CELEBRITY chef Pete Evans has come under fire this week for interviewing British conspiracy theorist David Icke for an upcoming episode of his podcast.
Icke, who was banned from Australia in February last year, has labelled Judaism an “incredibly racist religion” and has suggested that Holocaust denial be taught in schools.
He has also claimed that “Rothschild Zionists” secretly dominate the world and that Jews bankrolled Adolf Hitler.
On Monday, Evans, who has previously courted controversy with his views on vaccinations and COVID-19, posted on Instagram, “Just finished a 2 hour podcast with @davidickeofficial. Thank you David for a stimulating and enlightening heart opening conversation into the realm of infinite possibilities.”
Urging the former My Kitchen Rules host to do “some serious soul searching”, chairman of the Anti-Defamation Commission Dvir Abramovich said, “It beggars belief that Mr Evans is giving a thumbs-up and mainstreaming and legitimising a hate-preacher who has a long-standing record of peddling antisemitic conspiracy theories and stomach-churning bigoted rants.”
Calling on Evans to “shelve this podcast”, Abramovich added, “Giving Icke a voice and a platform is profoundly shameful, and will only bolster the credibility.”
Abramovich, who said he has written to Evans, highlighted a number of Icke’s claims including that he accused the “Rothschild Zionists,” of causing the 2008 global financial crisis and staging the 9/11 terrorist attacks, that he asserted that racist far-right groups are fronts for the Jews, and that a Jewish organisation was behind the slave trade.
Icke himself has denied he is antisemitic and a Holocaust denier, and there is no suggestion that Evans shares his views on these topics.
In May this year, though, Evans had already been cautioned to be wary of associating with Icke.
The chef was criticised for encouraging his Instagram followers to watch an interview with Icke in which he dismissed COVID-19 as “a fake pandemic with no virus”, while blaming infections on 5G antennae.
Federal MP for Macnamara Josh Burns, who was among the communal leaders and politicians lobbying for the British conspiracy theorist to be banned from Australia last year, wrote to Evans at the time highlighting Icke’s “long history of antisemitism”.
Burns wrote, “Mr Icke was denied a visa to Australia for good reason – his conspiracy theories incite hatred of Jewish people … While we obviously do not agree on vaccinations, I would hope that we could agree that all forms of racism must be confronted and opposed. As such, I ask you to not promote Mr Icke and his abhorrent views again.”