Kerryn Phelps Refers 'Anti-Semitic, Homophobic' Measles Email To Police
Wentworth MP Kerryn Phelps has referred a "disgusting" email -- claiming Jewish people were responsible for the spread of measles -- to the Australian Federal Police.
An email has been circulating in Australia, claiming "the Jews refuse to vaccine themselves on anything, and they are spreading measles and many other diseases."
The email specifically names Phelps, a long-term practising doctor, and incorrectly claims she "brought in thousands of sick kids from refugee camps -full of diseases- into Australia" -- seemingly a reference to her support for the controversial Medevac Bill, which allowed refugees on Manus Island and Nauru to come to the mainland for medical attention.
As of April 1, it is believed just one refugee had been brought to Australia under the new legislation.
The vile email continues to ask recipients to call friends who live in the Wentworth electorate, and ask them to not vote for Phelps.
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The Independent MP said on Monday she had referred the email to the AFP.
Phelps told 10 daily she was disappointed by the "grubby" and "incredibly offensive" email. She claimed that a similar email has circulated in the lead-up to the 2018 by-election.
"There's clearly a pattern and whoever is responsible really needs to be brought to account," she said.
Chairman of the Anti-Defamation Commission, Dr Dvir Abramovich, condemned the "dangerous rhetoric".
"We are outraged by this unabashedly ancient Semitic blood-libel that has been used to foment hatred of Jews for centuries and which now been recycled for a modern-day audiences," he said in a statement.
"This type of conspiracy theory, which goes back to the middle-ages when Jews were accused of poisoning wells and spreading disease and which was used by Hitler to evoke fear that the Jews would contaminate German society, is part of a broader campaign of vicious incitement and scapegoating spreading throughout Australia."
We stand with Kerryn Phelps and Dave Sharma during this difficult period and are ready to help them combat this bigoted and dangerous rhetoric.
Phelps' main opponent, Liberal candidate Sharma, has been approached for comment.
The major Wentworth candidates participated in a debate on Sunday hosted by Australian Jewish organisations.
Sharma has also called out a vile email in recent days. The candidate, who ran unsuccessfully for the seat at the 2018 by-election forced by the resignation of Malcolm Turnbull, was named in another email that claimed he would "purge the child molesting white Aussie government” because of his Indian heritage.
“It’s got all the signatures of a far-right extremist group,” Sharma told the Daily Telegraph newspaper.
“It’s just despicable dog whistling and outright slander, which is also directed at me.”
He later tweeted the email situation was "very sad".
Elsewhere in the race for Wentworth, several sides have accused each other of dirty tricks around election posters. Countless cardboard corflutes have reportedly gone missing from around the area, with fingers being pointed.
Various tweets from Sharma, Phelps and Labor candidate Tim Murray complain about posters being taken down. Phelps claimed two-thirds of her corflutes had been removed, while Sharma also said many of his had suffered a similar fate.
Murray claimed "all my posters" were taken from one street during the by-election.