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In which the gas chambers are invoked to distract from dual citizenship. Yes. Really.

I planned on beginning this piece with: “The latest MP to fall foul of S44 in the current citizenship saga is Minister for Energy, Josh Frydenberg.”

However, two hours ago I heard that Alex Hawke has now come under scrutiny. Life comes at you fast when you’re a citizen blogger trying to keep up.

The possibility of Frydenberg holding dual citizenship was raised by The Australian, who must have it in for him for reasons I won’t attempt to deconstruct at the moment, except to say he’s a mate of Malcolm’s and Murdoch apparently is not.

Frydenberg responded with strong denials, producing an archival document in which his grandfather states that Josh’s mother, Erika, born in the Budapest ghetto and then aged about seven, was stateless when the family arrived in Australia from Hungary.

There are two more archived documents, one of which was written by Australian authorities when the family arrived at the port of Fremantle in 1950. This states the family is Hungarian, and that they travelled from Hungary on a valid passport. These documents can be seen in the first link at the top of this page.

The final document was issued by US authorities when the family was in transit. It describes Erika as a Hungarian transient, apparently the designation given to Jews by the Hungarian government at that time, and is on the left below.

 

It seems there are many questions surrounding these documents, given the period in which they were issued. However, for the purposes of establishing citizenship, Frydenberg must, like the other MPs, be referred to the High Court, with all the paperwork available to him.

What is remarkable in this case, however, is that Frydenberg and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull have sought to make Frydenberg’s citizenship status all about the Holocaust.

If you haven’t seen Turnbull’s morally degenerate, calculatedly over-dramatised efforts to deflect these citizenship concerns by invoking the gas chambers, please do watch this video. It is a lesson in spin, the like of which you are unlikely to see again anytime soon.

Frydenberg threw his mother, and his family under a bus in an abject and shameful attempt to save his job. There was absolutely no need to drag them through this revisitation of highly traumatic events. He simply had to take himself to the High Court like everyone else, and make his case.

Instead, he and Turnbull have run the line that it is highly offensive, and anti semitic, to even question Frydenberg’s eligibility for parliament, because his Jewish family fled Hungary and the threat of death in the gas chambers, and have suffered enough.

It’s astounding that Frydenberg and Turnbull should attempt to manipulate such overwhelming tragedy for profane political purposes. But they have. Why, one could well ask Frydenberg, did you bring your family into this at all, particularly your mother, when all you had to do was present yourself to the Court with your documents?

The other hideous irony to emerge from Turnbull’s video is that many of the points he makes about the treatment of Jews by the Nazis are absolutely applicable to the treatment he is himself inflicting upon refugees and asylum seekers on Manus Island and Nauru. As he attempts to destroy the 600 Manus men by denying them food, water, medicine, and the protection Australia owes them, and as he refuses to allow even 150 of them to be resettled in New Zealand, for no reason other than they might actually make a life there, the Chairman of the New Zealand Holocaust Centre drew these parallels:

We keep wondering how much worse Turnbull and the LNP government can get. And every time we wonder, they descend even deeper into a pit of moral and ethical slime.

But surely, you might well protest, using the gas chambers in an effort keep your job and hold onto government is going to take some beating.

But wait. There’s more. Genocide on Manus Island. There’s still that.

This article was originally published on No Place For Sheep.

 


34 comments

  1. babyjewels10

    Poor ole Malc! More faux outrage coming up, as desperation takes a stranglehold.

  2. Jaquix

    And since this was written, Alex Hawke, another LibMP, has been called out because his mother was born in Greece. Today Turnbull again refused NZ Jacinda offer to take 150 Manus refugees he has imprisoned for last 4 years. Saying wants to “focus on US offer”. What? Focus? The US came mobths ago, agreed to take 50, and disappeared!! .Turnbull could easily agree restrictions on Aus/NZ travel. But no. He is a absolute fraud, and yes, I’m putting him a terrorist same as Dutton. And as for that theatrical performance about the holocaust, was🍆Jennifer points out, he is doing exactly the same thing refusing to give these refugees any protection or future. I hope a great big karma bus is on the way to get him. Meantime, I will “focus” on my voodoo dolls.

