The Australian Labor Party and Israel

We are in Australia. We don’t live the life of an Israeli. It was reported yesterday that the majority of Israelis were and are against the previous evacuation of Gush Katif (Aza or Gaza).

Are we, as Jews not living there going to tell them they are wrong, while we lounge in the relative comfort of Melbourne?

And so, I will confine my views to those emanating from the Australian political landscape,

I am friendly with Michael Danby, a stalwart within the Labor Party and a shining star. Mark Dreyfus or his office never respond to my communication.

At the end of the day, to talk about a two state solution as observers in Australia is complete and utter baloney, and grossly misses the point.

There is currently NO PARTNER FOR PEACE. I do not think it is necessary to justify such a fact. It is self-evident and is the view of the Israeli Government.

IF AND ONLY IF there is partner, one can begin to talk about two states.

That reality is lost in the labor party’s discussions where the left clearly hold sway.

The transparent remarks as typified by the weekly letters to the Australian Jewish News, that we should be applauding Michael (and Mark) and two others is correct, however, the suggestion that THIS is the front page news is an attempt to deflect from the primary issue. The primary issue is not about two states. It is about whether there is a partner for peace, and what the Labor party did not say.

In my opinion statements which elide this primary issue as enunciated by the elected Government of Israel are defective and deflective of reality.

I do not know what the Liberals will say, but the Greens already have shown their lying yellow colour, when their leader changed his mind a few days after being elected. The Greens are the up and comers and the most dangerous party in respect of support for the only true democracy in the region. They are the Marmara of Australia, often wearing the clothing of the mujahideen under their vegetable-derived suits.

Australia Post “racist”?

What a joke. Who do they think is going to issue the stamp with Australia, Hamas or Fatah? Did they exist in 1917? Maybe Australia should have issued the stamp with the peace loving Erdogan?

[Hat tip to Benseon]

 

 

The good work of Rabbis is often invisible

The reality is that newspapers and reporters are seemingly more likely to report and aggrandise horror stories and mistakes than they are to report excellent outcomes and outstanding effort, especially when it comes to Orthodox Rabbinic work. Sure, if a philanthropist donates money, they will report that as a big story with a nice picture spread. You won’t, however, find the headline on the front cover

“Reform rabbi speaks in favour of the anti-zionist BDS-supporting AJDS”

The “passionate” support of the Reform rabbi happened. It was mentioned in an article about the meeting of the ECAJ. I’d suggest such a view and display of passion has bigger ramifications for the reform movement and the opinion of many Jews than a Zablo that was screwed up and set aside by a NSW court. We should have had a transcript of what she had said.

As Rabbis Ullman and Moshe Gutnick noted in their letters to the Australian Jewish News, the focus on positive work and outcomes of Orthodox Rabbis seems to occupy no space in the AJN.

I wonder how the left-wing, and Limmud Oz supporters would react if it was suggested that they invite the following Neturei Karta people to speak about why we should be appeasing Ahmadinajad and dismantle the State in favour of Palestinian Arabs. After all, it’s all about tolerance, diversity and giving everyone a fair go to express their views?

No, Limmud Oz wouldn’t ever invite Neturei Karta, even remotely by video conference. Why not? I wonder if the AJDS would support them being invited? I imagine they would. After all, democracy is their religion. And yet, Limmud Oz invited Slezak! I don’t see much difference. In retrospect, there is a significant difference. Slezak is taken more seriously, especially by the young and green, and the young and green are mainly behind Limmud Oz.

People like Jeremy Stowe-Lindner, principal of Bialik College in Melbourne, writing in an article in the Australian Jewish News that amounts to a whitewash of a serious error by Limmud Oz in inviting Slezak, should now support Neturei Karta using his own arguments. Would Stowe-Lindner also use an error of inviting Neturei Karta to promote his agenda of sidelining denominational issues to the category of personally baked pareve cheese cake?

