Councillor slammed over Gaza 'posturing' as anti-Israel protesters turn violent

Tensions rose as Melbourne City Council debated a Gaza ceasefire motion, leaving many asking why it was being tabled by a local Aussie council in the first place.

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During a contentious Melbourne City Council session on Tuesday, tensions flared over a proposed ceasefire in Gaza, with Cr Jamal Hakim attributing rising community tensions to 'extreme right-wing' elements and 'neo-Nazis.'

But as Council tabled the motion, violence spilt onto Melbourne streets, with footage capturing anti-Israel protesters assaulting members of the city's Jewish community and even targeting independent journalist Rukshan Fernando, present solely to cover the event.

Despite a divided council, Cr Jamal Hakim's motion calling for a ceasefire failed to pass. Deputy Lord Mayor Nicholas Reece cast the deciding vote against the motion in the absence of Mayor Sally Capp.

Hakim defended his motion, claiming the impact of global events on local communities and urging 'inclusivity' within the city's multicultural fabric.

However, criticism mounted over the council's involvement in global affairs, with locals arguing for a focus on local mandates.

Following the council's decision, criticism escalated, pointing fingers at Hakim for exacerbating tensions within Melbourne's ethnic communities. Many questioned the council's role in addressing global conflicts, arguing that their focus should remain on local governance issues such as infrastructure and public services.

Reflecting public sentiment, a poll revealed overwhelming opposition to council involvement in Gaza-related motions.

Over 7000 responded to the poll asking: “Should local councils be voting on motions about the war in Gaza?”. 95% voted “No” while just 5% said “Yes”.

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