Fresh revelations of paedophilia perpetrated by an Orthodox rabbi in Melbourne’s Jewish community

November 6, 2012

The following message was distributed by Manny Waks via his Facebook page on November 4 2012.  I encourage anyone who has any relevant information to come forward to the police.  Manny has requested any direct contact with him to be via Facebook.

Over the year or so since I went public with my story of child sexual abuse at Melbourne’s Yeshivah, I’ve been entrusted with allegations relating to numerous other victims/perpetrators.

I want to share one of these with you. A prominent Jewish Australian who’s a household name, informed me that during his Bar-Mitzvah classes (several decades ago) at an Orthodox synagogue (not ultra-Orthodox), the prominent and highly respected rabbi (who for the time being will remain nameless) would expose himself and masturbate in front of him. At this stage, decades later, the victim still does not want to share his story with the police – as he told me, even his parents aren’t aware of his experience.

The reason I’ve elected to share this particular serious allegation is to point out a number of important points:
• anyone can be a victim;
• anyone can be a perpetrator;
• it is not just a Yeshivah/Adass/ultra-Orthodox issue; and
• many victims are still reluctant to share their experience with anyone, including family members and the police.

After holding discussions with the police on this matter, they have advised that they are unable to take any action, as the victim must provide a statement. Consistent with the way paedophiles work, it is reasonable to assume that this prominent rabbi would have done similar things to other children.

So I urge anyone who was also exposed to any such experience, especially similar to the story described above, to report the matter to the police – of course if you are aware of any other cases of sexual abuse, whether perpetrated against you or anyone else, please report this information to the police. It’s important that they are informed of everything so that they can have a broader picture of what has been happening. Because the picture that I currently have is very grim – in my opinion it’s not a question of whether instances of abuse were on a similar scale to the Catholic Church but rather whether this will all become public…..

Contact details (Melbourne, Australia):

Sexual Offences and Child Abuse Investigation Team
(03) 9556 6129
Detective Senior Constable Jonathan RUSSELL (or others in the team)

If you’re reluctant to make a confidential statement to the police, please realise that you’re not alone – it’s common! But please consider that if you go to the police, you’ll be:
• pursuing justice;
• assisting other past victims; and
• protecting potential victims.

Please feel free to contact me in complete confidence if I can be of any assistance.


Rabbi Moshe Gutnick demands religious exemption for marijuana use to facilitate Jewish gay weddings

April 1, 2012

In what can only be described as a cliff-hanging turn of events, Rabbi Moshe Gutnick, president of the Organisation of Rabbis of Australasia, has come out and admitted in a submission to the Australian Senate inquiry into Marriage Equality that there has been a fundamental misunderstanding of the Torah that has to this day posed as a religious barrier to gay marriage.

In the Senate submission Rabbi Gutnick stated that the traditional interpretation of the Torah has rendered sex between two men problematic, because the translation of the Torah into English was thought to be that a man should not sleep with another man as he would sleep with a woman, with the penalty for doing so that they both be stoned to death.

He felt that this attitude to homosexuality was deeply troubling and discriminatory and so sought advice from a pool of sage rabbis from around the world.  These rabbis looked at the original wording in the Torah and felt that maybe there had been a misunderstanding of God’s word and that there was room for a better interpretation, one that offered a more acceptable outcome.

After weeks of collaboration, these rabbis unanimously agreed to reinterpret the Torah and provided an English translation that now states that a man should not sleep with a man as he would with a woman, but rather he should sleep with a man differently to how he would sleep with a woman.  However should he be found to be sleeping with a man as he would with a woman, they should both become stoned to a state of holy happiness, except if there’s a dearth of marijuana.

And this is where Rabbi Gutnick has called upon the government to decriminalise the use of marijuana, for strictly religious purposes, to ensure that two men found having the wrong type of sex with each other are dealt with in a more humane and appropriate fashion.  The pool of rabbis agreed that each man should be given a bong and a quantity of marijuana and be instructed to smoke the other man’s pipe until each had reached a state of spiritual redemption.

Rabbi Gutnick clearly expressed in the Senate submission that this relaxation of the use of marijuana would only be required for Jewish men and not for gentiles, as gentiles are spiritually unclean, due to not having had a religious circumcision ceremony.

