Archive for June 30, 2010

Israeli columnist Caroline Glick at Beth El July 20

June 30, 2010 Leave a comment

SAN DIEGO (Press Release)–Caroline Glick, an American born commentator for the Jerusalem Post, will address Friends of the Israel Defense Forces at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, July 20, at Congregation Beth El,  8660 Gilman Drive, La Jolla.

Raised in Chicago, Glick made Aliyah in 1991 and served 5 1/2 years in the IDF, including as a Captain and Coordinator or Negotiations with the PLO.

Glick was an advisor to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and is currently the Senior Contributing Editor of the Jerusalem Post, a Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Affairs at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, D.C. and a syndicated columnist, journalist and author, among other distinguished positions. 

Glick is a graduate of Columbia University and Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, was an embedded journalist with the U.S. Army’s 3rd Infantry Division during Operation Iraqi Freedom, and has been the recipient of numerous prestigious professional awards.

Please join us for a unique opportunity to hear Glick discuss:How the ever-changing dynamic among Israel, her neighbors and the United States is likely to develop, particularly in a year when American voters go to the polls and amidst increased geo-political tensions with Iran, Gaza, and Lebanon. What role the media plays. What can we do in San Diego.

Although there will be no admission charge, RSVP’s are required as seating is limited. Please respond to: 

Preceding provided by Friends of the IDF

Jewish college students should stress Jewish right to Israel in debates with Palestinians

June 30, 2010 14 comments

 An Open letter to embattled Jewish college students:

 By Yosef Rabin

 I made Aliyah almost a year ago after having graduated from North Eastern Illinois University this past summer. After high school I was privileged to study in Israel for a couple of years and then went on to serve as a combat soldier in the IDF Netzach Yehuda 97th Battalion. I think it is safe to say that I have learned a thing or two in regard to defending the Jewish People and our inherent right to the Land of Israel.

When I was in university I watched as the pro-Israel group on campus was helpless against the onslaught of vile incitement and hate aimed at the Jewish State. I have seen a similar trend in universities across the US and I would like to suggest as to why this is. Pro-Israel groups talk about a lot of great things: Israel’s democratic values, the IDF’s unparalleled morality in battle, her right to self defense, Israel’s hi-tech and so many other wonderful aspects of the State of Israel. However, this is exactly the problem. The Arab sympathizers talk about one thing and one thing only, justice! They want the world to believe that they stand in the field of justice, while the Jewish People stand in the wrong. In a sense they are completely right; if we Jews came in and usurped their land, we would have no right to continue to be here. We would have no right to defend what is not ours to defend! However, if we Jews returned to our ancestral homeland and our bond to her stems from the deepest historical and religious grounds, then it is we who stand in the field of justice and they who stand in the wrong. You cannot mix apples and oranges and expect to win the debate; it does not work that way. Let me tell you: the audience will not buy it. They talk about justice, so you must talk about justice!

During my last spring semester in NEIU, a Jewish professor wrote a terrible anti-Israel/Jewish piece, which was published prominently in the university newspaper online and in print. He even went as far to write that Israel was “the greatest mistake of the past century” and that “in Judaism, land has never been holy.” Needless to say, the Jew haters rejoiced, and Jewish students were too stunned to speak. It was obvious that hitting back with the same old “Israel is such a wonderful democracy” was not going to work. That was not the issue at hand; the issue at hand was our intrinsic right to the land. I wrote back a very strong letter to the editor, which was published in both the print and online additions of the university newspapers.

In my letter I focused on one issue and one issue only, our right to the land through mainly history and through the word of our Torah. Considering that the two intertwine, I put strong emphasis on what the Torah has to say about our connection with the land, because you cannot argue against it. No one dares to tell the Christians how to run their affairs in Vatican City nor would anyone dare tell the Muslims what to do in Mecca, because it is sacred to them. There is no point in arguing about it, neither the Muslims nor Christians will give in regarding their sacred lands. After my letter was published, one of the leaders of the anti-Israel movement came to me with a confession. He said, “We gathered to talk about your letter and no one knew what to say…we were speechless. You were so adamant and passionate about your religious and historical connection to the land, what could we have said.” My friends, this is the key!

You must be unrelenting and declare without fear that the Land of Israel belongs solely to the Jewish Nation and that we arecommitted to the greatest act of justice by returning to our land! My friends, YOU MUST SPEAK WORDS OF JUSTICE! They may not agree with you, but they will respect you for it. It will change the nature of the debate and swing things in our favor. Jews must walk with their heads held high and not be apologetic in any way in calling for our return to our homeland. We have nothing to apologize about for building in Jerusalem, Chevron or Beit Lechem. Do NOT talk about the peace process; leave this to the politicians. Focus on one thing and one thing only, making sure everyone understands where you stand. IT IS OUR LAND AND WE HAVE RETURNED BY HISTORICAL AND RELIGIOUS VIRTUE. Please do not get me wrong – I am not telling you to demonize them, to stoop to their level – but I am asking you to stand up for what is yours.

