Opposition to multiculturalism in Australia and the Jewish response
Australian Jewry, now just one ethnic group among many in a “multicultural” society, remains, as Rubinstein observes, “one of the best organised Diaspora communities in the world and is frequently at the forefront of ethnic and multicultural affairs in Australia.”[i] The one-time editorial committee member of the Australian Jewish Democrat, Miriam Faine, got right to the heart of the Jewish support for large-scale non-White immigration and multiculturalism when she noted that: “The strengthening of multicultural or diverse Australia is also our most effective insurance policy against anti-Semitism. The day Australia has a Chinese Australian Governor General I would be more confident of my freedom to live as a Jewish Australian.”[ii] Comments like these make it clear that Jewish promotion of non-White immigration and multiculturalism has been first and foremost a form or ethnic strategizing (or ethnic warfare) concerned with preventing the development of a mass movement of anti-Semitism in Australia and other Western societies.
It is, therefore, not surprising that Australian Jewry has reacted aggressively to any manifestation of White ethnocentrism or opposition to multiculturalism from among the White Australian population. Markus notes that: “The post-Holocaust generation [of Australian Jews] has been acutely aware that any public manifestation of bigotry and racism, whoever the immediate target, has the potential to impact across society, on all minorities, however defined.”[iii] He further observes that “Changes occurred in Australian society in the last decade of the twentieth century, which heightened the significance of multiculturalism for the Jewish community and for the wider society.”[iv]
Conservative commentator John Stone recalls that by the mid-1980s support for Australia’s immigration program was increasingly “qualified by growing doubts about the increasingly contrived use of that program to remake Australia in a politically-correct ‘multiculturalist’ image.” The then Leader of the Opposition, John Howard, when asked by a journalist in 1988 whether the sharply increased rate of Asian immigration was too high, had replied: “I am not in favour of going back to the White Australia policy. I believe that, if it is in the eyes some in the community… too great, it would be in our immediate term interest and supportive of social cohesion if it were slowed down a little, so that the capacity of the community to absorb [it] was greater.” For having expressed even such mild a criticism of Australia’s immigration program, Howard was assailed by all sections of the liberal elite with his arguments about “social cohesion” being seen as a smokescreen for “racism.” Under sustained attack, Howard backed down in humiliating fashion.
The first genuine challenge to the politically correct consensus (of bipartisan support for non-racially discriminatory immigration and multiculturalism) was the emergence of Pauline Hanson and her One Nation Party in the 1990s. Hanson was unexpectedly elected as the member for the previously safe Labor electorate of Oxley in the state of Queensland in 1996. In her maiden speech to parliament she launched a strong attack on official multicultural policies, stating that:
Immigration and multiculturalism are issues that this government is trying to address, but for far too long ordinary Australians have been kept out of any debate by the major parties. I and most Australians want our immigration policy radically reviewed and that of multiculturalism abolished. I believe we are in danger of being swamped by Asians. Between 1984 and 1995, 40% of all migrants coming into this country were of Asian origin. They have their own culture and religion, form ghettos and do not assimilate. Of course, I will be called racist but, if I can invite whom I want into my home, then I should have the right to have a say in who comes into my country. A truly multicultural country can never be strong or united. The world is full of failed and tragic examples, ranging from Ireland to Bosnia to Africa and, closer to home, Papua New Guinea. America and Great Britain are currently paying the price. Arthur Calwell was a great Australian and Labor leader, and it is a pity that there are not men of his stature sitting on the opposition benches today. Arthur Calwell said: Japan, India, Burma, Ceylon and every new African nation are fiercely anti-White and anti one another. Do we want or need any of these people here? I am one red-blooded Australian who says no and who speaks for 90% of Australians. I have no hesitation in echoing the words of Arthur Calwell.
