2 May 2022

Anti-Semitic corflute slurs referred to police

| Ian Bushnell
Join the conversation
41
Defaced Kim Rubenstein corflute

One of the defaced Kim Rubenstein corflutes. Photo: Supplied.

Anti-Semitic slurs pasted on two corflutes promoting Independent Senate candidate Kim Rubenstein have been referred to police.

The two printed pieces of paper say “Vote 1 Kosher Kim” with two yellow stars and “Shoah Your Support”.

The Jewish lawyer and academic said the words and images were hurtful to see.

“For those unaware, ‘Shoah’ is the Hebrew word for the Holocaust, and Jews were forced to wear yellow stars in Germany under the Nazis,” Professor Rubenstein said.

But it came as no surprise to Professor Rubenstein, who had been warned this could happen.

She said she had a thick skin but warned that Australians must be vigilant against any behaviour that seeks to vilify people for their religion, race, ethnicity, gender or sexuality.

“I will always defend freedom of speech and people’s right to their own opinion. But free speech can’t be a free pass for hatred. And with that freedom comes a responsibility to do so peacefully and respectfully,” she said.

“We can disagree without harming or belittling each other, and we can have our say without racist, bigoted attacks.”

The slurs come after right-wing lobby group Advance Australia faced criticism for its election signs suggesting another Senate Independent candidate, David Pocock, is a closet Green.

Professor Rubenstein said candidates should be able to make their points without resorting to misinformation and misleading political advertising – something there had been far too much of already this election campaign.

“Our multicultural democracy is only as strong as its defenders – its citizens. It is precious, but it is also fragile and we should never take it for granted,” she said.

“I’ll be out campaigning again today, fighting for unity over division and hope over fear.”

Greens candidate for Canberra, Tim Hollo, who is also Jewish and the grandchild of Holocaust survivors, said the defaced corflute reflected a deterioration in the political discourse.

“We should be appalled but should not pretend to be surprised by the disgusting anti-Semitic defacing of Kim Rubenstein’s signs,” Mr Hollo said.

“Racism has always infested our politics, of course, but in recent years the dog whistle has turned into a yell.

“When white supremacist slurs are used in parliament and hatred becomes an expected part of the discourse, we can’t be surprised that people feel empowered to do things like this.

“I know how much this hurts, and my heart goes out to Kim and her family, the whole Jewish community, and all others in our beautiful, diverse community whose lives are darkened by racism.”

Labor Member for Fenner Andrew Leigh and Senator Katy Gallagher condemned the defacing of the corflutes.

“There’s no place for hate in our community and I condemn the vile targeting of Kim Rubenstein’s corflutes,” Senator Gallagher said.

“Elections are about a contest of ideas — not personal attacks on those who put themselves forward.”

An ACT Policing spokesperson said that while the matter was reported to police, Professor Ms Rubenstein did not request for an investigation to proceed.

But the police spokesperson warned that racial vilification was a crime and the ACT’s laws sent a very clear message that such behaviour is not tolerated.

Those found guilty of the offence faced fines of up to $8,000.

“The AFP (including ACT Policing) continues to collaborate with candidates and the community to support a safe and secure 2022 Federal Election for all Parliamentarians and candidates,” the spokesperson said.

Police urge anyone who witnesses the defacing of election material to contact ACT Policing on 131 444.

 

Join the conversation

41
All Comments
  • All Comments
  • Website Comments
Latest

Too complicated to be the average Canberrian. Whom is the target audience?
Seems possible it could be a false flag to try and get a sympathy vote.

The initial look for many is just graffiti not sure many passing Jewish academic’s are really going to take must interest in this. However when explained which Kim and others have done draws in the vote….

HiddenDragon7:16 pm 03 May 22

Slightly surprising that the person or persons responsible for this, who were sufficiently well-organised to print-off this rubbish, complete with Stars of David, and sufficiently well-informed to be familiar with the term Shoah (which the average, garden variety bigot would never have heard of) were too stupid to realise how utterly counter-productive this would be.

The answer probably has something to do with misguided, one-eyed, tribal politics informed, as it too often is, by a crass, half-smart intelligence – as we saw recently with the jerks who thought it was oh so droll to make a Pulp Fiction reference to the shortened version of Senator Seselja’s given name.

Capital Retro7:55 am 03 May 22

Zed cops a lot of abuse on RiotACT because of his “extreme Catholic views”. No one seems to care so why is everyone getting offended about some religious slurs against a lefty candidate?

@CapitalRetro Zed has not copped ‘abuse on RiotACT because of his “extreme Catholic views”’. As another poster said, it’s criticism because he applies his religious dogma in his role as ‘Senator for the ACT’, consistently going against the majority view of Canberrans. As soon as Senator Kim Rubenstein attempts to introduce legislation that all new born males have to be circumcised I will join you in condemning her pushing of her own religios agenda. Until then how about having the decency (I know a big ask of you) to recognise that religious vilification purely for the sake of gaining a political advantage is abhorrent.

Why all the fuss now? Is it because she’s on the left side of politics – off course it is.

Current Liberal candidate Flinders Zoe McKenzie has had her car, placards and office defaced continuously including with the swastika. I haven’t heard the left wing biased ABC nor other outlets reporting this.

Remember all the profane graffiti about Tony Abbott in Sydney at his last election campaig?

Remember Nicole Flint, also in SA, at the last election campaign. Her office was continuously graffitied by Get Up people; she was continuously harangued and followed by them.

Remember who Get Up are? After they were mired in bullying claims by some of their volunteers, now have potentially emerged as Extinction Rebellion.

Typical Riotact bias, not reporting on, checks notes, similar graffiti in the seat of Flinders four years ago. Glad we have inspector morse on the case.

@inspmorse50 So what has happened interstate makes it OK for it to occur in ACT to a candidate most wouldn’t have even known what religion she is?

@Heavs OK so RiotACT (the ACT stands for Australian Capital Territory by the way) didn’t report on something that happened 4 years ago in the VICTORIAN seat of Flinders, you are saying it’s not accpetable for that same RiotACT to report on an ACT candidate who has recently been subjected to religious vilification? Have I got that right?

I’ll use sarcasm font next time to make it easier for you.

@Heavs — admonishment duly noted and accepted

Which party’s supporters would have the motivation to deface a candidate seen as being pro-Israel?
Which party was called out by the Jewish News for making anti-Israeli statements in Parliament?
Which party would see her as a rival for Green votes?

Haven’t seen a lot of graffiti and defacing this election. I did see a really clever painting of Clive Palmer in a bus stop on Hindmarsh the other week, it was promptly painted over – if only our local government was as quick to act with all graffiti!

I have seen a lot of defaced corflutes. Most of them belonging to Zed and United Australia Party, which makes me think that leftist activists are involved (damaging those corflutes).
I haven’t personally seen the damage to Kim Rubenstein’s corflutes, but it is disgusting.

As much as I dislike corflutes, they cost money and they are someone else’s property. To deface them, in any manner, is act by I suspect a small number of low-life individuals. Pathetically disgusting. It’s hardly a vote winner, destroying an opponent’s corflutes!

PS Who came up with the word like “corflute”?

Daily Digest

Want the best Canberra news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Riotact stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.