Anti-Defamation Commission Must Speak Out

[SOURCE]

As per the media release below, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has spoken out about the hate and bigotry perpetrated by Carl Paladino (who acted it in conjunction with Ultra Orthodox Jewish leaders in New York), against gay men and women.

I call on the Anti-Defamation Commission (ADC) in Victoria to speak out and support the Anti-Defamation League in their criticism of Carl Paladino and anyone else who sends a similar message of hate and intolerance, especially in our community.

Paladino’s attack on gay men and women in New York is an attack on all gay men and women, including those here in Victoria, Australia.

The ADC claims it has no authority to speak out on homophobic hate when it is targeted at Jews.  I genuinely believe this is an act of cowardice.  If the organisation was genuine in its care about Jews in Victoria, especially gay and lesbian Jews, it would take a stand.  If it remains silent on this issue it will confirm to all that it is does not take the issue of hate and discrimination seriously.

I quote from the ADC Mission Statement:

The ADC supports the following objectives stated in the preamble to the United Nations Charter:

  • “to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small, and
  • to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained, and
  • to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom, …”

The ADC aims to serve the Jewish and wider Australian community by reducing antisemitism, and combating racism and religious and ethnic prejudice.  We seek to secure justice and fair treatment for all people.

This is matter of human rights.  The ADC must speak out immediately.  As an arm of the Jewish Community Council of Victoria, the ADC must act in the best interests of all members of the Jewish community.


ADL Denounces Carl Paladino’s Comments Denigrating Homosexuality

New York, NY, October 12, 2010 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today criticized Carl Paladino for a series of anti-gay remarks, including his assertion that children should not be “brainwashed into thinking that homosexuality is an equally valid or successful option.”

Ron Meier, ADL New York Regional Director, issued the following statement:

We are appalled by Carl Paladino’s comments denigrating homosexuality and suggesting that a homosexual lifestyle is not “valid.”  His statements are an affront to all New Yorkers, and are particularly disturbing in light of several recent hate crimes targeting the LGBT community in the New York Metropolitan Area.

We have repeatedly urged all candidates to refrain from appeals to prejudice and bigotry.  Such appeals are offensive, counterproductive and contrary to our nation’s democratic values.

Earlier this year, ADL urged our national leaders – and candidates – to commit themselves to restoring civility to our public discourse.  We renew that call today.  A truly effective candidate is one who engages in thoughtful and reasoned debate and rejects divisive and hateful rhetoric.  That is an essential ingredient of leadership.

A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, ADL neither supports nor opposes candidates for political office.

The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world’s leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.

Letter to the JCCV regarding Mental Health Week 2010

From: Michael Barnett <mikeybear69@gmail.com>
Date: 1 October 2010 16:29
Subject: JCCV and Mental Health Week 2010
To: John Searle <president@jccv.org.au>

Dear John,

Mental Health Week in Victoria runs from October 10 to 16 this year(1).  Last year the JCCV published a media release(2) in time for Mental Health Week and included alarming figures on the extent mental health problems have on same-sex attracted youth.

There has been a spate of youth suicides in the USA that have come to recent public attention(3).  This news has been deeply disturbing.

I would be keen to know what actions the JCCV is taking to help prevent tragic outcomes such as these in the Melbourne Jewish community.  The JCCV formed a GLBT Reference Group in December 2009(4) and has been briefed by a qualified academic on the facts surrounding intolerance of homosexuality.  This problem exists in all societies where any intolerance of homosexuality prevails.

I would be keen to discuss this matter at your earliest convenience.

Regards,
Michael.

1) http://www.mentalhealthvic.org.au/index.php?id=44
2) http://www.jccv.org.au/index.php?mact=News,cntnt01,detail,0&cntnt01articleid=22&cntnt01returnid=59
3) https://www.matthewshepard.org/we-must-all-protect-youth-from-suicide
4) http://www.jccv.org.au/index.php?mact=News,cntnt01,detail,0&cntnt01articleid=5&cntnt01returnid=59

Ilana Leeds, a victim of Jewish religious brainwashing

Ilana Leeds posted a hateful comment on Galus Australis. She is a narrow-minded bigot who contributes to the high rate of youth suicide.

