Of course, silence will reign in the Jewish community because there’s no anti-Semitism or anti-Zionism here. Just some good old-fashioned homophobia, and we know that the leaders of the community don’t consider homophobia to be much of a problem because they won’t speak out against it.
Never mind if you’re a gay person being bashed by a homophobic thug in the street, as happened in Collingwood in October. But that’s ok, because it wasn’t an anti-Semitic attack and it wasn’t an anti-Israel attack. It was just a boring gay bashing. Gay bashing. Gay bashing. Gay bashing. Boring. Everyday. Gay. Bashing.
When will the leaders speak out against this hatred? Why are they so silent on the matter? Perhaps gay children are expendable.
MONDAY, DECEMBER 13, 2010
Sending kids to a Jewish youth group used to mean that you hoped they would spend their time there being imbued with Jewish and mentchlich values and ideals.Habonim, it seems, has decided to go in the opposite direction.
We wonder how happy the parents are about this.
(Also it’s quite obvious that the AJN can’t find anything else newsworthy to report about this group.)
Tuesday, December 14, 2010 10:46:00 PM
How shameful of Habo management to allow this. And the AJN is continuing is promotion of gays and their issues
Wednesday, December 15, 2010 9:49:00 PM
I feel neither way about this issue…
- Adam Braitberg
Wednesday, December 15, 2010 10:07:00 PM
To all those reading this thread, My Name is Adam Braitberg, and all though you may not be able to see it, that boy in the photo with the Habo Chultzah (shirt) is me.
I have spent my life in the Melbourne Jewish Community, Been a chanich and now a Madrich (leader) at Habonim Dror, i have been involved in Jewish education since i was a child as well as constant hours volunteering for many for the Jewish charities in our community and Israel.
And Guess What I am also Gay, Habonim Dror is a youth movement that is there for all chanichim (kids) regardless of sexual orientation, by attending a same-sex rally, we show that we support all people, regardless of difference. We educate our chanichim (kids) about respecting all individuals, a value that Judaism holds very highly, we also encourage them to see where there is something wrong in the world, and to actively make a change. And the lack of tolerance much of the world shows to same sex individuals is something that needs to change.
There are many people around the world not given the same rights as us. It’s not just youth movements that should be trying to make a difference, it is us as a Jewish Nation that should be upholding our values as people, and trying to make that change.
- Tyger-Lee Baise
Wednesday, December 15, 2010 11:02:00 PM
I am featured in this photo and I am proud to say that my parents are extremely proud of me.
Sending your child to a Jewish Youth Movement is not only about instilling Jewish values and ideals but educating youth on issues facing many people. This rally was an opportunity for us to show our support for the values of equality, civil rights and respect for all human beings.
So yes my parents are proud of me and I am so proud to be a part of a youth movement that stands up for all people being intrinsically valuable and unique and is accepting of ALL human beings.
- Shilloby Weezel
Wednesday, December 15, 2010 11:13:00 PM
Tyger that’s really great for your parents. Now what about joining in a march with Muslims demanding teh right to polygamy? That too comes under civil rights and respect of humans who are also intrinsically valuable and unique
- Bill K
Wednesday, December 15, 2010 11:18:00 PM
Adam, you have all my sympathy for your sad predicament . But really, why the need to advertise your sexual proclivities?
Do what you like, but don’t bore the world with your activities.
Habo has always been for ‘normals’ and not an outlet for problematics with sexual issues.
So I can’t see any reason why they now go marching with the perverts and abnormals of the Sex party.
That was NOT the way it was when I was in Habo some years ago.
Or should you change the name from Habo to Homo?
Wednesday, December 15, 2010 11:21:00 PM
Well stated Shilloby. Why not go a step further? What if someone wishes to marry his dog, cat or even chimpanzee (remember that homo-pedophile Michael Jackson?)?
Will Tyger and Adam and the Habonim crew be marching for that too?
I wouldn’t be surprised if the answer was “yes”.
- Adam Braitberg
Wednesday, December 15, 2010 11:43:00 PM
I will once again say that Habonim Dror is a youth movement with the intention of making their own chanichim feel as comfortable as possible, meanwhile instilling them with the Jewish education of respect and tolerance, which is why i would rather use education as a tool as opposed to personally attacking these points, this is not the first time i have had to use tolerance when facing these issues.
I do not see a homosexual as a ‘problematic with sexual issues,’ because i do not think i have a problem. I am in fact very comfortable with who I am. In regards to what Bill said about Habonim being for normal people, i would like to know who classifies anyone as being normal. I have spent a lot of time studying homosexuality in Judaism, as a far as i can see it we don’t chose who is normal god does. and like all people out there I was made in his divine image. I am who I am, and my sexuality does not conflict with my Jewish Identity, and Habonim Dror has acted as a good example and shown people that there are those who care for them when others don’t.
This Isn’t about the issue of homosexuality in our community, this is about a youth movement that decided that same-sex rights is a cause that they should be fighting for!
Wednesday, December 15, 2010 11:43:00 PM
Firstly, I think it’s absurd that you are comparing same-sex marriage rights to marrying another species.
Those posting negative comments in an attack on youth standing up for equality and what they believe is valuable need to stop being so ignorant on the topic of same-sex marriage and furthermore on the values of equality, acceptance and compassion and do some research.
If you had any idea the repercussions of prejudice comments like this on youth and human beings struggling to be accepted and loved and treated with humility and respect I would hope that those ignorant and hurtful comments would be retracted.
Wednesday, December 15, 2010 11:55:00 PM
I as a parent of a gay child am exceedingly proud!!
Proud that in the face of this sort of obscene bigotry, he had the bravery and the strength to come out and tell us and his friends about his homosexuality.
Tragically there are some people like yourselves who would still prefer that the gay community hide their sexuality.
This is 2010, views like your own belong in the dark ages.
Proud of my child? Absolutely!!!
- Bill K
Thursday, December 16, 2010 12:14:00 AM
Adam, I repeat
you have all my sympathy for your sad predicament . But really, why the need to advertise your sexual proclivities?
Do what you like, but don’t bore the world with your activities.
Thursday, December 16, 2010 12:17:00 AM
I have spent a lot of time studying homosexuality in Judaism, as a far as i can see it we don’t chose who is normal god does
Where in Judaism have you been study homosexuality? The Torah and the Talmud ban it as they do with bestiality.
In fact both are forbidden by all the major religions. AL!
Thursday, December 16, 2010 12:19:00 AM
Deb, don’t ask don’t tell.
No one cares who or what your son sleeps with – whether normal or gay.
He and the Jewish News shouldn’t be pushing the gay agenda down our throats. Thats all.
Stop throwing in claims of bigotry.
