Libs And Labor Should Put The Greens Last Over Antisemitism

Written by:
7 December 2023
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Originally Appeared In

This article was originally published in Australian Financial Review on or about 7 December 2023 and was written by the author in their capacity as a contributor for that publication. 

It has been republished on the IPA website with permission. The views expressed are those of the author alone.


Australia’s elites in big business, the media, and our cultural institutions have for too long humoured the Greens. It’s time for that to stop.


Just a few months ago when Julian Leeser was campaigning for the Indigenous Voice to parliament and against Peter Dutton, the Canberra press gallery couldn’t get enough of the Liberal backbencher. After he resigned from the Coalition frontbench to support the Voice, Leeser was featured in dozens of news stories on the ABC and the Labor Party couldn’t stop talking about him.

On the day of his resignation Indigenous Australians Minister Linda Burney said, “Julian Leeser has shown strength today in putting his principles ahead of politics”.

In the end while his involvement in the Yes campaign was relatively inconsequential, his leaving the shadow cabinet was not. Leeser’s departure gave Dutton the opportunity to appoint Senator Jacinta Nampijinpa Price as the Coalition’s spokesperson on the referendum – and the rest is history.

A few months on, now that Leeser is no longer useful to the left they’ve forgotten about him. And because he’s not attacking his own side the media ignore him. Which is a pity because what Leeser said to a conference at the Robert Menzies Institute a fortnight ago deserves a lot more attention than it’s so far received.

Of course the ABC has made no mention of his comments. Part of the explanation for this might be that Leeser punctured a number of comfortable certitudes of the left. He spoke about antisemitism.

“It doesn’t appear to be an accident that the epicentres of antisemitic rhetoric and action appears to be in areas where there is political jostling between Labor and the Greens. The inner suburbs of our major cities.

We have seen from October 7 that the Greens are treating the horrors of the war on Israel as an opportunity to whip up antisemitic hate. The Greens behaviour online and in parliament since 7 October on these matters has been nothing less than disgraceful. In doing so, they join a long list of opportunists who have targeted Jewish people since time began.”

No sooner had Leeser said that than Greens senator Mehreen Faruqi circulated on social media a photo of her at a “student protest for Palestine” in front of a placard with the words “Keep the world clean” with a drawing of an Israeli flag in a rubbish bin. Faruqi subsequently deleted the photo.

Leeser continued, “…antisemitism is now a full-blown feature of the extremists-Greens political ideology. It represents a danger to Jewish Australians and all Australians who value freedom. It’s why I believe that from here on, the major parties of Australia must preference the Greens last. I am calling on the Liberal Party, the National Party and the Labor Party to put the Greens last in every seat at the next election.”

That’s unlikely to happen – but it should.

Preferencing the Greens last will be easier for the Coalition, but it will mean nonetheless them handing a huge campaign advantage to the ALP. With guaranteed Coalition preferences Labor won’t need to devote the same level of resources as in the past to Labor-Greens contests.

At last year’s Victorian state election the Liberals preferences the Greens ahead of Labor in a number of seats. As Antony Green pointed out in 2010 it was Liberal preferences that elected Greens leader Adam Bandt to the seat of Melbourne.

For a myriad of reasons it would be impossible for the ALP to ever preference the Coalition ahead of the Greens. But that shouldn’t stop thoughtful Australians asking thoughtful Labor MPs why a Greens MP in parliament is preferable to a Liberal being elected.

The leaders of this country’s Jewish community should also ponder the consequences of Labor’s support for the Greens. The Australian Jewish community has traditionally leaned left, and it must ask itself to what extent its support for the Labor Party has indirectly encouraged and enabled the Greens. Jews across the world are now seeing what side the left is taking at this “civilisational moment”.

Just as the Liberal and Labor parties have done, Australia’s elites in big business, the media, universities, and our cultural institutions have for too long humoured the Greens. With the Greens now showing their true colours it’s time for that to stop.

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This article was original published in The Australian Financial Review and was written by the author in their capacity as a contributor for that publication. It has been republished on the IPA website with permission. The views expressed are those of the author alone.

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