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General Feedback

August 17, 2009 – 5:03 pm100 Comments

general feedback - dayanHi there,

At Galus Australis, we try to be open and accessible to our readers.  Thus this is a section for readers to provide general and honest feedback on Galus as on online publication.

Tell us what you like; tell us what you don’t you like.  Do you think we run too much of one type of article, not enough of another?  Too high brow? Too low brow? Are our articles too short or too long? Do you think we live up to our ideals of providing a forum for diverse Jewish opinion, or are we just full of ourselves?  Whatever is on your mind relating to Galus, here’s the place to let us know.

We can’t promise to act on everyone’s feedback, since for starters, everyone is bound to prefer something a little different; but we can promise to read, consider, and (where possible) to reply to all genuine feedback that we receive.

And of course, if you prefer to give feedback via email, you can always send an email to editorial at galusaustralis.com

Naturally, comments relating to specific articles should continue to be left in the comments section located underneath those articles.

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  • Joel Katz says:

    Shalom Galus Australis,

    I came upon your site by chance, but now you’re right there in my RSS feed, so I can make sure your content comes to me.

    I especially enjoy reading the “Jewin’ the fat” posts and learning more about the Aussie perspective on Israel.


    Religion and State in Israel
    @religion_state on Twitter

  • frosh says:

    Dear all,

    While deleting a comment by “Anonymous” that was a purely personal insult against an individual (thankfully, this is a very rare thing for us to have to do), we accidentally deleted another legitimate comment.

    Unfortnately, our website’s backend does not easily allow us to detect what comment that was, who left it, or even what thread it was on.

    If someone notices one of their comments missing, please email the editors, and we will try our best to recover and restore it.

    Sincere apologies.

  • Chaim says:

    Frosh and Rachel SD – Just read Carmel’s Mishpacha magazine (it arrives late a little later here in US..

    Mazel Tov!

    it should be a “binyan adei ad”!

  • frosh says:

    Rach SD has installed a new interface for leaving comments – so people will not have to rely on html in order to do things like add italics or bold typeface, or add links etc.

    As these things can sometimes be a little browser-dependent etc, and while we’ve done some testing, please let us know if you are having any problems with it.

    Hope everyone enjoys the new interface :-)

  • Chaim says:

    I noticed that you can not leave line spaces between paragraph..
    They get removed..

  • Chaim says:

    I guess I was wrong… It did on my comment on a different thread…

  • rachsd says:

    It seems as though paragraph spacing in comments is working in some browsers and not others.
    We’ll keep working on it.

  • Chaim says:

    Rach – do you secretly work for microsoft?
    or apple?
    or google?

  • rachsd says:

    No… I work in public health – it’s in my blurb on the contributors page :-)

  • SBA says:

    Re your recent article
    Anti-religious prejudice – sadly, nothing new?
    See  http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1130956.html
    Give us a chance
    By Rony Paluch

  • frosh says:

    Hi SBA,

    This is a very interesting article you have linked to.  You might want to also make this comment on the actual “Anti-religious prejudice – sadly, nothing new” article.

    We’d be interested in someone writing an article on experiences of Charedim/Ultra-Orthodox Jews  in the work place in Australia.  We’d email you, but you did not supply an email address.

    If you or anyone else out there is interested in writing such a piece, please email us.



  • Chaim says:

    I know the Orthodox Judaism and Homosexuality Article was closed…
    But recently December 22, 2009, the YU Tolerance Club and Wurzweiler School of Social Work hosted an event entitled “Being Gay in the Orthodox World: A Conversation with Members of the YU Community.
    if anyone is interested.

  • Ittay says:

    Mazel tov to Galus Australis on this special day!

  • Chaim says:

    And Mazel Tov to the wedding couple.. I even saw some pictures.

  • frosh says:

    For those going to Limmud Oz on the Monday,

    Here’s a panel session organised by Galus Australis,

    The Jew Media

    And here’s a tip:  The AJN isn’t going to like it!

  • Mandi Katz says:

    Hello editors – I’m a Johnny-come-lately to this but just want to tell you I like it!!
    I won’t bore you with the reasons that after being a Jewish student activist and then an active Jewish feminist, I found myself highly disengaged from anything vaguely public in Jewish life for many years. I seem to have a renewed appetite for more public expression and discussion and I am really impressed with the forum you have created. One reflection – from now on if I comment I’m using my full name – not so keen on the anonymity.

    Best wishes..Mandi Katz

  • Yur website is in general more left of centre than I am both politically and relgiously but, I enjoy reading it. The articles are mostly thought provoking and well written so I enjoy them even when I disagree.

