The Executive Council of Australian Jewry’s Research Director, Julie Nathan, was interviewed by 2GB’s Ben Fordham on worldwide antisemitism and the visit to Australia of David Icke. Listen to their discussion here.
2GB radio host Ben Fordham interview with Julie Nathan on antisemitism world-wide and the visit to Australia of David Icke
Transcription of interview conducted on 20 February 2019:
BF: When someone knocks on Australia’s door with a dangerous message, do we let them in, or do we ban them? … Julie Nathan is a research officer with the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, representing the Jewish community. She’s on the line. G’day Julie.
JN: Hi Ben. How are you?
BF: Good. Let me go to the breaking news. The federal government has cancelled the visa of David Icke. Your reaction please?
JN: That’s wonderful news, because we don’t really need these haters here, especially coming in from overseas, and putting forward conspiracy theories, increasing hatred toward Jews or others. Their ideas are so nutty, especially David Icke’s ideas with lizard people. At the moment we have a Polish radio announcer in Australia who is putting out about the Holocaust that the Jews are ripping off the Poles over the Holocaust. He came in under the radar. But other people try and come in, and we have enough to deal with here in Australia.
BF: You mention lizard people. Some people’s ears might be pricking up saying ‘what’s she talking about?’ He also, apart from his conspiracy theory about the Holocaust, he thinks the world is run by an Illuminati of lizard people. Look, the bloke is clearly a fruitcake, but it is that debate isn’t it about whether or not we let these fruitcakes in and allow people to decide for themselves, or whether we say no, we don’t want your dangerous message being spread here.
JN: It’s not a matter of free speech, because the guy, or any of these people, are free to put their material out on websites and wherever else on the internet. The difference is they can do that overseas, but do we really need people like that spreading hate, spreading racism, in Australia? I don’t think we do, because… Australia is a great country, although there are issues of racism, but we do not want to add to that or to make things worse.
BF: Should it be a case-by-case basis? Or do we have some kind of blanket rule, and if we do, what is the rule? What’s the yardstick to measure by?
JN: Probably, there would be some kind of principle put out, people who are inciting hatred of others should not be coming, but also it could go on a case-by-case basis, depending, because this would go across the whole political spectrum and religious spectrum, there’s a whole lot of nutters out there.
BF: There seems to be a bit of a cluster of cases of antisemitism lately. I mention the Labour MPs in Britain quitting because they say there is a problem within that party. In France, the yellow shirt protests. The Malaysian government banning Israeli athletes. The swastikas appearing around Bondi Junction. Is it just me or is there a bit of a cluster of cases at the moment?
JN: I think it’s more the media is picking it up. In Britain, in the Labour Party, this has been an ongoing issue since about 2015 or 2016 when Labour students at Oxford University first expressed concern about the antisemitism within the Labour Party. It’s been building there and they had an inquiry, an internal Labour Party inquiry, which was basically a whitewash and the person who conducted the inquiry found there was nothing much there and then she was given a peerage or something like that. In France, it has always been a problem for many years. For example, just recently where a young Jewish man was murdered, because he was Jewish, in 2006, a tree dedicated as a memorial to him was chopped down this week. There were swastikas painted on 80 graves. We’ve had the yellow vest movement, which is a conglomeration of a whole different disparate groups and ideas, amongst some of those there has been some calling Macron “the whore of the Jews”. And a whole lot of antisemitic conspiracy theories of the Jews controlling this or whatever is really taking hold in many parts of the world.
BF: Well, whatever David Icke has to say, he won’t be saying it in Australia. Thank you very much for coming on. Julie Nathan is a research officer with the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, representing the Jewish community. The Australian government has decided that the visa of this conspiracy theorist, David Icke, will not go ahead, so he won’t be able to conduct his controversial tour in March. He has effectively been banned.