Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council

Pauline Hanson “has declared war on tolerance”, say Jeremy Jones and Colin Rubenstein

YOU ARE IN: Home Page

"Racism and bigotry is always unacceptable, and it is additionally repugnant when espoused by an elected member of parliament," Jeremy Jones AM, Director of International and of Community Affairs of the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council said today.

"Even before votes have been tallied, Pauline Hanson has, in effect, declared war on Australian tolerance, community harmony and social cohesion, and her bigotry should be exposed for the evil which it is," Jones, who was awarded the Australian Human Rights Medal in 2007, added.

"When Executive Council of Australian Jewry President, I successfully complained about One Nation's Queensland Branch's breach of anti-racism law, but even if One Nation activists had never promoted antisemitism we would be just as concerned with its return to political life", he concluded.

Dr Colin Rubenstein AM, AIJAC's Executive Director, said: "One Nation's contemptible vilification and demonization of Islam, Muslims, Asians and other minority groups must be repudiated. While One Nation has destructively exploited the apprehension of a number of Australians, the incoming government and parliament must be resolute in confronting racism in all its guises. It must strengthen community harmony and security and demonstrate an understanding of the real challenges our society confronts and develop an ability to address and overcome them."

"It is not surprising, for example, that Pauline Hanson opposes protection of Australians from vilification and harassment, and her re-emergence in national politics yet again reinforces the value of these protections," he said.

"We must not allow her to once again open the floodgates of hatred and empower malicious, racist elements, nor should she be allowed to masquerade as a voice of ordinary, civic-minded, decent Australians," he concluded.