Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Shirlee versus AJDS


Shirlee has emailed me this flier from the Australian Jewish Democratic Society which I have reproduced below.. For the benefit of readers who are unfamiliar with the minutiae of  Australian Jewish communal politics, the AJDS is a group on the far left when it comes to the subject of Israel. Israel now as much as ever is the single biggest issue for Australian Jews as a community (although right now abuse of children in some Orthodox schools is getting at least as much attention).

 Further still to the left is a handful of activists on the extreme fringe who actively campaign for Israel's destruction and adopt the Hamas/PLO narrative with an enthusiasm that exceeds even most of them. They are aggressively and belligerently antizionist and therefore antisemitic.  Almost every antisemitic trope, especially those relating to conspiracy and Jewish control of politics, Western foreign policy and media, are part of their repertoire. For the most part they are Jews only for the purpose of vilifying Israel. They are of course not regarded by Australian Jews as part of their community.

Do not think for a moment that the concept of the antisemitic Jew is anything new. They have been with us since Marx and Trotsky and beyond and always very active for their numbers. They are after all very useful to those who hate or despise Israel or the Jews. Usually they are on the extreme pro-war violent revolutionary left but there has been at least one case of a neo-nazi leader who felt obliged to hang himself after being exposed as having been raised as a Jew.  

These are the people who get most of the interviews on ABC TV and radio and whose articles are published on ABC blogs and in the Fairfax press. It's usually the same two or three plus the occasional passing foreigner to break the monotony  but when they are not around or getting a little tired with the audience the next port of call is the AJDS. Again,a small group but who is to know that if they are not Jewish and certainly the ABC doesn't care about that.

Apart from emailing me Shirlee has also emailed the communal leadership and much of the rest of the community it seems. Here is her cover message:

The 'morsel' below was received today from the AJDS and I am sending it to some 100 or so people, who are bcc-ed into it. I am requesting these people to forward it to everyone on their mailing lists as a prime example of what is occurring within our Community, by a group accepted by our formal Community organisations. 

Enough is enough. They showed their true colours on 'Green Sunday'. Words cannot describe the disgust felt by so many at this despicable act. If any of you have bothered reading comments on issues such as this on J-Wire, you may well be surprised at learning what the average person in the Community feels.

The fact that this vile group is accepted as an affiliate of the JCCV is a disgrace in itself, but to add further to this disgrace is the fact that the JCCV is then accepted as an affiliate of the ECAJ. I am far from alone in this thought. I believe you are well aware of this fact.

I hear questions frequently by Community organisations as to why more people don't get involved in the formal Community. This is a prime example, as was the response to Geert Wilders' visit here, plus the comment 'Let's wait and see" in the Statement released in regards to the 'Islamic Peace conference' an oxymoron if I ever heard one.! The general feeling that this Statement was not published on line as was that the previous in regards to Wilders, was because of the slamming that one received.


Here is the news of the AJDS latest campaign which for Shirlee and many others is the last straw.

Dear AJDS members and supporters,
We're very pleased to announce a new AJDS campaign- 'Don't' Buy Settlement Products'

At this time of Pesach—the festival of freedom—we remember that we were slaves in Egypt.
What does it mean to remember this?

It means that we remember what it means to be imprisoned, to not be able to determine our fate.
It means that we remember what it means to be an oppressed and dominated people.
It means that remember that as we were slaves in Egypt, so too others are enslaved and oppressed in many countries around the world, and that we must fight alongside them for their freedom.
We remember that escape was possible, that slavery came to an end.
On this Pesach we ask you to join a long history of Jews who have fought for freedom, for both Jews and for others. To stand alongside others, Jews and non-Jews, who have made ethical choices about how to live their lives in order to make themselves better people, and to make the world a better place.
And so in this tradition of Pesach, as well as in the relatively new tradition of making decisions about what products we purchase based on a set of ethics (as we have done in the past with Nescafe, Shell, and products which are harmful to the environment), this year we commit to not buying products that are produced in settlements the West Bank.

Kind Regards,

Max Kaiser
Community Organiser, Australian Jewish Democratic Society

I avoid community politics for a number of reasons not the least of which is that as I am not a member of any group or body affiliated with the councils and other roof bodies I do not feel qualified. This is one of those occasions where I will comment. I agree with Shirlee.
This campaign is offensive, dangerous, morally suspect and pretty cowardly. There are a number of reasons why boycotting Jews who happen to be in a place where many say they are not allowed and it is illegal for them to be born there is vile. Apart from the racism, perhaps the worst of it is that it internalises the "Palestinian" narrative that it is the "Occupation" and the "Settlements" that stand in the way of peace without the slightest awareness that what is meant by that is that the whole of Israel is "occupied", by Arab Muslim standards, and that Jews as free people anywhere in the Middle East are in the wrong place.
If Israel was to just unilaterally pull back more or less to the Green Line then there will be peace is the view, despite all the evidence. This is worse than just wishful thinking. They are not just inviting Israel to take a
dangerous indeed suicidal risk with the lives of her people but demanding it. They join in the boycotts of the Israel haters and antisemites and they encourage them. They do this without the slightest qualm about "Palestinian" intransigence and genocidal antisemitism, without any acknowledgement of Israel's courageous initiatives and offers, all rejected, and with no regard to how unilateral withdrawals have been received by Israel's enemies in the past and without any apparent concern for the state's security.
They do this from the safety of the other side of the world. They are demanding that Israel and the Jews take on the guilt for the predicament of the "Palestinian" people and by necessary extension they are excusing those who are really responsible. It is an inversion of truth and morality.
The AJDS is entitled to do this. Whether they should be allowed to remain affiliated with communal bodies is another thing. They help to endanger Israel and weaken her position at a time of growing triumphant fury from those who would destroy her and the Jews and who see gestures such as that by AJDS as proof they are winning. The Jews are falling apart. The strategy is working they are encouraged to believe. Now is the time to really put on the pressure.
The AJDS have no excuse for not knowing this. That is why you have to wonder just how much of this campaign is founded in self-delusion they want to make compulsory for all of us and how much is recklessness with the truth washed downwith half a gallon of naked bad faith. It is time to have this out with the "liberal" and "progressive" Zionists. They are not helping. They are making things worse.
Meanwhile at J-Wire the Jewish Community Council of Victoria has congratulated itself for helping to stop hate speeches in public at the Muslim "Peace Conference" in Melbourne. Check out the comments including from Shirlee and this blog. Not good enough. It's unanimous.


  1. Sometimes I get the impression that the Jewish community is suffering from some autoimmune disorders.

    1. I take your point Rita.

      I've got a feeling this old thread at Gallus is about to heat up.