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Submission on Freedom of Speech (Repeal of S.18C) Bill 2014 Categories: Australasia, Immigration/ Multiculturalism, Media Releases, Monographs/ Submissions    

This document constitutes the submission by the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) to Attorney-General George Brandis regarding proposed amendments to the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (RDA)...

AIJAC maintains that the provisions of Part IIA of the RDA have worked effectively for nearly 20 years, and that there is not a compelling reason for repeal or wholesale reform. 

Statement on proposed Racial Hatred Act amendents Categories: Australasia, Immigration/ Multiculturalism, Media Releases    

AIJAC's comment to the Australian Financial Review [no link available] and the Guardian Australia on November 8 in response to their enquiring about the reports (November 8) concerning the Government plans to amend the Racial Hatred Act:

"We believe the Federal Racial Hatred Act has, overall, contributed constructively to social cohesion and harmony in Australia...

Statement: AIJAC congratulates Tony Abbott and the Coalition on election victory, calls for bipartisan approach to Israel

Statement: AIJAC congratulates Tony Abbott and the Coalition on election victory, calls for bipartisan approach to Israel Categories: Australasia, Immigration/ Multiculturalism, Israel, Media Releases    

AIJAC congratulates Tony Abbott and the Coalition on their election victory. Prime Minister-elect Tony Abbott and Foreign Minister-elect Julie Bishop with their colleagues have been exceptional friends of Israel and the Jewish community in Opposition and we look forward to this steadfast support continuing in Government...

AIR
The Face-Off

The Face-Off Categories: Antisemitism, Australasia, Immigration/ Multiculturalism, International Security, Iran, Israel    

In keeping with a long-standing pre-election tradition at the AIR, we sent a series of ten policy questions to the campaigns of both Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Opposition Leader Tony Abbott to help inform our readers as they go to the polls on Sept. 7. The questions - designed to focus on political issues of special concern to the Australian Jewish community - deal with issues including Israel and the peace process, communal education, counter-terrorism and communal security, the Iranian nuclear crisis, multiculturalism, racial hatred laws and the vexed question of asylum seeker policy.

The Last Word: Fair and Foul

The Last Word: Fair and Foul Author: Jeremy Jones Categories: Australasia, Immigration/ Multiculturalism, Islamic Extremism    

This year, Sydney's Multicultural Eid Festival and Fair (MEFF) took place for the 29th time.

Tens of thousands of Muslim Australians, and, each year, a growing number of non-Muslim visitors, enjoyed a carnival, musical entertainment, speeches and (halal) food, with booths promoting charities, selling a variety of goods and soliciting support for a range of causes.

Federal, state and local elected officials, representatives of religious, national and ethnic organisations, sporting personalities and television celebrities contributed to the atmosphere in what has become an established feature on Sydney's calendar.

AIJAC statement responding to Foreign Minister Carr's legal claims on settlements

AIJAC statement responding to Foreign Minister Carr's legal claims on settlements Author: Colin Rubenstein Categories: Immigration/ Multiculturalism, Israel, Media Releases, Palestinians    

On Friday, August 9 , AIJAC put out a statement responding to controversial remarks on Israeli settlements by Foreign Minister Senator Bob Carr at Lakemba the previous day... A spokesperson for Senator Carr has now responded to criticisms of his remarks in a statement published on J-wire .... AIJAC has released the following statement in response to Senator Carr's latest comments...

Stop the ugly politicking: this is a matter of life and death

Stop the ugly politicking: this is a matter of life and death Author: Mark Leibler Categories: Australasia, Immigration/ Multiculturalism, Op-eds    

It chills me that we have come to a point where we are denying refugees reaching Australian waters any prospect of ever being settled in this country.

When we demonise those who arrive by boat, we simply fuel fear in the community, leaving us all feeling helpless and confused, to say nothing of the mental health effects on the refugees concerned...

