"In retirement he became a statesman" is a widespread and indeed, an almost consensual view.
It's not the done thing to speak ill of the dead (at least, not immediately after their demise), and so even his those who have the most reason to feel aggrieved by him accentuate the positive, as in this excellent overview of his relations, once upon a time, with Australian Jewry .
|Virtually his last political tweet|
In his "retirement" the haughty and pompous Fraser became a proverbial pain in the tuches, loftily berating the policies of John Howard and his other successors in the party, from which, having become an holier-than-thou advocate of "human rights" in Australia and around the world, he ultimately resigned.
|From "Malcolm Fraser: The Political Memoirs"|
In an interview last May with ABC Radio Melbourne's Jon Faine (pictured above with Fraser), to plug his anti-American book Dangerous Allies, Fraser declared that former foreign minister Bob Carr was “absolutely correct” in his view that the pro-Israel lobby wielded too much power and maintained that
“Israel years ago, during one of the wars, killed 30 or 40 Americans on a spy ship in the Western Mediterranean.
The Americans tried to cover it up. It wasn’t a mistake. It was deliberate.”When Faine inquired what he based the claim upon, Fraser replied in characteristically supercilious fashion:
“Information I have. I am not going to tell you the source.”Little wonder that Australian Jewish leaders condemned his remarks.
Australia Israel Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) chairman Mark Leibler commented, inter alia:
"This is a guy who says we’re too powerful as a Jewish lobby. There never has been another case that I can remember that a prime minister or the Australian government has issued a press release calling on us to support a view that they had in relation to Israeli policy....
This is not the same Malcolm Fraser … It seems he’s developed an antagonism towards the Jewish community and Israel for reasons which are certainly not apparent to me or to anyone else.”To make these allegations about Israel deliberately targeting Americans when there’s no evidence to support it, when successive inquiries by both the Americans and the Israelis have demonstrated that this was an accident, I just think it is appalling beyond description ...."As Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ) president Robert Goot said:
“Fraser’s assertion, that Israel’s missile hit on an American ship in the Mediterranean was not mistaken but deliberate, was disgraceful given the number of international inquiries that found to the contrary. The statement by Fraser that the Jewish community ‘seek to get Australia to adopt policies as defined by Israel’, suggesting dual loyalties, is equally wrong and particularly unfortunate.”And in the words of Zionist Federation of Australia president Danny Lamm :
“The [USS Liberty] incident was subject to no less than 10 American investigations and an additional three Israeli investigations, all of which found that it was indeed an accident.
If Mr Fraser has a credible source to back up his outlandish claims, then he is duty-bound to reveal it.”But "Big Mal" Fraser proved incorrigible. Despite his part-Jewish origins he seems to have become a confirmed antisemite, even granting an interview to Melbourne "Troofer" Dalia Mae Lachlan in which he augmented his nutjob views: