26 January 2011



I am 84 years old and have been an atheist for practically all of my adult life. I was brought up by my Jewish family to be a good practising Jewish man, to believe in god and to be a good heterosexual husband and father.

Being young, naive, trusting and obedient, as an adolescent and a young adult I did as I was told by my mother who was doing her best to be both parents to me as my father died when I was three and I had a stepfather with whom I was not very close. My father had been a religious young Jew and an ardent zionist, but he died at the age of 31 in 1930 and it is difficult to know what his responses would have been to the excesses of the Jewish state he believed in becoming Israel and a terrorist police state.

My disillusionment with religion began when I was fairly young and has only intensified over the years when I have watched the excesses of all religions behaving contrary to what they all preach, and the death and destruction this has brought to the life and death of so many around the world.

When I came out as a gay man at the age of 61 I started discovering so many in the gay, lesbian, transgender and HIV/AIDS communities who had turned against their religions because they had been abused by religious people, by families, by employers, by those around them - and us - on a daily basis of homophobia and hate based often on the teachings of their religions.

During the five year period that I was a carer of people living with, and dying of AIDS I found many who had been thrown out of their homes by families because they were gay and because their families professed religion - mostly Catholics and Jews in my experience.

Many of these people had had nowhere to turn, and no one to turn to, and fortunately so many in the gay and lesbian communities had formed organisations to care for desperate people at their wits' and life's ends.

Although in my sixties and seventies, I learnt a great deal from the sufferings of these people and it had a profound and traumatic effect on me and my life for many years.

It is only in recent years that it has eased off somewhat, and I have become more peaceful in my later years due mainly to my partner of 18 years and my many caring and understanding friends.

Through one of these friends we were introduced into the life of Katie Foster who was being cared for on this particular day and brought Katie to our house - in a wheelchair - all the way from Oakleigh - quite an expedition to get to Preston from there on public transport. This would have been about 2007 or 2008 and from then on we continued to hear about the Foster family and what had happened to them to turn their lives upside down so that they were on a roller-coaster ride because of the Catholic church in their lives.

Our friend knew the Fosters through her own family who also lived in Oakleigh and had known them for years with their children attending the same Catholic church and schools.

When Chrissie Foster wrote the book with a journalist, Paul Kennedy, we received some of the early copies after it went on sale because our friend brought some to our house and gave us one. She then bought copies for people she knew and so did we.

At that stage we didn't know we were going to meet the Fosters, but our friend turned 60 and had a "mingling" for family and friends - she didn't want to call it a birthday party and amongst the friends were the Fosters.

My partner was nearly finished reading the book at that stage, and I was in the middle of a fairly long and comprehensive book of research called "The Invention of the Jewish People" - another book on religion and politics and the collision of it all due to the state of Israel and the lies and wars it has waged - in the name of the Jews - over the years since Israel was created in 1948.

I have just finished reading Chrissie's book after finishing the other one, and I found it devastating in its impact. What the Fosters have gone through and how they have suffered and come out fighting at the end of it is unbelievable in itself, but to meet them and talk to them and then be invited to their home to meet them and see Katie once again, this time in the loving and caring environment of her home made a lasting impression on us and it was one that will stay with me for a long time.

For a family to have suffered as they did due to the abuse of their two older daughters at the hands of their Catholic priest at the school the girls attended due to Chrissie's religious beliefs and her faith in her religion and to read and hear how it was all shattered as were their lives is to know what religion is capable of in all our lives.

Those responsible for this devastation in the lives of the Fosters and countless hundreds and thousands around the world are the Catholic church and its hierarchy from the fascist pope downwards, all other religions and the countries which house them and give them privileges which no other citizens are allowed - tax exemptions so that they can steal people's lives and incomes as they get richer and richer shows a collusion beyond comprehension.

Countries like Australia which give the Catholic church so much power and refuse to tax any part of it is in itself a criminal act, and the challenges which the Fosters faced in attacking the institutions which house us is as daunting as it is bravery of the first degree.

The Fosters may have won some compensation in their legal challenges to the Catholic church hierarchy, but it robbed them of their most precious possessions, the lives of two of their daughters.

There is hope that their youngest daughter, who escaped the sexual assaults perpetrated on her two older sisters will, in time, be able to live a comparatively normal life and achieve some measure of happiness.

