ADC calls for peaceful peace conference

March 13, 2013 by Geoffrey Zygier
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Dr Dvir Abramovich, chair of the B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation Commission (ADC), today emphasised that the forthcoming Australian Islamic Peace Conference must not be allowed to undermine social harmony in this country.

Dvir Abramovich

Dvir Abramovich

“As a relatively new nation, Australia has been in the privileged position of having the opportunity of rejecting the hatreds of the Old World and starting anew. This has been facilitated by Australia offering a home and haven for citizens of every ethnicity and faith from all corners of the world. Some argue that familiarity breeds contempt, but the ADC believes that it breeds understanding.”

“However a nation built on migrants who have joined Australia’s original inhabitants is in constant flux and therefore vulnerable to ancient hatreds.  The general harmony we enjoy can never be taken for granted.  Our democratic values must be guarded zealously.  Those who seek to crack our social structure must be firmly rejected and those fissures immediately sealed.”

“This coming Friday an Australian Islamic Peace Conference commences in Melbourne.  The ADC welcomes this event as long as ‘peace’ is defined as increasing understanding between all Australians and acceptance of diversity. However it has been alleged that certain Muslim scholars known for criticism of Jews have been invited to speak at the conference.”

“The ADC is adamant that any such criticism of Jews, member of other faiths or those of no faith at all would be unequivocally unacceptable to all Australians and a slap in the face to our harmonious society. We welcome Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship Minister Nick Kotsiras’ direction to Victorian Multicultural Commissioner Chin Tan to speak to the event’s organisers about any inflammatory rhetoric during the event and we ask that conference organisers make this crystal clear to both speakers and audience members.”

Comments

17 Responses to “ADC calls for peaceful peace conference”
  1. Liat Nagar says:

    a P.S. to my most recent post: I do still maintain that Dvir Abramovich, as Chair of ADC, is constrained by the agreed policy of that organisation, which he in his position as Chair is compelled to deliver publicly. I have no way of knowing how much of this statement he personally agrees with, however would be surprised indeed if his private thoughts didn’t have more bite to them. It’s the ADC that should be upbraided for not saying it how it is, rather than Dvir himself. At the end of the day it’s up to him whether he feels he can continue to work with such ineffectual and misguided policy
    Some good people who go into politics end up with the same problem.

    Currently I’m reading Salman Rushdie’s memoir, ‘Joseph Anton’,(publ. by Jonathan Cape, 2012) which is devoted to his account of his life, and the personal affects on him of that life, during the eleven years of the Ayatollah Khomeini’s fatwa on him as the ‘evil’ author of ‘The Satanic Verses’. After cycling through what, psychologically and emotionally, were varying degrees of strengths and weaknesses in his horrendous situation, after four years, he ‘cleared his thoughts and stripped [himself] of all equivocation. He saw the gathering danger ahead because he had felt its dreadful demoralising force within his own breast. For a time he had given up his language and been forced to speak, haltingly and with many contortions, using a tongue that was not his own [this refers not to a language other than English, but a situation whereby a person starts to use words differently, or in compromise, with his own specific thoughts and feelings]. You did not become a blackbird by painting your wings black, but like an oil-slicked gull you lost the power of flight. The greatest danger of the growing menace was that good men would commit intellectual suicide and call it peace. Good men would give in to fear and call it respect.” I think perhaps the people who take on positions in Jewish organisations should not only be reminded of their brief, but also read and acknowledge these words.

    The courting of approval, the need to be ‘liked’, or accepted, all these things get in the way of truth and the effective countering of evil (and make no mistake, the burgeoning tide against Israel in the world under the guise of Friends of Palestine is fast becoming an evil, from the persecution of a single Israeli musician performing in South Africa, a dance troupe performing in London, to the sale of Naot sandals and Ahava products in stores internationally … on and on, to the refusal of communications with Israeli academics. When you start negating the existence of artists, academics, and refusing free trade of products, where does it go next? Why is there not an intelligent and vocal uprising of Jewish leaders throughout the world on this highly dangerous situation? What are they waiting for? It’s shades of the 1930s in the 21st century and this is where the money should be spent and the words activated.

