High-profile Melbourne barrister Julian Burnside says he “regrets” likening Israel to the Nazi regime in a Twitter post condemned by the Jewish community.
The former Greens candidate, who once represented some of the country’s wealthiest businessmen, has since deleted the post, in which he wrote the “treatment of the Palestinians looks horribly like the German treatment of the Jews during the Holocaust”.
But Dvir Abramovich, the chairman of the Anti-Defamation Commission, said Mr Burnside’s apology was “redefining the meaning of Chutzpah”.
“My suggestion to Burnside is that he stops going to the Holocaust playbook whenever he has criticism of Israeli policies and respect those who have suffered enough and do not deserve to be revictimised and retraumatised,” Dr Abramovich said.
“He has diluted and diminished his apology to the Holocaust survivors for earlier desecrating their memory and throwing dirt on their pain by retweeting a post that attacks people like myself who are actively fighting the hateful rhetoric of antisemitism and suggests that we are crying wolf.”
Mr Burnside’s Twitter post was related to a Washington Post article about a Human Rights Watch report into violations of international law during 11 days of fighting with Hamas militants.
Mr Burnside had been condemned by the Jewish community in 2018 after reposting an image showing Defence Minister Peter Dutton’s face superimposed on a Nazi officer in a uniform that included the “death’s head” emblem used by the SS unit responsible for concentration camps.