Conroy repudiates Israel boycotters
Communications Minister Stephen Conroy, along with Parliamentary Secretary David Feeney, visited a Max Brenner chocolate shop in Melbourne in an act of solidarity with Israel and the Australian Jewish community.
It came just days after Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd also visited the Israeli chocolate shop. Both visits were organised by Michael Danby, the new chairman of Australia's Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee.
Max Brenner shops have been targeted by proponents of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel. On 1 July, 19 anti-Israel protesters were arrested outside a Max Brenner shop in Melbourne's CBD. Three policemen were injured in the melee.
A statement issued by Danby's office quoted Senator Feeney saying: "99% of Australians support a two-state solution. If the slogan of this group is the chant 'from the river to the sea' they are supporters of Hamas and an anathema to the overwhelming majority of their fellow Australians."
Danby said he was humbled that Senators Conroy and Feeney had flown in from inter-state to join him at Max Brenner.
"It is a testament to both Minister Conroy and Senator Feeney that they took the time out of their busy schedules to join me here. Both are committed friends of the Australian Jewish community and represent the views of mainstream Australia," Danby said.
Minister Conroy was quoted as saying: "The Gillard Government remains concerned by any groups advocating a boycott of Israeli products or services or Jewish businesses and business people like Frank Lowy and Revlon's chairman, Ronald Perlman, who is a trustee of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre," Senator Conroy said.
Danby added: "It is the responsibility of every civilised person who wants to make a contribution against these fanatics who want to boycott Jewish and Israeli commerce to support these stores and products."