Australian lawmaker apologizes for Nazi analogy


SYDNEY, Australia (JTA) — An Australian legislator apologized to the Jewish community for suggesting that a political activist group was “the Hitler Youth wing” of a junior party in the Labor government.

Sen. Ian McDonald during a debate Nov. 3 on the carbon tax said that “GetUp! is the Hitler Youth wing of the Greens political movement, and I stand by that.”

Later, however, McDonald rose in the upper house to apologize to the Jewish community for the remark.

”I want to take this opportunity to unreservedly apologize for any offense taken by the remarks to the Jewish community,” he said.

Joshua Frydenberg, a federal Liberal Party lawmaker who is Jewish, said that “The use of Nazi analogies to make political points is inappropriate and offensive.”

Labor Parliament member Michael Danby, who also is Jewish, said it was "inappropriate and laughable" for MacDonald to make Nazi comparisons.

MacDonald’s Liberal Party leader, Tony Abbott, added that ”It is not language I would ever use. The senator has unreservedly apologized for the remark.”

Recommended from JTA