The oldest daughter committed suicide and the middle daughter harmed herself and has ended up in a physically and mentally impaired state, but we actually saw a change for the better in her from when she visited us at our house some 3 years ago, and so there is some hope that as the years pass, she may regain some of her lost abilities, but for the parents, Chrissie and Anthony, their lives have been shattered forever, and one can only hope that also, over time, there may be some healing and some peace restored to all of them.



In February 1990, Nelson Mandela was released from prison after 27 years incarceration by the apartheid regime in South Africa.

Four years later, Mandela became the first president of a multi-racial South Africa with a new constitution which guaranteed equality for all its citizens.

In 1999 Thabo Mbeki became president of South Africa and presided over one of the biggest health crises in South Africa’s history –the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Thanks to Mbeki and his health minister, both AIDS deniers, we have now, in 2011, nearly 1 in 5 South Africans who are HIV positive and many children have lost both parents and are themselves HIV positive.

This is South Africa’s future generation and this is the legacy they have inherited from Mbeki and his 10 years as South Africa’s president and his disastrous presidency.

If the current South African government does nothing about this “corrective rape” scourge damaging South Africa’s constitutional reputation, then its international reputation will suffer long-term damage and its human rights record will be set back for another generation at least while women remain not only second-class citizens but are cruelly punished for being who they are.

The items below are to point out to you that there are people around the world who are outraged at the inactivity of the South African government over this issue over at least the last year, and we await urgent action from the president and all members of the government to push legislation to punish the offenders and ensure that the law deals with them accordingly.

Mannie De Saxe, Lesbian and Gay Solidarity, Melbourne, Australia
PO Box 1675
Preston South
Vic 3072


March 2010
End "Corrective" Rape of Lesbians in South Africa

• signatures: 35,669

• Target: South African President Kgalema Motlanthe
• Sponsored by: Care2
A new ActionAid report describes the shocking rise of "corrective" rape in South Africa - in which South African lesbians are being raped in an effort to "cure" them of their sexual orientation. Support groups in Cape Town say they see 10 new cases of "corrective" rape every week. And it's even more widespread around the rest of the country.

Many perpetrators of rape already go unpunished in South Africa, but the situation is even worse for lesbian women. Indeed, 31 lesbian women have been murdered in homophobic attacks since 1998, but in only one of these cases has there been a conviction.

Although South Africa's constitution recognizes rights of gay and lesbian people, its legal system does not view crimes committed against gay and lesbians on the basis of sexual orientation to be hate crimes. The South African legal system must recognize "corrective" rape as a hate crime in addition to a rape in order to establish a greater punishment for this brutal and widespread act of sexual violence. Urge South African President Kgalema Motlanthe to deem "corrective" rape a hate crime!

30 DECEMBER 2010

Spread the word about corrective rape in South Africa

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

25 JANUARY 2011
Dear friends,

‘Corrective rape’, the vicious practice of raping lesbians to ‘cure’ their sexuality, is becoming a crisis in South Africa. But brave activists are calling on the world to help stop these heinous Hate Crimes -- and finally the government is beginning to respond. Let's support them. Sign the petition and send it to friends!

Millicent Gaika was bound, strangled, tortured and raped for five hours by a man who crowed that he was ‘curing’ her of her lesbianism.

She barely survived, but she is not alone -- this vicious crime is recurrent in South Africa, where lesbians live in terror of attack. But no one has ever been convicted of 'corrective rape'.

Amazingly, from a tiny Cape Town safehouse a few brave activists are risking their lives to ensure that Millicent’s case sparks change. Their appeal to the Minister of Justice has exploded to over 140,000 signatures, forcing him to respond on national television. But the Minister has not yet answered their demands for action.

Let's shine a light on this horror from all corners of the world -- if enough of us join in to amplify and escalate this campaign, we can reach President Zuma, who is ultimately responsible to uphold constitutional rights. Let’s call on Zuma and the Minister of Justice to publicly condemn ‘corrective rape’, criminalise hate crimes, and ensure immediate enforcement, public education and protection for survivors. Sign the petition now and share it with everyone -- we’ll deliver it to the South African government with our partners in Cape Town:


South Africa, often called the Rainbow Nation, is revered globally for its post-apartheid efforts to protect against discrimination. It was the first country to constitutionally protect citizens from discrimination based on sexuality. But in Cape Town alone, the local organization Luleki Sizwe has recorded more than one 'corrective rape' per day, and impunity reigns.

