31 December 2010


Received from change.org on 30 December 2010.


Spread the word about corrective rape in South Africa

Take Action

Dear Mannie,

Several weeks ago, survivors of "corrective rape" -- a heinous practice in South Africa where lesbians are raped under the guise of "curing" them -- started a petition on Change.org to ask the Minister of Justice to declare corrective rape a hate crime.

It has since become the largest-ever petition on Change.org, and the Chief of Staff at the Ministry of Justice has repeatedly contacted us to complain that they are overwhelmed with the messages coming from every part of South Africa and every corner of the globe. But the minister still refuses to meet with the activists who started the campaign -- Ndumi Funda and the women of the non-profit Lulekisizwe.

Ndumi asked us to pass the note below along to Change.org members. Read the note, then please continue to spread the word by posting on Facebook and forwarding this email to 10 friends.


To Change.org members, editors and most of all to all of you who signed our petition,

We are GOBSMACKED at the response that our petition has received. Our fight against corrective-rape has been going on for so long, under the most harrowing of circumstances, with only a few volunteers to help, and it just seemed that nobody was listening, nobody cared, and our sisters were getting raped, beaten up and murdered without anyone doing anything about it.

In absolute frustration, we decided to write a petition. This was a first for us, and never in our wildest dreams did we imagine that we would get this kind of a response. We did jokingly say that we wanted to crash the Ministry of Justice's servers, but we thought that our petition would get a thousand or so signatures if we were lucky. More than 65,000 signatures later, and the senior Ministry officials we targeted are apparently having major difficulty accessing their e-mail because of all the e-mails your signatures are generating! WOOOHOOOO! Well done & thank you!

If you haven't already signed the 'Corrective Rape' petition, please sign and share it with your friends:


Unfortunately, despite this becoming the most popular petition of ALL TIME on Change.org, and clearly getting the attention of the minister, Lulekisizwe has still not heard a word from the Justice Department! We need a meeting with the Minister of Justice so we can discuss how 'corrective rape' victims are treated, the lack of police response, how long the court cases take, why so many of the dockets get 'lost' and why the rapists get out on such low bail. Please keep the pressure up!

Thanks to a donation from an ethical cosmetics company in the UK called Lush, we were able to get another, more secure place to stay and use as a safe-house for the victims, but the rapes and assaults are continuing. We are worn out and things are far from easy, especially at this time of the year when stress levels are very high.

The one thing that is giving us hope is all of you showing love and caring by signing and sharing the petition. We are thrilled, excited and very, very humbled by the support that every one of you have shown, and all we can say is thank you and please, please don't stop. Ask your friends to sign our petition:


Bless you all and have a great Festive Season,
Ndumi Funda & the Lulekisizwe team


Received by email from MONDOWEISS on 30 DECEMBER 2010

SJP statement on FBI intimidation: ‘We live in an age in which silence is not only criminal but suicidal – we shall, therefore, make as much noise as we can’

Dec 30, 2010 01:52 am | Students for Justice in Palestine

National Solidarity Statement on Impact of Grand Jury Subpoenas on Students’ First Amendment Rights

December 29, 2010

“For if they take you in the morning, they will be coming for us that night.”

– James Baldwin, in an open letter to Angela Davis, November 19, 1970

As students at over fifty American universities, we unequivocally condemn the abuse of grand jury subpoenas to chill the exercise of First Amendment rights by university students and anti-war activists speaking and organizing against Israel’s continued oppression of the Palestinian people. Since September 24, 2010, the F.B.I. has served at least 24 grand jury subpoenas on students and activists in a secret investigation that many have called a witch-hunt. We call upon Attorney General Eric Holder and United States Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald to respect the civil rights and free speech of all those who support the Palestinian struggle for freedom by immediately withdrawing grand jury subpoenas which threaten the First Amendment rights of students and activists around the country.

The government’s assault on organizations and individuals who support the Palestinian struggle for freedom has become increasingly authoritarian. The abuse of laws criminalizing “material support for terrorism” is unprecedented and, had they been implemented at the time of South African apartheid, would have effectively criminalized broad American support for the anti-apartheid movement. At the apparent behest of US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, the government today has cast a net so wide that it has entangled journalists, college students, and peace activists. We know that a campaign so indiscriminate will seriously impinge on the First Amendment and other civil rights of people living in the United States. This will, in particular, affect active and outspoken students on university campuses, especially those of Palestinian descent.

It is not only our right but also our moral duty to speak and act against American foreign policy and its destructive impact on innocent people around the world. Today, America unfortunately stands behind Israel’s oppression of the Palestinian people with money, weaponry, and diplomatic support. We seek to reverse this situation so that American foreign policy stands on the side of people who work towards justice. We reject the government’s efforts to isolate the Palestinian people by severing them from their non-violent supporters abroad. Therefore we stand in solidarity with the victims of our government’s campaign both in America and around the globe.

If Attorney Fitzgerald’s campaign marks the morning of a new day, then we are certain of what awaits us in the night. Like Baldwin before us, we live in an age in which silence is not only criminal but suicidal – we shall, therefore, make as much noise as we can.


American University, Students for Justice in Palestine
Arizona State University, Students for Justice in Palestine
Bard College, International Solidarity Movement
Benedictine University, Students for Justice in Palestine
Boston University, Students for Justice in Palestine
Brandeis University, Brandeis SJP
Brooklyn College CUNY, The Palestinian Club
Columbia University, Students for Justice in Palestine
Cornell University, United for Peace and Justice in Palestine
DePaul University, Students for Justice in Palestine
Eastern Washington University, SLAC
Florida International University, Students for Justice in Palestine
George Mason University, Students for Justice in Palestine
George Washington University, Students for Justice in Palestine
Georgetown University, Students for Justice in Palestine
Hampshire College, Students for Justice in Palestine
Harvard Law School, Middle East Law Students Association
Harvard University, Alliance for Justice in the Middle East
Harvard University, Harvard College Palestine Solidarity Committee
Harvard University, Harvard Law School Justice for Palestine
Hunter College, Students for Justice in Palestine
Loyola University, Middle Eastern Student Association
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Palestine@MIT
New York University, Students for Justice in Palestine
Northeastern Illinois University, Students for Justice in Palestine
Northwestern University, Students for Justice in Palestine
Ohio State University, Committee for Justice in Palestine
Pennsylvania State University, Students for Justice in Palestine
Rutgers University – New Brunswick, BAKA: Students United for Middle Eastern Justice
Saint Xavier University, Students for Justice in Palestine
San Diego State University, Students for Justice in Palestine
San Jose State University, Students for Justice in Palestine
School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Students for Justice in Palestine
Temple University, Temple Students for Justice in Palestine
Tufts University, Students for Justice in Palestine
University of Arizona, Students for Justice in Palestine
University of California, Berkeley, Students for Justice in Palestine
University of California, Berkeley Law, Law Students for Justice in Palestine
University of California, Davis, Students for Justice in Palestine
University of California, Irvine, Students for Justice in Palestine
University of California, Los Angeles, Students for Justice in Palestine
University of California, Riverside, Students for Justice in Palestine
University of California, San Diego, Students for Justice in Palestine
University of Chicago, Students for Justice in Palestine
University of Florida, Students for Justice In Palestine
University of Illinois at Chicago, Students for Justice in Palestine
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Students for Justice in Palestine
University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Students for Justice in Palestine
University of Michigan, Students Allied for Freedom & Equality
University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Palestine Solidarity Committee
University of New Mexico, Coalition for Peace and Justice in the Middle East
University of Pittsburgh, Pitt Students for Justice in Palestine
University of South Florida, Students for Justice in Palestine
University of Southern California, Students for Justice in Palestine
University of Texas at Austin, Palestine Solidarity Committee
University of Washington, Students for Justice in Palestine
Vermont Law School, Law Students for Justice in Palestine
Wellesley College, Justice for Palestine
Yale University, Yale Students for Justice and Peace in Palestine

25 December 2010


There is a Jewish homophobic bigot who starts all her postings on a Jewish zionist blog with b'h. For a long time I thought this meant she belonged to the Baha'i faith and then discovered she was supposed to be uttering some Jewish curse!

Her latest repulsive posting which could probably be reported to the anti-discrimination body in the state of Victoria for prosecution equates homosexuality with bestiality and paedophilia.

What will this person do when she discovers some of her nearest and dearest are gay, lesbian, transgender? Will she go and bury her head in the desert sands of Israel? Will she apologise for her disgusting behaviour?

No, she will say that her bible tells her it is so. However her bible was written by who knows who and who knows when by some ignorant backwater bigots who decided to make a go of "Jews are god's chosen people".

The main problem is that most of the Jews around are probably not Jewish at all and have ancestry which come from a variety of roots.

Whether she is able to read or not - it could be read to her - she should get a good dose of "The Invention of the Jewish People" by Shlomo Sand rammed down her bigoted throat and she could choke on the shock and horror she would experience!


The AFL was supposed to have developed some new codes of conduct designed to reduce homophobia and also designed to be less misogynistic.

The latest outbreak of both has occurred because it would appear that a young female was abused by certain players and this person got revenge by posting some nude photos of some of the homophobes and misogynists behaving - as is their wont - at their worst.

Their behaviour has been unacceptable for many years, and when they are hoist with their own petards they suddenly cry foul.

It is their behaviour and antics which are foul and it is time this was all put to rest. For far too long, those administrators who are responsible for rules and regulations have paid lip service to all the problems besetting the different sporting codes, and hopefully they will have been given a further jolt which they deserve.

22 December 2010


Received by email on 21 December 2010:




Fuck Hamas. Fuck Israel. Fuck Fatah. Fuck UN. Fuck UNWRA. Fuck USA!

We, the youth in Gaza, are so fed up with Israel, Hamas, the occupation, the violations of human rights and the indifference of the international community! We want to scream and break this wall of silence, injustice and indifference like the Israeli F16’s breaking the wall of sound; scream with all the power in our souls in order to release this immense frustration that consumes us because of this fucking situation we live in; we are like lice between two nails living a nightmare inside a nightmare, no room for hope, no space for freedom. We are sick of being caught in this political struggle; sick of coal dark nights with airplanes circling above our homes; sick of innocent farmers getting shot in the buffer zone because they are taking care of their lands; sick of bearded guys walking around with their guns abusing their power, beating up or incarcerating young people demonstrating for what they believe in; sick of the wall of shame that separates us from the rest of our country and keeps us imprisoned in a stamp-sized piece of land; sick of being portrayed as terrorists, homemade fanatics with explosives in our pockets and evil in our eyes; sick of the indifference we meet from the international community, the so-called experts in expressing concerns and drafting resolutions but cowards in enforcing anything they agree on; we are sick and tired of living a shitty life, being kept in jail by Israel, beaten up by Hamas and completely ignored by the rest of the world.

