Schindler, the Leiblers, and the Keeping of Lists
IN 1993 IT WAS the Australian billionaire brothers Leibler, Mark [right] and Isi [far right] Leibler, who pressured the then Labourå government of Australia to deny David Irving the right to make a third lecture tour of Australia.
Isi Leibler (which he pronounces Leebler, so as not to be confused with the word "libeller") is President of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry; and has made his millions from his JetSet Travel corporation. He does not always get on well with brother Mark Leibler, one of principals of Arnold Bloch Leibler, who is also president of the rival Zionist Federation of Australia.
As David Irving wisecracked on the Jana Wendt television show, there is also a third brother "Adolf Leibler" -- "because they're all just Little Hitlers." Gerald Henderson, self-appointed chief of the Sydney Institute, spluttered into the television camera with rage at this comparison.
So they silenced him. Since, as The New Zealand Herald researchers pointed out in an article, the Leiblers and their two community bodies had contributed heavily to the Labour Party coffers, it was no great problem for them to call in this particular marker on behalf of their cronies. That is what politics is all about.
To these shuddering paranoid minds the equation is simple: not Jewish, not Left-wing, therefore Right-wing, fascist, neo-Nazi; Hitler, gas-chambers. So the ends justify the means -- or, hey, isn't that just what the Nazis used to say ?
IN JULY 1998 Australia's Leiblers overreached themselves, encouraging the community publication Australia-Israel Review (publisher: Mark Leibler, national chairman of the Australia/Israel Jewish Affairs Council) to steal and print the names and locations on some two thousand ordinary Australians who, worried for the future of their great continent, were contributing their pittances to the new party founded by former liberal member of Parliament Pauline Hanson, "One Nation." Michael Kapel and David Greason, introducing the list in The Review, claimed the names had been "provided to us" by senior figures in the One Nation organisation.
For once, Australian journalists rose to the occasion. The Sydney Daily Telegraph published the astonishing news on July 9 under an angry banner headline that shouted LEIBLER' LIST. "The presentation associated with the list invites vilification," the newspaper editorialised. "The cover line is GOTCHA! ONE NATION'S SECRET MEMBERS LIST."
The national newspaper's editorial continues, "The McCarthy-like imputation is that these people in some way transgressed, their beliefs -- like those of communist sympathisers in the United States in the 1950s -- are deemed to be a danger to the state."
In fact precisely the opposite is true.
The Sydney Daily Telegraph cartoonist compared the Leibler magazine with the Nazis of 1938.
Furious One Nation chief David Oldfield said it was a disgraceful intrusion: "You leave these people potentially open to persecution by lunatics," he said.
The publication of the list also roused fury from other Jewish organisations: the executive director of the B'nai Brith Anti-Defamation Commission, Danny Ben-Moshe, called for a "slightly tempered and controlled" response to One Nation; while Dr Suzanne Rutland, senior lecturer in Jewish civilisation at Sydney University' Semitic Studies Department, referred to the "great angst" caused by the rise of Pauline Hanson and One Nation's huge popularity, Marika Weinberger, president of the Australian Association of Jewish Holocaust Survivors, expressed concern at Leibler's action.
While the Review quietly abandoned plans to publish the remaining eight thousand names it had stolen, Mark Leibler was unrepentant, stating that he had ordered publication of the stolen list "in the public interest." and adding:
"The Review has addressed privacy concerns by not publishing the full addresses and telephone numbers of One Nation members."
THIS VERY remark shows the mind-set of the Leiblers: when they wanted to put pressure on St Martin's Press to cancel publication of David Irving's Goebbels. Mastermind of the Third Reich, the ADL thugs and stooges posted details of the private addresses and phone numbers of every executive of the publishing company on the Internet.
That the libellers slithered their way into her organisation, probably under assumed names, (which no doubt do not figure on the published list!), and stole the party's confidential files is nothing new.
Nor is their publication of them: this is precisely the method used to destroy the controversial David Duke's meteoric sweep toward office in the gubernatorial election campaign of Louisiana.
His (also largely Jewish) opponents obtained his list of contributors, probably under the United States' commendable open-election rules, and proceeded to publish those names in each and every district newspaper, to shame and hound and harass the contributors into withdrawing their support.
Lists are powerful weapons, which is why the traditional enemy of the truth goes to such lengths to obtain them. They "monitor". But there's the rub, as Shakespeare would have had it. Writing in the Sydney Morning Herald, Keith Austin warned that the publication of Pauline Hanson's list of two thousand One Nation members and donors threatened to spark a debate wider than the fight against racism. Lists, he said, have a peculiar historical resonance for the Jewish people. "The Nazis were armed with guns -- and lists..."
