Conspiracy theorist David Icke should be banned from Australia, minister told

Jewish groups and Labor party call on David Coleman to revoke visa of ‘hate preacher’

The Australian government is being pressured by Jewish groups and the Labor party to revoke the visa of the conspiracy theorist David Icke before a speaking tour in March.

Labor has written to the immigration minister, David Coleman, calling on him to ban Icke from the country on the basis ofhis “extreme antisemitic views, including campaigning for Holocaust denial to be taught in schools”.

Icke is best known for his theory that the world is run by a cabal of giant shape-shifting lizards. According to the Anti-Defamation Commission, Icke believes “Rothschild Zionists” secretly dominate the world and that Jews bankrolled Hitler, caused the 2008 global financial crisis and staged the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

The Community Security Trust, a charity set up to protect the Jewish community, has described Icke as “essentially a hate preacher with a 21st-century spin on a very old antisemitic conspiracy theory”.

Icke has long been the subject of controversy in Australia, where the immigration department retains a broad discretion to deny or revoke visas on character grounds, and last toured the country in 2016.

In December there was uproar in the US after the Pulitzer prize-winning author Alice Walker recommended Icke’s book And the Truth Shall Set You Free in an interview with the New York Times Book Review.

The promoters of the Everything You Need to Know tour have claimed that Icke has been granted a visa, with appearances locked in for Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane, Hobart and Sydney, starting on 1 March.

Read the article by Paul Karp in The Guardian.