journalist Jana Wendt were among those who spoke out against a violent protest on July 1 outside the Max Brenner chocolate shop in Melbourne in which three police officers were hurt and 19 protesters arrested.

Mr Danby, who organised last night's meeting and is one of three Jewish federal MPs, said the violent protest had been a reminder to him of the need for vigilance against anti-Semitism, and it was worrying that Greens senator Lee Rhiannon was a vocal supporter of the boycott.

"The impetus was an ugly, violent demonstration in Melbourne and Senator Rhiannon's determination to take this boycott further," he said. "She would like to see it introduced into the Senate and into politics.

"We remember the precedence of the 1930s; my father came from Germany, and (at) any sign of this kind of behaviour we have to draw a line in the sand."
Ian in the comments notes who some of them are:
Warren Mundine - Aboriginal leader and former national president of the Labor party, who has promoted the legacy of William Cooper who was declared “Righteous among the Nations” in 2008

Austen Tayshus – Comedian who volunteered during the Yom Kippur War.

Paul Howes - Australian Workers Union secretary, former socialist who saw the error of his ways on a trip to Cuba.

Jana Wendt – Journalist "As the daughter of refugees whose lives were critically affected by both fascism and communism, I'm grateful for what Australia has to offer,”
There was a similar counter-protest by MPs on July 19th: