Australian Jewish community leadership abandons concern for persecution of gays

Dec 21, 2013

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.


What do the JCCV, the ACL and fascist regimes have in common?

Apr 3, 2011

Two recent media releases have disturbed me deeply, one from the Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV), and the other from the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) .

In the February 16 2011 media release “JCCV, GLBT and Halacha, together We Can Move Forward” from the JCCV, President John Searle gives tacit approval to the notion that admission of any gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) organisation will be damaging to the Jewish community:

Rabbi Rapoport contends that the GLBT community must accept that they cannot become official members of the JCCV as this would fracture the Jewish community.

In the March 30 2011 media release “Vic EO Commission oversteps mark in promoting homosexuality” from the ACL, Victorian Director Rob Ward declares that it is troubling that homosexuality be considered a normal behaviour:

“The suggestion that the aim is to have the sexual orientation of “gay, lesbian and transgender sportspeople….so public that it’s normal, so people don’t think about it”  is very troubling,” he said.

Here we have two organisations that are making statements that support the notion that GLBT people are in some way a threat to the stability of society and are abhorrent, abnormal and inferior.

Recent history reminds us of the atrocities perpetrated against homosexual men by the Nazi regime.  Similarly intolerant to homosexuals was South Africa under Apartheid.

From 1969 to 1987, psychiatrists of the South African Defence Force were implicated in serious abuses, stemming from attempts to cure homosexual conscripts

The long history of medical treatment to convert homosexuals to heterosexuals reached a peak in the seventies. The results were unconvincing, if not hopeless, and experience showed that neither patients nor therapists found it satisfactory.

Current regimes that persecute homosexual men include the Iranian and Ugandan governments.  The situation is so dire in Iran that the death penalty is the punishment for homosexual activity.

The JCCV has resigned itself to accepting the exclusionary stance proffered by Rabbi Rapoport and goes on to state:

However, the JCCV has a responsibility as the roof body to what it can do for the GLBT community within this restriction.

The language that JCCV President John Searle endorses in this media release, stating that GLBT Jews are unworthy of JCCV membership sends the message that GLBT Jews are a danger to the stability of society and that full and unconditional acceptance of us and our organisations is unacceptable.

This attitude is reminiscent of that of fascist regimes of the past, the same regimes that persecuted Jews and homosexuals, resulting in the genocide of the Holocaust that marks one of the blackest stains on humanity to date.

It is imperative the JCCV and the ACL distance themselves from any notion that homosexual, bisexual and transgender men and women are inferior to, less normal than, or more damaging to society than heterosexual men and women and the organisations that represent them.  While the JCCV, the ACL and any other such organisation perpetuates these notions, they are no better than Germany under the Nazi regime, South Africa under Apartheid or the current Iranian and Ugandan governments.

Lastly, the greatest irony of the stance the JCCV takes on homosexuality is that Anton Block, the chairman of the Anti-Defamation Commission (the branch of the JCCV that investigates and fights anti-Semitism and holocaust rhetoric) founded and sits on the very JCCV reference group that gives tacit support to Rabbi Rapoport’s statement.  The same organisation that is charged with fighting anti-Holocaust attitudes is actually promoting similar attitudes to that which the Nazi party and Block’s birth country of South Africa endorsed.


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