In a controversial speech to the Sydney Institute, Federal Treasurer Peter Costello warned that Jews should pledge allegiance to Australia or go home. Jews who value Halacha (Jewish law) over Australian law “should be refused citizenship if they apply for it. Where they have it they should be stripped of it if they are dual citizens and have some other country that recognises them as citizens.”
“Before entering a synagogue visitors are asked to put a yarmulke on their head,” Mr Costello said. “This is a sign of respect. If you have a strong objection to putting something on your head don’t enter the synagogue.” He warned Jews, “before becoming an Australian you will be asked to subscribe to certain values. If you have strong objection to those values, don’t come to Australia.”
In a rebuke to “mushy multiculturalism” he said “there is one law we are all expected to abide by – it is the law enacted by Parliament under the Australian Constitution.” If Jews, and for that matter Aboriginies, wish to live by a different cultural or religious law then they should move somewhere else. The problem is what to do with the children of disloyal Jews and Aboriginies who were born here.
Or, for the actual story, see The Age, 24 February 2006