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August 22, 2014 / 26 Av, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Australia’

Jordan Rejects Australia’s Dropping of “Occupied”

Sunday, June 8th, 2014

The Jordanian government announced it rejects Australia’s dropping of the word “occupied” in connection to eastern Jerusalem.

Jordan’s position is rather hypocritical, as Jordan illegally occupied eastern Jerusalem from 1948 until 1967, after capturing half the city in its 1948 attack on Israel.

Since the year 1805, if not earlier, Jews have made up the majority of the residents of united Jerusalem.

Whereas, 80% of Jordan’s citizens define themselves as Palestinian, making Jordan a de facto Palestinian State.

Australia Has PUG in a Tizzy

Sunday, June 8th, 2014

The Palestinian Unity Government (PUG) has called for the Arab and Muslim countries to reevaluate their relationship with Australia and consider legal and diplomatic reprisals against the Land Down Under.

When Australia’s Attorney-General George Brandis said that Australia would no longer use the word “Occupied” in reference to eastern Jerusalem it threw PUG into a tizzy.

That statement followed other balanced statements by Australia’s Foreign Minister, when she visited Israel.

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is set to visit Australia in June.

Australia Expands Its Pro-Israel Shift

Thursday, June 5th, 2014

A year ago, Australia joined the handful of countries that voted against, or abstained from voting for a series of one-sided anti-Israel resolutions that were put forward in the UN. Since then, Australia, under Tony Abbot’s government, has repeatedly made it clear that it’s actually going to be taking a balanced position when it comes to Israel.

On Wednesday evening, the Australian government’s Attorney-General George Brandis unequivocally stated it would not use the word “occupied” in reference to eastern Jerusalem.

In May, Australia’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, visiting in Jerusalem, questioned exactly which international law has declared Israeli settlements illegal. (Answer: None).

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is planning a week long trip to friendly Australia in June, which would make him the first Israeli prime minister to visit the land down under.

BDS Scores Big Win in Australia

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

The global Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) movement scored a major victory Monday when an Australian court threw out a lawsuit claiming a Sydney University professor had violated Australian anti-discrimination laws by refusing to host an Israeli professor from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. 

The lawsuit was filed by an Australian member of Shurat HaDin, an Israeli legal aid group dedicated to “combating the terrorist organizations and the regimes that support them through lawsuits litigated in courtrooms around the world, fighting for the rights of hundreds of terror victims, bankrupt(ing) the terror groups and grind(ing) their criminal activities to a halt – one lawsuit at a time.” 

At issue was an application by Dr Dan Avnon for a fellowship at Sydney University. Avnon had asked Prof. Jake Lynch, chairman of the University Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies and an avowed supporter of the academic boycott against Israel to support the application, but the latter snubbed the request, saying he supports the BDS movement and would not collaborate with scholars from an Israeli institution.

Lawyers for Avnon said the blanket boycott against Israeli academics is a violation of Australia’s ban against discrimination. 

“By refusing employment to an Israeli professor simply because he is Israeli, Lynch plainly violated Australia’s anti-racism law, which was legislated to protect against discrimination based on national origin and religion,” said Robert Tolchin, a US-based lawyer for Shurat Hadin.

“There are only two questions to be answered. Did Lynch discriminate against an Israeli professor based on his national origin and, secondly, is such conduct a violation of Australia’s anti-­racism laws?”

However, Federal Court Justice Alan Robertson rejected the allegations, which included charges  that Lynch is a leader of the global boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign in Australia. Earlier this year, the Australian Jewish News reported that Robertson said Shurat HaDin’s case “often lacked clear facts linking Lynch’s support of BDS with specific acts of racial discrimination. 

“You’ll have to do a lot of work to persuade me of the correctness of that position,” Robertson said.

Robertson also threw out Shurat HaDin’s allegation that “a purpose of BDS movement campaigns is to inflict harm on Israeli persons or organisations’. 

The case will likely have implications for legal understanding of academic freedom in Australia and abroad. Prof. Lynch says Shurat Hadin is trying to breach his freedom by forcing him to work with scholars he rejects, whereas Prof. Avnon says that Lynch is trying to breach his rights by preventing him from teaching in Sydney. 

Still fighting

Shurat HaDin has been ordered to put up a $100,000 bond to cover Professor Lynch’s court costs. But the group said in a statement that the case would proceed under the guidelines set forth by Justice Robertson. 

“The new statement of claims will be sharply streamlined to ­include only the uncontested allegation that Lynch refused ­employment to Professor Avnon solely based on his citizenship,” Shurat HaDin said.

Aussie Rabbi: Abuse, Family Violence is Top Priority

Monday, May 26th, 2014

A leading Australian rabbi has set family violence and sexual abuse as top priorities for the country’s top rabbinic organization.

“There’s nothing we shouldn’t be speaking about. Let’s talk about organ donation, let’s talk about child protection, let’s talk about reporting to the police, abortion, end-of-life issues,” Kluwgant told Melbourne’s The Age. 

Kluwgant assumes the reigns of Australia’s leading rabbinic association at a time when the community has been rocked by abuse scandals and cover-ups at the highest levels. At least one former employees of Chabad’s Yeshiva College boys school in Melbourne has been convicted on felony abuse charges and several more are currently on trial.