Her speech created a nation-wide sensation. Despite frantic efforts to paint her as an evil racist, her electoral popularity soared. The subsequent formation of Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Party swiftly led to success in the June 1998 Queensland election. John Stone notes that:
Standing for the first time after having been cobbled together only six months earlier, and handicapped by hastily chosen candidates, inadequate financing and a hopeless administrative machine, One Nation nevertheless recorded 22.7 per cent of the formal votes cast. This exceeded both the Liberal Party vote (16.1 per cent) and the National Party vote (15.2 per cent). One Nation won eleven seats in the new Parliament, while the Liberals and Nationals each lost six seats. Although Labor lost no seats, its share of the votes shrank from 42.9 per cent in 1995 to 38.9 per cent. Remarkably, the election also saw the highest voter turnout (92.9 per cent) for a state election since 1966, and the lowest rate of informal voting (only 1.5 per cent) since 1960. It seems fair to surmise that the advent of Hanson “energised” many voters who had previously either deliberately voted informal or not at all.[v]
Here was clear evidence that a large segment of the European-derived population of Australia had come to the realization that they were being ill-served by mass non-White immigration and multiculturalism – policies they had, incidentally, never supported in the first place. Andrew Markus notes how Hanson’s “campaign evoked widespread condemnation within the Jewish community and calls for mobilisation to challenge the growing influence of her movement. Concern was at its peak following the success of One Nation in the 1998 Queensland election, which opened the prospect of a One Nation dominated Senate.”[vi] In response to Hanson, more than thirty Jewish organizations signed a statement denouncing “racism,” and supported the formation of a new Jewish activist front group called “People for Racial Equality.” Jewish leaders vehemently opposed to the Hanson movement included the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, and the Australia/Israel and Jewish Affairs Council led by its then national chairman Mark Leibler. The “People for Racial Equality” campaign aggressively targeted political parties and politicians, demanding they put One Nation last on their “how to vote cards,” as well as individual voters, urging them all to put One Nation last under Australia’s system of preferential voting.
As in the United States, individuals and groups who challenge the politically correct consensus of open door immigration and multiculturalism in Australia are “regularly monitored by the Jewish media and the B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation Commission” – the Australian equivalent of the ADL.[vii] In an effort to shame and intimidate Hanson’s supporters, the B’nai B’rith obtained a list of the 2000 people associated with the One Nation Party and had it published in the Australia/Israel Review under the headline “Gotcha! One Nation’s Secret Membership List.”[viii] In keeping with the tactics of organized Jewry throughout the Western world, the attempt by Hanson and her supporters to ensure that White Australia retained demographic, political and cultural control of Australia was represented as racist, immoral, and indicative of psychiatric disorder.
Central to the Jewish response to One Nation, notes Markus, “was repugnance at public expressions of bigotry and a sense that while the focus of the Hanson movement was not on Australian Jews, it would not be long before they were targeted.”[ix] A leading critic of One Nation was the former judge Marcus Einfeld, who at the time was an executive member of the New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies, and a Councilor on the Executive Council of Australian Jewry. Einfeld, who was stood down as a judge in disgrace when convicted and imprisoned for perjury and attempting to pervert the course of justice in 2009, made a speech immediately following the success of One Nation in the 1998 Queensland election, in which he declared:
We must never allow society to forget that the train of racism and other forms of discrimination never stops at the first station. It may be indigenous black people and Australian’s of Asian origin today. It takes little to imagine who will not be far behind. Even though the Jewish community has not felt the real brunt of the recent rise in racial vilification, we must nevertheless be extremely concerned. The Jewish community should not underestimate the valuable role which it can play in combating racism in this country. Some of us saw first-hand the tragic results of the use of racism to make scapegoats out of people; many others of us have had close personal contact with people who survived the attempt to murder every Jew in the world. We are strongly aware that simplistic responses to economic and social problems do not provide any real solutions at all, but if anything, only lead to even deeper tragedy. But we also know what happens when the train is nevertheless permitted to go on and on down its track unhindered, even if only because people think the train is going nowhere and can be ignored. Regrettably, that attitude is a recipe for incalculable harm and damage to the very fabric of society.[x]
