Australian senator wears genocidal slogan at Midwinter Ball

Attention-seeking politicians use Canberra’s annual event to virtue signal with bold political fashion statements.

Australian senator wears genocidal slogan at Midwinter Ball
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Independent senator Lidia Thorpe sparked outrage with her choice of attire, a dress bearing the genocidal slogan “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” at Canberra’s annual Midwinter Ball.

The dress, worn at Australia's Parliament House on Wednesday night, featured a phrase that has previously been condemned in the Senate by Labor and the Coalition as a call for the abolition of Israel. Thorpe also carried a bag inscribed with “love harder.”

Earlier in June, a motion led by the Greens to recognise Palestinian statehood amid the Israel-Hamas conflict was narrowly defeated. Labor senator Fatima Payman, who voted in favour alongside Thorpe and independent senator David Pocock, faced suspension from Labor’s parliamentary caucus.

The Midwinter Ball, an event where politicians and corporate leaders gather to celebrate journalism and raise funds for charity, has increasingly become a platform for political messaging.

Labor frontbencher Anne Aly also chose to virtue signal, donning a jacket with “end violence against women” following recent high-profile deaths.
Adding to the evening’s intrigue, Labor MP Josh Burns appeared publicly for the first time with Victorian state MP Georgie Purcell.

Their relationship has drawn attention due to Burns’ Jewish heritage and Purcell’s anti-Israel stance as a member of the Animal Justice Party and the progressive crossbench in the Victorian parliament.

Political expressions through fashion have a history at the ball, with past statements made by Labor senator Jana Stewart and Green senator Sarah Hanson-Young.

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  • By Avi Yemini

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