J-AIR apologies for homophobic content

April 3, 2020 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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In a statement, J-AIR has unreservedly apologised for broadcasting and podcasting comments that vilified the gay community in one of its regular programs.

The comments were made by Rabbi Mendel Kessin on the Tamar Yonah Show on Monday, 30 March 2020. Yonah hosts her own show on J-AIR’s sister station in Israel, Israel News Talk Radio (INTR), and Rabbi Kessin’s comment was originally aired on 24 March on the INTR program The Mystical Meaning of the Coronavirus with Rabbi Mendel Kessin.

They were re-broadcast on J-AIR on 30 March.

J-AIR president George Banky told J-Wire Rabbi Kessin’s views were totally unacceptable.

Dr Banky said: “J-AIR has initiated its complaints procedure in line with ACMA (Australian Communications and Media Authority) and CBAA (Community Broadcasting Association of Australia) requirements.

We have taken the podcast offline, and the complaints’ committee has started to review the show’s contents. The outcome of this process will be announced within 30 days, if not sooner. J-AIR is seeking an explanation from Tamar Yonah.

J-AIR is very aware of its role as a community broadcaster and strictly adheres to the laws of this country, particularly the ones referring to broadcasting as mandated by ACMA.

We apologise for causing offence to the gay community.”

The program was heard by the co-convenor of LGBTIQ+ group Aleph Melbourne. Rabbi Kessin stated that the Messiah will not come until the coronavirus pandemic has removed world problems. He said: “Ah, in other words the plague itself is a vehicle, is an instrument, to accelerate the messianic process by removing these major problems. What are they? You see. So therefore what we see is the following. The first major problem is that man has corrupted his nature. There is a tremendous amount of, ah, what’s called immorality in the world today. It’s widespread. There’s, in Hebrew it’s called “prichus” (פְּרִיצוּת). We want, we could say it’s also in the form of homosexuality, and gays and so on and so forth, where all of a sudden the gender differentiation is, is tremendously blurred. So that is an incredible corruption of man’s nature.”

Co-convenor of Aleph Michael Barnett told J-Wire: “I have seen the apology. I’m pleased to see they’re taking this seriously and responding appropriately.

Beyond the apology, I am keen to see what steps they will put in place to ensure the station doesn’t vilify LGBTIQ+ people again.”


2 Responses to “J-AIR apologies for homophobic content”
  1. Michael Barnett says:

    Joe, I’m sure the shoe would be on the other foot if a different radio station broadcast a pre-recorded interview that vilified Jews. Just imagine the outrage from the Jewish community! You seem to want to have your cake and eat it too.

    As for your victim blaming, how about focusing more on the fact that the station broadcast an interview that vilified gays and less on how this came to the attention of station management. If the station hadn’t have broadcast the vilifying content, there would have been no need for anyone to make an issue about it.

    I am not harming the station.

  2. Joe Silver says:

    Michael Barnett, J-AIR didn’t vilify LGBTIQ+ people, the Rabbi who uttered the inappropriate words did. J-AIR has proper procedures in place to deal with situations where individual presenters step out of line or produce unacceptable content.
    Your aggressive attack against J-AIR is way over the top and has gone a long way to damage the good work J-AIR is doing and what it is trying to achieve in the interests of the entire Jewish community.
    The concerns of LGBTIQ+ are one one thing but to potentially be harming what J-AIR is doing in the process is wrong.

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