Australian state set to ban public display of swastikas
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Australian state set to ban public display of swastikas

Move will make Victoria the first part of the country to ban swastikas and other Nazi symbols

Michael Daventry is foreign editor of Jewish News

Australia's Nine Network last year exposed a neo-Nazi who flew a swastika outside their home in the rural Victoria town of Beulah
Australia's Nine Network last year exposed a neo-Nazi who flew a swastika outside their home in the rural Victoria town of Beulah

An Australian Jewish leader said he shed “tears of joy” after a state government announced plans to ban the swastika and other Nazi symbols.

The government in Victoria has proposed banning the public display of hate symbols except for educational or historical purposes.

It would be part of a new anti-vilification law that also covers disability, sexual orientation and gender identity.

The proposals, which come amid a rise in reports of far-rogjt extremist activity in Victoria, appear certain to become law after winning the support of opposition parties in state parliament.

Jaclyn Symes, Victoria’s attorney-general, said work was underway to determine how the ban would be applied and enforced.

She told the Australian broadcaster ABC: “There’s certainly very little opposition to banning the Nazi symbol in the form of the swastika and what it stands for and how it is used,” Ms Symes said.

“To me, the most important people to hear from are Victorians who unfortunately have been subjected to this abhorrent behaviour and how they think us as a state should respond and prevent it.”

Dvir Abramovich of the Anti-Defamation Commission said he would be “lying if I didn’t admit to shedding tears of joy”.

He added: “This announcement is a resounding triumph for the victims of the Holocaust, the survivors and our brave diggers who died to vanquish the evil Third Reich regime, and a defeat of homegrown neo-Nazis who seek to keep Hitler’s legacy alive.”

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