Mending bridges

July 17, 2014 by J-Wire Staff
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NSW Premier Mike Baird was questioned today about statements attributed to Community Relation Commission Chair Vic Alhadeff who is also CEO of  The New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies.

Vic Alhadeff

Vic Alhadeff

The questions. The answers. As provided by the premier’s media department.

Q: Arab groups are now saying they’re going to boycott the CRC over the comments that Vic Alhadeff made about the Gaza conflict, I understand Victor Dominello met with them last night. Does this seem to be escalating, and what do you think should be done to resolve the situation?
MB: Vic has apologised for his comments and he understands that the role of the CRC is to work with all faiths, all cultures, and it is above reproach. He understands that. Vic is an outstanding man and what he has said he regrets those comments, but he asked to look at his actions and his actions are someone that works with everyone, every faith, every culture, every religion, and from my point of view I have the utmost respect for him and my hope is that he works with all those communities to restore the trust. I understand the broader tensions but I ask them to look at the man, the man in Vic Alhadeff is someone that I have the utmost respect for.

Mike Baird

Mike Baird

Q: Doesn’t it make the Commission though rather unworkable it’s so important at the moment particularly to have the Arab community on board in terms of what’s going on?
MB: Yeah, and I understand their concerns and Vic is working hard on them and my expectation that through his personal work he’ll be able to mend those bridges.

Q: What are your thoughts specifically on what he said though?
MB: I’ve provided my comments. It’s inappropriate in his role to make those comments, I’ve conveyed that, but you know all of us at times say things or do things we regret, he has said that and we’re working hard to mend those bridges.

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