Updates
Statement on Australian asylum-seeker policy

Statement on Australian asylum-seeker policy Categories: Australasia, Immigration/ Multiculturalism, Media Releases    

AIJAC strongly believes in a non-discriminatory, generous and compassionate Australian policy on asylum-seekers but also that these objectives must be balanced, and indeed would be enhanced, by maintaining an orderly and fair process, effectively addressing Australia's genuine border security concerns, and above all, by dramatically reducing the incentives which cause people to place their lives at severe risk in unseaworthy boats supplied by the illegal people-smuggling industry.

Defend those who are bullied

Defend those who are bullied Author: Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz Categories: Australasia, Immigration/ Multiculturalism, Op-eds    

Given the very real harm that victims of racial abuse suffer, it is not appropriate to tell them to just "shut up and take it". Not being offended may not necessarily be a right, but it is certainly not a duty. If we are serious about stamping out racism, we have to attach negative consequences to its promotion. Some of that will be done through civil society, but it also requires laws.

Soccer Championship gives Israel chance to show off diversity and multiculturalism

Soccer Championship gives Israel chance to show off diversity and multiculturalism Author: Jeni Willenzik Categories: Europe, Immigration/ Multiculturalism, Israel, Palestinians    

Over the past two weeks, Israel hosted the UEFA Under-21 Soccer Championships, one of Israel's biggest sporting events in history. In spite of protests and accusations before the event, Israel rose to the challenge, displaying the Jewish state's demonstrated ability to bring together people of various races, religions, and nationalities.

Jewish disloyalty: The myth that just won't die

Jewish disloyalty: The myth that just won't die Author: Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz Categories: Australasia, Immigration/ Multiculturalism, Israel, Op-eds    

Public debate in Australia has taken on a dark and worrying tone over the past few weeks. Recent revelations about the disturbing circumstances surrounding the death of Australian-Israeli Ben Zygier raised a spectre of racial hatred that most Jewish-Australians had hoped would have been left behind in the middle of the last century.

The Last Word: On the Wilders Side

The Last Word: On the Wilders Side Author: Jeremy Jones Categories: Australasia, Immigration/ Multiculturalism    

When it was confirmed that the controversial Dutch MP Geert Wilders would be visiting Australia, supporters of Australia's model of cultural diversity considered the most appropriate responses.

Given that Australia has a raft of federal and state laws designed to protect targets of racist demonisation and harassment and, in some constituencies, religious vilification, there was a strong argument that he would either respect our laws or deal with the consequences.

We still need race hate laws

We still need race hate laws Author: Colin Rubenstein Categories: Australasia, Immigration/ Multiculturalism, Op-eds    

OUR society is founded on civility, tolerance and fair opportunity for all people, regardless of religion, racial or ethnic origins, to achieve their maximum potential.

This is why it is a fundamental concern that Australia's laws against public expressions of racial hatred are being targeted for dilution or even repeal.

The Last Word: Crime Without Punishment

The Last Word: Crime Without Punishment Author: Jeremy Jones Categories: Australasia, Holocaust/ War Crimes, Immigration/ Multiculturalism    

Tragically, with a series of trials ending without prosecutions, with Nazi murderers avoiding trials due to infirmity or old age, with each and every tactic used to avoid and delay prosecution or extradition, no person who came to Australia has borne punitive consequences.

With the decision in August by the High Court of Australia to prevent extradition to Hungary of Charles Zentai, the eyes of all concerned with the fate of criminals against humanity were turned towards Australia.

Out of Africa

Out of Africa Author: Yehonathan Tommer Categories: Africa, Immigration/ Multiculturalism, Israel    

Compared to the revolutionary upheavals in the Arab states, the Jewish state is a haven of political stability, domestic quiet and economic prosperity. And while it involves a hazardous, overland desert journey fraught with Bedouin marauders and human traffickers, Israel's largely unfenced Negev border with the Egyptian Sinai has nonetheless seen between 1,000 to 2,000 foot-weary, traumatised Africans crossing into Israel each month over the past few years.