For example, if the Arabs and their supporters have a demonstration about how Israel wants to harm the Dome of the Rock, which stands on our holy Temple Mount, you must respond! Respond not by calling for the destruction of the Dome of the Rock, but, rather, rally for Jewish Rights on the Temple Mount! Speak about our connection to the place. Sadly, as a nation, we have completely forfeited our right to the Temple Mount. Think of this logically: if a Jew has no right to walk and pray at the site of his 3,000 year old holy Temple, what right can he possibly have in Tel Aviv, which just turned 100? In my humble opinion, this issue needs to be addressed quickly and unrelentingly – it must be front and center. We must restore Jewish Pride in the Land of Israel and we must begin with its foundation stone, which is the Temple Mount! I would like to start a worldwide campaign on this issue. I am certain that once Jewish students understand the religious, cultural and historical importance of the Temple Mount, they will passionately push it.

The Land of Israel, for the People of Israel, according to the Torah of Israel!

Letter to the Editor: A Jewish Voice Against Zionism
Issue date: 3/10/09 

Letter to the Editor (My response)
Issue date: 3/31/09 Read More

Preceding was provided by the author

Israel’s ‘Lousy PR’ vs. its national defense needs

June 30, 2010 Leave a comment

 By Shoshana Bryen

Shoshana Bryen

WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a strange conversation, a journalist called to ask how badly Israel’s image had been damaged by the flotilla incident. Our first thought was, “Not as badly as if the precedent was set for ships to land in Gaza without Israeli inspection, or if the millions of Euros in their pockets had actually reached Hamas.” But that wasn’t what he was asking. He really wanted to know whether countries or people who had previously “liked” Israel “liked” Israel less now, and if Israel would have “done better” if it could have explained itself better. 
It was, in fact, the dreaded “Israel’s lousy PR” question.
In a second strange conversation, an admittedly cynical diplomat told us to disregard the posturing anti-Israel statements at the European Parliament, the UN Human Rights Commission and other international bodies. “People don’t really know anything, they just say things.” But, he added, Israel couldn’t expect to get a fair shake in those places because it doesn’t spend enough time making its case to European diplomats. 
Again, “Israel’s lousy PR,” was the issue, not the reality of the Arab/Islamic threat to Israel or the reality of Israel’s defense.
Our belief is that the flotilla incident actually made people and countries behave more like themselves. 

There are those inclined to dislike Israel for ethnic or religious reasons; or because they see only the limited view of Israel their media-controlling governments want them to see; or because they reflexively support people who look sad. 

There are those, on the other hand, who are inclined to appreciate the difficulties of Israel in the Middle East and find in Israel a like-minded, democratic ally under attack by radical forces that also threaten the West. This group often includes post-Soviet countries including Poland and the Czech Republic, and in this case includes Italy and The Netherlands. 

And there is a third type, those who travel in groups or packs – among them the media, Western Europeans, and left-wing Democrats – who don’t necessarily want Israel to disappear; and who do in fact understand the substance of Israel’s difficulties; and who would never think of themselves supporting Hamas, Hezbollah or Iran; but who can’t defend Israel in public because it isn’t fashionable; but won’t condemn it more than absolutely necessary; and will still do business with Israel where they find it useful. Cynical diplomats often find themselves here.

All reacted to the flotilla in predictable ways.

Arabs governments, Arab and other media, Turkey and Iran trashed Israel. 

Americans were far more supportive of Israeli actions than Europeans, but President Obama and Congressional Democrats walked a finer line in their support than conservatives. 

And while the EU Parliament – a body responsible to no one for anything – loudly denounced Israel for the raid, the European countries on the UN Human Rights Commission largely abstained from the slander of Israel and the call for a UN-run investigation (Norway always, sadly, excepted).

The actual elected leaders of the G-8 – the United States, Canada, Japan, Britain, Germany France, Italy and Russia – people who have a responsibility for policy, put forward a communiqué calling for direct Israeli-Palestinian talks (as Israel has), welcomed Israel’s own investigation (not mentioning the UN or any other international investigation) and Israel’s own decision to change the rules of the embargo, noted that the “legitimate security concerns of Israel that must continue to be safeguarded,” and called for the “immediate release” of Gilad Shalit. 

And, interestingly, while Iran naturally trashed Israel and threatened it with future flotillas, faced with the reality that Israel would not permit future ships to land and would consider blockade busting to be an act of war, the Iranian government called the whole thing off. Ditto the government of Lebanon.

Israel and supporters of Israel have to make the best possible case for Israeli defensive activities with the full understanding that there is a double – and triple – game out there. The requirements for national defense have to trump PR. If Israel (or America, for that matter) allows itself to be undone by the PR ramifications of defense, or if PR becomes the ultimate determinant of rightness or wrongness in security matters, defense will become impossible – for Israel, for the United States and for the West.


Bryen is senior director of security policy of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs.  Her column is sponsored by Waxie Sanitary Supply in memory of Morris Wax, longtime JINSA supporter and national board member.

El Al to inaugurate Tel Aviv-Eilat route Aug 1

June 30, 2010 Leave a comment

TEL AVIV (Press Release)–EL AL, the national airline of Israel, is announcing the launch of its newest destination to the popular beach resort of Eilat which is located on the Red Sea in southern Israel. Beginning August 1st, EL AL will offer three daily roundtrip flights every Sunday through Thursday as well as one daily roundtrip flight every Friday morning and Saturday evening.

EL AL passengers have the option to travel to Eilat on the way to Israel, on the way home, or in the middle of their vacation.  A special roundtrip fare of $40 from Ben Gurion Airport to Eilat is available when purchasing the roundtrip EL AL flight from the USA to Israel.  The $40 Eilat fare is subject to availability and certain restrictions apply.