[SOURCE]

Ilana Leeds posted a hateful comment on Galus Australis:

1. Same sex marriage – I do not particularly (along with a few others) like having homosexuality presented to me as ‘normal’. It is not and while I do not advocate discrimination against people who are practicing homosexuals, I think if they want marriage and all the other things that go with it,(Like the adoption of children) they need to give up their deviant practices and return to a heterosexual lifestyle and put themselves in order. Children deserve to have a normal family situation as far as possible.

Ilana Leeds believes her god demands she say this because she’s been brainwashed to believe it.

Ilana Leeds is a narrow-minded bigot whose attitudes and beliefs contribute to the high rate of youth suicide.

Her partner in crime Shoshana Silcove is just as shameful.

Jewish Community Council of Victoria proud friends of evil Catholic Church

Richard Dawkins spoke out on the visit of the Pope to the UK.

The Pope personifies evil.

The Catholic Church he represents is the ultimate organisation of evil in existence.

And the Jewish Community Council of Victoria prides itself on its association with the Catholic Church [JCCV media release].

The people of the Jewish community deserve better.

My Jewish New Year message

My Jewish New Year message is that I will be fighting intolerance of homosexuality by Jewish religious bigots in the new year. Spread the love.

It’s the eve of the Jewish New Year.  The Jewish world moves from 5770 to 5771.

My message for the Jewish New Year is that I am going to continue to fight the hate and bigotry perpetrated by the religious bigots in the Jewish community.  I’m going to fight the attitudes that contribute to the atrocious levels of youth suicide, self harm and mental health issues.

Organisations such as the Jewish Community Council of Victoria will remain my key targets.  Whilst they remain adamant that it’s ok for segments of the Jewish community to remain intolerant of homosexuality, I will fight them.  They will be shown up for the narrow-minded bigots, haters and fools that they are.

Intolerance is unacceptable.

Bring on 5771.  Bring on the fight.

Sending sweet wishes of New Year love.

Michael.

The JCCV gets a taste of it’s own medicine

[SOURCE]

The Age ignored the Jewish Community Council of Victoria and the JCCV had a foot stamping, huffy puffy hissy fit.

The JCCV, under its current leadership, has shown itself to be an arrogant organisation that demands everyone act on its own terms.  It is an organisation that has perfected the art of the Double Standard.

The JCCV formally broke off all communications with gay Jews last year.  It did this because important questions were asked of it that it was not prepared to answer, and it put up a pathetic smokescreen.  Read Searle’s letter to me here and some background on an earlier blog of mine.

So when The Age won’t rush to the JCCV’s beck and call why should anyone care?

The JCCV gets the respect it deserves.

Michael.


Community anger over The Age

RELATIONS between The Age newspaper and the Jewish community leadership have further soured, amid claims of persistent bias in the newspaper’s reporting on Israel.

August 25, 2010, 11:27 am

JCCV president John Searle. Photo: AJN file
PETER KOHN

RELATIONS between The Age newspaper and the Jewish community leadership have further soured, amid claims of persistent bias in the newspaper’s reporting on Israel.

To make matters worse, Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) president John Searle said the newspaper’s editor Paul Ramadge appeared unwilling to conduct the most basic communication with the Jewish communal leadership.

A joint statement from Searle and Zionist Council of Victoria (ZCV) president Dr Danny Lamm on August 20, revealed that Searle had not heard back from Ramadge after a telephone message he left with his office on June 4 about the newspaper’s coverage of the Gaza flotilla crisis.

The JCCV and ZCV confirmed on Monday that the phone call, a June 8 letter from the ZCV’s public relations chair Sam Tatarka, and a June 10 letter from Searle had all been ignored by The Age.

Searle had written to Ramadge about his failure to respond to the phone message, advising the editor: “Your attitude bespeaks scant respect for the Jewish community.”

But following an AJN request to The Age this week for a comment, Ramadge responded to the JCCV and ZCV on Tuesday, apologising for the delay.

