Responding to Corey: there’s an elephant in the room at the JCCV and it’s far from kosher

April 28, 2013

Yesterday I wrote a blog “The JCCV Puppet Show 2013“.  Today Corey posted a comment on it:

Personally I think this is childish and unwarranted.

No organisation or community has EVER gone from “homophobic” to “acceptance” over night. There has always been some with an organisation who harbour their old prejudices.

But that doesn’t mean there isn’t benefit in doing SOMEthing rather than NOthing…

All this cartoon tells me is that the author has been so personally hurt by some in the JCCV that his pain is too great to see any glimmer of good in their action towards inclusive behaviour.

Perhaps my message was too subtle for Corey, so I will elaborate (although I hoped this would have been clear from the Aleph Melbourne media release issued on March 28).

The JCCV has put their name to the No To Homophobia campaign.  Any ordinary person would understand this to mean that they say no to homophobia.  Not just some homophobia, but all homophobia.  By comparison, take the issue of anti-Semitism, which is an area of concern for the JCCV.  They have the Anti-Defamation Commission to look after that for them, and through the ADC they attempt to stamp out all anti-Semitism.

Now from my humble perspective, when I read that the JCCV has signed up to No To Homophobia, I trust they are actually taking this initiative seriously and with no less concern for homophobia than they have for anti-Semitism.

But here’s the thing.  There’s a big fat elephant in the room that no one wants to talk about, and that’s the biblical prohibition on homosexuality, Leviticus 18:22, that the Orthodox section of the Jewish community feel compelled to uphold.  It’s about as black and white as it gets: Homosexual sex is forbidden.  Now if that’s not homophobic, then nothing is.  Incidentally, the Orthodox community seem to have no qualms about not stoning to death those who commit homosexual activity, as required under Leviticus 20:13, although maybe that’s because civilised societies don’t stone people to death any more (much like civilised societies aren’t actually intolerant of homosexuality any more).

Leviticus Elephant

The JCCV Leviticus Elephant

I mention Leviticus 18:22 because in 2013 the Orthodox leadership in the community are steadfastly intolerant of homosexuality, and further, are intolerant of equal recognition of homosexual relationships under the law and under the religion.  You may wonder why this is an issue here.  Let me tell you.  If the JCCV is going to call for no homophobia in the Jewish community, then this means it is calling for no intolerance of homosexual people, no intolerance of homosexual relationships and no intolerance of homosexuality.

And this is an impossible situation for the JCCV because the Orthodox member organisations of the JCCV are not suddenly going to start embracing homosexuality just because the JCCV has signed up to No To Homophobia.  And further, the JCCV will willingly continue to accept the not-insubstantial membership dues (and any other financial contributions) of these organisations that are currently intolerant of homosexuality.  It should be noted that the spiritual leaders of many of these organisations belong to the Rabbinical Council of Victoria, itself unaffiliated with the JCCV, that made a submission to the Australian Senate calling for the homophobic discrimination in the Marriage Act to remain in place.

There is no amount of “good-will” that the JCCV can dish up that will make any thinking person believe it is sincere about saying no to homophobia while it actively nurtures organisations that themselves are actively intolerant of homosexuality in the Jewish and wider community.  It’s that simple.

Lastly, for those who say “Saying no to homophobia is a start, even if it’s just saying it” (and no, that doesn’t cut the “we don’t tolerate some anti-Semitism” test), how about the JCCV actually does something practical, like any one of these:

  • Recommend all Jewish schools join up to Safe Schools Coalition Victoria
  • Recommend the government doesn’t exempt religious organisations from discriminating against LGBTI people in Anti-Discrimination legislation
  • Call for the removal of discrimination in the Marriage Act that prevents same-sex attracted and intersex members of the Jewish community from getting married
  • Rebuking members of the community, lay and spiritual, who make public homophobic claims, such as that of Rabbi Shimon Cowen, Rabbi Chaim Ingram, Dr Miriam Grossman, Robert Weil, Ilana Leeds, and the “AJN Watch” blog.  Their standard yelp “Don’t give them oxygen” simply doesn’t cut it, considering just how strongly they rebuke purveyors of anti-Semitism
  • Establish a properly funded rigorous investigation into the rate of self-harm and suicide from members of the Jewish community who are struggling with their sexual orientation or gender identity
  • Extend an invitation to LGBTI Jewish organisations to become members of the JCCV, as an act of goodwill (especially considering they rejected the last application from a long-established LGBTI Jewish organisation)
  • Start praising the stellar work of the Progressive and Conservative Jewish communities.

I hope that this explains why the JCCV must prove that it is actually engaging with the community to break down homophobia and not just taking the lazy way out (in order to tick the “We’re LGBTI inclusive” box on government grant applications, to ensure its funding sources don’t dry up).  Until then it will remain nothing more than a three-ring circus replete with puppet and clown show.


Ilana Leeds shows strong support for shunned virulently anti-gay rabbi

February 16, 2012

In September 2010 Ilana Leeds told us she was a victim of bullying.  On Monday this week (Feb 13 2012), Ilana Leeds showed her support for Rabbi Dr Shimon Cowen, a man who wants to delegitimise an anti-bullying program, simply because it affirms homosexuality.

20120213 Ilana Leeds blog supporting Rabbi Shimon Cowen

The hypocrisy here is amazing.  Really it is.  It’s beggars belief that a self-professed anti-bullying campaigner is promoting the very attitudes, based on disproven junk science, that have been shown to contribute to the alarmingly high rates of youth suicide in Australia.

The bullied anti-bullying campaigner joins ranks with the bully who wants to disband the life-saving anti-bullying program.


Why is Ilana Leeds obsessed with Bestiality?

December 17, 2010

Ilana Leeds enjoys bringing bestiality into the conversation.  What is her obsession with the topic?  Clearly it is a viewpoint endorsed by the AJN Watch web site that publishes her bigoted, hateful and bullying opinions unchallenged.

Ilana said…
B’H No one is judging. On a deeper level, we have to look at homosexuality as equated with bestiality and understand that both activities require the individual to submit to baser instinctive behaviours on one level that requires much effort to control. If we support marches for ‘gay rights’ and support a gay lifestyle, then why are we not marching to support child sex offenders because surely they are ‘just one of many variations of HUMAN sexuality’? Child sex offenders will use that argument to negate criticism of their behaviour to and say that they were merely ‘helping children to express their inner sexual desires’. I know that people like Mikeybear who runs Aleph have great issues with my views on the subject and I want to get away from the personal aspect of it, because there are many worthwhile and gentle sensitive gay people who contribute to society in many very worthwhile ways. However, I for one am not going to support a gay lifestyle and I certainly will not march in favour of sexual behaviour and lifestyle that I disagree with. If I had two people going for a job and both were equally qualified and one was gay, would I hesitate to hire a gay person, definitely not. Would I go to a gay nightclub (despite the fact that I do not hang out at night clubs and never have seen it as a desirable activity), definitely not, but would I stop a gay person coming to a function I (for arguments sake held) definitely not, but I would require a certain code of conduct. Am I in favour of sending my son to a Jewish Youth Group that supports same sex marriage – definitely not, because those sorts of values are not what I want for my son. I had a similar answer to someone who suggested that I remove my son from a school and send him the Caulfield Community School because they believe he has ‘behaviour issues. Now, the Caulfield Community School may be very worthwhile for the sons and daughters of XXXX (removed by blogmaster) and if I wanted my son to become like those poor little blighters and for him to get an education in the social mores of fringe dwellers, I certainly would see that as an option, but I do not. It would be the beginning of the end of him and corrupt him, Now when we choose a youth group, we want certain values to be supported and espoused. I have not come across anywhere in Jewish literature that homosexuality is a Jewish value, although people will argue that David and Jonathan had a homosexual relationship. I believe that had a deep relationship that was purely spiritual in its essence and love. I think it is very hard for us in these days, when we are so connected to the material and physical world, to conceptualise a love or a relationship that is on a purely spiritual level without physical or sexual expression. I can understand how a mother’s love for her child may entitle her to go beyond condemnation of socially unacceptable sexual behaviour and she may endeavour to ask for acceptance of her child and indeed support from the wider community for her child’s sexuality. However, while the wider community can accept her child as who he or she is, we should avoid accepting his or her deviant sexual behaviour as the norm and indeed we should avoid supporting it as the norm.

