20 January 2012


The article below appeared in The Age and Sydney Morning Herald newspapers on 17 January 2012.

The Executive Council of Australian Jewry is a body which represents a portion of Australia's Jewish population, which at the moment is about 100,000 people. Assuming that a number of these are children and a number of these are secular Jews, we are also aware that a very large number - increasing every time Israel performs some further acts of violence against the Palestinians - are not zionists and also do not necessarily count themselves as Jewish in the census, but are atheists who were born of Jewish parents.

There are about 22 million people in Australia, and according to the actions of parliamentarians of all persuasions - now including some of the Greens - there seem to be about 10 million zionists.

The Jewish population works out at about 0.45 per cent of the total population, but seem to feel that they have the right to cry "anti-semitism" as soon as some issue arises which shows Israel in a negative light.

As this seems to be happening more and more frequently with less and less justification, it is time that organisations such as the ECAJ and JCCV and NSW Jewish Board of Deputies are made to understand that some Australians are still allowed a certain modicum of free speech, that not everything must be banned or censored because they demand it and because the federal government and its loyal opposition support them in the Jewish/Israel/Palestine issue, and that when films or programmes are shown on television or the big screen, people have the right to see them.

Criticise if they will, ban or censor they may not!

Oh, and if the Jewish zionists are so unhappy about life in Australia, I am sure Israel beckons!!


Jewish outcry on SBS series

By Leesha McKenny

January 17, 2012

The Promise.

A LEADING Jewish body is seeking to halt promotion and DVD sales of SBS series The Promise, a drama set in Israel and the occupied territories that it likened to Nazi propaganda.

The Executive Council of Australian Jewry said the British-made drama, inspired by accounts of British soldiers who served in Palestine during the 1940s, was anti-Semitic and in direct violation of the SBS code covering prejudice, racism and discrimination.

The four-part series, which screened late last year, depicts a young British woman retracing the footsteps of her grandfather, a soldier in the final years of the British Mandate in Palestine.

In its 31-page complaint to the SBS ombudsman, the council said historical inaccuracies and ''consistently negative portrayals'' of the central Jewish characters made the series comparable to the 1940 Nazi film Jud Suss.
It contended that identifiably Muslim characters would not be similarly portrayed by SBS.

In a letter to the broadcaster, the council's executive director, Peter Wertheim, said the complaint also related to any marketing or sale of the DVD, which would be ''inappropriate'' while the determination was pending.

The TV drama prompted a similar reaction following its screening in Britain last year. The UK's Office of Communications received 44 complaints about the series, none of which were upheld.

In an online question-and-answer session after the final episode aired in Britain, its Jewish writer-director, Peter Kosminsky, said 80 British veterans had been interviewed during research for The Promise.

''If criticism of Israel becomes entirely synonymous with anti-Semitism, it becomes almost impossible to attempt any kind of reasoned analysis of what is clearly one of the saddest and most intractable conflicts facing the human race today,'' he said.

The General Delegation of Palestine to Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific, which represents the Palestinian Authority, said the council's complaint was ''an attempt to silence legitimate historical investigation, recollection and representation''.

An SBS spokeswoman said the broadcaster had received a high level of positive and negative viewer feedback on the series. She said that as the complaint was expected to be resolved before the February 8 DVD release, ''it is unnecessary to provide any undertaking regarding the DVD release''. ''SBS will assess its position in relation to the sale of DVDs once the complaint has been resolved,'' she said.

Letter in The Age 18 January 2012

A leading Jewish body, in an effort to suppress DVD sales of the SBS series The Promise, has likened the program to Nazi propaganda. This shameful attempt at censorship is bad enough without the use of such loaded language. If the Executive Council of Australian Jewry thinks the show is unbalanced, fine; if they think it is bad television, say so; but to label it Nazi propaganda diminishes the credibility of the council and the dignity of Jews everywhere. I have no doubt that the council would have had no trouble at all with the program if the “consistently negative portrayals” were of Palestinians or British characters or if the “historical inaccuracies” fell in their favour. You may call the program propaganda; I call your public-relations efforts hypocrisy.

Jeremy Kenner, Mordialloc

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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