Former prime minster Malcolm Fraser’s call for the Australian Government to engage with Hamas (Comment, 11/8) is as misguided as it is misleading. Even more disturbing than his naive political exhortations is Fraser’s sinister claim that the reason the Government has not adopted his personal approach is for ”fear of criticism from the Jewish lobby”. This raises the ancient canard of pointing the finger at a minority group and suggesting it exercises undue power through illegitimate means.
Fraser knows that Jews make up less than 1 per cent of the Australian population. He also knows that it is an articulate and engaged community that is committed to democratic processes. At the end of the day, no force in the world can prevent a Government from doing what it sees as being in the best interests of this country.
Perhaps the reality is simpler. Australia, in keeping with most Western democracies, is simply carrying out good policy in refusing to engage with an extremist fundamentalist group. One can only be gratified that there is bipartisan support in the Australian Parliament for promoting moderation rather than extremism.
Johnny Baker, Caulfield North