ECAJ supports the Uluru Statement from the Heart

May 27, 2020 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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On 27 May 2020, Australia marks the third anniversary of the Uluru Statement from the Heart, a statement made by Indigenous Australians directly to the Australian people as a whole.

The Uluru Statement from the Heart at Sydney’s Emanuel Synagogue

It was endorsed by a gathering of 250 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders following a four-day First Nations National Constitutional Convention held at Uluru, which in turn followed a consultation process that was unprecedented in Australian history for its scale.

The Statement calls for:

  • a First Nations Voice to Parliament in the form of an advisory body on policy affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, to be enshrined in the Australian constitution.
  • a Makarrata Commission to oversee agreement-making between the Australian government and Indigenous people.
  • a truth and reconciliation process to be facilitated by the Makarrata Commission.

The Executive Council of Australian Jewry stated: “We have a long and proud history of supporting the quest of Indigenous Australians for recognition, reconciliation and justice.   We believe that the proposals put forward by the Uluru Statement from the Heart are just, reasonable and achievable.

Bringing the Statement’s vision to fruition is important to all Australians. For Indigenous Australians, it would mean the vindication of the truth of their story and the beginning of justice.  For all other Australians, it would mean at long last addressing the most important item of unfinished business in our national history.

The First Nations of Australia, who have inhabited the Australian continent for more than 50,000 years, have endured much suffering since the advent of European settlement. Yet they continue to show great dignity, patience, tenacity and generosity of spirit, appealing to all that is noble and decent in our society and inviting us to walk with them on the road to truth-telling and healing.

We are honoured to accept the invitation of the Uluru Statement from the Heart and pledge to work with First Nations, Federal and State politicians, local and city authorities, religious, ethnic and civil society organisations, business leaders and our fellow citizens in moving together towards a shared future, which in every way lives up to our own robust, distinctively Australian, standards of fairness.”

David Knoll, Brian Samuel and Eric Lundberg added: “As the leaders of the Progressive and Masorti (Conservative) streams of Jewish practice in Australia, we add that the moral call from Uluru once heeded will contribute to healing and social justice consonant with the Jewish commitment to Tikkun Olam.”

 

Comments

One Response to “ECAJ supports the Uluru Statement from the Heart”
  1. David Zyngier says:

    Thank you ECAJ. But why wouldn’t the ECAJ sign on to a community led statement signed by 18 Jewish organisations including the NSW JBoD that said the same thing?
    The statement, first posted on 27 May 2020, the 53rd anniversary of the 1967 Referendum and three years after the Uluru Statement from the Heart, says:
    We recognise the deep moral and political significance of the Uluru Statement from the Heart in our own hearts.
    Jews have also experienced the deep silence that follows atrocity and genocide, the experience of being abandoned by humanity, the struggle for recognition of confronting truths, and the tormenting powerlessness of not being heard.
    In this year of 2020, which marks the 250th anniversary of the arrival of the British in Australia and dispossession of its original inhabitants, it is very important to recognise how much work and structural change is still needed to heal the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. The health crisis this year in Australia is but one of many issues that highlight the continuing vulnerability and powerlessness of First Nations in their own country.
    We reaffirm our full-hearted support for:
    • amendment of the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act to enshrine a First Nations Voice in the Constitution;
    • establishment by legislation or letters patent of a Makarrata Commission to oversee a process of truth-telling about our history as a path to reconciliation between First Nations and other Australians and to oversee the making of agreements between First Nations and Federal and State governments.
    Despite what has happened over the past 250 years, the First Nations of Australia have shown great dignity, patience, tenacity and generosity of spirit, inviting all Australians to walk with them to create a fuller expression of our shared nationhood.
    We accept the invitation of the Uluru Statement from the Heart with gratitude and pledge to work with First Nations, all Federal and State politicians, local and city authorities, religious, ethnic and civil society organisations, business leaders and our fellow citizens in moving together towards a better future.”
    All Australian Jewish organisations, including federal and state ‘roof’ bodies and youth groups, are invited to support it during 2020 and the following have so far done so: ALEPH Melbourne, Ameinu Australia, Betar Australia, Emanuel Synagogue, Habonim Dror Australia, Hashomer Hatzair Australia, Inner West Chavurah, Jews for Refugees, Jewish Voices for Peace & Justice (NSW), Jewish Labour Bund, Jewish Lesbian Group of Victoria, Kehilat Nitzan (Melbourne), Meretz Australia, Music for Refugees, Netzer Australia, NIF Australia, NSW Jewish Board of Deputies, SKIF and StandUp.

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