Australian MP Sues News Corp Journalist Over Being Called Antismeitic
An Australian member of parliament filed a defamation lawsuit against News Corp journalist Sharri Markson to test how far criticism of pro-Israel media and lobbying groups can go before before being deemed antisemitic, The Guardian reported Friday.
According to the report, New South Wales Labor MP Shaoquett Moselmane on Friday filed a lawsuit against the senior writer for the Australian over an article run in February, headlined, “[Australian Labor Party’s] antisemitic views behind push for trip ban.”
According to blog Middle East Reality Check, Moselmane said of pro-Israel lobbying groups: “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. What I do take exception to is foreigners intervening in the right of Australian politicians to speak out.”
“I will always say and do what is right, even in the face of the trash I have read in the Australian-Israeli media,” said the Labor MP, according to the blog.
Markson responded in her column, criticizing what she said was Moselmnae’s “anti-semitic sentiment” and accusing the MP of holding a double standard against the Jewish state.
“The MP, who ironically decried racism in his first speech to parliament, made the remarks just two years ago, in May 2013. He was not shouted-out of the high office he holds for racist commentary. On the contrary, Labor continues to support him and Moselmane is now a vocal advocate behind a push to ban Labor MPs from visiting Israel on trips funded by Jewish organisations,” wrote Markson, according to the Elder of Ziyon blog.
Rick Mitry, Moselmnae’s spokesman said in a letter seen by Guardian Australia said the lawsuit sought “to test whether criticism of the Israeli government’s policies by anyone can be called antisemitic or racist, as often happens.”