Australia's prime minister has angered some Jewish leaders by suggesting that the Islamic State movement was worse than Nazis during World War II.

It is the third time this year that gaffe-prone Prime Minister Tony Abbott has riled Jewish Australians with Nazi analogies.

Abbott used an interview with Sydney Radio 2GB on Thursday to credit Nazis with a sense of shame for atrocities they committed.

He said: "The Nazis did terrible evil, but they had a sufficient sense of shame to try to hide it."

But Executive Council of Australian Jewry president Robert Goot said there was a "fundamental difference between organized acts of terrorism and a genocide systematically implemented by a state as essential policy."

He described Abbott's comments as "injudicious and unfortunate."