House debates

Wednesday, 20 February 2019

Statements by Members


1:30 pm

Photo of Tim WattsTim Watts (Gellibrand, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

The rise of anti-Semitism in Australian society is a disturbing trend that must be stopped. Over Christmas, we saw the disgusting spectacle of a Neo-Nazi rally at St Kilda Beach attended by an Australian senator, who doesn't deserve the notoriety of being named, where people were being seen giving Nazi salutes and wearing replica SS helmets. The Executive Council of Australian Jewry has reported that an unprecedented 60 per cent rise in anti-Semitic incidents—assaults, abuse, vandalism, graffiti and threats—has been experienced by the Jewish community in Australia.

No decent Australian can tolerate this. It's a threat to Australian multiculturalism. It's important that we have elected representatives and a government who take this threat seriously and act on it. That is why David Icke, well-known British holocaust denier, should not be allowed entry into Australia to preach his toxic message. As Primo Levi said:

To deny Auschwitz is to be ready to rebuild it.

Labor's candidate for Macnamara, Josh Burns, has been campaigning with Jewish community leaders to ensure that David Icke is denied entry into Australia. Josh knows about the threat of anti-Semitism. His ancestors fled Nazi Germany and, since Josh commenced his campaign to ban David Icke, he has faced anti-Semitic abuse himself. I call on the Morrison government to listen to Josh Burns' call and to act. As reported in The Australian today, David Ickes he could be spouting his vitriol in Melbourne, the home of the largest Jewish community in Australia, in just a fortnight.

It's time to do something tangible to fight the growth of anti-Semitism in Australia. It's time for the Morrison government to act. (Time expired)