It is no surprise, then, that Australian Jewish organizations have also been leading the push to criminalize thoughts that question the multicultural utopia toward which Australia is supposedly headed:
Andrew Fraser, a former professor of public law at Macquarie University in Sydney, was brought before the Australian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission because he had written a letter published in a newspaper suggesting that “once black African colonies in Australia grow in size and in confidence, one can reasonably expect a number of social problems and rising levels of crime and violence.” In his comments before the Commission, Fraser noted that the charges against him by an African had actually been instigated by “several organized Jewish groups that boast openly of the campaign they have organized against me,”citing articles in Jewish newspapers. Fraser wrote that Jewish individuals and organizations had acted “to further their shared ethnic interest in the growth of a multi-racial society in Australia.” (See here)
The next significant manifestation of resistance to multiculturalism from White Australia occurred in December 2005 when there was confrontation between young White Australians and Muslim migrants in the Sydney suburb of Cronulla. In what were termed “race riots,” a large crowd of White Australians confronted and in some cases set upon some Middle-eastern men. The attack followed several years of offensive behavior by (mainly Lebanese) Muslims towards Australian women on the beach there, and conspicuous failure by the local police to deal with the ensuing complaints. Later that day a convoy of cars carrying young Muslim men from the Lebanese areas of Sydney converged on the Cronulla area, smashing windows, damaging parked cars, and viciously assaulting innocent bystanders, male and female. While a few of the Australian offenders were later prosecuted, the Muslims got away scot-free.[xi]
The establishment of a significant Muslim population in Australia, and the extremely ingrained anti-Western tendencies apparent in this group, starkly illustrates Kevin MacDonald’s point that many of the immigrants to the West “bear a strong resemblance to the collectivist, anti-assimilatory tendencies present in Jewish culture” and that these new migrant populations “are similarly unable or unwilling to accept the fundamental premises of a universalistic, culturally homogeneous, individualistic society.”[xii] Andrew Markus acknowledges that Muslim alienation in Australia cannot be explained “simply in terms of failures within Australian society and government. Radicals within the Muslim community reject secular and pluralist institutions. They present a major problem for Australian society – one that is magnified by Muslim-Jewish relations.”[xiii]
In the interpretation of Jewish academic Dan Goldberg, during the Cronulla incident, “Gangs of White supremacists locked horns with disgruntled Muslim youths, waging war over Australia’s most quintessential patch of the land: the beach.” For Goldberg, “Cronulla was stark reminder to Australians that under the surface lies a bubbling brew or racism and xenophobia. If the Bali bombings brought terror virtually to our backyard, then the Cronulla riots brought the underbelly of the Australian racism to our doorstep.” The Cronulla riots were, for Goldberg, enough “to raise an eyebrow at best, and miss a heartbeat at worst, for any Australian Jew. For these two opposing gangs shared at least one common thread – hatred of the Jews. The fear, which was fortunately unfounded, was that these youths could turn on us.”[xiv]
Despite the perceived threat to Jews represented by both sides of the Cronulla conflict, in the words of Konrad Kwiet, a Jewish professor at the University of Sydney: “What happened in Cronulla is a great example of what racism can do,” and accordingly, “If today’s minorities or groups in society are being targeted for defamation, discrimination or even genocide, Jews, in my view, need to support them not denounce them. It is an obligation of Jews to support them.”[xv] Jewish writer Peta Jones-Pellach likewise argues that Australian Jews should support the Muslim minority in any conflict with White Australia, arguing that “We recognise that our ongoing harmonious acceptance into the Australian community depends on forging bonds with the increasing numbers of non-Jewish Australians who might be our theological opponents or even our enemies.”[xvi] For the Jewish historian Suzanne Rutland, the Cronulla riots evoked parallels with “the anti-Jewish refugee hysteria that manifested itself in the late 1930s and 1940s.”[xvii]
