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The Australian's Nazi cartoon described as being "unacceptable"

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The Australian newspaper and cartoonist Bill Leak have been criticised over a cartoon published in yesterday’s edition of the newspaper which depicted the supporters of marriage equality to the Nazi regime.

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Dr Dvir Abramovich, Chairman of the Anti-Defamation Commission (ADC) said he understood why cartoonists are drawn to the Nazi analogy but described the comparison as repulsive.

The ADC describes itself as one of Australia’s leading civil and human rights organisations. The Australian Jewish community organisation aims to fight anti-Semitism and all forms of racism.

“I recognise how irresistible the Nazi analogy is for cartoonists looking to generate shock and headlines and grab attention. But no matter how strong Leak’s objections to marriage equality advocates, to compare them to the Waffen SS, part of Hitler’s demonic regime and responsible for the murder of millions, only adds to the cynical debasement, twisting and abusing of the Holocaust so prevalent today.” Dr Abramovich said.

“To  draw such repulsive equations is deeply offensive, shows a gross  lack of understanding of the historical truth, and only fans the flames of hatred and demonisation of the LGBTI community. It also insults the memory of the victims, which included gay people, as well as hurts the survivors and all those who fought valiantly against the Nazis in WWII.

“Such analogies are totally unacceptable, even in satirical cartoons,  and only serve to coarsen public debate. They  have no place in Australia’s civil discourse and must be repudiated.” Dr Abramovich concluded.

Michael Barnett co-convenor of Aleph Melbourne, a support group for Jewish LGBTIQ people, told Gay News Network that he thought Leak’s cartoon was disturbing.

“On many levels it is disturbing to see a campaign to advance human rights being likened to part of the Nazi regime,” Barnett said.

“In no way is there a comparison between the tactics deployed by the Waffen-SS and those who are advocating for equality. Although both Jews and homosexuals were victims of the Nazis, few non-Jewish homosexual people would have a direct connection to the horrors of Nazi regime, yet many Jews do.

“For those of us who do, the memories are fresh and painful, often through stories of murdered relatives or families broken by the shattered lives of the survivors. The knowledge of my mother’s uncles families who were exterminated in Treblinka is a pain I feel very deeply.” Barnett said.

Leak is not the first person to compare LGBTIQ lobbyists to the Nazi regime. Back in 2012 the Australian Christian Lobby’s Chairman Jim Wallace said the campaign for same sex marriage would be a credit to Hitler’s propoganda minister Jospeh Goebels.

“I think this whole campaign would do great credit to Joseph Goebbels”, Jim Wallace said on the Chanel 7 program Sunrise before being cut-off by host David Koch.

Religious author Bill Muehlenberg has regularly used the phrase ‘gaystapo’ to describe marriage equality advocates on his blog.

The Australian and cartoonist Bill Leak declined to comment. 

OIP Staff

 

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