Antisemitism, Racism & Hypocrisy at the Red Rattler


The Red Rattler theatre may not call it racism, but what else would you call their refusal to lease the theatre to Hillel, a Jewish youth group. Antisemitism?

I call it racism, hypocrisy, antisemitism and discrimination.  I suppose the RED part of the title should give us an indication as to where their heads are at.

They refused to host a Jewish Youth Organisation, yet they appeared to have no qualms, about hosting Greece’s Golden Dawn Far Left political party to formally establish a supportive splinter group .  Media releases had publicly indicated that Golden Dawn was to stage a ‘stealth visit’  to Australia in order to raise money and meet local supporters in Sydney and Melbourne.

However  now the “Australia First”  Party denies any knowledge of this on their web site and doesn’t know who put it there ? Consequently it is has been removed from this website.

For those of you who are unaware of what Golden Dawn is, it is described as neo-Nazi and fascist.  They have also made use of Nazi symbolism, and have praised figures of Nazi Germany in the past.  According to academic sources, the group is racist and xenophobic, while the party’s leader has openly identified it as nationalist and racist.

Hillel is a not-for-profit educational and cultural organisation which aims to ‘inspire university-aged young adults to engage with Jewish life’ and become future leaders.

The group are planning a series of performances consisting of a story¬telling series on the last generation to have direct contact with survivors of the Holocaust.

When Hillel made an application to perform at ‘The Red Rattler Theatre’ in Marrickville, in Sydney’s inner west, little did they have an inkling as to what a shock they were in for.

For those overseas and maybe those interstate, Marrickville/Newtown is the heart of the arty, leftist, alternative style area of Sydney, where there have been major issues with Greens and Leftists. Some may recall some 4 or so years back the decision of Marrickville Council to boycott Israel.

‘Our policy does not support colonialism/Zionism. Therefore we do not host groups that support the colonisation and occupation of Palestine,’

the Marrickville Theatre group responded curtly to the booking request..

The Red Rattler may not call it racism, but to refuse the youth group ‘Hillel’ which is a ‘ not-for-profit educational and cultural organisation, which aims to ‘inspire university-aged young adults to engage with Jewish life and become future leaders’ permission to hire the venue with that excuse is unconscionable and clearly racial discrimination, especially since they let the ‘Golden Dawn’ party use the premises.

According to their web site:

The The Red RattlerThe Theatre was the realisation of a collective dream of five local artists, who wanted to create a legal warehouse venue to showcase alternative Sydney arts, performance and grassroots activism. The five “Rats” had been hosting events for years at many of the illegal inner-city and inner-west warehouse spaces that have been shut down over the years and dreamed of creating an accessible venue that held all relevant licences to stay open, and would not be at the mercy of high rents and developers.

The Red Rattler Theatre Inc is completely volunteer-run, and could not exist without the hard work and goodwill of a small army of volunteers who staff, manage and run the venue. The success and longevity of the Theatre depend on the involvement and support of volunteers.

With this in mind, it’s rather surprising that they would refuse an offer of a group willing to hire the venue.

NSW Jewish Board of Deputies chief executive Vic Alhadeff told The Australian:

“It’s sad to see an artistic group practise outright discrimination and, worse, importing divisiveness based on conflicts taking place far from Australia. We ought to be able to get along and work with each respectfully, despite political views or differences of opinion.”

Mr Alhadeff has written to the theatre, explaining that the group is apolitical. He has also reiterated the board’s support for a two-state solution in the Middle East that would lead to the establishment of an independent Palestine.

No response has been received to Mr Alhadeff’s letter or phone calls to the theatre. The Red Rattler management also have not responded to The Australian or the Daily Mail


An update since posting:

The theatre has apologised.

In an email to The AJN tonight (Monday) it said the email

“does not reflect the values of  the Community Board of the Red Rattler Theatre”.

The email, which is signed by the entire board of directors of the Red Rattler Theatre went on to say that “The Red Rattler condemns racism of any kind”.

“We welcome organisations  from all cultures and walks of life and actively encourage cultural diversity.”

The Red Rattler board contacted Hillel directly to discuss the situation.

Like we believe them. It’s too little too late.
I suspect they were scared of what the consequences would be.
Action against them by Hillel or the Australian Human Rights Commission.

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  1. Jodie Goldberg

    I am Jewish and proud of it!!! In fact, everyone living in the free world should be proud of their religion whether they are Jewish, Christian or Muslim.
    The Red Rattler theater’s management should be fired and charged with hate crimes against Jewish people.
    The Red Rattler’s position has everything to do with the hatred and attempted marginalization of the Jewish community in Australia.
    What the Red Rattler’s decision supports is the marginalization against the Jewish community and the spread of hatred. This resonates pre Nazi proselytizing hatred against the Jews leading to violence and attempted genocide of our entire people. Genocide is the black mark humanity has carried throughout human history.
    Canada, the United States and Europe have to take a stand against this in order for our world to survive.

