A man has confronted Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews at a Jewish synagogue, declaring “We won’t forget what you did to us. We’re not for sale!”
Leon Kofmansky interrupted Andrews as he was promising funding for a Jewish institution in St Kilda. “I listened to his speech and deliberately waited until he got to the announcement about how he was going to fund this certain organisation,” Kofmansky said.
“People were clapping and cheering. I’m from communist Russia and it reminded me of being at a politburo meeting. It was surreal. That’s when I decided to interrupt.”
Kofmansky, a financial advisor, called out: “You can’t buy us all out. We’ll never forget what you did.” Andrews replied: “Sir …” Kofmansky continued:
“We won’t forget what you did to us last year. We’re not for sale. And it’s taxpayer money, it’s not your money that you’re splashing around.”
As Kofmansky was escorted from the venue by security, Andrews told the crowd: “In a democratic society people are free to simply have a view that doesn’t accord with mine.” Kofmansky said the treatment of Jews by the Daniel Andrews government had inspired him to run for the United Australia Party at the November 26 election.
“It is only 12 months ago where he terrorised the Jewish community,” he said. “He shut down our synagogues, he sent police on horseback, and it was done under the guise of science and keeping us safe. And less than a km away he allowed sporting events to go ahead.
“Now he wants to buy our votes. He was throwing around bags of money at Jewish institutions in a bid to buy votes and this is obviously taxpayers’ money.
“We’ve accumulated $170b in debt, that’s more than the combined debt of Queensland, New South Wales and Tasmania. So it’s not his money to splash around.”
Kofmansky said his confrontation with the Premier was not pre-planned, and he did not realise it was being filmed until later.