Jewish support for Multiculturalism – despite the disadvantages
Andrew Markus notes that: “From the Jewish perspective there are two interlinked reasons for continuing engagement with multiculturalism. The first is the imperative to work to make the world better, to repair and heal [tikkun olum]. The second is self-interest. As repeatedly demonstrated through history, the erecting of barriers and the ending of dialogue acts as a poison. Leaders of the Jewish community recognized this danger with the advent of the Hanson movement. The same danger is in evidence in hostility towards Muslim Australians.”[xviii] Rubinstein likewise notes that “Thus far, any serious questioning of multiculturalism has not resulted in an anti-Semitic backlash; nevertheless, the Jewish community would certainly be exceedingly disturbed by any basic reversal of the commitment to multiculturalism by successive governments.”[xix]
While acting as the architects and leading proponents of a “Holocaust-proof” multicultural Australia, Jews have been careful to genetically segregate themselves from this new mongrelized society of their own creation. Referring to Australian Jews, Goldberg notes that
we have, to a large degree, segregated our children from multicultural Australia through our exclusive Jewish school network (which has, however, been an effective bulwark in the battle against assimilation), and have been forced to segregate ourselves by building security walls and fences around our institutions. This apparent segregation, both free-willed and forced, does not appear to blend neatly with the notion of multiculturalism, but in modern-day Australia our melting pot may be becoming less of a melange and more of a mix of virtually self-sufficient, independent ethnic and religious parts.[xx]
The supposed benefits to Australian Jewry that multiculturalism has bestowed – most notably the diminished threat of the emergence of a mass movement of anti-Semitism from White Australians – is seen as having far outweighed any negative effects of mass non-White immigration such as the fact that “Some Australian Jews fear that migrants arriving from Muslim countries will contribute to anti-Semitic currents in Australia, inflame extremist groups and pose a threat to the relative peace they currently enjoy.” For Marcus Einfeld, any such concerns are overshadowed by the need to ensure the “door [is] held open to the refugee and migrant.”[xxi]
The rise of Islamic anti-Semitism in the West reveals a paradoxical element of the overwhelming Jewish support for multiculturalism; an element which resulted in the emergence and growth in Jewish support for neoconservatism. MacDonald notes that “Although multiculturalist ideology was invented by Jewish intellectuals to rationalize the continuation of separatism and minority-group ethnocentrism in a modern Western state, several of the recent instantiations of multiculturalism may eventually produce a monster with negative consequences for Judaism.”[xxii] Australian Jews like Dan Goldberg recognize the danger, noting that:
Herein lies an underlying tension that exists in the psyche of Australian Jews in the new millennium: on the one hand understanding the fundamental wrong in tarring all Muslims with the same extremist brush; on the other hand feeling great unease in showing support for Muslims, some of whose brothers are waging jihad against Israel and the Jews. … Many Australian Jews are therefore caught between these tides, ostensibly supportive of minority rights but cognizant of the fact that among the Muslim community are radical elements who seek our destruction. [xxiii]
The establishment of various Third World immigrant communities in Australia, and their mutual embrace of “multiculturalism” as a doctrine benefiting them, has had negative consequences for Australian Jewry. Among these low-IQ groups who struggle to compete with White people, multiculturalism “has been quickly identified with the idea that each group ought to receive a proportional measure of economic and cultural success.”
Andrew Markus acknowledges this, noting that “through the promise of positive discrimination to overcome disadvantage, more an issue in the 1980s than the 1970s, there was the prospect of relative loss for those [like Australia’s Jews] who had achieved success.”[xxv] Despite this, Jews see themselves as longer-term beneficiaries of policies explicitly designed to dilute the power of the European-derived majority. MacDonald notes that “the mainstream Jewish attitude about a non-White future: It presents problems, but the problems are manageable if the organized Jewish community makes alliances with the looming non-White majority.”
