In St. Peter’s Square, in the Vatican, Pope Francis condemned Holocaust denial, while on the other side of the world, in Australia, the government announced that any visa applications to enter the country by Kanye West should be rejected. The decision comes in the wake of anti-Semitic comments made by the American rapper, who now signs as Ye, in recent months.
The Pope was speaking at the General Audience this Wednesday on the occasion of the International Day in Remembrance of the Victims of the Holocaust, which is celebrated on 27 January. “The memory of this extermination of millions of Jews and people of other faiths can never be forgotten or denied,” Francis defended. He added: “There cannot be a constant commitment to building brotherhood together without first rooting out the roots of hatred and violence that fueled the horror of the Holocaust.”
Hours earlier, in Sydney, the Minister of Education, Jason Clare, responded to public pressure to deny Kanye West’s request in that country. The ruler defined the rapper’s anti-Semitic comments as “horrible” and recalled that similar situations have happened in the past: “All people as soon as they applied for visas to enter Australia were rejected.”
In an interview with the Channel Nine television station, the minister did not clarify whether Ye had already applied for a visa, but said “hope that if that happens”, the rapper “go through the same process and answer the same questions” that others have had to answer in the past. For example, in 2019, British conspiracy theorist David Icke was denied entry into Australia.
So far, Kanye West’s spokesman has not responded to any requests for comment on Australia’s decision.
Jewish groups around the world, such as the US Anti-Defamation League, have warned of an increase in anti-Semitic incidents and comments. The Claims Conference, an NGO that raises awareness of the importance of the Holocaust and its denial, issued a statement this Wednesday, where it regrets the growing percentage of people who believe the number of victims of this humanitarian catastrophe to be a myth — it is estimated that six million Jews died.
“Study after study continues to show a decrease in knowledge about the Holocaust. The tendency to deny or distort this event is equally worrying”, reinforced the president of the NGO, Gideon Taylor.
In recent months, Kanye West has entered a downward spiral that has seen him lose out on multimillion-dollar deals with brands like Adidas or Balenciaga. He was even banned from Twitter for anti-Semitic comments, where he not only denied the Holocaust, but said he admired Adolf Hitler.
Ex-wife Kim Kardashian condemned the comments on social media, writing that “hate speech is never acceptable or forgivable”. And she appealed: “I join the Jewish community in calling for the appalling violence and hate speech against it to end immediately.”
However, the socialite declared that she will not comment on the behavior of the father of the children, nor talk about the topic to minors – North, nine years old, Saint, seven, Chicago, five, and Psalm, three – for the protect.
Ye, as he is now legally known, also made the rounds of the world for standing up against the Black Lives Matter movement and losing not only money through his erratic behavior, but even friends.