'Corrective rape' is based on the outrageous and utterly false notion that a lesbian woman can be raped to 'make her straight', but this heinous act is not even classified as a hate crime in South Africa. The victims are often black, poor, lesbian women, and profoundly marginalised. But even the 2008 gang rape and murder of Eudy Simelane, the national hero and former star of the South Africa women's national football team, did not turn the tide. And just last week Minister Radebe insisted that motive is irrelevant in crimes like 'corrective rape.'

South Africa is the rape capital of the world. A South African girl born today is more likely to be raped than she is to learn to read. Astoundingly, one quarter of South African girls are raped before turning 16. This has many roots: masculine entitlement (62 per cent of boys over 11 believe that forcing someone to have sex is not an act of violence), poverty, crammed settlements, unemployed and disenfranchised men, community acceptance -- and, for the few cases that are courageously reported to authorities, a dismal police response and lax sentencing.

This is a human catastrophe. But Luleki Sizwe and partners at Change.org have opened a small window of hope in the fight against it. If the whole world weighs in now, we could get justice for Millicent and national action to end 'corrective rape':


This is ultimately a battle with poverty, patriarchy, and homophobia. Ending the tide of rape will require bold leadership and concerted action to spearhead transformative change in South Africa and across the continent. President Zuma is a a Zulu traditionalist, who has himself stood trial for rape. But he condemned the arrest of a gay couple in Malawi last year, and, after massive national and international civic pressure, South Africa finally approved a UN resolution opposing extra-judicial killing in relation to sexual orientation.

If enough of us join this global call for action, we could push Zuma to speak out, drive much-needed government action, and begin a national conversation that could fundamentally shift public attitudes toward rape and homophobia in South Africa. Sign on now and spread the word:


A case like Millicent’s makes it easy to lose hope. But when citizens come together with one voice, we can succeed in shifting fundamentally unjust, but deeply ingrained practices and norms. Last year, in Uganda, we succeeded in building such a massive wave of public pressure that the government was forced to shelve legislation that would have sentenced gay Ugandans to death. And it was global pressure in support of bold national activists that pushed South African leaders to address the AIDS crisis that was engulfing their country. Let’s join together now and speak out for a world where each and every human being can live without fear of abuse.

With hope and determination,

Alice, Ricken, Maria Paz, David and the rest of the Avaaz team


Blog of Luleki Sizwe, South African organization leading the call to their government to stop 'corrective rape', and provides support to victims

Minister of Justice Radebe’s nationally televised interview (South African Broadcasting Corporation)

Protest against ‘corrective rape’ (The Sowetan)

Petition launched on Change.org by activists from Luleki Sizwe

"South Africa's shame: the rise of child rape" (The Independent)

"Exploring homophobic victimisation in Gauteng, South Africa: issues, impacts, and responses" (Centre for Applied Psychology, University of South Africa)

"We have a major problem in South Africa" (The Guardian)

"South Africa: Rape Facts" (Channel 4)

"Understanding men’s health and use of violence: interface of rape and HIV in South Africa" (Medical Research Council)

"Preventing Rape and Violence in South Africa" (Medical Research Council)

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23 January 2011


What is wrong with the following article which was published in the Sunday Age on 23 January 2011??

The writer of the article who comes out of his exercise as a homophobe of the first order is trying to equate voluntary euthanasia with gay marriage in the public eye, as if the one issue is competing with the other for the attention of the public.

Euthanasia is a vital issue which is important for people in my age group in their eighties, but just as important for anybody who has a life-threatening illness which is causing unbearable suffering and which is destroying the quality of life for that person and those who care for and support that person.

Gay marriage is being pushed by the "gay lobby" whatever that is, into the public arena as if it is the most important issue around today. Or that is what this journalist is trying to prove to the newspaper-reading public.

In fact the two issues have nothing in common and the idea of equating the one with the other is nothing short of an exercise in gay-bashing, however Paul Malone wishes to dress it up. His article is a disgrace, and the editor of the Sunday Age should have refused to publish such an article, unless he or she is also a homophobe.

Any letter I would have written to the Sunday Age on this topic would not have been published because in general, my political views are not acceptable to the right-wing religious bigots who control the media - or most of it.

Fortunately there are still blogs available to the likes of me, so I am able to express my views, fairly sure that the homophobes of the newspaper world will not even get to see what I have said about the issues under dispute.

Euthanasia is a vital issue and one which the politicans and journalists are too afraid to address positively, as if it is a threat to everyone's lives and no one will be safe if we have voluntary euthanasia legislation such as that introduced with great success in certain countries.

