In the house of representatives on Thursday, independent MP Zoe Daniel pleaded for calm in parliament and in the community. Daniel, a former foreign correspondent, represents the neighbouring seat of Goldstein, which includes the targeted synagogue. An emotional Daniel said she feared Australian multiculturalism was now facing its greatest test.
“Let it not fail,” Daniel said. “We must pull this up here in Australia. We must pull back from this tipping point where hate and anger become so dominant that any nuance, any capacity for reasoned conversation, for empathy for others, is lost.”
Earlier, Daniel told The Saturday Paper community debate was at a point where “no matter what you say, people will interpret it from their own positions”.
She cited her experience as a journalist when tensions reached flashpoint in trouble spots around the world.
“Now is not the time for politics,” she said, accusing the Coalition and Greens of seeking political advantage on the issue. “This is life and death. It’s offensive. It’s more than offensive; it’s dangerous.”