Australian Jewish leader gets ‘chilling barrage’ of online anti-Semitic abuse

Anti-Defamation Commission head says he has contacted police over torrent of hateful messages following campaign to bar British conspiracy theorist David Icke

Michael Bachner is a news editor at The Times of Israel

Australia's Anti-Defamation Commission chairman Dvir Abramovich. (Courtesy)
Australia's Anti-Defamation Commission chairman Dvir Abramovich. (Courtesy)

An Australian Jewish organization has expressed “horror” at what it said Sunday has been a torrent of anti-Semitic online abuse directed at its chairman following a successful campaign last month to prevent British conspiracy theorist David Icke from entering the country.

Icke, who denies widespread charges of anti-Semitism and believes the world is run by giant shape-shifting reptiles, was due to start a speaking tour in major Australian cities.

Australian media confirmed on February 20 that his visa had been canceled on “character grounds,” following a campaign by opposition Labour MP Tim Watts, who blasted him as a Holocaust denier, and by the Anti-Defamation Commission (ADC), a local Jewish anti-discrimination group.

A former professional soccer player, Icke worked for the BBC as a sports broadcaster before leaving in 1990. He has since become known as a conspiracy theorist, and has been slammed by anti-discrimination groups, who say he holds dangerous views about the world being secretly controlled by an elite Jewish group and that Jews bankrolled Hitler.

Icke’s 1995 book, “And the Truth Shall Set You Free,” focused on a global conspiracy by “Rothschilds and Rockefellers” and contained a chapter questioning aspects of the Holocaust and criticizing society for suppressing “alternative information to the official line of the Second World War.”

David Icke’s “And the Truth Shall Set You Free”

“This was a defining moment for who we are as a nation, and we salute the government for taking a clear-eyed and moral stance in rejecting hate and incitement,” ADC chairman Dvir Abramovich said at the time. “Allowing Icke into our country would have crossed red lines and would have sent the message that it is open season on the Jewish community and that vilifying and maligning Australian Jews is ok and normal.”

But since the decision was made, the ADC said Sunday in a statement, Abramovich and his staff have been assailed by a constant flow of abusive emails, phone calls and posts on its social media pages.

“This barrage of harassment, threats and insults is chilling and unlike anything I have seen in recent times. While we accept that this deluge of abuse is the price we pay for combating anti-Semitism, the brutal vitriol and the ferocity of the invective directed at me and the ADC staff is still shocking,” Abramovich said.

“This is further evidence of the dramatic surge in anti-Semitism in Australia and a rising climate of intolerance in which bigots are emboldened and agitated,” he added. “Still, this cesspool pit of vilification will not deter us from doing our job of calling out and pushing back against hate demagogues and racism.”

David Icke (Tyler Merbler / Flickr/ Wikipedia)

The organization said is was reporting some of the comments to police and would work with internet providers and others to identify the individuals sending them.

Below are examples provided by the Anti-Defamation Commission for abusive emails and posts. Caution: Some of them contain offensive language.

  • “This prick is just another jewish cunt supporting his pathetic people”
  • “You just another stupid greedy jewish cunt that is too scared to face reality. You evil fucking bastards are cause shit wherever you go. Fucking prick. Fuck off from australia cunt. We dont want you here !!”
  • “Hitler the greatest leader of the 20th century the last man to take on the parasite so called jewish bankers. Hitler was right about the jews , and there is not a thing you can do to change that go back to Israel criminal”
  • “These WORMS have infiltrated everything with money to destroy the gentile”
  • “Your a bloody liar abramovich and yes the rothschilds financed both sides of ww2 thats not anti semetic its fact. and its all about money hypocritical nazis”
  • “More proof that the Jews are behind the plan to stop free speech…. and you wonder why Jews are hated in every society”
  • “The worldwide parasite strikes again”
  • “I am very sad that the puppets of the khazar zionist part of Judaism have blinded you again. David Icke scares the khazar zionist Jewish bankers as he has been solidly exposing them and their place in the global power structure for a long time”
  • “Our government protects the Jews but won’t protect our own… pathetic”
  • “Anti semitism is just a loose word used to support their greedy causes this is why people hate jews; The ADC is an Agent of Israel, its agenda is to suppress free speech of non Jews”
  • “You scum are just creating conflict here as you’re doing in the middle east and have done for thousands of years”

AFP and Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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