Four Corners – The ECAJ has its say

February 11, 2014 by J-Wire Staff
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Robert Goot, the president of The Executive Council of Australian Jewry, has commented on the ABC-TV/The Australian report on the justice system   in use in the West Bank which uses Israeli law courts for Israeli children and military law for Palestinian children…

Robert Goot

Robert Goot

Goot’s statement: “The ‘4 Corners’ program highlighted a number of disturbing issues, which the Israeli government appears clearly to treat seriously. Israel has publicly committed itself to changing the way it deals with very young Palestinian minors who are caught throwing rocks and engaging in other potentially dangerous actions, often encouraged by their elders.

“However the program paid insufficient attention to the very real difficulties faced by those who have the job of maintaining law and order and to the suffering on both sides. The situation is obviously very difficult, and as the Israeli government has publicly acknowledged – problematic with room for improvement. However, it is important to bear in mind a number of important issues, including:

“First, it is international law, not religious claims, nor discrimination, that requires Israel to treat Palestinian minors in the West Bank in accordance with the legal system in place there for non Israeli residents. Extending Israeli law to those non Israeli residents of the West Bank, would almost certainly be condemned as tantamount to annexation and therefore a violation of international law. That, of course, does not excuse what Yigal Palmor described as ‘intolerable cases’.

“Second, as the program acknowledged, stone-throwing is potentially lethal and frequently results in grave injuries. As the mother of Israeli toddler, Adele Biton said – ‘stones kill’.

“Third, as UNICEF’s most recent (October 2013) report noted, Israel has co-operated with UNICEF and has made significant improvements.  Indeed Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor has said: ‘Israel will study the conclusions and will work to implement them through ongoing cooperation with UNICEF, whose work we value and respect’.”

“The issues highlighted by the program illustrate the urgent need for the current negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, to bear fruit and for the leaders on both sides to have the courage to make the hard compromises necessary to achieve a comprehensive peace.”


17 Responses to “Four Corners – The ECAJ has its say”
  1. Ad Green says:

    Here is a lovely clip that 4 Corners might want to broadcast to their viewing audience. I wonder how many Australians would like to live with these sort of neighbours? Lets see 4 Corners broadcast something a little more balanced next time

    A Green

  2. Ad Green says:

    When will 4 corners broadcast the other side of their biased reporting with the real issues?… Why is it We can actually find the truth from video posts on the internet from Hamas and Hezbolla?
    When will the daily rockets fired from Gaza into Israel cease?
    Surely the very act of training young children to hate and kill is a form of Child Abuse to state the very least?
    Do we as a Community have the guts to stand up to the ABC for publishing such a one sided program?
    Do we now all enjoy the following weeks of making “excuses” for Israel and for being Jewish?
    I am proud the be Jewish and I am bring up my 3 Children to be this way too.
    Please ask the ABC to view clips such as this –> perhaps they can broadcast this sort of thing….
    A Green

  3. Otto Waldmann says:

    ECAJ must be proud of its supporters:
    Maree Gun, Chris Grant and one Cynthia Godfrey who excells in the wildest fallacies.
    For Cynthia Godfreys to come on this site and advocate the notion of antisemitism being caused by….Jews, extending this offensive rant to all that concerns Israel’s serious security and , indeed, survival issues, one can only express disgust.

    George Peters, your points are most valid.
    ECAJ has gone here well beyond its calling, its function, statutes.
    Indeed, what sort of “compromises” has Israel failed to make to a palestinian party which is evidently NOT interested in compromises.
    How can ECAJ utter the slightest criticism of Israel at this juncture, on the topic IT tries so pathetically to address. Come to think of it, which communally agreed document on the issue of the current Middle East negotiations calls for Israel to make compromises, who has given the ECAJ leadership the green light to express such an opinion on behalf of the Australian Jewish Community!!!???

    I hope my opinion is being printed by Jwire !!