Friday, December 17, 2010 10:06:00 AM

More homophobic hate on AJN Watch

November 25, 2010

Over on AJN Watch

Anonymous said…

It must be a slow news day if this topic can attract so many comments. I don’t know if anyone has researched yet if the Rebbe approved of AFL players attending Chanukah lightings but I find having gentile politicians and celebrities lighting candles (which I thought was a mizvah for yidden to perform) quite odious, even though I believe this was done in the past with the Rebbes blessing. I’m surprised AJNwatch hasn’t picked up on an egagement annoucement in the current AJN edition. There are three sets of parents for this one. The bride’s parents, the groom’s father and his second wife, and the groom’s mother and her gentile lesbian ‘partner’. I’m not criticising the AJN for printing the ad, but it really opens youe eyes to what a sick society this has become. It will be interesting to know the arrangement of who will be standing under the chuppah here.

Robert Weil

Tuesday, November 23, 2010 5:39:00 PM

and:

Ilana said…

B’H

Oh Dear, @ Anonymous
I know why you posted this anonymously.
” There are three sets of parents for this one. The bride’s parents, the groom’s father and his second wife, and the groom’s mother and her gentile lesbian ‘partner’. I’m not criticising the AJN for printing the ad, but it really opens youe eyes to what a sick society this has become. It will be interesting to know the arrangement of who will be standing under the chuppah here.”
You would have a certain Mikeybear on your case if he knew your name for posting the above and you would join me in the notorious Hall of Anti Gay Fame Activists Responsible of the Deaths of Every Gay Person who Ever Suicided Because of Rejection Real or Perceived (and not untreated or misdiagnosed mental health issues)or just plain bullying. I agree, it has become a really sick society that accepts anything in its strivings to be so PC and tolerant of others and society ignores the intolerance and lack of respect from those it strives to ‘protect and nurture’ against those who would differ in their opinion to the PC line of thought. I agree with Chabadnik, that Chanukah is about spiritual dangers to the Jewish Neshoma. On one hand we should not ape the customs and ways of the goyim but on the other we should strive to reach the disinfrancised Jews. Rav Gutnik who sponsors the event owns a football club or is a President of one, whatever, I am not a big fan of football, especially Aussie rules, give me a good book any day. I am even proud to say after living in Melbourne on and off since 1972 I have never, ever been to an AFL match or watched one on TV which is quite an achievement give the football madness of the winter season in Melbourne.
The good Rav with all due respect, has many interests not only football. He has an extensive knowledge of Torah and well entrenched Jewish values so he is probably not in any spiritual danger.
The Torah is a guide or blue print given to us by Hashem for our guidance and spiritual health. It is similar to having a very fancy GPS system but if you don’t know how to use it, you can still get horribly lost and if you don’t follow it correctly, you get led astray.
I have real concerns about this ‘acceptance’ of the gay lifestyle as ‘normal’. It is not. We should not confuse the issue here. Normal family life entails having a Mum and a Dad or a Tatty and Ima, not two tatties, not two imas. It is like the Torah, very concise and clear on the issue. Then we have a Zeidy or Saba who is married to a Bubba or a Savta. Just thing about the implications of lifestyles that are otherwise and what that entails for future generations. Imagine the family trees and yes on this branch we have two doddot who were married to each other and over here we have Dod Moshe who was married to Dod Manny and they used surrogate x who was not Jewish by the way and had three children (triplets) Rivki, Malkie and Michael and so on and so on. Wonderful, we will be so accepting of everything, so let’s not have any boundaries at all and live chaotically like……. (I am lost for words, as even the animal kingdom has rules and codes of conduct that in a lot of cases is superior to many humans in present society.)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010 7:27:00 AM

and:

Anonymous said…

Ilana, check carefully. I didn’t post as ‘anonymous’. My name (Robert Weil) is at the bottom. I am quite capable of taking on the Mikeybears and others. I’m sure Mr. Barnett will be posting here before long to label me a ‘homophobe’.