In last week’s statement, the JCCV and ZCV said The Age coverage of Israel ranged from journalist Michael Backman’s 2009 “smear job” on Israeli backpackers in Nepal, to biased reporting of the flotilla incident, to “the more subtle and insidious”.

As an example, the organisations pointed out the sub-editing of a story from UK paper The Daily Telegraph, in which The Age version changed “Jewish settlements” to “illegal Jewish settlements” and “West Bank” to “occupied West Bank”.

“I think the fact that they take a report from somewhere else and they republish it but add certain words or phrases that further colour the message is an indication of ill intent,” Dr Lamm said when contacted by The AJN.

Searle and Dr Lamm accused the Melbourne broadsheet of “steering its readership to a more anti-Israel position” which has resulted in “legitimising anti-Semitism”.

“We make this statement with regret. However we have spoken to Mr Ramadge on a number of occasions, both privately and in public forums. While he is adept at making the right noises about The Age’s impartiality, his follow-through leaves a great deal to be desired. We believe that The Age’s record speaks for itself. Quite simply The Age is not a friend of our community.”

In a belated response to the JCCV and ZCV, The Age editor Paul Ramadge this week defended his newspaper’s Middle East coverage.

JCCV letter to The Age

HERE is the letter sent by JCCV president John Searle to Age editor-in-chief Paul Ramage:
I write once again to express the concerns of the Victorian Jewish community on The Age’s reportage of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

Firstly, I refer to a letter to you dated 8 June 2010 from Sam Tatarka of the Zionist Council of Victoria. Mr Tatarka’s letter complains in the strongest possible terms about an article by Paul McGeogh published in The Age of 4 June, 2010.

In his letter Mr Tatarka cogently and compellingly reveals the anti-Israel bias in the article, as demonstrated particularly by its language and by omission.

There is no need for me to repeat his arguments, but it is important that you know that the Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) endorses them in their entirety.

Secondly and more importantly, Mr Tatarka makes the point that The Age has form on this general issue. It is not a matter of the occasional article or letter, but there is a clear and consistent vilification of the world’s only Jewish State in the pages of The Age.

The JCCV has had ongoing communication with you for a number of years on The Age’s bias. Predictably you have consistently stated that The Age is even-handed and that your door is always open to the Jewish community.

I will remind you that these were your exact words when you addressed an audience at the Beth Weizmann Jewish Community Centre on 5 October 2009. You soberly assured audience members that The Age was interested in their concerns and that you would always be responsive to them.

In this regard, I will also remind you that you took certain such concerns away with you. To this day, you have not responded, despite our follow-up request that you do so. And indeed, I am still awaiting your reply to my telephone call to you of 4 June 2010. Your attitude bespeaks scant respect for the Jewish community.

I am not requesting your response to this letter — because frankly your assurances are no longer seen as credible by our community — other than a clear policy change to even-handedness as evidenced in The Age’s future content.

Until this is forthcoming I have no doubt that those of your readers who value Israel receiving a fair go will dwindle even further.

Yours truly

John Searle
President
JCCV

Brutal Oxford Street Attacks on Jewish gay man

[SOURCE]

This news of a brutal attack on Simon Margan, a Jewish gay man in Sydney, is extremely disturbing.  Whilst there does not yet appear to be any indication Simon was brutally attacked because he was Jewish, there appears to be strong evidence he was attacked because he was gay.  Despite that, there needs to be support from the Jewish community to say that it is unacceptable for any member of the Jewish community to be subjected to vicious hate attacks, especially if they are motivated by homophobic intolerance.

There has been no visible support from the Australian Jewish community to date on this matter, specifically addressing homophobic intolerance and violence.  This situation is now critical and there must be strong, visible support from the entire Australian Jewish community that hate crime and intolerance based on sexual orientation is unacceptable.  There must also be a strong message that any intolerance of a person based on their sexual orientation is completely unacceptable.

I call on the leaders of the Australian Jewish community to take an immediate and effective stand.

I hope to see a media statement from the Jewish community issued before the end of this week.

Michael Barnett.

