ECAJ vocal on terror attacks in Norway

July 25, 2011

[SOURCE]

In March this year I wrote about the Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ) and their ability to write letters of support as it suits them.  Yesterday the ECAJ, through its president Dr Danny Lamm, published another letter of support, this time in response to the horrific attacks in Norway.

On behalf of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, the elected peak national body of the Australian Jewish community, I extend our deepest sympathies to the Norwegian government and people following the double terror attacks in Oslo on Friday and especially to the injured and to all Norwegians who have lost loved ones.

I encourage the ECAJ to write these heartfelt letters for each horrific tragedy that happens around the world.  It is necessary to see communities supporting each other in times of hardship.  However if the ECAJ is going to write letters when there are terrorist attacks in Norway, tsunamis in Japan or bombings in Jerusalem, then it must also respond to violent shootings in youth centers in Tel Aviv.

The hypocrisy will become increasingly apparent the next time this morally bankrupt organisation remains silent when again the victims are gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Jews, in Israel or anywhere else.


Danny Lamm – Philanthropist

July 14, 2011

[SOURCE]

I read with mild amusement that the Jewish community’s Danny Lamm has bought himself a shiny new library.  Wonderful.

A library is a place of learning.  A home to a collection of accumulated experience, wisdom, joy, suffering, marvel, art, history, mistakes, optimism and other expressions of the human condition.

It is strikes me as unusual that someone who wanted to exclude a support organisation for gay men from the Jewish community should become a philanthropist and major financial benefactor of a library.  But despite that blot on his good name I think I’ll let Wikipedia(*) have the last say on the matter of philanthropist Danny Lamm:

Some believe that philanthropy can be a means to build community by growing community funds and giving vehicles. When communities see themselves as being resource rich instead of asset poor, the community is in a better position to solve community problems.

However, some believe the purpose of philanthropy is often tribute and self-aggrandizement, as arguably shown by the prevalence of self-titled foundations, rarity of large anonymous donations, and lack of support for unpalatable causes such as the treatment of diarrhea (which despite being easily treatable is the second leading cause of infant death worldwide.)

* as referenced on July 14 2011.


Manny the Brave

July 14, 2011

[SOURCE]

It’s a brave person to admit publicly they’ve been the victim of sexual abuse.  Making this admission in a small close-knit community is even more courageous; few do it.

Manny Waks has shown he’s a person who stands by his convictions, someone not afraid to say it how it is.  Forthrightness is a quality I admire.

In Manny’s response to the statements from Yeshivah and the JCCV, he makes some comments that are especially insightful.

While Yeshivah’s reluctance to fully cooperate with the investigation is somewhat understandable as it attempts to maintain its reputation – although completely unacceptable – the JCCV’s silence on this issue has been bewildering and outrageous. It indicates that there is a major gap in leadership in the Victorian Jewish community. No one was willing to stand up when it counted – this from an organisation that claims to be the voice of Victorian Jewry.

No victim would be interested in seeking assistance or support from an organisation that lacks moral leadership. Furthermore, the JCCV’s recommendation to seek assistance and support also from the Jewish Taskforce Against Family Violence, a group that has proved itself to be primarily a Yeshivah apologist, is further alienating.

What is most revealing about Manny’s observation of the JCCV is that it parallels my experience with the same organisation.  This confirms to me that there are some fundamental deficiencies with the JCCV.  Address these and we can start to identify and then tackle the underlying harms that exist within the community, rather than just remedy them in a superficial manner.


Vacuous platitudes of an ego-driven child abuse enabler

July 14, 2011

[SOURCE]

In a sluggish response to the unfolding child sex abuse scandal rocking the Melbourne Jewish community (The Age, Jun 22 2011; Galus Australis, Jul 5 2011; The Age, Jul 8 2011) , the Jewish Community Council of Victoria released a statement on the matter on July 13 2011.  The opening paragraph states:

The Jewish Community Council of Victoria is disturbed by the recent allegations of sexual abuse at Yeshivah College.  JCCV President, John Searle said, “we abhor the abuse of children in any way, be it physical, sexual, emotional or psychological, and particularly when it is perpetrated by those in positions of trust and authority at our communal institutions”.