- Adam Braitberg
Thursday, December 16, 2010 12:22:00 AM
I do apologise Bill, if this bore’s you but unfortunately the jewish community is not just about you, there are people in our community who want to hear more about the things we do when fighting for people rights. I am not advertising my own sexual proclivities, this conversation started because someone said Habonim Dror is headed in the wrong direction, and i am making it clear that the direction they are making is one that will help those who need it, my own sexual orientation has nothing to do with how i feel about Homosexual rights, if i was straight i would be fighting just as loudly, for the people who are too scared based on homophobic remarks to fight for them self.
Thursday, December 16, 2010 12:38:00 AM
This parent for one, is exceedingly proud of her gay child!!!
Especially so faced with the bigotry and hatred you show these young people.
Proud of my gay child?
Thursday, December 16, 2010 1:28:00 AM
Wow, this will be my last post on this utterly shameful blog. This website and its views are an absolute disgrace. How can we expect to find peace in the world when we cannot even find peace among ourselves.
Adam, I am so proud of who you are and dont let anyone tell you any different.
Deb, every child in this world would be lucky to have a parent who accepts, supports and stands up for her child.
To all the rest of these sad posts, ignorance is not bliss. Judgement is for the weak. You are all so absolutely stuck in a place of hatred, negativity and lack of any sense of goodness. You should be ashamed of yourselves.
No-one is “pushing the gay agenda down your throats”. The Jewish News is representative of all people within the Jewish Community including the gay community.
Please, I urge you to find some integrity, compassion, acceptance, and authentic happiness and truth. It is a sad day when Jewish people attack the future of the Melbourne Jewish Community and think they are
educating and doing the right thing”… a sad day indeed. It is no wonder that orthodoxy is dying out and the biggest epidemic is abandonment of religion. The Jewish religion and its traditions have stood the test of time because it has been able to adapt and evolve, you are threatening that. Disgraceful.
Thursday, December 16, 2010 2:02:00 AM
it seems that no one here is rejecting the basic human right to equality, but are merely asking adam and deb to stop ‘pushing the gay agenda’down their throats.
however, it seems that the point of the rally wasnt about advertising sexual proclivities, it was about human beings asking for equality and decency in a respectful manner and proper forum.
if everyone here really does believe in equality, then it should seem perfectly fine for adam and tyger to march for equal rights… and if not then admit that you dont value equality and stop hiding behind the pretense of homosexuals advertising their sexual proclivities.
- totally secular ex-israeli
Thursday, December 16, 2010 12:13:00 PM
As an irreligous person I probably shouldn’t be responding on behalf of AJNWATCH which seems to be representing the Dati side of Melbourne, but…
Maybe the comment that “their parents must be SO proud” refers to these Habo kids marching down the street with (and supporting) the hookers, pimps, smut dealers and pornographers of the Sex Party.
Tell me Deb, you’re TRULY proud of that? Is that the sort of company you welcome into your home?
Does any “normal” Jewish or even non-Jewish mother REALLY want their child associating with such dreck?
And if your answer is “yes”, then maybe you should report yourself to the authorities for child sexual abuse.
- Proud Gay Jewish Mother
Thursday, December 16, 2010 4:19:00 PM
I went to B’nei Akiva for 6 years before they asked me to leave because I wore shirts that didn’t cover my elbows and would be a ‘bad influence’ on new members. Oh the logic! The profound reasoning. Sheer brilliance.
Thank you Habbo for laughing in the face of such stupidity and welcoming me into a group of intelligent, forward thinking, compassionate and fun leaders.
I was always gay, they couldn’t really care.
As long as I participated in the programs, washed my dishes at camp and schlepped with the rest of them, who cares?
As a Melbourne University educated professional with an excellent career, assets, a wonderfully loving relationship, a wonderfully happy adult daughter, who’s to tell ME I’m any of the rediculous adjectives vomited up by the ‘secular ex-Israeli (who cares?) or cowardly ‘anonymous’s’ in previous comments.
To Deb, what a wonderful Jewish mother you are!
Proud Gay Mother
Thursday, December 16, 2010 4:45:00 PM
I still feel neither way about this issue…
- LukeThursday, December 16, 2010 5:38:00 PM
Dear Adam and Tyger-Lee…thank you for your kindness, courage and commitment to treating everyone with equality, courtesy, respect and fairness. It is people like the two of you who will make this world a much better place in generations to come.
I’ve read the responses here and they disgust me…all the anonymous cowards spouting their hypocritical and ignorant hatred.
There is nothing uncomplicated about the human species…NOTHING. Everything about us is complex and full of variables…sexual orientation is no different. Homosexuality is just one of many variations of HUMAN sexuality…just like everything else about us is full of variables. Homosexuality is NORMAL and occurs naturally in the human species and many other animal species.
All of those here who are casting stones and choosing to hate…shame on you. Human sexuality is NOT a choice…discrimination and hatred IS !
Thursday, December 16, 2010 6:25:00 PM
On what basis is it “Jewish” to stand up for “equality” and not “Jewish” to stand up for the Torah?
It makes sense to march for equality, or civil rights, or indeed anything else you want to march for, but don’t call it “Jewish” when actually it’s 100% contrary to what Judaism says.
Or are you claiming that Judaism must be updated to say whatever you feel it should say? In which case to call your view “Jewish” is trivial and worthless.
Thursday, December 16, 2010 11:17:00 PM
I am Adam’s father. To those that see fit to judge someone you don’t know or have ever met, I ask you to explain what right you think you have to behave in this manner. As Jews we are well aware of the history of bigotry, slander and false accusation. To judge my son, without knowing him is perpetuate the belief that “difference” in itself is an excuse for hatred. How ashamed am I of Jews who show such intolerance. I love you Adam. Dad
- bondi beach
Friday, December 17, 2010 12:12:00 AM
Who judged your son, George? Where?
And did you also march with the prostitues and pimps from the Sex party?