Most unexpectedly, Rabbi Gutnick apologised to the gay community for his earlier claim that he would be opposing gay marriage and noted that since this religious loophole had been found to the previously problematic issue of homosexuality, he now had no issue with gay marriage, and in fact fully endorsed it, claiming that gay men are now encouraged to “shtoop like rabbits, especially on Shabbat”.

The explanation given in the Senate submission was that he realised that if same-sex marriage was legalised in Australia, he wanted the Jewish community to have unfettered access to the estimated $161 million dollars of wedding spend likely to be outlaid on same-sex marriages.

He said that it would revitalise the kosher catering and hospitality industry, that kosher food suppliers would feel the surge of business and that all manner of Jewish shops and enterprises would thrive from the rush of gay weddings, especially the Jewish diamond and ring merchants.  Rabbi Gutnick went on to say that the kosher butchers would do particularly well because he knew how much gay men liked their meat, and added that the kosher fish-mongers would do particularly well from lesbian weddings.  Rabbi Gutnick went to great pains to explain in the Senate submission that his connection to Kosher Australia should not be perceived as a conflict of interest.

Rabbi Gutnick’s new enthusiasm for gay marriage was evidenced by his statement that Orthodox Judaism was particularly sensitive to the needs of single-sex celebrations, because in traditional heterosexual weddings the men and the women were required to be separated by a mechitzah, and so there was an existing culture of men celebrating with men and women celebrating with women.  He added that it’s actually a principle feature of the religion that men must spent considerable amounts of time with other men, in close confines, in the absence of women.  He said he felt that it was very homoerotic at times, and the headiness of the masculinity in the crowded prayer and study sessions was particularly appealing, especially on those hot days, when the men were dripping with a particularly musky sweat, and were just a little frustrated.  He noted that this frustration was most evident when the men were denied sexual gratification with their wives during their periods of uncleanliness, and further exacerbated by the total religious prohibition on masturbatory relief.

In the summary of the submission, Rabbi Gutnick repeated his apology for the long overdue admission that to deny gay men and women the right to equality was in fact an oppresive and persecutory behaviour and that he had looked back at the history of the Jewish people and felt that he was in no place to call for the superiority of heterosexual Australians over homosexual Australians.

An addendum to the submission included a suggestion that Rabbi Gutnick officiate at the first mass Jewish gay and lesbian wedding in Australia, co-hosted by Adam Hills of the In Gordon St Tonight fame, because he said the ABC studios in Elsternwick were at the centre of the ultra-religious quarter of Melbourne’s Jewish community, and that he was particularly proud of the ground-breaking work that Adam Hills had done to break down barriers in the community around gay marriage.

MEDIA ENQUIRIES: Rabbi Moshe Gutnick (rabbig@ka.org.au)


How many must die to warrant a response from the JCCV?

September 13, 2011

[SOURCE]

The United States Consulate General Melbourne in association with the Jewish Christian Muslim Association of Australia  held a commemoration of the 10th anniversary of September 11 2001 attacks on Sunday the 11th of September 2011 at the 9/11 Memorial Trees, Kings Domain, Melbourne.

The JCCV had a representative at this solemn occasion:

Mr Simon Tisher, Executive Member of Jewish Community Council of Victoria lays flowers.

JCMA: "Mr Simon Tisher, Executive Member of Jewish Community Council of Victoria lays flowers."

On August 11 2009, 10 days after the Tel Aviv attack where two Israelis where brutally murdered in a youth centre, I sent out an email asking a number of community leaders to speak up and condemn some anti-gay sentiments being published on a Jewish blog in Melbourne.  The response to my email from John Searle, JCCV President, was:

From: John Searle <jsearle@vicbar.com.au>
Date: 12 August 2009 11:38
Subject: RE: Gay hate is rife in Jewish Australia on AJNwatch (resend)
To: Michael Barnett <michael@aleph.org.au>
Cc: Geoffrey Zygier

Hi Michael,

I was thinking we should have a chat about this over a coffee one day next week. I might even ask Geoffrey to join us. Can you make it one morning at 7.30 or 8.00 in the Caulfield area or does it have to be in the city in which case I would suggest 10.00 or 10.30?

I was thinking Wed next week.