Robert Weil

Wednesday, November 24, 2010 10:16:00 PM

Robert Weil is not a stranger to being intolerant of gay people and the issues we face.  Back in 2007 he felt it necessary to reinforce his beliefs that AIDS was a gay disease, as published in the Australian Jewish News here and here.  The second letter by Robert Weil was in response to this by Luke Huggard.

The views that Robert Weil and Ilana Leeds proliferate are dangerous, fed by intolerant fundamentalist dogma, trotted out as divinely inspired and mandatory to observe.  The tragedy of the situation is that they, amongst so many others, simply don’t have a grip on reality, and consequently people get hurt, suffer and sometimes die.


There’s no pleasing some people

October 18, 2010

[SOURCE]

Apparently I’m a sexist according to Rebecca Dominguez because I called a woman a bitch.  I didn’t call the woman a bitch because I have anything against women.  I chose the word ‘bitch’ because, and I refer you to definition 2a on answers.com, it was appropriate and accurate for the context:

n.

  1. A female canine animal, especially a dog.
  2. Offensive.
    1. A woman considered to be spiteful or overbearing.
    2. A lewd woman.
    3. A man considered to be weak or contemptible.
  3. Slang. A complaint.
  4. Slang. Something very unpleasant or difficult.

I submitted the following comment, pending moderation at the time I write this, on Rebecca’s blog:

Rebecca,

I repeat, in case you didn’t hear my message the first time, my rant was not against women. I respect women as a group of people in society who often get the raw end of the deal. Honestly.

My attack was against Ilana Leeds. She happens to be a woman. If she was a man, she would have copped the same barrage from me.

I can’t win this. You are going to call me sexist no matter what.

Michael.

In the words of Brian Cohen, there’s no pleasing some people.


Ilana Leeds unleashes her inner bitch

October 17, 2010

Oblivious to the recent spate of teen suicides in USA caused by anti-gay bullying, Ilana Leeds lets herself off the leash again and barks out more anti-gay venom, ignorance, misinformation and bullying in her latest blog:

While I do not, and I m very clear on this, advocate causing harm to any person who is homosexual or otherwise different, I do not regard their behaviour as ‘normal’. That is my opinion. I base it on a number of facts including the idea that it is not normal sexual behaviour, even in the animal world.

I have sympathy for those born homosexual because I believe that it must be a difficult burden to deal with but by the same token, I think there are many therapies available and even if they cannot be cured they are able to come to terms with the fact that they need to address some issues in their lives.

Younger people with emotional problems can be taken advantage of in this very sensitive stage of their life by older more experienced homosexuals who may be just looking for a bit of fresh meat so to speak, and are apt to convince a younger impressionable person that they are gay because they (the older person) desires it to be so.

I will not be bullied or forced into accepting homosexuality as a normal sexual behaviour.

This religious whack-job is out of control.  She’s out of touch with reality, totally deluded and to top it all off appears to have a bad case of kennel cough.  Her views are poisonous and should not be tolerated.  Intelligent people will not be fooled by her ignorance and misinformation.  It’s only other ignorant people out there who will fall victim, unfortunately.

In closing, I’d like to remind you that despite the rabid rantings of Ilana Leeds, there is hope for anyone who feels they are struggling with their sexuality and aren’t sure what to do.  Taking your life or hurting yourself is not the answer.  Go to the It Gets Better Project and listen to the stories of the people out there who have been tormented by barking bullies like Ilana Leeds.


Are bullies a victim of bullying?

