On the ABC Q&A program (Aug 27th) the host Tony Jones asked Bob Katter MP why he gave 1,000% support to a speech by Fraser Anning that talked about a “final solution” in relation to the issue of Muslim immigration . Bob Katter in his response referred to remarks made by the right-wing Jewish activist Avi Yemini.
Time’s up on that. Time’s up. But just before we move on, people who have known you for a very long time were shocked to hear you give “1,000%” support to a speech that talked about a “final solution” in the context of Muslim immigration. Can you explain why you gave 1,000% support to a speech that talked about a “final solution”?
I will let Avi Yemeni have the last say. He can answer the question. “As Australia’s proudest Jew, I’m sickened because, once again, the perpetually outraged are up in arms about something they care nothing about. They’re using the pain and suffering of my community, the horrors of the Holocaust that my grandparents escaped, to push their agenda. Many of those that are pushing that narrative hate Jews. In fact, The Islamic Council, etc, etc… Fraser Anning has done more for the Jewish community and Israel than most of those who are outraged have done in their entire careers.”
This has provoked a media release by the Executive Council of Australian Jewry:
Statement by Anton Block, President of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry
28 August 2018
Comment by the Hon Bob Katter MP on Q &A program
On the Q & A program on ABC TV on 27 August 2018, one of the panelists, the Hon
Bob Katter MP, was asked a question about the reason for his support for the call by
Senator Fraser Anning for “a final solution to the immigration problem” in his maiden
speech. Senator Anning was calling for a popular vote on the issue, but his use of the
words “final solution” in that context was widely condemned, including by our
organisation, which described it as “a chilling reminder of how the process of
In seeking to justify his defence of Senator Anning’s speech, Mr Katter read out a
supporting statement by a lone member of the Jewish community, a Mr Avi Yemini of
Melbourne, who regularly publishes radical right-wing views on his social media page.
Mr Katter then concluded: “That reflects the Jewish position in this country”.
The opinions of Mr Yemini which were read out by Mr Katter most certainly do not
reflect “the Jewish position in this country”.
Mr Yemini is in no way associated with the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, which
is the elected national representative body of the Australian Jewish community, or with
the Jewish Community Council of Victoria, which is the roof body representing the
Jewish community in Victoria, or with any other elected Jewish communal roof body or
representative organisation, and he does not in any way represent the Australian
Jewish community, or any State Jewish community or mainstream Jewish thought.
Contrary to the assertions of Mr Yemini, the use of the expression “final solution” by
Senator Anning, and his positive references to Australia’s former White Australia policy,
were as repugnant to the vast majority of Jews in Australia, especially to Jewish
survivors of the Holocaust and their descendants, as they were to the vast majority of Australians generally. It was heartening to see the rare cross-partisan consensus in
condemning those aspects of Senator Anning’s speech.
We deeply regret that Mr Katter, who is well disposed towards the Jewish community,
chose to highlight Mr Yemini’s views and to attribute them to the Jewish community.