A high-profile Jewish candidate in this weekend’s Australian elections is defending an anti-Zionist e-mail.
George Newhouse, the Labor candidate for the electorate of Wentworth in Sydney, was forced to defend campaign manager Rose Jackson, who in 2006 wrote an e-mail opposing Zionism “because it calls for the creation of a Jewish state.”
The story was splashed across the front page of Wednesday’s daily Australian newspaper under the banner “Staffer lands Newhouse in Zionist row.”
The newspaper reported that Rose, 22, who was president of the National Union of Students at the time she wrote the e-mail, said her comments were aimed at “rabid anti-Israel comments” posted on a Web site. But she retracted her remarks following the leaking of the e-mail this week.
“I have discovered that Zionism is about a homeland for the Jewish people,” she said in a statement. “I support Israel. I support Israel’s right to exist.”
Newhouse told the media, “Miss Jackson is a supporter of the State of Israel and she now understands the meaning of the ideology of Zionism.”
But even if Newhouse, a human rights lawyer, were to defeat Environment Minister Malcolm Turnbull in the nation’s largest Jewish electorate, the result may wind up in court because of a controversy over whether Newhouse officially resigned from a paid position with the NSW Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal in time to run for the seat.