  4. maurice may says:

    The reality is that the Israeli government is behaving like a fascist government. If that is accepted by thinking Jewish community outside Israel then perhaps things will change.

    • Maurice (no surname) – it’s well know that Israel is a fascist, racist, imperialist, colonialist state. However, saying such a thing over and over does not make it true, not by a long shot. But that means taking the time to study history.

      As it happens others have said almost exactly the same things as you, so you are in good company (let’s accept that the Nazis were fascists).
      “In their Nazi treatment, the Jews made no exception for women or children. Their policy of striking fear in the heart is meant for all. They attack people where their breadwinning is concerned, extorting their money and threatening their honour. They deal with people as if they were the worst war criminals. Deportation from the homeland is a kind of murder”
      Article 20
      Hamas Covenant 1988
      The Covenant of the Islamic Resistance Movement
      18 August 1988

  5. Otto Waldmann says:

    As a gung-ho Ms Gunn seems oblivious to plain reality, that being the well known infant pastime at palestinians of attacking everything Israeli and thus causing serious harm, so will serious commentators and real on the ground operatives ignore musings of the Ms Gunn type, except for reminding them how irrelevant they are.

    On to Robert Goot. Slightly careless once AGAIN in some choices of words.
    What is the word “improvement” doing when describing the attitude of the Israel legal system in respect to the criminal acts of palestinian children ?!
    “Improvement” means acceptance of prior “bad”, “wrong”, thus approval of criticism of Israel at whatever stage of its actions.
    Once again, who is writing Robert Goot’s stuff !!??

    • George Peters says:

      Otto – the real problem is the last para. of the statement.
      ECAJ writes:
      ““The issues highlighted by the program illustrate the urgent need for the current negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, to bear fruit and for the leaders on both sides to have the courage to make the hard compromises necessary to achieve a comprehensive peace.”

      This has to be amongst the most useless, mealy-mouthed, naive and unhelpful statements I have ever read.
      Has not Israel made enormous compromises, including the most recent extraordinary and unprecedented release of 104 convicted prisoners, as entry price to talks with a side which has been defeated in war how many times, and have nothing whatsoever to offer Israel, but are demanding the impossible? While the Palestinians have not changed any of their their demands in over 20 years – “Right” of Return, 1949 Armistice lines (aka 67 borders), East Jerusalem, no “Jewish State” etc? It seems the more recalcitrant they are, the more they are loved by the world. Something is terribly, terribly wrong here.

      As Naftali Bennet said recently in an interview with the TOI (10/02/2014), when they were were forced into negotiations, for example during and after (2013), Israel got a resurgence of terror. When no imposed negotiations (2012) there was prosperity and no terror. And the same in talks before that, with an Intifada thrown in.
      Israel has to deal with the residue of the outside world’s failed “peace-making” efforts. They simply don’t understand the region, nor apparently do these roof bodies. (Altho’ Bennett, whom I like, was crawling up to them in Caulfield Shule and elsewhere last year. I wanted to ask why he did not pull his party from Cabinet and bring down the Government due to these “Peace Talks”, but no questions were taken).

      But then, I did not expect anything different from such a response, as they – roof bodies – (must?) toe the party line of “two states for two peoples”, which is a recipe for self-destruction, collective national suicide. In passing, which “people”? Surely not the Jordanians, who lost Judea/Samaria in 1967 and have since renounced all claim. Surely not the “Palestinians” who do not get a mention in UN Res 242. Nowhere are they mentioned in any binding legal instrument except perhaps the catastrophe of Oslo. I wish someone could clearly explain to me from whence they magically acquired legal title to lands that were Mandated by the victorious Allied Powers to be the reconstituted Jewish home i.e current Israel, Judea, Samaria and Gaza.

