Malcolm Fraser: Community messages

March 23, 2015 by J-Wire News Service
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The Executive Council of Australian Jewry and The Australia/Israel and Jewish Affairs Council have issued statements following the death of former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser.

AIJAC logo 1ecaj logoPeter Wertheim, executive director of The Executive Council of Australian Jewry, writes: “For most of his life Malcolm Fraser was known as an uncompromising conservative of the centre-right who fiercely opposed the social and economic reforms introduced by the Labor government of Gough Whitlam in the early 1970’s.

Malcolm Fraser

Malcolm Fraser

Fraser played a key role in the dismissal of the Whitlam government and in the ensuing constitutional crisis, the worst political upheaval in Australia’ history.  He twice defeated Whitlam at the ballot box, in 1975 and 1977, and won a third election in 1980, but his government could not hold back the tide of reform, and was swept from office with the election of the Hawke Labor government in 1983.

Both Labor and Coalition governments have continued the processes of reform ever since.     In his declining years, Fraser became a late convert to some of the causes of the political left that he had previously eschewed.

He became a harsh critic of Israel and “the Israel lobby” in Australia and the US.  In one radio interview in 2014 he outlandishly singled out Australian Jews as having dual loyalties.

With that one notable exception, Fraser was a consistent and principled opponent of racism and a supporter of multiculturalism.

The last vestiges of the notorious White Australia policy were dismantled under his leadership and Vietnamese refugees arriving in Australia were treated humanely.  He was at the forefront of the international campaign that brought down apartheid in South Africa.  These policies played a pivotal role in establishing the prevailing cross-partisan consensus in Australia in favour of our multicultural society and against all manifestations of racism in Australian public life. “

Mark Leibler, Dr Colin Rubenstein and Jeremy Jones of AIJAC,wrote in a joint statement:

“The Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council mourns the passing of Malcolm Fraser, who gave many years of service to Australia, most notably as this country’s twenty-second Prime Minister (1975-1983).

He was an often controversial, even divisive political figure, but will be warmly remembered by us for his  pioneering commitment to  Australian multiculturalism, particularly  in founding  the Special Broadcasting Service  and enabling the immigration to Australia of more than  50,000 refugees from South East Asia , his concern for the needs and rights of Indigenous Australians and his principled  opposition to racism.

He was a patriotic, dedicated servant of the Australian people.

Our thoughts are with his family at this time.”


7 Responses to “Malcolm Fraser: Community messages”
  1. Lizzie Moore says:

    Hi Maxine I supported Community Aid abroad which became Oxfam, for about 20 years, until I found out what Oxfam’s position was on “Palestine”, a couple of years ago. I then had a great long rambling email from them, explaining their position – we had the impression they were amazed to be ditched.

  2. Geoff Seidner says:

    There are two unfortunate modi vivendi*** that we should eschew:

    Being outrageously respectful of the dead simply simply because they have ceased to exist.

    Deliberately distorting the actions of the demised.

    Instead the dictum of ‘ALL WE OWE THE DEAD IS THE TRUTH’ is commendable.

    Or – say NOTHING!

    Understand that politicians are innately incapable of doing this for reasons out of the realm of this brief note.
    But those blessed with a real – world understanding the life in question should have a natural aversion of humbug.

    *** modi vivendi. 1. A manner of living; a way of life

  3. Maxine Finberg says:

    Rabbi, your last sentence,” History teaches us that people of Jewish descent can be our worst enemies “, says it all. You are absolutely right, e.g. George Soros, Ed Milliband and countless others.

    • Rabbi Pinchos Woolstone says:

      Maxine, there were people of Jewish descent who even served in Hitler’s (yemach shemo) armies.
      There is a book on the topic by an American academic.

  4. Rabbi Pinchos Woolstone says:

    Fraser in his later years helped to bolster anti Israel sentiment in Australia.
    His statement that Jews in Australia have dual loyalties, was repugnant and linked him with the worst form of anti Semitism.
    History teaches us that people of Jewish descent can we our worst enemies.

  5. Rabbi Pinchos Woolstone says:

    social justice is a nefarious term used my those on the left, it is usually an oxymoron.
    The Arabs living in Judea and Samaria and even more so in Gaza are the victims of their own people, who have stolen aid money from them and have cynically let them rot in camps, the major Arab powers could have easily alleviated their suffering but never have; they would rather used them as a political tool to attack the credibility of the State of Israel.
    How many billions did Arafat and his ilk steal over the last 60 years.
    First let the Arab world categorically recognize Israel as the Jewish State then we can move forward.
    Warning, no one should hold their breathe on that occurring soon.

  6. Maxine Finberg says:

    I feel that Fraser was influenced by his daughter, Phoebe, in his later years. She was heavily involved in Oxfam or suchlike and therefore espoused “social justice ” for the underdog, in this case, the Palestinians.

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