“We are enthusiastic to provide these first-ever EL AL flights so that many more Americans and all international travelers will be able to experience the beauty, relaxation, excellent year-round weather, and many fun attractions that Eilat offers,” said Offer Gat, EL AL Vice President, North and Central America.  “The fact that these flights conveniently depart from Ben Gurion Airport allows our passengers travelling from the USA to easily connect to their nonstop EL AL flight (in either direction) as well as save valuable travel time.”

 The maiden flight, appropriately named “EL AL Red Sea” will depart from Terminal 1 at Ben Gurion Airport, as will all EL AL flights to/from from Eilat. For passengers beginning or ending their trip in Eilat, EL AL allows the same hand luggage and checked baggage allowance as on the flights to/from the United States. To take advantage of the special $40 fare,visit, call EL AL at 800-223-6700 or any travel agent.

Preceding provided by El Al

Interior kicks them out, Tel Aviv welcomes them

June 30, 2010 Leave a comment

By J. Zel Lurie

J. Zel Lurie

DELRAY BEACH, Florida–The Israel government’s Ministry of Interior has been a semi-independent Orthodox principality under both Labor and Likud cabinets for 60 years. David Ben Gurion’s mistake was to take them into his government to stave off his leftist opposition.
The Ministry, run by the Shas party with 11 percent of the Knesset,  does what it pleases. It handles many aspects of the lives of the majority of the population including  the population registry. It takes on many functions of other minstries such as  housing for Orthodox from the Ministry of Housing and  watching the borders together with customs and police.
It has also supplanted the Municipality of Jerusalem in ordering the bulldozing of Arab homes in East Jerusalem. It doesn’t consult other cabinet members before taking action, often leaving the prime minister to pick up the pieces.
In recent months  the Ministry made news with the following actions:
1. Welcomed Vice  President Joe Biden to Jerusalem with the announcement that it would build a new neighborhood in East Jerusalem called Ramat Shlomo. Biden was angry. Secretary of State Clinton was furious. In the resulting brouhaha Prime Minister Netanyahu was forced to extend the freeze on new construction in settlements to East Jerusalem.
2. The Ministry spat in the face of the Palestine Authority by refusing to allow the famous American iconoclast, Prof. Noam Chomsky,to cross Allenby Bridge en route  to the Palestinian Bir Zeit University where he was to deliver two lectures. The Prime Minister’s office was forced to apologize. Prof. Chomsky was not entering Israel and he should not have been stopped at Allenby Bridge said Mark Rogev, the government spokesman.
Prof. Chomsky delivered his lectures by video, He then dissipated much of the outrage in academic circles by calling on Israel’s active  enemy, the Hezbollah chief in Lebanon.
3. Declared war on the children of illegal foreign workers. Minister of Interior Eli Yishai ordered them separated from their parents and deported to their native lands. This was too much for the Israeli public and Minister Yishai agreed to postpone action until the end of the school year.
I had my own run in with the Ministry some 30 years ago. I rescued a young British girl, who had been living illegally in Rosh Pina for five years, from the clutches of the Ministry.
All of the Rosh Pina officials were her friends. The  Rosh Pina rabbi sponsored her for conversion to Judaism. Strangely the ministry refused. They were on a campaign to rid the country of goyim who had overstayed their visas. The Chief of Police told her: “I’ve received an order to pick you up. Please go hide. Get out of my jurisdiction.”
She moved in with mutual friends in a nearby village and that is where I found her.
“For five years I have been living as a Jew in Rosh Pina,” she told me. “I celebrated all the Jewish holidays. Now I want to convert and they won’t let me.”
I figured that I could use my press connections to help her. Telling her story might  shame the Ministry to reverse course. I was right.
The novelist  Yoram Kaniuk was writing a column for Maariv. I asked him to write a column about her. But first he had to get the Ministry’s side of the story.
As soon as the Ministry heard that the press was interested they decided to admit her to a religious kibbutz to study for conversion. Kaniuk never wrote a column.
Thirty years later I had dinner with her. She is now Jeanette Cohen, married to a British immigrant. She is in charge of security for the kibbutz of Amiad and she is a volunteer border cop that patrols the Northern frontier. A son is in the Army. Altogether a model citizen.
Today there are over a thousand children of illegal foreign workers. They are registered in government schools and so are easier to deal with than their parents. Minister Eli Yishai devised the devious plan to deport the children and he hoped the parents would follow.
The brutality of attacking children and separating families aroused the press and public. Yishai backtracked. He agreed to wait until the end of the school year and he appointed an interministerial committee to recommend future action.
Etta Prince-Gibson, editor of the Jerusalem Report, tells the heart-breaking story of one child whom she calls Kimberly.
Kimberly was born in Tel Aviv 15 years ago to a young black maid from Ghana who got herself pregnant. Kimberly’s native language is Hebrew. She has never been to Ghana. On the basis of her excellent grades she was admitted to a prestigious Tel Aviv high school.
She is active in the scouts. She is a prominent member of a scout unit that  will travel to Europe this summer. Kimberly will have to stay home. She has no passport. She told Prince-Gibson:
“A few weeks ago we celebrated Passover in the school. It symbolizes freedom, liberty for everyone. Everton is happy that we have a Jewish state, a homeland. But why can’t I be a part of it?”
Jeannette Cohen succeeded to become a part of it with my help. Who will help Kimberly?
Contrasting with the Ministry of Interior is the Tel Aviv Municipality which believes that Israel needed the foreign workers for health care, farm work and construction. They may have overstayed their Ministry of Interior visas but they are now part of Tel Aviv’s multicultural society.
Under the heading: “Through Books, Tel Aviv Offers Welcoming Island to Illegal Workers Who Share the City”
the Forward of June 4 tells the story of the library opened for foreigners in Levinsky Park in South Tel Aviv where most of the illegal workers have congregated.
The library was the initiative of an artists cooperative named ArtTeam. It was welcomed by the Tel Aviv Municipality which provided the space in the park and $6,500 for operating expenses. Opened in October, it has 4,000 books in many languages on the shelves and 2,000 more still in boxes. Most were flown into Israel free by El Al. Recently books in Hebrew were added because the children were demanding them. The Forward reporter found children from Nepal, the Philippines and Ghana chattering in Hebrew.  All of them, like Kimberly, had been born in Tel Aviv.
The volunteer librarians can’t understand the titles of many of the books on the shelves. Recently, the Forward relates, one of the librarians found by chance that she was handling the Nepalese translation of Mein Kampf, which had been included in the shipment from Katamandu. Hitler’s anti-Semitic tract was quickly expunged.
The struggle continues. The Hebrew speaking children at the library in care still under the threat of deportation by the Ministry of Interior.