    • Jodie, I completely agree with you. I have taken out a complaint with the Anti Discrimination Board but I imagine they will come up with some lame excuse.

      • The AHRC will do nothing. A complaint was lodged a few weeks back against Hiz but-Tahrir and I am told that the chance of a conviction is ‘Buckley’s or none’.

  2. What was the full text of this supposed apology? The bits I read don’t sound very apologetic to me.

  3. What are the names of the ‘board’ of the Red Rattler?

    • If it’s a ‘registered company’ it will be listed.

      Just did a search.

      ARBN INC9896483
      Status Registered

      Legal Trading name
      THE RED RATTLER THEATRE Business Name BN98352850

      Any more than this you need to pay for on a ASIC search

  4. Disgraceful! The fact Red Rattler banned Jews and welcomed Golden Dawn, a xenophobic and anti-Semitic organisation, confirms that both the radical left and the far right have much in common. Greens and those we think of as far left are fascists. The Nazis are described as right wing, but their title – the Naitonal Socialist Workers Party – demonstrates they were far left, and like the Greens worshipped nature, believed in a pure race (hence needed to get rid of Jews and those they considered defective. They started with the disabled, and the Greens share many of the same views. Both are dangerous totalitarians and should be exposed as such.

    As for Aldaheff saying he has also reiterated the board’s support for a two-state solution in the Middle East that would lead to the establishment of an independent Palestine, he should not have brought Israel into it. The theatre’s racism should not be given the excuse of Israel, and Vic should not have bought into the lie that “we’re not against Jews, we just don’t like the way Israel is treating the Palestinians”,

    Let’s face it, the theatre were anti-Semitic, pure and simple, and those rushing to support them are tarred with the same brush.

  5. I had not heard of Red Rattler till this event. Naturally one asks what they were thinking. Given the type of organisation they “Link” to on their website….I am not all that surprised that they would look at Hillel through a BDS lense. I agree that far left and far right speak the same language. Why they would embrace Golden Dawn though is beyond me. Somehow I feel Golden Dawn might fail their avowed ethic…..(from their website):- “The Red Rattler was set up as a space where racism, homophobia, transphobia and sexism are not welcome on stage, in the audience, at the door, and at the bar. We ask you to join us in efforts to make this space welcoming, stimulating, and happiness producing to people regardless of their ethnicity, sexuality or gender.” In this instance Red Rattler fell far short of this ethic as well.

    As for Vic’s response I felt that if it was as reported above then it was a good response. He rightly “brought Israel into it” as this had been the essence of Red Rattler’s objection to Hillel. As for a two state solution this is still the official position of the NSWJBD and he must assert that position.

    As for the Directors of this venue the website indicates they are Teresa Avila, Meredith Williams, Janine Marshman, Kat Roma Greer, Jehan Kanga and Jamie Ferguson.

    The absurdity is that Red Rattler would get a better hearing for their artistic cause in Israel that they would from either Golden Dawn’s Greece or Hammas’ Palestine.

  6. What on earth is transphobia? Fear of eating trans fat, fear of going on transport, fear of crossing oceans? Where do they get these ridiculous phobia expressions from?

    All I know is that I have RedRattler phobia, and no, it is not irrational, just a normal reaction to a racist and anti-Semitic organisation.

  7. What concerns me is the first name basis on which the AFP thanked “Jamie” at the RED for facilitating the meeting. Given mutual hatreds (Jews and Israel), was this the reason GD was permitted to meet?

    • Thanks Shane and welcome to JDU.

      You raise a couple of very interesting points here.

      I know that trams were affectionately known as ‘Red Rattlers’ but was the RED part used to indicate what they stand for.?

      I also see that the AFP have now posted a disclaimer, a bit late in the day because no doubt now they are copping a bit of flack.

      “[Disclaimer: We received this information from an unverified source and so we are unable to confirm the accuracy of its content].”

      As far as I am concerned their excuses are a bit thin on the ground regarding this incident. I am sure the person who wrote the refusal did so with the full knowledge of the ‘board’. I’d be very surprised to hear otherwise.

  8. JDU doing a great Job exposing all the lefty racists in this country . Keep up your good work

  9. Jews Down Under

    The comment here by a ‘person’ posting under the name of “no care whatsoever”with a fake ID and address, who left a Spam comment, has been blocked and the comment removed.

    Guess what? The IP address is from the loony left suburb of Marrickville.

    Now isn’t that a surprise.

    These people are clearly afraid of the truth that they have to insult others to get their point across.

    If they care for a discussion fine, but to be disrespectful they can go and play elsewhere.