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, firstname.lastname@example.org 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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