Tue. May 28th, 2024

‘Couldn’t find it on a map’: Albanese’s criticism of pro-Palestinian student rallies

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell May22,2024
Key Points
  • Anthony Albanese has criticised protesters chanting “from the river to the sea” in support of Palestinian people.
  • The prime minister claimed many protesters “wouldn’t be able to find the Jordan River on a map”.
  • Students have set up pro-Palestinian encampments and held protests calling on universities to cut ties with Israel.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has criticised pro-Palestinian demonstrators in Melbourne, claiming those chanting “from the river to the sea” would not be able to find the Jordan River on a map.
The has served as a rallying cry for pro-Palestinian supporters and refers to the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.
Israel and the Palestinian territories both lie between the two bodies of water, and one interpretation of the phrase is that it calls for a single state that would encompass Palestine’s historical territories.
On Monday night, more than 1,000 people attended an event at Monash University’s Clayton campus for a Yom HaZikaron event, which commemorates fallen Israeli soldiers and victims of terror.

About 100 of these were pro-Palestinian supporters.

Albanese said protesters chanting “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” at attendees was a “provocative act”.
“One of the really disappointing things is that I reckon if you asked those people chanting it, heaps of them wouldn’t have a clue, wouldn’t be able to find the Jordan (River) on a map,” he told Melbourne radio station 3AW on Tuesday.
“It’s beyond me why people would think that it advances their cause to engage in this sort of behaviour,” he said.
Student protesters have held rallies and established encampments in, calling on educational institutions to cut ties with Israel and weapons manufacturers.
Tents and signs at the 'Free Gaza encampment' at Deakin University

Students have established an encampment at Deakin University in support of Palestinian people in Gaza. Source: AAP / James Ross

On Monday night, a pro-Palestinian encampment at Melbourne’s Deakin University was ordered to disband and had its electricity cut due to “unacceptable behaviour”.

Deakin University deputy vice-chancellor Kerrie Parker ordered the “immediate dismantling and removal of the current encampment” at its Burwood campus, in an email to organisers on Monday evening.
Albanese said he supported people’s right to protest but said it must be done respectfully.

“We in this country have a right to protest, that’s really important. But it’s important as well that it be respectful. And I say this to people: how they protest reflects on whether their protest is winning support or losing support.”

Senate shoots down Greens’ encampment motion

On Tuesday, the Senate voted down a Greens motion to suspend standing orders to commend student encampments across Australia.
Greens Senator Mehreen Faruqi commended student protesters and accused the government of “moral bankruptcy”.

“The Gaza encampment at unis across the continent are a reminder though that all is not lost,” she said.

“Power to the students who have the integrity, the bravery, the humanity that is completely lacking in this government.”

Liberal Sarah Henderson and Labor’s Anthony Chisholm spoke in opposition, accusing the Greens of seeking to divide the community.

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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One thought on “‘Couldn’t find it on a map’: Albanese’s criticism of pro-Palestinian student rallies”
  1. I think Anthony Albanese makes a valid point here. It’s essential for protesters to have a deep understanding of the issues they are advocating for before chanting slogans that could be misinterpreted. Education and informed activism are key in any movement.

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