Australian lawmaker calls Israel lobby ‘cancerous, malicious’

SYDNEY, Australia (JTA) – A controversial Australian lawmaker slammed the Israel lobby in parliament as “cancerous” and “malicious.”

In the New South Wales parliament in Sydney on May 23, Labor councilor Shaoquett Moselmane also took aim at Israeli ambassador Yuval Rotem, asking him to “butt out and stay out” of the debate.

Advertisement: The Grande at Chesterfield

“Your perceived right to bully as you do in the Middle East does not extend to the Australian political arena,” said Moselmane, who was born in a village in southern Lebanon.

“I accept the right of people to express their views, even when they are wrong, naive, ill informed, indoctrinated and blinded by the power of a political lobby group that is cancerous, malicious and seeks to deny, misinform and scaremonger,” he said.

The comments by the first Muslim elected to New South Wales Parliament come just weeks after Labor Party leader John Robertson rebuked him for a speech in the chamber last month during which he branded Israel a “corruption of justice.”

“The views expressed by Mr. Moselmane in his speech were not in accordance with Labor policy and I explicitly reject the statements made,” Robertson said.

Paul Howes, the national secretary of the Australian Workers Union, told J-Wire, a local Jewish website, on Friday: “His views are divisive and do nothing to contribute to a resolution of the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. Making pronouncements from the NSW legislative assembly is frankly ridiculous.”