SYDNEY, Australia (Oct. 20)
Australian Jewish leaders criticized a prominent opposition politician for comparing the former Australian policy of removing Aboriginal children from their families to the Holocaust.
Daryl Melham, the Australian Labor Party’s spokesman on Aboriginal affairs, recently made the analogy during discussion on the government’s treatment of Aborigines.
Diane Shteinman, president of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, said in an interview that “the analogy is factually wrong, unhelpful and will confuse, in the public mind, genocide with other moral wrongs.”
She also said, “Australian Jewry is in the forefront of public calls for social justice for indigenous Australians and we are unambiguous in our condemnation of the inhuman treatment of Aborigines and Islanders.”
Sen. John Herron, minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, called Melham’s comments part of a campaign against the government based on the “language of hate.”
Herron added that the practice in the past of removing Aboriginal children from their families was “appalling.”