Are we keeping an eye on the Teals?


There has rightly been much focus on the antisemitism of the Greens, and the many hostile anti-Israel moves made by the Albanese government.

Somewhat overlooked has been the actions and stances taken by the so-called Teals.

Before the last election, AJA, warned about the anti-Israel records of certain Teal candidates, including statements from one, that many regarded as antisemitic.

On the other hand, we engaged with others, whose records were not problematic.

Most Teals had very little foreign policy experience, but since October 7, the Jewish community has had a chance to observe their positions.

Just days after the worst massacre of Jews since the Holocaust, Teals MPs Kylea Tink, and Sophie Scamps, disgraced themselves by joining a Greens attempt to use a resolution condemning the atrocities, to falsely accuse Israel of ‘war crimes’.

Kooyong Teals MP, Monique Ryan, was slammed by many, including the principal of a Jewish school in her electorate, for failing to condemn the terrorist organisation, Hamas, while commenting on Israel’s war against them.

Ryan, along with fellow Greens MP, Kate Chaney, abstained on another anti-Israel Motion from the Greens, that had been labelled, ‘antisemitic’ by the Opposition.

Just this week, the Greens attempted to move yet another anti-Israel Motion. The Australian Jewish News reported that, “Victorian teal MPs Zoe Daniel and Monique Ryan, whose Goldstein and Kooyong electorates have large Jewish populations, abstained, and NSW teal MP Kylea Tink whose North Sydney electorate has a sizeable Jewish community, and Mackellar teal MP Sophie Scamps, were not in the chamber.

This is hardly the action of friends.

But the statements of one particular Teal should be followed closely. At the last election, Allegra Spender replaced Liberal, Dave Sharma, as the member for Wentworth, the electorate with the most Jews in the country. She had big shoes to fill.

Sharma, a former ambassador to Israel, could deservedly be described as one of the most pro-Israel MPs in Australia. The community had become accustomed to a supportive local member and held high hopes for his replacement.

Following the October 7 attacks, Spender has said the right words, but many in the Jewish community sensed that the conviction just wasn’t there. With Australia being smashed by a surge in antisemitism, many were unhappy that she used a pro-Israel rally to speak about Palestinian Arab suffering and Islamophobia. ‘Tone deaf’ was a description I heard from several attendees of the rally.

Given the close connection that so many of her constituents have with Israel, including several who had family members killed on October 7, Spender should be making sure that her voice is one of the loudest when advocating on these issues.

Before the last election, serious questions were raised about concerning comments made by some of the financial backers of the Teals. The Jewish community was assured that these radicals would not have an impact on Teal policy. Now serious questions must once more be asked.

With Israel and Jews worldwide under attack, and a concerted immoral push to force Israel into a ceasefire with the terrorist organisation, Hamas, the Teals have a chance to redeem themselves. Allegra Spender and the rest of the Teals should unequivocally demonstrate they stand with Israel and the Jewish community.

The Teals need to balance the concerns of their voters, many of whom are left leaning. The war on Israel isn’t as simple as a right/left issue. Overseas, several left-wing Democrats like John Fetterman have shown moral clarity, by standing with the Jewish State, in its hour of need.

Many Australian Jews feel abandoned by those who they thought would be by our side. They are paying close attention to which politicians stand with us and are able to resist the massive pressure from anti-Israel activists.

As one local rabbi put it to me, it’s easy to show up for a photo opportunity at a Jewish museum or charity, but now is when the Jewish community need our friends by our side.

Now is the time for the Teals to demonstrate that they are not just a rubber stamp for the anti-Israel policies of Labor and the Greens. If they can’t do that, then they should skip the photo ops when the next election comes around.

About the Author
Robert is Chief Executive Officer with the Australian Jewish Association (AJA). Robert is passionate about Zionism, Australian politics, and international affairs. Visit:
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