The JCCV gets a taste of it’s own medicine

August 25, 2010

[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

Posted on 25 August 2010
Tags: , , , , ,

JCCV president John Searle. Photo: AJN fileJCCV 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


Remembering the 2009 Tel Aviv Agudah (gay centre) shooting

August 25, 2010

Watch this video and remember Liz Troubishi and Nir Katz, two young people murdered in the Tel Aviv Agudah (gay centre) shooting on August 1 2009.  Other victims of the shooting escaped with their lives, but will be scarred forever.  They were all victims of a terrible hate crime.  The perpetrator remains on the run.

Fight hate.  Fight bigotry.  Fight intolerance.  Promote unconditional love.

Michael.


Hit Labor in the hip pocket with your vote

August 21, 2010

[SOURCE]

Read the following sage advice from Rod Swift.  On top of this, I would encourage you to vote [1] Secular Party in the Senate and also if there’s a candidate in your seat.

Michael.

Remember that every time you place a 1 in a box marked GREEN or Australian Sex Party, they get $2.31 of your taxpayer money.

Labor deserves to be financially punished for taking us for granted.

A vote for ANY minor party is not a wasted vote if they poll 4% — they get electoral funding. Funding that Labor will NOT get.

Come on, GLBTI Australians. You can give up to $4.62 to a minor party of your choice. Every 10 voters that change their vote to a minor deprives Labor of $46.

Every 1000 deprives them of $4,600.

Enjoy tomorrow. I think it’s time to hit Labor in the hip pocket.


Danby Silent on Anti-Israel Anti-Gay Extremist Jewish Filth Web-site

August 18, 2010

In September 2009 Michael Danby and I had a brief email exchange.  He told me he was criticising the “dark and ugly recesses of the Internet”.  I wrote back to him and advised him that his concern lacked credibility because he was ignoring dark and ugly recesses of the Internet on his very doorstep.

Wind back one month prior to August 1 2009, now just over a year ago.

In Tel Aviv, Israel, there was a horrific shooting that left two young Jewish Israelis dead.  They happened to be in a gay community centre at the time.  I appealed to many people in the Melbourne Jewish community to speak out against this shooting, to speak out against hate and intolerance of homosexuality, especially from within the Jewish community, and to stand up for the vulnerable and marginalised people in our society.  Amongst these many people was Michael Danby.

I didn’t write just one letter.  I wrote many letters.  I wanted people to hear me, to sit up and to take notice.  I included Michael Danby on every one of these letters.

This is the letter Michael Danby wrote to me on September 17 2009:

From: Michael Danby MHR <michael.danby.mp@aph.gov.au>
Date: 17 September 2009 12:06
Subject: Tova from Parliament House in Canberra
To: Michael Barnett <contact@aleph.org.au>

Dear Michael,

Thankfully this year Rosh Ha’shana this year does not occur during the parliamentary week. Like you, I will be cosseted with family and attending my local shule.

I wish you and your family a safe, happy, healthy, and prosperous new year, and well over the fast.

As you might expect I have been strongly advocating issues that I believe will be of interest to you.

In order to understand where this country is going it is important to remember where we have come from. Therefore I wrote, and I hope you will be interested in, an article on the 70th anniversary of the beginning of the second world war. Click here.

You will be pleased to know that my strong criticisms – The Dark and Ugly Recesses of the Internet‘ of two online publications crikey.com and newmatilda resulted in newmatilda changing its moderation policy for comments on articles regarding the middle east, while crikey.com Eric Beecher conceded that crikey.com editing and moderation of its comments on its website during the first 3  months of 2009.

Finally, in Parliament I noted the 20 years that Genia Janover has been Bialek’s Principal extraordinaire. Click here.

Wishing you and your family a gute and gebensched yohr

Michael Danby

This was my reply:
From: Michael Barnett <michael@aleph.org.au>
Date: 17 September 2009 10:29
Subject: Re: Tova from Parliament House in Canberra
To: Michael Danby MHR <michael.danby.mp@aph.gov.au>

Dear Michael,

Thank you for your well-wishes.

In response to this email I would like to say that there are ‘dark and ugly recesses of the Internet’ here in Melbourne that I have brought to your attention recently via email that are as dark and as ugly as anything you may have commented on today.

Right now the only issues that are of interest to me are 1) the implementation of hate crimes to deal with vilification based on sexual orientation and 2) the insubstantial response by the leaders of every Jewish community in Australia to the hate and intolerance of gay people in the Jewish community in Australia and Israel.

You deal with Jews.  You deal with gay people.  You deal with issues in Australia.  What are you doing to ensure a safe place for GLBT Jews in Australia?

I’ve heard less from you, Michael Danby MP, on this matter than anyone else to date, yet your seat of Melbourne Ports sits across both the Jewish and gay communities.  I call on you to speak out about the intolerance and persecution of gay Jews in Australia.  Can you rise to the challenge?

I sincerely hope you care about us because right now, very few people are standing up for the most marginalised and vulnerable people in the Jewish community in Australia.

Sincerely,
Michael Barnett.

Aleph Melbourne

My letter refers to a Melbourne blog “AJN Watch” which describes itself as:

AJN WATCH – the on-line voice of Australian Orthodox Jewry observes and comments on matters of interest to that community. We particularly monitor prejudice and monopolistic abuse of influence in the pages of the Australian Jewish News – the main source of information to and about Australian Jewry. We spotlight errors, expose misrepresentations and vigorously advocate our community’s positions.

