Archive/File: fascism/australia australia.001 Last-Modified: 1994/06/20 REPORT ON ANTISEMITISM IN AUSTRALIA, JANUARY-OCTOBER, 1993, by JEREMY JONES (REPORT TO 1993 ANNUAL MEETING OF THE EXECUTIVE COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIAN JEWRY) "The Myth of Nazi Genocide" Holocaust Denial" continued to be at the cutting edge of antisemitism, and continued to be treated relatively benevolently by much of the media. 1993 was the first year in which teachers of the history of the Nazi genocide and related subjects reported questioning by students as to the actual occurrence of a Nazi Holocaust and comments intimating a belief that Holocaust deniers had elements of validity. Given the enormous efforts by Holocaust deniers during the year in review, aimed in the short-term at having questions raised by members of the younger generations, this is perhaps unsurprising and a cause for very serious concern. The Holocaust deniers have sought to promote themselves as one side of a debate on a matter of alleged historic dispute, appealing to a sentiment opposing "politically correct" ideas and also appealing to small "l" liberals who often seem willing to justify a platform for what is presented as merely an alternative viewpoint. David Irving exposed the ignorance and inability of many Australian journalists to counter his arguments during many interviews he gave from South Africa and England during the past year. Although his views did not gain a foothold with senior or respected journalists, he was able to convince many others that the only issue concerning his visa was one of free speech to promote a view which would "embarrass" establishment historians. While he was the most significant advocate of Holocaust denial to receive media coverage but had his views advocated by a number of writers to letters columns of national, state and regional newspapers. In the most extraordinary article published by a journalist, as distinct from a member of an extremist organisation or mis-guided member of the public, Paul Haynes, a journalist with the Albany Advertiser in Western Australia, repeated Holocaust denial claims he had received from "revisionists" in an article which posed the bizarre question: "Has there perhaps been undue Zionist as opposed to Jewish influence in Hollywood and the large international media organisations ?". Radio broadcasters, public affairs TV programs and print media journalists reported receiving a steady stream of Holocaust denial material during the past year. This came either direct from the USA by fax or posted by individuals associated with groups allegedly advocating "freedom of speech" or "civil liberties". A key Australian source of Holocaust denial material continued to be John Bennett, leader of the numerically insignificant Australian Civil Liberties' Union, who published the 20th annual edition of a handbook, Your Rights, which again promoted antisemitism towards a number of minority groups and publicised a range of Holocaust denial literature. In an unfortunately unique show of decency, major national booksellers Angus and Robertson made a policy decision not to stock this publication. The Australian League of Rights, the British-Israel World Federation, the Immigration Control Association (Queensland) and previously unknown "revisionist" organisations were also active in promoting and distributing Holocaust denial. The lecture routine of veteran far-right demagogue Jeremy Lee, who has generally tended to exclude more blatant antisemitism from his rhetoric, reportedly now includes open denial of the Holocaust. The political agenda of Holocaust deniers was unambiguous in the actions of the deniers. In May, the main synagogue in Perth was extensively daubed with Holocaust denial slogans and hate mail often included the claim. Letters published in various newspapers which were unambiguously antisemitic often included Holocaust denials and regularly extended the denial to include the rationalisation that, e.g. the Holocaust as currently understood is a "chestnut, the sole purpose of which is the political and financial bolstering" of Israel. David Irving also makes clear that he believes his campaign will damage the standing of Jews and legitimacy of Israel. The deniers' arguments were given support , perhaps unknowingly, by items such as the editorial in Melbourne's Herald-Sun which described the Holocaust as merely "that article of faith for post-war Jews". They were also given kind treatment by newspapers such as The Truth which published literature under the heading "Holocaust or Holohoax" and The Australian which published advertisements for a video lecture by David Irving which consists largely of Holocaust denial. Indications of the lack of seriousness given by our society to Holocaust denial came in the decision by the Office of Film and Literature Classification to pass, for general viewing, two videos which consisted in part or entirely of Holocaust denial and the argument put forward by a number of "free speech" advocates that Holocaust denial is no more serious a problem than "flat earth" advocacy. In a particularly offensive gesture, unknown persons placed leaflets claiming that the Holocaust, and in particular the use by Nazis of Gas Chambers, is a myth, on the windscreens of cars of patrons attending a Sydney performance of a play based on the experience of the family of Holocaust survivors who live in New Zealand. Many of the recipients of the leaflets were Jewish, including a number of Holocaust survivors. Media outlets around Australia also reported receiving copies of this material.
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