If a gross human rights abuse is not about anti-Semitism it would seem the leadership of the Australian Jewish community just doesn’t care.
In Australia the Jewish community leadership has abandoned concern for persecution of gays. It does not show it cares about persecution of minority groups around the world, only demonstrating interest in its pet topic of anti-Semitism.
An increasing number of regimes such as Russia and Uganda are persecuting homosexual people and the Jewish community basks in its own self-importance, issues platitudes about how much it must speak out against such terrors, says Never Again and then buries its head in the sand saying la-la-la-la.
Take this fine message from the immediate past president of the Jewish Community Council of Victoria (and current Chair of the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Right Commission) John Searle:
It is up to us to play our part in ensuring that another holocaust never occurs. Be it attacks against Jews, blacks, homosexuals or political rivals, we must be ever vigilant in bringing the message to the world – never again! We must educate our children; help them to understand that we cannot turn a blind eye, not to racism, not to stereotyping, not to suffering, not to prejudice of any form, not ever. We must send the message, that racism and prejudice in all its evil forms will not be tolerated.
Sounds good. And yet, computer says no. Silence is all we get. Just silence.
Conveniently, the ECAJ have overlooked their policy on Social Inclusion when it comes to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people.
I’ve written recently on how the Executive Council of Australian Jewry believes anti-discrimination legislation should not protect people on the grounds of gender identity and sexual orientation. I’ve also written on how the ECAJ believe our society should be “inclusive” (that’s the ECAJ’s version of “inclusive”, which means everyone except gays and lesbians).
In The Age today the topic of the Anti-Discrimination Bill in relation to discrimination against lesbians and gays was raised, and the following reported:
Jews ”don’t have a position on this”, Executive Council of Australian Jewry executive director Peter Wertheim said.
Perhaps the ECAJ has forgotten the extreme discrimination that the Jewish people have suffered in recent and distant times? Maybe the words “Six Million” might ring a bell? Or “Pogroms”? Or “Spanish Inquisition”? Or “Pharaoh” and “Egypt”? In the history of the Jewish people there has been no shortage of persecution. Yet the ECAJ claim they don’t have a position on discrimination against lesbians and gays.
Hop on over to their web site and have a look at their Platform, in particular Section 1.1 on Social Inclusion:
1.1 NOTES that it is the vision of the ECAJ to create and support a community in which all Australians, including all Jewish Australians:
(a) feel valued and their cultural differences are respected;
(b) have a fair opportunity to meet their material and other needs; and
(c) are equally empowered as citizens to participate in and contribute to all facets of life in the wider community;
Given that the ECAJ want a society in which all Australians feel valued, have a fair opportunity, and are equally empowered to participate in and contribute to all facets of life, they actually do “have a position on this”.
The correct and only response from the ECAJ should be “We condemn all forms of discrimination, especially that perpetrated against persecuted minorities, and support an Australia where all people are treated equally.”
It’s not asking too much, is it?