Greens leader Adam Bandt speaks at pro-Palestine rally

A defiant Adam Bandt has dismissed alleged “defamation” against Australia’s pro-Palestinian movement and the Green Party, telling protesters “that we will win”.

It follows a torrid week in federal parliament in which both Labor and the Coalition accused the Greens of creating social divisions over the war between Israel and Gaza.

Speaking to rally attendees in Melbourne on Sunday, the Greens leader praised protesters for “35 weeks” of showing up across major cities and criticized suggestions the movement was anything but “peaceful”.

“Let me say this, not for your benefit, because you already know that, but for their benefit, for everyone who has smeared this peace movement,” he said.

“We all know that there is no place for violence against people, against politicians, against the people who work for them or against their offices.

“We all know that. What we strive for is peace.

“Peace here and peace in Gaza. Peace for Israelis and Palestinians. That is what we strive for.”

During question time last Wednesday, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese called out Zelene for what he called “misinformation” about the conflict between Israel and Gaza.

“It is unacceptable that disinformation is being knowingly and deliberately spread by some Greens senators and MPs who have engaged in it at demonstrations outside their offices and online,” the Prime Minister said.

“This includes knowingly misrepresenting the proposals being considered in this Parliament.

“Enough is enough.”

He was supported by Opposition Leader Peter Dutton.

MPs’ polling offices have been vandalized in recent weeks with pro-Palestinian slogans, including graffiti accusing members of complicity in alleged “genocide”.

Speaking on radio station 2GB on Thursday, Mr Dutton called the Greens “evil”.

“I think people need to talk to their children and grandchildren, to their next-door neighbours, just about how evil the current Green Party is, how they don’t care about the environment,” he said.

“They all relate to radical causes.”

But Mr Bandt was unapologetic about his views on Sunday and reiterated calls for the Labor government to step up diplomatic pressure on the Jewish state.

He called on the government to expel Israel’s ambassador to Australia, sanction Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and cancel all military trade with Israel.

Mr Bandt also said pressure in parliament was “growing” and that the pro-Palestinian movement was “growing in strength”.

“When they first ignore you, then they mock you, and then they turn on you and try to fight you by defaming you … you know they know they’re wrong,” he said.

“And it’s the last step before they admit they’re wrong and take action.

“Because I can tell you that the pressure from inside the building is building.

“This peaceful and powerful movement to end the invasion and end the occupation … is only growing stronger.

“We will prevail.”

Free Palestine Melbourne organized the rally which was held at the National Library.

Protesters chanted “1,2,3,4 … we don’t want your bloody war and 5,6,7,8 … Israel is a terrorist state.”

They also chanted: “Alba, Alba, shame, shame… you don’t speak for us.”

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