      Netanyahu 1996: “There will be no Palestinian State”.
      His anti-Oslo position in 1993/94 made him what he is, in Israel, leading to becoming PM in 1996.
      Netanyahu 2013-14: Negotiating with the same players from 2000 (Abbas, Erekat, Ashrawi) as to how much of Judea and Samaria to give away, after Israel has giving away Sinai, Temple Mount, Gaza, for nothing, no reciprocity i.e. very many “compromises” from one side, but no “compromises” by the other side. For the record, “Land for Peace” did not work.
      Same with most PM’s, historically doing 180 degree turn from what they campaigned on. They are all the same, and I have explained why elsewhere.
      I don’t think many understand why.

      Regarding UNICEF, an organization I was taught to admire 50 years again in school, is this from the same UN that:
      1)Offered HALF of Mandatory Palestine to the Jews in 1947, despite the Mandate being enshrined in Article 80 of the UN Charter;
      2)Declared “Zionism is Racism” 1979-1991;
      3)Maintains UNRWA with four (4) times the workforce of UNHCR (which deals with ALL the rest of the world’s refugees), and actively perpetuates the problem of the “Palestinian refugees”;
      4)Passed a GA Resolution to have the ICJ deliver a non-binding, but widely quoted *opinion* as to the illegality of Israeli settlements (2004);
      5)Only weeks ago pulled a major UNESCO exhibition that demonstrated the historic ties of the Jews to the land of Israel?
      Is it one and the same?
      Enough said.

      If the Jews in Israel itself, and the Diaspora – can’t be united amongst themselves on this basic issue of existential survival like the importance of NOT having a sovereign Palestinian State west of the Jordan, with all the implications implied by sovereignty, I see little hope.

      These “current negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians” will not and cannot bring peace, since not only is there no bona fide “partner”, there is no security.

      You can have security without peace (the current situation) but you cannot have peace without security.

    • Mr. Waldmann, has totally missed the point,Ms Gunn is commenting on the treatment of a 5 year old child or is he not bothered about the behaviour of the Israeli soldiers. Does he excuse their behaviour? She has a right to express her opinion, as do I, as a once fervent Zionist and also an original member of the 35 Group (then name changed to the Group for Soviet Jewry)maybe she has children of her own? All children of a certain throw stones and I am well aware that the extreme groups in Gaza, actively encourage the young men to cause as much aggravation as possible. Once has to be very carefully trained to deal with such an emotive and dangerous area.

      Robert Goot’s statement is exactly what I would have expected from a member of the Executive Council for Australian Jewry, no comment from me.

    • My frustration just keeps on growing. So many hoodwinked by the lies the media spreads. I agree with you Otto Waldmann and it’s such a shame that our own kind can’t even bother to check their facts before voicing their opinions. It is they who dishonor the memory of our dead. As they say they are secular why then didn’t they investigate all the “secular”evidence”? History, Archaeology, scrolls. To-days youth confuses ‘information’ that is readily available on the internet as knowledge. But they seem to forget that not all information put on the net. is acurate. Anyone can put what they like on Wikipedia. Go back to school Maree , Chris & Cynthia. Hang in there Reuven, if we all stick together perhaps the uninformed will look before they leap.

    • With all due respect to Mr. Waldmann he would seem to be coming from an emotional standpoint which for me to comprehend is easy enough.

      Added to which I must be more English than I realised, the average English person tends to see both points of view and can discuss very emotive issues rationally, and keeping the entire matter straightforward. Then after maybe a very heated discussion, can then laugh and joke with his ‘opponent’.

      He does not know me, otherwise he would never say I talk about fallacies, The word fallacy means ‘misleading argument, flaw, unsoundness’.

      However, I don’t think my own personal experiences are fallacies and I deeply resent his comment. I don’t mind arguing but wont descend to personal comments, it defeats the point of the discussion.

      As I said, I try to base my comments on facts and my own observations which have been influenced after visiting Israel at various times from the late 70s to the mid-80s. My membership of WIZO and the 35 Group (The Womens Group for Soviet Jewry) when I was in London,

      The Israeli Government, and those in the Disaspora cannot be blinkered to what the Non Jewish world interprets when they see, and again, I repeat a five year old child, plainly scared and intimidated by soldiers carrying weapons. It was intimidation at the very least and brought back memories of previous times, especially World War II.

