On the fringe

May 31, 2015 by J-Wire Staff
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The organisers of an event planned to coincide with Limmud Oz in Sydney have renamed “Limmud Fringe” to “Jewish Fringe” following a threat of legal action.

Peter Slezak presenting in 2013  photo: Henry Benjamin

Peter Slezak presenting in 2013 photo: Henry Benjamin

The Shalom Institute, which organises the annual Festival of Jewish Ideas, Limmud Oz, have threatened legal action against Jewish dissidents who are organising a parallel fringe event, This was previously announced as ‘Limmud Fringe’. The threat of legal action is against the use of this title because Shalom Institute has registered the trade marks ‘Limmud Oz’ and ‘Limmud Fest’.

In response to this threat, the organisers of the fringe event have re-named it ‘Jewish Fringe’. The organiser, Dr Peter Slezak said “We wish to make it clear that the event previously titled “Limmud Fringe” to be held at the University of New South Wales on June 8th 2015 is not in any way associated, affiliated, sponsored or otherwise connected with Limmud Oz to be held at the same time at UNSW on 6-8 June 2015. Following the complaints and legal threats, we have renamed the event “Jewish Fringe” in order to avoid misrepresentation and misleading anyone that there is a connection between any person involved in our event and Limmud Oz, where no such connection in fact exists.”
However the organisers of Limmud Oz have told J-Wire that the change of name was not the result of the reported threatened legal action.
Ben Berger said: “Peter Slezak was politely informed on the phone that Limmud is a trademark that he is not permitted to use and that trying to suggest any association between Limmud-Oz and another event is entirely inappropriate. He asked for a formal letter stating our claim to the trademark and we to sent it.”
The re-named event “Jewish Fringe” is a response to the policy of Limmud Oz to exclude anyone who supports or advocates Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) of Israel. Dr Peter Slezak, in association with Jews against the Occupation, is hosting the parallel program free of charge, to be held at the same time and place as the Limmud Oz festival, at UNSW on Queen’s Birthday weekend.
The program includes a session by Dr Slezak, Jewish Dissent: Hannah Arendt & “Red Lines”, Then and Now, a workshop by Vivienne Porzsolt of Jews against the Occupation “Who’s Afraid of BDS?” and a panel of Palestinian and Israeli PhD students at UNSW on Identity Struggles of the New Generation Living under the Occupation.
Dr Slezak said ‘We hope to demonstrate that there is nothing to fear and much to be gained from open discussion of difficult ideas concerning important issues.”
The program will be on Monday, 8 June from 10.30 am to 2.30 pm in Central Lecture Block (CLB) 2. There is no charge for admission and no booking is needed.



19 Responses to “On the fringe”
  1. Jan Poddebsky says:

    I have just discovered the joys of Michael Bull, oops sorry Brull, writing in New Matilda. He doesn’t like lots of things. Predictably Israel. But he doesn’t like Anzac Day either. And Liberals just cannot be trusted. He does like the No War sign painted on the Opera House by a couple of Brits who still roam the world teaching others good manners. He could send a post card of that picture to the Saudis and to ISIS and to the Eritreans but they probably won’t take much notice. And the Taliban, well they might think the Opera House is a modern version of Buddhist statues and demolish it. But even more improbably he might suggest that if we just stop meddling in their affairs they will settle down and be nice to each other. Oops sorry, it must be racist to expect others to conform to our views of what is nice. And why are all those people risking their lives trying to get into the West anyway?

  2. Jan Poddebsky says:

    If you go to the website for Independent Jews bla bla you will find a quote from Slezak which states that it is OUTRAGEOUS for people to decide what others may hear. Of course he is frothing at the mouth about his exclusion from Limmud Oz this year. His epilepsy does not extend to the Colonel Kemp lecture when his buddies stormtrooped their way into the lecture room at Sydney Uni expressly to decide what the audience was allowed to hear.

  3. Otto Waldmann says:

    Fundamentally impervious to reason, being humiliated once again in public in front of the Jewish Community by entering through the back door public attention (sic) is NOTHING for this bunch of losers.
    We shall compare numbers and quality of attendance, mind you ,FREE in their case.
    Pity I wont be there, still stuff to clear up for Europe, but I would have ventured a lecture on the “efficiency” of the Slezak-Porzsolt syndrome/mental cases.

  4. Leon Poddebsky says:

    And of course this assembly of angels will condemn the ethnic cleansing perpetrated by Arabs in 1948, when they ethnically cleansed the Jews out of Judea / Samaria (“the West Bank”) and also from the Gaza Strip.

    Also, while standing on land that was ethnically cleansed and illegally occupied by Europeans, will these models of morality “acknowledge the original owners of the land we stand on?”

