SYDNEY, Australia (Feb. 10)
Australia’s immigration minister has told a Jewish leader that British Holocaust-denier David Irving will not be issued a visa to enter Australia for a planned lecture and promotional tour.
The minister, Gerry Hand, told Laurie Rosenblum, the president of the Queensland Jewish Board of Deputies, that he had given careful consideration to the matter before making the decision.
The decision is one that rests with the immigration minister alone under the “Controversial Visitors” provisions of Australia’s Migration Regulations. Irving has been expelled from several countries.
After the Australia/Israel Review revealed last November that Irving was intending to visit Australia, a broad public campaign began to bar his entry into this country.
Groups protesting Irving argued that the writer was not of good character and was likely to breach state-based anti-racism laws.
Their efforts were given impetus by the Canadian government decision to deport Irving and a German court’s rejection of an appeal against a prior conviction, which resulted in an increased fine for Irving.
The Executive Council of Australian Jewry, the elected representative organization of the Australian Jewish community, has applauded the decision to exclude Irving.
Council President Isi Leibler said the decision “was a clear sign of the growing awareness in Australia of the dangers to society of showing ‘tolerance to the intolerant.’
Irving “has shown contempt for laws designed to protect all members of society from vilification and the inciting of contempt which could lead to violence,” Leibler noted.