      What is so tragic that the socalled ‘adults’ in this scenario both Israeli and Arab are using children for political gain. I personally consider this totally unacceptable, and I go so far as to say, it is loathesome and despicable. What is worse, there seems no end result, accept more bloodshed on both sides.

      As a Jew living in the UK in the 1940s what a lucky escape we all had, and because of the bravery of so many young men from all countries who came to fight alongside the English (I recall one from Israel) to prevent Hitler from taking over the UK, and the consequent loss of such innocent young men was appalling. Those brave young men, who gave no thought to fighting against tyranny and the Nazis, where would the world be now without their sacrifices.

      Antisemitism has been around for centuries, people do not like Jews, because they just don’t, they don’t know why, they just do. Then to add to this, the ill and cruel treatment of a 5 year old, well talk about giving fodder to the flames! I rest my case.

      The fact that this ‘war’ between Arab and Israeli has been fulminating for the past 60 years or more, brings to mind the saying “and the sins of the fathers are visited on the children”.

      Perhaps, Mr. Waldmann you might wish to comment, and before you do, please confirm that you have been to Israel and how many times, and that presumably you are an active member of the Jewish community here in wonderful Australia. On that basis we could have a sort of discourse but quite frankly at my age of 76 years there are much more matters in my life than having a long running argument with someone who does not seem to mind a terrified little boy being filmed crying on television with Israeli soldiers standing by.
      My Yiddish is not that great, but I would say to Mr. Waldmann, geh gesinta hait. You have your opinion and I have mine.

  6. Maree Gunn says:

    I found this documentary on the systematic terrorising of Palestinian children to be disturbing and shameful. These children are being traumatised without any proof of any crime – and what civilised society would ever remove a 5 y.o. child and take him away to be interrogated? It was especially chilling to hear the female leader of the Settler Movement state that they believe that God gave them all of Israel and that no Palestinian should ever hope to return to their homes. There is no hope that Israel will ever truly work towards a two state solution or peace.

    • Chris Grant says:

      Agree with you Maree 100%. It is plain to see that from the time of the occupation there has been genocide against the Palestinians. This is the worst case of hypocrisy that has existed for decades. In fact it is worse than any holocaust, it is done slowly torturing these poor people endlessly. Maybe if the US poured half of the funding that goes to the Israels, toward the Palestinians, then they could throw back dangerous bullets instead of dangerous stones. What are these people meant to do? How can hey defend their country and their rights? If this sort of cruelty reared its ugly head in the western world it would be hammered shut. The only way it will be resolved is by giving back the Palestinians their land and getting out. Perhaps go live in the US where they are so popular.

      • Reuven Segal says:

        Your opinions are baseless and your understanding lacking. There were billions ploughed into the PA and almost nothing done with it of value.

        Perhaps you should also look up the word genocide. Where do you see the murder of an entire ethnic group? Where do you see the systematic killing of anyone? You don’t? So how do you call this a genocide?

        When I served, if anyone had touched a Palestinian without a very good cause, they would be dealt with accordingly. You cannot take the case of a few bad seeds and assume that is the way everyone is or the way the army thinks. If I was to take you , for example, and say that you are a representative of the average person on the street, I would then say that everyone is ignorant, uneducated, anti-Semitic, and a waste of oxygen. Just because you are for not mean that everyone is. If you are going to base your belief on what you see in the news reports, you will only be shown the view that the editors want you to see. Look up a documentary “the Road to Jenin” if you don’t believe me.

    • Rachel Smith says:

      The logic underlying your comment is worthy of a trophy. You take the leader of a settler movement, recognised as being the most extreme citizens of Israel, and make inferences about Israel’s commitment to a two state solution based on this?

      We have a group in Australia called the Australia First Party whose leader is a neo-Nazi. By your logic, Australia is a neo-Nazi country. Sounds legit..

