Wentworth independent candidate Allegra Spender has condemned the actions of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement and affirmed her support for Israel, amid criticisms of anti-Semitism that have marred her campaign.
Ms Spender said that although she was not Jewish and had never served as “ambassador to Israel”, she had been a “friend to Israel” and had strong ties to the Jewish community, in a campaign debate hosted by the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies on Sunday.
The teal independent – who is facing off with Liberal MP Dave Sharma to take the seat of Wentworth which has one of the nation’s largest Jewish populations – has come under criticism for her link to climate activist Blair Palese who has expressed support for BDS on social media.
“Yes, I’ve heard the rumours, and I wish to respond,” she said.
“My family and I have been subjected to some serious and baseless claims. Regardless of what happens in the election, I will continue living in this community and our kids will continue to go to school together. So I want to set the record straight.
“I have been a strong friend of Israel and have quite literally lived around the corner of the many in the Jewish community my entire life.”