“Disgusting comments” Leibler responds to Adler report

August 15, 2023 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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The Sydney Morning Herald has reported that the Australian Jewish Association president David Adler has posted photos of former Q&A host Stan Grant implying that his ‘COMPLEXION SEEMS TO HAVE CHANGED’.

AJA President Dr David Adler

The SMH also published that in March 2022,  Adler posted on social media asking politician Lidia Thorpe: “What % Aboriginal are you? You appear quite white. Not so sure she’s Blak (or Black).”

Adler is a serious advocate for the NO campaign ahead of The Voice referendum and is associated with the right-wing group Advance..

He has been openly critical of the major Australian Jewish organisations that mostly support the Yes campaign.

Australia/Israel and Jewish Affairs Council chairman Mark Leibler told the SMH  Adler had recently used anti-Semitic tropes to delegitimise support for the Voice expressed by several Jewish groups.

He told the SMH: “The notion that someone who leads a so-called ‘Jewish organisation’ could post such disgusting comments about anyone from another minority group, in this case, the highly regarded journalist and author Stan Grant, is nothing short of grotesque.

While the Jewish community is already well aware that the views of this fringe organisation and its president are utterly incompatible with Jewish values, this latest revelation should make it clear to the broader Australian community that Adler is simply an unrepresentative extremist.”

The Executive Council of Australian Jewry co-CEO Peter Wertheim has told J-Wire: “The comments reportedly made by Mr Adler are wrong, offensive and bigoted, and indicate that he lacks the same sensitivity to other forms of racism that he has for antisemitism.

These comments do not in any way represent or reflect the views of the mainstream Jewish community in Australia. They are contrary to Jewish values, and the teaching “That which is hateful to you, do not do to others”.

Despite its misleadingly generic name, the Australian Jewish Association is a private group led by a small number of unelected people promoting marginal, ideologically-blinkered views.

The Executive Council of Australian Jewry has been the peak, representative body of the Australian Jewish community since 1944. In June this year, ECAJ elected councillors voted overwhelmingly to support a Yes vote at the upcoming Referendum, while also recognising there are a range of views in the Australian Jewish community on this issue. However, there is no room, within that range of views, for racism or bigotry of any kind.”

The SMH Adler said he would not apologise for his comments and said he could not recall the remarks about Thorpe.

In the meantime, on her ABC program, Virginia Trioli asked Attorney General Mark Dreyfus: “The Australian Jewish Association head David Adler, who’s a key figure in the No campaign, in one of the organisations campaigning for a No vote, it’s called Advance. He’s made comments that he’s been caught out about, about Stan Grant and about independent senator Lidia Thorpe, about the colour of their skin and questioning their Aboriginality. He’s responded saying that he wasn’t trying to insult them, but these comments, and I won’t quote them, are pretty disgusting. Your thoughts on this as, also, as a prominent figure in the Jewish community yourself?”

The Attorney-General responded: Well, it’s disgraceful. And I make the point to your listeners that Mr Adler doesn’t represent anybody. He’s entirely self-appointed. The No campaign needs to dissociate itself from the kind of hateful, and I have to say to anti-Semitic material that Mr Adler has used. We’re seeing increasingly hysterical misinformation from the No campaign. Mr Dutton needs to start dissociating himself from this kind of material. I heard my Parliamentary colleague, the former Liberal frontbencher Julian Leeser, saying just this morning that the No campaign wants to talk about everything but the actual proposal. The Yes campaign is talking about what the proposal actually is, which is a simple and significant change to our Constitution which is about recognition and listening. So, let’s try and get this whole campaign back on something like an even keel. The No campaign needs to stop using disinformation and dissociate itself from the kind of hateful, revolting material that we’ve seen from people like Mr David Adler.”


2 Responses to ““Disgusting comments” Leibler responds to Adler report”
  1. Naomi Be says:

    NOT every jew agrees with the “Yes” vote.. please do not patronise us.. we have individual opinions and do not vote like sheep in a flock.. Each is entitled to their own opinion, jewish or not!
    As for Stan Grant and Ms Thorpe,although the reference to skin colour is quite stupid- The fact remains that neighter Mr Grant nor Ms Trioli are Israel friendly , so to call them “highly regarded” would beg the question : “by whom?”
    It is shameful to call someone an ‘extremist’ just because they do not agree with the opinion of the chairman of Australian jewry!
    The ACAJ do NOT represent ALL OF US!

  2. Moishe ben Zorach says:

    Your campaign against David Adler and the Australian Jewish Association is patently unfair. I am not a member of the association but I find its principles exemplary. I am Jewish and politically conservative. The AJA doesn’t speak for or represent me, nor does J-Wire. But all lawful views of the community should be able to be expressed without fear or intimidation. Your article shows no evdience that Mr Adler actually said the things he was purported to have said, and of course provides no context. I don’t know Dr Adler personally but to my knowledge he has never shown racism towards any one or group. I think you should give him and the Australian Jewish Association a good Aussie fair go!

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