Is Kanye coming to Melbourne?
'Threat to community'

Is Kanye coming to Melbourne?

There are calls for Immigration Minister Andrew Giles to deny rapper Kanye West a visa to enter Australia.

West (centre) attends the Givenchy Spring-Summer 2023 fashion show last year. Photo: Julien De Rosa/AFP
West (centre) attends the Givenchy Spring-Summer 2023 fashion show last year. Photo: Julien De Rosa/AFP

The Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ) has written to Immigration Minister Andrew Giles to request that the rapper Kanye West be denied a visa to enter Australia.

It follows media reports that he intends to visit Melbourne in the coming days to meet the family of his new wife, designer Bianca Censori.

ECAJ co-CEO Peter Wertheim said that the letter, sent on Monday, suggested why it is reasonable for the minister to suspect that West does not pass the character test specified in the Migration Act, and why refusing him a visa would be in the national interest.

“We also provided background as to [West]’s capacity, as a celebrity musician, to exercise enormous influence over younger people,” Wertheim said.

“A meeting has now also been organised with the minister.”

Wertheim said, “[West]’s record of inflammatory, racially-charged rhetoric in the US has resulted in outrage from both the African-American and Jewish communities among many others, and saw him barred from certain social media platforms.

“We have argued that if [West] were allowed to enter or to remain in Australia, there is a significant risk that he would vilify a segment of the Australian community, namely the Australian Jewish community and First Nations Australians.

“So we have also reached out to our colleagues in the First Nations communities to alert them to [West]’s record, and are hopeful that they will also make their voices heard.”

The Australia/Israel and Jewish Affairs Council said on social media that West’s “documented hateful statements have energised anti-Jewish racists in the US and he can’t conceivably be considered of ‘good character'”.

Australian oleh and CEO of the International Legal Forum Arsen Ostrovsky also wrote a letter to Giles calling for the minister to exercise his legal authority “to deny entry to Mr West”.

He stated that West “poses a clear and direct threat to the Australian Jewish community”, adding that the rapper is “no different” from the neo-Nazis who had antisemitic paraphernalia confiscated in Queensland last week.

The Anti-Defamation Commission (ADC), has also called on Giles to refuse West’s visa.

Chairman of the ADC Dr Dvir Abramovich said, “Calling for violence and hate must have consequences, and Australia should not put out the welcome mat to a hate-monger who spews threats against the Jewish community.”

On Tuesday, Opposition leader Peter Dutton said he would not let West into Australia.

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