PM's Goebbels Comment Prompts Aussie Jewish MP to Walk Out

Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott.Credit: AP

A Jewish member of the Australian parliament walked out of the chamber on Thursday after the prime minister likened the leader of the opposition to Nazi leader Dr. Joseph Goebbels.

The prime minister "can slag us as much as he likes but it is silly to use an example of the ultimate evil in politics," opposition MP Michael Danby said after walking out in disgust, the Telegraph website reported.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott caused an uproar after describing Labor leader Bill Shorten as "the Dr. Goebbels of economic policy" during question time.

Another Jewish opposition MP, Mark Dreyfus, was one of three members expelled from the chamber by the Speaker in the furor that followed the prime minister's remark.

Goebbels was Reich Minister of Propaganda in Nazi Germany from 1933–1945 and one of the people closest to Hitler.

It was not the first time that Abbott, a shoot-from-the-hip conservative, had landed in hot water for an inappropriate comment. Just last week, he was forced to apologize for referring to "a holocaust of job losses."

Abbott was quick to withdraw his Goebbels comment and apologized profusely to parliament. "I withdraw. I withdraw. I withdraw, Madam Speaker. I withdraw. I withdraw," he said.

"I do withdraw and I do apologize for using that phrase."

Abbott, who is under intense pressure in his own party after a run of dismal opinion polls, narrowly averted a leadership challenge last month.

Click the alert icon to follow topics: