Councillor under fire for 'disappointing' clothing choice at Anzac Day dawn service

Rafaela Pandolfini's decision to wear a keffiyeh is believed to be a symbol of support for Palestine.

Greens councillor Rafaela Pandolfini wears a keffiyeh draped around her shoulders while holding flowers (left) while Sydneysiders pay their respect at the dawn service in Coogee (right).
Greens councillor Rafaela Pandolfini wore a keffiyeh at the Anzac Day dawn service in Coogee on Thursday morning. Source: Facebook

A Sydney councillor is under fire after spectators spotted her wearing a specific item of clothing at an Anzac Day dawn service on Thursday, with some believing it was an inappropriate act of protest.

NSW Greens councillor Rafaela Pandolfini of Randwick attended the dawn service in Coogee in Sydney's east and wore a keffiyeh while paying her respects to fallen servicemen and women. A keffiyeh is a traditional scarf worn in the Middle East and in recent months has also become a symbol of support for Palestine.

The Australian Jewish Association posted a grainy photo of Pandolfini wearing the keffiyeh on their Facebook page on Thursday, saying she "couldn't help herself" by politicising the dawn service, with others sharing their frustration at the decision.

"This is disgusting," one member said, with another believing she should have been asked to leave the memorial service. "No bloody respect," a third said.

Liberal councillor Daniel Rosenfeld, also from Randwick, called Pandolfini's decision to wear the keffiyeh "disgraceful".

Pandolfini was approached for comment by Yahoo but had not responded by the time of publication.

Last month the Jewish community also called out Pandolfini for wearing what appears to be the same keffiyeh to Randwick City Council's annual women's art exhibition. The Australian Jewish News reported a local Jewish artist was upset by the councillor's choice of attire for the event.

The artist, known as Lily, said she felt "shocked" and "uncomfortable" by it and reportedly voiced her concerns to Randwick Mayor Philipa Veitch at the event.

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