14 January 2010


Aleph has kindly given me permission to reproduce their letter to the Jewish Community Council of Victoria. In my earlier blog I reproduced an article from MCV in which this issue was discussed. However at that stage I did not have this background information and now it will help to make the issue of child abuse in the Jewish communities much clearer.

Of course it all ties in with homophobia which Jewish communities perpetrate no less than other communities around the world. Jews used to like to think of themselves as more tolerant than other communities but events have shown in recent years that they can be just as intolerant as the next man, woman or child in the street!

Attention: Geoffrey Zygier - Excecutive Director JCCV / John Searle - President JCCV
January 8 2010

Dear Messrs Zygier and Searle,

Over recent months it has been brought to the attention of the JCCV numerous times
that any intolerance and oppression of same-sex attracted youth, whether due to
religious reasons or otherwise, has been directly linked to serious mental health issues
such as depression, anxiety, self-harm and suicide.

In October 2009 the JCCV released a statement during Mental Health Week
acknowledging the critically high rate of suicide in same-sex attracted people caused by
intolerance of their sexuality.

Back in April 2008 the JCCV, under the presidency of Anton Block, called for a swift
response to allegations of sexual abuse in the Melbourne Jewish Community, as reported
in the Australian Jewish News.

It may not have been impressed clearly enough upon the JCCV as to the gravity of the
nature of the abuse that same-sex attracted youth experience directly as a result of
religious intolerance of their sexuality. By forcing a person into a state of depression or
contemplation of suicide because they are told homosexuality is sinful, unacceptable,
abnormal and contrary to religious beliefs constitutes psychological abuse. When this
occurs in a child it becomes psychological child abuse. People who perpetrate this abuse
are child abusers.

The community does not tolerate sexual child abuse. The community does not tolerate
physical child abuse. The community continues to tolerate psychological child abuse.
People who are aware of perpetrators of sexual or physical abusers of children are
obligated to take action to prevent this harm. The community is obligated to stamp it
out. People who do not take action against this harm are complicit in the ongoing
perpetration of the abuse.

The situation is the same when it comes to psychological child abuse. People who are
aware of the abuse are obligated to prevent the harm against the children and the
community is obligated to stamp it out. Currently the community remains silent on this
abuse perpetrated by intolerance of homosexuality. This is completely unacceptable.
The JCCV has a solid track record of taking swift action when it becomes aware of
damaging or harmful situations in the community. It has responded to sexual abuse
claims, under-age drinking, anti-semitism, fundamentalist extremism etc. To date the
JCCV has remained consistently silent on the matter of psychological child abuse
perpetrated by intolerance of homosexuality. There is no excuse for this.

The JCCV lists amongst it's goals:
• Facilitation of harmony and positive relationships between the various
elements of the Victorian Jewish community and between our community
and the larger community
• A positive perception of Jews in Victorian society
• A thriving local Jewish community
• A safer local Jewish community

The JCCV needs to achieve its goals and fails to do so by not speaking out against this
terrible abuse. It fails it's members and it fails its community.

The JCCV has been aware of the extreme risks of intolerance of homosexuality since at
least October 2009. It has not made a single statement specifically speaking out against
the abhorrent practice of intolerance of homosexuality and lack of unconditional
acceptance of same-sex attracted youth since then. It is now long overdue for a
statement from the JCCV speaking out strongly against this specific psychological
abuse. The entire Jewish community would benefit greatly by having a statement issued
before another week goes by.

The President of the JCCV John Searle and other community leaders will become
complicit in this ongoing psychological child abuse if they don't acknowledge the harm
and speak out immediately.

Michael Barnett.
Aleph Melbourne.

11 January 2010


The Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) does not represent the Jewish community of Victoria - never has and never will. The name is of course a total misnomer!

Aleph - the gay Jewish group - has approached the JCCV numerous times to become a member of that "organisation" for want of a better word!

JCCV has refused every time and made nasty homophobic excuses which should be unacceptable at any time.

The question is, why does Aleph wish to be a member at all? Unless it is a question of funding, it seems to be an exercise in futility to even attempt to hold dialogue with such a group of nasties.

Aleph has functioned for many years without affiliation to JCCV, and if it has done so in the past, why not in the future? Unless it has some religious or zionist reasons for wanting this relationship, there seems to be no valid reason for any connection between the two organisations.