Gay marriage is also an issue which has not caused the sky to fall in, and also in overseas countries, has given equal rights to all its citizens - something which Australia is a long way from doing!

Here is Paul Malone's homophobic article:

Right to die surely a bigger deal than gay marriage

Paul Malone

January 23, 2011

ANYONE following the media coverage of the most recent federal election could be forgiven for believing gay marriage was an issue of overwhelming concern to electors across the country.

Another social issue, euthanasia, would not have appeared to be of great interest.
A number of candidates were keen to make gay marriage an issue and saw it as a vote winner, while few thought promoting euthanasia would increase their chances. And yet all the polls over the years show much higher and broader support for euthanasia than they do for gay marriage. Consistently, more than 80 per cent of the population approves of a doctor meeting a request from a suffering, terminally ill patient to provide a lethal dose of drugs.

Attitudes to homosexuality and gay marriage are much more divided.

Advocacy group Australian Marriage Equality commissioned a Galaxy Research poll of 1050 voters in October last year. After being told same sex marriage was legal in countries such as Canada and the Netherlands, voters were asked whether they agreed or disagreed that same sex couples in Australia should be allowed to marry. The result: 62 per cent agreed, 33 per cent disagreed and 5 per cent were undecided.
Australians have become more tolerant of homosexuality. But Roy Morgan Research has found that about 27 per cent of the population still believes homosexuality is immoral.

Given the high percentage of the population supporting voluntary euthanasia, you would think some candidates would consider it more worthwhile pushing this issue, rather than gay marriage.

There are two reasons why this has not been done. One is the success of the gay lobby. The other is the way in which the community is divided on the issues.
It's not surprising that newly elected Greens MP Adam Bandt is pushing gay marriage and last year moved a motion calling on parliamentarians to gauge their constituents' views on the issue.

This push, and the election result, has also prompted a number of Labor members to express their support for gay marriage, and the issue will be a major one at Labor's national conference late this year.

It seems strange to me that gay marriage has become such a cause. For years gays fought to get the state out of the bedroom. Until 1972, male homosexuality was a crime across Australia. Following the death of gay law lecturer Dr George Duncan, who was thrown into the Torrens River and drowned in May 1972, South Australians led a hard-fought campaign for decriminalisation. All states followed, with Tasmania the last in 1997. Now it appears gays want the state to oversee their relationships.
As someone who has lived with one woman for 30 years and has two grown-up children - but never married - I find this strange.

If people want to attest their relationships, there is nothing to stop them doing so in front of as many friends and relations as they care to invite. If they're religious, they can have a religious ceremony. Gays can get a group together as easily as anyone else and can formalise it with whatever piece of paper they choose to employ, except of course a marriage certificate.

I don't care if the state does allow gay marriage. It just doesn't seem such a big deal. (As they swear in sickness and in health, forever and ever etc, they will join the ranks of all the other married couples lining up for the right to divorce.)
But voluntary euthanasia is an issue for me. I want the right - should the time come - to be able to say: ''I've had enough. The pain is too great. Give me the lethal injection.''

Four-fifths of the population feels the same way. Only the fanatical moral minority opposes voluntary euthanasia.

It should be emphasised that voluntary euthanasia means just that.
No one will be compelled to seek termination of their life. Safeguards are not difficult to devise.

A doctor would provide lethal treatment to a consenting patient to alleviate suffering. The strict process, as outlined by the Dying With Dignity organisation, would require at least two doctors to confirm the diagnosis and prognosis.
Anyone who wanted more, could seek as many opinions as he or she wanted.
And cooling-off periods would be required. A patient could not simply request a lethal injection today, have two doctors look at him tomorrow and get it all over and done with in 24 hours.

Greens leader Bob Brown has introduced legislation to reverse the Howard government's act which stops the ACT and Northern Territory assemblies from making their own laws governing the issue.

The baby boomers, who are now giving us an ageing population, have pioneered many changes in society. Today some of these oldies maintain a rational outlook on life and death. It's time parliamentarians across the land granted these people the freedom to end their suffering should they have a terminal illness and live in great pain.

Paul Malone is a freelance writer.

21 January 2011


This article is from The Age newspaper:

Charges laid over death in prison van

January 20, 2011

THE wife of an Aboriginal elder who died of heatstroke in the back of a prison van says she is ''happy and relieved'' that Western Australia's work safety watchdog will lay charges over his death.