However, entries are expected to fall dramatically when the 247-kilometre-long fence being constructed along the Sinai border is completed by the end of 2012, according to Israeli PM Binyamin Netanyahu.

The Last Word: Prejudice and Promise

The Last Word: Prejudice and Promise Author: Jeremy Jones Categories: Australasia, Immigration/ Multiculturalism, Media/ Academia    

Cabramatta is one of my favourite suburbs in Sydney. It is colourful without being too boisterous, assertive without being too aggressive.

The substantial Vietnamese-Australian immigrant population has contributed in many ways, devoting industry and passion in efforts to ensure that their children were given every chance to be part of, and succeed in, Australian society.

As the SBS documentary series "Once Upon A Time in Cabramatta", broadcast in January, highlighted, there were quite a few factors militating against the migrants who came to Australia in the aftermath of the Vietnam War.

The Last Word: Malice and analysis

The Last Word: Malice and analysis Author: Jeremy Jones Categories: Antisemitism, Europe, Immigration/ Multiculturalism, Terrorism    

A few days before this article was written, it is doubtful many, if any, readers were familiar with the name Anders Behring Breivik.

Perhaps some of my international colleagues who research and attempt to understand the various personalities that participate in the shadowy world of European extremism may have stumbled upon his rantings and rationalisations, but the dispassionate mass murderer had not been flagged as a person of any influence or likely impact, even though he had reportedly been on a Norwegian government watch list since March.

Now he is notorious - as a callous mass murderer.

 

The Last Word: Open to Scrutiny

The Last Word: Open to Scrutiny Author: Jeremy Jones Categories: Antisemitism, Australasia, Immigration/ Multiculturalism, Islamic Extremism    

While other mosques, together with temples, churches and synagogues, routinely welcome members of the public, a mosque associated with the infamous Sheikh Tajeddin el-Hilaly and an association which has been identified with the controversial and self-contradictory Keysar Trad had more reason than most to display openness and engagement.

AIR

The Lunar Landscape, Post-Election Author: Jamie Hyams Categories: Australasia, Immigration/ Multiculturalism, Israel, Middle East    

The recent federal election was unlike any other since World War II, and may have changed politics in this country forever. What did not change, however, was the plethora of minor and special interest parties participating. As always, a number of these had policies that would be of concern to the majority of the Jewish community. This article examines both the policies and the electoral performances of these fringe parties.

Election Face-off Author: AIJAC staff Categories: Australasia, Immigration/ Multiculturalism, International Security, Iran, Israel, Middle East, Terrorism    

Despite the obvious concern that accompanies any change of government - particularly one that had ruled for 11 years - by and large the changeover to the Australian Labor Party saw a continuity of bipartisanship on a raft of Israel and Jewish communal issues. The sudden change of the prime ministership from Kevin Rudd to Julia Gillard in late-June does not dramatically change this calculus and may even strengthen it, with the latter's long standing commitment to the Jewish State and the Australian Jewish community not in question. Indeed, Gillard reaffirmed her support for Israel upon assuming the leadership...

Scribblings: Getting terrorism mostly right Author: Tzvi Fleischer Categories: Immigration/ Multiculturalism, Terrorism    

Unfortunately, I did not have the chance to study the Australian government's new Counter-Terrorism White Paper, released on Feb. 22, as closely as I would have liked before press time. However, on a quick reading, I can say that I do think it got the main focus largely right in identifying the seriousness and nature of the threat.

Updates

Revitalising Multiculturalism under Rudd Author: Colin Rubenstein Categories: Australasia, Immigration/ Multiculturalism, International Jewry, Op-eds    

Australian Multiculturalism... has been official bipartisan policy, federal and state, for more than 30 years and has helped create and sustain what is one of the most successful multi-ethnic, tolerant, democratic societies in the world. It contributes effectively to our social cohesion, economic prospects and positive profile in our region and beyond.