Here is the article which was in the MCV issue470 of 7 January 2010:

Jewish reference group questioned
Written by Ron Hughes

Plans for the Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) to set up a GLBT Reference group have been met with scepticism from GLBT Jewish group, Aleph.

In a press release, JCCV president John Searle stated that on December 16 members of the Jewish GLBT community had agreed to setting up the group to “bring disconnected Jews back to [the Jewish] community”.

Michael Barnett of Aleph Melbourne accused Searle of being disingenuous.

“The decision to set up a reference group was taken at a meeting to which Aleph wasn’t even invited,” Barnett told MCV. “We had a meeting on December 3 which turned out pretty horribly. Subsequently Searle emailed me and said he didn’t want to deal with me any more.”

In the email – seen by MCV – Searle accused Barnett of continuing to “criticise, undermine and discredit the JCCV”.

“At our meeting Searle plainly stated that the Jewish religion had one specific viewpoint on homosexuality – it doesn’t condone it,” Barnett said. “That completely ignores the diversity of opinion among conservative and progressive Jews.”

Barnett said he believed Searle was in an “unfortunate situation”.

“[Searle] is trying to do his best by everyone, it seems, but really he’s trying to do his best by the orthodox community, which is where most of the funding comes from.”

Barnett said until the issue of orthodox intolerance was addressed things would not improve for GLBT Jews.

“It’s not about bringing people back into the fold, it’s not about being nice to us,” Barnett said. “It’s about tackling a huge issue [intolerance].”

09 January 2010


beyondblue, the organisation set up by Victorian ex-premier Jeff Kennett about 10 years ago to assist people suffering from depression and/or ideation of suicide, has yet again shown that its homophobia takes precedence over its stated mandate to assist those in dire circumstances.

Jeff Kennett himself is a leading homophobe and the current CEO of beyondblue, Leonie Young, is showing herself to be Kennett's equal.

Two articles about beyondblue are in the Southern Star issue 065 of 7 January 2010 and they contradict each other. Leonie Young is talking with her tongue in her cheek when dealing with different groups in the gay, lesbian, transgender and HIV/AIDS communities.

The two articles are below, and illustrate where beyondblue's sympathies really lie, and they are not with our communities and those in our communities who are in desperate need of somewhere to go for assistance when their lives become dangerously in the balance.

Third strike-out for WayOut

Andie Noonan
6 January 2010

A proposal for funding to research depression in same-sex attracted young people has been rejected for the third time by national depression initiative beyondblue.
The draft submission was put forward by the WayOut Youth Project earlier in 2009, however, the group was notified it was unsuccessful just two weeks before the peak depression body held a roundtable meeting into GLBTI mental health issues in Melbourne on December 17.

WayOut coordinator Sue Hackney told Southern Star she had been informed, despite working closely with beyondblue staff on the proposal, the application did not meet beyondblue’s guidelines.

“It’s extremely frustrating because for the previous two months I’ve been working in close consultation with [beyondblue] staff to ensure our application was meeting their guidelines as it was going through various draft stages,” Hackney said.
“It’s very similar to the previous two occasions … and then being told with no or a very vague explanation that it’s been unsuccessful.”

Since 2004 WayOut has submitted three applications for funding, including requesting a $25,000 annual grant in 2005 and another application in 2006.

Hackney said the most recent proposal for $100,000 for two to three years included research in partnership with the Australian Research Centre for Sex, Health and Society (ARCSHS), youth suicide prevention group the Inspire Foundation, the Foundation For Young Australians and several other groups.

“I’m getting extremely frustrated and finding it difficult to understand how the organisation works because clearly there is a breakdown in the information they’re giving out to organisations such as ourselves,” Hackney said.

Beyondblue CEO Leonie Young told Southern Star the proposal had been turned down because it did not meet beyondblue’s research guidelines and included money for servicing rather than research or evaluation.

“The proposal that was put forward included some evaluation, but it was also for other matters that related to services and that’s the part we can’t fund and it’s always been so,” Young said.

“We don’t fund camps or administration or cars, or services. We fund research, we fund evaluation… there was a component related to evaluation, but it wasn’t a research proposal. It was around supporting, which is entirely outside the funding we have, it was for the youth services itself.”

Young said youth services funding is the responsibility of state and territory governments and she’s had preliminary discussions with the ARCSHS to develop a GLBT research-only proposal for the next funding round in March.

