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AIJAC applauds Federal Government’s new Nazi symbols bill

Jun 7, 2023 | AIJAC

(Source: Pixabay)
(Source: Pixabay)

The Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) today welcomed and applauded the announcement that the Federal Government will introduce a bill next week to ban the public display of Nazi symbols across Australia. AIJAC Executive Director Dr Colin Rubenstein said, “As I have noted before, Nazi symbols are universally recognised messages of hate and genocide. They are used to frighten, intimidate, and hurt their targets. We believe this legislation will send a clear message to the Australian community that we as a nation will not tolerate those who seek to divide us by promoting an ideology characterised by racism, industrialised genocide and mass murder.” Dr Rubenstein continued, “The bill is particularly welcome at a time when antisemitism is rising globally and, frighteningly, moving into mainstream discourse in numerous different ways – a process that has been abetted in Australia by the public displays by Neo-Nazi thugs on the streets of Melbourne and other cities. Unless and until there are consequences for their actions, we can expect neo-Nazis to become more brazen, with all the destructive consequences they create for communal harmony and the rights of  vulnerable minorities.” AIJAC Director of Community and International Affairs Jeremy Jones added, “Australian right-wing extremists deserve contempt and ridicule, but also need clear deterrents to their harmful behaviour. The proposed commonwealth laws appears to be designed to supplement existing and proposed state Nazi symbol laws in several useful ways – it clearly applies to symbols displayed online, it bans the traffic in Nazi memorabilia, and it provides police with the ability to immediately act to deal with the display of Nazi symbols by giving them the power to order their immediate removal. These are all welcome steps in line with the recommendations of AIJAC and other Jewish community groups. We believe they will make the law more effective in fulfilling its intended purposes of both protecting the community and helping to further marginalise the thankfully tiny minority of open racist extremists in this country.” Colin Rubenstein concluded, “We are grateful to the Federal Government in general and Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus in particular for their efforts to develop and advance this bill so quickly. We also thank the Opposition for their efforts to help promote a Federal bill to ban Nazi symbols. We hope and expect that the current proposed bill can receive bipartisan support, and become law as soon as practicable.”

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