Australian Jewish Group Says Proposed Swastika Ban Doesn’t Go Far Enough
The top Jewish organization in Australian state of Victoria expressed concern on Tuesday that a proposed ban on displaying the Nazi swastika did not go far enough.
According to Australian newspaper The Age, Jewish Community Council of Victoria President Jennifer Huppert told a parliamentary committee that such a ban would be only a “knee jerk” reaction to a recent rise in antisemitism.
A much broader law would be required to encompass all hate material, she pointed out.
“There’s been issues about the swastika, Nazi flags being flown, people doing other things,” Huppert said. “This is not new, it’s something that’s been simmering for a while.”
“I’m just concerned that whatever reform is brought in [should be] well thought through and actually deals with the issues in a fundamental way,” she stated.
“I don’t have a problem with [the ban] but, and we’ve discussed it, we think it’s important there’s a [broader] ban on hate material,” Huppert added.
The committee was formed to explore a possible expansion of laws against racist symbols and hate speech. It will make its recommendations to the government by Sept. 20.
The current concern with the swastika was triggered by an incident in January in the Victorian town of Beulah, where a local couple flew a Nazi flag bearing the symbol over their home.
Dr. Dvir Abramovich — chairman of the Anti-Defamation Commission — said at the time, “The flying of the Nazi flag in the skies of our nation is like plunging a dagger in the heart of Holocaust survivors and spitting in the face of the Diggers who fought to defeat Hitler and his genocidal regime.”
“This goes beyond owners’ rights, and we all have a responsibility to speak up when such hateful acts take place,” he declared.
Abramovich is leading a campaign to ban Nazi symbols and related materials in Australia.