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Press Release: meeting with Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese

The Zionist Federation of Australia held a constructive discussion with federal Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese on Sunday. It comes after similar meetings with Deputy Opposition Leader Richard Marles and Labor Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Penny Wong in the last fortnight.
 
Mr Leibler and Mr Albanese spoke about concerns within the Jewish community over the upswing in antisemitism in Australia and internationally in recent weeks. This upswing was more evidence, Mr Leibler told Mr Albanese, that the IHRA working definition of antisemitism should be adopted in Australia. The working definition calls the denial of Israel’s right to exist a form of antisemitism.
 
Mr Leibler said, “Mr Albanese displayed a genuine concern about the rise of hatred the Jewish community has been facing and unequivocally condemned the rising tide of antisemitism we are witnessing across the globe and in Australia.”
 
Mr Leibler discussed with Mr Albanese, the Jewish community’s concerns following Labor’s national conference in March, where a call for the next Labor government to recognise Palestine as a state was included in the party’s platform. Mr Leibler also raised examples of worrying rhetoric emanating from parts of the Labor party – such as one-sided Parliamentary speeches that ignored Hamas’s role in the recent violence, a motion that accused Israel of ethnic cleansing at the recent Queensland state conference, and efforts by Bob Carr in New South Wales to have Labor call for a boycott of Israel.
 
Such one-sided rhetoric and resolutions, Mr Leibler told Mr Albanese, are not in the interests of furthering peace between Israel and the Palestinians.
 
In the context of Bob Carr’s attempt to put forward a BDS resolution at the upcoming NSW Labor conference, Mr Albanese reaffirmed his strong opposition to BDS and assured Mr Leibler that BDS has no place in ALP policy under his leadership.
 
Mr Leibler warmly praised the Labor leadership for supporting the IHRA working definition of antisemitism, and Senator Wong’s comments during the recent Hamas–Israel violence, where she unequivocally condemned Hamas rocket fire on civilians. Mr Leibler also acknowledged Senator Wong’s criticism of the Queensland state conference resolution.
 
Each of Mr Albanese, Mr Marles and Senator Wong reaffirmed the ALP’s commitment to Israel’s security and for a two-state solution.