Israel supporters rally in Sydney

SYDNEY, Australia (JTA) – More than 1,000 pro-Israel supporters demonstrated at a rally in Sydney.

Monday’s rally in the Bondi suburb was staged in response to the fallout from Israel’s interception of a Gaza-bound flotilla in which nine people aboard a Turkish-flagged ship were killed when Israeli Navy commandos clashed with passengers trying to break the blockade of Gaza.

“We are here today because the people of Israel feel isolated by the flood of hypocrisy and bad faith that seems to have been waiting for an excuse to once again rear the ugly head of moral equivalence,” Dr. Ron Weiser, a former president of the Zionist Federation of Australia, told the crowd.

The rally was organized by the State Zionist Council of New South Wales.

In parliament Tuesday night, Victorian Liberal Senator Scott Ryan told the Australian Senate that there was “a highly orchestrated media campaign to vilify Israel” in the wake of the Mavi Marmara incident.

“The lies and misrepresentation of facts and the application of double standards in considering Israel’s legitimate right of self-defense cannot go unanswered,” Ryan said.

Among the attacks was an article by columnist Mike Carlton in the Sydney Morning Herald on June 5 in which he described Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as an “unprincipled thug addicted to the use of Israeli military might and impervious to world opinion.”

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