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January 25, 2023 10:00 am
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Kanye West Could Face Ban From Entering Australia For Antisemitic Outbursts, Government Minister Confirms

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Rapper Kanye West holds his first rally in support of his US presidential bid. Photo: Reuters/Randall Hill

Months after losing his billionaire status as corporate sponsors roundly rejected his antisemitic outbursts, hip hop mogul Kanye West is facing the prospect of a ban on entering Australia.

An Australian government minister said on Tuesday that West could well be refused a visa for his forthcoming trip to Melbourne, where he intends to visit the family of his new partner.

Speaking on Australia’s Nine Network, Education Minister Jason Clare said that he was unaware whether West had already applied for a visa, but noted that his country had refused entry in the past to people with antisemitic views.

“I expect that if he does apply, he would have to go through the same process and answer the same questions,” Clare said.

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Australia’s Migration Act sets security and character requirements for non-citizens to enter the country, ABC News reported. Any decision on whether West obtains an Australian visa would be made by Immigration Minister Andrew Giles, whose office said he could not comment on individual cases due to privacy reasons.

Support for a ban on West was expressed by the leader of Australia’s opposition Liberal Party, Peter Dutton. “My inclination would be not to allow him in,” Dutton told Melbourne’s Radio 3AW on Tuesday.

“His antisemitic comments are disgraceful, his conduct and his behavior is appalling, and he’s not a person of good character,” Dutton added.

Discussion of ban on West followed a meeting earlier on Tuesday between Peter Wertheim, co-chief executive officer of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ), and Australian government officials.

“We had a sympathetic hearing,” Wertheim told Sky News. “We’ve made the case that this particular individual does not meet the character test and that it would be in the national interest not to grant him a visa and we set out our reasons in some detail.”

An Australian ban on West could well set a precedent for the many countries in Europe and Latin America that have passed legislation outlawing Holocaust denial and antisemitic incitement to apply a similar measure.

Last October, West provoked a firestorm when he praised Hitler on the podcast of the convicted conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and issued a series of virulently antisemitic posts on social media. As a result, numerous corporate sponsors ranging from the Gap clothing chain to the JP Morgan Chase financial giant cut their ties with the rapper.

 

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