AJN Watch specialises in filth, intolerance and hate.   On August 7 2009 it published a piece entitled “Australian Jewish News, Australian Goyish News or Australian Gayish News?”  In it they wrote:

The last thing their readers are interested in is what is happening in Tel Aviv snakepits of dreck and perversion.

and

Your comment that “Israel is one of the more gay-friendly countries in the world and you don’t have to spend too much time in the more vibrant sections of Tel Aviv to become aware of a strong and tolerant gay culture” indeed nauseates, depresses and disgusts not only Hamodia readers, but all decent, civilized and moral people – of all religious beliefs. Your pride and delight that Israel has become a world-leader in depravity and debasement says much about you and your publication.

Michael Danby ignored my letter.  He did not speak out.  He turned his back on this sinister and vile web site based in his electorate of Melbourne Ports.  Michael Danby turned his back on gay people, on Jews, on Israel, on the memory of Liz Troubishi and Nir Katz, on the people in his electorate, on Melbourne, on Victoria, on Australia and on all of humanity.

Michael Danby wants you to vote for him on Saturday August 21.  He wants you to put your faith in his ability to represent you in the government and in his ability to govern for all of you.  He wants you to trust him.  Michael Danby cannot be trusted on these matters.  He claims to care about gay people.  He claims to care for the Jewish community.  He claims to care for Israel.  The only proven issue that Michael Danby actually cares about is himself and his career.  The rest is just lip-service and pandering.

If there’s one person you should not vote for this election it’s Michael Danby.  If there’s one party you should not vote for it’s the Australian Labor Party.

Michael Danby has let everyone down and he does not deserve reelection.  Tell Michael Danby he should not be reelected to government.  Do this by voting for a party that really cares about human rights and justice.  In Melbourne Ports, this leaves three real options: the Australian Greens, the Secular Party of Australia and the Australian Sex Party.

A vote for Danby and the Australian Labor Party is a vote for intolerance, bigotry, vilification, suffering and persecution.

Think about who you are voting for and why you are voting for them on Saturday August 21, 2010.  If you vote for Michael Danby, you will have it on your conscience.

Michael Barnett.
Ashwood, Victoria.


A Secular solution for Marriage Equality for Australia’s second-class citizens

August 15, 2010
Marriage Equality

Marriage Equality

On August 14 the Equal Love people put on another rally in Melbourne.  It started on the steps of the State Library of Victoria and ended on the steps of the Marriage Registry in Spring Street.

It was a lovely afternoon for a rally to protest the unnecessary discrimination that same-sex couples face in Australia.  There is absolutely no justification for this appalling situation.

I have documented the event using photos, and uploaded them to Picasa and Facebook, as I have done in the past.  Please take a moment to look at the photos and understand that the people you see who are not allowed to get married by the Australian government are all second-class citizens.  Australia is a better place than that.  It’s citizens deserve full equality in all aspects of life.

There is a federal election less than a week away.  One way you can send a message to the politicians who legislated this hateful situation and also to the politicians who have not promised to overturn it is to vote for a party that promises full equality in marriage.

I will be voting for the Secular Party of Australia.  They promise 100% marriage equality and will fight to overturn every piece of legislation that denies full equality to Australia’s GLBT citizens.  So committed to marriage equality are the Secular Party that they have undertaken a commitment to guarantee full marriage equality in advance of a nationwide relationship register. I understand this is an undertaking the Australian Greens refuse to commit to.  The Secular Party will ensure marriage equality is a priority.  Equality must be 100%.

You can help make a positive change this election by voting Secular in the Senate, and if you have a candidate in your electorate, also for the house of reps.

If you want full equality in marriage, you have the power to make a difference.  Use it wisely.

Michael.


Alex Fein & Yaron Gottleib, Sensible Jews engaged in anti-secular intolerance

August 14, 2010

Alex Fein is “The Sensible Jew“.  Yaron Gottleib has been a regular contributor on her blog.  They announced their engagement to each other this week.  I don’t believe there has yet been a disclosure of their relationship status on the blog.

On Alex Fein’s Facebook wall she takes a swipe at the Secular Party:

Alex Fein: It’d be frightening if they ever had a real chance at power – Socialists, Fascists, Secular fundamentalists with bizarre Israel policy… Yaron looks at the ugliest candidates standing at the coming election.

This is a reference to a blog on the analysis of the “ugly” political parties running candidates in the coming election.  The analysis is mostly pathetic and shows a lack of maturity by it’s author.

I posted this comment in reponse to her statement on Facebook:

Alex, you remark that the “Secular fundamentalists” are [amongst] “the ugliest candidates standing at the coming election”.  How do you justify this assertion?

Gregory Storer is the Secular Party candidate for Melbourne Ports. His name will appear on your ballot paper.  In the lead-up to the election he has written a number of articles regarding upholding human rights and equality, including equality for women.  He critiques Michael Danby’s poor performance on some of these issues.  How does that make him one of the “ugliest candidates”?

I ask you read what he has to say (http://gregory.storer.com.au/) and would appreciate you then justify what I would consider your outrageous claim.

Michael.

Let’s see what engaging response the Sensible Jew comes back with.


Yaron Gottleib on the Secular Party of Australia

August 13, 2010

[SOURCE]

Here I was thinking Yaron Gottleib was going to do an intelligent and critical analysis of the Secular Party of Australia on the “Sensible Jew” blog.  Alas I was totally misguided in that thought.

His “critique” sounds more like the wailings of a petulant child who didn’t get his way.  Read his tripe and feel free to comment on the blog, if you can be bothered.

Michael.


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