  3. paul walter

    I will never forget Turnbull’s cowardly role in the attack on Palestinian Dr Hanan Ashrawi, awarded the Sydney Peace Prize back in the early 2000’s, unless it is to recall his grovel to Bibi last week.

    I suppose there is a simple explanation, somewhere.

  4. Terry2

    I posted this elsewhere on AIMN it explains some things but not why the holocaust got thrown into the mix :

    The Weekend Australian clarified its claims of Frydenberg possibly being a dual Hungarian citizen by descent on his mother’s side.
    Former Liberal MP Alex Somlyay (Liberal member of the Australian House of Representatives from March 1990 to August 2013), who was born in Hungary and travelled to Australia as a stateless refugee after the war, was alerted in the early 1990’s that he may be a dual citizen as the Hungarian government had legislated post-war to grant all expatriates, citizenship rights. At that time Somlyay wrote to the Hungarian Embassy and renounced those rights to avoid a section 44 conflict.
    So, Frydenberg just needs to do his homework as is the case with all parliamentarians whilst section 44 remains part of our constitutional law.

  5. Kaye Lee

    Re the Alex Hawke thing……

    Section 44 precludes any person who:
    (i) is under any acknowledgment of allegiance, obedience, or adherence to a foreign power, or is a subject or a citizen or entitled to the rights or privileges of a subject or a citizen of a foreign power

    Hawke is claiming that has not activated citizenship and is therefore not a citizen but he is entitled to rights conferred by the Greek government as a Greek national even if he is not officially recognised as having Greek citizenship.

    http://livingingreece.gr/2007/07/09/acquiring-greek-citizenship-by-foreign-nationals-of-greek-origin/

  6. Bruce

    Friesandaburger needs to be referred to the High Court.

    My reading of the scant legislation on this matter is that there is no legal delegation or legislative authority required to refer the matter to the High Court, however convention is that someone important needs to make the referral for the High Court to take any notice. My thinking is that a petition to the High Court with say 1,000 Australian Citizen signatures would be sufficient.

    I would ask Getup to do it but they are a bit under the pump. Is there anyone out there with an online presence and capacity to organise this. I am happy to help but am just a simple 60 year old.

    There would be a bit of flack but the truth needs to be out there, and not spurious grandstanding.

  7. Möbius Ecko

    I hope Alex Hawke goes and doesn’t get back into politics. In a very nasty bunch inhabiting the Liberals he’s right up there. A more intelligent Abbott but just as morally corrupt. Touted as a future leader of the party, you need only look at his time as leader in the Young Liberals and his actions in assisting with ousting moderate NSW Liberals during the Brogden/Debnam period to see what a nasty piece of work he is.

    The thought of him one day possibly being PM scares me.

    The Liberal Party certainly can scrape the scum to arise as members of their party.

  8. Steve

    Am I the only one who finds irony in the son of a Hungarian woman fleeing the gas chambers becoming the Minister of Energy..?

  9. Tony

    Relevance, Mr Prime Minister?

  10. diannaart

    Thank you Jennifer, for detailing the appalling Turnbull government’s continued hypocrisy where some refugees are more equal than others.

    Nothing more to say…. these people so disgust me.

  11. Andrew J. Smith

    Turnbull showed no sense of irony on treatment of Jews WWII and refugees in offshore camps; inspired by the same ideology.

    My understanding is that Frydenberg would need to actively apply for Hungarian citizenship, other rights not sure as nowadays they change regularly to attract descendants of Hungarian emigrees (ditto other nations in region) with declining population.

    Frydenberg would find it difficult avoiding at least word of mouth news of changes considering he lives and represents area of Melbourne (equal with Sydney) with large numbers of Hungarians and other Central Europeans both Jewish and Christian, and active Consulates.

    Personally I think this S44, made when it was British subjects loyalty to the Crown vs rest, should be changed as parliament, government and democracy will be challenged everytime there is a question on citizenship (this case NewsCorp).

    Finally, it does not reflect the times or Oz, as it’s becoming increasingly common to hold dual citizenship in more diverse and mobile younger generations, while Oz citizenship does not guarantee loyalty or ethics. I know many British who’ve taken Oz citizenship, yet their loyalties are still to UK (does not seem to bother many Australians) while dog whistling brown immigrants and describing Australians as stupid. These types are very privileged in Oz as the powers that be don’t ever highlight British, Irish or European immigrants for dog whistling and demonisation, wonder why?