Lurie is a freelance writer based in Florida.  His articles appear in the Jewish Times of Southern Florida.

Adventures in San Diego Jewish History, July 23, 1954, Part 4

June 30, 2010 Leave a comment

Compiled by San Diego Jewish World staff
Southwestern Jewish Press, July 23, 1954, page 7

Jewish Center News

Rhythmic Exercise – Our busy San Diego women now have an opportunity to relax to music every Wednesday evening beginning July 28, at 7:30 p.m. The class will be led by Mrs. Lilo Berger, for all women who wish to enjoy the group experience of vigorous yet relaxing exercise.

Through the kind hospitality of Mrs. Al Wise, the morning classes beginning August 3, will be held at 3635 Elliott. After the regular exercises the women are invited to an afternoon of swimming. For further information, call the Center, Atwater 1-7744.

Latin American Ballroom Dance Class – Alice Mason will instruct a Latin American Ballroom Dance Class for adults starting Wednesday night, July 28.  The classes will be held at 8:30 p.m. For further information, call the Center, Atwater 1-7744.

Junior High Activities – Monday night is Junior Hi night. A new and exciting program for the junior hi crowd has been organized and has been meeting with a great deal of success.  A lounge program including games, mixer dances and social dancing has drawn a large crowd to the Center. The group meets every Monday night form &;30 to 9:30. There is an admission charge of 10 cents and refreshments are served. Plans for remainder of the summer include a beach party, a dress-up dance, square dancing, hayride and other similar activities.  All 7th and 8th graders are invited to join in the fun every Monday night.

Lasker Lodge News
Southwestern Jewish Press, July 23, 1954, page 7

By Lou Levitt

Dr. Milton Millman, who has done such a terrific job of program chairman for the past couple of years, has been nominated for the position of 2nd Vice President of the lodge, which was made vacant recently due to the resignation of Brother Jack Lowenbein because of the pressure of business.

Due to leave soon for the B’nai B’rith Convention are: Ralph Feldman, Mickey Freedman, Joe Kaplan, Jerry Aronoff, Ed Breitbard, Henry Weinberger, and Morrie Krause.  Mr. Eugene Morgan of the El Cortez Hotel recently donated a trophy case to the lodge.

Y.J.C. Club Plans Wiener Roast
Southwestern Jewish Press, July 23, 1954, page 7

The Young Jewish Couple (s) Club will hold their third annual beach picnic on Saturday, July 31, at 8:30 p.m. The location will be Pacific Beach on the shore at the foot of Garnett Street. Guests will be toasting their own suppers so it is recommended that tuxedoes be left at home and the ladies are advised to don, for that one night at least, their husband’s trousers. There will be singing, the telling of stories (tall and otherwise) and the immobile type of games that go with a full stomach and a warm camp fire.

Reservations, open to all, at $2.00 per couple, must be made by July 28. For further details, contact Annabelle Epstein, JU-2-8019 or Florence Freidenthal, HU-8-0996.

A.Z.A. Revitalized
Southwestern Jewish Press, July 23, 1954, page 7

Recently returned from Pacific Grove, California, are Stanley Breitbard and Stephen Goldfarb. Steve and Stan were in attendance at the AZA District Silver Anniversary Convention which took place from June 28 to July 2.  The boys represented the local AZA chapter which financed their trip up North.

Both boys are confident that what they learned at the Convention will play a great part, in putting San Diego AZA, which re-organized less than a year ago, solidly on its feet.

Stan, who is president of the chapter, and Steve, who is Secretary, invite any interested boy between the age of 14 and 21 to attend the next meeting which is to be held August 3 at Temple Beth Israel.


Machine Age

Southwestern Jewish Press, July 23, 1954, page 7

Machines are able to do everything today except make a dollar go as far as it used to.

(Hebrew Home)

Application for admission to the Hebrew Home for the Aged may be made through the Jewish Social Service Agency, 333 Plaza, BE-2-5172.