Australian Jewry has therefore sought to make alliances with the various immigrant groups in opposition to the White majority, including Aborigines (discussed in Part 5) and Muslims. Attempts to form a political coalition with Australian Muslims date from the earliest days of Australian multiculturalism. Australian Jews sought Muslim support for the enactment of the racial discrimination legislation recommended by the Lippmann-chaired Committee on Community Relations in the mid-1970s. In the years since, Jews have repeatedly sought the support of the Muslim community in lobbying for various multicultural policies, including those relating to “access to government services, recourse for victims of discrimination, and protection from harassment” (see here). According to the Jeremy Jones, the director of international and community affairs of the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council, “the relationship between Australian Jews and Muslims has developed positively over the past decade.” Nevertheless, he believes that “maintaining the momentum will require leadership and determination, but there are good grounds for optimism given the network of relations and shared fruitful experiences in contemporary multicultural Australia.”
Clearly, Australian Jewry believes that, despite the threat to Jews represented by the strong anti-Jewish sentiment in growing sections of the Australian Islamic community, the relationship is basically manageable in the longer-term.
The support of Australian Jews for multiculturalism, despite its various disadvantages, sits hypocritically alongside a staunch Zionism and an overwhelming support among Australian Jews for Australia’s military involvement in the disastrous wars in the Middle East. The man who agreed to Australia’s shameful involvement in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, former Prime Minister John Howard (1996-2007), probably even exceeded Bob Hawke in his philo-Semitism and devotion to Israel. Dan Goldberg, the editor of the National Jewish News, observed in 2006 that:
From his first encounter with Jews, as a nineteen-year-old at the Sydney law firm of Myer Rosenblum, Howard has, especially over the last decade, cemented his alliance with the Jews, and has arguably eclipsed even the great Bob Hawke as the most pro-Israel prime minister in Australian history. Most of his empathy is a function of his foreign policy, pivoted on the US alliance, which translates in the Middle East arena to unequivocal support for Israel, regardless of which prime minister is in power in Jerusalem. Of course, Australia’s role in the war in Iraq was no doubt seen by most Australian Jews as yet another significant milestone in the long history of relations between Canberra and Jerusalem.
It is no coincidence therefore that Howard has received major awards from three Jewish community organisations in the last couple of years. It is also no coincidence that he speaks regularly to Jewish audiences, and that he is closely allied with a clutch of Jewish powerbrokers. … Understandably, most Jews were in favour of eliminating Saddam Hussein and his regime if only because he bankrolled families of Palestinian suicide bombers to the tune of US$25,000 each, not to mention the fact that it would neutralise the threat to Israel’s eastern flank. The fact that Australian SAS forces took out Saddam’s stockpile of Scuds aimed at Tel Aviv in the early hours of the war only augmented the bond between Canberra and Jerusalem.[xxvii]
As in the United States, Jewish money exerts a dominating influence over Australian politics, which practically guarantees broad political support for putting the Australian Defense Forces (and Australian taxpayers) to the service of an ethno-nationalist state in which Australia has no economic or strategic interest. Goldberg notes that “The annual report of the Australian Electoral Commission always includes Jewish names and Jewish-owned companies donating large sums to both sides of politics.”[xxviii] Jewish wealth (and therefore political power) is, in proportional terms, almost as pronounced as in the United States. Goldberg writes that: “So great has our success been, we are sometimes envied to the point of hatred for our rags to riches successes. This, unfortunately, fuels stereotypes and breeds hostility.”[xxix]
The wealthy Jewish property developer Morry Schwarz has bankrolled the intellectual Left in Australia for years, and his publishing company Black Inc. has become a key part of the media infrastructure of the pro-multicultural intellectual establishment. Schwartz’s Quarterly Essay and The Monthly magazine have been called “the most powerful left-wing voices in Australia.” Despite this, and the central role of Walter Lippmann in forging Australian multiculturalism (see Part 3), the Jewish historian Suzanne Rutland claims it is a “myth” that “Australian Jews influence public policy through their wealth and business connections.”[xxx] Of course, the reality is that, as in the United States and Britain, Jews exert enough power and influence to ensure that both major political parties never stray off the reservation on issues of importance to Jews.
