Open letter to Julian Burnside

February 14, 2013 by  
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Dear Mr Burnside

I believe you will  the guest speaker at a Jewish Function, March of the Living [ MOTL]  next Sunday morning  on the subject of refugees. I have read a lot of your articles, opinion pieces  and  I have also been to  some of your forums  and events  where you have spoken.

I  remember attending  The Age writers festival  when  you supported your friend Antony Loewenstein at his book launch ‘’ My Israel question’’.

It is well known  you are a  major supporter of the Palestinian, Arab and Muslim  community , you often represent them and advocate their causes.  Your reputation for Human Rights and the rights of refugees is highly regarded . Although I have not been able to find anything  at all written by you pertaining to Jewish or Israeli human Rights  nevertheless  I am sure you are equally as compassionate for others as well and   your activism would cover all ethnic and religious backgrounds .
I believe you will also be speaking at another forum  on Sunday  afternoon in Richmond alongside  a Rabbi from TBI  Synagogue and an Imam from Islamic Council of Victoria on the same subject.  Considering you  will be speaking to a predominately Jewish audience  at The March of the Living event  many with relatives and friends in Israel will you be  speaking about  Jewish refugees?

Approximately 850,000 Jews were forced out of  Arab and Muslim countries in 1948  immediately  after the Arabs ignored the UN  endorsed Mandate Resolution 181 declaring one state for the Jews and one state for the Arabs which resulted with the Arabs war the first of many wars against the Jews.

Many  of us  in the Jewish community are concerned that the  plight of Jewish refugees has been  totally ignored  by the UN and Human rights organizations and  activists and the Jewish refugees  and their descendants  recognition and deserving of compensation for fleeing Arab/ Muslims countries leaving behind all their homes , businesses, property  etc has not been addressed.

I would hope just as  you will be seeking Jewish support for your causes and the plight of so many other refugees you will  bring up this most important and relative topic  at the  MOTL function and most importantly bring it to the attention of the mainstream community just as you do for other deserving  refugee causes.
I look forward to hearing your views, input and support on this refugee issue and I’m sure your support  will be appreciated  by the Jewish community .

Michael Burd


11 Responses to “Open letter to Julian Burnside”
  1. john says:

    talking about having a bet each way I am sorry Julian birnside I find it a little hard to trust you

  2. Michelle says:

    Talking abut Jewish refuges, than in 1968 in Communist in Poland after the 6 days war that was won by Israel, the Soviet Union and all the communist country’s went against Israel and the Jews claiming that Israel attacked the Arabs??? 5 armies? 3 million Jews against 50 million Arabs? and wonted the Polish Jews to declare them self as enemy’s of Israel, if not than is one way ticket and leave everything and go, most of the Jews left, how about them being declared as refuges!! When Jews wont to reclaim they properties in Poland the now the antisemitic cols are endless, even now when there is no communism, we cant reclaim our properties, And this is no Islam country but rules are the same.

  3. Joseph says:

    Let Mr. Burnside come and speak to me. My family was established in Alexandria, Egypt since 1830. We were more than 30,000 souls in that great Mediterranean city (and more than 85,000 in the whole of Egypt) and lived in peace with the Muslim majority and a number of large minorities (Greeks, Armenians, Ottomans, Italian, French, British, etc.) that made up half the population of that great City. We were loyal to our host country and made enormous contributions to its growth in every real of endeavour far above our relative numbers. When conflicts erupted between Israel and its neighbours we suffered severe discrimination and heavy restriction were placed upon us Although our leaders always re-asserted their loyalty. Many hundreds were interned and expelled. Their properties sequestrated. On leaving the country they had to sign a document forgoing any claim and were issued exit visas “without return”. We did not rot in refugee camps festering terrorism, we just rebuilt our lives in our new host countries. No one helped us except Israel and our fellow Jews. There has never been any recognition for the over 850,000 that were kicked out of Muslim countries around the Mediterranean. So Mr. Burnside if you have one ounce of objectivity you will address the injustices that were imposed on us.

  4. Phillip says:

    Well put Michael – well put – but don’t hold your breath or get your hopes up waiting for any response let alone a sympathetic one from Mr Burnside.

  5. pam says:

    Great letter Michael, but don’t be too optimistic about receiving a positive reply to your appeal for him to consider Jewish refugees from Arab lands.

    Let’s not forget that Sonja Karkar’s Justice for Palestine group put on a showing of the anti-Semitic play “My Name is Rachel Corrie” in 2010. After the show, there was a
    panel discussion featuring BDS advocates plus Julian Burnside QC, who said he was there to provide “balance”

    In Karkar’s words… “ He rose to the occasion marked earlier by Rachel’s plea to the audience to drop everything and champion the Palestinian struggle for freedom and human rights. There was no other side, he said. As much as the Jews had suffered and as much as he could understand the desire for a state of their own and the pull of the biblical connection, nothing could justify what happened to the Palestinians from 1948 onwards. Visibly moved by the power of the play, he said some things simply cannot be balanced.

    Burnside has stated his unconditional support for the Palestinian narrative – “There was no other side”. This means he refuses to concede that this narrative might be politicized and highly mendacious, or to consider that there might be another version of events, based on evidence. This in itself is strange, as our legal system is based on testing
    evidence in order to arrive at the truth.

  6. geoffff says:

    It is beyond me why this man is given oxygen by some in the Jewish community.