There is a revolution growing inside of us, an immense dissatisfaction and frustration that will destroy us unless we find a way of canalizing this energy into something that can challenge the status quo and give us some kind of hope. The final drop that made our hearts tremble with frustration and hopelessness happened 30rd November, when Hamas’ officers came to Sharek Youth Forum, a leading youth organization (www.sharek.ps) with their guns, lies and aggressiveness, throwing everybody outside, incarcerating some and prohibiting Sharek from working. A few days later, demonstrators in front of Sharek were beaten and some incarcerated. We are really living a nightmare inside a nightmare. It is difficult to find words for the pressure we are under. We barely survived the Operation Cast Lead, where Israel very effectively bombed the shit out of us, destroying thousands of homes and even more lives and dreams. They did not get rid of Hamas, as they intended, but they sure scared us forever and distributed post traumatic stress syndrome to everybody, as there was nowhere to run.

We are youth with heavy hearts. We carry in ourselves a heaviness so immense that it makes it difficult to us to enjoy the sunset. How to enjoy it when dark clouds paint the horizon and bleak memories run past our eyes every time we close them? We smile in order to hide the pain. We laugh in order to forget the war. We hope in order not to commit suicide here and now. During the war we got the unmistakable feeling that Israel wanted to erase us from the face of the earth. During the last years Hamas has been doing all they can to control our thoughts, behaviour and aspirations. We are a generation of young people used to face missiles, carrying what seems to be a impossible mission of living a normal and healthy life, and only barely tolerated by a massive organization that has spread in our society as a malicious cancer disease, causing mayhem and effectively killing all living cells, thoughts and dreams on its way as well as paralyzing people with its terror regime. Not to mention the prison we live in, a prison sustained by a so-called democratic country.

History is repeating itself in its most cruel way and nobody seems to care. We are scared. Here in Gaza we are scared of being incarcerated, interrogated, hit, tortured, bombed, killed. We are afraid of living, because every single step we take has to be considered and well-thought, there are limitations everywhere, we cannot move as we want, say what we want, do what we want, sometimes we even cant think what we want because the occupation has occupied our brains and hearts so terrible that it hurts and it makes us want to shed endless tears of frustration and rage!

We do not want to hate, we do not want to feel all of this feelings, we do not want to be victims anymore. ENOUGH! Enough pain, enough tears, enough suffering, enough control, limitations, unjust justifications, terror, torture, excuses, bombings, sleepless nights, dead civilians, black memories, bleak future, heart aching present, disturbed politics, fanatic politicians, religious bullshit, enough incarceration! WE SAY STOP! This is not the future we want!

We want three things. We want to be free. We want to be able to live a normal life. We want peace. Is that too much to ask? We are a peace movement consistent of young people in Gaza and supporters elsewhere that will not rest until the truth about Gaza is known by everybody in this whole world and in such a degree that no more silent consent or loud indifference will be accepted.

This is the Gazan youth’s manifesto for change!

We will start by destroying the occupation that surrounds ourselves, we will break free from this mental incarceration and regain our dignity and self respect. We will carry our heads high even though we will face resistance. We will work day and night in order to change these miserable conditions we are living under. We will build dreams where we meet walls.

We only hope that you – yes, you reading this statement right now! – can support us. In order to find out how, please write on our wall or contact us directly: freegazayouth@hotmail.com

We want to be free, we want to live, we want peace.

Ayman Jamal Mghamis
Project Coordinator
Social Arts Centre (SAC)
PR.The Palestinian Rapperz


Forum for discussion of issues
arising prinicpally from the 'Jews Who Speak Out' announcement List.
A pluralist political culture on issues pertaining
to the occupation of the Palestinian territories
and the critique of Zionism.

In particular, being a Jewish identified Forum,
supporters of racism and anti-Semitism
are not acceptable.

Automated messages;

19 December 2010


A double standard

December 19, 2010

CHRIS Berg (''The weight of the word'', 12/12) points out that Julian Assange has done nothing more than traditional newspapers have always done, albeit on a larger scale using novel technology. Letter writer Michael Burd accuses Assange of espionage and treason. Nola Martin says he cannot expect consular assistance for embarrassing the government (Letters, 12/12). Officials in the US and Australia are yet to announce that they have found any crime with which he can be charged.

Remember the US government illegally leaked against [former CIA officer] Valerie Plame, putting US informants' lives at risk, and the Australian government against Andrew Wilkie in retaliation for revelations that governments were lying about Saddam's WMD.

The Australian government's spineless refusal to repudiate in the strongest terms calls from the US for one of its citizens to be assassinated, executed or treated like a terrorist and the Prime Minister and Attorney-General trashing his right to the presumption of innocence shows that this government has no more interest in protections inherent in the rule of law developed since the Magna Carta than did the Howard government in the cases of Mamdouh Habib and David Hicks.
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Diplomacy damaged

THE Sunday Age editorial says: ''Attempts to silence Mr Assange and those who work with him threaten the free flow of information that makes democracy possible.''

I contend that the opposite is true; if diplomats cannot exchange communications in strict confidence, then the flow of information that facilitates effective democratic government will be impeded. The natural reaction of diplomats to this breach of trust will be to become more secretive; the effect will be the opposite of what journalists want.

The damage will be to diplomacy in the free world. Chinese, Russian, Iranian and North Korean cables are not being published around the globe. Burmese generals will now know what the US knows about their secrets. The leaks, in effect, undermine freedom, rather than defend it.


Too close to home

ALL those baying for Julian Assange's blood should look a little harder at their preferred political ideologies.

Most of us would condemn the system in Burma or that of Robert Mugabe. How strange it is that when scandals are exposed closer to home some of us become exceedingly agitated.


A rare glimpse

IT IS interesting the way the recent leaked cables published by WikiLeaks humanises politicians and the effect that this has.

Cables that highlight Kevin Rudd's flaws and his disconcerting recommendations on how to deal with China strip away Kevin Rudd the politician and reveal Kevin Rudd the human. This allows one a momentary glimpse of reality, as one cannot truly gauge the nature of politicians and the dynamics of politics through press statements and government policy.

When the flaws of a politician are exposed, the government quickly acts to quell the public's view of the importance of these flaws. We see the extent to which the political system is not set up to facilitate humans, but politicians who hold no embarrassing, unpopular views and only discuss things when the public is watching.

By the repetition of this representation of our leaders we soon forget that they are human and accept the belief that what is seen by the public is all that is happening in Parliament.

Leaked cables such as these remind the public that politicians are secretly human with flaws and opinions, and that much more goes on in politics than is let on. This is a valuable service as it encourages critical thinking and analysis from within the public - and that is essential to keep any government in check.

SAM TALBOT-CANON, West End, Brisbane

Reclaiming the ideals

ONE crucial question seems to be overlooked by the WikiLeaks and Assange critics and that is why are so many Americans prepared to ''leak''?

Are they traitors? Do they hate their own country? Or are they (as I believe) angry and frustrated because the corrupt and unprincipled have taken over their country and all its institutions?

Does it ever occur to the critics of WikiLeaks that those who ''leak'' actually believe in the principles of Benjamin Franklin and the constitution he inspired?

Perhaps they believe that it is not OK to go to war based on a lie and that it is not the American way to humiliate and torture prisoners of war and it is not OK to shoot at civilians and God did not give them the right to redraw borders and claim all the world's resources as their own.

Those who ''leak'' are desperate people who want to reclaim their once great and noble country from the liars, thieves and political prostitutes.


Remembering Jefferson

CHRIS Berg's article in your paper could have finished with one additional par.

As Thomas Jefferson said: ''Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press [read ''media''] and that cannot be limited without being lost.''

Please keep reminding Julia G and the Americans of this, as well as the leaders of other democracies - such as Britain and Sweden - and tell them we know that they are not perfect communicators and it's OK.

But inventing crimes or changing laws to cover up is unforgivable.


14 December 2010


Julian Assange is in an awful situation. Although he is an Australian citizen, the noises coming from the federal government in relation to his protection are far from reassuring.

However, no matter what further spin all these governments are trying to put on Wikileaks, the truth of the matter is that it is not Wikileaks which is producing the information - it is people from inside the US government departments, and the embarrassments are continuing to come thick and fast.

The latest ones, and ones we have all been waiting for are about Israel and Iran, and hopefully there is much more that will come out about the USA, Australia and all the other western countries and their involvements in the ghastly support of the Israeli regime which has shown itself to be more and more like the South African apartheid regime.

It is interesting to note that although Assange is being held in a British prison, despite apparently having not broken any British laws, the leaks continue and the embarrassed governments are trying to wriggle out of the statements in the reports on a daily basis.

Whatever the ultimate outcomes will be for Julian Assange and Wikileaks, he and they will have done the greatest service to humankind in exposing government and media lies than any other activists in the 20th and 21st centuries.

Long may the exposures continue!

13 December 2010


***U.N.**, U.S.** Officials Call for Gay Rights*

*Ban Ki-Moon and Susan Rice Call for End to Laws Around the World That
Criminalize Homosexuality, Marking Human Rights Day*

* (AP) * U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon called for an end to laws around the
world that criminalize homosexuality, stressing the need to pay more
urgent attention to gay and gender identity rights on Friday as the
world marked Human Rights Day.

"Today, many nations have modern constitutions that guarantee essential
rights and liberties. And yet, homosexuality is considered a crime in
more than 70 countries," Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said. "That is
not right."

Ban said the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the U.N.
General Assembly on Dec. 10, 1948, "is not called the 'partial'
declaration of human rights. It is not the 'sometimes' declaration of
human rights. It is the universal declaration, guaranteeing all human
beings their basic human rights - without exception."

The U.N. chief said that during recent trips to Africa he urged leaders
to do away with laws criminalizing homosexuality, and that in Malawi he
was able to help secure the release of a young gay couple sentenced to
14 years in prison.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu also spoke by teleconference to the high-level
gathering organized at U.N. headquarters by advocates for lesbian, gay,
bisexual and transgender people, comparing their struggle to the fight
for an end to apartheid in his native South Africa.

