Perth Newspaper Rejects Advert

August 30, 2016 by Roz Tarszisz
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It is rare to hear of a newspaper turning down advertising, but Perth’s Jewish newspaper has done just that.

The Maccabean, Perth’s Jewish community newspaper, is refusing to carry advertisements placed by the New Israel Fund Australia (NIF).

NIFA-LogoThe advertisements promoted a September 13  screening of hit Israeli TV show Magash Hakesef (The Silver Platter) which had been booked to run in two editions of the local paper.

Liam Getreu, Executive Director of NIF received a brief email telling him that the Maccabean management had reached a decision that it was unable to accept the ads.

The Chair of The Maccabean Tony Tate wrote: “The Management Committee of The Maccabean has exercised its right to decline requests to lodge advertisements. We do not intend to further discuss this decision, as has been our policy on this matter since our inception.”

Although contact has been made with its management, the paper has refused to provide him with any further explanation.

“There is no excuse for censorship in the Jewish community.  Community spaces should be marketplaces of ideas where all perspectives are welcome and given equal opportunity,” writes Getreu on the fund’s website.

Magash Hakesef deals with issues like poverty and economic inequality in Israel. Virtually every Israeli charity in the community is working to alleviate suffering, and this popular Israeli TV show shines a light on it in a powerful and unique way. The desire for social justice in Israel is universal – there is no reason for the Maccabean to censor it.

“If Magash Hakesef attracted 1.5 million viewers when it screened in Israel, we think it’s an important enough documentary to be made available to the community here.

“We’ve never had an ad rejected before like this” Getreu told J-Wire.

He added that NIF would welcome a discussion with The Maccabean management to resolve the issue and ensure the screening of Magash Hakesef can be advertised to members of Perth’s Jewish community.

The Maccabean’s secretary/treasurer Phil Samuell told J-Wire about the paper’s statement to NIF: “do not have anything further to add.”

The NIF website has launched  a petition calling on The Maccabean to end its censorship of the New Israel Fund.