Sadly, I know these words are, in part, entirely disingenuous simply because the JCCV president personally endorses the specific form of psychological abuse of children that manifests itself as the intolerance of homosexuality.  He has told me face to face that it is completely acceptable for [Orthodox] Judaism to perpetuate a dogmatically justified stance on the matter.

I have stated previously and will reiterate findings of relevant research:

Studies conducted over the last decade reveal that GLB individuals attempt suicide at rates between 3.5 and 14 times those of their heterosexual peers

and

Those belonging to religious faiths that promulgate negative discourses about homosexuality are particularly vulnerable to suicide and self-harm. Conflicts between spiritual or religious beliefs and sexuality can result in significant psychological dissonance as well as division and exclusion from family, friends and community.

How much longer will we have to put up with the vacuous platitudes of this ego-driven individual, who by his very silence on this matter is further enabling the horrific abuse of children in large sections of the Jewish community?


Fascist Dictator Julia Gillard stops gay Aussies marrying in New York

July 9, 2011

From: Alex Greenwich (AME)
Date: 8 July 2011 12:45
Subject: MEDIA RELEASE: GILLARD STOPS GAY AUSSIES MARRYING IN NEW YORK
To: Michael Barnett

AUSTRALIAN MARRIAGE EQUALITY

Media Release
Friday July 8th 2011

GILLARD STOPS GAY AUSSIES FROM MARRYING IN NEW YORK

The Gillard Government is blocking the marriages of gay Australians in New York.

When New York state’s new equal marriage law takes effect on July 27th same-sex couples from other countries will be able to marry there if they provide a Certificate of Non-Impediment to Marriage (CNI) to show they are not already married in their home country.

But the Australian Government refuses to give such certificates to same-sex couples intending to marry overseas, a policy defended by Julia Gillard as recently as the 14th of June, 2011.

Australian Marriage Equality National Convener, Alex Greenwich, called the policy petty and mean-spirited.

“The Gillard Government’s policy of not allowing same-sex marriages in Australia forces same-sex couples to go overseas if they want to marry, but when they apply to marry in another country Julia Gillard is there saying “no” as well”, Mr Greenwich said.

“This means some couples miss out on entitlements and protections they can only receive overseas if they are married in a country that would otherwise recognise their committment, and it causes endless hassles for couples who have planned their wedding only to find it can’t go ahead.”

In response to a question from Independent MP, Andrew Wilkie on June 14th Julia Gillard incorrectly stated that CNIs are issued to show if a marriage is recognised in Australia (details here), but the New York Marriage Registry clearly defines a CNI in the following way:

“A Certificate of Non-Impediment is an official Certification that the City Clerk’s Office has no information that would be an “impediment” to your getting a Marriage License in the City of New York.”

In 2009, a tri-partisan Senate inquiry condemned the policy of not issuing CNIs to same-sex couples and called for it be scrapped on the following basis:

“A decision by a sovereign nation to allow marriage between a couple of the same sex should be a matter for that nation, and not a matter against which Australia should throw up bureaucratic barriers.”

On Wednesday, openly-gay South Australian Labor State Upper House member, Ian Hunter, condemned the Gillard Government’s refusal to issue CNIs and revealed he and his partner have officially applied for a CNI to marry overseas. (Details here).

Yesterday in an interview with Sky News, Julia Gillard said she may not respect a motion at December’s National Labor Conference in favour of allowing same-sex marriages. (Details here)

For more information contact Alex Greenwich on 0421 316 335.


Not religious now? Mark the census NO RELIGION, and take religion OUT of politics

July 8, 2011

Not religious now? Mark the census NO RELIGION, and take religion OUT of politics.


“A sense of duty” podcast

July 6, 2011

This is a backup copy of the podcast of “A sense of duty“, broadcast on ABC Radio National’s 360 Documentaries on June 4, 2011.


Audio and transcript of interview with ADC chairman Anton Block

July 4, 2011

Further to last week’s announcement, the audio and transcript of the interview with Anton Block are now available online.

TRANSCRIPT: Transcript of interview with ADC chairman Anton Block on Gay & Lesbian radio JOY 94.9

AUDIO: ADC chairman Anton Block talks on Gay & Lesbian radio JOY 94.9


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