U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice echoed Ban's remarks, and said that the
United Nations must send a strong message that people should not be
tortured and killed because they are gay.

Rice said she was "incensed" by a recent vote in a General Assembly
committee that left out any mention of sexual orientation from a
resolution condemning the extrajudicial killing of vulnerable people
worldwide. Previous resolutions had included the mention.

The American ambassador said that the United States will sponsor a U.N.
amendment to restore the reference to killings based on sexual
orientation. "We're going to stand firm on this basic principle," she said.

Rights groups welcomed Rice's announcement, and called on all U.N.
member states to support the amendment.

"Words do have a meaning at the U.N.," said Boris Dittrich of Human
Rights Watch. "Reintroducing the reference to sexual orientation in the
resolution could help put an end to the hateful killing of people based
on their sexual orientation or gender identity."

Rice also said that she, like President Obama, "was extremely
disappointed" on Thursday when Senate Republicans failed to repeal the
U.S. military's 17-year-old ban on openly gay military troops.

The Senate's 57-40 test vote fell three votes short of the 60 needed to
advance. Included in a broader defense policy bill, the measure to
eliminate the so-called "don't ask, don't tell policy" passed the House
last spring.

"That law violates fundamental American principles of fairness,
integrity, and equality," said Rice. "We only weaken our national
security and diminish our military readiness by depriving ourselves of
the service of patriots determined to defend the country they love."

"Today as we celebrate the birthday of the Universal Declaration of
Human Rights, we must recall that its drafters insisted that it be truly
universal," said Rice. "We must all do our part, here at the United
Nations and in our own countries, to ensure that no gay man need fear
persecution, that no lesbian need fear discrimination, and that no
transgender person need fear assault."

----- Fin del Mensaje reenviado -----

Gloria Careaga
Facultad de Psicologia, UNAM

Nobody is safe until everybody is safe.
Nadie esta a salvo hasta que todos lo estemos.

UNAMonos Comunicándonos


This email distribution list, members.anzapi@lists.ilga.org, consists of members
from Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands (ANZAPI region) of the International
Lesbian and Gay Association:

For any information regarding your membership with ILGA, contact admin@ilga.org

03 December 2010


A recently published book:

The Invention of the Jewish People by Shlomo Sand, (translated by Yael Lotan) published by Verso 2010

should be read by those who call themselves Jewish - and those to whom Jews and Judaism are enigmas - or worse!

It should also be read by those Melbourne Jews who subscribe to the theory that "god wrote in the bible (or wrote the bible - which is even worse!) and therefore it must be so" and who start their blogs or posts with symbols such as b'h which presumably indicates that they are actually of the baha'i faith and therefore not Jewish at all.

An analysis of these Melbourne Jews indicates a level of homophobia matched by the cristian fundamentalists in the USA and the muslim fundamentalists in countries such as Iran and many muslim countries in Africa such as Somalia, Egypt and others too numerous to mention, to say nothing of the homophobic murders in Israel (the only demockery in the middle east - ha ha ha!!!) of young gay and lesbian activists in Tel Aviv not so long ago.

Melbourne Jews who quote the holocaust quicker than you could drop a pin in order to whine about Jewish persecution and murder, forgetting about all those others murdered by the nazis during the holocaust, such as homosexuals, Romanies, Poles, communists, intellectually and physically disabled people and other untermenschen too numerous to mention! go on to state they hate homosexuals and they should all be removed from the face of the earth!

Then we have some organisations which are called Jewish and are about as Jewish as the Pope (although if you looked into this nazi pope's antecedence it wouldn't surprise one to find Jewish connections). This means organisations such as the so-called "Jewish Community Council of Victoria" who are reputed to have set up a "reference group" to address issues relating to gay, lesbian, transgender and other members of our communities, but this "reference group" is such a secret that no one knows who its members are, when they meet, what they discuss, what conclusions they reach, and what policies they have in place to deal with the homophobic disease which flourishes in the murky depths of these deranged people and "organisations". In fact it is so secret that no one knows whether it actually exists at all!!

One of my colleagues in the blogosphere has written extensively about the effect homophobia, which is rampant amongst the bigots and racists amongst the Jewish peoples of Melbourne, has on young people finding out about their sexuality, needing support, not getting it and becoming depressed or ideation of suicide or actually suiciding.

Not one of the so-called leaders of these Melbourne Jews has the gumption to publicly state that homophobia must stop and the damage to the young - and old - Jews of Melbourne is actually harming the Jewish communities.

One can only conclude from all of this that hypocrisy is alive and well and prospering amongst those Jews who spend their lives perpetuating the memory of the death camps of Europe while creating a holocaust amongst young gay, lesbian, transgender and HIV-AIDS people in our communities.

Finally, Melbourne Jews should get hold of the latest copy of a US journal called "the Intelligence Report" - Winter 2010|Issue 140 - published by the Southern Poverty Law Centre - which has as its lead article the growth of homophobia and hate crimes against gay, lesbian and transgender people in the USA".

On its front cover it highlights the article:

Under Attack


The journal's web site is www.intelligencereport.org

Oh, and guess what?? The journal's editor is Mark Potok!

17 November 2010


The following report is from Mondoweiss on 16 November 2010:

Right-wing Israel advocacy group StandWithUs attacks Jewish Voice for Peace meeting with pepper spray

Nov 15, 2010 02:30 pm | Adam Horowitz
From a JVP press release:

Last night, up to a dozen members of San Francisco Voice for Israel/StandWithUs, a right-wing Israeli advocacy group with a documented track record of aggressively taunting and intimidating grassroots peace activists, attended a Bay Area Jewish Voice for Peace community meeting at a South Berkeley Senior Center with the intention of disrupting, intimidating and possibly assaulting Jewish Voice for Peace members. Jewish Voice for Peace is the largest U.S. Jewish peace group dedicated to a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict based on democracy and full equality --- the Bay Area chapter is the founding chapter of the organization.

Approximately 50 to 60 people were at the meeting, and you can read eyewitness testimonies here and here.

Wrapped in an Israeli flag, San Francisco Voice for Israel/StandWithUs (SFVI/SWU) member Robin Dubner, an Oakland based attorney, pepper-sprayed two JVP members in the eyes and face after they attempted to nonviolently block her ability to aggressively videotape the faces of JVP meeting attendees against their will. The members, Alexei Folger and Glen Hauer, were careful to make no physical contact with her or her camera prior to the attack.

Folger said, “I did not see it coming and all of a sudden there was gooey stuff all over my head and hand. I have never been pepper-sprayed before, my whole head felt like it was on fire.”

JVP had earlier this year filed a police report about a June SFVI/SWU protest at which JVP and (peace group) Women in Black members were intimidatingly videotaped and threatened by a StandWithUs supporter after being taunted with chants like “Nazi, Nazi, Nazi” or “Kapo,Kapo,Kapo”. Caught on a widely seen videotape was a SFVI/SWU supporter pointing his camera to the faces of silent peace vigil participants while saying “You’re all being identified, every last one of you…we will find out where you live. We’re going to make your lives difficult. We will disrupt your families…”

For that reason, JVP members were particularly concerned about protecting the safety of meeting attendees and preventing the videotaping.

Hauer, a retired attorney and member of San Francisco’s Congregation Sha’har Zahav who was treated for pepper spray explained, ”When one of the intruders [Dubner] continued standing and filming people despite the facilitator and facility manager repeatedly telling her that she could not, I first asked her politely to please put away the video camera, then several times told her to put away the camera, and then tried nonviolently to stay in front of the camera with my body. I could have taken the camera but decided instead to talk to the woman and to try to be the only person she photographed."

Hauer, who also leads groups on healing from WWII & the Holocaust, and speaks to churches about anti-Semitism as it relates to the movement for peace in the Middle East, went on:

“In my mind was the history targeting of Jewish peace activists by the right wing of the Jewish community--the posting of our photos on internet hate sites, for example, followed by acts of vandalism at our homes and places of work. There were many in the room for whom I care deeply. I could also see that many at the meeting were new to the work we were doing, and I did not want them to be scared away.”

Dubner was accompanied by up to a dozen other StandWithUs members--including Susan Meyers, Mike Harris, Bea Lieberman, Faith Meltzer, and Ross Meltzer--who repeatedly disrupted and aggressively videotaped the JVP meeting and JVP members against their will, wielding the cameras in an intimidating and belligerent manner. Despite repeated requests from the JVP meeting facilitator and other JVP activists to desist from recording and put away their videocameras, the SFVI/SWU activists – who had spread themselves throughout the room – continued to record and launch lengthy monologues while the presenters attempted to speak.

They were explicitly invited by the JVP facilitator to stay in the meeting and participate without videotaping but they refused. They also refused offers for floor time by the presenters. The manager of the facility asked the SFVI/SWU members to abide by JVP’s rules or face the police, and when SFVI/SWU refused to comply with JVP’s protocol, the police were called.

At one point, JVP members and presenters worked to restore calm and de-escalate by singing the Hebrew peace song, Od Yavo Shalom Aleinu (Peace will come to us) while waiting for the police to arrive. Most meeting attendees did not know until later that 2 people had been attacked with pepper spray.

When police arrived, Dubner was temporarily placed in handcuffs while other members of San Francisco Voice for Israel/StandWithUs remained inside the meeting blowing loud whistles, using videocameras to intimidate meeting attendees.

Dubner refused repeated requests by JVP members or the police to identify the substance she sprayed. A police officer later identified it as pepper spray and paramedics were called to help treat the victims of the attack. One of them, Alexei Folger, looked visibly red and swollen, as though she had been burned on more than half her face.

Immediately following the attack, Ms. Folger, not knowing the nature of the substance on her face, rubbed some of it on Ms. Dubner’s shirtsleeve at which point the physically powerful Ms.Dubner, who also wore a pen videocamera in her shirt pocket, started physically shoving the petite Ms. Folger. A Jewish Voice for Peace staff member stood between them to prevent further escalation or physical contact between Ms Dubner and the shocked and injured Ms. Folger.

This deliberate confrontation is part of a pattern of escalating intimidation and attacks against peace activists in the Bay Area. Earlier this year, the home of Tikkun Magazine editor Michael Lerner was covered in threatening posters. In addition to the videotaped harassment of Women in Black and JVP members, several months ago someone grafiited outside of the JVP offices “Jewish Voices for Palestine: Viva Barch Goldstein."

