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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 4 Hansard (31 March) . . Page.. 1466..


MR STEFANIAK (continuing):

Then Senator Mason said-in his words, not Pastor Niemoller's:

The last time we did not speak out-the last time that Europe allowed itself to freely demonise and dehumanise its Jewish population-was a prelude to the Holocaust. Sadly, today there still exists a significant constituency which wants to see Israel wiped off the map.

I have read some very disturbing facts in relation to anti-Semitism in France and rising anti-Semitism in Germany. I find rising anti-Semitism in Germany an abomination. That country has got much to answer for in what it did in World War II, to the Jews but also to a large number of others, such as Slavs.

Those are very disturbing details indeed, but I was particularly concerned to see the increase in Australia when we pride ourselves on tolerance and community harmony. I hope most people here respect the right of Israel to exist within secure boundaries and the right of its people to go about their business without the threat of being pushed into the sea and being exterminated.

There are a lot of moderate people in Israel and, indeed, in the Arab world who basically want to get on together. I do not think anti-Semitism helps one jot, and it is disturbing to see it on the rise in Europe in recent times. There is another quote from the French Ambassador to London, who made disparaging comments about Jewish people. All in all, that is very disturbing.

Anti-Semitism is a great scourge. It is one of the worst forms of racism, given the damage that was done to the Jewish people over many years, culminating in the Holocaust, and it is most disturbing to see it on the rise again. I hope that at least in Australia next year we will see a diminution of these gross and offensive attacks. I hope everyone in this Assembly condemns anti-Semitic acts, just as I do here today. I thank my friend Senator Brett Mason, with whom I had the pleasure of working in the DPP, for being a co-sponsor of this motion, together with his New South Wales Labor colleague Senator Stephens.

Anti-Semitism

Senator Ursula Stephens

MS MacDONALD (5.45): I thank Mr Stefaniak for bringing that motion of Senator Mason and Senator Stephens to the attention of the Assembly. Any rise in racist behaviour in Australia is a grave concern, which is why Harmony Day is so important. The main reason I wanted to rise was that, as a very good friend of Senator Ursula Stephens, I want to point out that Senator Ursula Stephens is actually a woman. I am sure that she would like everybody to know that she is a woman and that she is very concerned about the rise of anti-Semitism and racism in Australia and would like to see harmony and tolerance prevail within the country.

Ms Tracey Lianos

Bushfires-land management

MR PRATT (5.46): I rise to pick up on two issues. First of all, I want to congratulate


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