Boat Rides Set For T.I.S. Men’s Club

Southwestern Jewish Press, July 23, 1954, page 8

Tifereth Israel Men’s Club is having its Fourth Annual Boat Ride on Sunday, July 25.  The chartered boat “Marietta” leaves from the Star and Crescent Pier at the foot of Market St at 5:30 p.m. and will return at 8:15 p.m. after a tour of the San Diego Bay area and waterfront.

The refreshment committee, headed by Dan Cheron, will serve a delicious fried chicken dinner (strictly kosher) to all attending.

Al Young and his committee are providing entertainment for the evening. Friends and children are cordially invited.

Council Thrift Shop Needs Restocking
Southwestern Jewish Press, July 23, 1954, page 8

With the expected arrival of several new émigré families the Council of Jewish Women is in need of additional merchandise for the Council Thrift Shop.

According to the Thrift Shop committee including Mesdames Alex Wise, Morris Fried, and Henry Weinberger, deposit depots have been established in every neighborhood for the collection of rummage, including clothes, household utensils, bedding, shoes, toys, magazines.

For information regarding pick-up in your neighborhood call the Thrift Shop, 2205 Logan Ave., BE-9-7859.

“Adventures in Jewish History” is sponsored by Inland Industries Group LP in memory of long-time San Diego Jewish community leader Marie (Mrs. Gabriel) Berg. Our “Adventures in San Diego Jewish History” series will be a regular feature until we run out of history.  To find stories on specific individuals or organizations, type their names in our search box.

The Jews Down Under~Roundup of Jewish news of Australia and New Zealand

June 30, 2010 Leave a comment

Garry Fabian

Compiled by Garry Fabian

Young leaders call for calm

Two young Australians helped soothe tensions at the World Zionist Congress in Israel last week, when a debate on settlements descended into fervid argument.

With a left-wing majority, a resolution on a  two-state solution and a settlement freeze was passed, causing the right-wing bloc to revolt and members of the left-wing bloc to subsequently oppose them.

Witnessing the division in the room, chairman of the Australasian Union of Jewish Students (AUJS)  Liam Getreu and former Melbourne Bnei Akiva leader and new immigrant Jacob Wytwornik took to the stage to call for calm.

“People ran into the middle of the room and onto the stage and demanded from the steering
committee that they revoke the vote, or take a revote,” Getreu told The AJN. “The left, wanting the vote to remain, similarly charged in. At this point around 15-20 people were huddling around the front and on stage, starting to get heated with each other,” he explained.

“It was at this point that Jacob and I were watching, thinking that punches were about to be
thrown, partly in shock and disbelief, and very disappointed with where the Zionist movement had come to.

“It was that impetus ­ that feeling helpless ­ led us to do something.”

Previously told that the committee had deep respect for the opinions of the youth, Getreu and Wytwornik felt compelled to take to the stage.

“It seemed that as soon as we introduced ourselves and began to speak about what we were
seeing on stage and the build-up in tension throughout the day, how it disappointed us and
how we felt that it was betraying the spirit of Zionism and calling into question our ability to
achieve the ideals of our movement and of Herzl, that the room was actually listening,” Getreu said.

“It was very difficult to believe that after such a long day of shouting, people were actually listening.”

Pleading for calm and highlighting the similarities between everyone in the room, their appeal was met by applause.

“Everyone on stage, and as we were walking back to our seats, everyone in the aisles, was eager to come up, shake our hands, and tell us ‘kol hakavod’. It was a wonderful feeling,” he said.

“Thankfully, even though people weren’t on their best behaviour afterwards, the room, as a whole, was much better. It could have been because of what we said, or because we weren’t discussing such controversial and divisive issues anymore, or a combination of the two. But I think that what we did was a great thing to do.”

Shechita appeal to NZ Prime Minister

WELLINGTON, New Zealand,  30 June – Attempts to overturn  the recent ban on shechitah in New Zealand were taken to the top levels of government last week.  Representatives of the community met with New  Zealand Prime Minister John Key to air their concerns regarding new guidelines for animal slaughter and the negative implications they pose to the community.

“On Friday, a small group met with the Prime Minister to express to him the views of the New Zealand Jewish community with regard to the new Code Of Animal Welfare and its effect on shechitah and the Jewry in New Zealand,” chairman of the New Zealand Jewish Council Geoff Levy told The AJN. “The Prime Minister understands our point of view. He said, ‘We want the Jewish community to be strong and vibrant in New Zealand’.”

Community representative David Zwartz stated that they are now awaiting a response from the Prime Minister, whose Jewish mother  fled Austria on the eve of World War II.

Zwartz added that they are also preparing for a potential legal challenge to the regulations.
Asked whether they anticipate Key intervening on the community’s behalf, Zwartz said simply that they would “have to wait and see”.

Also this week, Agriculture Minister David Carter responsible for implementing the ban on
shechitah by imposing a law to ensure stun guns are used prior to animal slaughter ­ has
apologised for comments made last week in his address to the Association of Rural Veterinary Practices.

Carter had told the group that “there are no exemptions” to the new regulations. He added: “In doing so, we may have upset a relatively small  religious minority, and I do appreciate their strong feelings for this issue, but frankly I don’t think any animal should suffer in the slaughter process.”

New Zealand Jewish Council president Stephen Goodman confirmed that an apology had been made for any offence caused.

New PM accused of being ‘too soft on Israel’

CANBERRA, 30 June – A former Australian ambassador to Israel has accused Prime Minister Julia Gillard of being silent on the  “excesses” of Israel, and has questioned why her partner has been given a job by a prominent Israel lobbyist.