Zionist thuggery has escalated outside Israel as Israel loses the public relations battle and as the BDS campaign begins to bite. Nazi tactics are now becoming part of the scenario and one supposes that assassinations of zionism's enemies will now be part of the zionist nazi agenda.

We will all have to watch our backs - although of course assassinations take place under all sorts of circumstances!

05 November 2010


Join the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions campaign to force the apartheid Israeli regime to stop occupying Palestine and abusing its citizens.

The BDS campaign was instrumental in helping to bring the apartheid white South African regime to the negotiating table and to the ultimate overthrow of the fascist regime.

Target the organisations giving support to this immoral, illegal occupying power which is still totally supported by the USA and target those US organisations such as Caterpillar who provide the instruments of destruction to the Israeli regime for its murdereous rampages.

Some are shown here, more details will be provided below this:


An archbishop and a cardinal who belong to an organisation which exists in Australia on a tax-free basis have the temerity to tell people how they should vote, despite the fact that they have no authority to do so because they pay no taxes to the governments who are elected and who control the finances of the country through the taxes raised by their laws and regulations.

Hart and Pell should stick to their cover-ups of priests behaving badly and not try and stick their nasty little beaks into areas which do not concern them.

Just because a certain political party supports abortion, euthanasia, gay rights and other social reforms to achieve equality for the citizens of Australia does not give non-tax payers such as religious organisations any rights whatever!

This letter, from The Age newspaper of 2 November 2010 says it all:

Charitable status

AS ARCHBISHOP Hart joins Cardinal Pell in political attacks on the Greens, I am wondering where the Australian Tax Office is in all this.

In granting tax-exempt status to charities, the Tax Office insists they not engage in political activities.

Recently the Tax Office has spent considerable public money pursuing Aid Watch, claiming it is engaging in political activity and thus is not a charity.

So why has there been no action taken against the partisan politicking of Hart and Pell, officials of that charitable institution the Catholic Church?

Thos Puckett, Ashgrove, Qld


What a lethal combination! Jews, Homophobia, Blogs! and all one has to do is search the blogosphere to get a surfeit of all!

I have a blog and seldom get any postings as comments from anyone, so I am singularly free of those who invade other blogs and anonymously become abusive. It wouldn't be so bad if so many of them didn't remain anonymous, but it seems to me to be an act of cowardice that those who dislike who you are or what you have said or both remain closeted.

Someone who knows nothing about me made nasty comments on a blog which is not mine, but who seems to know about my blog and my politics, but they didn't write to me, and attacked me anonymously on another blog to which I wouldn't make any contributions except in exceptional circumstances. Being attacked anonymously is not one of them!

On this strange blog which seems to attract Jewish religious fanatics there is one contributor who starts her postings with b'h or something similar. Now I am fairly ignorant when it comes to issues relating to Judaism - I was never a fanatic while growing up in a Jewish household - but as far as I have been aware since living in Australia for over 30 years is that b'h was an abbreviation of that religion which had a large white temple somewhere between Mona Vale and the Northern beaches in Sydney and known as the Ba'Hai religion, one of those groups which remain on the persecuted list in Iran, together with so many others, such as gay, lesbian, transgender people.

What becomes interesting in all of this is that those who were murdered in Hitler and Stalin's Europe and Asia in the 20th century are now themselves oppressors of gay, lesbian, transgender people in Australia and are as intolerant of diversity as were those dictators who are remembered by Jews around the world in the 21st century.

Did you know that apart from b'h there is also something called G-d, which is equally bizarre in this day and age! What does it mean and what is its significance?

Homophobia is responsible for the abuse of gay, lesbian, transgender, and HIV-AIDS members of our communities to the extent that some are driven to suicide, some are bashed and murdered and some are abused and emotionally damaged so that they are unable to function properly on a day-to-day basis.

Is this what Jews in Australia, and more specifically Jews in Melbourne are busy propagating? Those whom Hitler destroyed for being Jewish are now doing the same to people because they are part of sexual minority groups.

What short memories these so-called religious right-wing fanatics have! They should be ashamed!

30 October 2010


I do not waste my time reading Galus Australis - the people involved are either zionists or right-wing religious homophobic bigots - or both! - and the few times I have visited the site were because I was directed there by postings from a blog on whose mailing list I happen to be.

What continues to be disturbing is the innate homophobia which continues to be expressed by so many who post there - either articles or contributors.

What does it mean to be gay and Jewish - and why does it matter if one is a gay Jew or a Jewish gay? They are expressions of one's identity and one is not the one without the other.

In Australia there are Jewish communities and there are gay communities and some people belong and others don't. Some people are activists and others aren't. We aren't all the same and that is something to be thankful for.

We had a visitor from Sydney during the week and one of the things he said which I found very interesting was that he doesn't watch a particular television channel's news (one of the commercial channels!) because it is political and he hates anything political!

Everything we do is political and our friend, being a gay man - not Jewish - should actually understand that the mere fact that he is a gay man living in a relationship openly with another gay man is a statement of politics!

Back to Melbourne and its homophobic groups and organisations.

In recent times, due to attacks on them from the gay communities, the Jewish Community Council of Victoria (sic) and beyondblue - Jeff Kennett's organisation dealing with depression and ideation of suicide - have stated that they are including gay issues or people to become part of "reference" groups - whatever that signifies.

As a gay Jew I wouldn't want to be part of either of these organisations because they contain so many homophobic bigots and they are not in any hurry to change.

As a gay Jew I demand equality, not some crumbs from the tables of those being patronising, condescending or hypocritically pretending to offer support.

I certainly wouldn't become part of a discussion on a blog such as Galus Australis where bigotry falls out of every other posting.

Homophobia has been on the increase recently, not just in Australia but around the world. Religious bigotry is to blame for most of it, but the results have been some tragic suicides of very young people, too young to have started living and getting beyond the bullying, isolation, desperation and despair that must enter their very beings and make them feel that they have nothing to live for.

Those who, like me, were born in an era when coming out as a gay person was very difficult, when it was illegal, when it was looked upon as a mental illness and "curing" was done by frying the brain and other means of torture, found that it was difficult to understand those feelings and how to deal with being "different"
and having to live a life of secrecy and concealment.

Although it has become somewhat easier over the last 30 years due to activism and fights for gay liberation, religious bigotry, supported in the main by politicians around the world, continues to be the major problem and the fight for equality will continue until we can put an end to this bigotry.

19 October 2010


Sent to me by a fellow blogger on 17 October 2010 concerning a homophobic rant found in another blog page:

( The first section is what the homophobic bigot wrote, and the second section is my parody of the bigot's ghastly views about "homosexuals")

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.

While I do not, and I m very clear on this, advocate causing harm to any person who is a Zionist religious Jewish hypocrite 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 human rights behaviour, even in the so-called democratic world.

I have sympathy for those born Zionist religious Jewish hypocrites 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 Zionist religious Jewish hypocrites 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 Zionist religious Jewish hypocrites because they (the older person) desires it to be so.

I will not be bullied or forced into accepting Zionist religious Jewish hypocrisy as a normal human rights behaviour.

09 October 2010


Phone: 0439 454 375
Web site: http://australianbdscampaign.wordpress.com


Independent Australian Jewish Voices

הלוא אב אחד לכלנו הלוא אל אחד בראנו
IAJV advertisement
Submitted by IAJV on Wed, 10/06/2010 - 16:10

[We would be pleased to continue to receive signatures endorsing our advertised statement and we will continue to add these to the list already posted below. Just send a word or two to iajv99@gmail.com]

The advertisement appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald and Australian newspapers on 9 October 2010 and Australian Jewish News on 8 October 2010.


“The attitude we adopt towards the Arab minority will provide the real test of our moral standards as a people.” - Albert Einstein, in a letter to the New York Times, 1948.

Not all Australian Jews condone Israel’s actions. As a growing group of concerned Jews, we share the widespread outrage at the Israeli Government’s unjust treatment of the Palestinian people.

We condemn Israel’s constant violations of international law which include:

• the invasion of Gaza in 2008 that caused around 1400 mainly civilian deaths.

• the ongoing blockade of Gaza in contravention of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

• the military assault in May against a civilian flotilla in international waters trying to break the blockade on Gaza.

• the separation wall running through the West Bank which was ruled illegal by the International Court of Justice in 2004

• the 43 year military occupation of the West Bank and the illegal settlements.

We believe that uncritical support of the Jewish State is not the way to memorialise the Holocaust. We have a moral obligation to speak out.

Join us in urging the Australian Government to exert pressure on Israel to conform to International Law and humanitarian standards.

Published by Independent Australian Jewish Voices on behalf of:

