Why is Victoria Police continually excluding the only organisation representing Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender people from their annual reception with the Jewish community?
For the third consecutive year Aleph Melbourne, the only organisation representing GLBT people in the Melbourne Jewish community, has not received an invitation to attend this year’s Victoria Police Jewish community reception. This year’s cocktail party was organised in conjunction with the Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV), as it was in previous years. Aleph Melbourne was invited to the 2008 and 2009 Victoria Police Jewish Community reception dinners.
I was advised by Bruce Colcott of Victoria Police in advance of the 2011 Victoria Police Jewish community cocktail reception:
The organisers invited those members of the Jewish Community who hadn’t been given an opportunity in the past to attend to represent their organisations.
Giving the benefit of the doubt, it would be fair to say that with the number of organisations in the Jewish community, “the organisers” would have been able to include everyone they had previously overlooked in their 2010 and 2011 events. It staggers me to think that with 100 police and over 70 members of the Jewish community in attendance, there wouldn’t have been enough room to invite one more person.
In their 2011 GLBT Reference Group report, the JCCV said that all community organisations should adopt a policy prohibiting discrimination and vilification based on a person’s sexual orientation and gender identity and that it was clear that Jewish members of the GLBT community are subjected to discrimination, harassment and abuse because of their sexuality.
It would seem that the JCCV haven’t followed their own advice and Aleph Melbourne continues to be discriminated against by them and some of the wider Jewish community.
I question whether there is some sinister motivation for the ongoing exclusion of the most vulnerable, marginalised, and excluded group of people from such an event. Victoria Police have not been able to come up with a credible reason why there has been such an “oversight” on previous occasions.
Does Victoria Police have a policy of excluding GLBT organisations from these types of events? If not, why the ongoing exclusion? It doesn’t bode well for their liaison with the GLBT community.
22 Jun 2012
The Australian Jewish News Melbourne edition
THERE was no emergency call and no suspicious characters or packages that led 100 police to descend on Beth Weizmann Community Centre earlier this month. There was, however, plenty of goodwill and friendship, as the Men in Blue and the Jewish community came together for their annual reception.
Commander Ashley Dickinson chats with hate-crime victim Menachem Vorchheimer.
“We are fortunate to enjoy warm and productive
relationships with Victoria Police at all levels.”
Now in its sixth year, the cocktail function saw Victoria Police men and women and over 70 members of the Jewish community, as well as representatives from other ethnic communities, celebrate diversity.
“This night is a significant occasion on the police calendar and indicates the commitment of the force to community engagement as a mainstream policing strategy,” said commander Ashley Dickinson, who acted as host and emcee on the evening alongside deputy commissioner Tim Cartwright.
Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) president Nina Bassat thanked police for the way they handled recent protests outside Parliament House, which was hosting a cocktail party to celebrate Israel’s 64th birthday at the time. Anti-Israel demonstrators screamed abuse, called for the destruction of the Jewish State and burned an effigy of Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu.
“We are fortunate to enjoy warm and productive relationships with Victoria Police at all levels,” she said.
“This enables us to feel as a community that our voices are heard, and that we can count on VicPol to do their utmost to ensure our safety,” she added.
A Q&A session with a young member of the police force and a performance by Leibler-Yavneh College’s a cappella choir followed.
Today is IDAHO, the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. In stunning silence the JCCV prove yet again they are insincere on wanting to do anything to combat homophobia in the Jewish community.
Today, May 17 2011, is the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO). Many organisations and people go to great effort to acknowledge the occasion and take a stand against homophobic and transphobic intolerance in society.
Take for example the head of Victoria Police, Chief Commissioner Simon Overland. He has a pretty supportive message. Similarly, Dr Helen Szoke from the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission has an unambiguous message on inclusion. Even Hilary Clinton and Jeremy Browne each had a message of support.
As I’ve previously mentioned, the Jewish Community Council of Victoria set up a reference group to investigate the issues affecting GLBT people in the Jewish community. They’ve also made it pretty clear, via their messenger of intolerance Rabbi Chaim Rapoport (here and here), that GLBT people are not welcome as members of their organisation, despite JCCV President John Searle saying that “racism and prejudice in all its evil forms will not be tolerated.”
This week the JCCV published a number of media releases. There was one on how they’re getting on well with the Catholic community, another on working with Victoria Police on combatting anti-semitic hate crimes, yet another on working with people with disabilities, and lastly one on welfare organisations in the community (mind you, not one of them openly advertises services supporting GLBT people).
I had trouble finding the JCCV media release on how they’re supportive of initiatives that combat homophobic intolerance in the Jewish community in this week of IDAHO. I tried to find one, but I just couldn’t see it. I guess they had it all prepared, but didn’t manage to get it out in time.
Now I’ll just have to wait until next year’s IDAHO to see if the big bad JCCV bully has learnt a lesson from the wider community and has realised it’s time to stop creating the hate and intolerance and start fighting it.
And lastly a message to John Searle. You talk about racism and prejudice in all its evil forms. Take a look in the mirror mate.
The Jewish Community Council of Victoria is a serial bully. It runs to the police to cry out against ant-Jewish hate but tolerates and promotes anti-gay attitudes. The Jewish bully needs a good spank.
This week the Australian Jewish News advised that the Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) has launched a new reporting system for anti-Semitic incidents. They’ll be working with their Community Security Group and Victoria Police. That’s good news. This sort of hate needs to be identified and countered.
Welcoming the initiative, JCCV president John Searle said, “This is a great step forward in our relationship with the police. They will now have a much better understanding of the issues we face.”
No doubt they will. The JCCV are not shy at bringing “the issues we face” to the attention of the community and authorities, when they are so motivated.
I have a message for JCCV president John Searle. Next time you’re on the phone to Victoria Police, please ask them to transfer you to their Gay and Lesbian Advisory Unit.
Please tell the GLAU that GLBT members of the Jewish community face homophobia, intolerance, marginalisation, hate, discrimination and contempt and that the JCCV tolerates and contributes to these attitudes originating from both within and external to the community.
Please tell the GLAU that the JCCV sees GLBT people as inferior members of the community, to be feared, and does not believe they are worthy of being admitted as members of the JCCV because they are perceived to be a risk to community stability.
Victoria Police needs to know that the JCCV is a serial bully, constantly crying out against anti-Jewish attitudes, but simultaneously perpetrating anti-gay attitudes and intolerance.
The JCCV is not playing the game fairly. It plays by its own duplicitous rules, doing what it wants, when it suits it.
Time is up JCCV. The Jewish Community bully is a bad boy and it needs a really good spank.