The greatest harm towards members of the Australian Jewish community comes not from outside it’s high security walls, but rather, from within.
Two stories published on January 31 2012 came to my attention this week: “Safety at all costs” (The Age) and “The Jewish Press won’t be silenced” (The Jewish Press). After reading these stories it’s clear to me that the greater harm toward members of the Australian Jewish community comes not from outside it’s high security walls, but rather, from within.
The Age story talks about the tens of millions of dollars the Australian Jewish community spends on security each year and questions the merit of such a large investment:
… the inconvenient truth was that the Jewish community had not faced a terror attack in Australia for 30 years, since the Hakoah Club and Israeli consulate in Sydney were bombed on the same day.
The Jewish Press story, coming from a US-based perspective but nevertheless one that is transplantable to the local context, advises:
A significant number of suicide attempts are committed by boys from not just religious but rabbinic homes — because they thought they were homosexual and had no place in the Orthodox world they grew up in, even if they had never acted on those impulses.
If the Jewish community is serious about preventing harm to those within its ranks, which I believe it is, it should, as a matter of priority and urgency, rethink its approach to community security and how best it invests its millions of dollars. It should be addressing the real and alarming problem of youth suicide, ubiquitous amongst religious communities that are intolerant of homosexuality. Only then, when all traces of the harm have been eradicated, should the focus be placed on the less evident issues affecting the safety of the community.
The Jewish Community Council of Victoria is a serial bully. It runs to the police to cry out against ant-Jewish hate but tolerates and promotes anti-gay attitudes. The Jewish bully needs a good spank.
This week the Australian Jewish News advised that the Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) has launched a new reporting system for anti-Semitic incidents. They’ll be working with their Community Security Group and Victoria Police. That’s good news. This sort of hate needs to be identified and countered.
Welcoming the initiative, JCCV president John Searle said, “This is a great step forward in our relationship with the police. They will now have a much better understanding of the issues we face.”
No doubt they will. The JCCV are not shy at bringing “the issues we face” to the attention of the community and authorities, when they are so motivated.
I have a message for JCCV president John Searle. Next time you’re on the phone to Victoria Police, please ask them to transfer you to their Gay and Lesbian Advisory Unit.
Please tell the GLAU that GLBT members of the Jewish community face homophobia, intolerance, marginalisation, hate, discrimination and contempt and that the JCCV tolerates and contributes to these attitudes originating from both within and external to the community.
Please tell the GLAU that the JCCV sees GLBT people as inferior members of the community, to be feared, and does not believe they are worthy of being admitted as members of the JCCV because they are perceived to be a risk to community stability.
Victoria Police needs to know that the JCCV is a serial bully, constantly crying out against anti-Jewish attitudes, but simultaneously perpetrating anti-gay attitudes and intolerance.
The JCCV is not playing the game fairly. It plays by its own duplicitous rules, doing what it wants, when it suits it.
Time is up JCCV. The Jewish Community bully is a bad boy and it needs a really good spank.