Total 132

1. Andelman, Larissa
2. Asoulin, Eran
3. Balint, Tony
4. Bartels, Ditta
5. Beauchamp, Alice
6. Benjamin, Andrew
7. Bersten Robyn
8. Bilander, Berish
9. Binder, Geoffrey
10. Bishops, Naomi
11. Bloch, Barbara
12. Blooman, Geoffrey
13. Bloomberg, Karen
14. Boniface, Harry A
15. Braun, Leo
16. Brull, Michael
17. Buckstein, Ron
18. Burke, Carolyn
19. Bush, Jenny
20. Carleton, Jenny
21. Cebon, Benjamin
22. Christoff, Peter
23. Clemens, Ruth
24. Cohen, Ian, MLC
25. Cox, Eva AO
26. Curthoys, Ned
27. Dahlstrom, Bronwyn
28. De Saxe, Mannie
29. Dean, Tamara
30. di Suvero, Henry
31. Docker, John
32. Dowse, Sara
33. Emerman, Marsha
34. Epstein, Sarah
35. Erlich, Nicole
36. Fink, Michelle
37. Flax, Gabrielle
38. Freadman, Anne
39. Frenkel, Steve
40. Fried, Nadia
41. Ginges, Hal
42. Ginges, Heather
43. Glasbeek, Harry,
44. Glasbeek, Sandra
45. Goldbloom Zurbo, Sandra
46. Goldman, Arnold
47. Goodman, David
48. Grant, Matthew
49. Heilpern, David
50. Horsburgh, Jennifer
51. Hunt, David
52. Israel, Janine
53. Jacobs, Keith
54. Jacobs, Margaret
55. Jaivin, Linda
56. Jordan, Helen
57. Kamerman, Sol
58. Kaplin, Angela
59. Kaye, Margaret
60. Kitchener, Theo
61. Kitching, Gavin
62. Koval, Peter
63. Kozlowski, Michael
64. Krantz, Kt
65. Leber, Sylvie
66. Legge, Bill
67. Leser, David
68. Leveson, Ruth
69. Levey, Geoffrey
70. Levy, James
71. Levy, Valerie
72. Lindell, Geoff
73. Loewenstein, Antony
74. Loewenstein, Jeff
75. Loewenstein, Violet
76. Marin, Paul
77. Markiewicz, Anne
78. Martin-Iverson, Victoria
79. Midalia, Dan
80. Midalia, Leon
81. Moore, Stefan
82. Morris, Alan
83. Munz, Martin
84. Musry, Haskell
85. Neering, Ian
86. Nimni, Ephraim
87. Nissen, Alex
88. Oaten, Rod
89. Pataki, Tamas
90. Pogos, Abe
91. Porzsolt, Vivienne
92. Prestel, Claudia
93. Raber, Richard
94. Reed, Karl
95. Rich, Joe
96. Riemer, Andrew
97. Romer, Marta
98. Ross, Edna
99. Roszycki, Jack
100. Rothfield, Andrew
101. Rothfield, Pamela
102. Rubinstein, Keren T
103. Rubner, Paul
104. Rutovitz, Jay
105. Saks, Daniel
106. Sarkadi, Andrew
107. Schetzer, Louis
108. Shapiro-Liu, Rosemary
109. Siddle, Genevieve
110. Silverstein, Jordy
111. Slezak, Peter
112. Slezak, Vera
113. Stratton, Jonathan
114. Tambour, Anna
115. Topliss, Helen
116. Vance, Bernard
117. Varga, Susan
118. Vorsay, Avril
119. Wetherell, David
120. White, Michael
121. Winston, George AM
122. Witton, Nic
123. Witton, Ron
124. Zagor, Matthew
125. Zion, Deborah
126. Zion, Lawrie

19 September 2010


On Sunday 19 September 2010 ABC news bulletins broadcast Greens senator Bob Brown stating that he was going to re-introduce euthanasia bills into federal parliament because the Howard government had overturned the rights of the Northern Territory and the ACT territory to have certain bills passed by their parliaments allowed.

The item below comes from the ABC's PM programme and relates to South Australian parliamentarians from 4 sides of politics preparing to introduce a euthanasia bill into their upper and lower houses of parliament.

Here is the interview and the ABC's web site for this PM broadcast:


PM with Mark Colvin

SA: MPs launch new push for voluntary euthanasia

Paula Kruger reported this story on Wednesday, September 15, 2010

MARK COLVIN: Political forces that usually compete have united in South Australia's parliament to try to legalise voluntary euthanasia.

Four MP's including a Labor member, a Green, a Liberal and an independent are publicly supporting the new push which would see two identical bills introduced in both houses of Parliament.

The MP's say there is broad public support for responsible voluntary euthanasia laws, but it is still a very sensitive issue.

The latest attempt to change the law comes just days after a television advertisement supporting voluntary euthanasia was banned on the grounds that it promoted suicide.

Paula Kruger reports.

PAULA KRUGER: Despite many attempts to legalise it in different jurisdictions around Australia, euthanasia is still unlawful.

For those who oppose it, it comes down to the basic principle of no one has the right to take the life of another.

But it appears many Australians are comfortable with balancing the right to die with the right to life, with polls showing that more than 80 per cent support voluntary euthanasia.

And that is a figure that brought four South Australian MP's together to give a collective push to the state's effort to legalise euthanasia.

Greens Leader Mark Parnell.

MARK PARNELL: We have always known that voluntary euthanasia has overwhelming support in the community but it hasn't had overwhelming support in the Parliament. What we're doing now is we are introducing on a cross-party if you like, or even a multi-party basis, a new bill into both the Lower House and that will be introduced tomorrow, and in the Upper House, which will be introduced in a fortnight. Bills to provide for dying with dignity.

PAULA KRUGER: It's not the first time the Green's leader has tried to introduced voluntary euthanasia legislation in South Australia.

Last year his bill was narrowly defeated in the Upper House. The new legislation is similar but with added safeguards.

Labor MP Steph Key will introduce one of the bills in the Upper House tomorrow.

STEPH KEY: When you have a public opinion and also a need for this as an option, I think we're all dedicated to keep campaigning.

PAULA KRUGER: Reflecting the unusual unity that comes with a conscience vote was Liberal MP Duncan McFetridge.

DUNCAN McFETRIDGE: I just hope that my colleagues who have concerns about this go back to their constituencies and ask them; what do they want them to do? Because as a representative of my electorate in Morphett, I know that over 80 per cent of my electors are behind me in supporting this motion.

PAULA KRUGER: Also standing up to support today's announcement was Geoff Brock, independent member for Frome.

GEOFF BROCK: I don't think people realise until they've been through it themselves with their own family, the trauma and the heartache and it's a very, very traumatic experience to see somebody who you know is going to die and they can't do anything about it.

PAULA KRUGER: But despite figures showing strong support for responsible voluntary euthanasia legislation, it is still proving to be a highly sensitive issue.

On Friday afternoon permission to air an ad supporting voluntary euthanasia was withdrawn after the regulatory body responsible for approving ads ruled it promoted suicide.

That has stirred a separate legal fight, this time involving Australia's freedom of speech laws.

Greg Barns is a barrister and Director of the Australian Lawyers Alliance and has also done pro-bono work for Exit International, the organisation that made and paid for the ad.

GREG BARNS: This advertisement was not about telling people how to suicide, as the commercial television stations would have us believe; it was an information ad, it was an advocacy ad and it was a political advocacy ad. And it's very important that as the High Court has said on a number of occasions, that political communication be free.

You'd certainly be able to challenge the decision if you had a charter. One of the problems in Australia is that there are no adequate protections for human rights and so people such as Exit International would be able to challenge this decision if there were a Human Rights Act or a Charter of Rights as exists in the UK or in Europe or in Canada.

PAULA KRUGER: Because Exit International can't legally challenge the ruling they may have to alter the ad if they want it to appear on Australian commercial television.

MARK COLVIN: Paula Kruger.

17 September 2010


The numbers of asylum seekers trying to arrive in Australia is miniscule in relation to what is happening elsewhere in the world, but one could be forgiven for thinking, in view of what goes on in the Australian federal parliament and the Australian media, that Australia was about to be swamped by millions of undesirable people from countries which don't want them any more.

The few thousand people who approach the Australian shoreline come mostly from countries which have been invaded by Australia or which successive Australian governments have aided and abetted in their nefarious wars with military training and/or military equipment.

Australia is a very rich country and its treatment of its indigenous population compares with its treatment of asylum seekers. Australia is a NIMBY country - that is, we are happy to cause people to have to flee their poisonous regimes and seek safety elsewhere, so long as it is not in OUR country.

Compare the few thousand arrivals in Australia with the tens of thousands fleeing Mugabe and other dictatorships in Africa and trying to enter South Africa which has an inept government, one fifth of its population infected with HIV, unemployment at record levels around 40 to 50 per cent and the enormity of Australia's terrible asylum seeker problem falls into perspective.

South Africa, like Australia, is a very rich country, although if one sees how many of the country's estimated 45 million live, one might think otherwise. Yet it has borders which are easier to penetrate than fortress Australia, and so it indeed IS penetrated by desperate people from Zimbabwe and elsewhere. The significance of the refugees fleeing Mugabe is the irony of the fact that ex-president Mbeki continued to prop up Mugabe's murderous regime despite pleas from other countries for him to alter his stance and assist with sanctions to bring Mugabe to justice.

In Australia it has made no difference which political party has been in power, they have all behaved disgustingly, aided and abetted by a media owned by a few reactionary right-wing bigots, some of whom, like Rupert Murdoch, who is not even an Australian citizen, think they have the right to dictate "who comes to this country and the manner in which they come here"!!!

Cry all the beloved countries!

14 September 2010


A new magazine has just been published by Socialist Alternative called "Marxist Left Review".

Number 1 - Spring 2010 informs the reader that the contents are about "Rebuilding the left."

The International Socialists (IS) were around in Australia in the 1970s and 1980s and, as is common with many of the socialist groups, internal policy and personality differences lead to expulsions and the formation of new groups.

One such expulsion and split in the 1980s led to the formation of Socialist Action which was much more of an activist group than the IS had been because the IS was so busy "building cadres who understood Marxist theory" that they lost sight of the real world around them.

However, by the early 1990s, Socialist Action admitted that over its period of existence it was not growing and getting new membership and activists, and the decision was made that Socialist Action would disband and re-absorb itself into the IS after lengthy negotiations. The outcome was a group which was now called the International Socialist Organisation (ISO)which continued operating under that name for much of the 1990s.

As happens on a regular basis with these left groups the ISO had some factional differences develop in its "executive" and people were expelled who had expelled members in the earlier incarnation as IS.

The people who were expelled formed a new group called Socialist Alternative and this group has grown sufficiently to have gained members from the ISO which was disintegrating fairly rapidly. In the end the ISO allied itself with another socialist group and the ISO as such no longer exists.

Now back to Socialist Alternative which claims to be the largest left group in the country and growing.

Those of us who have been involved with various incarnations of these groups but are no longer members of any of them watch with fascination as the spin put out by each incarnation mirrors the previous commentaries.

So the new journal is "Rebuilding the Left".

Then one looks at the contents and the articles and the authors and the conclusion has to be that what should be on the outside cover should read "Recycling the left!"

Other than one author of one article, all the other articles have been written by - you guessed it - all those people who were members of the IS - remember them?

Where are the new writers, the new activists, the new leftists? Are they too "young???" to be publishing articles about Marxist politics? Are they still on a learning curve and so no serious student of Marxism can read their writings and learn from them?

Somewhere along the line one can't help having feelings of deja vu - or, as the French expression has it "Plus ca change........."!

12 September 2010


This is an article in the current edition of Socialist Alternative - September 2010:

Fascists and Zionists find common ground .
By Jade Eckhaus
07 September 2010

Today in Britain if you decided to attend a fascist rally you might see something slightly unexpected in the crowd: the Israeli flag. Israeli flags are becoming more and more common as Zionists join forces with the fascists to mobilise against anti-fascist groups and pro-Palestine supporters throughout Europe.