    Somewhere in his book Rushdie says that as respect for Islam (which he considers fear of Islamist violence cloaked in hypocrisy) gained legitimacy in the West, “the cancer of cultural relativism had begun to eat away at the rich multicultures of the modern world, and down that slippery slope they might all slide towards … [a] swamp of despair.” This, indeed is what is happening. And those who can see that should be willing to stand up and clearly state the obvious, however without making the mistake of attacks that are secondary and counter-productive, such as focussing on the Prophet Muhammed, or allowing a tonality of venom to infuse what is said. That only allows those receiving the comments to deflect from the issue by focussing themselves on those secondary elements – result? prime message lost.

  2. Liat Nagar says:

    I agree with you, Michael, you’re absolutely right. Where does this kind of ‘bending over backwards’ to accommodate, appease?, acknowledge, form unity with, even assist! come from? It doesn’t command respect at all, and I’m sure Muslims won’t respect our Jewish spokespeople for it. It’s ridiculous, almost farcical.
    ‘Perhaps rogue rabbis might attack them with bagels’: as a writer, I so much appreciate that image, and the energy and humour your words convey (yes, I know it’s not a humorous situation, but you’ve made room for it in a way that works beautifully).
    ADC and JCCV perhaps need a shot of reality, not only from getting out and about amongst the varied Jewish population, but importantly, from positioning themselves to see the realities of Islam. I find it really difficult to understand these attitudes in this climate; it’s the wrong way to go. We need to be tough, firm, candid and fair. And please let us not consider for a moment that Christianity is our bed-fellow.

  3. Michael says:

    Liat
    It,s time our jewishorganisations stopped acting as Mullim advocates and concentrated with their limited resources fighting the battles of the Jews .

    The jccv and Adc in particular offering to train Muslim community in security ( who are they afraid of I don’t know perhaps rogue rabbis may attack them with bagels)
    Stop helping Muslims fight councils for their mosques particularly In the heartland of Jewish suburbs . Stop helping the Muslim community fight critics of Islam .
    Left wing Jewish community leadership at the ADC & J CCV must realize they represent all Jews not just the minority left.

  4. Liat Nagar says:

    Can we get rid of the continual trumpeting that Islam is not a religion. Fair enough to say it’s also a political ideology, which it absolutely is, because that’s what so many of its believers are using it as. But, of course, it’s still a religion., You know, there’s nothing inherently wrong with calling a religion a religion. The word ‘religion’ doesn’t ever necessarily equal ‘good’. Was Christianity not a religion when it was being used and abused for all those hundreds of years as a political ideology?

    “Muslim’ relates to religion, separate from ethnicity, which can be anything from Arab to South and South-East Asian, et al. If an Arab renounces being Muslim, he’s still an Arab. A Jew is a Jew, regardless of whether or not he/she practises Judaism. Indeed, even if a Jew were to convert to say Christianity, he/she would still be a Jew – although the ultra-orthodox mightn’t see it that way.

    I, too, respect Dvir, and all he needed to do to make his comments worthwhile was to actually name those Islamists, such as the imam of the Grand Mosque of Mecca, who are hate-ridden anti-Semites instead of generalising with ‘certain Muslim scholars known for criticism of the Jews”, which comes across as an ineffectual bit of waffle. I do bear in mind that if you head up any kind of organisation, you are not free to express your own personal opinions or be as blunt as you might wish to be. I don’t say this to defend or excuse, I say it because it’s true … it’s the reality. The only way you can express it as it is, is as a freelancer – once you’re working for government or an organisation the waters become muddied.

