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Federal election 2016: Greens’ anti-Israel propaganda funded by taxpayers

Simon Benson, The Daily Telegraph

The Greens have used their taxpayer-funded allowances to print inflammatory anti-Israeli propaganda posters for organisers of a protest rally in what could constitute a breach of Department of Finance rules.

The Daily Telegraph has learned NSW Greens senator Lee Rhiannon used her Senate printing allowance to print and authorise posters to promote a pro-Palestinian rally in Sydney yesterday.

The material, which contains an endorsement by Senator Rhiannon and a disclosure that she had printed them on behalf of the Palestine Action Group, controversially called on the government to officially break ties with Israel. The poster also tries to compare Israel with the previous apartheid policies of South Africa.

Senator Rhiannon’s office initially would not reveal whether the senator endorsed the views in the poster, despite admitting to printing them. The office admitted that the word “apartheid” was not consistent with Greens policy.
But Senator Rhiannon confirmed to The Daily Telegraph that she had personally printed the posters.

Senators are allowed $103,000 for taxpayer-funded printing and communications related to their parliamentary and electoral duties.
Senator Rhiannon said she had nothing to apologise for in using the word apartheid to describe Israeli policy, despite it contradicting the Greens’ official stance and being offensive to many people in the community.

“I’ve used that sort of word in Parliament before … I have used that for a long time,” she said.
She claimed that it was justified because she said Palestinians could not ¬return to their homes.

She also said that many community groups came to her for help in printing but all material was checked before being authorised.

Under Department of ¬Finance rules, the taxpayer entitlements are to be used only to “support their role as members of the Australian Parliament”.

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