Counter-Protest in Support of Newtown Max Brenner
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Counter-Protest in Support of Newtown Max Brenner

Counter-Protest in Support of Newtown Max Brenner

Last Friday, the Max Brenner franchise in Newtown was forced to temporarily close shop by pro-Palestinian groups from the University of Sydney.

However last night, the same Max Brenner hosted demonstrators of a different kind.  A supportive campaign begun by the Sydney University Liberal Club kicked off last night with a number of chocolate-lovers descending on the Newtown store at around 8pm.

Dean Shachar, one of those participating in the counter-protest said “Max Brenner is a business which is to be celebrated and enjoyed. It’s a prime example of the positive contribution Israel makes to the West.”

Posting photos on social media with captions such as “#backingbrenner”, “#tasteoffreedom” and “#noboycott”; these loyal patrons were determined to see the wheels of commerce continue to turn in this staple of student life.


The business, famous for its signature chocolate licks and tutti frutti waffles, caused offence to Sydney University’s recently radicalised Socialist Alternative. On Friday 1st of August, patrons escaping the latest cold turn with a hot chocolate were interrupted by shouts of “Down with Israel” and “Israel is a terrorist state” until the protesters continued up King Street shouting “kill, kill, Israel”.

Distressed by this seemingly misplaced and vindictive attack, supporters of Max Brenner decided a show of support was needed.  However the online counter-campaign has not been universally well received.  USU Board Director, Edward McMahon made some damning claims.

ed mcmahon


The Newtown store is not the first Max Brenner which has drawn the ire of campus socialists. Taylor Gramoski, President of the UNSW Liberal Club, was another participant in the counter-protest. He noted that “the establishment of Max Brenner at UNSW began with controversy but it has since become a popular café for students. It’s a shame that these violent protestors can’t see it for what it is: a place that sells chocolate and brings people together”.

Political Affairs Director for the Australasian Union of Jewish Students, Matthew Lesh, has questioned the efficacy of the Socialists’ original protest considering the consequent supportive campaign.

It’s clear that the original Socialist protest has raised questions in a lot of people’s minds as to the victimisation of Jewish/Israeli businesses in Australia and other Western democracies as a result of anti-Israeli sentiment. The counter-protest shows there is not insignificant support for both Israel and chocolate at Sydney University.

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