(June 23, 2022 / JNS) Victoria has become the first Australian state to ban the display of the Nazi swastika, the BBC reported on Wednesday. Under a new law, people who intentionally promote the symbol face up to a year in jail and a $15,000 fine.
“Nobody has the right to spread racism, hate or anti-Semitism,” said Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews, according to the report. Australia has witnessed a significant increase in anti-Semitic incidents in recent years, said the BBC.
In 2020, a couple residing in Victoria flew a Nazi flag above their home, sparking public anger.
State officials called the new legislation a “proud moment,” and the report said that three other states intend to introduce a similar law.
“The Nazi symbol glorifies one of the most hateful ideologies in history—its public display does nothing but cause further pain and division,” said Victoria Attorney General Jaclyn Symes in a statement.
Dvir Abramovich, chairman of the B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation Commission, described the new legislation as a “thunderous blow” to neo-Nazi elements.
“As our nation confronts the deep stain of a resurgent white-supremacist movement that peddles a dangerous and dehumanizing agenda, this parliament [in Victoria] has declared that the symbol of Nazism will never find a safe harbor in our state,” Abramovich told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
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