by MONICA O’SHEA – PARTS of western Sydney will fly the Palestinian flag until an Israeli ceasefire is declared in Hamas-run Gaza.
Labor Party controlled Canterbury-Bankstown moved a motion this week to reject an Israeli response to the blood-thirsty terror attacks it endured earlier this month.
Proposed by Councillor Karl Saleh, the council voted to fly Palestinian flags at its Campsie administration building and a local community park in Bankstown – an area with a high proportion of middle-eastern migrants.
In his motion Cr Saleh moved: “That Council raise the Palestinian flag in support of the Palestinian people at both Bankstown’s Paul Keating Park and Campsie Administration building until a cease-fire is declared in the current humanitarian disaster unfolding in Gaza.”
The council also voted to dedicate a space at a local park for the community to lay wreaths and flowers.
In addition, the motion provided support for the community to gather peacefully at council public parks to “demonstrate their views in support of the Palestinian people”.
Responding to the move, the Australian Jewish Association (AJA) said “this is not the Australia we knew”.
“This is an area of Sydney where Muslims celebrated in the streets following the Hamas slaughter of Jewish civilians on October 7,” an AJA spokesman said on X.
Meanwhile, Randwick Council in Sydney’s eastern suburbs has canned plans to fly the Palestinian flag on top of its Town Hall.
In an emergency general meeting last week, Councillor Daniel Rosenfeld from the Liberal Party moved a motion so that local authorities “do not fly the Palestinian flag on 29 November 29, 2023, as it was passed at the June meeting to do so”.
“I consider the business to be of great urgency given the current war in Israel and the escalating rallying within Australia by pro-Palestinian people,” Cr Rosenfeld said.
The latest drama at multiple Sydney councils follows pro-Palestine rallies held in front of the Opera House in early October.
A flag of Israel was stomped on in front of the iconic Opera House and protestors were heard yelling “gas the Jews”.
In response, NSW Police launched Operation Shelter to manage future protests amid the Israel-Hamas conflict.
Meanwhile, the Coalition is calling on Prime Minister Anthony Albanese to visit Israel on his return trip from the United States.
Mr Albanese still has not spoken to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, however, he has spoken to the Israeli Ambassador to Australia on multiple occasions.
When questioned on whether he was “picking sides” the prime minister said, “we pick a side against Hamas”.
“And we did that very clearly and unequivocally. Because the actions of Hamas are against the interests of both the Israeli population, clearly, but also against the interest of Palestinians.
“We support, as President Biden reaffirmed the United States, a two-State solution.” PC