Friday, December 17, 2010 10:06:00 AM
B’H No one is judging. On a deeper level, we have to look at homosexuality as equated with bestiality and understand that both activities require the individual to submit to baser instinctive behaviours on one level that requires much effort to control. If we support marches for ‘gay rights’ and support a gay lifestyle, then why are we not marching to support child sex offenders because surely they are ‘just one of many variations of HUMAN sexuality’? Child sex offenders will use that argument to negate criticism of their behaviour to and say that they were merely ‘helping children to express their inner sexual desires’. I know that people like Mikeybear who runs Aleph have great issues with my views on the subject and I want to get away from the personal aspect of it, because there are many worthwhile and gentle sensitive gay people who contribute to society in many very worthwhile ways. However, I for one am not going to support a gay lifestyle and I certainly will not march in favour of sexual behaviour and lifestyle that I disagree with. If I had two people going for a job and both were equally qualified and one was gay, would I hesitate to hire a gay person, definitely not. Would I go to a gay nightclub (despite the fact that I do not hang out at night clubs and never have seen it as a desirable activity), definitely not, but would I stop a gay person coming to a function I (for arguments sake held) definitely not, but I would require a certain code of conduct. Am I in favour of sending my son to a Jewish Youth Group that supports same sex marriage – definitely not, because those sorts of values are not what I want for my son. I had a similar answer to someone who suggested that I remove my son from a school and send him the Caulfield Community School because they believe he has ‘behaviour issues. Now, the Caulfield Community School may be very worthwhile for the sons and daughters of XXXX (removed by blogmaster) and if I wanted my son to become like those poor little blighters and for him to get an education in the social mores of fringe dwellers, I certainly would see that as an option, but I do not. It would be the beginning of the end of him and corrupt him, Now when we choose a youth group, we want certain values to be supported and espoused. I have not come across anywhere in Jewish literature that homosexuality is a Jewish value, although people will argue that David and Jonathan had a homosexual relationship. I believe that had a deep relationship that was purely spiritual in its essence and love. I think it is very hard for us in these days, when we are so connected to the material and physical world, to conceptualise a love or a relationship that is on a purely spiritual level without physical or sexual expression. I can understand how a mother’s love for her child may entitle her to go beyond condemnation of socially unacceptable sexual behaviour and she may endeavour to ask for acceptance of her child and indeed support from the wider community for her child’s sexuality. However, while the wider community can accept her child as who he or she is, we should avoid accepting his or her deviant sexual behaviour as the norm and indeed we should avoid supporting it as the norm.
Friday, December 17, 2010 2:25:00 PM
For those who unfortunately have homosexual tendencies and are seeking ways out of it here is a website that claims to have helped many do so.
JONAH’S E-Mail Discussion Group:
(hosted by Shamash.org on world wide web)
The E-Mail Discussion Group consists of Jewish men and women who wish to be free from unwanted same-sex attractions and/or behavior. Individuals post substantive E-mails discussing healing strategies while offering friendship and hope to those struggling with these issues.
This E-mail Discussion Group was started in May of 2001 and includes participants from around the world.
This support group is a List Server format, to be included please contact us or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Men’s Support Groups:
JONAH’s Men’s Support Groups meet several times a week at the JONAH Office in Jersey City and occasionally a group meets in Manhattan. Formed in October 2001, the groups offer emotional support, counseling, and activities focused on completing the participant’s growth into manhood while regaining their God-given, innate heterosexuality by sharing friendship and healing strategies with other Jewish and non-Jewish men with similar goals.
JONAH coordinates with similar Men’s Support Groups around the world so if you would like to participate in a group, please contact us.
Experiential Weekends: We encourage our men to participate in the following non-denominational weekends which expedite their journey out of homosexuality:
- AJN WATCH WATCH
Saturday, December 18, 2010 12:06:00 PM
I regret to inform you, Ilana, that your child will one day be an outcast as a result of the illiberal, spiritually vacuous, unethical viewpoints you have taught him. On that day places like Habonim Dror will accept him and give him the opportunity to understand the beauty of love and compassion. I await your response of gratitude.
Saturday, December 18, 2010 1:00:00 PM
Wow!…But most of you are missing the point. The point is “Should “Habonim” march in the parade”- The point is NOT gay rights or Parental support of their gay children- The answer is emphatic No -Habonim should not march as a unified group !.
Individuals are welcome to representing Them themselves and their opinions. They should not be wearing Movement clothing. I and 1000’s like me have being in Habonim as teenagers and still consider us as belonging to the Movement. We do not necessarily agree! The movement is much larger than the local leaders with their “MEGALOMANIAC” OPINON. They do NOT represent the Habo opinion. I feel that there are many controversial Judaism issues- the young Habo leaders can not negate or have the power to speak for all of us over such debatable controversial topics – or declare Habo views for a public protest.
- Daniel LevySaturday, December 18, 2010 5:01:00 PM
Already, most of society views the pathetic souls who have posted their diatribes against homosexuals as wrong. Polling done in most areas of the world show 50% or more supporting equal marriage, with upwards of 80% supporting equal rights for GLBT.
Here’s the satisfying part for those of us frustrated by these idiots and their disgusting comments. In only a few decades time, you disgusting, vitriolic people will be viewed with the same disgust which we reserve for the proponents of slavery of centuries past. By the ENTIRE world.
You will be held with the same disdain as racists, as weak-minded bigots. Remember that. Remember that the internet is forever-lasting and will keep all of these comments for historians to pore over.
You will be used as examples in sociology essays about how humanity could descend to such awful levels of hatred.
You are weak-minded fools who are so insecure of their own beliefs and value structure that they must attack and spew hatred at others to shore up their own shaky foundations.
Truly shameful. You think that hiding behind god and religion to judge others makes you smart and superior. It doesn’t. We all know that it’s just your own ugly bigotry shining through and that you are using god and religion as devices to legitimise your hate. I have news for you. You are among the minority, and anybody with half a brain will tell you that you’re all idiots and morons for the simpleton views that you hold.
Enjoy your ignorance and hatred – because that’s seemingly all you have in your pathetic, unfulfilled existences. Meanwhile, everyone else will be off enjoying life and not finding reasons to hate people based on their life choices. That’s what people who lead healthy, fulfilling lives do.
*Skips off* 🙂
- facts please
Sunday, December 19, 2010 1:26:00 AM
Daniel you are SO full of it!!
“Polling done in most areas of the world show 50% or more supporting equal marriage, with upwards of 80% supporting equal rights for GLBT”
Really where did this polling take place? In your mind or at the last mass rally of thousands organised by Aleph?
Let’s get some of the facts out of the way.
In the Muslim world gay lifestyle is banned and in many places actually punishable by death. In Africa gays are treated like vermin. In the Catholic church it is banned. The vast majority of Americans (despite the non-stop propaganda by left/liberals) are against.
So please don’t present us with your BS as some genuine facts.
- Daniel LevySunday, December 19, 2010 8:28:00 AM
It’s disturbing, even creepy that you take pleasure in the fact that gays are treated like vermin in Africa. That is how the Jews were viewed prior to the Holocaust. They were then TREATED as vermin during the Holocaust. You are a truly morally defunct and hateful person to wish that sort of treatment on anybody, having only just survived it as a race.
I should have said, in my original post, that these figures applied to most areas of the -western- world. Which we are firmly a part of. My apologies. You would like some statistics and figures? Have an armful 🙂
“USA TODAY/Gallup Poll found 63 percent of adults say same-sex marriage is “strictly a private decision” between two people.
That the government has the right “to prohibit or allow” such marriages was stated by 33 percent, and 4 percent had no opinion.”
That’s the USA covered. What about Australia?
“Public opinion polls
In October 2010, a Galaxy Poll commissioned by Australian Marriage Equality measured the opinions of 1,050 Australians aged 18 and over. 