Go to Part 5.
Einfeld, M. (2006) ‘We Too Have Been Strangers: Jews and the Refugee Struggle,’ In: New Under the Sun – Jewish Australians on Religion, Politics & Culture, Ed. Michael Fagenblat, Melanie Landau & Nathan Wolski, Black Inc., Melbourne. pp. 305-315.
Goldberg, D. (2006) ‘After 9/11: The Psyche of Australian Jews,’ In: New Under the Sun – Jewish Australians on Religion, Politics & Culture, Ed. Michael Fagenblat, Melanie Landau & Nathan Wolski, Black Inc., Melbourne. pp. 140-152.
Jones Pellach, P. (2006) ‘Interfaith Dialogue and the State of Israel,’ In: New Under the Sun – Jewish Australians on Religion, Politics & Culture, Ed. Michael Fagenblat, Melanie Landau & Nathan Wolski, Black Inc., Melbourne. pp. 130-139.
Jupp, J. (2002) From White Australia to Woomera – The Story of Australian Immigration, Cambridge University Press, Melbourne.
MacDonald, K. B. (1998/2001) The Culture of Critique: An Evolutionary Analysis of Jewish Involvement in Twentieth‑Century Intellectual and Political Movements, Westport, CT: Praeger. Revised Paperback edition, 2001, Bloomington, IN: 1stbooks Library.
Markus, A. (2006) ‘Multiculturalism and the Jews,’ In: New Under the Sun – Jewish Australians on Religion, Politics & Culture, Ed. Michael Fagenblat, Melanie Landau & Nathan Wolski, Black Inc., Melbourne. pp. 93-107.
Rubinstein, W.D. (1991) The Jews in Australia – A Thematic History, Volume 2: 1945 to the Present, William Heinemann, Melbourne.
Rubinstein, W.D. (1995) Judaism in Australia, Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra.
Rutland, S. (2006) ‘Why Does Australian Jewish History Matter?,’ In: New Under the Sun – Jewish Australians on Religion, Politics & Culture, Ed. Michael Fagenblat, Melanie Landau & Nathan Wolski, Black Inc., Melbourne. pp. 293-304.
Stone, J. (2009) ‘Immigration and Citizenship,’ In: The Howard Era, Ed. Keith Windschuttle, David Martin Jones & Ray Evans, Quadrant
[i] Rubinstein 195 p. 7
[ii] MacDonald p. 303
[iii] Markus p. 106
[iv] Ibid. p. 106
[v] Stone p. 397-398
[vi] Markus p. 99
[vii] Jupp p. 126
[viii] MacDonald p. 303
[ix] Markus p. 99-100
[x] Ibid. p. 100
[xi] Stone p. 400-401
[xii] MacDonald p. 229
[xiii] Markus p. 102
[xiv] Goldberg p. 143
[xv] Markus p. 106
[xvi] Jones Pellach p. 139
[xvii] Rutland p. 299
[xviii] Markus p. 106
[xix] W.D. Rubinstein p. 476
[xx] Goldberg p. 152
[xxi] Einfeld p. 311 & 314
[xxii] MacDonald p. 313
[xxiii] Goldberg p. 145 & 146
[xxiv] MacDonald p. 312-313
[xxv] Markus p. 98
[xxvi] MacDonald p. 316
[xxvii] Goldberg p. 146-147 & 149
[xxviii] Ibid. p. 151
[xxix] Ibid. p. 150
[xxx] Rutland p. 157