SYDNEY, Australia (JTA) – Jewish community leaders in Australia are angry that the government is sending delegates to a summit in Iran, though they have been instructed to walk out at the first sign of “anti-Semitic rhetoric.”
Dr. Danny Lamm, president of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, said the attendance of two Australian officials at the Non-Aligned Movement’s summit in Tehran next week sends the wrong message to a regime that “sponsors terrorist groups around the world.”
“The Iranian regime does not deserve the kind of legitimacy it will derive from Australia’s presence,” Lamm said in a statement.
Foreign Minister Bob Carr defended Australia’s decision to send Australia’s ambassador to the United Nations and the prime ministerial special envoy, but instructed them Thursday to walk out if there’s any “anti-Semitic rhetoric.”
“If there is any of that anti-Semitic rhetoric, that inflammatory anti-Israeli rhetoric, from the president of Iran, our ambassador at the UN is under instruction from me directly to be the first on his feet to walk out,” Carr told reporters.
Lamm said Carr’s decision to order a walkout was “reassuring,” but added, “The entire Iranian regime rests on a political ideology that is corrupted to the core with anti-Semitism. It would therefore have been preferable for Australia to have no representation at all.”
The NAM is a group of 120 nations not aligned to any major bloc. Australia is not a member.