Minor Key – The “X Factor” plus

The Nick Xenophon Team (NXT), having secured more Senate primary votes in South Australia than the ALP at the 2013 election, will likely achieve three or even four Senate seats there this time. Running candidates in all SA electorates, it is also slightly favoured to gain the lower house seat of Mayo, where candidate Rebekha Sharkie is leading incumbent Liberal Jamie Briggs in the polls, and may be a threat in other SA seats. It also has Senate candidates in all other states.

It could thus hold or share the balance of power in the Senate and even the House of Representatives, a prospect that would concern supporters of Israel, given party leader Senator Nick Xenophon’s past activities and pronouncements on the issue.

In April 2014, Senator Xenophon travelled as a guest of the Australian Friends of Palestine Association (AFOPA) to the Middle East, meeting mainly Palestinian representatives and very left-wing NGOs harshly critical of Israel. He was quoted in the May 10, 2014 Australian as saying, “There is some hope through Israeli groups like Breaking the Silence and B’Tselem who show the views of the Israeli government do not necessarily represent the views of all Israelis.”

In fact, his Statement of Registrable Interests submitted in December 2014 reveals he donated to AFOPA, which supported the BDS campaign against Israel on its website. In 2010, he was the keynote speaker at the organisation’s annual dinner.

On June 3, 2015, Senator Xenophon asked, at a Senate committee, “What are the implications of Israel being recognised as a Jewish state given the Australian government’s policy that there ought to be a two-state solution? Would that go against that two-state solution?”

The Senator is apparently unconcerned, however, that many other Middle Eastern countries are recognised as “Islamic” states or “Arab” states, while the Palestinian constitution says that Islam is the official religion of Palestine.

Many of his parliamentary speeches are also highly and one-sidedly critical of Israel.

Read the full story by Jamie Hyams in AIR on the AIJAC website where he also examines various other minor party and independent candidates.