Several posters featuring the deputy leader of the Liberal Party in Australia, Josh Frydenberg, have been defaced in a suburb of Melbourne with the words “right-wing fascist” and references to Adolf Hitler.
Vandals armed with black markers drew a Hitler moustache and devil horns on Frydenberg’s face on posters displayed in Hawthorn. On other posters, Australia’s most prominent Jewish politician is seen with the words “Right Wing Facist” written across his forehead.
“Regardless of one’s political persuasion, vandalism is unacceptable,” Frydenberg said in a statement. “It’s one thing for these cowards to graffiti a sign, but it’s another thing altogether to invoke the horrors of the Holocaust and the evils of Hitler and the Nazis. These people should be ashamed of themselves.”
Frydenberg was first elected to federal parliament in 2010. In his maiden speech, he recalled the story of his family’s escape to Australia from Nazi-controlled Europe. His Hungarian mother, Erica Strausz, arrived in Australia in 1950 as a refugee, while his father, Harry, emigrated from Poland to Australia.
Executive Council of Australian Jewry co-chief executive Peter Wertheim strongly condemned the anti-Semitic attacks on Frydenberg.
“This is hardly the usual post-budget political commentary. It was despicable for whoever did this to latch on to the happenstance that the Treasurer is Jewish,” he said in a statement. “The classical antisemitic stereotype of Jews with horns growing out of their heads has been combined with the contemporary far-left trope depicting Jews as Nazis in order to portray the Treasurer as a ‘demonic Jew.’”
Anti-Defamation Commission chairman Dr. Dvir Abramovich also released a statement denouncing the vandalism.
“We decry in the strongest possible terms these actions for what they are: a cowardly and hateful attack on our democracy and on our values. It is sickening and chilling that seven decades after the Holocaust Jewish members of our community continue to be targeted by vilification and Nazi imagery,” he said.
[Photo: ABC News (Australia) / YouTube]