Undermining Communal Unity Is Counter-Productive…says David Singer

October 1, 2016 by David Singer
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“A joint Rosh Hashanah statement from a group of community organisations” published in J Wire on 29 September 2016 is troubling for two reasons…

  1. The statement deals with controversial issues such as hate speech, Islamophobia, racism, refugees, radicalisation and people seeking asylum.

Such a statement should in my opinion only emanate from the organised peak bodies of the Jewish community in Australia such as the Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ), the Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) or the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies (NSWJBD)

Eight of the thirteen signatories to this Statement are members of JCCV or one of JCCV’s members.

JCCV members clearly acknowledge:

“The Jewish Community Council of Victoria is the roof body of Victorian Jewry, Australia’s largest Jewish community. With nearly sixty major communal organisations as its affiliates, the JCCV represents the mosaic of religious, political, cultural, welfare, educational, religious and social associations operating in Victoria.

The Victorian and Federal Governments, their agencies, the media and ethnic and religious groups have long recognised the JCCV as the representative body of the Victorian Jewish community, speaking on its behalf on all matters affecting its status, welfare and interests. As such, the JCCV provides leadership and a voice for Victorian Jewry’s 60,000 members to the wider Victorian community.”

 These eight signatories should have first lobbied the JCCV to issue this statement under its name and then resign on principle if aggrieved by any JCCV refusal – so as to make it crystal clear that the opinions expressed by these signatories were theirs alone and not the Jewish community’s.

  1. One of the signatories – New Israel Fund Australia (NIF) – is not a member of JCCV and appears to be acting well outside its focus area:

“NIF Australia supports the New Israel Fund, the leading organisation committed to equality and democracy for all Israelis. The New Israel Fund is a partnership of Israelis and supporters of Israel worldwide, dedicated to a vision of Israel as the Jewish homeland and a shared society at peace with itself and its neighbours. 

The New Israel Fund is widely credited with building Israel’s progressive civil society and has provided more than $400 million to more than 850 cutting-edge organisations since its inception. The Fund’s action arm SHATIL provides Israel’s social change community with hands-on assistance and builds coalitions, empowers activists, and takes the initiative in spearheading national advocacy campaigns.

 In line with the New Israel Fund’s broad platforms, NIF Australia supports projects in Israel that: strengthen and safeguard civil and human rights; address economic injustice; foster tolerance and religious pluralism; challenge discrimination against Israel’s Bedouin and Arab citizens; counter disadvantage faced by women; tackle environmental issues.”

It is therefore concerning to see the Executive Director of NIF making additional comments on behalf of all 13 signatories not only in relation to issues in Australia but also Donald Trump – when its remit is Israel-oriented.

Has NIF now decided to spread its wings and involve itself in the internal affairs of Australia and America?  If so it should surely make this known to its members and donors.

Not all Australian Jewish organisations are compelled to be part of the organised Jewish community.

Each individual signatory to the Statement is perfectly entitled to stay outside the organised Jewish community and issue whatever statement it wishes.

However those who are members of JCCV should observe the communal unity such membership obliges them to accept.

JCCV should not be ambushed by its own members who unilaterally decide to speak out whenever it suits them.

Ethics Of The Fathers verse 1.17 wisely instructs us:

“I have found nothing better for the body than silence.”

David Singer is a Sydney Lawyer and Foundation Member of the International Analysts Network

 

 

 

 

Comments

2 Responses to “Undermining Communal Unity Is Counter-Productive…says David Singer”
  1. michael Burd says:

    It is troublesome that looking at the current JCCV Board and their representatives it is over represented with leftist/ Progressive individuals . This is not a balanced board at all and does not represent views across the Jewish Political spectrum .

    JCCV has long been criticized for endorsing a hard left Palestinian activist organization posing as a Jewish organization [ Hardly Jewish if this group accompanies a hard core Palestinian Lobby group APAN to Canberra to lobby for the Palestinians and against Israel]
    The JCCV excuse has always been we should allow all political views in our Tent [ as long as it fits in with their leftist/Progressive worldly views ] As if The ICV would ever think of having a pro- Zionist , anti– Palestinian activist group affiliated with the Islamic Council of Victoria, But Hey we Jews are holier than thou and thats we we get so much support for Israel and Jews by the Greens and Labour Left , Trade Unions for being such Menches !

    Therefore it is no coincidence that the JCCV board has no problems with the NIF and fellow Progressive travelers damaging shameful , degrading and highly DIVISIVE statement advocating for the Muslim community .
    The JCCV board and representatives should be held accountable .

    • david singer says:

      Michael

      For the JCCV to be held accountable you would need to know the Executive were aware of the statement being prepared and knowingly agreed to its circulation.

      I surmise the JCCV would plead ignorance.

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