Balmain MP Jamie Parker: ‘Anti-racism is everyone’s responsibility. I encourage each of us to call out racism’.

The Australian Jewish News
6 October 2020

NSW Jewish Board of Deputies (JBOD) president Lesli Berger has applauded Balmain MP Jamie Parker for an “outstanding speech” decrying racism and antisemitism.

Pointing out that the right-wing extremist who carried out the Christchurch massacre was Australian, the Greens MP cited the need to stand against both antisemitism and Islamophobia.

“Racism is an enduring and insidious blight on our community. It seeks to divide us,” he said.

“The impact on diverse communities is real. We need to stand against antisemitism and the scourge of Islamophobia where just last month an Australian terrorist—that is right, an Australian; it is an issue that we need to face—a right-wing extremist, was sentenced to life in prison for murdering 51 Muslims in attacks in Christchurch.”

He added, “Speaking out is especially important when it comes to incitement to violence by white supremacists and extremists like Jim Saleam or Ismail al-Wahwah.

“We all have a responsibility to be anti-racist.”

Berger said we look to society’s leaders to “set the standard” on what conduct is acceptable.

“As Mr Parker points out, we all have an obligation to call out racism,” he said.

Berger also acknowledged the group which has been meeting for the past 18 months comprising Greens MPs and JBOD and ECAJ leaders.

“It is extremely constructive and allows for candid and honest exchanges of ideas,” he said.