Australian Jewish leader condemns senator's speech calling for 'final solution'

Fraser Anning appealed for a ban on Muslim and non-English speaking migrants


Jewish leaders in Australia have condemned a senator for invoking the phrase “final solution” in a speech calling for immigration curbs in the country.

Queensland Senator Fraser Anning caused a furore with his maiden speech after he appealed for a ban on Muslim and non-English speaking migrants and a return to a “white Christian Australia”.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten, the  leader of the opposition, led the condemnation of his remarks.

The phrase “the final solution” was coined in Nazi Germany for its plans to annihilate Jewry before and during the Second World War.

“Regardless of his intentions, Senator Anning’s choice of words would have been deeply unsettling for Jewish Australians, especially Holocaust survivors,” Anton Block, the president of The Executive Council of Australian Jewry, told the JC.

“For them the words “final solution” in reference to an ‘alien’ group are a chilling reminder of how the process of dehumanisation begins.

“They know from personal experience where it can end.  Senator Anning should have been aware of this history. 

“It has long been the ECAJ’s position that prospective migrants to Australia should be assessed on their individual merits, and not according to their skin colour, ethnicity or religion.”

Mr Anning belongs to the minor crossbench Katter’s Australian Party, which polled 0.54 per cent of the total votes for the House of Representatives in the 2016 election.

He was previously a member of the right-wing One Nation Party, whose leader Paula Hanson who called his speech “straight from Goebbels’ handbook from Nazi Germany.”

But KAP leader Bob Katter defended Mr Anning, his sole member in the upper chamber of Australia’s parliament, and the senator has refused to apologise.

In the speech, Mr Anning said that not all Muslims are terrorists but all terrorists are Muslims.

The reaction to Anning’s speech created a bipartisan atmosphere rarely seen in Australia’s parliament, as the Prime Minister and opposition leader stretched their arms across the wide table separating them in the chamber and shook hands.

Mr Turnbull responded by saying “the vast majority of the victims of Islamist terrorism are Muslims”.

“The days of the White Australia policy are long, long ago and our success is founded on our commitment to a shared national identity committed to those political values which unite us all.”

“The reference to the ‘final solution’ in that speech was appalling. We condemn that and the insult it offered to the memory of those Jewish martyrs, just as we condemn the racism, a shocking rejection of the Australian values that have made us the successful multicultural nation that we are today.”

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