Michael Danby, supporting Jews over Gays

Sep 21, 2012

Michael Danby is the Federal MP for Melbourne Ports, an electorate that has sizeable Jewish and gay populations.  He has taken a swing at ABC’s Q&A for hosting a show with Israeli content on the Jewish New Year, at a time when many in the Jewish community chose not to watch television due to religious observance.

Tony Jones, the host of Q&A, explained to that segment of Australia’s population that Q&A focusing half of its program on Monday night on Israel was because he could not get his guest Mr Pappe other than that night. Irving Wallach did a brave job on the program. But I question Mr Jones; the ABC managing director, Mark Scott; and indeed the new chairman, Jim Spigelman. This was a studied insult. Having an academically undistinguished extremist on Rosh Hashana is like having someone from Hizb ut-Tahrir advocate the abolition of Christianity and Australia on Christmas Eve.

At the same time Danby is a member of a political party that is led by the Prime Minister of Australia, Julia Gillard, who believes gay people should not have equal rights before the law.  He also has colleagues, including the leader, who actively voted against the rights of gay people this week.  Conveniently, Danby was absent during the vote.

I have yet to see a single word of support from Michael Danby for marriage equality, despite him being apparently supportive of it.  Further, I have yet to see a statement showing Michael Danby’s outrage at the lack of support from his political colleagues for voting against their party platform.

20120921 Michael Danby on Marriage Equality

Australian Marriage Equality – Where Your MP Stands: Michael Danby

Michael Danby.  Put up or shut up, but don’t have it both ways.


What do organ donation and homosexuality have in common?

Jun 20, 2011

[SOURCE] [PDF]

On May 23 2011 the Jewish Community Council of Victoria made a submission to the Victorian Government on the topic of organ donation.  In this submission I found a particularly profound statement by the JCCV President, John Searle:

Also note, the Jewish community is very diverse and ranges in its religious views from ultra-orthodox to secular

This was written in the context of how the issue of organ donation might be treated by different sections of the Jewish community.  The more Orthodox members of the community will have a different approach to organ donation than the Progressives, who may have a different approach to the non-religious or secularists.

Do you see where I’m going with this?  Read on.

The JCCV has stated openly to the government that there are a diverse variety of Jews in the community that it claims it is the voice for, and that in writing the submission, it has made it clear that there is no one position on organ donation in the Jewish community.  I’d agree with that.

Now let’s play a game.  I like to call it “swapsies”.  It’s where you swap some words in a sentence for some other words and see how the changed text reads.  Here’s the revised wording I’d like to propose:

After an extensive community consultation, we have provided a summary below in response to “other matters that should be considered in relation to mechanisms to increase acceptance of homosexuality in Victoria.” Please note that Halacha or Halachic refers to Jewish law and the way Jews live their lives, be it from a religious or traditional perspective. Also note, the Jewish community is very diverse and ranges in its religious views from ultra-orthodox to secular.

This new statement is as equally valid as the one that the JCCV submitted to the Victorian Government.  However it’s not one that the JCCV has yet made, but there’s no reason why it couldn’t be, at an appropriate juncture.  Thing is, I was told in person by John Searle in late 2009 that there is only a single Jewish approach to homosexuality.  I challenged him on this outrageous and false statement, one that I’ll go as far as to call a blatant and outright lie, stating to him that there are a range of Jewish views on homosexuality.  That was the point where Searle then sent me this letter telling me he couldn’t work with me because apparently I was being obstructionist.  Me.  Obstructionist.  Ha.  Only to his ego and career prospects.

Thanks to John Searle we now know there’s more than one Jewish perspective on organ donation.  In fact he’s told us there’s a whole range of opinions on the issue in the very diverse Jewish community that the JCCV claims to speak on behalf of.  Funnily enough, I know there’s also a range of opinions on the issue of homosexuality in the same very diverse community that the JCCV claims to speak on behalf of, yet John Searle won’t admit this.

Searle and his JCCV have never once mentioned that the Progressive Jewish community are completely accepting of homosexuality.  So accepting are the Progressives of homosexuality that they’ve recently endorsed their support for legislative change allowing same-sex couples to get married.  But we won’t hear a word of this from the JCCV.  It’s shtumville there.

That looks and smells like the usual JCCV double standards to me.  But that’s not a surprise, because the JCCV is full of smelly double standards.


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