Caulfield Synagogue President Robert Weil smears gay people following his transphobic attack

Jun 5, 2015

The Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sexual Abuse has brought to light a litany of hideous sexual abuse against children.  Consistent with past behaviour, Robert Weil has again tried to smear homosexual people, this time by labelling paedophiles exposed in this Royal Commission as “gay”, evidenced in a comment posted on J-Wire story “Transgender wedding in New Zealand“:

Robert Weil says:

I’ll grant you it wasn’t well handled at the Yeshivah Michael, but it wasn’t Rabbi’s who “caused the mess”. The mess was caused by sexual predators who delighted in sodomizing little boys. The Rabbis you refer to were not the perpetrators, unlike the gay Catholic priests at Ballarat and the gay teachers at Knox Grammar.

Robert Weil

Robert Weil

The sexual orientation of paedophiles is irrelevant and does not contribute in any way to the abuse.  Further, the victims of some of these male paedophiles were girls as well as boys.

The following comment by Robert Weil compounds the bigotry demonstrated in his attack, this time on transgender people.  He diminishes the merit of the relationship reported in the story by labelling it as a “dysfunctional situation” and presenting it as shameworthy:

Robert Weil says:

Ben, don’t be so dismissive of Rabbis. They understand far more than you, as they are generally the ones that have to be called in eventually to try and clean up the mess caused by dysfunctional situations such as this. Have some sympathy for the parents too.

Neither the wedding nor the relationship are dysfunctional.  The couple are normal, happy people in love with each other.  That they lack the support of family members is unfortunate and not their fault.

Ordinarily I’d be less alarmed by this type of transphobic and homophobic attack, putting it down to ignorance of the harm caused by such attitudes.  However what disturbs me most is that the author of these comments is the President of the Caulfield Hebrew Congregation, and as such holds a position of influence in the Jewish community in Melbourne:

Robert Weil - President - CHCThe prejudice on display here demonstrates a considerable disregard for a vulnerable and marginalised segment of society.  Physical attacks on homosexual and transgender people are not uncommon, are frequently brutal and may even result in permanent disfigurement, disability or death.  More common though are the self-loathing, helplessness and isolation that same-sex attracted and gender diverse people feel due to intolerance and bigotry, leading to poorer mental health outcomes, self harm and possible suicidal behaviour.

It would be helpful for Robert Weil and those who align with his intolerant perspective on sexual orientation and gender diversity to become more informed about the harms their attitudes can cause to the members of their community.

In 2015 there is no excuse for ignorance of these issues.  Over two years ago the Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) began promoting the No To Homophobia campaign.  Robert Weil’s synagogue, Caulfield Hebrew Congregation (CHC), belongs to the Council of Orthodox Synagogues of Victoria, a JCCV Affiliate.  It is incomprehensible that CHC would have been oblivious to the JCCV’s push for its affiliates to join in the No To Homophobia campaign, given that the JCCV recruited at least 25 other affiliates accordingly.

It is my hope that the board of the CHC, together with their spiritual leadership, are able to formulate a way forward that includes education on sexual orientation and gender identity, whereby they can proudly put their name to saying No To Homophobia, and stamp out the small-minded and harmful attitudes demonstrated here by their President.  Doing so will strengthen their community, build social cohesiveness and hopefully save lives.  Failing to grow in this way can only do irreparable harm.


On the ECAJ, Itamar and a Zionist agenda

Mar 17, 2011

The Executive Council of Australian Jewry issues media releases and letters when significant events occur in Australia and around the world.  This week the ECAJ issued one statement on the Japanese tsunami and two on the Itamar shooting, one to the Israeli ambassador Yuval Rotem and the other to the Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd.  So prolific is the ECAJ that going back to the beginning of 2009 one can find approximately 70 media releases on their website.

On August 1 2009 two Israelis were gunned down in a horrific attack in a youth centre in Tel Aviv.  Fifteen other people were seriously injured.  This was a serious event in Israel that was reported extensively in the Australian Jewish press and by numerous other media outlets globally.

The ECAJ ignored this shooting in Israel.  It turned a blind eye to the event and let it pass as if to say the deaths were insignificant and inconsequential.  It would appear that the ECAJ is not interested in the deaths of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Israelis.

Now when I see the ECAJ speak out against the brutal deaths of Israelis in this most recent, abominable situation, it sends me the message that they are shamelessly using these deaths to fulfil their Zionist agenda, and could actually care less about the victims or their family.

On behalf of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, the peak national body of the Australian Jewish community, I write to thank you and the Australian government most sincerely for issuing a prompt, public condemnation of the shocking stabbing murders of an Israeli mother, father and three of their children late on Friday night, 11 March 2011, in Itamar, south-east of Nablus.

I commend you and the Australian government for your long standing friendship with Israel and for your firm and principled condemnation of these latest heinous murders of Israeli civilians.

I ask the ECAJ to explain why they were silent when Liz Troubishi and Nir Katz were murdered and fifteen of their peers injured in the most horrific of circumstances, at close range by a masked gunman.  Why did these deaths not see the ECAJ issue a statement of condolence to the families and a strong message of outrage and condemnation at the senseless waste of life of the two young Israeli Jews?

The ECAJ appears to be a cold, spineless and heartless organisation, driven by a blinkered Zionist agenda.  The ECAJ does not appear to be an organisation that the Australian Jewish community or wider Australian society can be proud of.


%d bloggers like this: