Sparks fly on Q&A

August 28, 2018 by J-Wire Newsdesk
Read on for article

On ABC-TV’s Q&A last night one of the panelists, MP Bob Katter, was asked a question about the reason for his support for the call by Senator Fraser Anning for “a final solution to the immigration problem” in his maiden speech…and answered it by reading out a statement written by Melbourne’s Avi Yemini which Katter said “reflects the Jewish position in this country”. No it does not says The Executive Council of Australian Jewry.

Anton Block

ECAJ president Anton Block released a statement in which he said: “Senator Anning was calling for a popular vote on the issue, but his use of the words “final solution” in that context was widely condemned, including by our organisation, which described it as “a chilling reminder of how the process of dehumanisation begins”.

 

The opinions of Mr Yemini which were read out by Mr Katter most certainly do not reflect “the Jewish position in this country”.

Mr Yemini is in no way associated with the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, which is the elected national representative body of the Australian Jewish community, or with the Jewish Community Council of Victoria, which is the roof body representing the Jewish community in Victoria, or with any other elected Jewish communal roof body or representative organisation, and he does not in any way represent the Australian Jewish community, or any State Jewish community or mainstream Jewish thought.

Contrary to the assertions of Mr Yemini, the use of the expression “final solution” by Senator Anning, and his positive references to Australia’s former White Australia policy, were as repugnant to the vast majority of Jews in Australia, especially to Jewish survivors of the Holocaust and their descendants, as they were to the vast majority of Australians generally. It was heartening to see the rare cross-partisan consensus in condemning those aspects of Senator Anning’s speech.

We deeply regret that Mr Katter, who is well disposed towards the Jewish community, chose to highlight Mr Yemini’s views and to attribute them to the Jewish community.”

Avi Yemini

Avi Yemini responded to the ECAJ statement telling J-Wire:

1. I never claimed or suggested to speak for or on behalf of the Jewish community in Australia.

2. The Executive Council of Australian Jewry is a self-appointed body which is not elected by the wider Jewish community.  They only speak for themselves.  

3.  I am happy to meet Mr Block for a public debate on this or any topic of his choosing, followed by a public vote to determine whether his or my views are more widely reflected in the Australian Jewish community.

Comments

9 Responses to “Sparks fly on Q&A”
  1. Lynda Hynes says:

    The full transcript of Anning’s speech can be found here: https://www.xyz.net.au/senator-fraser-annings-maiden-speech-full-transcript/

    Whether you agree with what he said or not, it’s quite obvious that there was no malicious intent.

  2. Lynda Hynes says:

    As one who has uttered spectacular mistakes all through my life, I forgive Fraser Anning. If I thought his speech had the intention of persecution or genocide of Muslim immigrants, I would be very disappointed in him, but I see no such intention in his wording. It was just a poor choice of words: nothing more.

    The full speech is hard to find: I find censorship and witch hunts FAR more disturbing than Anning’s speech. I finally found it here: https://www.xyz.net.au/senator-fraser-annings-maiden-speech-full-transcript/

    “…The final solution to the immigration problem is, of course, a popular vote. We don’t need a plebiscite to cut immigration numbers; we just need a government that is willing to institute a sustainable population policy, end Australian-job-stealing 457 visas and make student visas conditional on foreign students returning to the country they came from…”

  3. Cassie says:

    “The opinions of Mr Yemini which were read out by Mr Katter most certainly do not reflect “the Jewish position in this country”.”

    Mr Block doesn’t represent me. In fact Mr Block insults me particularly his statement “the Jewish position in this country”. How demeaning. Seriously though, perhaps it’s time that Anton Block, ECAJ, the NSW Board of Deputies and other communal organisations woke up from their elitist slumber and started representing and reflecting real views in the community rather than parroting contrived leftist views that seems to suit their narrative. And as for Senator Anning, whilst it was a poor choice of words, it doesn’t take away from the fact that Senator Anning has been steadfast in his support for Israel and the Jewish community, support that is missing from the left. Also, there is a serious need in this country for a discussion about immigration without being smeared as racist and so on. So I’ll take Senator Anning any day over the Labor party, over the ABC and over Fairfax, organisations that regularly promote and sprout anti-Semitism in the guise of anti-Zionism and regularly give platforms to extremist Muslims. So good on Avi Yemeni for speaking up and good on Bob Katter for quoting Avi.

  4. Adrian Jackson says:

    I dont agree with Sen Anning, Sen Katter or Avi Yemini but who says groups like ECAJ and a dozen others represent the views of the bulk of the Jewish community either?

    Most political and community groups in Australia have a relatively small membership and often many of the same people are in many similar groups.

  5. Stiofán Mac Suibhne says:

    It’s somewhere on the repugnant – bad taste spectrum to be using the Final Solution as a rhetorical device in a political debate on immigration. For me it’s way beyond bad taste and it can’t be excused as a stylistic faux-pas. It’s simply a term that is too laden with meaning. However I share some of Avi Yemini’s sentiments, the irony is not lost that some of the louder voices signalling their disgust also seem to be committed to the destabilisation, and ultimately the destruction, of the State of Israel. Only the most naive or malevolent can believe this would not end in mass murder of 100,000s of Jews living in Israel.

  6. Ralf Schumann says:

    The word Bob Katter chose was ‘reflect’, not ‘represent’. Avi’s published views on this particular issue may well reflect the views of a large or the larger section of the community, even without holding any position on a self-appointed body claiming to represent the Jewish community. All you need to do is ask.

  7. Michael Burd says:

    Senator Annings poor choice of expression was unfortunate and as was suggested to him he should of made an immediate apology directed solely at the Jewish community for any hurt . Senator Anning with a history of support for the Jewish community and in particular Israel is certainly no anti Semite and notwithstanding the offensive term has been used in parliament before similarly in other contexts we do expect our politicians to be be a little more aware of history and language.

    Neither Avi Yemeni or Mr Block,s ECAJ represent the Jewish community as a whole no one body including the hard left JCCV does our community is not monolithic on most issues including Israel , multiculturalism and immigration. However I wish to make two points

    1. The hypocrisy of Mr Block for not making the same fuss including a public media statement condemning unequivocally NSW labor Muslim MP Shaoquett Moselmanes outrageous anti semitism directed at NSWJBD Vic Alhadeff and the Jewish multicultural media awards boycott both blatant with malice and not out of ignorance similar to Senator Anning is a case of selective outrage , even The Australian newspaper noticed this hypocrisy in their cut and paste column

    I would suggest to Mr Block for some consistency and and a little less grandstanding.

    2. We do need to look at our immigration policy in particular the mix which directly effects the Jewish community, we hope the new Morrison / Frydenberg liberal government takes heed of what is happening in Europe ,uk ,Scandinavia , Victoria and Sydney and move the liberal party back to its core conservative values which includes safety for the besieged Jewish community.

    These are my own personal views ( if that is permissible in our community nowadays )

  8. siobhann Brown says:

    AVI YEMINI! need we say anymore? I Think NOT 🙂

    • Adrian Jackson says:

      Avi comes across as a bit of a dill like some of the others on the Q&A panel from time to time. A small minority of comments on this website are weird too.

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