Adler ‘doesn’t represent anybody’

Adler ‘doesn’t represent anybody’

Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus has labelled comments made by David Adler as 'disgraceful', adding the AJA president is 'entirely self-appointed'.

AJA president David Adler. 
Photo: Facebook
AJA president David Adler. Photo: Facebook

Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus has labelled comments made by Australian Jewish Association (AJA) president David Adler regarding broadcaster Stan Grant and politician Lidia Thorpe – who are both Indigenous Australians – as “disgraceful”.

Adler tweeted a photo montage of Grant in May with the caption, “Stan Grant’s complexion seems to have changed. Look at the 3 pics. Can anyone explain?”

In March he tweeted, “Is Stan Grant doing ‘black face’? If so, why?”

Also in March, he posted on social media of Senator Thorpe, “What % Aboriginal are you? You appear quite white.

“Not so sure she’s Blak (or Black).”

Asked by ABC Radio on Tuesday morning for his view on the comments, Dreyfus said, “I make the point to your listeners that Mr Adler doesn’t represent anybody. He’s entirely self-appointed.

“The No campaign needs to stop using disinformation and dissociate itself from the kind of hateful, revolting material that we’ve seen from people like Mr David Adler.”

Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council national chairman Mark Leibler, a prominent Indigenous rights activist who co-chaired the Referendum Council, said that due to the AJA’s “misleading name”, it is very important for people within the Jewish community, but also people outside the Jewish community, to “understand that this organisation and this person, they do not speak for us”.

“They do not communicate what, in any sense of the term, can be regarded as Jewish values,” Leibler said.

“Some of the things that Adler has said are frankly nothing short of horrific.”

Executive Council of Australian Jewry co-CEO Peter Wertheim said Adler’s comments “are wrong, offensive and bigoted, and indicate that he lacks the same sensitivity to other forms of racism that he has for antisemitism”.

“These comments do not in any way represent or reflect the views of the mainstream Jewish community in Australia. They are contrary to Jewish values, and the teaching ‘That which is hateful to you, do not do to others’,” Wertheim said.

“Despite its misleadingly generic name, the Australian Jewish Association is a private group led by a small number of unelected people promoting marginal, ideologically-blinkered views. The Executive Council of Australian Jewry has been the peak, representative body of the Australian Jewish community since 1944.”

Adler told Fairfax on Monday, “I am 100 per cent zero racism. I have Aboriginal friends, the most prominent being [Nyunggai] Warren Mundine, and you’ll see photos of me with him.”

Mundine distanced himself from Adler in comments made to Fairfax on Tuesday.

Adler did not respond to the The AJN’s request for comment. However he tweeted on Tuesday, “Both these people have put race as central to their political statements. So raising questions, even uncomfortable non PC questions, is legitimate, not racist.”

He also called the first Fairfax report “a trashy distorted hit piece”.

read more: