Conspiracy theorist David Icke has blasted the immigration minister, David Coleman, for revoking his visa just hours before boarding a flight to Australia for his March speaking tour.
Icke, a former footballer and sports broadcaster best known for his theory that the world is run by a cabal of giant shape-shifting lizards, has claimed Jewish people bankrolled Hitler, caused the 2008 global financial crisis and staged the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
On Wednesday Icke issued a statement claiming he had been “the victim of a smear campaign from politicians who have been listening to special interest groups” after community groups including the Anti-Defamation Commission and the Executive Council of Australian Jewry called on the government to revoke his visa.
Icke said that his visa, issued in September, “has now been thrown out at the last hour”, blaming Coleman for a decision he said also cited his views on vaccinations and global warming.
Quoting from the decision, Icke rejected the view that his tour poses “a risk to the health, safety or good order of the Australian community or a segment of the Australian community”.
Icke said he had been to Australia 10 times since 1997 “without incident” and he “was not even going to mention the Jewish community” to his audiences in Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane, Hobart and Sydney.
Dvir Abramovich, the chairman of the ADC, thanked Coleman for “heeding our call and for declaring in a loud voice that antisemites and Holocaust deniers will never find a home in Australia”.
“Allowing Icke into our country would have crossed red lines and would have sent the message that it is open season on the Jewish community and that vilifying and maligning Australian Jews is OK and normal,” he said.