    I look forward with interest and some trepidation to seeing what comes from this ‘Islamic Peace Conference’, and if it’s as we suspect, let’s make the biggest fuss of all time about it. It’s time Jewish organisations in places of some power, where their views are at least read, allow themselves more bite, bite that comes from a policy platform enabling individuals who front it to perform – instead of pretending the Emperor has clothes on (latter reference to the fable).

  5. Michael says:

    The only way for these naive dhimmis at ADc and Jccv to understand their actions are irresponsible and making fools of the people they represent. Is to not contribute to their organizations .
    money talks !

  6. pam says:

    Dvir’s comments about “certain Muslim scholars known for criticism of Jews” is somewhat of an understatement.

    He is presumably referring to Abdul Rahman al-Sudais, the imam of the Grand Mosque of Mecca, who has called for the annihilation of Jews, and described Jews as “the scum of humanity” and “pigs and monkeys”.

    Dvir must realise that there is a difference between ‘criticism’ and demonisation of a people, including calling for their genocide .

    Presumably, he wouldn’t describe Hitler as a person who ‘criticised’ Jews, so to be consistent, he should not describe Sudais as a critic of Jews.

  7. David says:

    Dear Dvir,

    What are you going to say to your mates at the Islamic Council of Victoria after this pronouncement?
    http://www.icv.org.au/images/Statements/14.03_icv-s_response_to_commentary_surrounding_the_upcoming_australian_islamic_peace_conference_.pdf

  8. Otto Waldmann says:

    Poor Dvir, indeed !!
    I also used to enjoy his columns in the Jewish News before he attained communal “status” and, I would say, higher income. Now he sees himself as a communal leader and looknig at the manner in which most Jewish communal leaders carry on, express themselves etc. He has been, most obviously contaminated by the established establishment nonsense and cronically poor academic standards. And for a real PhD such as Dvir , such a sad intellectual relegation should cause him to consider that we lost a Dvir Abramovich and gained a Yair Miller………
    And incidentally, Dr. Abramovich, in spite of its short history, Australia has been for more than 150 years one of most racist countries. “White Australia” was functioning as such only until a few decades ago.
    One wonders if the above piece was written by Dvir Abramovich or some communal “Formal Opinon Committee”.

  9. Gil Solomon says:

    Dr Dvir Abramovich issues a lot of “musts” in relation to this Islamic Peace Conference. Unfortunately he utters not a word in respect to consequences that should follow if his “musts” are not met.

    Here is a summary from his article.
    The Islamic Peace Conference MUST not be allowed to undermine social harmony.
    Our democratic values MUST be guarded zealously.
    Those who seek to crack our social structure MUST be firmly rejected.

    In the same vein, he goes on about ALLEGATIONS that certain Muslim invitees have criticised “Jews, members of other faiths or those of no faith” and how such comments at the conference would be “unequivocally unacceptable”. What is this mania with so called leaders of the Sydney Jewish community that they seek to try to drag others in with them. Do they think it gains them allies? The ECAJ referred to Muslim criticism of “Jews, Sikhs and gays”! Let me say this clearly to the ECAJ and Dr Abramovich. The Muslim target is Jews, period. No one is going to assist us. We fight on our own.

    As to consequences if your MUSTS are not met.
    It should be made abundantly clear to Islamic officialdom that all inter-faith dialogue meetings we have will be terminated immediately and indefinitely. Let’s not continue this charade a day longer. The JBD of course will answer that this could create a void to which I answer “So What?”. These people have your number and can contact you whenever they have something positive to contribute.

    I think we have reached the situation in many of our foremost Jewish organisations that new ideas are needed if we are to go forward and in some cases new leadership.

  10. Shirlee says:

    Hey Daniel. How funny do you find this pal?

    A Christian writes about the Islamic “peace” conference in Melbourne that invited a bunch of hate-preachers:

    Some Christians who had approval to hire a stall giving away Bibles at the Islamic ‘Peace Conference’ at the Melbourne Showgrounds this weekend have had this approval withdrawn. The Christians, from various churches around Melbourne, had been offered a 6 x 3 metre stall for $600. The Islamic Research and Educational Academy (IREA) contacted them last night and said that the Bible stall could not go ahead because it would be “unsafe”.

