While the seat of Higgins in Melbourne has become a Liberal-Greens fight, the seat directly to its south, Melbourne Ports, is more a fight between Labor and the Greens. Labor MP Michael Danby has had a go at the Greens Steph Hodgins-May calling her “culturally insensitive” for “doorknocking Jewish houses in Caulfield & East St Kilda on Shavuot, last Thursday night”. The courting of votes in the electorate’s Jewish community has been a hot-button issue, with Hodgins-May pulling out of a debate to be hosted by the Australian Jewish News and Zionism Victoria. She has, however, agreed to take part in a debate hosted by the Australasian Union of Jewish Students on June 30. Crikey asked Hodgins-May why she had agreed to this event and not the AJN event and was told:
“I’ve accepted numerous invitations to engage with Jewish organisations throughout this campaign including from Mount Scopus, Habonim Dror, Jews for Refugees, Limmud Oz and most recently AUJS and have had lots of conversations with Jewish and non-Jewish voters.
My decision not to attend the other forum is the only exception and that is because of specific statements made by one of the organisers about the UN that I, as someone who has worked at the UN, did not feel comfortable associating myself with.”
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