SYDNEY, Australia (Dec. 20)
The Australian Jewish community and senators from the Australian Democrats party are urging the government to bar British Holocaust-denier David Irving entry to Australia.
The federal justice minister, Sen. Michael Tate, revealed last week that Irving applied for a visa to enter the country next March 17 and said the application will be considered in January.
Tate told the Senate that Irving applied in London and said the immigration minister will now consider whether he “is likely to become involved in activities disruptive to the Australian community or a group within the Australian community” or whether he is “of good character.”
This consideration is affected by his deportation last month from Canada, where he snuck in despite an official ban and gave several lectures denying the Holocaust really happened.
He is also banned from Germany, which convicted him of spreading hate and Holocaust denial, and unwelcome in various other countries.
The Australian government pledged “that all relevant information will be taken into account” before a visa is issued.
The Executive Council of Australian Jewry has argued that Irving’s conviction in Germany, open arrest warrant from Austria, recent deportation from Canada and the likelihood that he will breach state anti-racist laws here are all relevant.
Council President Isi Leibler described Irving as “a beer hall rabble-rouser and hero to the German neo-Nazis.”
Arguing that “freedom is threatened in this country, as it is in Germany by those such as Irving who incite the gullible to racist violence,” Leibler urged the government to follow the example of Canada and deny Irving entry into Australia.
The Australian Democrats, a small political party which holds the balance of power in votes between the Labor Party government and the Liberal-National opposition in the Senate, asked the government to “prevent Mr. Irving from propounding his racial vilification and hatred in this country.
In a letter sent to federal politicians, Irving denied he has ever said “the Holocaust never occurred” or has been banned from entering Italy or Austria.
He claimed the campaign to keep him out of Australia is a result of “Jewish historians” who are “afraid” of debate.
A publishing house closely linked to Australian racists has announced that Irving will be coming to Australia to launch “a revised and lavishly illustrated” edition of “Hitler’s War” and a biography of Herman Goering.
In 1986, Irving visited Australia to launch his book on the 1956 Hungarian revolution, “Uprising,” which was published by Veritas, a small publishing firm associated with the Australia League of Rights.
Australia’s Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission describes the league as “the most influential and effective, as well as the best-organized and most substantially financed racist organization in Australia.”
“Uprising” contains gratuitous anti-Semitic comments, with the author interrupting the narrative to comment on individuals’ Jewish origins. In it, he describes Hungarian dictator Matthias Rakosi as “the ugly Jewish dwarf that he was” who had “the tact of a kosher butcher.”
Since the 1986 visit, four of Australia’s states and territories have enacted anti-racist legislation, and the justice minister has confirmed that “they would no doubt enforce” the laws if they were transgressed.
EDITORS: The first name of the victim in this story, previously identified as Mark Kaplan, is correct here.