EDITORIAL: Greens leader Adam Bandt is entitled to his opinion, but not his own facts to sow disinformation

Editorial
The Nightly
When the inconvenient truths about the world and the conflict raging in the Middle East don’t fit into Greens leader Adam Bandt’s narrative, he makes up his own.
When the inconvenient truths about the world and the conflict raging in the Middle East don’t fit into Greens leader Adam Bandt’s narrative, he makes up his own. Credit: Lukas Coch/AAP

Did you know that Australia is exporting millions in arms and ammunition to Israel, a rogue nation committed to the total annihilation of the Palestinian people?

At least, that’s the world according to Greens leader Adam Bandt.

Of course, none of it is true. Despite what Mr Bandt and his Greens colleagues have been telling you, Australia has not sent any weaponry to Israel since the beginning of the war with Hamas. Eight defence export permits have been granted since October 7, seven of which related to pieces of equipment which required repair by their Israeli manufacturers before return to Australia, and one for a non-lethal item which was being returned to Israel.

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And contrary to their claims that our nation is supportive of the ongoing conflict, Australia has repeatedly called for a ceasefire and has a long-standing bipartisan policy in support of a two-state solution in the Middle East.

It’s also skating over the fact that it is Hamas that is dragging its feet on a ceasefire deal, through its refusal to release some of the hostages it took during its brutal attack which left 1200 Israelis dead.

But those inconvenient truths don’t fit into Mr Bandt’s narrative, so he makes up his own.

While Mr Bandt is entitled to his own opinions — however undergraduate and misguided they may be — he is not entitled to his own set of facts.

Most of us don’t take much notice when Mr Bandt or his band of political misfits speak.

But the problem for democracy in this country is that a fair minority does. About 12 per cent of Australians gave the Greens their first preference votes in the 2022 election.

So, unfortunately, we can’t afford to write off the appalling nonsense that comes out of Mr Bandt’s mouth as inconsequential.

Hostile protests — some attended by sittings Greens senators — have kept MPs and their staff locked out of their own electorate offices. The Prime Minister’s own office in Grayndler is among those to have been inaccessible due to blockades.

Some offices have been vandalised, windows smashed in and symbols associated with Hamas sprayed on in red paint.

Attorney-General Richard Dreyfus is among those who have had enough. He called out the Greens for “encouraging criminal damage of MPs electorate offices, encouraging really riotous behaviour, sometimes violent behaviour”.

Mr Bandt’s response was to threaten legal action. He believes he was defamed by Mr Dreyfus’s comments. He even had the gall to accuse the Attorney-General of spreading “disinformation”.

It’s not just the Gaza conflict on which the Greens are distorting the truth. Their business model has become to pick an issue and peddle whatever incendiary garbage they know will strike a chord with their young supporter base.

In this instance, Labor and the Coalition have come together to slap the Greens down, exposing their untruths for what they are.

But the challenge is not over. For the sake of democracy and the future of sensible debate in this country, the major parties must find a way to speak to those voters vulnerable to the Greens’ deceits.

Responsibility for the editorial comment is taken by Editor In Chief Christopher Dore

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