ONE NATION has fought back, and demanded that the Federal and Victorian police forces investigate the theft of the lists. Those who recall the puny financial penalties inflicted on the New York-based Anti-Defamation League after ADL officials were caught red-handed stealing police files in California advise that One Nation should perhaps not be too optimistic that anything will be done.
For international press articles on this case, see panels below
July 10, 1998
[Leading article on the front page]
Anger as One Nation members named
By GREG ROBERTS, ANDREW CLENNELL and NICK PAPADOPOULUS
A furore has erupted over the publication by a Jewish magazine of the names of 2,000 One Nation members and donors, with the move dividing the Jewish community and prompting threats of legal action by the party.
"We think it is ironic that the Jewish people, who have been so persecuted, are using such tactics now to persecute One Nation members," said the party's national director, Mr David Ettridge.
The names appear in this week's edition of the Australia/Israel Review.
In the wake of the backlash, the magazine' publishers decided last night not to proceed with plans to publish a further 8,000 names in future editions.
"We feel we have made our point," said Mr Mark Leibler, the chairman of the Australia-Israel Jewish Affairs Council, the magazine's publisher.
The magazine's editor, Mr Michael Kapel, defended publishing the names as a reasonable response to One Nation's refusal to allow its own members access to membership lists.
"One Nation members are not even able to contact each other without facing the threat of expulsion," Mr Kapel said.
"We were given the list by senior One Nation people who are concerned at the stranglehold over the party held by David Ettridge and David Oldfield [Ms Pauline Hanson's adviser] ... We believe there should be maximum transparency in Australian political life."
But some One Nation supporters included in the publication expressed surprise and anger last night at their naming.
Mr William May, of Ashfield, said he did not think his membership was anyone's business.
"It is discrimination against people who have different political views to them and a lot of these people are elderly, like myself, who have worked all of their life and a lot of them have been in World War II," he said.
Mr Henry Ambrose, of Five Dock, said he was disgusted that he had been named.
"I'd love to know who leaked it ... Pauline should call in the Federal Police," he said.
The Great Synagogue's Rabbi Raymond Apple said last night: "I believe the Jewish community is unanimous that One Nation is a divisive force in Australian society and we view with great alarm the rise of one group that tends to suggest that some Australians are more Australian than others.
"But I am not certain it necessarily serves the cause of the Jewish community or the Australian community as a whole to go publishing lists of names of members."
Mr Ettridge confirmed that One Nation was "streamlining" its constitution to restrict the access of party members to membership lists and to ensure One Nation branches were not able to communicate with each other.
"If somebody intends to damage our organisation, the extent of the damage is limited by the amount of data available to them," he said.
Mr Ettridge said the party was seeking legal advice over what he described as "illegally obtained property".
Mr Danny Ben-Moshe, the director of the B'nai B'rith Anti-Defamation Commission, an influential Jewish lobby group, said he believed the privacy of One Nation members should generally be respected.
The president of the Queensland Council for Civil Liberties, Mr Ian Dearden, said political affiliations should be a private matter between parties and members.
London, July 10, 1998
A ROW has erupted over the decision by a Jewish magazine to publish the names of 2,000 members and financial supporters of Australia's anti-immigration One Nation party.
The publication of "Leibler's List" - named after the magazine's publisher, Mark Leibler - has divided the Jewish community, infuriated many of those identified and prompted One Nation leaders to complain of persecution.
The special edition of the Australia/Israel Review, based in Melbourne, is headlined "Gotcha: One Nation's secret membership list". The names were leaked to the magazine by a disaffected party member.
The publication has prompted comparisons, said by Jewish historians to be erroneous, with Nazi lists of Jews during the Second World War. The issue has also sparked a fierce debate on the civil rights implications raised.
A number of One Nation members named have expressed fears that they will now become a target for attacks by anti-racist groups, and some are considering taking legal action.
Mr Leibler, national chairman of the Australia/Israel Jewish Affairs Council, said the decision to publish the list of members and donors was in the interests of "political transparency".
He said concerns about privacy had been met by not publishing full addresses and telephone numbers. David Ettridge, One Nation's national director, said: "We think it is ironic that the Jewish people, who have been so persecuted, are using such tactics now to persecute One Nation members."
Marika Weinberger, president of the Australian Association of Jewish Holocaust Survivors, said Jews were not comfortable with "lists". She said: "In a democratic country, which, thank God, Australia still is, it is a bit of a worry."