* 62% of respondents supported the recognition of same-sex marriage, with 33% opposed and 5% undecided. Support was highest amongst respondents who were intending to vote for the Australian Greens (81%), and who were aged 18-24 (80%). The majority of respondents from each state and each age bracket (except for the 50 and over category with 46% of respondents) were in support. 
* 78% of respondents supported a conscience vote on the recognition of same-sex marriage, with 16% opposed and 6% undecided. Support was highest amongst those respondents aged 18-24 (84%), and who lived in South Australia (83%). The majority of respondents from each state and each age bracket were in support. ”
And just for good measure, can I get a HOLLA from the UK?
Another survey conducted in August 2009 by Angus Reid reported lower level of support than Populus although same-sex marriage remained the most popular option in the poll; 41% of respondents believed that same-sex couples should have the right to marry, 37% believed they should be allowed to form civil partnerships but not marry and 18% supported no legal recognition. 57% of those aged 18 to 34 supported same-sex marriage while 43% of those aged 35 to 54 and 26% of those over 55 did. Support for same-sex marriage was highest in Scotland (46%) and London (43%).”
So there you go, buddy. There’s your “facts please”. I had figured that you possessed the basic typographical and reading comprehension skills required to find this information for yourself. But I guess I severely overestimated your intellectual capabilities. In hindsight, all the warning signs are there. Generally, simple-minded opinions translate to a lack of intelligence. But I’ll spell out what I did so you can go and see for yourself because you obviously need all the help you can get! 🙂 All you have to do is google ” gay rights poll” and you find all these lovely stats!
It is now only a matter of time for the western world to fully realise gay rights. Just as it was only a matter of time before MLK stormed the bastion of civil rights changed in the USA. And when all is said and done, you will go down in history as a spiteful bigot. And people will despise you for your actions. Just remember that.
Sunday, December 19, 2010 1:19:00 PM
OK Daniel, seeing that you have now brought in the Nazis and the holocaust, it’s time to invoke Godwin’s Law
“Godwin’s law “There is a tradition in many groups that, once this occurs, that thread is over, and whoever mentioned the Nazis has automatically lost whatever argument was in progress.”
However seeing that you are the one who brought this on and are so impressed by polls – even if they included only .00001% of the population – let me tell you about a WESTERN country who had a REAL poll – where millions voted and they passed laws that all Jews, homosexuals, handicapped and other were to be murdered.
Indded, anyone who tried to help any of these types to save their lives were LAWFULLY killed thyemselves.
You still want to follow polls?
Sunday, December 19, 2010 1:29:00 PM
Statistics and lies.
Here you are Daniel another set of statistics:
Americans still opposed to gay marriage
Most Americans still think same sex marriage should be illegal…but they think it will be legal within a generation.
Our newest national survey finds 57% of Americans think it should be illegal while 33% think it should be legal and 11% have no opinion. Republicans are pretty universal in thinking it should be illegal, 81/12, while Democrats only narrowly favor it 47/40. Independents array slightly against it by a 48/41 margin.
Americans within pretty much every demographic group continue to oppose gay marriage. Whites are against it 58/34, Hispanics 57/27, and African Americans 52/34. Women oppose it 55/35 and men do 59/31. Voters under 30 do 52/44, ones between 30 and 45 do 51/37, ones between 46 and 65 do 59/29 and those over 65 do 61/31.
Not that any of this makes a difference to religious Jews and non-Jews who still follow the edicts and morals of the Torah and bible.
Halacha and morals don’t change because people have become shameless in insisting on being allowed every perversion.
And daniel, what is your view on bestiality? Are you for, against or neutral? What if polls will in 10 years time show that most are not againts it, will you approve humans marrying chimps?
And will want Habonim to march in their favour?
- Daniel LevySunday, December 19, 2010 2:59:00 PM
Dear Grant and “Anonyomus”,
It is amusing but entirely unsurprising that I can address both of your absurd logical fallacies with the same argument. You see, when one lives their lives as dictated by a higher power, it erodes one’s abilities to critically analyse. When one abdicates all moral and intellectual judgment to a superior, it can become near impossible to foster analytical thinking. This does not happen in all cases, but sadly, it does so in the vast majority.
Have you ever wondered why the secular Jewish schools of Bialik and Scopus continually outperform Yavneh who is more religious, and then Yavneh in turn continually outperforms Yeshivah who is even more religious? It’s the same socio-economic background, in the same area of Melbourne. The teaching quality is more or less the same. The only difference, really, is the level of religious observance.
Would you argue that Bialik/Scopus students work any harder than a Yeshivah boy? You’d probably defiantly puff up and say the Yeshivah boy is FAR more disciplined and dedicated to his studies! Then you might say “Oh but they have different priorities, they are learning torah!” But in fact, religious studies are part of the VCE syllabus. And comically, every year, it is Bialik and Scopus who sit atop the Religion and Society high achievers list, above Yavneh, and above Yeshivah.
So even in religious studies, and then in general, continually it’s Bialik and Scopus without fail above the rest. This is because many subjects in VCE require analytical thought, which has been beaten out of many young religious adherents through years of the answer “because God said so” to the question “Why?”. Without hearing a logical process other than “the man in the sky said so”, we intellectually abdicate from our responsibility to discern the truth through logical means.
And you all snigger and laugh at those darned Habo students for being so stupid and shaming their parents. And yet they are statistically likely to achieve a higher admissions ranking and therefore land themselves better opportunities in life. I’m sure their parents are very proud, in this case 🙂
And now it brings us to your arguments. You ask, would I be in favour of bestiality if it were to curry favour with the masses? Would I similarly support the extinction of a race of people if that is what the majority wanted?
No, of course I would not. Because my support for a notion does not merely comprise popular support for it. My thought process, unlike yours, does not end with “because a higher power” (in this case, the masses) said so. And for you, this is unfathomable. At some point, you continually have to ask. What does god say? What does my rabbi say? And that is where your investigations stop.
<— More to come in the 2nd part of the comment, which you’ll find below —>
- Daniel LevySunday, December 19, 2010 2:59:00 PM
<— Second part of the comment —>
For those with the ability to discern logical reasons for actions, there is also something called human rights, and animal rights.
An animal cannot consent to sex with a human. The human is taking advantage of that animal and that is a disgusting crime against the animal.
And any good democracy has the arm of law to prevent the tyranny of the majority from hurting the minority. Thus that nullifies your point in that respect.
Similarly, murdering people violates their most basic of human rights (right to life) and so it doesn’t matter a toss what opinion poll wants them dead. They have a right to live.
BUT, and here’s the kicker… What two consenting adults choose to do (love each other, have sex with each other) DOES NOT INFRINGE ON THE RIGHTS OF OTHERS. And while that argument holds true, and so long as no rights are being infringed, then why can’t they do as they wish?