JS

We ended up meeting at John Searle’s house, the evening of Wednesday August 19, 2009.  I was accompanied by Colin Krycer, also from Aleph Melbourne.  At this meeting I politely asked John Searle to issue a statement from the JCCV condemning the attack in Tel Aviv.  His response was that the JCCV doesn’t issue statements for many issues, of which this was but one.  At this meeting I handed John Searle a printed copy of this letter that I had written, outlining a draft proposal for an anti-homophobia strategy for the Australian Jewish community.  I subsequently sent through an electronic copy of it.

I quote from the JCCV’s “About Us > Overview” page:

Through consultation, advocacy and working with government, other faith and ethnic communities, the media, service providers and the general public, the JCCV seeks to achieve the following goals:

And in partnership with the State Zionist Council of Victoria:
A more sophisticated public understanding of Israel’s efforts to achieve peace and security
Effective counteraction of misinformation on Israel, the Middle East and the Arab/Israel conflict
A more sophisticated public understanding of Israel in relation to contemporary Jewish identity.

I seem to be getting a number of messages from the JCCV.

  1. They are prepared to make a public statement about the terrible attacks in the USA on September 11, 2001.
  2. They are concerned about issues relating to peace and security in Israel.
  3. They are concerned about contemporary Jewish identity in Israel.
  4. They are not prepared to comment on the horrific death of two young Israelis killed in a youth centre in Tel Aviv.

I am really puzzled by the JCCV’s reluctance to be outspoken on an issue that is core to their agenda.  What is so wrong with condemning an attack on young Israelis, given the Zionist and peace-loving nature of the JCCV?  The only conclusion I can make, in comparison with their response to September 11, is that perhaps insufficient people were killed on August 1, 2009 in Tel Aviv to warrant a response from the JCCV.

I politely ask the JCCV to reconsider their stance on which international events they make statements on, especially when it comes to contemporary Israeli youth, and issue a belated and sincere statement about the 2009 attack.  It’s not asking too much is it?


The leading causes of homophobia in Australia today

September 9, 2011

 

Research confirms that Julia Gillard, Tony Abbott, Bob Katter, Jim Wallace, Jeff Kennett, George Pell and Peter Jensen are among the leading causes of Homophobia in Australia today.  These individuals supported by organisations such as the ALP, the Coalition, the Australian Christian Hate Lobby, the Catholic Church and the Anglican Church are actively working to increase homophobia in Australia today.

 

The leading causes of homophobia in Australia today

The leading causes of homophobia in Australia today


Jeff Kennett – BeyondBlue

September 9, 2011

[SOURCE]

 

Jeff Kennett is one of the leading causes of depression and homophobia.  His views on what constitutes a family are harmful.  BeyondBlue as an organisation that deals with mental health need to sack this man or it has no credibility.

 

Jeff Kennett - Director & Chairperson - BeyondBlue & Homophobe

Jeff Kennett - Director & Chairperson - BeyondBlue & Homophobe


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.


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.


“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.



JCCV’s John Searle speaks on prejudice with gay abandon

May 4, 2011

[SOURCE]

On May 1 2011 at the Yom Hashoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) Commemoration Evening, Jewish Community Council of Victoria president John Searle delivered an address, in which he said:

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.

Just to refresh you, John Searle published a media release earlier this year in which he gave tacit support to the notion that organisations representing gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) people would not be welcome as a members of the JCCV, the organisation he is currently president of.

John Searle also told me in person late in 2009 that he believed it was acceptable for (orthodox) Judaism to be intolerant of homosexuality.  He refuses to discuss this (or any other) matter further as he knows it will blow open his facade of tolerance toward GLBT people.

I am in complete dismay at the absolute arrogance of this man, who on the one hand declares publicly that prejudice against homosexuals will not be tolerated, and on the other hand dishes out homophobic prejudice with gay abandon.


JCCV – Victoria’s serial Jewish bully

March 10, 2011

[SOURCE]

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.


No joy in Jewish community heads gaining Lion membership

March 4, 2011

[SOURCE]

This week the Australian Jewish News (Mar 4 2011, p3) reported that heads of key organisations in Melbourne’s Jewish community faced difficulty gaining membership of embattled aspirant community broadcaster Lion FM (Melbourne Jewish Radio):

“MJR president John Kraus … submitted Lion FM membership applications for ECAJ president Dr Danny Lamm, JCCV president John Searle and Zionist Council of Victoria president Sam Tatarka. The executive, however, passed a resolution to defer membership deliberations – “a disgusting and disgraceful state of events”, according to Kraus, particularly given that Searle and Tatarka were present.