But one of the Jewish community's most senior rabbis, Brian Fox, gave the magazine his full support. Rabbi Fox, former president of the New South Wales Council of Christians and Jews, said that if Jewish people had published a list of Nazi sympathisers and supporters in 1933, the history of the world would have been entirely different.
He said: "Millions of people, including one and a half million Jewish children, would never have died in Auschwitz." One of those on the list is Gideon McLean, lead singer of Blood Oath, a Neo-Nazi rock group.
On the band's Internet web-site, he is pictured giving a Nazi salute and cites among his heroes Adolf Hitler and "all men and women who died for race and nation". The Australia/Israel Review has shelved plans to publish the names of One Nation's remaining 8,000 members. Mr Leibler said: "We feel we have made our point."
July 9, 1998
One Nation list raises concern
By RICHARD McGREGOR
THE publication of a secret One Nation membership list in The Australia-Israel Review has split the Jewish community and prompted the party's leaders to complain of "persecution".
The magazine's publication coincided with new claims by Liberal MP Tony Abbott about financial discrepancies in One Nation's accounts lodged with the Electoral Commission.
The Melbourne-based magazine, funded by the Jewish community, said the list of 2000-odd One Nation members and donors was published to ensure "maximum transparency" for a party shrouded in secrecy.
Editor Michael Kapel said the information had been provided to him in recent weeks by "senior figures" in the party. Personal details, such as phone numbers, were then deleted to protect privacy.
"We have a situation where (One Nation) rails against political orthodoxy but, when they are subject to the same kind of scrutiny we demand of other parties, they cry foul," said Mr Kapel, a former Liberal Party staffer. "If you join a political party, you are making a political statement."
Pauline Hanson's senior adviser, David Oldfield, fumed that the publication was a "disgraceful intrusion" that left party members "potentially open to persecution by lunatics".
"The history of the Jewish people, which we all are very, very sorry about, must surely tell them that you don't go around publishing lists of confidential memberships," he said on ABC radio.
Mr Oldfield's reservations were shared by some Jewish commentators, who are otherwise fierce critics of Pauline Hanson and her party's links with anti-Semitic bodies.
Danny Ben-Moshe, of the B'Nai B'rith Anti-Defamation Commission, and David Bernstein, of the Australian Jewish News, expressed reservations about printing the names of members of a legal party, unless they were extremists. Mr Oldfield's reservations were not shared, however, by One Nation members on the list contacted by The Australian, who said they didn't care that their names had been revealed.
The magazine promised serialisation of another 8000 names in coming issues, but Mr Kapel backed off this vow, saying he did not expect any further lists would be published.
Mr Abbott said he had written to the Australian Electoral Commission querying discrepancies between One Nation's declared income and its stated membership.
One Nation's political returns, lodged in June, 1997, showed total receipts of just $1960, and a tax liability of $2503. Mr Abbott said that was despite having enough members -- 10,000, according to Mr Kapel -- to have raised tens of thousands of dollars in fees.
"Pauline Hanson needs to explain why she can't run a political party nearly as well as she ran a fish and chip shop," he said.
July 10, 1998
One Nation list irks Holocaust survivor
By FIONA CARRUTHERS
A HOLOCAUST survivor yesterday condemned the decision of a Jewish magazine to publish the names and suburbs of 2000 One Nation members, but community leaders, journalists and publishers from ethnic groups praised the move.
Marika Weinberger, a survivor of the Auschwitz death camp and president of the Australian Jewish Holocaust Survivors, said she was distressed by the publication because Jewish people did not appreciate "lists".
"Those of us who survived came to Australia because privacy was something we cherished and didn't have," Ms Weinberger told AAP.
"We know the implications of what happens when lists, any lists, are published."
Earlier this week, the Australia-Israel Review published the party members' names after the list was leaked by disgruntled One Nation members.
The mixed response sparked by the article prompted editor Michael Kapel to not publish a further 8000 names, as originally promised.
But Peter Wertheim, acting president of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, said he personally supported the decision to publish.
NSW Ethnic Communities Council anti-racism convenor Josie Lacey was more cautious, saying only that she "understood the temptation of printing the membership list and knowing One Nation is a very divisive force in Australia".
David Giang, managing editor of the Vietnamese daily, The Sunrise, said he would have published the names but would have run a preview article warning readers of the decision. A spokesman for Italian newspaper La Fiamma said he "personally agreed with the Review's decision".
"It's not a question of privacy," the spokesman said. "If you join a party, you should not be ashamed of it."