Jewish groups in Australia want the “despicable” Kanye West banned from the country as he plans to visit the family of his new wife, Bianca Censori.
The rapper, who now goes by Ye, reportedly married the Australian-born architect earlier this month and is believed to be due to arrive in her hometown of Melbourne on Wednesday.
But leading Jewish organizations have petitioned Immigration Minister Andrew Giles to block West’s visa and stop him from entering the country over his recent antisemitic comments.
“He’s a blatant antisemite, he’s a hate preacher who loves Nazis and worships Hitler, and the Jewish community feels that Australia shouldn’t open the door to this serial bigot who incites violence…and keeps company with white supremacists,” Dvir Abramovich of the Anti-Defamation Commission told Newsweek.
“The minister for immigration needs to make a clear statement that hate speech and racism will never find a safe haven in our country and deny his entry,” he said. “Anything else sends a wrong and frightening message that it’s open season on the Jewish community.”
United States citizens require a tourist visa or approved Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) to enter Australia and the immigration minister has the power to block any person’s visa based on a “character test.”
Several Jewish groups wrote to Giles to ask him to block West’s visa based on the criteria that his conduct—past and present—could lead the minister to consider him not of good character and, therefore, a risk that his presence in Australia could be disruptive or threatening to the community.
Newsweek reached out to Giles and the Australian Department of Home Affairs for comment.
Melbourne is the capital of the state of Victoria and is home to the largest Jewish population in Australia, according to the 2021 census.
“Melbourne is a diverse, multicultural and peaceful place…In recent months, Kanye West has spread dangerous antisemitic conspiracies, threatened violence against Jewish people and met with notorious antisemites,” Daniel Aghion, president of the Jewish Community Council of Victoria, told Newsweek.
Aghion added that West has “a sizeable platform” which could “endanger Jews around the world.”
“We have a problem from hell,” said Abramovic, who described watching “neo-Nazis taking their online activities into the real world” and posing an increased threat in Australia.
Australia saw a 35 percent rise in antisemitic attacks in 2021, according to research by the Executive Council of Australian Jewry. In Melbourne, graffiti appeared in an area with a large Jewish population after Ye’s spate of controversial tweets that read “Kanye was right,” alongside a giant swastika.
Other recent antisemitic events occurred as recently as last week when a group of neo-Nazis performed a Nazi salute at a lookout in the suburb of Elwood, another area with a sizeable Jewish population.
Leaders are concerned that West’s presence in Australia could incite more attacks or embolden those who share their views.
“We generally favor free speech but the usual red line is advocacy or incitement to violence,” the Australian Jewish Association’s David Adler told Newsweek, referring to Ye’s tweet on October 8, 2022, saying “I’m going death con [Defcon] 3 on JEWISH PEOPLE.”
Abramovic also said the feeling amongst both Jewish and non-Jewish people alike is that West’s antisemitic comments are not only “very dangerous,” but also “tears to shreds” Australia’s fundamental principles of tolerance and inclusivity.
“If you’re a demagogue of division and if you’re a preacher of hate, we don’t want you here,” he said.
LGBTQ groups are also wary of Ye’s presence in the country, noting his apparent backflip in his support for the community when he invited rapper DaBaby to perform with him at his Donda album listening party in 2021. DaBaby has made multiple homophobic comments in the past.
“Until such time as Ye has unambiguously demonstrated he is a true friend of the Jewish people and has distanced himself from his hurtful antisemitic comments, and similarly has proven he is an LGBTIQ+ ally at least to the level he was in 2005, I support calls for the Australian government to deny him entry on character grounds,” said Michael Barnett, co-convenor of Aleph Melbourne, a Jewish LGBTQ group.
Reports of Ye’s new marriage come just months after he finalized his divorce from Kim Kardashian, with whom he shares four children: daughter North, 9, son Saint, 6, daughter Chicago, 4, and son Psalm, 3.
West and Kardashian married in July 2014 and finally reached a divorce settlement in November, almost two years after Kardashian filed for divorce citing “irreconcilable differences” in February 2021.
Censori works as Head of Architecture at Yeezy, Yet’s clothing and apparel brand. Last month, Ye seemingly released a song in tribute to his new love called, “Censori Overload.”