  5. Leon Poddebsky says:

    It is to be hoped that this conclave will discuss the illegal occupation / squatting by Arabs on Jewish land, that has been ongoing since British Mandatory times, but is rampant even today.
    A related matter is the rampant illegal construction by Arabs in Israel today.
    The NGO, Regavim, has documented this sort of illegal Arab activity that is proceeding currently with the zealous collaboration of the European Union.

    I am sure that this coterie of conscience, this assembly of saints, will lend its morality and righteousness to a denunciation of such illegal and immoral acts.
    By the way, will Bob Carr or Hanan Ashrawi be delivering the keynote address?

  6. Jan Poddebsky says:

    Interesting! A student with Jewish ‘fringes’ and a kipa was saluted by someone at a Sydney Uni party with ‘Heil Hitler’ thanks to the sterling efforts of the BDS campaign and it apologists, the Lynches and the Riemers and the Porzolts and the Slezaks. This is the new norm on campus. Thanks guys on behalf of the community and its children. I think we got your message.

  7. Otto Waldmann says:

    Just consider that have used already the worst , most offensive adjectives about the Rejects reply lectures to show off the wise organisers of the Limud. There is one expression, however, which – with the express approval of the wise and good looking editor – describes best these shlemils : they are much bigger masochists than I ever thought.
    Just check the torrents of “friendly” comments they have invited on this page alone and it is so evident that the Slezak-Porzsolt farcical feast of flying feathers is bound to land flat on its intellectual side, of course I mean the tuches, just to keep, for their sake, the atmosphere within Yiddishkeit.

  8. Joseph Silver says:

    I would go further and suggest that it is objectionable that this gang of Jew-hating misfits even claim to be ‘Jewish Fringe’. I sometimes think it’s a shame we don’t endorse the practice of excommunication in our own community because it could come in handy right now.

  9. Leon Poddebsky says:

    Does “Jews Against Occupation” refer to the illegal occupation by Arabs of Jewish land?

  10. john sussman says:

    A fringe talk fest for fringe dwellers,and trogladytes who cares.The usual suspects will attend,but best to ignore them

  11. Paul Winter says:

    The fact that the Jewish Fringe will give its sessions free of charge, is a clear indication of what they are worth.

    That the group calls itself the Jewish Fringe is an appropriate self-identifier. It reminds me of the fact that in cemeteries in pre-WW2 Hungary, social outcasts, criminals, whores and bastards were buried on the fringes.

    The term Jewish Fringe is almost as misleading as Limmud Fringe when it is in fact allied to the antisemitic, anti-Israel Palestinian Arab mainstream.

    • Leon Poddebsky says:

      Paul, these are the heirs of those other fringe dwellers “of Jewish background,” such as Pablo Christiani, Karl Marx, Bruno Kreisky, Isaac Deutscher et al.
      Hatred of the House of Israel coursed through their blood.

  12. PHIL LEVY says:

    I’ll be supporting the Boycott of slezak and portzolt!!!!

    • Jan Poddebsky says:

      I am reconsidering my boycott. It might be more fun ‘disrupting’ the hate fest and calling the disruption ‘free speech’ a la Spence. Riemer says that’s OK. Just check out New Matildas and he tells you in 50000 words why you have a moral duty to disrupt. Let’s think up an appropriate chant and bring your megaphones!!

  13. Gil Solomon says:

    I hope some of the official organisers from Limmud Oz with their appropriate ID tags will take it upon themselves to stand outside the entrance to CLB 2 to advise passers by that what is going on inside is not a Limmud Oz sponsored event.

  14. K Sharma says:

    A guy wants to present at TedX but gets knocked back because he works to ban a group of other presenters at TedX from being able to address Sydney audiences (he doesn’t like where they come from).

    He then puts on an event next door to TedX at the same time as TedX and calls it “TedX Fringe”. The TedX team phones him up to politely let him know that, “Hey guess what, TedX is a trademark” and would he mind changing the name of his no doubt excellent event to something else less confusing.

    Guy says he is a ***victim*** of a threat of legal action if he continues to break the law (strange that). He tells everyone who will listen, notes that there’s nothing scary about discussing new stuff, which by the way only he is able to enlighten Sydney with.

    Narcissism anyone?

    • Michelle Berkon says:

      We had no problem accepting that Limmud was a trademark, and no problem changing the name of our event to comply with Limmud’s request and its legal rights. The legal letter did not need to include threats.

      • Otto Waldmann says:

        Don’t worry love, we know too well what kinda problems yourse guys DO have…

      • Jan Poddebsky says:

        You knew that Limmud was a trademark and yet you went ahead anyway. Now you complain that invoking the possibility of legal action against your use is a threat. That has the same flavour as publically bleating that your irresistable offers to speak to the Limmud community were rudely denied. ‘Censorship in the Jewish community’ the newspapers blazed under a photo of Slezak, the new prophet. In both instances your purpose is to discredit rather than enhance this community. Your knickers are transparent.

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