Comments on the AJN coverage of the JCCV GLBT Reference Group

May 7, 2010

On January 12 2010 the AJN reported the establishment of a JCCV reference group to investigate the needs of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) people in the Jewish community.  This reference group is a fat pile of smokescreen and deflection and that if anyone wanted to know what GLBT people need to stop us from suffering depression, anxiety, self harm and suicide, it’s exactly the same as what non-GLBT people need – unconditional love, acceptance, inclusion, visibility – minus the added bigotry, hate and intolerance.  It doesn’t take a law degree to work that much out.  But I digress.

Two comments have been posted to this story.  One by Efron, who’s got his head buried up the same orifice that every other religious nutcase bigot has theirs firmly lodged, and another by Ilan, who is clearly planted in reality and not in some ancient fantasy land.

Poor Efron.  He doesn’t want people to get upset because the JCCV, on the surface at least, are trying to help gay people.  How considerate.  Dear Efron, if you have children and one of them tops themselves because you told them they were the spawn of satan and were dirty filth because they wanted to love someone of the same gender, lets hope you don’t get upset.  Not to mention the child themselves going through living hell because they had to hide their sexuality from you for years for fear of being kicked out of home and the community, or just told to repress their sexuality and pretend to be something they’re not.  But you probably wouldn’t care because you’re a god fearing man.  Best advice I have for you if you aren’t prepared to open your mind to the 21st century is to Foxtrot Oscar.

Thanks for your support Ilan.  Much appreciated.

Michael.

efron says:

Hasn’t the JCCV learned from the past that pandering to the noisy – and miniscule – gay lobby is a recipe for another debacle?

Have they already forgotten the warnings of the late and lamented Rabbi Chaim Gutnick z”l about this matter?

Do they really again wish to alienate the rabbis, the Orthodox Shuls and the traditional and even irreligious members of the Victorian Jewish community who are either totally opposed to giving this group of individuals a voice on the community’s official forum or are bored and disinterested with the bleating of a few troublemakers?

John Searle should be VERY wary of trying to act “politically-correct” by engaging with such persons in the name of the JCCV.

We understand that they may need help with health and mental issues, suicide prevention, discrimination or any other matter.
Let them go to any of the dozens of organizations that have been established for homosexuals specifically for this purpose. After all, Jewish and non-Jewish homosexuals generally have the same problems and issues. And should a specific “Jewish” matter arise, they can visit a rabbi in private and advice will surely be forthcoming.

Searle should understand that the orthodox communities – together with those who do not believe that homosexuality is a specific Jewish problem – are by far the largest proportion of the Jewish population. It makes no sense to upset them needlessly.

ilan says:

Below I post a letter I wrote to the AJN 10 years ago in response to that “debacle” of which Efron reminds readers. It’s a shame that people like Efron have not changed in the last decade. If somebody is being pandered to, it is the Orthodox establishment. I hope the Rabbis do not hold the JCCV to ransom by threatening to withdraw funding if they do not get their way, like they did in 1999. The letter reads:

We were shocked when we read about the failure of the Jewish Community Council of Victoria to adopt the motion accepting Aleph Melbourne, the support group for Jewish gay men, as an affiliate at their March plenum.

The failure to adopt the motion has more to do with fear, intolerance and prejudice than with constitutions or standing orders. This is evident by the fact that the lack of quorum which ultimately led to the motion not being passed “did not… prevent the meeting from electing Sandra Lipman as Arts and Culture Committee chairperson.”

There are Jewish homosexuals who live in Melbourne and Aleph represents them and should represent them on the JCCV. By failing to admit Aleph as an affiliate of the Council our Jewish communal leaders send out a strong message: “We don’t want you! We don’t value you! We don’t count you as part of our community! And we don’t even care if you assimilate!” Our organised community has told Jewish homosexuals that they must quash one intrinsic component of their identity. They can be Jewish or gay, but not both.

Those who argue against the proposal citing Halachah as their justification are misguided. The Council is not an Orthodox body and is not governed by Halachah. If, however, one were to argue from an Halachic point of view, it seems hypocritical for particular individuals and organisations to accept Reform and Secular Humanistic representation on the Council but to object to Jewish homosexual representation. One need not support a gay lifestyle in order for one to support Jewish homosexuals’ rights.

We commend NCJW delegate Rhysia Rozen for her comments during the plenum and urge all readers to pressure the leadership of the organisations to which they are members to vote for the proposal when it is discussed again at the next JCCV plenum. It would be an embarrassment for our community if prejudice wins out.


Jewish News – Letter to the Editor – Internet Hate

May 3, 2010

From: Michael Barnett <mikeybear69@gmail.com>
Date: 3 May 2010 02:11
Subject: Letter to the Editor / Your Voice: On Internet Hate
To: AJN Letters to the Editor <letters@jewishnews.net.au>
Cc: yourvoice@jewishnews.net.au

I refer to the cover story on Internet Hate in last week’s edition.  The Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) oversees the B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation Commission (BB ADC).  It also auspices a reference group “to address issues of vilification and discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) Jews as well as mental health issues occasioned by exclusion”.

In August 2009 I brought to the attention of the BB ADC the situation where a Jewish blog site in Melbourne was publishing hate material targetting gay Jews in Melbourne and Israel.  Deborah Stone of the BB ADC responded by saying “Unfortunately my board is not prepared for our organisation to engage with discrimination issues beyond our specific remit of antisemitism and racism”.

I put it to the JCCV now that if they, and in fact the entire Jewish community, are serious about Internet based hate material then a zero-tolerance for all forms of hate targetting people in the Jewish community must be established.  It is unacceptable to selectively fight some types of hate and turn a blind eye to others.

It is also incongruous of the JCCV to claim to be addressing discrimination against GLBT Jews at the same time as not speaking out against the hate material targetting GLBT Jews.

The Jewish community must speak out against homophobic hate from within it’s own walls and not be the perpetrator of hate if it wants the wider society to help when it claims to be the victim of anti-semitic hate.

Michael Barnett.
Ashwood
0417 595 541


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