HOUSSAM ABIAD: Anti-Israel allegations plague Lib candidate – Adelaide Advertiser

THE ADVERTISER
Edition 1 – StateTHU 03 JUN 2010, Page 035
Anti-Israel allegations plague Lib candidate
By GREG KELTON, STATE EDITOR

PEACE PRIZE-WINNING activist Houssam Abiad is at the centre of a bitter preselection row for the key federal electorate of Adelaide, allegedly because of an anti-Israeli stance.
Mr Abiad, who was born in Adelaide and lived in Lebanon for 15 years, is being backed for the seat by key Liberal powerbroker Christopher Pyne and former foreign minister Alexander Downer.
He also has the support of Jewish Community Council of SA president Norman Schueler who has described Mr Abiad as “a fine lad who has the right attitude to the Middle East and what is happening there”.
Mr Abiad, who yesterday said he could not comment because of preselection rules, is being accused on various websites of holding strong anti-Israel and anti-US views.
It has been reported he signed an advertisement published in March 2008, protesting against Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s congratulations to Israel as it celebrated 60 years of statehood.
He also was a speaker at a “Resistance” rally along with Claire O’Connor, of Australian Friends of Palestine.
In 2008, Mr Abiad won the Volunteer Award in the Governor’s Multicultural Awards and, in 2007, won first prize in the Peace category of the Pride of Australia medal.
He is one of five candidates for the seat, now held by Sports Minister Kate Ellis with a slender margin.
The other candidates are business manager Luke Westley, who stood for the seat of Enfield at the past state election, Young Liberal Sam Duluk, real estate agent Vivian Twelftree and recruitment consultant David Maerschal.
The preselection vote involving 600 party members will be held on Sunday.

Caption: Houssam Abiad
Illus: Photo (color): houssam abiad
Column: news in brief
Section: NEWS

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