Recently on 31 October, I was informed by an article published by Stephen Rice in The Australian that I had been expelled from the Australian Labor Party (ALP) for “anti-Semitism” according to NSW Labor leader Chris Minns.
I am being defamed and misrepresented.
This latest round of bad publicity began on 18 October when Rice published an article revealing that I had joined the ALP in February, then combined this new information with two old allegations of “anti-Semitism” against me from 2018 that I will address.
The Houthi Patch
Rice alleges that I wore a jacket displaying the words “Death to Israel” and “Curse on the Jews”, however, this was taken out of context, leading to the defamatory inference that I was motivated by “anti-Semitism”.
Rice failed to mention that these were not my own words, but words on the logo of the Houthi movement of Yemen. Rice also failed to mention that these words were written in Arabic, and failed to provide an image of me wearing the logo, thereby falsely suggesting that these words were written in English.
This story was publicised four years ago after a photo was taken of me wearing the Houthi logo in Beijing (see below). The logo, in the form of an embroidered patch, was gifted by a friend who appreciated that my academic field of research included studying Yemen.
What were my actual motivations?
I wore the patch, not as a checklist of statements I agree with, but as a symbol of the Houthis who are bravely resisting this ongoing war of genocidal Saudi aggression that has murdered over 377,000 Yemenis of whom 70% were children. Therefore, I was NOT motivated by “anti-Semitism”.
The entire reason I appear on “Iranian state television” to quote Rice is because they’re the ONLY ones who regularly cover this genocide, whereas Australia is complicit in this genocide by selling weapons to Saudi Arabia, which arms al-Qaeda in Yemen.
Search my name online and you will find that I have given over twenty video interviews and written over a dozen articles about the war on Yemen like this one for The Cradle. Therefore, Rice does a disservice to his readers by failing to include this Yemen-related context. For more on the history of Yemen, please watch my two-part series.
For the record, I apologised for the offense caused by my wearing the patch back in October 2018 shortly after the incident, however, I reject the allegation that I was motivated by “anti-Semitism”
Rice quotes Darren Bark (NSW Jewish Board of Deputies) who alleges that I had, “used social media to post other material offensive to the NSW Jewish community, including questioning the number of Holocaust victims”.
I am NOT a Holocaust denier.
This story began when the USyd student newspaper PULP published an article by Joseph Johnson who found the following comment of mine buried in a sub-thread:
This comment was taken out of context.
I was simply making a very basic epistemological point about the difference between believing something and knowing something.
From memory, in my earlier posts I had made the point that I trust the dominant opinion about the Holocaust but did not have the knowledge to successfully argue against Holocaust revisionists.
This is like saying that I trust the dominant opinion about climate change (that human activity is causing global warming) but do not have the knowledge to successfully argue against those who deny that dominant opinion.
That my accusers could find only ONE screenshot on my FB account of 14 years should refute all attempts to label me a “Holocaust denier” for eternity, especially when I also published many posts affirming that the Holocaust happened like these on my old FB account.
Again, this is only what I could salvage from old screenshots.
If I had access to my old account, I could probably find dozens of instances in which I affirmed the Holocaust and mourned its millions of victims including 6 million Jews, particularly in the context of paying my respects to the martyrs of the Soviet Army, the Yugoslav Partizans, and the Greek resistance.
Because of the patch and screenshot (old news), I have been denounced by the Murdoch media, by at least six politicians on the floor of NSW parliament, and by the ALP for alleged “anti-Semitism”. In my opinion, these denunciations are motivated by the interests of pro-Israel organisations that:
1. Are angry at me for writing an article in 2020 accusing Israel of having “spent the last decade aiding al-Qaeda and Islamic State”, which Rice mentioned.
2. Are angry at the Labor govt for its correct decision to no longer recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, which prompted the Party to expel me to take the heat off them.
3. Are angry that Dr. Tim Anderson won his unfair dismissal case against the University of Sydney. They hate Anderson because he criticises Israel and supports the Palestinian cause.
These organisations have a track record of viciously attacking anyone who criticises Israel, and every year, hundreds of Australians are attacked by them for the exact same reason.