Watch your rhetoric

March 24, 2015 by J-Wire News Service
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The Executive Council of Australian Jewry has stated its position on the use of rhetoric invoking the Nazi Party.

President Robert Goot

President Robert Goot

Following statements made by the Prime Minister for which he has apologised, the ECAJ has stated: “Whilst hyperbole is to be expected in any free-flowing political discussion in Australia’s robust democracy, special care is needed to avoid comparing any Australian political leaders or members of parliament to Nazi leaders or comparing any political party in Australia to the former Nazi party in Germany.   There is, thankfully, nothing in Australia’s history and experience that is even remotely comparable to the unique evil and horror of the Hitler period in Germany and Europe.    Similarly, Holocaust denial, which is about vilifying Jews and has nothing to do with a discussion of history or ideas, ought not to be likened to points of view on other issues which do not entail racial vilification.

Executive Director Peter Wertheim

Executive Director Peter Wertheim

“Regrettably, the use of inappropriate analogies with Nazism has crept into political discourse in Australia with increasing frequency.  This has the effect of trivialising Nazi totalitarianism, particularly in the thinking of younger people who have no personal point of entry into understanding the realities of life under the Nazi jackboot.

“For this reason our organisation some years ago adopted an express policy against inappropriate Holocaust rhetoric (see http://www.ecaj.org.au/ under ‘ECAJ Platform’).  The ECAJ: recognised that the Holocaust, the Nazi program of genocide, was a unique historical event; noted that the Holocaust is generally recognised as the benchmark of the most extreme case of human evil; and deplored the inappropriate use of analogies to the Nazi Genocide in Australian public debate.  We extend this to the inappropriate use of analogies to Nazi tyranny in Australian politics.

“The ECAJ is concerned whenever political or community leaders or the media resort to rhetoric that is less disciplined on this subject than it should be. In particular we seek to discourage the use of imprecise analogies with the Nazi regime and its barbarous ideology, policies and practices.”

 

Comments

6 Responses to “Watch your rhetoric”
  1. Eleonora Mostert says:

    If waddles like a duck….
    if it quacks like a duck….
    if it looks like a duck…. it’s probably a duck.
    When people refer to other people as to like them to Nazi’s it’s probably because they are behaving like Nazi’s.

  2. Jett Rucker says:

    It would much improve (all of) our environment if Jews would JUST QUIT trying to make Nazism, the Holocaust, and all the rest of that their private preserve.

    PLEASE try to just shut up with such complaints, and try a little harder to be more like the rest of us. Yes, we KNOW you’re NOT just like the rest of us, and we’re all very careful how we acknowledge that fact, but . . .

    HERE, at least, you might try a little harder to blend in. The more you don’t, the greater danger you expose yourselves to.

    • Erica Edelman says:

      “Try to be just like the rest of US?” Do you mean YOU? Who would want to be like YOU? Rude, arrogant, obstreperous and UN-empathetic. Your crude assessment reminds me that you should never assume anything about anyone UNLESS you have stood in their shoes. Shall we Juxtapose the word JEWS with Aboriginals, blacks or other non-whites? And tell them not to be so sensitive about all the ghastly things that have happened to them across the centuries? I think not. No, the likes of people like you make US think that your racism is showing through your sheer uneducated, bigoted veneer. You need a SERIOUS history lesson. And a lesson in community mindedness. No wonder we have so many wars across our precious earth. Your gutless summation of the situation disgusts me.

  3. Erica Edelman says:

    “objectionable step”, Geoff????

  4. Geoff Bloch says:

    Your statement that “we seek to discourage the use of imprecise analogies with the Nazi regime and its barbarous ideology” is laudable, so long as you don’t take the further objectionable step of lobbying the government to render the use of such imprecise analogies unlawful.

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