In a letter to The Sydney Morning Herald, Ross Burns, who was ambassador in Tel Aviv between 2001 and 2003, said Ms Gillard had been “remarkably taciturn on the excesses of Israeli actions in the past two years”.

He also questioned the propriety of Ms Gillard’s partner, Tim Mathieson, being employed as a real estate salesman by the founder of the Australia Israel Forum, Melbourne property developer Albert Dadon.

Mr Dadon is close to prominent pro-Israel Labor MP Michael Danby, who was influential last week in the coup that installed Ms Gillard as Prime Minister.

Ms Gillard, who was accompanied on the Israel trip by Mr Mathieson, disclosed his appointment to Mr Dadon’s Ubertas Group in a letter to the registrar of MPs’ interests in December, saying the job had started the previous month. A spokeswoman for Ms
Gillard said at the time that she did not expect any perceived conflict of interest to arise from the job.

But Mr Burns, in his letter, said the perception that Ms Gillard’s support for the Australia
Israel Leadership Forum was linked to Mr Mathieson’s job was unavoidable.

“Happy coincidence? In this new world of  ‘whatever it takes’ ALP federal politics, is this
a new benchmark in ‘jobs for the boys’?” Mr Burns wrote.

He questioned Ms Gillard’s stance given that she led an Australian delegation to Israel last year for the inaugural meeting of the Australia Israel Leadership Forum.

Albert Dadon also publishes the magazine of the Australia Israel Cultural Exchange.

“It looks a bit funny when you go on this tour to promote bilateral relations, but you don’t seem to have any reservations about the issue that was number one on the horizon,” Mr Burns said.

The first meeting of the Australia Israel Leadership Forum last June came six months after
Israel launched its military offensive in Gaza in December 2008, in which more than 1300 Palestinians and 13 Israelis died.

Ms Gillard, who was acting prime minister when the invasion took place, put out a statement at the time criticising Palestinian group Hamas for firing rockets into southern Israel, but pointedly declining to criticise Israel for causing civilian casualties.

“Clearly the act of aggression was engaged in by Hamas which commenced shelling with rockets and mortars into Israel,” Ms Gillard said at the time. “That is what breached the ceasefire, and Israel responded.”

Former prime minister Kevin Rudd and Foreign Minister Stephen Smith have since expressed unease at Israel’s subsequent blockade of Gaza.

“She went there for a couple of days of talks and I don’t think made any critical comment about the blockade of Gaza or treatment of Palestinians in general,” Mr Burns said.

“And now we learn from both Rudd and Smith that there were concerns within the Australian government about the blockade, that we didn’t agree with the blockade. Well, we never said so at the time, and she didn’t say so,” Mr Burns said.

Mr Burns was supported in his criticism of the government’s attitude towards Israel by another former Australian ambassador to Tel Aviv, Peter Rodgers, who served
in the Israeli capital from 1994 to 1997.

Mr Rodgers told The Age last night that under successive governments, Australia’s approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict had become increasingly unbalanced, and that this was
unlikely to change under Ms Gillard’s stewardship.

“There’s been a marked swing away from the old attempt to be even-handed on the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict, to a much more determined pro-Israeli position, and I think Gillard is part of that,” he said.

The criticism of Ms Gillard by Mr Rodgers and Mr Burns comes after The Age revealed on Saturday that her partner had been utilising controversial relaxed foreign real estate ownership regulations – introduced by the Rudd government – to market a
residential skyscraper in Melbourne that hasn’t been approved for development yet.

Yesterday, the state opposition questioned Mr Mathieson’s role in another Ubertas project,
claiming Planning Minister Justin Madden late last year approved the company’s plans for a
50-level tower at 350 Williams Street in Melbourne only after lobbying by him.

“Justin Madden has approved a huge building that  will overshadow the Flagstaff Gardens simply due to the lobbying by Julia Gillard’s spouse, who works for a company owned by a Labor mate,” Liberal planning spokesman Matthew Guy said.

“The minister should have never been anywhere near the approval of this project for a rolled gold Labor mate,” he said.

But a spokeswoman for Mr Madden said he had never talked to Mr Mathieson about the project. She accused the opposition of “blindly slinging mud”.

Ubertas has now gone back to Mr Madden’s department seeking approval for an additional
35-level tower on the site, which is currently occupied by the offices of labor law firm Holding Redlich.

Mr Madden’s spokeswoman said the approved 50-level tower had been designed to avoid
overshadowing the Flagstaff Gardens. She said it would only overshadow the entrance to the Flagstaff underground train stationon the corner of William and La Trobe streets.

Neither Mr Dadon nor Mr Mathieson returned calls from The Age about the project earlier this month.

The Age sought responses from Mr Danby and Mr Dadon for this article, but received no responses.

Ms Gillard’s office confirmed that Mr Mathieson was working for Mr Dadon several days a week, but declined tocomment further.

Senator condemns vilification of Israel

CANBERRA, 30 June  – A Victorian Liberal Senator has branded those on the Mavi Marmara as anti-Israel activists with an “agenda”, who broke a legally founded maritime blockade to further the aims of Hamas.