In England the English Defence League (EDL), known for its vitriolic and violent anti-Muslim racism, has gone so far as to set up a “Jewish Division” and now it is not an uncommon sight to see Zionists and fascists together yelling “We hate Muslims” and “Muslim bombers off our streets” at pro-Palestinians forces.

But is it not just small groups of Israel supporters around the world who agree with the revolting anti-Muslim racism of Europe’s far right and fascist groups: the state of Israel welcomes fascists with open arms – as long as they hate the Muslims as much as Israel does.

This is why people like the Dutch politician Geert Wilders from the far-right Freedom Party – who argues that the Quran should be banned and calls for an immediate end to Muslim immigration to Holland – was invited by the Israeli government to speak at a conference in Israel. He argued that “The jihad against Israel is the jihad against the West.” Perhaps what he really meant to say is the genocide of the Palestinians that Israel is carrying out is one that fascist parties around the world would like to emulate.

It is hardly surprising that fascists and far-right lunatics of all colours and stripes have started looking to the state of Israel as a beacon of hope. Israel is a state built on the genocide and dispossession of the majority Palestinian population. Israel’s entire project demands the continued demonisation of Arab and Muslim people.

Former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir best articulated that project when he said in 1988 that Palestinians resisting occupation should “be crushed like grasshoppers…heads smashed against the boulders and walls.” It is that project that today sees Israel planning to deport hundreds of children for the “crime” of being non-Jewish immigrants.

That project means that the Israeli government is yet to condemn former chief rabbi Ovadia Yosef for arguing that “God should strike [the Palestinians] with a plague.” And that project saw the Israeli soldier Eden Abergil send shockwaves across the globe when she posted photos of wounded, bound and gagged Palestinians on her Facebook page with other soldiers in the foreground displaying their weapons and laughing.

These actions are not just individual events but rather an illustration of the nature of the state of Israel, a state where Palestinians are legally second class citizens, where soldiers are surprised that the world might object to photos of Palestinians being brutalised being put on Facebook.

Fascists look to Israel because Israel is the leading light in the project of building a racially pure state. Israel’s racist Law of Return means that I, as a Jewish person, have the right to go to Israel at any time and receive Israeli citizenship, while the descendants of Palestinians driven off their land in 1948 have no right to return to their homes.

And let’s not forget the 30 laws that directly discriminate against non-Jewish Israeli citizens, the segregated education system which means that for schools in majority Palestinian communities the government spends $US190 per Palestinian student, compared to $US1,100 per Jewish student; or that because of the lack of funding for Palestinian communities in Israel the Palestinian death rate is 1.5 times higher than the Jewish death rate.

The revolting racism espoused by Jewish members of the EDL finds its roots in the racism of Israel’s leading statespeople. Take Roberta Moore, one of the leading members of the EDL’s “Jewish Division”, who maintained in an interview with Ha’aretz, one of Israel’s leading newspapers, that the EDL are not racist – they are just “anti-Islam, as everyone should be”. Moore went on to identify with Golda Meir, whom she considers one “of the best Prime Ministers Israel ever had”. Golda Meir famously brushed aside objections to her repulsive anti-Palestinian policies by saying “There is no such thing as a Palestinian people… They [don’t] exist.”

When pictures of a fascist holding an Israeli flag at a rally flooded the internet last year, an Israeli Embassy spokesperson said: “It is appalling to see the flag of Israel abused by thugs who stir up violence and tension between communities.” It is appalling that thugs stir up violence and tension between communities – but hardly surprising that they use the flag of the state that murders Muslims with impunity to do so.

While my family fought against and were murdered by the fascists in Nazi Germany, the state of Israel now welcomes them. This is yet another illustration of the fact that the state of Israel is in no way the beneficiary of the real Jewish tradition but rather the creators of a new tradition of racism and genocide.

At the bottom of the article in the online edition, readers are asked to make comment. However, apparently there is no one available from Socialist Alternative to process the feedback which they have asked people to make. This is yet another example of groups like Socialist Alternative not being able to get their acts together - what a waste of time when one has made a comment only to be told it won't be posted!

06 September 2010


The story of the involvement of Israel and zionism with the running of the Melbourne International Film Festival is just too interesting to forget about and keeping the issue alive in the public mind is an absolute necessity.

Many thanks to those who publicised the issues: Antony Loewenstein, Crikey, the ABC and others.

Antony Loewenstein
How the Melbourne Film Festival embraces apartheid Israel
Published on 31 July 2010 in Israel.

Back in 2009, film-maker Ken Loach withdrew his film Looking for Eric from the Melbourne International Film Festival after it was revealed that the Israeli government offered financial support for the event.
This year there was supposedly no controversy despite the festival again taking funds from the Israeli government (the director, Richard Moore, is a Zionist whose son has served in the IDF).
(Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Yes, Dear
Melbourne lobby group Australians for Palestine has just posted the following appeal on its website:

"Last year Australians for Palestine (AFP) initiated a cultural boycott in Melbourne protesting Israel's partnership with the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF). The protests continued over the 12 days of the festival to much heated debate in the media over the rights and wrongs of boycotting cultural events. English film maker Ken Loach withdrew his film Looking for Eric, which then sparked an exchange of letters with MIFF's Executive Director Richard Moore who refused to reconsider Israel's sponsorship. This year's festival will be held from 22 July - 8 August and Israel is again a cultural partner. The protest is not directed at any film or filmaker but against the cultural partnership that MIFF has with the state of Israel. We are simply asking you to let MIFF know that you do not approve of normalising relations with an apartheid state that is currently oppressing some 5.5 million Palestinians in Gaza, the occupied West Bank, and East Jerusalem and in Israel itself."

So what's Mr Moore's problem? How much bad news from Israel can one absorb before the penny drops?

The Australian Jewish News of July 16 sheds some light on a dark corner. Some excerpts from A chat with Richard Moore:

"This time last year, the MIFF was embroiled in controversy when director Ken Loach withdrew his film because of Israel's support of the festival. Has there been any backlash this year?

"I was very happy to declare this festival a Loach-free zone. I decided not even to bother going to see his film at Cannes this year, because we objected so strongly to what he did last year. I gather it wasn't a terrific film, it didn't get very good reviews. The Australians for Palestine have started up their annual campaign against MIFF but we were undeterred by their protest last year and we approached the Israeli Embassy again this year and they were more than happy to support us. But so far this year, we've had no controversy like that.

"That must be a relief.

"Well yes, I guess so, although from a publicity point of view, it's a terrible result. We're trying, as much as possible, to deeply offend some people...

"You're not Jewish, so where does your affinity with Israel come from?

"My wife is Jewish, I lived in Israel for two-and-a-half years, I speak Hebrew and I've got two Jewish sons, so that goes some way to explaining my affinity with Israel."

I see, so marrying a Jew, and a stint in Israel, renders one immune to independent thought. )
And then something changed a few weeks ago, an issue that has thus far received no mainstream media coverage. Australian, Jewish academic Ned Curthoys has written an exclusive report for this site:

About a fortnight ago, some friends of the Palestinian people alerted the production company Human Film that the 2010 Melbourne International Film Festival lists the state of Israel as a cultural partner and therefore official sponsor of the festival. Their award-winning Iraqi film Son of Babylon was due to screen on Wednesday the 28th of July and Friday the 30th of July.
On behalf of Human Film, the Director Mohamed Al-Daradji, the Producer Isabelle Stead and the Producer Atia Al-Daradji wrote on Sunday the 25th of July to the Executive Director of MIFF, Richard Moore, stressing that Son of Babylon is a Palestinian co-production and that as they, as filmmakers, are ‘wholeheartedly against the Israeli governments’ actions against the Palestinian people and as such cannot screen our film at Melbourne IFF whilst there is Israeli government support involved’.
The signatories stressed that they are not against the Israeli people or Israeli filmmakers but ‘against the Israeli government actions against Palestine’ and that they refused to have any association with the state of Israel until it respected the human rights of the Palestinian people. They repeated their request to withdraw the film.
[MIFF head] Richard Moore responded by agreeing to disagree on the political aspect of the matter and, complaining of the logistical impossibility of withdrawing the film on the eve of screening, informed the signatories that the Monday screening would be shown but that he is prepared to countenance financial compensation for the Wednesday the 28th screening.
Isabelle Stead, the main producer of SON OF BABYLON, writing on behalf of Human Film, responded that she really hoped that he, Richard Moore, had respected their wishes and withdrawn the film from the festival, entirely. This isn’t about politics, she wrote, this is about humanity.
She made the point that it had only just been brought to their attention that MIF festival was supported by the state of Israel, and that upon receiving this information, they acted as promptly as they could. Isabelle was surprised that Melbourne IFF had not informed filmmakers whom have a Palestinian element/connection to their film that the state of Israel are involved in funding the festival. She pointed out that the festival was informed in enough time to stop the screening – as in 2009 when Ken Loach withdrew his film on the eve of its screening. MIFF should not underestimate Human Film’s resolve to ensure that their film is not associated with the state of Israel as long as it continues its illegal crimes against humanity.
Richard Moore refused to acknowledge that he had any obligation to inform a Palestinian co-production about Israeli sponsorship, instead claiming that revocation of permission to withdraw the film and to take action against the festival if it does not withdraw the film was a ‘divisive act’ that contravenes the film company’s ethos of breaking down cultural barriers.
Isabelle Stead repeated her willingness to reimburse the festival and repeated her point that the festival must hold some responsibility in not informing a Palestinian co-production that it was being supported by the state of Israel. She reminded Moore that in the 1980s Mr Rod Webb, The Sydney Film Festival Director, refused to accepted any sponsorship or screen films from apartheid South Africa. When Israel is no longer an apartheid state, she wrote, we will of course be proud to screen our films in conjunction with them. In the interim she would be happy to help Richard Moore find alternative sponsorship that is independent of Israel’s support for Melbourne IFF in the future.
She welcomed Moore’s allusion to their mission statement and pointed out it was still in full force and effect, since they were ‘acting from a humanitarian stance’. She asked that Richard Moore respect their wishes not to screen Son of Babylon and wanted to be informed if the film had been screened at the festival.
Richard Moore then revealed his hand by declaring, against the common wisdom of Jimmy Carter and Desmond Tutu, that the comparison of Israel with an apartheid state was ‘odious’. He now claimed that Human Film had not taken the issue of compensation seriously, and, to rub salt into the wound, smugly talked of how much the patrons had enjoyed the screening and that he hoped the film scored well in audience awards.
Isabelle Stead now accused Richard Moore of petulance, and was clearly upset that he had disregarded the multiple requests of Human Film not to have any screenings of their film at the festival. Isabelle wrote that she had spoken to the producer of Looking for Eric – who informed her that they were not requested to pay the festival any monies for pulling the film in 2009. She reiterated that she had made a fair offer to reimburse the festival for the shipment costs along with any monies paid to their sales company to screen the film. She reiterated that any permissions granted to Melbourne IFF to screen SON OF BABYLON had been revoked.
Isabelle. in a later correspondence, suggested that she was disgusted with the behaviour of the festival towards Human Film, and very saddened that Moore couldn’t see past the politics to the real heart of the issue. Human Film would now prefer to offer the proceeds of the admissions for the screening of Son of Babylon to a charity of their choice.
The second screening of Son of Babylon on Wednesday went ahead without any signal that this was against the express wishes of Human Film. One can safely draw the conclusion that just as MIFF and Richard Moore failed in their ethical obligation to inform international film makers of Israeli sponsorship of the festival, they have also engaged in a conspiracy of silence to prevent you knowing about the principled ethical objections of Human Film to screen Son of Babylon.
The public can make up their own mind but audiences of the MIFF 2010 and the wider public have a right to know about the way in which Richard Moore himself is deliberately politicizing the festival.