September 27, 2010

[SOURCE]

I recently wrote a blog on bullying [see here].  The person I was writing about has now described how she was previously a victim of bullying and relates her experience.  It makes a really interesting read:

20100927 Ilana Leeds comment 15290 on Galus Australis - header

20100927 Ilana Leeds comment 15290 on Galus Australis - tail

Ilana Leedssays:

B’H

Violence is bullying and most bullies will not sit and debate or discuss because fear drives them and their life is about power and somehow justifying their methods of denigration of others in order to justify their erroneous ideas.
I have been a victim of bullying and lost my teaching position because someone wanted to teach me a lesson about who is boss. Real leaders are not afraid of dissent because only with dissent do we learn and grow. If we all agreed with one another, what a strange world it would be.
I don’t care what culture, colour, gender or sexuality you are, respect is paramount in dealing with others and a good sense of humour.

One would expect a victim of bullying would be a little more understanding of the issues, especially when it comes to their personal views on homosexuality.

Clearly it’s not always the case.


Ilana Leeds – the biggest bully in town

September 21, 2010

Ilana Leeds declared war on homosexuality today.  She wrote some comments on Galus Australis (here and here):

…if they want marriage and all the other things that go with it,(Like the adoption of children) they need to give up their deviant practices and return to a heterosexual lifestyle and put themselves in order.

and

…those poor sick individuals who have to follow their unnatural desires and indulge in sexual practices that are not normal.

and

No I feel discriminated against, because I am not allowed to hold the view that homosexuality is deviant sexual behaviour, which it is.

It’s easy to understand how a person so steeped in their fundamentalist religious lifestyle can hold these extreme views.  It’s because she lives in an extremely blinkered world, and in that world there are a lot of people who are ignorant of understanding and accepting the diversity of human sexuality.

What’s less easy to understand is how someone so bigoted and hateful as Ilana Leeds can be genuinely concerned about the hot topic of bullying in schools.  She has a background in secondary education.  You can read all about it on her LinkedIn profile (PDF).  Further, she seems to be so interested in the topic of bullying in schools that she felt driven to write a novel about it, as you can see on her Twitter profile.  Her latest tweet was:

I wouldn’t be entirely surprised if she didn’t get past the first line.

And now “educator” and anti-bullying crusader Ilana Leeds has submitted a snide comment to my previous blog:

Author : Ilana Leeds (IP: 115.128.58.22 , 115.128.58.22)
E-mail : nobullies@education.com.au
URL    :
Whois  : http://ws.arin.net/cgi-bin/whois.pl?queryinput=115.128.58.22
Comment:
B’H

Only hateful sweetie pie, because you don’t like what I am saying and if it did not touch a raw chord and have an element of truth you would not react so hard.
Have a nice day.

So here you have it.  One the one hand Ilana Leeds calls homosexuals deviants and unnatural, and on the other hand she claims to be concerned about bullying at schools.  My guess is that the part of her brain that allows her to believe in god has grown so big that’s it’s squashed the part of her brain that bestows her intelligence and reason to the size of a shrivelled pea.

Often school kids are bullied because they are gay.  And often they are the most likely candidates for suicide or self-harm.  Any intelligent educator would know this, or be able to easily find it out, unless they have their head firmly lodged up their arse.

Ilana Leeds is one of the biggest bullies in town and as an educator she should be ashamed of herself.


Ilana Leeds, a victim of Jewish religious brainwashing

September 21, 2010

[SOURCE]

Ilana Leeds posted a hateful comment on Galus Australis:

1. Same sex marriage – I do not particularly (along with a few others) like having homosexuality presented to me as ‘normal’. It is not and while I do not advocate discrimination against people who are practicing homosexuals, I think if they want marriage and all the other things that go with it,(Like the adoption of children) they need to give up their deviant practices and return to a heterosexual lifestyle and put themselves in order. Children deserve to have a normal family situation as far as possible.

Ilana Leeds believes her god demands she say this because she’s been brainwashed to believe it.

Ilana Leeds is a narrow-minded bigot whose attitudes and beliefs contribute to the high rate of youth suicide.

Her partner in crime Shoshana Silcove is just as shameful.


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