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    Pauline Hanson – Ask the Rabbi

    Q. Why do you think Hansonism is racist?

    Pauline_HansonA. Pauline Hanson espouses populist and simplistic views that appeal to some who fear the advent and anxiety of change. They make no attempt to come to grips with the complex issues – political, social, economic or psychological – of modern living. But what makes Hansonism racist is its selectivity as to which types of Australian are more truly Australian. The irony is that those who feel most threatened are the indigenous Australians who were here before any of us.

    The implication that there are superior and inferior Australians is an echo of the Nazi ideology that led to such tragedy. One might have thought no-one would take such nonsense seriously any more, but it is obvious we need to redouble our guard.

    Religion cannot have a bar of such ideas. The Bible begins (Gen. 1:27) with the statement that God created man in His image – every man. The prophets say, “Have we not all one Father? Has not one God created us all?” (Malachi 2:10). They add, “‘Are you not like the children of the Ethiopians to Me, O children of Israel?’ says the Lord” (Amos 9:7). The Mishnah says history began with God creating just one Adam, not two or more, so that no one could claim, “My father was greater than your father!” (Sanhedrin 4:5).

    That different races are all entitled to dignity and respect is borne out by Rashi’s commentary on the fact that Moses married a Kushite woman; Kushite, he says, has the g’matria of yefat mar’eh – of beautiful appearance (Numbers 12: 1). No human being or group is inherently better or worse; no Australian is inherently superior or inferior; each have their own contribution to make to society, and society must consider and provide for the needs of them all.

    If Hansonist philosophies would make any group feel they ought to be packing their bags, then we are all equally threatened… and before long Australia would be empty and barren.

    (Pauline Hanson was an Australian Member of Parliament in the 1990s who criticised, amongst other things, government spending on Aborigines, Aboriginal land rights, and the migration of Asians to Australia.)

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