  12. Kaye Lee

    Matthias Cormann said “the burden of proof is on those alleging a breach”. Perhaps he should tell that to Centrelink.

  13. metadatalata

    Nice one Jennifer and pertinent commentary Kaye.

    It’s probably not too early given the increasing rate of LNP polls haemorrhage to start working on Fizza’s political obituary. It really is going to be difficult to pick out of him and Abbott who is going to be the worst ever Australian Prime Minister but for sure the record is likely to stand for a very long time and both have their well-earned place at the top of the list.

    The good news is that because the Libs don’t have any members even remotely capable of governing for the people, there is basically no viable replacement once Fizza goes. And this is the dilemma facing the power brokers of their party. The whole lot of them have been falling over backwards breaking parliamentary rules, rorting expenses and privileges, back-stabbing, leaking and lying.

    It really is hard to keep up with it all.

  14. Matters Not

    Re:

    going to be difficult to pick out of him and Abbott who is going to be the worst ever Australian Prime

    Re Australia’s worst PM ever – how quickly we forget the reign of William McMahon.

  15. Möbius Ecko

    Matters Not, there has been more than one political commentator who has compared Turnbull to McMahon.

  16. Matters Not

    Seems to me that while an individual politician’s beliefs, intentions and the like might be commendable (or not), the crucial point hinges on the hard cold facts of whether the legal regime rules positively or otherwise.

    One should take Turnbull’s advice – let the High Court decide.. Until then Josh should stand aside.

    There is a way to change the Constitution but in relation to Section 44 I suspect that the average punter thinks the existing requirements are fair enough.

  17. Jennifer Wilson

    Frydenberg has another problem.
    As a Jew he is, like almost all Jews around the world and their spouses (even when non-Jewish) entitled to take advantage of Israel’s Law of Return. This means he is entitled to Israeli citizenship, no matter where he was born, unless he renounces that entitlement. This is another transgression of S.44

    I found out how to renounce Israeli citizenship in approx 60 seconds. So….
    Cheers, and thanks for your comments,
    Jennifer.

  18. Michael Taylor

    That’s the reason for all their limp excuses, Jennifer … they found it out in 60 seconds too.

  19. Matters Not

    Yes, there’s ethnic Jews and then there are religious Jews – sometimes by deliberate choice (conversion) and at other times by marriage (inheritance or association) and the like.

    So much to consider. Let the High Court perhaps decide?

  20. Oz

    Never pick on a ‘Poor Jewish Boy’ or there will be hell to pay, like a Terrorist Attack!

  21. Simon

    I remember a time (not that long ago) when Turnbull was popular and seen as a political outsider. Not any more. Now he’s just like the rest or worse than most.

    Will be interesting to see what happens when he hits 30 negative Newspolls.

    He’s now telling us Josh F has no s 44 problem, but I seem to remember him telling us that the HCA would hold Barnaby didn’t either.

    It’s nice the way he says the onus is on the accusers to show there’s a s 44 case against a parliamentarian and then that anyone who does so is on a witch hunt.

    I guess he just can’t face the thought of a refarral to the HCA that results in JF being disqualified.

    By the way, where is it in the Constitution or the common law that the onus is on an accuser to prove a s 44 case? Another legal misunderstanding by the former barrister?

  22. Kronomex

    Methinks Malky and the rest of his cronies are scared shitless about what an audit would find so it’s no wonder they’re doing this song and dance.

  23. Terry2

    Kronomex

    I think you are on the money. That’s probably why Trumble threw the holocaust red-herring into the mix, to muddy the waters and at all costs avoid any further referrals to the High Court.

  24. Keith

    The citizenship issue has nothing to do with commonsense or decency. Frydenberg’s citizenship has been questioned and needs to be assessed by the High Court. Taking an emotional view; rather than, a rational view, as pushed by Turnbull is no answer. Frydenberg’s family history is a terribly sad one, but does not excuse him from his situation being legally assessed.