In a Senate speech last week, Scott Ryan said: “I did not realise that peace activists were so well armed, in this case, with knives, chains, firearms, Molotov cocktails and pepper spray. By viciously attacking the soldiers, they quickly betrayed their true agenda with their
anti-Semitic cries, as they did by their refusal to cooperate with the UN, Israeli or Egyptian
authorities, who could have facilitated the entry of the humanitarian materials to Gaza.

“This was no peace flotilla; it was part of an orchestrated campaign to vilify the State of
Israel for doing nothing more than would be expected of us in this place: to protect its own citizens.”

Senator Ryan described the Gaza blockade as “well founded in law, but it is also well founded in the entirely legitimate need for a state and government to take reasonable action to protect its citizens – for Gaza under Hamas cannot be treated as if it or they were a reasonable neighbour, and in no way can it be considered a partner for peace.”

“Despite a lack of coverage of the reality of Hamas, we should be in no doubt as to what it is.
It is a terrorist organisation, dedicated to the use of violence against innocent civilians to
achieve its objective. In this case, its objective is nothing less than the elimination of
the Jewish State and of Jews in their homeland.”

Senator Ryan said those who doubt the intensity with which some countries in Israel’s
neighbourhood hate the Jewish State should check out what is aired on local ­television.

“I have seen a dramatic serialisation of that historic slur, The Protocols of the Elders of
, being broadcast on television as if it were a mini-series we would see on our own TV screens, and the portrayal of a Disney-like children’s character being killed by Jews on a children’s program. And, of course, there is the constant denial of the reality of the Holocaust.

“The schoolbooks the Palestinian Authority distributes to schools contain no reference to
Israel or the three wars that were started against it.

“No state is perfect. But that does not mean one abandons those simply in need of security. In this case, it is the people of Israel who have that need – the need for no more than what we expect in Australia,” he said.

In another development, Victorian ALP Senator David Feeney has responded to a letter from Union Aid Abroad’s executive director Peter Jennings, who claimed the Gaza blockade was “collective punishment” and contravenes the Fourth Geneva Convention.

“I don’t accept this. The blockade is not collective punishment of the people of Gaza. It
is a defensive measure intended to stop Hamas using Gaza as a base from which to attack Israel,” Feeney stated.

“You assert that the blockade is inhumane. I don’t dispute that the blockade is causing
hardship. I do dispute your contention that it is causing ‘immense human suffering’ in Gaza.”

Senator Feeney emphasised that Gaza was not totally blockaded. “Goods are brought to Israel by sea, then sent into Gaza by land after inspection. Israel continues to supply Gaza with electricity, which Hamas pays for with international aid money (while at the same time
firing rockets at the power plant that supplies it).”


Courage to Care  – A educational Program/Exhibition

Each person can make a difference. Patron: Professor David de Kretse, AC, Governor of Victoria; A Travelling Educational Program

This project was commenced by B’nai B’rtih in Australia in 1992, and has operated successfully since, with some 300,000 plus students, as well as the general public in several states over the last 20 years attending these exhibitions.

Courage to Care, a travelling educational program and exhibition, aims to inform and educate on the  dangers of prejudice and discrimination. A key objective of the program is to combat bullying and racism by empowering the individual to make a difference. It educates visitors, in particular senior school students, towards an understanding of the roles of victim, perpetrator and bystander by exposing them to survivors of the Holocaust and their rescuers. The program and exhibition pays tribute to those individuals who have been
designated as “Righteous among the Nations”, those men and women who risked their lives during the Holocaust to save others. Courage to Care is about learning from the past to create a better future.

Through powerful presentations, film and discussion the interactive program demonstrates
that through mutual support everyone can make a difference. It includes workshops particularly designed for secondary school students (Years 9 -12). The program involves a 2 hour session in four parts. It includes a brief introductory DVD, a survivors testimony, an exhibition with a worksheet activity and small group discussions led by trained facilitators. The program is supported as a valuable resource by the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD). It contributes to the objectives of the DEECD’s strategy, Education for Global and Multicultural Citizenship – A Strategy for Government Schools 2009-2013. The program promotes social cohesion, well-being and a sense of belonging for all students in safe and secure learning environments, and building the capacity of the school community to identify and address overt, subtle and institutionalised racism, stereotyping and other forms of prejudice. The domains of the Victorian Essential Learning Standards (VELS) pertinent to the Courage to Care program include Interpersonal development; Civics and citizenship; Thinking processes; Communication and The Humanities. More
exhibition details can be found at

It is a project of B’nai B’rith in Victoria, the oldest service organisation in the world
(originating in 1843) and the largest Jewish community organisation with over 100,000 members in 60 countries worldwide. Courage to Care started in 1992 as a static
exhibition and until 2000 travelled to many  regional centres in Victoria. Since 2000, with
the support of the DEECD, a formal educational program was developed and the exhibition has now visited every major regional centre in Victoria with many thousands of students having participated in the program.

Feedback from teachers has been extremely positive, indicating the experience has had a
significant impact on students’ understanding of the importance of tolerance and acceptance of the “other”, the appreciation of difference and the need to speak out about injustice and
discrimination. Recent teacher comments include: “It was compelling to hear from someone who had actually experienced the events …. it was relevant to students as she (the survivor) was a similar age to them when she went through the experience.  .. “Mind blowing. The students were totally locked in, riveted. ”


Jewish Candidates to go head to head

MELBOURNE, 1 July – Two Jewish candidates will go head-to-head in a battle for the seat ofCaulfield in the November 27 Victorian election.(The electorate contains the largest Jewish population in Melbourne)

Educator Heather Abramson, who  has been preselected as the ALP candidate, will face
Liberal contender David Southwick. The Liberal candidate is no stranger to Jewish-versus-Jewishpolitical battles, after an unsuccessful 2004 bid to oust Michael Danby from the federal seat of Melbourne Ports.