The answer is because small-minded people such as yourselves are so insecure about their own beliefs, that they must force it on others in order to shore up their shaky foundations. Cowardly, moral abdication which hurts the lives of others. How disgusting.
To Anonymous, I was hoping you’d link to that poll. That has already long been debunked as an exercise in poor polling practice. I will link you to analysis showing that the PPP poll was poorly conducted, poorly worded, had a terribly small sample size and worse – was conducted among registered voters which does not include the youth population which is the highest demographic in support of gay rights. So OOPS, you lose again.
You took the *one* poll with all of its sampling biases and errors to use as your defense. I challenge you to find another (conducted in the last 5 years) because I can guarantee you that that would be the only one.
So there you have it. Logic and reason obliterating your hyper-emotional, arms-flailing jibes. I dare you to debate me with logic and reason, because your assumptions and aspersions cast on my character are all you have in a battle that I am easily winning from an objective point of view.
To borrow a phrase and modify it a bit, I am essentially intellectually bullying you in a battle of wits for which you are quite clearly unarmed. But you both deserve it. Because your hatred for human beings who are gay is so detrimental to them that people like you are the reason that suicide rates are so high among them.
So I’m going to make fools out of you here today, so that people reading it can see for themselves how utterly stupid and horrid it is to oppose gay rights. That those who oppress the gay community are often awful bigots who are so base in their animal instincts that their fear of the unknown rules them as primitives. You’re going to learn a lesson today. Mark my words 🙂
Sunday, December 19, 2010 5:04:00 PM
Not that it will make much difference to you who, like most Bloggers, is not remotely interested in other people’s point of view, but for other readers who may be deluded by your “logic”:
1. Religious Studies at Yeshiva College is not the same as “Religion and Scoiety in VCE”. For someone who runs a VCE-support website you are remarkably uninformed as to the curriculum at the local schools.
2. Even within the terms of your own incorrect argument, you have conveniently omitted Beth Rifka – which is often with, or ahead of, Scopus and Bialik.
3. You also omitted King David – a pluralist school which should be the best at analytical thinking but is not exactly at the top of the VCE tree.
4. You also have no understanding of the analytical thinking that is Torah study. Asking “what God wants” when wading through the sea of Talmud and responsa is more analytical than, I suspect, much of what you’ve encountered (but, since I don’t know you as well as you claim to know every opposing poster, I accept that I may be wrong).
5. Your point about humans not being allowed to exploit animals is well-taken (and I assume that you’re a vegan – having sex with an unwilling animal seems less of a denail of their rights than killing and eating them). But therefore consensual incest and consensul polygamy / ployandry should be all right?
6. If you do choose to answer, can you please respect my human rights and with dignity and respect, and refrain from the generalisations and gross insults that discredit your own otherwise well-reasoned responses.
Sunday, December 19, 2010 11:14:00 PM
I dont care who you are, but none of you have the right to put down those who have orientations different to you. Further, it is up to the youth movements to decide what they will march for, and each will have their own reasons for doing so. Habonim may march for a particular cause, even if it may seem slightly away from their usual stance.
Who are you to judge? Surely it is against everything the Jewish people stand for to judge another. If religion is in this discussion then surely the judgment is up to God.
Those criticizing need to get off your high horse, and learn to understand differences within the community, and not compare homosexuality to marriage to animals. Sexual orientation has nothing to do with religion…despite how much you may want it to be.
- Daniel LevySunday, December 19, 2010 11:28:00 PM
I am not, in fact, a blogger. I am commenting on this blog, but I do not have a blog. So now who’s making generalisations?
Point by point and here we go!
1) Even so, if the religious studies are so in-depth and comprehensive why are they unable to translate that to better R+S scores? Seriously, are you telling me that despite the many extra hours put into religious study over the years at Yeshiva, that none of it bleeds over into the study of Religion and Society? I would imagine much of it does. But correct me if I’m wrong 🙂 However for all the emphasis on religious learning, still, this does not translate to achievement in their own forte. How embarrassing.
And just because I run a support website for VCE does not mean that I know every aspect of every school’s curricula. That is awfully fallacious. I know a decent chunk of the curricula of VCE subjects but to assert that I would then know what is taught at every individual school in their extra-curricular studies is absurd.
2) I omitted Beth-Rivkah because it is an established fact that all-girls schools have more focussed learning environments and therefore achieve higher results compared with co-ed and all-boys schools, as evidenced by their domination of the VCE rankings. Due to this obfuscation from the gender consideration they are not an adequate comparison.
3) King David in fact draws many of its students from the lower socio-economic areas of the Jewish community, and has the highest amount of subsidised places of any of the Jewish schools. As we have seen in the VCE system, the lower your socio-economic status, the more disadvantaged you are in the system. Sad but true. Hence, a similarly poor comparison.
4) I admit that there must be some degree of analytical thinking in the torah. But there comes a point where, in that process, one says “and it is so because God says it”. Sure, there are complex problems in Judaism which require several layers of thought. But at least one of those layers is “because God says so”. So at some point, every religious adherent of Judaism is committing that intellectual abdication of responsibility to a higher authority.
5) I am not a vegan. I do not believe that the humane killing of non self-aware animals is wrong. This, however, is an entirely different kettle of fish (pardon the pun).
6) I have made one generalisation, which I backed up with reason and logic. I have stressed numerous times that my generalisation does not apply to all the people it addresses, however, following my logical train of thought – it does apply to most. It is certainly absolutely evident in the compromised “arguments” of the two (or more?) idiots I have replied to thus far.
My insults were necessary because vitriol is the only language those idiots who pedalled their hatred seemed to speak. Logic and reason clearly does not get through to them, so I made myself understood in their terms.
If you notice, I haven’t insulted you once because your post was civilised and respectful, and I will of course do you the same courtesy.
But to those disgusting people who seek to dehumanise homosexuals… I have nothing but disdain for them, and I am not afraid to show it.
- Daniel LevySunday, December 19, 2010 11:45:00 PM
Addendum to 5) because I replied to the first part but didn’t see the second part.
Incest and polygamy/polyandry are different issues altogether. Incest is illegal and should remain illegal for very good reasons. Chief among them is the abuse of powerful trusting relationships (in the same way it is illegal for teachers to have sex with adult, consenting students as it takes advantage of a trusting relationship). But compared with a student-teacher relationship, this trust factor is magnified to the nth degree in the familial setting. Thus, the law is sound in order to protect the innocent from being abused.
Re: polygamy, you’re not going to like this but I similarly believe that it shouldn’t be illegal. It’s not the lifestyle I’d pursue, but at the same time, why would it bother me if multiple women or multiple men wanted to be bound together?
