On Monday, a new law banning the trade in, and public display of Nazi imagery and gestures went into effect in Australia.
The Counter-Terrorism Legislation Amendment, passed last month by Australia’s parliament, makes it a criminal offense to exhibit the Nazi swastika, Schutzstaffel SS-runen, or to salute in a manner similar to what was common in the Third Reich. Violators will be subject to a maximum of 12 months’ imprisonment.
In addition to the World War II era symbols, the Islamic State flag was also classified as an offending object under this law.
Australia’s Attorney General, Mark Dreyfus, said in a press release that the new regulations send, “A clear message, there is no place in Australia for acts and symbols that glorify the horrors of the Holocaust and terrorist acts.”
This action by Canberra is being implemented at a time when Australia is experiencing rising incidents of antisemitism in the wake of the Oct. 7 invasion of southern Israel by the Hamas terror organization.
According to the Executive Council of Australia Jewry, the country was involved in 657 antisemitic incidents in the first two months following the war in Gaza. In one episode on Oct. 9, protestors at the iconic Sydney Opera House set ablaze an Israeli flag and chanted “gas the Jews.”
The use of Nazi elements is currently prohibited by law in 23 additional nations.