Richard Di Natale at a press conference

Batman byelection: Liberals to test Greens candidate’s background for ‘anti-Semitic’ links

The Liberal Party will examine the record of Greens candidate Alex Bhathal, looking for links to any “anti-Semitic” activity before deciding to put up a candidate in the looming Batman by-election in Melbourne’s inner-north.

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 told ABC Radio on Friday morning 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.

Read the article by Noel Towell in The Sydney Morning Herald.

[Refer to Michael Kroger on anti-semitism in the Greens: Jon Faine]