The premier of the Australian state of Victoria Dan Andrews has sparked outrage after claiming that the opposition Liberal Party harbors “Nazis.”
Andrews made the comment days before the state’s election.
“I want to be very clear here. Nazis, resists and bigots have no place in politics. They have no place in our parliament. And they have no place in our state,” Andrews tweeted.
He added in a follow up tweet: “The Liberal Party are actively supporting candidates who espouse those views. I’m not going to name them – I’m not going to give them the satisfaction of airtime. But I am going to call it out. This is what’s at stake this election.”
The premier’s allegations were denounced by the chair of Australia’s Anti Defamation Commission, Dvir Abramovich, who said that while he was in solidarity with the government and opposition parties to ensure neo-Nazis are never elected, it was “unacceptable” to use Holocaust comparisons to vilify political opponents, according to the Daily Mail.
'I have repeatedly spoken out against the marshalling of the Holocaust for political aims and have said that there is no excuse for public figures to play the Nazi card and to use this supercharged term as a blunt tool to score political points,' Abramovich said. “Holocaust comparisons are never valid, cheapen and drain this unparalleled event of its true horrors, and distort young people's understanding of this inhuman period.”
He added: “When will our elected representatives understand that throwing such terms as 'Nazis' is simply unacceptable and belittles the indescribable atrocities carried out on an industrial, monstrous scale in Nazi Germany and across Europe during WWII?“
On Monday, Abramovich challenged Andrews to back up his claim by naming any Nazi candidates running in the election.
“If there are candidates in this election that possess Hitler’s genocidal objectives, or are espousing antisemitic views, or are advocating the deliberate, industrialized liquidation of the Jewish community and other minorities they should be named and called out,” he told reporters.