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    Malcolm Fraser (1930-2015)

    malcolm_fr_m1877743Rabbi Raymond Apple, emeritus rabbi of the Great Synagogue, Sydney, said today* from Jerusalem that Malcolm Fraser’s attitude to Israel had given Australian Jews some concern. Fraser was not rehabilitated in the eyes of the Australian public until well into his retirement, and it took until a decade ago for him to agree to address the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies.

    “Over my many years in public life,” said Rabbi Apple, “I never found Fraser to be very warm or approachable. In my case I suspect that he kept himself deliberately aloof because I had made some public reference to his Jewish family connections. Nonetheless, he was a towering though controversial figure in Australian political history and had a number of Jewish friends.”

    * On the occasion of Malcolm Fraser’s passing, 20 March 2015.

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