Recently WayOut received $30,000 annual funding from the state Government, as a result of a concerted push from the GLBTI ministerial advisory council and gay rights advocate Rob Mitchell. Hackney said this won’t cover costs, with the WayOut Rural Youth Council grant winding up in February.

Hackney expressed frustration last year at WayOut’s constant struggle for funding after three gay youth suicides in rural Victoria in 2009.

Beyondblue commits to GLBTI community

Scott Abrahams
6 January 2010

Beyondblue says it is committed to targeting depression and anxiety in the GLBTI community but said other sectors need to be involved in tackling the issues.
Following a recent beyondblue GLBTI roundtable involving representatives from national mental health, drug and alcohol, and suicide prevention strategies, beyondblue CEO Leonie Young told the Star beyondblue will put a focus on GLBTI depression and anxiety but an ‘all in’ approach is required.

“It’s not just beyondblue and I really want to stress that while we put the roundtable on to hear more and work in collaboration with the GLBT sector… it isn’t a one-agency response that’s required,” Young said.

“While we’re good to step up and provide the opportunity for the discussion, we’ll be expecting to work with all the other agencies as we go forward, so while I’m good to commit beyondblue to ‘x’ dollars over ‘x’ period of time… it really will take others.”

Young confirmed a figure of $2 million over 18 months as a “potential” amount the national depression initiative could throw into the area.

“We’re collaborating, we’re reviewing beyondblue’s own material, we’re identifying research priorities for 2010 and we’ll put funding to that,” she said.
Young said beyondblue has committed in the short term to meet with the LGBT Health Alliance in January to thrash out a more detailed strategy.

An awareness campaign for GLBTI health — and, later, a GLBTI mental health ambassador — has also been foreshadowed.

“[We’ll] look at the research again. From that research we need a multipronged, early intervention prevention model, particularly focused on young people living in rural communities. That was one of the priority areas that came out,” Young said.
LGBT Health Alliance CEO Gabi Rosenstreich told the Star she was “cautiously positive” the roundtable secured a way forward for GLBT mental health in Australia.
“I would say it’s a really positive sign that beyondblue does seem to be taking on the critiques that have been made from the LGBT community seriously and is responding,” Rosenstreich said.

“It will remain to be seen what develops out of that.
“We’ll be working together with our members and other community organisations to turn beyondblue’s commitments into reality.”

07 January 2010


Cairo declaration: end Israeli apartheid

Published on 3 January 2010 in Israel

The Gaza Freedom March (GFM) is over but the following declaration, led by South African trade unionists, has been issued globally and is a clear plan for future actions.

Although drafted by delegates from the GFM, its aim is far more ambitious. I encourage readers to read it, sign it and get involved. One of the strengths of the GFM was the hugely international nature of the event, drawing in various groups who want action on Palestine. We didn’t all agree, of course, and nobody even talked about one-state or two-state as a possible outcome. It was more focused on removing Israeli impunity and highlighting the urgent need for bringing Israel to its senses. That won’t happen, in my view, by simply hoping for the best.

Here’s the statement:

End Israeli Apartheid

Cairo Declaration

January 1, 2010

We, international delegates meeting in Cairo during the Gaza Freedom March 2009 in collective response to an initiative from the South African delegation, state:

In view of:

o Israel’s ongoing collective punishment of Palestinians through the illegal occupation and siege of Gaza;

o the illegal occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the continued construction of the illegal Apartheid Wall and settlements;

o the new Wall under construction by Egypt and the US which will tighten even further the siege of Gaza;

o the contempt for Palestinian democracy shown by Israel, the US, Canada, the EU and others after the Palestinian elections of 2006;

o the war crimes committed by Israel during the invasion of Gaza one year ago;

o the continuing discrimination and repression faced by Palestinians within Israel;

o and the continuing exile of millions of Palestinian refugees;

o all of which oppressive acts are based ultimately on the Zionist ideology which underpins Israel;

o in the knowledge that our own governments have given Israel direct economic, financial, military and diplomatic support and allowed it to behave with impunity;

o and mindful of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People (2007)

We reaffirm our commitment to:

Palestinian Self-Determination

Ending the Occupation

Equal Rights for All within historic Palestine

The full Right of Return for Palestinian refugees

We therefore reaffirm our commitment to the United Palestinian call of July 2005 for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) to compel Israel to comply with international law.