Southwick, who aims to take over the mantle when Caulfield Liberal MLA Helen Shardey retires after 14 years representing the Caulfield electorate,launched his campaign on Sunday at the Florian Convention Centre in Elsternwick, where he was introduced by Victorian Liberal leader Ted Baillieu.

A businessman who lectures in business studies at RMIT, Southwick briefly outlined his policiesthis week, with a strong emphasis on education,and a pledge to carry on Shardey’s pursuit ofpublic safety issues. He said he is determined tocombat hate crimes against minorities, includingthe Jewish community, in an electorate that -with 28 per cent of voters being Jewish – has the highest proportion of Jews in Victoria.

Southwick also said he wants to work towards ensuring “that the legal system provides for a
due process in dealing with racial vilification”.

Abramson, who has 30 years experience in the education sector, has served on the board of
Sinai College in Brisbane and was a union representative at her most recent school, The
King David School’s Armadale campus.

She said she would foster the Brumby Government’s initiatives for “an education system thatprovides opportunities for young people to participate and prosper in our economy”.

Abramson said she and Jennifer Huppert, who is also Jewish, will run as a team. Huppert is
seeking re-election in the Legislative Council (Upper House) for Southern Metropolitan Region. “Jennifer has a law degree and I have one in education. Our joint education and life
experience make us quite a team,” she said.

Asked if she was concerned about running against a Jewish candidate, she said: “I feel we arerepresenting two different parties, we represent two different policy platforms and I just don’t think it’s really an issue.

Southwick is unfazed at his second electoral face-off with a co-religionist. “I find it quite
interesting that the Labor Party attacked me for standing against Michael [Danby], and has now looked at doing the same with me. But again, I personally don’t see any issue with that.”

The Age does no credit to journalism
(commentary by Garry Fabian)

MELBOURNE,  June 29, 2010–The Melbourne Age newspaper has stunned and
appalled the Jewish community today by confecting a scandal about the fact that the Prime Minister’s partner works for a Jewish businessman Albert Dadon.

It inaccurately describes Albert as an “Israel lobbyist” which suggests he is paid to promote
Israel. That’s simply not correct and conveys a false impression.

Dadon is an investor, in property and many other things and was the Chair of Melbourne’s
international Jazz Festival and created the Australia Israel Leadership Forum, which we
assume he modelled on the Australian-American Leadership Dialogue formed by Phil Scanlon.

We have never read Scanlon described as a “pro-American lobbyist.”

(The Age) suggests that because Julia Gillard’s partner works for a Jewish businessman that she is therefore incapable of making up her own mind about foreign policy matters relating to Israel.This is about as low and disturbing as it gets.

Indeed, we understand that the editor of the Age, Paul Ramadge, has previously put much effort into duchessing Mr Dadon in an attempt to rescue that newspaper’s reputation in Melbourne’s Jewish community which increasingly regards it as an apologist for misogynist and racist groups like Hamas and Hezbollah that are sworn to Israel’s destruction.

Sources tell VEXNEWS that Dadon went to some effort to encourage The Age to open its eyes toboth sides of the story in the Middle East andthat a member of The Age’s staff was invited toattend Australia Israel Leadership Forum events, including one in Israel.

Ramadge endorsed this and went to some trouble to undo the damage done by his
predecessor Andrew Jaspan whose attacks on Israel seemed to know no decent bounds.

That reputation will be confirmed by today’s breathtakingly anti-semitic attack that deems all Jews to be  “pro-Israel lobbyists”.

The story was based around a letter from a retired and grouchy Arabist crank, Ross Burns
which prompted a page seven story in the Sydney Morning Herald.

Naturally the Age put it on the front-page and beat it up within an inch of its life.

We have previously written of the fact that Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and
Trade has a real problem with anti-Israel bias. Ross Burns, a career diplomat who was given many sweet plum Ambassador appointments, is a perfect embodiment of this.

Burns has now retired into the comfort of superannuation and is completing a PhD at
Macquarie University on archaeology in Syria. He very frequently visits Syria. He has a keeninterest in its antiquities and ancient ruins.

He has a long history of blowing anti-semitic dog-whistles against Israel, with a steady streamof cranky letters to the editor, speeches, appearances on an appreciative ABC and so on.

His latest suggests that because Julia Gillard’s partner works for a Jewish businessman that she is therefore incapable of making up her own mind about foreign policy matters relating to Israel.

This is about as low as it gets. Where will this obscenity end? Will The Age’s Jewish employees soon be subjected to tests to ensure they are not “pro-Israel lobbyists.”

As for Burns, he is an old crank, who is just running out his private hatreds of Israel in
public view, for his private benefit. No doubt he’s prominent on the wily Syrian Ambassador’s invitation list to sip on Johnny Blue in the wee hours. He’s an angry old man who is entitled to peddle his nasty views.

But The Age has a greater responsibility than that.

And when journalists wonder why we will celebrate the imminent demise of this newspaper, this is why.

Fabian is Australia bureau chief for San Diego Jewish World