Australia

Liberal MP Julian Leeser latest target of anti-Semitic graffiti

Julian Leeser and an image of the graffiti. Source: AAP, Facebook

Jewish MP Julian Leeser says Australia is witnessing "anti-Semitic incidents on an unprecedented scale".

Liberal MP Julian Leeser has become the latest federal election candidate to be targeted with anti-Semitic abuse.

Mr Lesser, who holds the Sydney seat of Berowra and is a practising Jew, said Monday that his campaign material had been defaced on several occasions with swastikas, Hitler moustaches and most recently, dollar signs for eyes.

"I have been involved in political campaigns in Berowra for 15 years but I have never seen anything like this before," he said on Facebook.

Mr Lesser labeled those responsible as "merchants of hate" and has since reported the matter to federal police.

"The $$ refer to old anti-Semitic lies of an international Jewish banking conspiracy; that Jews have control of the world's money supply. These sentiments were used by Nazis and others who have sought to spread hatred of Jews for centuries," he said.

"I find it hard to believe that in 2019 we are witnessing anti-Semitic incidents on an unprecedented scale. Long discredited anti-Semitic ideas are now being given credence by the far Right and the far Left. And with social media unchallenged anti-Semitic ideas spread quickly."

Member for Berowra Julian Leeser.
Member for Berowra Julian Leeser.
AAP

It comes after posters of Treasurer Josh Frydenberg were similarly vandalised with Nazi-inspired graffiti.

Images of Mr Frydenberg in his Melbourne electorate of Kooyong have been defaced with Hitler moustaches, swastikas and devil horns.

On Saturday, Mr Frydenberg tweeted his abhorrence to the "cowardly and criminal act" and said the incidents were "about a broader and disturbing trend in society of anti-Semitism and intolerance".

Two of the vandalised posters.
Two of the vandalised posters.
Supplied

The treasurer said Holocaust Remembrance Day was this week, and the vandalism "shows how ignorant the perpetrators are of the horrors of history".

In the fallout, Prime Minister Scott Morrison told reporters on Saturday the vandalism was "appalling", and called for anyone with information about the matter to cooperate with authorities.

"This is about crimes and hate ... this should have no place in our elections, absolutely no place," Mr Morrison said.

While in the marginal Sydney seat of Wentworth, emails have been sent to voters which falsely claim Independent MP Kerryn Phelps is ineligible to stand at the federal election.

"Kerryn Phelps has been disqualified from [the] election, she is a Jew and entitled to automatic Israeli citizenship," it reads.

Ms Phelps told the ABC the emails were "very disturbing" and referred them to federal police.

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Additional reporting: AAP

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