To that end, we call for and wish to help initiate a global mass, democratic anti-apartheid movement to work in full consultation with Palestinian civil society to implement the Palestinian call for BDS.

Mindful of the many strong similarities between apartheid Israel and the former apartheid regime in South Africa, we propose:

1) An international speaking tour in the first 6 months of 2010 by Palestinian and South African trade unionists and civil society activists, to be joined by trade unionists and activists committed to this programme within the countries toured, to take mass education on BDS directly to the trade union membership and wider public internationally;

2) Participation in the Israeli Apartheid Week in March 2010;

3) A systematic unified approach to the boycott of Israeli products, involving consumers, workers and their unions in the retail, warehousing, and transportation sectors;

4) Developing the Academic, Cultural and Sports boycott;

5) Campaigns to encourage divestment of trade union and other pension funds from companies directly implicated in the Occupation and/or the Israeli military industries;

6) Legal actions targeting the external recruitment of soldiers to serve in the Israeli military, and the prosecution of Israeli government war criminals; coordination of Citizen’s Arrest Bureaux to identify, campaign and seek to prosecute Israeli war criminals; support for the Goldstone Report and the implementation of its recommendations;

7) Campaigns against charitable status of the Jewish National Fund (JNF).

We appeal to organisations and individuals committed to this declaration to sign it and work with us to make it a reality.

Please e-mail us at cairodec@gmail.com

Signed by:

(* Affiliation for identification purposes only.)

1. Hedy Epstein, Holocaust Survivor/ Women in Black*, USA

2. Nomthandazo Sikiti, Nehawu, Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), Affiliate International Officer*, South Africa

3. Zico Tamela, Satawu, Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) Affiliate International Officer*, South Africa

4. Hlokoza Motau, Numsa, Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) Affiliate International Officer*, South Africa