Manny Waks, a graduate of Yeshiva College and founder of the Tzedek victims rights organization, claims that he made senior Chabad officials aware of the abuse that he suffered as a student during the 1980s, but they refused to fire the alleged offenders. Since going public with accusations of abuse several years ago, Waks’ family – a prominent Chabad family in Melbourne – have been ostracised from the community.  His parents recently announced they would move out of the community, and Zephania Waks recently suffered a heart attack.

Rabbi Kluwgant, the father of five sons, has served as a chaplain with Victoria Police, as well as chaplain to JewishCare, a care facility for senior citizens. He told The Age he would take a clear, unambiguous stand on behalf of abuse victims in the community.

“We have to unequivocally tell people – with a united voice, without any dissent – if you are a victim of child abuse, take it to the police. If you are a perpetrator, we hope you get caught and do your time, because that is unacceptable,” he said.

Is Australia’s Labour Party Slipping off the Left Flank?

Sunday, May 18th, 2014

Is Australia’s Labour Party slipping into the clutches of the Loopy Left?

For most of Australia’s history, the country has been a staunch supporter of Israel on the international stage.  While it is true that Australia has  a vocal, visible minority that is committed to Israel’s destruction in favor Australian Jews and non-Jewish supporters of Israel are quick to point of a dictatorial PLO state, the pro-Palestinian brigades Down Under have never obtained much clout on the mainstream political stage.

To the contrary: For most of Israel’s history, Canberra has consistently shown it is committed to Israel’s security, and to developing political, cultural and economic ties with Jerusalem. Australia was the first UN country to vote in favor of Israeli statehood on November 29, 1947, a move that created close relations between the countries. Since then, both Labour and Liberal administrations have expressed strong support for Israel on the international stage.

This was most in evidence during the 2000s, when Liberal Party officials such as then-Prime Minister John Howard and Labour Party members such as Party Chairman Kim Beasley spoke often and strongly in support of Israel, often offering moral and political support during the darkest hours of the Oslo War.

Australia’s first Jewish member of parliament, Michael Danby, was elected to serve as a member of the Labour Party.

Now, however, it appears that the party has begun reassessing its relationship to the Jewish state. Or, at least, it seems that former party leaders have begun pandering to far-left elements of the Labour constituency: Last week, former Prime Minister Bob Carr lashed out at Australia’s Jewish community, saying the community has been hijacked by “extreme right-wing” elements that are “unhealthy” to Australia’s political discourse.

“I found it very frustrating that we couldn’t issue, for example, a routine expression of concern about the spread of Israeli settlements on the West Bank – great blocks of housing for Israeli citizens going up on land that everyone regards as part of the future Palestinian state if there is to be a two-state solution,” Carr told Australian ABC TV.

Now, another former leader Malcolm Fraser has thrown his support behind Carr’s accusation, and has upped the ante by accusing Israel of deliberately bombing a US frigate during the Six Day War.

Israel Air Force jets and torpedo boats attacked the USS Liberty, a United States Navy research ship, on June 8, 1967, about 50 kilometres north of the Egyptian city of el-Arish. Thirty-four crew members were killed.

But Israeli and American investigations at the time both concluded that the incident was an accident, committed in the fury and confusion of a raging war. Israel paid more than $3.5 million in damages to the families of the victims – more than $22 million in 2014 dollars – and apologised for the incident.

But pro-Palestinian and anti-Semitic groups have maintained their insistence over the years that Israel attacked the Liberty on purpose. Now, they appear to be acceptable to the radical wing of the Labour Party.

Predictably, Australian Jewish leaders reacted quickly and strongly to both comments. Leaders of the Victorian State Zionist Council and Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council condemned the statements, and related that both men had enjoyed positive relations with both Israel and the local Jewish community during their terms in office.

“This is a guy who says we’re too powerful as a Jewish lobby,” said Mark Leibler, national chairman of the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council.. “There never has been another case that I can remember that a prime minister or the Australian government has issued a press release calling on us to support a view that they had in relation to Israeli policy.

“This is not the same Malcolm Fraser … It seems he’s developed an antagonism towards the Jewish community and Israel for reasons which are certainly not apparent to me or to anyone else,” Leibler said.

Aussie Jews Demolish BDS

Tuesday, May 13th, 2014

The Executive Council of Australian Jewry has ramped up its campaign against the boycott, divestment, sanction movement (BDS) in Australia with an information booklet outlining the history and aims of the BDS movement.

The booklet, which has been distributed to politicians, journalists and public officials lays bare the hypocrisy of the BDS brigades Down Under and summarizes the movement’s activities in Australia.

“It’s important that people know the true facts about BDS,” ECAJ public affairs director Alex Ryvchin told the Australian Jewish News. that the booklet aims to expose the lies behind the anti-Israel movement in Australia. “Their aim is not to build a Palestinian state, it is to destroy the Jewish one.”

The paper said the booklet also explores the links between BDS activities in Australia and anti-Semitism, including Holocaust denial and calls for violence against Jews.

“While denying that it is anti-Semitic, the BDS campaign has consistently failed to address the anti-Semitism its actions attract and encourage, and the anti-Semitism implicit in seeking to deny the Jewish people their right for national self-determination,” the booklet says.
 

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/aussie-jews-demolish-bds/2014/05/13/

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