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Roy Freeman
Date: 12 August 2010 14:35
Subject: [Dayenu] Oxford Street Attacks
To: Dayenu Yahoo

I just wanted to share with you news of this disturbing unprovoked attack that took place on Oxford Street on Monday evening. Gay-rights activist and Dayenu member, Simon Margan, was attacked along with 5 other people before the assailant was caught. Simon was kicked in the eye, which shattered his eye socket. He will have to have plastic surgery as a result.

If you were around Oxford Street on Monday evening and witnessed any of these attacks, please contact Surry Hills police.

http://www.samesame.com.au/news/local/5746/Six-injured-in-Oxford-St-bashing-spree.htm

Roy

GLBTI, Jewish and enrolled to vote in Melbourne Ports or Wentworth?

With the federal election looming, there are a number of political parties offering to fight for increased rights and equality of GLBTI people and families.  The key parties offering this are the Greens, the Australian Sex Party and the Secular Party of Australia.  The Liberal Party offers no hope for advancing the rights of GLBTI people and families in Australia.  The Australian Labor Party has previously advanced the rights for GLBTI people and removed a lot of the discrimination that we had been facing, however it is currently not prepared to turn around any significant existing discrimination facing GLBTI people, most notably in the area of marriage.

The Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights Group (TGLRG) has set up a web site “Moving Forward“.  They have surveyed a number of political parties and posted their responses online.  Take some time to read these survey responses.  TGLRG will post responses from other political parties as they are received.

The electorates of Melbourne Ports (VIC) and Wentworth (NSW) contain the largest Jewish populations in the country.  They both also contain significant gay, lesbian and bisexual populations.

The Greens’ Sue Plowright, the Australian Sex Party’s Christian Vega and the Secular Party’s Gregory Storer are candidates in Melbourne Ports.  The Greens’ Matthew Robertson and the Secular Party’s John August are candidates in Wentworth.  [I have provided links here for candidate’s web sites that I am aware of.  I will post others if they are brought to my attention.]

If you are in Melbourne Ports, LIVE are running a candidates forum on August 10.  Click here for details and to RSVP.  You can also send a question to the candidates via the web site.

If you are in Wentworth, Network (for Jewish young adults who are searching for, questioning and celebrating their Jewish identity) are running a pre-election candidate forum on August 11.  Click here for details and to register.

As I become aware of further such meetings or supportive candidate details prior to the election I will post them to my blog.  If you have any relevant details feel free to post a comment below.  Thanks.

Michael.

Mark Baker: a Jewish perspective on gay equality

Mark Baker has written a particularly poignant piece for Galus Australis challenging discrimination against same-sex attracted people, from his Jewish perspective:

When a Kiss Means Death

We need more intelligent, compassionate and articulate people like Mark fighting for the dignity and equality of same-sex attracted people in the Jewish and wider community; people who are not scared of religious bigots.

On the contrary, John Searle, JCCV President, could learn a lesson from Mark Baker.  Searle should be ashamed of himself.  He claims to be looking after the best interests of the members of the Jewish community yet he is too spineless to speak out on this critical issue, preferring to pander to the traditonal intolerant and antiquated orthodox bloc.  Just what sort of a leader and man is he?

Thank you very much Mark.

Michael.

Sydney’s Jewish community adopts anti-homophobia/anti-transphobia policy

Hot on the heels of the Victorian Jewish community calling for respect for same-sex attracted Jews, the NSW Jewish community has passed a history-making motion for a policy on counteracting hatred and discrimination against gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgender persons*.

The New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies has voted overwhelmingly to implement an anti-homophobia/anti-transphobia policy.

This is fantastic news for the Jewish GLBT community as the NSWJBD finally recognises that there is a demographic within the Jewish community that needs more support.

Roy Freeman — J-Wire, May 26 2010

Congratulations to everyone who supported this history-making policy change, and most especially the dedicated team lead by Roy Freeman from Dayenu.

It is long overdue for the entire Jewish community to understand that same-sex attraction and gender-identity variation is normal and valid, just like being left-handed.  There is no room for intolerance of people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, or who simply do not conform to heterosexual or conventional male/female stereotypes.  The Jewish community must move with the times and learn that these are normal, acceptable human behaviours.  The cost of not doing this will continue to be counted in human lives.

* 2010 copy of policy statement on Dayenu archives here.