5. George Mahlangu, Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) Campaigns Coordinator*, South Africa

6. Crystal Dicks, Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) Education Secretary*, South Africa

7. Savera Kalideen, SA Palestinian Solidarity Committee*, South Africa

8. Suzanne Hotz, SA Palestinian Solidarity Group*, South Africa

9. Shehnaaz Wadee, SA Palestinian Solidarity Alliance*, South Africa

10. Haroon Wadee, SA Palestinian Solidarity Alliance*, South Africa

11. Sayeed Dhansey, South Africa

12. Faiza Desai, SA Palestinian Solidarity Alliance*, South Africa

13. Ali Abunimah, Electronic Intifada*, USA

14. Hilary Minch, Ireland Palestine Solidarity Committee*, Ireland

15. Anthony Loewenstein, Australia

16. Sam Perlo-Freeman, United Kingdom

17. Julie Moentk, Pax Christi*, USA

18. Ulf Fogelström, Sweden

19. Ann Polivka, Chico Peace and Justice Center*, USA

20. Mark Johnson, Fellowship of Reconciliation*, USA

21. Elfi Padovan, Munich Peace Committee*/Die Linke*, Germany

22. Elizabeth Barger, Peace Roots Alliance*/Plenty I*, USA

23. Sarah Roche-Mahdi, CodePink*, USA

24. Svetlana Gesheva-Anar, Bulgaria

25. Cristina Ruiz Cortina, Al Quds-Malaga*, Spain

26. Rachel Wyon, Boston Gaza Freedom March*, USA

27. Mary Hughes-Thompson, Women in Black*, USA

28. David Letwin, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (IJAN)*, USA

29. Jean Athey, Peace Action Montgomery*, USA

30. Gael Murphy, Gaza Freedom March*/CodePink*, USA

31. Thomas McAfee, Journalist/PC*, USA

32. Jean Louis Faure, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (IJAN)*, France

33. Timothy A King, Christians for Peace and Justice in the Middle East*, USA

34. Gail Chalbi, Palestine/Israel Justice Project of the Minnesota United Methodist Church*, USA

35. Ouahib Chalbi, Palestine/Israel Justice Project of the Minnesota United Methodist Church*, USA

36. Greg Dropkin, Liverpool Friends of Palestine*, England

37. Felice Gelman, Wespac Peace and Justice New York*/Gaza Freedom March*, USA

38. Ron Witton, Australian Academic Union*, Australia

39. Hayley Wallace, Palestine Solidarity Committee*, USA

40. Norma Turner, Manchester Palestine Solidarity Campaign*, England

41. Paula Abrams-Hourani, Women in Black (Vienna)*/ Jewish Voice for Just Peace in the Middle East*, Austria

42. Mateo Bernal, Industrial Workers of the World*, USA

43. Mary Mattieu, Collectif Urgence Palestine*, Switzerland

44. Agneta Zuppinger, Collectif Urgence Palestine*, Switzerland

45. Ashley Annis, People for Peace*, Canada

46. Peige Desgarlois, People for Peace*, Canada

47. Hannah Carter, Canadian Friends of Sabeel*, Canada

48. Laura Ashfield, Canadian Friends of Sabeel*, Canada

49. Iman Ghazal, People for Peace*, Canada

50. Filsam Farah, People for Peace*, Canada

51. Awa Allin, People for Peace*, Canada

52. Cleopatra McGovern, USA

53. Miranda Collet, Spain

54. Alison Phillips, Scotland

55. Nicholas Abramson, Middle East Crisis Response Network*/Jews Say No*, USA

56. Tarak Kauff, Middle East Crisis Response Network*/Veterans for Peace*, USA

57. Jesse Meisler-Abramson, USA

58. Hope Mariposa, USA

59. Ivesa Lübben. Bremer Netzwerk fur Gerechten Frieden in Nahost*, Germany

60. Sheila Finan, Mid-Hudson Council MERC*, USA

61. Joanne Lingle, Christians for Peace and Justice in the Middle East (CPJME)*, USA

62. Barbara Lubin, Middle East Children’s Alliance*, USA

63. Josie Shields-Stromsness, Middle East Children’s Alliance*, USA

64. Anna Keuchen, Germany

65. Judith Mahoney Pasternak, WRL* and Indypendent*, USA

66. Ellen Davidson, New York City Indymedia*, WRL*, Indypendent*, USA

67. Ina Kelleher, USA

68. Lee Gargagliano, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (Chicago)*, USA

69. Brad Taylor, OUT-FM*, USA

70. Helga Mankovitz, SPHR (Queen’s University)*, Canada

71. Mick Napier, Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign*, Scotland

72. Agnes Kueng, Paso Basel*, Switzerland

73. Anne Paxton, Voices of Palestine*, USA

74. Leila El Abtah, The Netherlands

75. Richard, Van der Wouden, The Netherlands

76. Rafiq A. Firis, P.K.R.*/Isra*, The Netherlands

77. Sandra Tamari, USA

78. Alice Azzouzi, Way to Jerusalem*, USA

79. J’Ann Schoonmaker Allen, USA

80. Ruth F. Hooke, Episcopalian Peace Fellowship*, USA

81. Jean E. Lee, Holy Land Awareness Action Task Group of United Church of Canada*, Canada

82. Delphine de Boutray, Association Thèâtre Cine*, France

83. Sylvia Schwarz, USA

84. Alexandra Safi, Germany

85. Abdullah Anar, Green Party – Turkey*, Turkey

86. Ted Auerbach, USA

87. Martha Hennessy, Catholic Worker*, USA

88. Louis Ultale, Interfaile Pace e Bene*, USA

89. Leila Zand, Fellowship of Reconciliation*, USA

90. Emma Grigore, CodePink*, USA

91. Sammer Abdelela, New York Community of Muslim Progressives*, USA

92. Sharat G. Lin, San Jose Peace and Justice Center*, USA

93. Katherine E. Sheetz, Free Gaza*, USA

94. Steve Greaves, Free Gaza*, USA

95. Trevor Baumgartner, Free Gaza*, USA

96. Hanan Tabbara, USA

97. Marina Barakatt, CodePink*, USA

98. Keren Bariyov, USA

99. Ursula Sagmeister, Women in Black – Vienna*, Austria

100. Ann Cunningham, Australia

101. Bill Perry, Delaware Valley Veterans for Peace*, USA

102. Terry Perry, Delaware Valley Veterans for Peace*, USA

103. Athena Viscusi, USA

104. Marco Viscusi, USA

105. Paki Wieland, Northampton Committee*, USA

106. Manijeh Saba, New York / New Jersey, USA

