Step 1: Senator Fraser Anning's 'final solution for immigration'
This article is not about whether I agree or disagree with the content of Senator Fraser Anning's maiden speech in the Australian Senate on 14 August 2018. That's for another time.
His speech can be read at: Full text: Senator Fraser Anning's maiden speech.
In my view, some news sources have fallen into the fake news' trap with making one phrase in Senator Anning's speech, the 'final solution for immigration', parallel to Hitler's 'final solution'.
The Guardian Australia reported that Anning 'didn't even think about' the historical connotations. His speech was taken 'completely out of context' and his remarks had 'nothing to do with' the Nazi party's Final Solution. Anning said: 'The fact is all I said was the final solution to the immigration problem is a vote of the Australian people…. I don't regret anything ... I'm not going to apologise or regret anything I say'.
Step 2: The 'final solution' beat up
Senator Pauline Hanson admitted on Q&A 'she didn't know what the term 'final solution' meant when Anning used it in the Senate. Bob Katter MP was absolutely clear in his support for Anning: He told Q&A Anning had 'absolutely no idea' that the term, 'final solution' described the genocide of the Jewish people in Europe. Katter said his Party was pro-Jewish and described the speech as 'absolutely magnificent'.
Step 3: False information spread
This is only a taste of what the media and MPs have been reported as saying.
Hype by MPs and Senators
Concerning Anning's 'final solution' statement:
- Former Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull: 'We reject, we condemn racism in any form, and the remarks by Senator Anning are justly condemned and rejected by us all'; it was a 'shocking insult' to the Jewish people;
- Bill Shorten, leader of the opposition, 'repugnant and disgraceful'.
- Senator Pauline Hanson said the speech was 'straight from Goebbels' handbook from Nazi Germany'.
- The energy and environment minister, Josh Frydenberg, a Jew, labelled the comments 'extremely ignorant' and 'hurtful, divisive and unacceptable'. He added in an interview with Channel 9 that Anning 'should not only retract his comments last night but he should also immediately go and visit a Holocaust museum ... and hear first hand from survivors how raw the pain is and hear about and see the destruction and devastation caused by the Nazi killing machine'.
- The leader of the Greens, Senator Di Natale: 'Referring to immigrants, particularly Muslim immigrants, with the same language that the Nazi's used to discuss the extermination of Europe's Jews during the Holocaust is vile, racist, bigoted and has no place in our society, let alone our parliament'.
Not all parliamentarians were against Anning's 'final solution for immigration' association with the Holocaust. Liberal Democrat Senator David Leyonhjelm called the response a 'ridiculous overreaction' to a phrase that could have 'multiple meanings'.
Huffing and puffing by the mass media
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