WorkSafe WA has laid four charges under the Occupational Safety and Health Act against the state government, the transport company and the two staff involved.

Mr Ward, 46, who cannot be fully named for cultural reasons, died of heatstroke in the prison van in January 2008. He was being transported from Laverton to Kalgoorlie on a drink-driving charge.
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WorkSafe charged the Department of Corrective Services with failing to ensure non-employees were not exposed to hazards. Transport contractor G4S was charged with failing to ensure the safety and health of a non-employee for the transportation of people in custody.

Drivers Nina Stokoe and Graham Powell were charged with failing to take reasonable care to avoid affecting the safety or health of the person in custody.

Mr Ward's wife said the charges had been ''a long time coming''.

19 January 2011


Article from The Age newspaper:

A leather chair, a laptop of death, a vexed decision

By Gabriella Coslovich

January 18, 2011

A photograph of My Beautiful Chair hangs from The Republic Tower in Melbourne. Photo: Craig Abraham

IF YOU were faced with the prospect of enduring a painful and protracted death in the grip of a terminal disease, would you want the legally sanctioned option of taking your own life? It is a vexed question that has polarised Australian society. But for artist Greg Taylor the answer is clear.

''Whether I would do it, I don't know, but I would at least want to have the choice. We don't tell people what God they have to worship, that's a choice that they have, so why should they be foisting their choice of death onto us?'' he said.

''Why should we have to suffer as a sacrifice to their God? That's bizarre, especially if you are an atheist. Hey, people, live and let live.''
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As you may have guessed, Taylor is an atheist and euthanasia is the focus of his latest artwork, My Beautiful Chair. Some people might not consider it art - but what the work will do, literally, is put people in the hot seat, allowing them to experience what it might be like to choose to die.

Essentially, the work is a cosy domestic setting, the kind that Taylor would want to die in, surrounded by loved ones. There's a plush leather armchair, an elegant floor lamp and an antique Persian rug. On the top of a sleek glass coffee table is a seemingly innocuous laptop and a briefcase.

In fact, the laptop and briefcase are fully functioning replicas of the machine created by Australian doctor and ardent pro-euthanasia campaigner Philip Nitschke to help people end their life.

Euphemistically called the ''Deliverance Machine'', it has also been dubbed ''the laptop of death'' by opponents. When euthanasia was legal for a short time in the Northern Territory in the 1990s, four terminally ill people used the ''Deliverance Machine'' to end their lives.

On Saturday, the public will be able to passively experience what those four people went through, when Taylor's work goes on show in Hobart.

My Beautiful Chair is part of the opening exhibition of what promises to be one of Australia's most controversial private galleries, the Museum of Old and New Art, owned by art collector and professional gambler David Walsh, who knows about the suffering endured by the terminally ill.

Mr Walsh's brother, Tim, died of cancer 19 years ago, aged 33. As his disease progressed, ''he became more humiliated, less my brother'', Mr Walsh says.

Yesterday, a poster of My Beautiful Chair was erected on the Republic Tower billboard, on the corner of La Trobe and Queen streets, which has been the site of some traffic-stopping art, although the significance of Taylor's work may have been lost on passers-by. Its meaning is not immediately apparent.

When Taylor contacted Dr Nitschke to enlist his technical help in the creation of My Beautiful Chair, the doctor was intrigued. Taylor's unusual request came at an opportune time. Dr Nitschke and his organisation, Exit International, had been looking for ways to broaden the debate.

15 January 2011



Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu slandered by Israel apologists
Jan 13, 2011 02:47 pm | Gilad Isaacs

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu has been called bigoted and anti-Semitic by David Hersch, vice-chairman of the South African Zionist Federation, in an attempt to remove Tutu from his position as patron of the Cape Town Holocaust Centre and the Johannesburg Holocaust and Genocide Centre.

In recent years Tutu has been on the receiving end of a number of defamatory attacks. The eminent human rights advocate has become a target because of his uncompromising position on Israel’s treatment of the Palestinian people. However these attacks ignore his principled commitment to the safety and dignity of all people in Israel and Palestine.

Sign the petition in defense of Tutu


and read Open Shuhada Street's press statement below.



12 Jan, 2011

A new petition initiated by concerned South Africans is quickly gathering widespread support nationally and internationally. This petition can be viewed at


The petition is a pledge of support for Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, who has recently been the target of slanderous attacks by those who reject his principled and fair-minded stance on Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories.