Gaza as "Enemy territory"/ Mission Accomplished in Iraq? Author: AIJAC staff Categories: Immigration/ Multiculturalism, Iraq, Israel, Palestinians    

The bulk of this Update analyses the Israeli cabinet decision two weeks ago to declare Gaza "enemy territory" potentially opening the way to using a variety of sanctions as a response to ongoing rocket attacks from there with the support of the Hamas authorities. In particular, it attempts to address some of the myths being spread about this decision.

AIR

Head to Head Author: AIJAC staff Categories: Australasia, Immigration/ Multiculturalism, International Jewry, International Security, Iraq, Middle East, Terrorism, United Nations    

As has become traditional in the lead-up to a federal election, the Australia/Israel Review posed a series of questions to Prime Minister John Howard and Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd focusing on international security, the Middle East, and domestic polices of special interest to the Australian Jewish community.

Petraeus Reports on Iraq Author: AIJAC staff Categories: Immigration/ Multiculturalism, Iraq    

The long-awaited reports on the state of the Iraq troop "surge" strategy were made in Washington yesterday by the US Commander in Iraq, General David Petraeus, plus the US Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker, who dealt with military and political progress respectively.

Updates

Moderates must not become apologists for radical Islam Author: Colin Rubenstein Categories: Australasia, Immigration/ Multiculturalism, International Jewry, Islamic Extremism, Lebanon, Op-eds    

THE Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) cancelled our planned participation in the program of Israeli professor Raphael Israeli after his controversial remarks about Muslim immigration and communities. Characterising Muslim communities as a threat or danger per se is a sentiment we reject and with which we do not wish to be associated.

AIR Updates

The Execution of Saddam Hussein Author: AIJAC staff Categories: Immigration/ Multiculturalism, Iraq    

The end of year hiatus in Updates witnessed a number of events which invite comment and analysis - not least the continuing conflict and kidnappings in the Palestinian territories and the passage at last of long-discussed (but very limited) UN sanctions on Iran's nuclear program.

Multiculturalism is still the way to go Author: Colin Rubenstein Categories: Australasia, Immigration/ Multiculturalism, International Jewry, Islamic Extremism, Op-eds    

MULTICULTURALISM has been official bipartisan policy, federal and state, for more than 25 years. It has helped create and sustain what is arguably one of the most successful multi-ethnic, tolerant democratic societies in the world, and is vital for our social cohesion, economic prospects and positive profile in our region and beyond.

Governments, Australian Muslims, must work together to contain the threat from domestic Islamic extremists Categories: Antisemitism, Australasia, Immigration/ Multiculturalism, International Jewry, Islamic Extremism, Lebanon, Media Releases    

The Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) today called for a thorough and immediate review of legal and policy counter-measures in the wake of new revelations about the extent of extremist hate material and pro-terror propaganda in some Australian bookshops in Mosques and Islamic schools.

AIR

No Exit Author: External author Categories: Immigration/ Multiculturalism, Iraq    

Yeah. Victory. Almost forgot about that one. Only time and continued effort will tell whether President Bush can retake the high ground in the debate over the Iraq war...

Updates

Fratricide Author: External author Categories: Immigration/ Multiculturalism, Iraq, Israel, Terrorism    

In the Middle East last month the cats came out of their bags. The truth is out, with teeth bared and claws flashing to reveal the direction of an extremism far too mainstream in the region. But first it is important to emphasise that the main problem in the area is not terrorism. Indeed, the concept of terrorism is starting to get in the way of understanding what is actually happening.

At the Centre Author: External author Categories: Immigration/ Multiculturalism, Iraq, Israel    

I landed in Israel on Tuesday, July 12. Just before my plane touched down a suicide bomber blew himself up in Netanya, proclaiming his arrival in paradise, and Ã?Â?Ã?Â? as a certification of his entitlement to paradise Ã?Â?Ã?Â? announcing that he had taken the lives of five Jews with him.