  25. paul walter

    Seems to indicate how bereft of ammunition Turnbull has become that he needed to try to pull some thing as feeble as that Israel junket.
    And shame on the ABC for ramming such a confected antic so monotonously down the public’s throat while real news was again ignored.

  26. Michael Taylor

    He’s a desperate man, Paul. A desperate man.

  27. paul walter

    Rattled.

    Macbeth, Act 4 scene 1

    “:Macbeth shall never vanquished be until
    High Birnham Wood to high Dunsinane Hill
    Shall come against him”

  28. Steve

    Thank you for raising this. I was punching my steering wheel as I heard the sanctimonious speech by Turnbull and I could not have written this article without gross profanity.

  29. Kyran

    “The other hideous irony to emerge from Turnbull’s video is that many of the points he makes about the treatment of Jews by the Nazis are absolutely applicable to the treatment he is himself inflicting upon refugees and asylum seekers on Manus Island and Nauru.”

    The PNG Supreme Court has just rejected an application to restore basic services to the Manus detention centre.

    With respect, Ms Wilson, this has gone so far past irony, I could weep. These oxygen thieves occupying the rarefied space in Canberra, with their media entourage, will scream about their entitlement to privilege, whilst wilfully overseeing the denial of the most basic needs for those seeking no other right than to continue living.
    Amir Taghinia’s story erupted yesterday. He was the Iranian resettled in Canada from Manus LAST WEEK under the Community Support Program administered by Australia.

    https://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Refu/Offs/community-support-programme

    As Mr O’Connor, from the Refugee Council of Australia, said;
    “The Australian prime minister is saying: ‘We don’t want these refugees, but you can’t have them either,’” he said. “It’s an absolutely bizarre situation Prime Minister Turnbull has got himself into. New Zealand is prepared to take Australia’s refugees from Manus, caring members of the Australian community are putting their hand up, even people in Canada have gone to great lengths to ensure the safety of people whose lives are in jeopardy. Prime Minister Turnbull should be putting human lives in front of short-term political point-scoring.”
    Or as Ms Pearson, from Human Rights Watch, said;
    “Refugees and asylum seekers don’t need a transfer to a different facility on Manus where they will remain vulnerable to violence. They need a lasting solution, and it’s up to Australia to provide that for them without delay.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/nov/06/manus-refugee-who-reached-canada-last-week-says-deaths-are-very-likely

    This political ‘game’ is neither ironic or bizarre. It is callous, brutal and barbaric. There can be no comparison between the longevity of some git’s political career in Canberra and the longevity of someone’s very existence on Manus. It is an obscene comparison. To expect someone capable of such a tawdry act as hiding behind their family’s personal experience of seeking asylum, to advocate for any other persons right to seek asylum is to simply ignore how base these mongrels are.
    Something has to done. This is day 7, without food, water or power. How many bodies will be acceptable, Dutton?
    Thank you Ms Wilson and commenters. Take care

  30. helvityni

    Amir Taghinia was interviewed by Leigh Sales. I was surprised when she asked Amir why he’s still interested in the men left behind on Manus.

    What a silly insensitive question, Leigh, he obviously cares, he’s been lucky and escaped the Oz horrors, but he has empathy for his mates, whose fate he shared for FOUR long years…

  31. NormVan

    Turnbull is worried because he is a secular Jew and as such has citizenship in Israel.

    https://www.jewishnews.net.au/menachem-mendel-turnbull/32186

    Acquisition of Israeli Nationality:- http://mfa.gov.il/MFA/AboutIsrael/State/Pages/Acquisition%20of%20Israeli%20Nationality.aspx

    “The Law of Return (1950) grants every Jew, wherever he may be, the right to come to Israel as an oleh (a Jew immigrating to Israel) and become an Israeli citizen.

    For the purposes of this Law, “Jew” means a person who was born of a Jewish mother, or has converted to Judaism and is not a member of another religion.

    Israeli citizenship becomes effective on the day of arrival in the country or of receipt of an oleh’s certificate, whichever is later.”

    Guy Rundle has an article about Danby and the ‘Law of Return’ at Crikey.com.

    He doesn’t mention Turnbull but Turnbull can’t choose not to be Jewish anymore than the other people caught up in this fiasco can stop being whatever their ancestry is.

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