    The Christians were told that, due to expected anti-Islamic protests outside the Showgrounds, IREA “could not guarantee your safety.” An IREA spokesman, who identified himself as ‘Sami’, was concerned about radical elements among the Muslim attendees “taking it out” on the Christians, and said that IREA security personnel “could not protect the Christians”. IREA claimed they had consulted Victoria Police about security and had come to this decision. Another Christian group was told last night that all the stalls had been allocated and there was no room left. According to the IREA website, there are over 200 stalls available, but their stall map shows that only 44 stalls have been hired so far.

    http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/christians_not_safe_at_muslim_conference/

  11. Daniel says:

    Funny how the ADC is calling for peace and harmony and the jewish community is up in arms, where the hell where they when Geert Wilders was invited by the Q-SOCIETY which has the support of the Chief Rabbi of the Newtown Synangue. Thank God for Freedom of speech ey, the same way the Australian and the Daily Telegraph was advertising how freedom of speech is important, well this is freedom of speech isnt it.
    @Shirlee if Muslims are not a race then Jews arnt a race either, their just people who follow Judaism given the same token of reasoning

    • Shirlee says:

      I beg you pardon “Jews aren’t a race”
      Are you thick ? You comments sure sound as if you are. They are senseless.

      I have all the blood tests, genetic results, DNA test results, halyotypes etc that say I am part of the Jewish race. From these readings they can tell if you are a Levite or a Cohen too.

      How do you think it was discovered that the Ethiopian Jews and the Bene Israel were actually Jews ?

      I think your remark “the Q-SOCIETY which has the support of the Chief Rabbi of the Newtown Synangue.” could be very troublesome. I think the RABBI at Newtown, no such thing as the ‘chef rabbi’, who be highly distressed by that out of line remark

    • Paul Winter says:

      Thanks for your comments Daniel, it gives me an opportunity to educate you.

      Apart from Drir’s diplomatic divel – he should have plainly and forcefully stated, rather than vaguely hinted, that the “peace” conference organisers were acting contrary to Australian multiculturalism norms – the differece is that Wilders was stating facts about Islamisation and its threat to Western civilisation, while the listed conference speakers are a rogue’s gallery of antisemites. And in case you are not aware, Anderw Bolt quotes chapter and verse on the invitees’ utterences.

      I note that in your response to Shirlee, you write that “if Muslims are not a race then Jews arnt (sic) a race either,…” Firstly, on reading Shirl’s comments I find nothing about race. Secondly, genetics show that Jewish people has a racial component, which mohammedans lack. Thirdly, the notion that the Jewish religion has a racial component that is acquired by inheritance or by conversion, derives from Nazi pseudo-science.

  12. Michael says:

    The old Dvir I knew would not have written the above about the Muslim Peace [ Oxymoron] Conference.

    Burdy

  13. Michael says:

    There must be two Dr Dvir Abramovich’s the Dvir I knew would never come up with such dribble as above regarding the Islamic Peace [ oxymoron ] Conference …

    Burdy.

  14. Michael says:

    I used to know and admire a guy called Dr Dvir Abramovich at Monash Univeristy , he was one of the only Jewish Academics that would write into the main stream media in defense of Israeli Jewish Human Rights ..

    Burdy.

  15. Shirlee says:

    OMG

    Now I have heard it all.

    I always thought the ADC had rocks for brains. Now I know they have.

    When will they learn that Islam is not a religion. It’s a political ideology

    This comment was taken a few month back from a Forum, posted by a regular Muslim contributor

    “Islam has regulations relating to war & peace, depending on the situation at hand, as do pretty much all ideologies. The idea that Islam attempts to present itself as being purely peaceful is a Western construct, not an Islamic one.”

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