The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: orgs/australian/aus-league-rights/league-of-rights.001


From _Sugar-Coated Poison: The Bigotry of the Australian League of
Rights_, by Paul L. Gardner, former chair of the B'nai B'rith
Anti-Defamation Commission, paul.gardner@education.monash.edu.au

It first appeared under the title "Profile: The League of Rights
in Australia" in Without Prejudice, No. 3, June 1991. See
http://www.adfa.oz.au/~adm/politics/antilor.html



   For almost half a century, through the spoken and printed word and
   now through the modern medium of videotape, the League has sown
   suspicion, mistrust and fear among a small, but not insignificant
   proportion of the Australian community. Its own entirely undemocratic
   procedures are masked by vigorous appeals to populist philosophy.
   Many of their ideas -- their dismissal of conservationists as the
   dupes of a world-wide conspiracy, or their opposition to fluoridation
   -- are simply odd. Others -- their inherent racism and antisemitism
   -- are potentially dangerous.
   
[...]
   
   Antisemitism
   
   Since its inception, the League has been the major organised group
   spreading antisemitic propaganda in Australia. It uses various
   themes: theological antisemitism (the Jews, having rejected Christ,
   are no longer God's chosen people), political antisemitism (the Jews
   are part of an powerful international conspiracy to control the
   finances and government of the world) and group defamation (Jews are
   characterised as vengeful, swindling liars, disloyal to their host
   country). Antisemitic acts are either blamed on the behaviour of Jews
   themselves, or imputed to the actions of "Zionist agents" who seek to
   frighten the Jewish community for their own devious purposes.
   
   A dominant theme permeating the League's ideology is that there is a
   powerful, world-wide conspiracy involving "Zionists", "international
   bankers", Fabians, Communists and supporters of "one-world
   government" who seek to control the world's finances, political
   institutions, educational systems... and that it is the task of the
   League to expose them and stop them.

[...]
   
   Holocaust denial
   
   The League, together with John Bennett's curiously misnamed
   Australian Civil Liberties Union, is the major organisation
   responsible for disseminating holocaust-denial material in Australia.
   The sane mind can only wonder, with a mixture of amazement and
   disgust, why some people devote large parts of their lives to
   promoting the idea that Hitler had no mass extermination program for
   the Jews, that there were no gas chambers and that Zyklon-B was
   simply a pesticide. Much of this mental garbage emanates from the
   Institute for Historical Review [...]
   
   The League has peddled this line, on and off, for several years. In
   1990, it began to promote a new "authority": Fred Leuchter, a 47-
   year old designer and seller of execution chamber equipment in the US
   who claims that the extermination of Jews in Nazi gas chambers is a
   myth. [...]
   
   The League's strategy of taking a genuinely controversial public
   issue and exploiting it for propaganda purposes is well illustrated
   by the public debate over the war crimes legislation. The legislation
   was supported by all the major political parties; within the general
   community (and within the Jewish community), there are responsible
   individuals who have expressed doubts about the value of the
   legislation. The League goes beyond the bounds of responsible
   opposition, however, by weaving in antisemitic threads. Jews are
   characterised as liars, as vengeful, and as manipulators of the
   government. The League's newsletter claimed that "Zionist Jews and
   others who have called for War Crimes Trials have demonstrated their
   rejection of the Christian foundations of the British judicial
   system. The `justice' they talk about is the same type of justice
   which Shakespeare's Shylock called for." It went on to attack the
   "Zionist lobby" for being "more concerned with advancing its own
   alien philosophy than in supporting the traditional Australian view
   that... calls for vengeance are a destructive influence" (Note 21).
   There could be "widespread community revulsion against prosecutions
   which serve only the interests of the Zionist Mafia" (Note 22).
   Similarly, the British government was going to introduce war crimes
   trials, because the Cabinet "is under heavy Zionist pressure" (Note
   23). And, as if this were not enough, the League began to play the
   man as well as the ball, when it published a slanderous article
   reprinted from a leading US racist publication (Note 24), describing
   Simon Wiesenthal as a "bogus Nazi hunter", a "Nazi agent", an
   "unscrupulous and deceitful propagandist" and a "contemptible man".
   
   Nigel Jackson joined the claque of holocaust deniers with a letter
   attacking the war crimes legislation. He asserted that there was a
   "context of public deceit about the exact details of Nazi
   mistreatment of Jews and others", and criticised Australian
   newspapers for not allowing "public debate on the Leuchter Report
   (1988), which seems to have demolished forever the credibility of the
   story of the gassings of millions with Zyklon-B". He concluded that
   "the attempts to seek vengeance (for that is what these calls for
   `justice' really amount to) are utterly contrary to the teaching of
   mercy and forgiveness that is at the heart of Christianity" (Note
   25). This is double-whammy antisemitism: the victims are not only
   vengeful, but the crimes are fabrications as well!


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