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Australian lawmaker rips Israel lobby as ‘cancerous, malicious’

SYDNEY (JTA) – The first Muslim elected to the New South Wales Parliament slammed the Israel lobby as “cancerous” and “malicious.”

Labor Party councilor Shaoquett Moselmane made his remarks in parliament on May 23. It was the second time in a month he made anti-Israel remarks in the chamber.

“I accept the right of people to express their views, even when they are wrong, naive, ill informed, indoctrinated and blinded by the power of a political lobby group that is cancerous, malicious and seeks to deny, misinform and scaremonger,” he said last week.

Moselmane also took aim at Israeli Ambassador Yuval Rotem, asking him to “butt out and stay out” of the debate.

“Your perceived right to bully as you do in the Middle East does not extend to the Australian political arena,” said Moselmane, who was born in a southern Lebanon village.

Last month, he was rebuked by Labor Party leader John Robertson for a speech in the chamber in which Moselmane branded Israel a “corruption of justice.”

“The views expressed by Mr. Moselmane in his speech were not in accordance with Labor policy and I explicitly reject the statements made,” Robertson said.

Paul Howes, the national secretary of the Australian Workers Union, told J-Wire, a local Jewish website, on Friday that Moselmane’s views “are divisive and do nothing to contribute to a resolution of the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. Making pronouncements from the NSW legislative assembly is frankly ridiculous.”

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