107. Ellen Graves, USA

108. Zoë Lawlor, Ireland – Palestine Solidarity Campaign*, Ireland

109. Miguel García Grassot, Al Quds – Málaga*, Spain

110. Ana Mamora Romero, ASPA-Asociacion Andaluza Solidaridad y Paz*, Spain

111. Ehab Lotayef, CJPP Canada*, Canada

112. David Heap, London Anti-War*, Canada

113. Adie Mormech, Free Gaza* / Action Palestine*, England

114. Aimee Shalan, UK

115. Liliane Cordova, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (IJAN)*, Spain

116. Priscilla Lynch, USA

117. Jenna Bitar, USA

118. Deborah Mardon, USA

119. Becky Thompson, USA

120. Diane Hereford, USA

121. David Heap, People for Peace London*, Canada

122. Donah Abdulla, Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights*, Canada

123. Wendy Goldsmith, People for Peace London*, Canada

124. Abdu Mihirig, Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights-UBC*, Canada

125. Saldibastami, Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights-UBC*, Canada

126. Abdenahmane Bouaffad, CMF*, France

127. Feroze Mithiborwala, Awami Bharat*, India

128. John Dear, Pax Christi*, USA

03 January 2010


1 and 2 JANUARY 2010

For reasons which I can only imagine at the moment, the article below, which appeared in The Age newspaper on 1 and 2 January 2010 is not available through search engines or The Age online. It is available as a scanned copy of the paper’s article on Australians for Palestine’s web pages. Here is the article and below it is Dora McPhee’s response to it:

Australians' Gaza protest

By Andra Jackson

A delegation of Australians including Jewish journalist Antony Loewenstein are among hundreds of people from around the world who will hold mass protests in Cairo and Gaza today over Israel’s continuing blockade of the Palestinian enclave.
Today marks the first anniversary of the economic blockade imposed during Israel’s Operation Cast Lead offensive against Hamas-ruled Gaza, which closed off most movement of people and goods in and out of the territory.

Egypt initially denied the international activists permission to enter Gaza from Egyptian territory to hold the protest, which was initially scheduled for yesterday’s official anniversary.

But following media coverage of the protests in Cairo, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s wife, Suzanne, intervened two days ago to secure permission for a smaller contingent to travel to Gaza.

Speaking from Cairo yesterday, Loewenstein said 1362 delegates from 42 countries had protested daily since December 22 over Egypt’s co-operation with Israel in maintaining the blockade that extends to medicine, food and building supplies.

The Gaza freedom march, as it is billed, includes Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Walker, French Greens senator Alima Boumediene-Thiery and Filipino author and MP Walden Bello, as well as two Melbourne men among at least 12 Australians.

The protest to highlight the long-running humanitarian crisis in Gaza, was organized by American lobby group Code Pink.

It comes just days after UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on Israel to end the siege imposed on the Gaza Strip, with a UN report warning destitution levels in the enclave had reached “an unprecedentedly critical level.”

Loewenstein said the protesters planned to enter Gaza to hold a Gandhi-style non-violent action with residents.

Egypt has given permission for two delegates from each country represented in the international protest to enter Gaza, Loewenstein said.

Two Sydney women have been selected as Australian representatives, including former ALP staffer, journalist and activist, Donna Mulhearn, who acted as a human shield during the US invasion of Iraq.

A spokesman for the Israel embassy in Canberra, Dor Shapira, denied there was a blockade of Gaza, saying there was a border that Israel monitored. (Editor's italics - people who utter statements like these should be taken to the International Court in The Hague and tried as war criminals for crimes against humanity!)
Dora McPhee (VIC) responds to Jackson’s “Australians’ Gaza protest”, The Age January 2, 2010

Thanks to The Age for finally running a report by Andra Jackson: “Australians’ Gaza protest” (Jan 01, 2010). The denial by the Israeli spokesperson in Canberra, Dor Shapira, that there is a blockade of Gaza does not hold water when the blockade is entering its third year and is the very reason why international human rights advocates including some Australians are attempting to enter Gaza in a Gandhi-style non-violent protest.

On the anniversary of Israel’s brutal assault on Gaza the surviving civilian population, who were not even allowed to flee Gaza as refugees, are still not able to rebuild their homes and lives precisely because of Israel’s ongoing siege and blockade. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon is calling on Israel to end the siege and blockade of Gaza because of the devastating effects on the health and well being of 1.5 million Gazans, who are being collectively punished. As half of Gaza’s population are children and eighty percent are already dispossessed refugees this inhumane treatment of an oppressed population, slowly being driven to abject destitution, deserves better media coverage than what it is getting.

01 January 2010


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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