SYDNEY, Australia (JTA) – The Ku Klux Klan claims it has infiltrated an Australian political party.
David Palmer, the imperial wizard of the KKK in Australia, said that several members of the white supremacist group had joined Australia First, a far-right-wing, anti-immigration party, according to reports Friday.
But Jim Saleam, one of the leaders of Australia First, rejected the claim and denied any links to the neo-Nazi organization.
“None of our members are showing signs they are KKK members,” he told reporters. “Our party is made up of people I know: old associates and members of the former Australians Against Further Immigration Party.”
Palmer told The Sydney Morning Herald that Klan members joined Australia First to “take back what we consider our Aryan parties.” He described the Klan as “a reserve in case the ethnics get out of hand and they need sorting out.”
Australia First, which supports abolishing multiculturalism, makes no secret of its ideology on its Web site, which features a slogan by party founder Graeme Campbell: “Australia must remain predominantly white.”
Last year the Church of the National Knights of the Ku Klux Klan Australia and New Zealand Realms established an Internet forum, the Herald reported.
A message posted on the neo-Nazi internet forum StormFront says that “We have many forces at work against us as white Australians: we have Abbos [Aborigines] with their never-ending complaints, Muslims that threaten our very being as a Christian nation, Lebanese that run around our streets in packs, Asians that are turning our once-beautiful country into a rats’ nest.”
New South Wales treasurer Eric Roozendaal, whose grandfather died in Auschwitz, struck a deal to ensure that no Labor Party preferences will go to Australia First at the next federal election.
Australia uses preferential ballots whereby voters must rank candidates in order of preference. If no candidate gets an absolute majority, then preferences are distributed.