In the first 48 hours, over 1000 people added their names to petition. The current count is over 1,600. Some of the prominent signatories include Arthur Chaskalson, Lord Joel Joffe, Omar Barghoutti, Adam Hochschild, Andrew Feinstein, Annie Lennox and Zackie Achmat. Open Shuhada Street endorses and fully supports the petition started by concerned South Africans in defence of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu.

The petition was initiated by members of Open Shuhada Street in their personal capacities. It opposed a call from David Hersch, vice-chairman of the South African Zionist Federation, demanding that Archbishop Emeritus Tutu be removed or resign from his position as patron of the Cape Town Holocaust Centre and the Johannesburg Holocaust and Genocide Centre. In a circulated letter Hersch called the Archbishop Emeritus anti-Semitic and bigoted. These sentiments were echoed by well-known Israel-booster Professor Alan Dershowitz, who called Tutu a “bigot” and an “anti-semite”.

In recent years the Nobel Peace Prize laureate Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu has been on the receiving end of a number of defamatory attacks. The eminent human rights advocate has become a target because of his uncompromising position on Israel’s treatment of the Palestinian people. However these attacks ignore his principled commitment to the safety and dignity of all people in Israel and Palestine. He has personally met with Palestinian leaders to express solidarity with their suffering under Israeli occupation, and to strongly urge them to refrain from violent attacks on Israeli targets and civilians.

Last October, the Archbishop Emeritus asked the Cape Town Opera not to travel to Israel. His argument was based on his firm belief in human rights and equality. He wrote, “Only the thickest-skinned South Africans would be comfortable performing before an audience that excluded residents living, for example, in an occupied West Bank village 30 minutes from Tel Aviv, who would not be allowed to travel to Tel Aviv, while including his Jewish neighbours from an illegal settlement on occupied Palestinian territory.”

In retaliation against the Cape Town Opera statement, Rhoda Kadalie called the Archbishop Emeritus a “bigot” and the Israeli Ambassador accused him of “bias” and of “deliberate populist incitement” (Cape Times, 28 Oct 2010). By slandering the name of the heroic champion for human rights, Kadalie, Hersch and the Israeli Ambassador have joined the ranks of the Archbishop Emeritus’ past critics: Thabo Mbeki, Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe, Chinese occupiers of Tibet and Ugandans denying the rights of gays and lesbians.

Lungisa Mndende, the Khayelitsha Coordinator of Open Shuhada Street and a signatory of the petition, led a delegation of members on a visit of the Cape Town Holocaust Centre last December. In support of the petition he remarked, “Visiting the Holocaust Centre was very painful, but it was an important reminder of past injustice. Whether it is the struggle against Nazi genocide or against Apartheid, it is important for us to remember the history of oppression. For his advocacy of non-violence and human rights Archbishop Tutu is an ideal patron for the Holocaust Centre because he reminds us that we have the strength and the duty to struggle against racism and violations of human rights at home and in every country around the world.”

The full text of the petition is appended below. The petition can be accessed electronically at




Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu has publicly criticised Israeli policy towards Palestinians living in Gaza and the West Bank. He has also criticised Palestinian attacks on Israeli civilians. These criticisms are well-known.

Recently, his criticisms of Israeli policy have elicited bitter personal attacks. Amidst calls for him to be removed as Patron of the Cape Town and Johannesburg Holocaust Centres of the South African Holocaust Foundation, Tutu has been attacked and labelled an anti-Semite and a bigot

Disagreements should be debated openly, but these personal attacks are totally unacceptable.

During the Second World War, which killed 60 million people, Nazi Germany killed socialists, gay men and lesbians, Roma people, and resistance fighters, but its most systematic destruction was of the Jewish people. Six million Jews were transferred to ghettos and concentration camps before being murdered.

This grotesque crime against humanity must never be forgotten. Its legacy and lessons belong to and must be guarded by all of humanity. Racism including anti-Semitism, sexism, xenophobia, homophobia, and inhumanity must be resisted wherever they occur. As stated in the Mission Statement of the South African Holocaust Foundation, we must build “a more caring and just society in which human rights and diversity are respected and valued.”

This is precisely the cause to which Tutu has dedicated his life. He represents the finest tradition of resistance to all forms of oppression. He has taught us that understanding the Holocaust begins with appreciating that the only way for each of us to be safe is for all of us to be safe. He embodies the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a document born of the horrors of the Second World War, the rights contained in which pertain equally to Israelis and Palestinians.

