Freyer inspired by her Jewish heritage

Freyer said her family has a close connection to Israel and she remains a "consistent defender of Israel's right to defend itself..."

Karen Freyer.
Karen Freyer.

Vaucluse independent candidate Karen Freyer says she is inspired by her Jewish heritage and, if elected, has vowed to work with Jewish organisations to help stamp out antisemitism.

“Even though I’m not technically Jewish – my mother never converted – I’ve ironically experienced antisemitism because, like my father, I have blonde hair and blue eyes, people assume I’m not Jewish and share with me horrible antisemitic comments,” Freyer told The AJN.

“I am the child and the grandchild of Holocaust survivors and the trauma of the genocide has affected my life. I grew up hearing the stories of how my grandparents lived under floorboards throughout the war, starving. How my great-aunt, a concert pianist, survived the war by playing piano in a concentration camp. She would hide the numbers tattooed on her arm by wearing large bangles. How my father, with his blond hair and blue eyes, was ‘adopted’ by a Catholic farming family who pretended he was their son.”

Freyer said her family has a close connection to Israel and she remains a “consistent defender of Israel’s right to defend itself and its people from terrorist attacks and aggression from Hamas in Gaza”.

As for her decision to run as an independent candidate, Freyer said an independent “has the power to genuinely represent the community”.

“Unbeholden to big donors, industry lobbyists or political factions, I can bring the voices of Vaucluse directly to the State Parliament. Free from any obligation to toe the party line, I will effectively represent residents’ values and concerns – whether by introducing new legislation, raising issues for debate, or ramping up public pressure on the government of the day.”

Freyer has pledged to be guided by the community she represents if elected, with her policy priorities determined by community consultation.

As a mother of two young boys, Freyer is determined to ensure every child feels safe at school and is concerned by reports of rising antisemitic incidents in academic institutions.

“Fighting antisemitism is more important than ever,” she said.

“The last survivors are passing away. And for many of our young people, the events of the Holocaust seem to belong to a far away and distant past. Some have never even heard of it.

“Remembering the Shoah is our shared responsibility. Holocaust survivors overcame their need to forget and they spoke about the unspeakable – to prevent history from repeating itself.

“It is impressive how they continue to reach out to young people despite their age. Their stories are a testimonial to the immeasurable strength of the Jewish people. Their power of endurance. Their will to survive. We must continue to tell their stories.”

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