Deputy Mayor sacked for acknowledging Palestinian deaths in Gaza

Deputy Mayor sacked for acknowledging Palestinian deaths in Gaza
Image: Greens Councillors Ludovico and Dominic Wy Kanak. Image: Instagram @ludovico_fabiano


Following last night’s extraordinary meeting at Waverley Council, Greens Councillor Ludovico Fabiano has been stripped of his position as Deputy Mayor after he made amendments to an urgent motion on the Israel-Gaza situation to also acknowledge Palestinian deaths and to hold all perpetrators of violence accountable.

Fellow council members also had Councillor Fabiano, along with colleague Councillor Dominic Wy Kanak, removed from an array of other committees, including the Multicultural Advisory Committee.

Councillors also tried to remove Cr Wy Kanak, the only Indigenous councillor on the panel, from the Reconciliation Action Plan for supporting the amendments.

Cr Fabiano said that he could not commit full support to the Labor-Liberal motion as it did not mention attacks on civilians in Gaza.

Cr Fabiano said in a statement, “In my speech to Council on the motion, I condemned the Hamas attacks, the Israeli bombing of Gaza and the loss of Israeli and Palestinian lives. I also implored my fellow Councillors that we join the call for an end to the violent attacks on civilians in Gaza and Israel by seeking peace with justice.”


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A post shared by Ludovico Fabiano (@ludovico_fabiano)

Amendments to acknowledge all civilian deaths

The amendments put forward with the support of Cr Wy Kanak were as follows:

“This Council:

1.      Condemns war crimes perpetrated by Hamas, including the premeditated targeting of Israeli civilians, the war crimes perpetrated by a right‐wing Israeli government, including the bombing of Palestinian civilians, and calls for all perpetrators to be held accountable for their actions in accordance with International law and an immediate ceasefire between all parties and an end to the war in Gaza.’

2.      Writes to the Premier of NSW, Chris Minns, calling on the NSW Government to take all steps necessary to ensure the safety of the NSW Jewish community and all communities impacted by these events.”

The amendments were misconstrued as a refusal to condemn the Hamas attacks.

Waverley is home to the largest Jewish population in New South Wales.

President of the NSW Council for Civil Liberties (NSWCCL) Lydia Shelly said in a statement, “The views held by the Deputy Mayor and Wy Kanak reflect non controversial statements in support of human rights and international humanitarian law.”

“The views held by the Deputy Mayor and Wy Kanak do not warrant their removal. We must remain vigilant and protect our democracy at all levels – including in our communities and in our local councils.”

Silencing concerns for human rights

“It makes me uncomfortable that simply expressing views in support of human rights and international humanitarian law could lead to these Councillors losing positions to which they were elected.”

Ms Shelly asserted that “this motion signifies a very concerning slide towards silencing those whose views may not conform with those who wield political power.”

Waverley Council released a vague and peripheral statement in which Mayor Paula Masselos said her “unwavering focus is on ensuring the safety, resilience and harmony of our local community, which is home to people from around the world.”

“I am proud to represent a community that is committed to helping each other in times of need and showing compassion for our fellow citizens.”

Waverley Council General Manager Emily Scott then said that the council will continue to support our community including those impacted by the devastating events unfolding overseas, which does not seem to include the 7000 death toll in Palestine so far.

“Our community is rich in diversity with almost 40 percent of residents born overseas,” Ms Scott said.

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