    Burnside will not respond. Why should he? His Jewish friends will do that for him,

    He and they threaten us all. That is no exaggeration. To live outside of the Jewish community and to identify as a Jew in Australia today is to risk everything. That is the honest truth.

    Those of you within the comfort of the community will be next. Thank you for your “solidarity”.

  7. Lynne Newington says:

    I have often wondered [and spoken out on] why Mr Burnside has never come forward in relation to the sex-abuse crisis in this country, if not the Catholic one, that has been in the public domain for several years.
    With his human rights issues and rubbing shoulders of the highest order, his voice would have been a force to be reckoned with.
    Lucky refugees yet devoid of Jewish ones so it appears.

  8. Paul Winter says:

    I will not hold my breath waiting for Julian Burnside to call for the recognition of the rights of Jewish refugees from Arab realms. Burnside once spoke about refugees at North Shore Temple Emanuel. I left that meeting with the clear impression that his passion was definitely skewed and his ignorance about refugees was profound. When I learn from Micheal Burd’s letter that Burnside is a “Palestinian” advocate, I identify him as a man of the hard left who is passionate about what happened to Jews in the Shoah and equally passionate in his condemnation of Israel as the Judeo-Nazi regime, victimising the poor, poor “Palestinians”.

    The very notion that an advocate for that fake folk, the “Palestinians” – the heirs and torch bearers of hitler’s Balkan recruiter, Amin el-Husseini – will be addressing a meeting of the March of the Living, is nauseating. That a rabbi should share a platform with such a person who displays selective sympathy, is beyond comprehension. It cheapens the tragedy of the people whose memory the occassion is meant to commemorate and pay its respect to.

    Comparing the Shoah to the fate of Jew from mohammedan realms is inappropriate. Sure, Jews in Arab lands were persecuted, abused and robbed, but most escaped with their lives. Comparing even those Jews to the Arabs who left what became Israel is also inappropriate; the Arabs were not subject to abuse and theft as the Jewish refugees were. The comparison of Jewish experience to the Arab experience is an exercise in false equivalences. The understanding of “the other” through trivial somilarities leads to trivialisation and consequences based on the indictrination of ignorances. It serves only the enemise of Jews, the Jewish state and of enlightenment.

    • Jerome says:

      Well said Paul Winter! Very few “experts” seem to possess more than a cursory knowledge of the devious psychopath, Amin el-Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem & the instigator of the Arab uprising in the last few years of the British Mandate that cost over 2000 Arab lives for no gain & from which el-Husseini escaped like a rat fleeing a sinking ship. This so called man of God, fled to Italy, where after failing to impress Mussolini, he travelled on to Germany, where he befriended Himmler in order to gain an audience with Hitler. Seeing el-Husseini for the slimy sycophant that he was, Hitler met with el-Husseini but once, during which he pledged to allow el-Husseini to lead the Arabs under Nazi stewardship, in return for el-Husseini’s unsolicited offer to partner the Nazis in exterminating all Jews living in the Arab world. Not content with that offer, el-Husseini organised & donated a regiment of Muslim soldiers to the Nazi’s genocidal operations in the Balkans, where his barbarian troops competed with Nazi “action groups” for the position of most brutal & murderous.

      At war’s end, with a cell reserved for him at Nuremberg, el Husseini escaped once again & made his way to Egypt, where he was granted asylum & from where he facilitated the flight from Justice of hundreds of mid to high level Nazis to Egypt, where they lived out their lives untouched & unpunished. If that’s not sufficient cause to revile this man, so referred to this day by the “palestinians”, el Husseini was so enamoured with National Socialism’s ideals & organisational structure, that he promoted its incorporation into the foundation of the Ba’ath Party, together with his loyal right hand man, Sadaam Hussein’s Uncle, future leader of the fledgling Ba’ath Party that would gestate in Tikrit, Iraq & spawn the monstrous murderer & sadistic serial killer, Sadaam Hussein. This group of men, wanted war criminals & vicious psychopaths, saw potential in the 16yr old Sadaam & put him to work initially as a debt collector & enforcer but by 18yrs of age, Sadaam’s love of killing, particularly when it involved torture & degradation of indescribable depravity, had become folkloric in Tikrit & he was promoted to the role of chief assassin for the Ba’ath Party, a job he loved & one he was never to abandon, still participating personally in the execution of prisoners right up until his flight from Baghdad. He retained the organisational structure of the Nazis throughout his dictatorship & even copied Hitler’s “Night of the Long Knives”, by executing all opposing members of Iraq’s parliament at the commencement of the Coup that brought him to power.

      Today’s palestinians passionately study & attempt to emulate their hero, Amin el-Husseini, a Nazi if ever there was one. That is the true nature of Israel’s enemy & we must never allow our fellow Jews forget this history, for it provides the context for Israel’s determination to survive & to ignore all attempts to force it to soften it’s stance, to concede, to negotiate away hard one gains or to compromise on its core purpose in existing:- to be the sole homeland of the Jewish people, to protect & nurture our people & to ensure that in the never ending struggle of good versus evil, acknowledged by believers & atheists alike as a fundamental & eternal human challenge, good will prevail as embodied in the continued presence of a thriving Jewish population in Israel, its ancestral & rightful home.

  9. Gabrielle says:

    A very fine letter and let’s hope Mr Burnside responds as we would hope.

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