Yesterday Crikey published the full email correspondence between MIFF and the film-makers.

LEAKED: Filmmakers demand Son of Babylon to be withdrawn from the 2010 MIFF program
July 30, 2010 – 12:59 pm, by Luke Buckmaster

This morning the makers of the acclaimed feature Son of Babylon alerted Crikey to the news that they sent numerous requests to the Melbourne International Film Festival asking for the film be removed from the festival program.
The filmmakers strongly object to MIFF’s links with the State of Israel, which is one of the festival’s sponsors. Last year British director Ken Loach withdrew his film Looking for Eric from the program for the same reason.
Son of Babylon explores the aftermath of Saddam Hussein’s downfall in Iraq. It is the second festival-selected film to attract controversy this year, following the OFLC’S decision earlier this month to ban director Bruce LaBruce’s LA Zombie.
Unfortunately for the filmmakers, Son of Babylon screenings have already come and gone. MIFF organisers claim they were not given sufficient notice to cancel the screenings.

Cinetology has not just the scoop but the entire email exchange between the makers of Son of Babylon and MIFF Executive Director Richard Moore, pasted below. Note that Cinetology has not edited the correspondence in any way.

Dear Richard,
When we grant a festival permission to screen a film that took us years to make along with danger, blood, sweat and tears - we do so with trust. I would have thought a festival would morally recognise the need to tell a Palestinian co-production that it was funded by the state of Israel?
Your tone and “reasonable” manner is petulant, along with your actions in disregarding our requests not to have any screenings of our film at your festival.
I have spoken to the producer of Looking for Eric – who informed me that they were not requested to pay you any monies to the festival for pulling the film. I have made a fair offer to reimburse you for the shipment costs along with any monies you paid to our sales company to screen the film. A more than fair offer.
Also please send to me a copy of the agreement you have in place with our agent.
I will again reiterate that any permissions granted to Melbourne IFF to screen SON OF BABYLON have been revoked.
Isabelle Stead
Iraq’s Missing Persons Petition – please sign: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/iraqs-missing-campaign
Isabelle Stead
Human Film
ADP House, 35 Hanover Square, Leeds, LS3 1BQ, UK, t: +44 (0) 113 243 8880 M+ 44 (0) 7835 378454
Human Film Inc. provides the information contained in this email message “as is” and makes no representations or warranties of any kind regarding its accuracy or reliability. Human Film Inc. disclaims all liability of any kind whatsoever arising out of your use of, or inability to use, this email message and the information contained on it.
This is a privileged and confidential communication. If you are not an intended recipient, you should: (1) reply to sender; (2) destroy this communication entirely, including deletion of all associated text files from all individual and network storage devices; and (3) refrain from copying or disseminating this communication by any means whatsoever.
On 28 July 2010 09:25, Richard Moore wrote:
Dear Isabelle
Re the question of festival sponsorship ; it is entirely a matter for our independent arts organisation to seek sponsorship wherever we see fit and we are under no legal obligation to declare our sources of funding for external groups to approve or disprove . Similarly we don’t ask filmmakers to declare their sources of funding.
For the record I find your comparison between Israel and an apartheid state odious ; we shall have to agree to disagree on this issue.
I have tried to deal with you in a reasonable manner by proposing a fair financial offer to compensate our festival for financial loss . In my view you have chosen not to treat this offer seriously.
Clearly, this situation is an unfortunate one and has been compounded by the time factor . As explained in prior correspondence, the fact that you contacted us only on the date of the first screening exacerbated this situation.
I confirm that we have screened the film : it was enjoyed by many patrons and I sincerely hope it scores well in our audience awards.
Richard Moore
Richard Moore
Executive Director
Melbourne International Film Festival
22 July – 8 August, 2010
Direct: 61 3 8660 4804
Fax: 61 3 9654 2561
Postal Address: GPO Box 4982, Melbourne VIC 3001 Australia
Street Address: Level 5, 225 Bourke Street Melbourne VIC 3000
Become a Member and/or join our e-newsletter Widescreen here:
Please consider the environment before you print this e-mail
Dear Richard,
I am happy of course to reimburse you for any money you paid to screen the film to our Sales company – along with shipment cost – but please also recognise the festival must hold some responsibility in not informing a Palestinian co-production that it was being supported by the state of Israel.
In the 1980’s Mr Rod Webb The Sydney Film Festival Director, refused to accepted any sponsorship or screen films from apartheid South Africa, when Israel is no longer an apartheid state, we will of course be proud to screen our films in conjunction. In the interim I would be happy to help you find alternative sponsorship that is independent of Israel’s support for Melbourne IFF in the future.
Thank you also for relaying back to me our mission statement which I am please and proud to say is still in full force and effect, to reiterate my last email – we are acting from a humanitarian stance.
I apologise if you felt threatened by my last email this was not my intent, nevertheless as said at present we have revoked your rights to screen our film and hope that you respect and have respected our wishes. Please can you inform me if the film has already screened at your festival?
Furthermore I am happy to work out an alternative for Melbourne audiences to view the film, independent of the Melbourne IFF.
Isabelle Stead
Iraq’s Missing Persons Petition – please sign: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/iraqs-missing-campaign
Isabelle Stead
Human Film
ADP House, 35 Hanover Square, Leeds, LS3 1BQ, UK, t: +44 (0) 113 243 8880 M+ 44 (0) 7835 378454
Human Film Inc. provides the information contained in this email message “as is” and makes no representations or warranties of any kind regarding its accuracy or reliability. Human Film Inc. disclaims all liability of any kind whatsoever arising out of your use of, or inability to use, this email message and the information contained on it.
This is a privileged and confidential communication. If you are not an intended recipient, you should: (1) reply to sender; (2) destroy this communication entirely, including deletion of all associated text files from all individual and network storage devices; and (3) refrain from copying or disseminating this communication by any means whatsoever.
On 27 July 2010 05:58, Richard Moore wrote:
Dear Isabelle
As I outlined in my previous email I look forward to seeing your written offer of financial compensation . I do not agree that you have provided us with enough time to cancel the screening. I have entered into correspondence with you promptly about this in order to find a solution.
Its unfortunate that you now resort to threats to “take appropriate action against the festival “. Indeed , it seems extraordinary to me that an organisation that claims to “break down cultural barriers through film “.. to “ further understanding” and that also states that it does “ not apply any language,cultural,political,religious or any other barriers to our film making practice “ would engage in such a divisive act.
For your information the second screening of SON OF BABYLON is sold out. We estimate the costs of withdrawing the film at
Admissions $3,300
Hire of venue $400
Replacement film hire $500
Staffing $250
Total $4,450
These hard costs do not include the distress and potential upset caused to our patrons and the cost of communicating with everyone who has purchased a ticket.
I expect to hear confirmation of your agreement to compensate the festival on these costs before I will reconsider the matter of the second screening of the film.
Richard Moore
Richard Moore
Executive Director
Melbourne International Film Festival
22 July – 8 August, 2010
Direct: 61 3 8660 4804
Fax: 61 3 9654 2561
Postal Address: GPO Box 4982, Melbourne VIC 3001 Australia
Street Address: Level 5, 225 Bourke Street Melbourne VIC 3000
Become a Member and/or join our e-newsletter Widescreen here:
Please consider the environment before you print this e-mail
Dear Richard,
Thank you for replying to our email. Please be aware Mohamed is currently in Sarajevo promoting the film and our Iraq’s Missing People Campaign.
I am the main producer for SON OF BABYLON, on behalf of the director, myself and our team I really hope that you have respected our wishes and withdrawn the film from your festival, entirely. This isn’t about politics this is about humanity.
To request a withdrawal of our film to a festival is our last wish and we are sorry for any inconvenience this causes to you, your colleagues, your festival and your audiences especially at such short notice. Please know it was only just brought to our attention that your festival was supported by the state of Israel, upon receiving this information, we acted as promptly as we could.
We have only just last week, taken over the festivals from Roissy Films our sales company and will of course ensure in the future that we check in advance a festival’s sponsors, before accepting an invitation. Nevertheless I am surprised that Melbourne IFF do not inform filmmakers whom have a Palestinian element/connection to their film that the state of Israel are involved in funding the festival?
The festival was informed in enough time to stop the screening – as I understand you were able to do this in 2009 when Ken Loach withdrew his film on the eve of it’s screening. Therefore if you have knowingly disregarded our wishes and screened the film, we will of course be left with little alternative than to take appropriate action against the festival. We would of course, be very reluctant to do this, but you should not underestimate our resolve to ensure that our film is not associated with the state of Israel as long as it continues it’s illegal crimes against humanity.
Isabelle Stead
Human Film & Iraq Al-Rafidain
Iraq’s Missing Persons Petition – please sign: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/iraqs-missing-campaign
Isabelle Stead
Human Film
ADP House, 35 Hanover Square, Leeds, LS3 1BQ, UK, t: +44 (0) 113 243 8880 M+ 44 (0) 7835 378454
Human Film Inc. provides the information contained in this email message “as is” and makes no representations or warranties of any kind regarding its accuracy or reliability. Human Film Inc. disclaims all liability of any kind whatsoever arising out of your use of, or inability to use, this email message and the information contained on it.
This is a privileged and confidential communication. If you are not an intended recipient, you should: (1) reply to sender; (2) destroy this communication entirely, including deletion of all associated text files from all individual and network storage devices; and (3) refrain from copying or disseminating this communication by any means whatsoever.