I know of recent cases where the Victorian Rabbinate, through the Beth Din, have solved very serious and long running cases of recalcitrant husbands not giving a Get. Was that a front page story? Heck, no.

It’s also the Rabbinate’s fault. They need a PR person in this day and age. In addition, they should have supplied statistics about the number of mediations they have overseen over the last few years which have been successful and not been challenged and compare those with  secular mediations and arbitrations that have been challenged.

No, you won’t see any of this in our Australian Jewish News. They are in the business of selling papers, and horror stories especially about Orthodoxy are better.

[AJDS really should rename themselves ADJS because I struggle to find Judaism in their politics. Left-wing democracy would seem to be their religion.]

Remembering Rav Menachem Froman ז’ל

Recently, I learned of the tragic petirah of HaRav Menachem Froman. He was well-known in the press over many years. Ironically, a founder of Gush Emunim, and described with the pejorative title of “settler”, Rav Froman was the driving force behind the city of Tekoa.

Rav Froman was a thinker, who worked outside the box. He had his own controversial views on how to relate to the Palestinian Arabs (and even known terrorists ימח שמם וזכרם) and many if not most like-minded souls who also moved, with מסירות נפש to far-flung corners of our Holy land, disagreed with his approach.

In his own words:

“My premise is that for Jews to live in all of Eretz Yisrael, they have to create a network of life with the Arabs”, says Rav Froman. “In the Holy Land, you can’t make peace without attending to the issue of holiness”.

“Isn’t it only fitting that Jerusalem be the seat of the United Nations’ cultural bodies, human rights organizations, scholarly forums? Isn’t it only proper that Jerusalem be the place where members of all faiths convene to renounce their breeding of prejudice, hostility, and war?”

Rav Froman truly believed that conciliation and peace lay only through the spreading of Kedusha through faith-based meetings and respect for adherents of Islam. If I’m not mistaken, Tekoa doesn’t have one of those security fences surrounding it. He wanted Tekoa and its residents to feel comfortable with their neighbours. When some Jewish crazies attacked a mosque and set fire, he came to the village and brought replacement texts of the Koran as a gesture of regret and respect.

My cousin, Effrat (née Balbin) (that’s how she spells her first name) and her husband Rabbi David Fialkoff are idealists who live in a caravan in Tekoa. The caravan now houses their bevy of children. They are inspiring and selfless people. David is also a big chassid of Rav Steinsaltz and has impeccable midos tovos. On Shabbos, I used to sing Chabad Nigunim especially for David, who participated with Dveykus.

In 2006, I had the Zchus to attend their wedding. It was then that I first laid eyes on Rav Froman. He was one of those people whose eyes were alive, and who had this aura surrounding him. You could just feel his presence. He had such a peaceful and happy demeanour. I remember he sporadically began a dance before the Chuppa with my Uncle Hershel Balter. He personified Ahavas Yisroel and a love for others. I tried to talk to him and engage him on some of his views, and he simply wasn’t interested. He undoubtedly felt that I was attempting to cajole him into a controversial discussion. He wasn’t having a bar of it. We were at a wedding, and he probably sensed that I wasn’t really at the level of having a meaningful conversation on the topic. After all, I was from Melbourne, Australia. What business of mine was there in talking to someone who was an inspiration to the entire community of Tekoa.

You couldn’t help liking him. If he had worn a Rebbishe Spodik he would have fit the part of a  Jew who had this burning attraction to another Yid’s Neshoma Elokis, and who was attracted to them like a magnet.

I’m told that Tekoa is in severe grief and mourning. It is very difficult for the to cope with the loss of their inspirational leader. In the picture below, which I took back then, Rav Froman is reading the Kesuba while Rav Shteinsaltz looks on.

I liked the man, lots.

יהי זכרו ברוך

Rav Froman (on the right) and Rav Steinsaltz on the left.
Rav Froman (on the right) and Rav Steinsaltz on the left.