Ignore how ballots are voted, Sharma says; The donor faces anti-Semitism

Head-to-head in last night’s debate, Dave Sharma showed his strengths against Allegraspender, but the independent was undaunted, especially on the climate.

Independent candidate Allegraspender, Liberal Dave Sharma, and Labor Matt Thistlethwaite (Image: AAP / Steven Saphore)

Through the heavy gates and past the guard and then up the stairs strewn with Israeli flags. We are heading to Moriah War Memorial College’s Moshe Triguboff Auditorium, where Allegraspender and Dave Sharma will gather for a debate organized by the NSW Jewish Council of Deputies, the Australian Jewish Executive Council and the Australasian Union of Jewish Students. Labor’s Matt Thistlethwaite joins them from neighboring electorate Kingsford Smith and appears to be a third wheel for Wentworth’s title fight, but will later prove the courage of him.

Unfortunately, the room is only half full, which leads to a distinct lack of atmosphere. Audience members are asked to ask questions online, with a piece of paper available for the less tech-savvy. The only audience interaction or moment of levity is when a participant inveighs Sharma saying that she is still paying $ 2.19 a liter for gasoline, prompting Sharma to offer to share her gas station itinerary so she can fill up less.

But it is Israel first. We don’t even need to get to the questions for that, because spender – or “Holmes à court-backed candidate” like Daily Telegraph insists on calling her, because apparently independent women can only be defined in terms of a male — she wants to respond to a News Corp smear campaign by suggesting that since she has received advice from Blair Palese (who advocates boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) is anti-Semitic. In fact, Spender insists, she is a strong supporter of Israel and talks about her 3000 year bond with the country, the need for it to be strong and her opposition to BDS. In fact, this is not a debate to discuss whether BDS is anti-Semitic, let alone something more controversial.

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