Ludovico Fabiano, a deputy mayor representing Waverley Council, home to one of Australia's largest Jewish populations, has been sacked after backing a move to condemn Israel's bombing of Gaza.
Recently, Waverley Council voted on a motion to condemn the attack on Israeli civilians by Hamas and give $10,000 to Jewish community organisations in their area. Ludovico Fabiano attempted to amend a motion about the Israel-Gaza conflict to call out "war crimes" by Israel but was voted out of his position during a public meeting on Thursday evening.
The amended motion proposed to condemn "war crimes perpetrated by Hamas, including the premeditated targeting of Israeli civilian" as well as to condemn "war crimes perpetrated by a right-wing Israeli government including the bombing of Palestinian civilians".
The amendments were voted against by all other council members and prompted a petition calling on Mr Fabiano to be sacked.
President of the NSW Council for Civil Liberties Lydia Shelly said shutting down dissenting views as an undemocratic abuse of power.
"This motion signifies a very concerning slide towards silencing those whose views may not conform with those who wield political power," she said.
Waverley council mayor Paula Masselos said Mr Fabiano wasn't removed over the amendment, but because he had lost the confidence of the community.
"It was absolutely a loss of confidence," she told ABC Radio on Friday.
"At the end of the day we are there as representatives of our local community.
"As leaders we're meant to be working for our community and looking for unity and resilience and not being provocative."
"Where there is an opinion being expressed that the majority may not agree with, that is not controversial, that is, 'Please respect international law' — that should be encouraged," CCL president Lydia Shelly said."We cannot be encouraging any processes that lead to the squashing of alternative views and … silencing dissent.
Read more here (yahoo!news link no longer available) and here.