This comes two weeks after the JCCV issued a media release (covered in my blog here) stating:

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 1999 the JCCV refused membership to Aleph Melbourne[1], then a social and support group for gay and bisexual Jewish men.  Now in 2011 the JCCV unapologetically endorses the unsubstantiated view of Rabbi Rapoport that membership of the JCCV by gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people in the Jewish community would be harmful to said community.  In my opinion these two events overshadow the fraught membership application by the JCCV president of community radio station Lion FM.

There may be meritorious reasons for Lion putting on hold the membership applications of Searle, Lamm and Tatarka.  It is unhelpful that Searle endorses Rapoport’s claim the JCCV should not have GLBT membership.  This action further marginalises GLBT members of the Jewish community.  If any community organisation wants to be successful, it must work cooperatively with every member of the community it is a part of, not just those that fit its political agenda.

It’s worth noting that in 1999 that both the State Zionist Council and Danny Lamm actively spoke against membership of Aleph Melbourne to the JCCV.

By no stretch of the imagination do they [Aleph Melbourne] follow Jewish ideals and the motion [for membership] should not be put forward — Erwin Lamm, SZC delegate[2]

The organisation [Aleph Melbourne] … is not an organisation that ought to be represented at the JCCV. — Dr Danny Lamm, Mizrachi delegate[3]

If Searle, Lamm or Tatarka approached Aleph Melbourne for membership, they would be pleased to hear that membership would be approved without hesitation.  Aleph Melbourne doesn’t ask questions about how prospective members bat or the way they prefer to score goals.  The organisation welcomes all members of the Jewish community, with the only prerequisite being a Jewish identity or heritage.

Lastly, if any of the aforementioned wish to become members of a long-standing and reputable community radio station in Melbourne, they can approach JOY 94.9.  Their membership application process is especially transparent.  Apply here.

1 JCCV Plenum Meeting minutes – May 10 1999

2 “Gay group seeks to join the JCCV” [AJN, Apr 9 1999; p7]

3 “Could Aleph split the JCCV?” [AJN, Apr 30 1999; p7]


Anti-Defamation Commission – an organisation in conflict with itself

November 23, 2010

In October I wrote to the Anti-Defamation Commission in relation to the issues I addressed in my previous blog, calling for them to take action.

I received this initial response to my message:

From: ADC Reception <Reception@antidef.org.au>
Date: 14 October 2010 10:48
Subject: RE: Call for Anti-Defamation Commission to echo ADL’s Denouncement of Carl Paladino’s Comments Denigrating Homosexuality
To: Michael Barnett <mikeybear69@gmail.com>

Dear Michael,

Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention.  We are taking this matter seriously; the ADC Board will consider it at its next meeting on Wednesday 20th October.    We will let you know the outcome of our discussion shortly after.

Kind Regards
Alain Grossbard
Acting Chairman ADC

I followed up with the ADC after their board meeting and received the following response:

From: ADC Reception <Reception@antidef.org.au>
Date: 25 October 2010 09:55
Subject: RE: Call for Anti-Defamation Commission to echo ADL’s Denouncement of Carl Paladino’s Comments Denigrating Homosexuality
To: Michael Barnett <mikeybear69@gmail.com>

Dear Michael,

The Board has declined to comment.

Curiously, the matter goes from genuine concern to silence.  But really, this shouldn’t come as a surprise, because we know the ADC won’t comment on anti-gay hate in the Jewish community.

With the immediate past JCCV President Anton Block being appointed to chair of the ADC, I don’t expect this situation to change.  The ADC’s parent organisation is the JCCV (not B’nai B’rith as the Jewish News continues to misinform all).  The ADC tows the JCCV’s “let’s not upset the Orthodox” stance and remains muzzled by them.

Deborah Stone, Research Director at the ADC says on Galus Australis:

But I’m quite clear on my Jewish identity and my rights as a Jew to be free from hate speech. I’m also clear on my responsibility, as a Jew and as a human being, to advocate for respectful pluralism in Australia. So when an opportunity to use my media and research background came up at the Anti-Defamation Commission, it seemed a good fit.

