Liberal Victorian state president Michael Kroger said he wanted the party to field candidates against Greens who had been involved in protests and campaigns against Israel’s treatment of Palestinians. Mr Kroger regards such protests as anti-Semitic activity.
Mr Kroger spoke on Jon Faine’s Morning program saying that he felt “not good at all” about running a campaign that would, in effect, support one of Australia’s most senior trade unionists, Labor’s Ged Kearney.
“But I’d feel worse if we did not run at all and our preferences were not directed against the Greens and we elected a Greens member who has a record of anti-Semitism,” Mr Kroger told the ABC.
The powerful senior Liberal stressed that he was not saying Ms Bhathal had a record of anti-Semitism but that his party would be researching her record.
“We research into the behaviour of the Greens candidate to make sure they haven’t been involved in the pretty disgraceful BDS [boycott, divest, sanctions] campaign against Israel, whether they’ve made anti-Semitic remarks … been involved in demonstrations against [Israel-linked chocolate shop] Max Brenner,” Mr Kroger said.
The ambivalence of Jon Faine to the issue of anti-semitism stands out after yet another disdainful effort by the ABC radio host. Faine was suggesting to Michael Kroger that somehow the prospect of the Liberals supporting a Labor trade unionist’s path to office was as much an issue as the prolific anti-semitic tendencies of The Greens in Australia.
Here you have an amalgam of three segments from Jon Faine’s program”
- the interview with Liberal leader Michael Kroger, a couple of callers and some audience feedback by text messages (0-7:35) ¹
- a caller from Brunswick (7:36-9:15)
- a caller from Preston (9:16-12:44)
¹Listen to the smaller version of the interview with Michael Kroger provided by the ABC.