Frydenberg calls for an apology for Nazi slur on Dutton

March 29, 2018 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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Senior cabinet minister Josh Frydenberg has called an apology on behalf of Home Minister Peter Dutton from high profile lawyer Julian Burnside who retweeted an image depicting Peter Dutton as a Nazi.

Peter Dutton

Burnside’s personal statement on the tweet said of Peter Dutton: “…is the most powerful MP in Australia and arguably the least scrupulous. He acts as if the right of human beings are irrelevant, unless they happen to be in his electorate.”

The retweet showed Mr Dutton in a Nazi uniform wearing an officer’s cap showing a skull emblem.

At a media doorstep the Minister for Resources, Energy and Northern Australia Josh Frydenberg said:  “Julian Burnside depicting Peter Dutton as a Nazi was despicable, was disgusting, and it was deeply offensive. He should know better.

He not only should apologise to Peter Dutton, he should apologise to the Jewish community and the community at large.”

The original tweet called the Home Minister ‘Herr Peter Dutton’.

Josh Frydenberg told J-Wire: “The Greens are equally culpable. Referring to Dutton as a fascist, racist and neo Nazi and Jim Molan as a war criminal they have been consumed by their anger and desensitised to the meaning of their words. They show acute insensitivity and an appalling ignorance of history. They should know better.”

Josh Frydenberg

Barrister Julian Burnside has been involved in advocacy on behalf of asylum-seekers on Nauru and Manus Island.

The Australian reported that the Home Affairs Minister hit back at Mr Burnside and called his tweet “disgusting”.

“I hope Mr Burnside is able to apologise to the Jewish community,” Mr Dutton said.

Mr Burnside told The Australian this week that he was not comparing the government’s refugee policies to Nazi Germany.

“However it is important to recognise that the Nazi regime spent years generating in the German community a hatred and fear of Jews, without which the Holocaust would not have been possible,” he said.

“Peter Dutton is not doing things equivalent to the unspeakable acts which we call the Holocaust; but he is cultivating a climate of fear and hatred of some (I emphasise some) refugees.”

Mr Burnside “congratulated” Australia’s Jewish community for their support of refugees but did not apologise to them or Mr Dutton.

Julian Burnside

“Presumably it suits Peter Dutton for arguments like this to break out, driving a wedge between advocates who broadly agree with each other,” he said.

“I retweeted the image because I regard Peter Dutton as a dangerous force in Australian politics. His strategies should be alarmingly familiar to the ADC (Anti-Defamation Commission).

“The Jewish community in Australia is to be congratulated for its strong advocacy in favour of decent treatment of people seeking asylum. And no wonder: they understand better than most what can happen if fear and hatred are allowed to govern the way people are treated.”

The Executive Council of Australian Jewry co-ceo Peter Wertheim said: “In a tweet in March 2015 Julian Burnside berated the then Prime Minister Tony Abbott for comparing Opposition Leader Bill Shorten to the Nazi Propaganda Minister, Josef Goebbels.

Now Mr Burnside has descended to the same level by retweeting a message depicting Minister Peter Dutton in a Nazi uniform, complete with the infamous “Totenkopf”(Death’s head) badge, and indulging in some childish name-calling by giving him the German title “Herr”.  One expects political debate about  asylum seekers to be robust and forthright, but it is a disgrace for a publicly-known figure like Julian Burnside to republish a trivialisation of genocide.

He should withdraw the comment and apologise immediately. “

Dr Colin Rubenstein, executive director of The Australia/Israel and Jewish Affairs Council added: “”It comes as a real shock that Julian Burnside QC, a human rights lawyer, would endorse and distribute the comparison of an Australian minister in a democratically elected government with a uniformed Nazi.

“The Nazi regime was responsible for the murder of six million Jewish people, as well as hundreds of thousands of Roma, Jehovah’s Witnesses, people with disabilities and gay men. To equate an Australian Government Minister, whatever one’s criticisms of his policy stances, with a Nazi triviliazes and diminishes the suffering of the victims of Nazism, and is both deeply offensive and morally irresponsible.At the minimum, he owes Peter Dutton a genuine apology”




2 Responses to “Frydenberg calls for an apology for Nazi slur on Dutton”
  1. Diana Reynolds says:

    Irrespective of whether or not Julian Burnside QC apologises to Peter Dutton, the Jewish community, the Roma, Jehovah’s Witnesses, people with disabilities,gay men and women, and all those brave men and women who fought and died in the name of freedom, Burnside has succeeded in casting a deep and lasting slur on the legal profession with his departure from any sense of objectivity and humanity.

  2. Eion Isaac says:

    The Refugee Policy of the Australian government can be described as harsh but how can one compare with Nazism or classgenocide of the savage so called communist regimes .
    A shocking comparison for an educated “intelligent” person exemplifying “tweet psychomania”
    Australian takes in people of many races and cultures and is multicultural .
    In some electorates more than a hundred languages are spoken .
    There are tensions great worrying tensions and wild irrational statements and Burnside’s diatribes exemplify the problem.

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