Here is another window into the state of Australian multiculturalism. Shirlee touched on this yesterday in her street level account of the same thing.
Vic Alhadeff is chief executive of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies. He is also chair of the NSW Community Relations Commission. Recently he sent an email to “Jewish community members” that according to this report
… criticised the “Hamas terror organisation” for launching rockets on Israeli towns, saying families had been forced into shelters and “children kept from summer camp”
Israel would “do whatever is needed to defend its citizens. All options are on the table”, he said.
He accused Hamas of “war crimes” for “indiscriminately” attacking civilians, claiming in contrast, Israel uses “care to avoid civilian casualties” and “pinpoint technologies to hit the targeted infrastructure”.
And? Is that it?
This is what you would expect a communal leader with any guts to say and it is entirely consistent with both of his important public roles. Man telling the truth and doing his job. We should be so lucky. We should have him cloned. Move on. Nothing to see here.
Not a bit of it of course.
The statement triggered outrage amongst Arab leaders in NSW, including Joseph Wakim, former Victorian Multicultural Affairs Commissioner and founder of the Australian Arabic Council, who described the views as “biased and provocative”.
Mr Alhadeff’s appointment to the Community Relations Commission in December last year “should never have happened” because it created a serious conflict of interest. He called on Mr Alhadeff to relinquish one role.
In a statement, co-convenors of the NSW Parliamentary Friends of Palestine, Labor MP Lynda Voltz and Greens MP David Shoebridge, said Mr Alhadeff’s comments were “deeply inappropriate” and unless they were withdrawn, his community relations role was “clearly untenable”.
A spokesman for Premier Mike Baird said Mr Alhadeff “has done an excellent job” as CRC chair but his statement “may be considered inconsistent” with promoting community harmony.“He has acknowledged the need to focus on issues in NSW and avoid using inappropriate language regarding overseas conflicts”.
Let’s take a step back and see what we have here.
Israel did not attack Hamas. Hamas started this war and declared it in the most obscene way possible. Hamas continues to wage this war with all its resources. The impact on the Israeli people is of course enormous.
Hamas does this from under the cover of its own civilian population because it wants to burn some of the people the regime shelters behind.
They want dead innocent Arab people, preferably kids, as well as dead Jews. These are soldiers in jihad too says Hamas.
This is what terrorist regimes do and this is why Hamas has been declared an illegal terrorist organisation.
There have been civilian casualties but the available independent evidence is that the majority of the dead and injured are enemy combatants or at least statistically much less likely to be very young,old or female. The UN has confirmed that most received warnings.
So he has elected to stay stum and good for him. That’s his decision.
Does it mean no one can denounce terrorism and cold blooded murder if they expect to have a role in official “community relations”?
Sure there is but it is not a conflict of interest or duty.
This would have been impossible even ten years ago. There are now too many cheering for Hamas, Hezbollah and the caliphate that it has become impossible for someone dedicated to communal harmony in Australia to speak about racist war crimes in progress and why they are so abhorrent, and are the sole cause of this war, and expect to keep an official role, at least in NSW. Not to even talk of such things within his own community.*
And Vic Aldaheff goes along with all this?
How long does this gag last? Until after the next hudna? Forever?
Where do you go from there.
What Vic Aldaheff signs up for is his business. My concern is not at all with how he decides to deploy his time but with the new dynamics that have gagged him and how they have the potential to gag us all.
Also a conflict that perhaps can arise for anyone out of a special communal duty or otherwise who takes on something official to do with community relations that prohibits her from ever talking about racist attacks on Jews anywhere,including from Gaza,and the potential these have to spread anywhere including here.
Even if it is a conflict of conscience alone.
I guess no one in these roles can make statements on stuff, especially wars and conflict, that could inflame community relations here. Obvious when you say it quickly.
But that’s the rub. After the sun has set this a deep silence about an awfully large gorilla in the jungle of community relations and raises questions about what we pay for multiculturalism.
* At New Matilda Michael Brull has been monitoring Vic Aldaheff’s tweets and statements for anything at all to do with Israel. I will not flatter anyone with a link.
What a sad and strange little man.
Posted at Geoffff’s Joint
Will the Premier and other politicians be hauled over the coals, too, if they make “inappropriate” comments about one side in the conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan?
Do the Commissioner’s PRIVATE emails need vetting by the Premier before they are sent?
Does the Premier believe that there is moral equivalence between the genocidal Palestinian government and populace on one side, and Israel on the other?
I asked these questions of my local MP who is a minister in the NSW Government. In due course I might get specific replies to these specific questions.
And let’s recall the line in the “Amidah” prayer, “ve’lamalshinim al te’hi tikvah.”
personally i think it’s appalling he resigned, it was a weak gesture and a complete appeasement to the bullies in the racial harmony board or whatever they call themselves. they can stick their racial harmony in their missile launchers. this vic chap really played the wrong card here, he should have stuck it out and been proud of standing up for israel and the jews not surrendering to a death cult that suddenly got all sensitive about contents in an e mail.