To use the Holocaust in an attempt to delegitimise Tutu is to undermine its legacy and insult the memory of its victims. To call him an anti-Semite, because he has attacked the policies of the Israeli government, is outrageous, renders the term meaningless, and enfeebles the necessary efforts to defeat real anti-Semites and racists.

14 January 2011


Marrickville Council in Sydney's inner west has had the courage to do what so many other local, state and federal governments in Australia haven't the courage to do. They have joined the BDS campaign instituted a few years ago around the world to draw attention to the brutality of the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestine.

Many years ago Australia was not in the forefront of BDS against apartheid South Africa, a country which formed nuclear alliances with Israel which suited the military ambitions of both countries. Today, of course, it is Israel which is the apartheid state and the zionists cry foul when BDS is mentioned.

Fiona Byrne, Greens mayor of Marrickville was interviewed by the ABC on 13 January 2011, and the outcry of the blogging trolls which followed, and were posted below the transcripted interview sounded as if it had been orchestrated in Tel Aviv or Jerusalem!

Maybe it was, but the point is that the zionists are losing the public relations war as their excesses in the occupied territories mount and the evil apartheid racism that is zionism is taken to new depths by the Israeli religious right and other religious right supporters of other religions around the world.

Anti-semitism is the first outcry. The second is why pick on Israel for human rights violations when so many other countries are guilty of human rights violations. Funny how these hypocrites don't pick on the human rights violations going on under their noses in Australia.

Time for all these zionists and their Israel-loving supporters to read "The Invention of the Jewish People" by Shlomo Sand. an Israeli professor, to realise that most of these "Jews" are probably not of Jewish origin at all.

Congratulations to Fiona Byrne and the Marrickville Council to have the courage and be the forerunners and trend-setters for public BDS in Australia. Time for more of the unions to take principled stands over this human rights issue.

07 January 2011


Article in The Age newspaper, 7 January 2011

This article tells how Israel is resorting to police state and fascist state tactics in order to silence those who are becoming more and more vocal and who are at last beginning to have their voices heard arond the world - at last!!

The Israeli government is desperate to ensure support from its major supporters remains because cracks are at last appearing in the 60-year-long support it has taken for granted and DEMANDED of the USA!

Israel confronts rights groups with inquiry

January 7, 2011

THE funding of Israeli human and civil rights groups is to be investigated by a parliamentary commission amid claims they are acting against the country's interests.

Opponents have described the move as ''McCarthyite''.

A bill brought by members of the right-wing Yisrael Beiteinu party proposed the inquiry into groups monitoring the activities of the Israeli military in the occupied West Bank.
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Supporters of the bill claimed the groups were ''delegitimising'' Israel and were funded by anti-Israeli international bodies.

The bill was approved by 47 votes to 16 following a heated debate in the Knesset on Wednesday, during which security guards were present.

But the bill was immediately condemned by rights organisations who claim it is part of a campaign to intimidate groups that speak out against the actions of the state.

''Israeli democracy took a severe blow today,'' Hagai el-Ad, the director of the Association of Civil Rights in Israel, said.

''The goal is to eventually weaken human rights groups and make them less effective in exposing, questioning and affecting government policies.

''Time and again, members of the current Knesset have shown that, instead of dealing with the content of the criticism voiced, they prefer to silence and vilify those who voice such opinions.''

Supporters claimed the groups are backed by ''international groups … with the goal of damaging the legitimacy of the activities of Israeli Defence Forces soldiers'', encouraging draft-dodging and branding soldiers as war criminals.

They said the purpose of the commission was to investigate the funding of the groups, rather than their activities.



Article by Adele Horin in The Age newspaper:

Euthanasia wins 75% support

By Adele Horin

January 6, 2011

THREE out of four Australians believe voluntary euthanasia should be legal, according to a poll.

But despite levels of endorsement that have hovered between 75 and 85 per cent for many years, pro-euthanasia reformers admit to having been consistently outgunned by their opponents, resulting in five failed attempts to have legislation passed in two years.

The latest poll by the Australia Institute found 75 per cent of people agreed that, if someone with a terminal illness who is experiencing unrelievable suffering asks to die, a doctor should be allowed to assist them to die. Thirteen per cent did not agree and 12 per cent were not sure.
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As well, the poll revealed 65 per cent of people who identified as Christians were in agreement, as were 71 per cent of Coalition voters, 79 per cent of Labor voters, and 90 per cent of Green voters.

