Two New Groups get Behind Israel

September 2, 2011 by Community Editor
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Two new advocacy groups have surfaced offering new support for Israel through advocacy, one in Melbourne and the other in Sydney. Neither group was aware of the other’s formation.

Sydney sees the launch of Australians For A Secure Israel [AFASI] while next week the Melbourne community has the opportunity to attend the inaugural meeting of Australian Voices for Israel.

In Sydney, Danny Ginges speaking for AFASI said: “This is a new group for an old problem.”

In a statement introducing the new group AFASI says: “The current efforts to delegitimise the State of Israel and have indefensible borders imposed on it has given rise to a new Sydney based group: Australians For A Secure Israel (AFASI).

The aim of the group is to inform the Jewish and wider communities about the real issues in Israel. The facts, not the narrative. A steering committee has been formed comprising Danny Ginges, Greg Weiss, Danny Kidron, David Singer, Robert Sonnenschein and Peter Hersh.

Israel’s Declaration of Independence vows to “ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex“. So it follows that any attempt to discriminate between Jews based on their street address represents a threat to the unity of the Jewish people and the continued legitimacy of Israel as the Jewish National Home.

With the world rallying against Israel, it’s important that we all stand together. AFASI will devote its effort and resources to uniting Jews rather than dividing them.

If you’re at all concerned about the growing disunity among the Jewish people, bookmark <www.afasi.org> and make sure you come to our first public meeting at the Central Synagogue on October 2nd at 7.30 pm.

Two of our most prominent and influential communal identities – Dr. Ron Weiser and Mr. Jeremy Jones – will be analysing the outcome of the planned push for statehood by the Palestinian Authority at the United Nations and the implications for Israel and the Jewish people following Durban III.

Meanwhile in Melbourne as its inaugural president East St Kilda-based Alan Freedman has been laying the foundations for Australian Voices for Israel.

He told J-Wire: “For some time I have felt that while there are many communal pro-Israel organisations, a gap nevertheless exists for a grassroots organisation to actively present Israel’s case to the wider general public. This is needed because much of the mainstream media is biased against Israel and unfortunately the general public relies heavily on this media for its information. To address this imbalance, I have, with some colleagues, convened a new organisation whose aim is to take a higher public profile in advocating Israel’s cause and our first event will be held on Tuesday evening 6th September 2011, 8 pm, at Beth Weizmann.

 

We are delighted to have The Hon. Christopher Pyne, MP (Shadow Minister for Education, Apprenticeships and Training ) as our first guest speaker, on the topic of the “Parliamentary Friends of Israel”, and we invite you and your friends to attend this inaugural event. We really aim to have a large audience for this launch, so your attendance would be much appreciated.

 

In launching Australian Voices for Israel, we hope to make contact with people interested in expressing their support for Israel in various ways via membership and other financial support, and in helping us to disseminate pro-Israel information. We are asking for interested people to volunteer in any way, either by a particular skill they may have or by offering some time to assist with our projects. We would also like to build up an extensive mailing list of people that we can update about news and future events.

 

This is an exciting new venture and I am hopeful that with strong community support we can turn the tide of public sentiment to be more favourable to Israel.”

Members of the committee of the new organisation include George Adamowicz, Robbie Gore and Mary Werther.

Dr Danny Lamm, president of The Executive Council of Australian Jewry, told J-Wire: “I welcome more organisations out there promoting the truth about Israel. So many groups throughout the world are denigrating and delegitimising the country.

 

Comments

3 Responses to “Two New Groups get Behind Israel”
  1. hasbaracentral says:

    Facts not narrative. But are they dealing with “facts on the ground” in the West Bank and Gaza ?

  2. Mary Werther says:

    I couldn’t agree more with Otto Waldmann that we need to be very wary about some supposedly supportive groups that in fact set themselves up with agendas that are at odds with the State of Israel, and often actively do harm to Israel’s international reputation. In particular the New Israel Fund (NIF) is a large and powerful enterprise with its own ideology and with a budget of over 30 million dollars, often provided by uninformed donors in the US and elsewhere who are sucked in with buzzwords such as ‘human rights’ etc. It funds many openly hostile and anti-Israel NGOs, such as those that provided their poisoned and false rhetoric to the now-discredited Goldstone report. (Gerald Steinberg of NGO Monitor has written extensively to expose the perverse actions and lack of transparency of the NIF.) The NIF is now spending up on large adverts and touting for support and members to set up branches here in Australia, and this is one group that I truly hope is shunned by our hopefully-enlightened Jewish community.

    I am also pleased to say that our new group, Australian Voices for Israel, respects the fact that Israel is a sovereign democracy, and it is not our job or intention to dictate Israeli policy from our armchairs in Australia. We support the democratically-elected government of the day, and our aim is to help form an active network to present the facts and the best narrative possible about Israel to a wider audience, and to counter lies, distortions and hypocrisy so prevalent among the Israel-bashers.

    For anyone who would like a copy of our formal Position Statement (which will be handed out at the launch on 6th Sept) please simply write to us on info@av4i.org.au.

    Mary Werther,
    Vice-president, Australian Voices for Israel

  3. Otto Waldmann says:

    The current advent of two new groups advocating Israel’s case could be seen necessray if one looks at the strategies employed by our leaders,national ans state( at least NSW ). It has been far too obvious that the “efficiency” of an essentially “tollerant” attitude towards the emergence of new groups within the Jewish community which prommote centrifugal policies to the centrality of Israel’s clear stances on a number of issues has created a general communal climate of, at least, confusion in as far as defining with certainty the core Zionist values espoused by our leadership.
    The mere “audacity”, impunity and energy shown by such groups as Capital Jewish Forum and New Israel Fund in promoting quite openly ideologies which in essential places confront clear state Israel policies demonstrate that a lack of determined and open rebuttal by the present Jewish leadership requires acute adjustemnts. It is of serious concern that the leaders of both above mentioned organisations are also active at the top structures of the Jewish community, thus availing thyemselves of an apparent advantage of formal placements within the community.
    Also of significance is the evident fact that our voice is almost non- existant in the main media. Recently the new head of the NIFAu managed half a page in the Syd. Morn. Herald prommoting disingenuous vies only a few weeks from the foundation of his group. Except for some two line letters the legitimate leaders, State in particula, but also National, have been sadly completely absent from the main media forums. TV political forums have shown an even more critical absence of a legitimate Zionist presence for YEARS !!
    Meanwhile the Palestinian side has been vastly more efficient in presenting with solid constance their twisted views in all major media outlets.
    There is, obviously, an important place for that “quiet diplomacy”, although we are yet to see if it will “deliver” the hoped pro Israel vote in the UN vs the palestinian idependence issue, but the grass roots potentially sublimely articulate Jewish support for a vast raft of Zionist AND local Jewish matters has been escaping the current ( and in fact long standing and ageing leadership ) strategies of engagement.

    One small correction,though. There is NO contradiction between conveying truth and “narrative”. The function of “narrative” is exactly to present and explain truth. Facts are essentially made known through their narration. Indeed the twisting, manipulation and mauling of truth, as it is done by the palestinians and their vast array of advocates does represent a “narrative” and that is one of the false kind .

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