I offer you this argument from secularhumanism.org:
“After all, what’s the difference between an adulterer and a polygamist? And if it’s not illegal for a married man to support a girlfriend or two and father children out of wedlock with them, how can it be illegal for him to bind himself to them?”
Provided that all those adults participating in the relationship provided adequate care for their children, I see no reason not to allow it. Can you? (Without resorting to “IT’S UNGODLY AND THE CHILDREN WILL GROW UP AS FREAKS!” because all of the scientific data has come in that children of homosexual couples are no worse off than those born to heterosexual couples, with some studies showing slight improvement on the status quo).
So yeah… As long as nobody else’s human rights are being infringed, why should it be illegal?
Monday, December 20, 2010 12:06:00 AM
Daniel, are you saying that if that poll of 1026 or whatever number had resulted in 95% being against homosexuality etc, then homophobia would be OK?
Morals and ethics depend on poll results!!?
- totally secular ex-israeli
Monday, December 20, 2010 12:09:00 AM
To anon of 5.04 –
You really approve for our youth groups to encourage or even allow their young members to associate with pimps, smut peddlers and whores?
- Daniel LevyMonday, December 20, 2010 12:27:00 AM
To anon of 12:06 AM
You clearly have not read the rest of my posts at all. I advise you to reread my comments (all of them), and then realise that the opinion polls are merely to refute those who say that the majority agree with them. They do not.
In my other posts I explain from logic and reason why homosexuality should be legal and accepted in the community. I’m not going to rewrite them for you simply because you haven’t read them either through inability or laziness.
Monday, December 20, 2010 1:26:00 AM
Daniel Levy should raslise that novel-length responses are not what most blog-readers are interested in.
I too only quickly scanned his many and lengthy posts.
His views perfectly reflect those who have no belief in God and His Torah.
But for us religious people – the words of God are there to be obeyed and followed whether or not it is currently in fashion or politically correct.
The reason that there are still Jews in the world – 2000 years after being driven out of our land – is because we followed God and the Torah “blindly”. The Daniel Levys of Jewry have long been lost on the scrapheat of Galus.
Monday, December 20, 2010 8:37:00 AM
Thank you for your courteous response to my comments. I recommend you stick to that style because it makes your postings more readable and may persuade more readers to your point of view.
Yeshiva College’s religious studies does not translate into high Religion and Society VCE scores because, as I have said, a) there is no comparison between the two, except for the name and b) er… they don’t take that subject, so it’s quite understandable that they don’t get high scores.
You discount King David’s relatively poor results despite the fact that, as the only pluralist school, they should be best at “analytical thinking” because of their low socio-economic background of their students.
But let’s examine this further. Why does that not account for the relatively low scores at Yeshiva College, which, incidently, has far, far, more subsidised places than at KDS, without even accounting for their far lower fees to start with?
Why does that not, in reverse, account for the success of Scopus and Bialik, whose students come from a far higher socio-economic background?
You reject the evidence of Beth Rifka’s success on the basis that it’s a girls’ school and hence cannot be compared to the other Jewish schools. But surely it can be compared to the other top independent girls’ schools – Laureston, Korowa, Ruyton, Ivanhoe, etc – and, on your reasoning we would expect a very religious school, with many students from low socio-economic background and with subsidised places, to fare poorly compared to those secular schools which must be paragons of analytical thinking. Let’s check the results and see if your thesis be confirmed.
Daniel, for someone who is so excited about using his intellect to “make fools” of those with whom he disagrees, I suggest that you check that your arguments are rigorous. They are not.
I don’t disagree with you about the logic of your polygamy position(you didn’t refer to ployandry but I presume you approve of that too). I think that if the gay rights issue is framed as “let anyone marry anyone else” then it should mean exactly that – including triple- or multiple-person arrangements. But I also think that logically it should include consensual incest (you probably failed to read the word “Consensual” in my earlier post because your response completely ignored it) i.e. between siblings.
The problem that I have with the “let anyone marry” argument is that it usually means nothing of the sort. It usually means “let anyone that I think should marry, marry, but not unions that I don’t like”. In other words, the “analytical thinking” actually consists of “it’s all right if I like it, but not if I don’t” and, let’s be honest, is rarely based on a thorough reading of Hobbes, and Kant, and Locke etc.
If you claim that that’s more “analytical” than studying and analysing texts for years, raising and resolving contradictions, in order to find out “what God wants” then, you haven’t convinced me yet.
But, by all means, keep trying.
Wednesday, December 22, 2010 2:46:00 AM
Whilst I may sympathize with gays, do those who organize such marches not realize that they are making a freak show of themselves?
Look, what you do in the bedroom is your private life. I understand that you don’t want to have to keep it a big secret – but neither do you have to flaunt it. Do you want to be seen as part of some weird subculture? Or do you want to be seen as someone whom (absent their choice of partner) is “normal” in every way?
There’s no crime in parading in bizarre costumes (or dressing in drag) but gay people should realize they aren’t doing themselves any favours with these “gay pride” marches.
As a second issue, Adam and Tyger, you are human beings and deserve to be treated as such – however the fact that someone find halacha difficult is not an exemption. Your feelings and attractions are valid, but *sexual intercourse* between males is clearly forbidden by halacha. May g-d grant you the strength to face this struggle, difficult as it is. Remember, we face an eternity in shamayim. People who struggle with such urges but still keep the halacha should be considered heroes, not villans.
Over on AJN Watch…
It must be a slow news day if this topic can attract so many comments. I don’t know if anyone has researched yet if the Rebbe approved of AFL players attending Chanukah lightings but I find having gentile politicians and celebrities lighting candles (which I thought was a mizvah for yidden to perform) quite odious, even though I believe this was done in the past with the Rebbes blessing. I’m surprised AJNwatch hasn’t picked up on an egagement annoucement in the current AJN edition. There are three sets of parents for this one. The bride’s parents, the groom’s father and his second wife, and the groom’s mother and her gentile lesbian ‘partner’. I’m not criticising the AJN for printing the ad, but it really opens youe eyes to what a sick society this has become. It will be interesting to know the arrangement of who will be standing under the chuppah here.
Oh Dear, @ Anonymous
I know why you posted this anonymously.
” There are three sets of parents for this one. The bride’s parents, the groom’s father and his second wife, and the groom’s mother and her gentile lesbian ‘partner’. I’m not criticising the AJN for printing the ad, but it really opens youe eyes to what a sick society this has become. It will be interesting to know the arrangement of who will be standing under the chuppah here.”