    • Good for you Maree,

      more Jews in the Diaspora need to speak up, but mostly they follow the line dictated by what happened 60 years ago, to criticise the State of Israel shows disloyalty.

      This is not disloyalty, but expressing concern for our fellow Jews, who maybe unwisely are following a line which inflames hatred of Israel.

      However, those in the Diaspora live in the outside world they do not live in Israel which makes it difficult to give an opinion. But as you say for a 5 year old to be put through such stress is inhuman, a trait we in the Diaspora do not normally associate with the Jewish Defense army.

      As for the female leader of the Settler Movement rabid comment that G-d gave them the land from my secular point of view that is not on. Why especially should Jews coming from New York be entitled to land which by tradition was farmed by Palestinians. Her religious dogma is not acceptable to me and many like minded men and women who as Jews think along the same lines. They do in the UK, I don’t know about Australian Jewry.
      No wonder the youth in Gaza are angry, it is commonsense, they see their parents and their old men and women being treated with no respect and very roughly, and they get angry, can we blame them for throwing stones or worse.

      Then the Wall which was built true it keeps out terrorists, however, the Wall reminds me of the Wall that the Germans put up around the Warsaw Ghetto. What a reminder to me having read about the Warsaw Ghetto. The Wall goes through farm land farmed by Palestinians from many years past, again, how would any of us feel if that was our land. How do you know what it feels like, if you have not walked in some one else’s shoes. May be the Prime Minister should try walking in their shoes, less kowtowing to the ultra right wing, and display more leadership of the like of Golda Meir, and less of Sharon GRS. Being Prime Minister of the State of Israel calls for uncommon leadership, something on the lines of the late President Kennedy. As I said in a previous comment, leadership of Israel requires, courage, bravery and a determination that no more innocent men, women and children on both sides should die. Israel was established in my vernacular, built on the sympathy of the world at the end of 1945, and on the ashes of the Holocaust victims, out of respect for their memory I don’t imagine they would approve of a 5 year old child being treated so appallingly, remembering of course, all those innocent children who died in the Holocaust because a certain political dogma was followed without bending. Israel is dishonouring the memory of the millions who died, and never in my wildest dreams, when as a fervent Zionist and a member of my local WIZO in my youth, I would ever have written the way I have in the past 24 hours.

      • Otto Waldmann says:

        rarely have I seen a messier rant than Ms Godfreys.
        If this is what ECAJ is counting on as support, it makes sense to me.

        • Mr. Waldmann,
          It is interesting that you have not answered the points I raised with you.

          So now I have to assume, rightly or wrongly, that 4 Israeli soldiers bullying a 5 year old is OK with you. Again, I assume that you agree that this type of despicable behaviour will help defend the Jewish State. You cannot be serious as to imply that a 5 year old child is a serious threat to Israel and has to be taken to a military court. Whilst Jewish children who perform the same deed is treated in a civil court. This is a black farce and if it was not serious it would be funny, but I am not laughing.

          I feel bitterly sorry for you as obviously you cannot answer my questions, so it is easier to call my comments ‘a messier rant’. If Jews from different parts of the spectrum, secular or religious, cannot have a civilised exchange of views, how in G-d’s heaven can the Jew and the Arab. I pray that the moderate Arab (if they are still alive) and the moderate Jews can one day come together and build a far better atmosphere in the Middle East.
          This situation is akin to two brothers having a terrible row whilst the onlookers stand by and do nothing. After all Abraham is considered by the Arab and the Jew and is deeply respected, and I have visited his tomb in Israel.
          If this is the best you can come up with, than with such supporters akin to yourself, then Israel WILL NEVER have peace and many more men, women and children on both sides will be killed.

          Congratulations now I understand why there is so much bitter hatred between Jew and Arab, your comments and attitude are feeding the hatred. Europe in 1939 exploded into World War II because certain people held such intransigent views, and millions were slaughtered.

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