Anthony Albanese has slammed a proposal for a boycott of Israel backed by former NSW premier Bob Carr. (Alex Ellinghausen/Louie Douvis)

Albanese slams ‘counterproductive’ Labor motion calling for boycott of Israel

Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese has slammed a Labor motion backed by former NSW premier Bob Carr calling for a boycott of Israel over its treatment of Palestinians, saying it is counterproductive and is not supported by anyone in his party room.

Mr Albanese also pledged an “ongoing opposition” to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement in his strongest comments since fractures emerged within Labor in recent months over Palestine and Israel.

“I regard the BDS campaign as one that is based upon a racial targeting of a group, in this case Israel, and it is something that I have not supported,” the Labor leader said in a Tuesday evening Zoom call hosted by the Executive Council of Australian Jewry.

“It seems to me that the more contact that people have with each other, the better. We need more contact, not less contact.”

The BDS movement aims to pressure Israel into complying with international law and ending its occupation of Palestinian land by pressuring companies not to conduct business in Israel and urging celebrities not to visit or perform in the country.

Mr Albanese said he had a strong record opposing the BDS movement after he fought against the Marrickville council’s boycott of Israel in which he criticised it as “costly, clumsy and unproductive”.

He also raised the alarm about the rise of anti-semitism, which he said was appearing on the far-right and the extreme left.

Read the article by Anthony Galloway in The Sydney Morning Herald.

[Editor: These remarks by Albanese have riled up the pro-Palestinian camp – refer to this angry tweet from leading pro-Palestinian activist Samah Sabawi who seems to have lost her cool