You would have a certain Mikeybear on your case if he knew your name for posting the above and you would join me in the notorious Hall of Anti Gay Fame Activists Responsible of the Deaths of Every Gay Person who Ever Suicided Because of Rejection Real or Perceived (and not untreated or misdiagnosed mental health issues)or just plain bullying. I agree, it has become a really sick society that accepts anything in its strivings to be so PC and tolerant of others and society ignores the intolerance and lack of respect from those it strives to ‘protect and nurture’ against those who would differ in their opinion to the PC line of thought. I agree with Chabadnik, that Chanukah is about spiritual dangers to the Jewish Neshoma. On one hand we should not ape the customs and ways of the goyim but on the other we should strive to reach the disinfrancised Jews. Rav Gutnik who sponsors the event owns a football club or is a President of one, whatever, I am not a big fan of football, especially Aussie rules, give me a good book any day. I am even proud to say after living in Melbourne on and off since 1972 I have never, ever been to an AFL match or watched one on TV which is quite an achievement give the football madness of the winter season in Melbourne.
The good Rav with all due respect, has many interests not only football. He has an extensive knowledge of Torah and well entrenched Jewish values so he is probably not in any spiritual danger.
The Torah is a guide or blue print given to us by Hashem for our guidance and spiritual health. It is similar to having a very fancy GPS system but if you don’t know how to use it, you can still get horribly lost and if you don’t follow it correctly, you get led astray.
I have real concerns about this ‘acceptance’ of the gay lifestyle as ‘normal’. It is not. We should not confuse the issue here. Normal family life entails having a Mum and a Dad or a Tatty and Ima, not two tatties, not two imas. It is like the Torah, very concise and clear on the issue. Then we have a Zeidy or Saba who is married to a Bubba or a Savta. Just thing about the implications of lifestyles that are otherwise and what that entails for future generations. Imagine the family trees and yes on this branch we have two doddot who were married to each other and over here we have Dod Moshe who was married to Dod Manny and they used surrogate x who was not Jewish by the way and had three children (triplets) Rivki, Malkie and Michael and so on and so on. Wonderful, we will be so accepting of everything, so let’s not have any boundaries at all and live chaotically like……. (I am lost for words, as even the animal kingdom has rules and codes of conduct that in a lot of cases is superior to many humans in present society.)
Ilana, check carefully. I didn’t post as ‘anonymous’. My name (Robert Weil) is at the bottom. I am quite capable of taking on the Mikeybears and others. I’m sure Mr. Barnett will be posting here before long to label me a ‘homophobe’.
Robert Weil is not a stranger to being intolerant of gay people and the issues we face. Back in 2007 he felt it necessary to reinforce his beliefs that AIDS was a gay disease, as published in the Australian Jewish News here and here. The second letter by Robert Weil was in response to this by Luke Huggard.
The views that Robert Weil and Ilana Leeds proliferate are dangerous, fed by intolerant fundamentalist dogma, trotted out as divinely inspired and mandatory to observe. The tragedy of the situation is that they, amongst so many others, simply don’t have a grip on reality, and consequently people get hurt, suffer and sometimes die.
In October I wrote to the Anti-Defamation Commission in relation to the issues I addressed in my previous blog, calling for them to take action.
I received this initial response to my message:
From: ADC Reception <Reception@antidef.org.au>
Date: 14 October 2010 10:48
Subject: RE: Call for Anti-Defamation Commission to echo ADL’s Denouncement of Carl Paladino’s Comments Denigrating Homosexuality
To: Michael Barnett <email@example.com>
Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention. We are taking this matter seriously; the ADC Board will consider it at its next meeting on Wednesday 20th October. We will let you know the outcome of our discussion shortly after.
Acting Chairman ADC
I followed up with the ADC after their board meeting and received the following response:
From: ADC Reception <Reception@antidef.org.au>
Date: 25 October 2010 09:55
Subject: RE: Call for Anti-Defamation Commission to echo ADL’s Denouncement of Carl Paladino’s Comments Denigrating Homosexuality
To: Michael Barnett <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The Board has declined to comment.
Curiously, the matter goes from genuine concern to silence. But really, this shouldn’t come as a surprise, because we know the ADC won’t comment on anti-gay hate in the Jewish community.
With the immediate past JCCV President Anton Block being appointed to chair of the ADC, I don’t expect this situation to change. The ADC’s parent organisation is the JCCV (not B’nai B’rith as the Jewish News continues to misinform all). The ADC tows the JCCV’s “let’s not upset the Orthodox” stance and remains muzzled by them.
Deborah Stone, Research Director at the ADC says on Galus Australis:
But I’m quite clear on my Jewish identity and my rights as a Jew to be free from hate speech. I’m also clear on my responsibility, as a Jew and as a human being, to advocate for respectful pluralism in Australia. So when an opportunity to use my media and research background came up at the Anti-Defamation Commission, it seemed a good fit.
Of course, but don’t let a little hate toward gay people get in the way of you doing your job. We all know anti-gay hate isn’t nearly as harmful as anti-Jew hate. Jewish Gays can cop it, can’t we? We don’t really matter all that much. A little suicide or self-mutilation here and there won’t matter to the families of the young kids who feel they can’t cope with the anti-gay hate that the ADC won’t address. But god help those who throw anti-Jew shit at Jews. Lord knows the ADC and it’s overlords at the JCCV will turn heaven and earth to seek adequate redress.
The ADC needs to take a good look at itself. The JCCV needs to take a good look at itself. The Jewish community needs to ask itself if they want to be represented by these self-serving, gutless organisations that elect egotistical leaders in acts of nepotic arrogance.
They don’t give a fuck about the welfare of your kids. Only their egos and political careers.
While I do not, and I m very clear on this, advocate causing harm to any person who is homosexual or otherwise different, I do not regard their behaviour as ‘normal’. That is my opinion. I base it on a number of facts including the idea that it is not normal sexual behaviour, even in the animal world.
I have sympathy for those born homosexual because I believe that it must be a difficult burden to deal with but by the same token, I think there are many therapies available and even if they cannot be cured they are able to come to terms with the fact that they need to address some issues in their lives.
Younger people with emotional problems can be taken advantage of in this very sensitive stage of their life by older more experienced homosexuals who may be just looking for a bit of fresh meat so to speak, and are apt to convince a younger impressionable person that they are gay because they (the older person) desires it to be so.
I will not be bullied or forced into accepting homosexuality as a normal sexual behaviour.
She is out of control, out of touch with reality, and totally deluded. Her views are poisonous and should not be tolerated. Intelligent people will not be fooled by her ignorance and misinformation. It’s only other ignorant people out there who will fall victim, unfortunately.
In closing, I’d like to remind you that despite the rantings of Ilana Leeds, there is hope for anyone who feels they are struggling with their sexuality and aren’t sure what to do. Taking your life or hurting yourself is not the answer. Go to the It Gets Better Project and listen to the stories of the people out there who have been tormented by bullies like Ilana Leeds.
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.
January 13, 2010 at 12:11 am
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.
January 24, 2010 at 9:10 am
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.