On 26 July 2010 17:02, Mohamed Al-Daradji mohamed@humanfilm.co.uk http://mohamed@humanfilm.co.uk wrote:
Answer her by no money will pay to them and we drowthe film out
———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Richard Moore moore@melbournefilmfestival.com.au http://moore@melbournefilmfestival.com.au
Date: 26 July 2010 06:54
To: mohamed@humanfilm.co.uk
Cc: Michelle Carey carey@melbournefilmfestival.com.au http://carey@melbournefilmfestival.com.au, Jess Langley langley@melbournefilmfestival.com.au >, Petrina Dorrington dorrington@melbournefilmfestival.com.au >
Dear Mohamed
Michelle Carey our head of programming has forwarded me your email which
arrived many weeks after the festival program has been announced and 3
months after you supplied us with all the technical information about your
film. This document we regard as official confirmation of your acceptance of
our conditions for the festival.
You sent the email on the day of the first screening of the film. I wouldn’t
suggest that your timing intended to cause our festival disruption; however,
I should point out that we have sold tickets to this session and we have an
eager public willing to view it.
You have your political opinions, which clearly I don’t share – lets put
that to one side. To request a withdrawal of the film on the day of the
screening is simply not acceptable and shows a lack of respect for our
organisation . We have worked hard to bring your film here and your
selection meant that other films could not be included in the program. We
are not able to replace the film at short notice and we will screen it
I am prepared to consider other options for the second screening but I will
also need to consider the financial ramifications to our organisation of
having to bring in another film and the inevitable confusion and disruption
this will cause our patrons. Perhaps you will be prepared to offer us some
financial compensation for withdrawing your film.
I look forward to hearing from you in the near future.
Richard Moore
Richard Moore
Executive Director
Melbourne International Film Festival
22 July – 8 August, 2010
Direct: 61 3 8660 4804
Fax: 61 3 9654 2561
Postal Address: GPO Box 4982, Melbourne VIC 3001 Australia
Street Address: Level 5, 225 Bourke Street Melbourne VIC 3000
Become a Member and/or join our e-newsletter Widescreen here:
Please consider the environment before you print this e-mail
From: Mohamed Al-Daradji mohamed@humanfilm.co.uk >
Sender: mohamedaldaradji@googlemail.com
Date: Sun, 25 Jul 2010 18:09:19 +0100
To: Michelle Carey carey@melbournefilmfestival.com.au >
Cc: Isabelle Isabelle@humanfilm.co.uk >; atia
aldraji atia_alrafdeniraq@yahoo.com >
Subject: RE: We would like to withdrew our film Son of Babylon from
Melbourne IFF 2010
Dear Michelle,
It has just been brought to our attention that the Melbourne IFF is
supported by the state of Israel.
SON OF BABYLON is a Palestinian co-production. We the filmmakers are whole
heartily against the Israeli government’s actions against the Palestinian
people and as such cannot screen our film at Melbourne IFF whilst there is
Israeli government support involved.
As human beings we feel duty bound not to support Israel’s aggressive
actions against the people of Palestine, who have been refused basic human
and political rights within an apartheid system, who are subjects to ongoing
military violence by the Israeli state, and let’s not forget the appalling
siege of Gaza which has deprived a besieged population of their basic human
needs such as clean water, food and medicine.
Rest assured we are not against the Israeli people or Israeli filmmakers, we
are against the Israeli government actions against Palestine..
It is therefore from a humanitarian stance that we refuse to have any
association with the state of Israel until they respect the human rights of
the Palestinian people.So we would liek to withdrew Our film Son of
We will be more than happy to work with you in the future if there no
Israeli government support to your festival.
I am looking forward to hear from you.
Mohamed Al-Daradji – Director
Isabelle Stead – Producer
Atia Al-Daradji – Producer



Robust Community Debate

3 June 2010

Occupied with free speech

Jacinda Woodhead

The Melbourne International Film Festival is receiving Liberty Victoria's free speech award, the Voltaire award, for its "refusal to buckle in the face of intense pressure from a foreign government and a left-wing filmmaker last year".

The "foreign government" was China, which urged MIFF not to screen a documentary on Rebiya Kadeer, a Uighur Independence leader who was also a guest of the festival. The award seems valid here: MIFF allowed for a minority voice to be heard, and didn't kowtow to governmental bullying.

On the other hand, the "left-wing filmmaker" was Ken Loach, whose series of written exchanges questioned MIFF's decision to accept funding from "cultural partner", the state of Israel. Loach wrote:

As you are no doubt aware, many Palestinians, including artists and academics, have called for a boycott of events supported by Israel. There are many reasons for this; the illegal occupation of Palestinian land, destruction of homes and livelihoods, the massacres in Gaza, all are part of the continuing oppression of the Palestinian people.
We hope you can reconsider accepting Israel as a sponsor.

The letters saw a showdown between Loach and festival Executive Director, Richard Moore. Loach eventually withdrew his film, Looking for Eric, from the festival, quoting Israeli poet, Aharon Shabtai:

I do not believe that a state that maintains an occupation, committing on a daily basis crimes against civilians, deserves to be invited to any kind of cultural event.

Despite Moore – the self-proclaimed winner of last year's fracas – crowing that he would not be pressured as "part of an orchestrated campaign", it is bizarre that Liberty Victoria would deem MIFF's position on Ken Loach worthy of an award.

Moore and the festival have consistently misrepresented Loach's withdrawal. As with the Edinburgh Festival, where he successfully made the same appeal, Loach stated: "This is not a boycott of Israeli films or filmmakers but of the Israeli state." Thus, it was always a matter of accepting funding from a country that continuously and flagrantly disregards United Nations regulations and human rights appeals.

As with his opinion piece in The Guardian, 'Censorship has no place in film', Moore continues to frame the issue as one of censorship, claiming:

Politics will always walk hand in hand with film, and with film festivals, but at the core of every festival, from Melbourne to Montreal, is the independence and integrity of the programme.

When Richard Moore and Liberty Victoria recognise the festival's independence, what are they claiming it is independent of – influence from, or relationship to, the outside world? Why shouldn't international law and crimes against humanity be of interest to an Australian film festival? Cultural events, by Moore's own admission, are also political.

There is a history of censorship with Moore and MIFF, as there is with all festivals – whatever the Melbourne International Film Festival chooses to show or omit from the festival's selection helps to decide film in Australia for the next couple of years. It's an incredibly influential position, and a glaring example of censorship through inclusion and exclusion.

Since Moore assumed the mantle of Executive Director, MIFF has gone out of its way to strengthen cultural ties with Israel. In 2007, MIFF showcased the thriving industry of contemporary Israeli cinema. In 2008, perhaps due to some concern about bringing Israeli cinema to the fore, MIFF had a Border Patrol section that theoretically "look[ed], in different forms and style, at the so-called 'Israeli/Palestinian question', from different perspectives".

One of the two Palestinian films to screen in this section was Salt of the Sea. This brilliant film screened once at MIFF, near midnight on a cold wet week night. Filmmaker Annemarie Jacir has described the near physical impossibility of making the film, not least because she couldn't get permission from Israel to shoot in any of the locations. The entire film, which tells the story of a Palestinian-American who tries to return to her grandmother's house, was shot illegally in Israel.

Richard Moore states: "To be frank, there isn't a lot of Palestinian cinema around". But the reason the Palestinian film industry is so small is because Palestinians are living under occupation, in circumstances in which it is almost impossible to finance and resource a film project, let alone get permits to film, particularly if the film is at all critical of the occupying power, Israel.

The argument seems then to not be a question of which films Moore is choosing to bring to the festival, nor about the specific politics of these films, but about the films that can never be made. As Ken Loach suggested, until we have a free Palestine, we can never have industries without censorship. To pretend otherwise is to tacitly approve and support a boycott on Palestine; one where Palestinians can't go to universities or hospitals or visit their families, let alone make cinema, which is a real testament to the brutality of the occupation under which they live.

Israeli journalist Gideon Levy recently wrote:

Doctors, professors, artists, jurists, intellectuals, economists, engineers - none of them are permitted to enter Gaza. This is a complete boycott that bears the tag 'Made in Israel'. Those who speak about immoral and ineffective boycotts do so without batting an eye when it comes to Gaza.

MIFF is right not to bow to pressure from countries like China, who have a questionable human rights record. Equally, they shouldn't bow to the bullying tactics of the state of Israel. Because when you accept Israel as a "cultural partner", then you collaborate in a social, political and cultural denial of an entire people.

This year, Moore is emphasising his autonomy once more by declaring the 2010 festival 'a Ken Loach-free zone': "I won't be going to see his film and if it plays in Melbourne, it won't be in MIFF."

This claim seems more than a tad disingenuous. Moore has, after all, confirmed that this year's festival will again accept Israeli government funding, so nothing about MIFF's understanding of their relationship to the world beyond the festival doors has changed. Most likely, the real reason Loach's film about the war in Iraq won't be showing this year is because he will ask the question: is MIFF still taking money from Israel?

This was never an issue of censorship, or not showing Israeli films. It was always about how Richard Moore and Australian cultural festivals are politicising their programs by accepting money from Israel, thereby supporting the actions of a brutal and oppressive government.

Loach again:

The boycott of apartheid South Africa suffered similar criticisms to the ones you now make. But who would now say it was wrong? ... You either support the boycott or break it.

Jacinda Woodhead is a Melbourne writer and the online editor for Overland literary journal, where she blogs about politics and literature.


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90 years old, political gay activist, hosting two web sites, one personal: http://www.red-jos.net one shared with my partner, 94-year-old Ken Lovett: http://www.josken.net and also this blog. The blog now has an alphabetical index: http://www.red-jos.net/alpha3.htm