Of course, but don’t let a little hate toward gay people get in the way of you doing your job.  We all know anti-gay hate isn’t nearly as harmful as anti-Jew hate.  Jewish Gays can cop it, can’t we?  We don’t really matter all that much.  A little suicide or self-mutilation here and there won’t matter to the families of the young kids who feel they can’t cope with the anti-gay hate that the ADC won’t address.  But god help those who throw anti-Jew shit at Jews.  Lord knows the ADC and it’s overlords at the JCCV will turn heaven and earth to seek adequate redress.

The ADC needs to take a good look at itself.  The JCCV needs to take a good look at itself.  The Jewish community needs to ask itself if they want to be represented by these self-serving, gutless organisations that elect egotistical leaders in acts of nepotic arrogance.

They don’t give a fuck about the welfare of your kids.  Only their egos and political careers.


Israeli Supreme Court rules Jerusalem to fund gay community equally

September 14, 2010

Very exciting news just in from Jerusalem Open House.

——–

Dear friends,

After almost five years of legal struggle, we, at the Jerusalem Open House, are proud to announce that the Israeli Supreme Court decided this morning that the Jerusalem Municipality must fund the LGBT community as it does other sectors of society. This, after years of homophobic refusal of City-Hall to support the JOH and its activities.

The direct result of this ground-breaking ruling is that no official body within Jerusalem will be able to discriminate Gays, Lesbian, Transgender and Bisexual people as a policy.

It’s a time of celebration here at JOH, but it’s also a time of gratitude. We want to thank you for supporting our struggle and being by our side. . You gave us not only the means, but also the strength to bear-on. You have a part in today’s victory.

In the spirit of the High Holidays, we’re happy to see that the judges in Jerusalem has finally fulfilled Isaiah’s prophecy: “And I will restore your judges as at first and your counsellors as in the beginning; afterwards you shall be called City of Righteousness, Faithful City.”

With this down, we now remain with merely 699 places in the Israeli law where the LGBT community suffers from discrimination. We look forward to our next challenges!

Warm regards from Jerusalem,

Yonatan Gher,

Executive Director

OR

Click here to find out about all the convenient ways to support the Jerusalem Open House.


Davenport Underwear. You will be dying to wear it

September 8, 2010

Congratulations to Rob Mitchell for taking an important stand yet again in fighting intolerance and the tide of suicide victims.

If you’re not speaking out, you’re part of the problem.

Michael.


From: Rob Mitchell <rob@rjm.it>
Date: 8 September 2010 20:11
Subject: Stephanie Rice
To: customerservice@davenportunderwear.com.au

Hi,

Can I suggest you check out

www.davenportsucks.com

It is a web site I have set up highlighting the link between the systemic vilification peddled by your ‘star’ and the inevitable result is has on the mental health of the 10 % of young people in this country who are not straight.

For years Davenport has banked great wads of money from the gay community by flogging it their expensive underwear, but when the time comes to discipline one of your ‘ambassadors’ for vilifying that community, you are missing in action.

It’s not good enough, and we are not going to put up with it.

Starting tomorrow (Thursday) we are going to be hitting the GLBTI and metro media with the website, and that is just the start. If you google ‘Davenport’ and ‘suicide’ you will see we are already at number six out of 360,000.

You should ditch Stephanie as an ambassador, as Jaguar have done. To do anything less is to simply profit from hatred and vilification.

Stephanie Rice can burst into tears as often as she likes but I can see no concrete offers of help, monetary or otherwise, to genuinely assist the GLBTI community deal with the vilification related rates of suicide and depression that are endemic in our communities.

If it’s one thing we’ve learnt fighting HIV / AIDS over the last quarter of a century, it is that persistence works. Sooner or later, the broader community are going to associate Davenport underwear with bad corporate governance, and you don’t have to be clairvoyant to work out what that will mean for your bottom line.

It’s unfortunate it’s come to this, but for too long sport has been a ‘safe harbour’ for behaviour that would be unacceptable in any other context, and too often companies that profit from the sporting world won’t step up when required.

Those days are gone.

Rob Mitchell

Member Governance & Inclusion Project, Vic Dept. Sport

Member Integrity In Sport Committee, Australian Sports Commission


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


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,342 other followers

%d bloggers like this: