SYDNE, Australia (Jul. 10)
A 10 minute discussion with a self-proclaimed Nazi who maligned Jews on Australia’s most popular daytime television show has raised a storm of protest.
“The mother of all controversies” was how Ray Martin, host of “The Midday Show With Ray Martin,” described the fallout from the appearance of David Palmer, who styles himself “fuhrer of Australia.”
Martin said the program received more than 400 protest calls within two hours of Palmer’s interview. It has an estimated audience of 1.5 million in a country of 17 million.
The West Australian minister for cultural affairs, Dr. Judyth Watson, urged the producers “not to include this type of material in future programs.”
Professor Graham de Vahl Davis, chairman of the Public Relations Committee of the New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies, attacked the decision to invite Palmer as an abuse of free speech. Martin interviewed him after Palmer’s appearance.
Michael Danby, editor of the Australia/Israel Review, said he was astonished by the “total lack of taste and political judgment” of the TV show.
A spokesman for Jewish communal organizations told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency they were “considering” legal action under state antiracist laws but doubted the laws would cover interviews of that type.
Palmer, who struts about in Nazi-style uniforms, heads a tiny group with a long name, the National Security in Defense of Australia Party, which shares the acronym NSDAP with Hitler’s Nazi party.
It got its biggest publicity boost on the Ray Martin show. Palmer used the program to accuse Jews of seeking to undermine “white Australia” and burning their own synagogues for mystical religious and dishonest economic motives.
He accused Arabs and Asians of creating ethnic tensions, said Australian Aborigines were “2,000 years behind” Europeans and claimed Japanese are “superior to whites” because of their “racial purity.”