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Rabbi unleashes on MP’s Hitler comment

Written by on May 10, 2024

A rabbi has called out a Labor MP in Western Australia for “appalling” comments he made comparing a parliamentary colleague to Adolf Hitler.

WA Liberal leader Libby Mettam had spoken out against a bill that would make it easier to change gender on a birth certificate and said her party would ban the use of puberty blockers to children under the age of 16.

Labor MP Stuart Aubrey told parliament that like Hitler was to the Jews, Ms Mettam was to the trans community of WA.

“Infamous world leaders have found ways to blame marginalised sections of society for the suffering of the masses, using mass communication methods to spread propaganda, lies and fear and using politics of fear and division in an attempt to overthrow democracies and convince people to vote against their better interests,” he said.

“People like Trump and the Mexicans, Hitler and the Jewish, Abbott and the boat people, Morrison and trans athletes, Dutton and Indigenous Australians, Hanson and Asians, Indigenous Australians and basically all minorities, and the Leader of the Liberal Party, Libby Mettam, and the trans community of WA.”

Rabbi David Freilich said the comments were “totally appalling”.

“I lost most of my family during the Holocaust and making those comparisons was very offensive,” he said.

“Comparing situations to one of the most atrocious and vile things to take place against humanity trivialises the enormity the Holocaust had against Jewish people and all of humanity.

“Whenever a politician uses that comparison, I get very offended and it hurts me deeply.

“It doesn’t just hurt me, it hurts many people in the Jewish community and beyond who lost whole families.”

Rabbi Freilich said he was surprised a politician would choose to make those comments.

“The Jewish community throughout Australia would be horrified by such a comparison,” he said.

Rabbi Freilich said he was bipartisan and his reaction had nothing to do with politics but was a matter of morality, calling for the Labor MP to apologise.

“I have nothing personal against the politician himself, it is just what he said that is totally offensive,” he said.

Speaking on 6PR, Ms Mettam said she was more concerned about the offence and trauma these comparisons had on the Jewish community.

“It is certainly hard to understand how you can conflate a debate about the provision of puberty blockers for children in WA and the murder of six million Jews,” she said.

Premier Roger Cook said Mr Aubrey used very clumsy language in the context of an extremely personal and difficult debate in parliament, but that was no excuse.

But according to the Premier, Mr Aubrey has already apologised for his comment.

“I’m pleased that he has done the right thing and apologised unreservedly to WA’s Jewish community for any offence caused,” he said.

“It is my understanding that apology has been accepted.

“I agree with Rabbi Freilich in that everyone should educate themselves about WWII and the horrors of the Holocaust.

“People around the world remembering the horrendous consequences of the Holocaust is key to ensuring such events are never repeated.

“That’s incredibly important and why the WA Labor government has helped fund planning, design and construction of a Holocaust Museum and Jewish Community Centre in Mount Lawley.”

Mr Aubrey has been contacted for comment.

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