The cover of the April 29 2010 edition of the Australian Jewish News (Melbourne) features a story on the spread of anti-Semitic hate on the Internet. This leads into the main story on page 3, another story by the Washington Post on page 20, an editorial on page 22 and finally a pictorial comment by cartoonist Kron on page 23. That makes 5 pages of coverage on the topic. One would think the paper has taken the topic of Internet hate fairly seriously. But has it?
Wind back to August 7 2009 when the AJN Watch blog posted a choice piece entitled “Australian Jewish News, Australian Goyish News or Australian Gayish News?” You can read it here.
For the unenlightened, AJN Watch describes itself:
AJN WATCH observes & comments (mainly) on prejudice, misrepresentation and monopolistic abuse of power in the pages of the Australian Jewish News – especially regarding the observant community. The AJN is the main source of information to and about Australian Jewry and aims to set the agenda and influence attitudes. It is this blog’s mission to spotlight errors, expose misrepresentations and vigorously respond to items that malign or defame the Orthodox community. AJN WATCH also posts and comments on a variety of topics of interest to its readership. We invite Guest Posts as well as topic suggestions.
It’s clear from reading this that the blog is based in Melbourne, it represents a segment of the Jewish community and it’s on the Internet.
In this particular AJN Watch blog on August 7, 2009 you can find the following comments:
there are no less than 9 items(!) about the AJN’s current sweethearts – the homosexuals (or to use the full label – “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transvestites”).
…a couple of repeat letters from the usual Torah-hating, gay-loving, single-issue-obsessed letter-writers (see top right) and of course a Kron cartoon.
Just like Browne and Bersten, we too have no idea who the TA gays killer is. But there is as much a chance – in fact far greater – that it was another homosexual (jealous lover’s tiff, maybe) as it being the work of an ‘ultra-orthodox’.
The last thing their readers are interested in is what is happening in Tel Aviv snakepits of dreck and perversion.
Your comment that “Israel is one of the more gay-friendly countries in the world and you don’t have to spend too much time in the more vibrant sections of Tel Aviv to become aware of a strong and tolerant gay culture” indeed nauseates, depresses and disgusts not only Hamodia readers, but all decent, civilized and moral people – of all religious beliefs. Your pride and delight that Israel has become a world-leader in depravity and debasement says much about you and your publication.
The last two paragraphs quoted above are especially offensive and adequately qualify as hate language.
I raised this issue at length with both the Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) and the B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation Commission (BB ADC) at the time. In doing so I found out that the BB ADC is in fact an arm of the JCCV. Further, it has since been clarified to me by B’nai B’rith Australia that the BB ADC no longer has an official connection to B’nai B’rith Australia and that the only connection is a legacy use of the name.
I phoned John Searle, President of the JCCV, and arranged to meet with him to discuss a number of issues including the August 1 2009 Tel Aviv massacre and the subsequent hate language in the August 7 2009 AJN Watch blog. John Searle suggested we meet at his house and so I went and visited him on the evening of Wednesday August 19 2009. At the meeting I handed John Searle a copy of this letter.
I expressed my concern to John Searle about the hate language used in the AJN Watch blog and that it was necessary for the JCCV to speak out against this vile hate and intolerance. As the JCCV had a history of speaking out against terrible acts perpetrated within the Jewish community, such as when it commented on the sexual abuse case at a Jewish school, it was my firm belief that the JCCV must also speak out against this terrible situation unfolding within the Jewish community.
The single response from John Searle to my request of the JCCV was “Ignore it and it will go away. Don’t give it oxygen”. I was stunned at this callous and insensitive response. They don’t ignore anti-semitic hate. They don’t ignore sexual abuse. Yet they want to ignore homophobic hate.
After this meeting I contacted the B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation Commission. I felt they would be able to help, as their web site states:
B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation Commission Inc. (ADC) is the human rights arm of B’nai B’rith Australia/New Zealand. The ADC is dedicated to the elimination of antisemitism; to combating racism, intolerance and prejudice; and to seeking to secure justice and fair treatment for all.
Not aware then that the BB ADC was a part of the JCCV I asked them to respond to the AJN Watch blog. I explained that it was unacceptable that a member of Melbourne’s Jewish community was able to post hate material about gay Jews on the Internet and get away with it. The response from the BB ADC staggered me.
From: Deborah Stone <ResearchDirector@antidef.org.au>
Date: 31 August 2009 09:54
Subject: Homophobia in the Jewish community
To: Michael Barnett <email@example.com>
Thanks for the material regarding your campaign to fight homophobia in the Jewish community. Unfortunately my board is not prepared for our organisation to engage with discrimination issues beyond our specific remit of antisemitism and racism.
Good luck with your work.
Peace 和平 Paco سلام שלום
B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation Commission
This response confused me because their web site clearly claimed they were dedicated to combatting intolerance and prejudice. I sent another email:
From: Michael Barnett <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 31 August 2009 12:46
Subject: Re: Homophobia in the Jewish community
To: Deborah Stone <ResearchDirector@antidef.org.au>
This is clearly an attack on Jews by Jews. If anyone knows how to handle any sort of attack on Jews it would have to be your organisation.
Is your organisation not prepared to stand up against this extreme level of hatred against members of the Jewish community?
to which I received this final response:
From: Deborah Stone <ResearchDirector@antidef.org.au>
Date: 31 August 2009 12:48
Subject: RE: Homophobia in the Jewish community
To: Michael Barnett <email@example.com>
The truth is no it isn’t. You have my personal support but the ADC as an organisation is not prepared to get involved.
So that was it. The BB ADC was only prepared to fight certain types of intolerance and prejudice against the Jewish community. Clearly homophobic attacks on gay Jews were not the right sort of hate and intolerance.
Now this is where it gets interesting. The JCCV has since formed a reference group to investigate what sort of mental health issues gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) people in the Jewish community are facing. There are proven links between intolerance of homosexuality and alarmingly high rates of mental health issues, self harm and suicide. The JCCV knows this because they put out a media release claiming so. The JCCV also controls the BB ADC, an organisation that selectively speaks out against hate. If the hate is on the Internet and it is targeting Jews then they’ll take an interest. If the hate is on the Internet and it’s just targeting gay Jews, they don’t want to know.
So here we have it. The JCCV says it is trying to combat mental health issues in gay Jews on the one hand, and on the other hand it silently stands by and allows people within the Jewish community to spew virulent anti-gay hate in all directions.
The Jewish community needs to sit up and ask a few questions of the JCCV. For starters, the question needs to be asked why the JCCV (and under it the BB ADC) allows harmful homophobic hate within the Jewish community to go unchallenged, whilst simultaneously it has a zero tolerance policy on anti-semitic hate.
If the Jewish community is to be taken at all seriously when it cries victim about anti-semitic hate on the Internet, it must first deal with being a perpetrator of anti-gay hate on the Internet. Only then should anyone care.