12 August 2012


Robert Magid - who is he? - (the owner of the Australian Jewish News) - is reported in The Age newspaper on 8 August 2012 by Barney Zwartz 0n holocaust and compassion.

This is what Zwartz wrote:

Jewish call to curb compassion

August 8, 2012
Barney Zwartz

THE Jewish community should not be misled by compassion from the Holocaust into supporting Muslim boat people, the owner of The Australian Jewish News has argued in an article condemned by some as hate speech.

In the latest edition, under the headline ''Curb the compassion'', Robert Magid said Jews tended to want to appear more compassionate than others because of their history of suffering oppression and persecution, but ''the Jews who fled the Holocaust fled certain death. I doubt there is a single boat person in that situation.''

Mr Magid said ''unscrupulous'' illegal immigrants pushed genuine asylum seekers down the queue and that immigration in other countries had led to ghettos and calls for sharia. He suggested hiding among Muslim boat people who had destroyed their documents would be an ideal way for al-Qaeda to smuggle a terrorist network into Australia.

The backlash has hit. An open letter on Facebook from the Australian Jewish Democratic Society had attracted nearly 400 signatures last night, as liberal and conservative religious leaders united against Mr Magid.

A leading Orthodox rabbi, Ralph Genende, wrote that although he was scared of Islamic extremism, there were no limits to compassion, and most fears about Muslim immigration were unfounded.

A Jewish author and commentator, Arnold Zable, said: ''Refugees and asylum seekers are only doing what we would do in their shoes, what Jews did in the immediate post-war era as they sought a way to a better life, and what Jews have done for centuries - including the massive emigration in the wake of the 1880s pogroms in Russia.''

The Union for Progressive Judaism released a statement saying it was ''sad and inaccurate'' to lump together refugees and terrorists and label them all as deceitful and criminal.

Last night, Mr Magid said he stood by every word of his article. ''I think the majority of people agree with me but they are not willing to come out and say what I am prepared to say. It is a very cogent statement.''

This letter was in The Age on 9 August 2012:

Insensitive at best
THE article "Curb the compassion" published in The Australian Jewish News by owner Robert Magid (''Jewish 'hate speech' article sparks outrage'', The Age, 8/8 ) is surprising for its lack of sensitivity and bigoted racism. Did Magid have a ''Larry David'' moment or was his ill-considered outburst a political strategy, aimed at garnering support from right-wing elements in Israel?
Jeffrey Kelson, Prahran

These letters were in the Sydney Morning Herald on 9 August 2012:

Even if everyone agreed with Magid, he'd still be wrong

Maybe Robert Magid needs re-educating (''Jewish call to curb compassion'', August 8).

I recommend that he watch the upcoming episodes on SBS of Go Back to Where You Come From because, really, no one in Australia should be pedalling ''the swirling myths that people who arrive by boat are handed a goodie bag of entitlements as they step ashore'', so eloquently pointed out by Laura Tingle's article in Quarterly Essay issue 46, 2012.

Indeed, he has only to check the website Bridge For Asylum Seekers to realise what is really going on here and overseas.

The organisation's honorary chairperson, Virginia Walker, has said refugees who queue up can expect to wait many years before being formally processed.
And just because he says a majority of people agree with him (even if that were true, which I doubt) this does not mean he is right.

Rebecca Nash Balmain

The vast majority of Jews disagree with Robert Magid but, even if every single Jew in Australia, 120,000 of them, agreed with his sentiments they would account for less than one per cent of all Australians, whatever their religion, who hold similar views.

George Fishman Vaucluse

Robert Magid must have had a terrible childhood to have grown up with such hatred in his soul - if indeed he has a soul.

Compassion is obviously something about which he knows very little, and indeed, he seems not to have any understanding of such emotions.

Jews have been persecuted around the world at least since the advent of christianity some 2000 odd years ago. They have fled from one country to another, to another, to another, in the hope of finding sanctuary and security in another country where they will not be subject to the savageries we have seen in this period of time against a particular sect or group of people.

Of course we know that people like Magid have no understanding of the notions of persecution, hatred, oppression and apartheid, because he is part of that group of 20th century dinosaurs called zionists whose sole aim is to steal land belonging to another persecuted people and make it their own, when they have no rights to it.

Magid has no regrets about what he has said and he stands by every word he has uttered. Is it his millionaire status that bestows such arrogance upon him, or is it some other inborn mental state which allows no argument and brooks no responses
from people who are unable to understand how one human being can respond to other human beings who have undergone such tragic circumstances that they have to find somewhere liveable and which literally saves their lives?

In any case, he is totally wrong in what he says about asylum seekers and the "Tony Abbott" line about queue jumpers. I really don't think Al Qieda would use asylum seeker methods to gain entry into Australia. They would probably come by plane and not be spotted by customs and ASIO as they would enter by some quasi-legitimate means.

Maybe Magid needs to go back to school and learn a few basics about the facts of life as they are lived in Australia in 2012!!

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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