Response to Galus Australia article

8th October 2013

Gabrielle ‘Gabsy’ Debinski. Media and Advocacy Director of the Zionist Federation of Australia…

Recently, there have been some accusations flying around about the ZFA, stemming from an advocacy update published last week, and it seems apt to respond.

My role at the ZFA is to provide food for thought on topical issues as they present themselves in the media and other forums.  In doing so I try to reflect the views of the vast majority of Australian Jewry who identify themselves with Zionism. The bulletin does not purport to speak for each and every member of the community.

The ZFA aims to represent Australia’s Zionist community, and in particular our affiliate organizations. Naturally there is a wide range of opinions within the community on many issues.

Our affiliates range from Australian friends of Likud and Betar, to Ameinu and Friends of Meretz, Habonim Dror and Hashomer Hatzair. The suggestion that the ZFA agenda is set out by kippa wearing men in suits is false and a simple read of the names of its executive proves it. While internally we discuss and consider all viewpoints when it comes to Israel, at the end of the day, we form a consensus view relating to key issues. In regard to the J Street conference, there is clear consensus which includes our affiliates at every point on the political spectrum, that the public support at the conference for a Palestinian right of return is not in tune with the mainstream view of our community. We received vast feedback from our affiliates and the broader community to this effect.

We are proud to have an incredibly strong and diverse Zionist movement in Australia. The ZFA’s objective is to provide as broad a tent as possible so that as many Zionist members of the community can participate in as many of the programs that we and our affiliates operate. However, there will be instances where it’s incumbent on the ZFA, on behalf of its affiliates, to identify and comment on conduct that falls squarely outside the view of the mainstream Zionist community. This is precisely what has occurred.

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  1. Leon Poddebsky

    There is NO “right of return” for the initiators of the 1947-48 war “of extermination”[ Azzam Pasha, head of the Arab League], the ideological heirs of the nazi collaborator, Haj Amin al-Husseini et al, against the Jews of The Land of Israel nor for their descendants.
    Why a Zionist does not enclose that phrase inside quotation marks and does not call it “the DEMAND of return”, is a question someone might care to answer.

  2. J Street call for a Palestinian right of return is in effect support for Arabs’ right to destroy Israel.

    There were no ‘Palestinians’ until they were invented in 1964 along with a fake claim to be the indigenous people of Israel. Arabs – who then just called themselves Arabs – never demanded a right of return when Jordan illegally occupied Judaea and Samaria, and Egypt illegally occupied Gaza. Israel regained these territories in a defensive war, so has the best right, especially as they are part of her historic homeland.

    It is simply a ploy, born out of an abiding anti-Semtism which has a long history among the Arabs. Those left-wing Jews who fall for it are misguided at best, malevolent at worst.

  3. I am disappointed at the weakness of the ZFA. I see no reason why they have to justify what they stand for.

    This is in reply to one article critical of the ZFA, where the person who wrote it didn’t have the courage of his/her conviction to put his/her name to it. Therefore in my book that item is worthless.