The deputy director of the Australia Institute, Josh Fear, said the high support among Christians was striking, as was the 73 per cent support from people aged 65 and over.

''If anyone in the community would have thought about it and had strong views, it would be people feeling their mortality,'' Mr Fear said. ''Support in the oldest age group was slightly less than average but still very much a majority.''

The poll of 1294 people was conducted online but drawn from a nationally representative sample. It found 18 to 24-year-olds, with 70 per cent support, had the highest level of ''not sure'' at 16 per cent while the 65-plus group had the lowest proportion of ''not sure'' at 7 per cent.

Euthanasia bills have been voted down in Victoria, Tasmania, Western Australia and twice in South Australia since 2008. Federal Greens leader Bob Brown will introduce a bill to seek to overturn legislation that prevents the ACT and Northern Territory from legalising euthanasia. NSW Greens MP Cate Faehrmann plans to introduce a private members bill in her state parliament this year.

Ms Faehrmann said that despite wide public support she expected a repeat of the forceful campaigning by the Catholic Labor Right and the Catholic Church seen in other states.

''The proposed bill has so many safeguards that only a very small number of patients would be able to access it,'' she said.

''We know from Oregon's experience [that] the vast majority who access the law have no religion. People with strong religious views don't access it and shouldn't stop others from doing so.''

SA Greens MP Tammy Franks said the defeat of a bill last November followed a highly organised and well-resourced campaign by conservatives working together across party, religious, and even state lines.

''Until the voluntary euthanasia side is able to compete with such a highly organised campaign machine we are going to struggle to have the majority voice heard,'' she said.

WA Greens MP Robin Chapple, whose bill was defeated in September, said a well-orchestrated campaign that included a personal letter from the Catholic Archbishop to MPs had been influential.

06 January 2011


Reported in Antony Loewenstein's blog on 5 January 2011:

Don’t ignore the oppression-backing Better Place gloss

Published on 5 January 2011.

Israeli electric car company Better Place is accused of providing charging stations in the occupied West Bank and being run by former military men suspected of war crimes. The firm has received media coverage in Australia, mainly over allegations of favourable business deals, but nothing about backing apartheid in Palestine.

The Zionist state’s attempts at greening its image is underway. We shouldn’t be fooled by this kind of propaganda piece in the Jerusalem Post which praises the wonderful innovation of Better Place. Perhaps, but on whose backs? Dead Arabs:

After a successful run of high-tech and computer-related innovation, Israel is focusing its ambitions on the next big thing — preparing the world for life without coal and oil.

Israel is driving to become a world leader in alternative energy, with the government throwing its support behind cutting-edge technologies. The number of private entrepreneurs entering the so-called “clean-tech” sector has swelled dramatically.

Already, a number of firms are moving to roll out new ideas. Perhaps the country’s best known clean-tech company — Project Better Place — aims next year to activate a network of charging stations for electric cars across Israel, which would be one of the most extensive such grids in the world.

Others are still in early stages. On a 10-meter (yard) stretch of a northern highway, the firm Innowattech tested out its system of tile-like generators, which are installed under roads and convert the weight and motion of passing vehicles into electricity. It is now looking to expand, claiming that a kilometer-long (0.6-mile) lane of its generators could power more than 200 households.

Alex Klein, an analyst at Emerging Energy Research, a Cambridge, Mass., research firm, said Israel has in a way benefited from its small size, forcing it to develop products for export.

“Given that it has a small market locally, its role will continue to be innovating new next-generation technology. Pound for pound it is a pretty key incubator of technologies,” he said.

Israel already has a formidable track record. Bolstered in large part by veterans of shadowy high-tech military units, it helped develop such innovations as instant messaging, Internet telephony and wireless computer chips.

The government is now pushing for that entrepreneurial drive to be directed into environmentally clean technologies, not only as an economic opportunity but as a necessity for an arid, resource-poor nation. Israel, which now depends almost entirely for its energy on imported coal and natural gas, has set a goal to have 10 percent of its electricity generated by alternative means by 2020.

In November, the government approved a plan to spend $600 million over the next decade to reach that goal, with much of the money poured into encouraging green construction and development of new technologies.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu presented the plan as a security necessity.

“I view this as a national goal of the highest importance because the addiction to oil has led to the Western world being dependent on the oil-producing countries and harms the standing and security of the state of Israel,” he said.


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Preston, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
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