  • In 1997 the University of Melbourne published a book called “History on the Edge” Essays in memory of John Foster 1944-1994, edited by Mark Baker whose very interesting article in Galus Australis on the Gay Holocaust Monument in Berlin I was led to from Michael Barnett’s blog.

    I was extremely disappointed to find the comments section now closed at the end of the essay, because I had plenty to add to the debate.

    In the book mentioned above, Mark Baker included an essay by Konrad Kwiet titled ‘ Jews and Homosexuals: Fragments from the Life of Kitty Fischer’

    Kitty and I became friends when we met for the first time when a proposal was put forward by a few gay people in Sydney to erect in Sydney a Gay and Lesbian Holocaust Memorial.

    Kitty was an Auschwitz child Holocaust survivor (she and her sister survived and they saw their parents being led to their deaths in Auschwitz)and their lives were saved in the camp by a man with a pink triangle.

    Hers was a very sad and moving story and Kitty never forgot that gay man in Auschwitz whose fate she didn’t ever subsequently hear about.

    Kitty remained a friend to the gay and lesbian communities until her death from leukaemia in 2001 at the age of 73.

    Mark’s story about his trip to Berlin is very interesting and it is a pity that the postings to his article contained so much venom from people who are homophobic because their religion “says it is so.”

    Many survivors asked where their god was while those around them were being murdered in the death camps and stopped believing in a deity thereafter.

    As an 83-year-old gay Jewish South African I have seen all the horrors of a police state and Jewish persecution which would have been worse if it wasn’t for the fact that Israel wanted uranium and South Africa was enriching it, so they worked together on nuclear research and we all know what the outcome was.

    Prejudice and discrimination are alive and well and living in Australia where ageism, sexism, homophobia and other forms of discrimination are daily features.

    Gay bashings, discrimination and murder still occur on a regular basis and many of the reasons are because of religious intolerance and hate speech.

    The postings on Mark’s article were typical examples of it all, and we are still fighting for equality with a long fight still ahead.

    Mannie De Saxe, Lesbian and Gay Solidarity, Melbourne

  • Mandi Katz says:

    Hi editors – I know you have a generally open policy on commenting but I thought you might be interested in this from the Tikkun Olam blog Comments Rules (which are longer then the Australian constitution):
    “I may set limits on the number of comments certain commenters may publish each day if an individual monopolizes the threads. If you publish more than 2-3 comments on a given day and your tone is contentious or obstreporous, you’ve pretty much hit your limit. And if you exceed this regularly, you’re an offender. Do not flood the threads….”
    he goes on a bit longer but you get the gist. And do have some blog hoggers (to use a pertinent term)

    Mandi Katz

  • Galus Australis says:

    Hi All,

    We removed our HTML editor, as it was incompatible with iPads and iPhones, and thus people accessing Galus via these devices were not able to comment.

    In the future, it is hoped that we will have a new HTML plugin that we will be compatible with these devices.

    In the meantime, people might like to try a free online tool that will convert WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) into HTML script.


  • Ilana Leeds says:


    Dear Editors
    I would like to voice my concerns with regard to defamation and actual slander placed on your site by a person who calls himself Mikeybear. Now I am not a proponent of a gay or homosexual lifestyle but that does not give me the right to defame people who follow that lifestyle and even if I do not agree with the lifestyle it is their personal business and I need to accord them every respect as a human being.

    He has devoted two blog posts to a rather vicious defamation of me and my personal life and has not allowed me the right of reply and in fact not published two comments I have made and two by a friend who knows me personally because those posts debunk a lot of his accusations. A poster called Israel has also published something which is completely in error and also serious slander. He prefers to publish lies. He is in trouble if I can find a lawyer who will take up a pro bono case against this individual who posts on your site and p reports to represent those who suffer,QUOTE ‘I’m someone who gives a damn about the people who cannot speak out for themselves, those people who are vulnerable, marginalised and disenfranchised.’ UNQUOTE.
    Now I was very married at the time of my pregnancy through IVF and was left four months pregnant when my husband informed me that he had a girlfriend and informed me that despite finally being pregnant after five years of IVF, I could miscarry and he preferred to go and live with his silly drunken Aussie pub slut.
    Well, I put the needs of our unborn child first and did what I had to do, despite the best efforts of a NSW Principal who also lied about me and destroyed my teaching career. I actually even showed the man both my marriage certificate and my divorce certificate a year or so after my son’s birth. I resent the fact that this man has to publish untruths about me in order to win points with his on line community and the wider reading public. If he wants to lie about me and misrepresent me, at least allow me the right of response.
    This is the link to his blog
    and if you look down about two posts there he has posted completely defamatory statements. Now the issue seems to be my opinion that a gay lifestyle is not my choice and nor am I a supporter of gay marriage. That is my right. I do not discriminate against anyone who is gay. They are human beings just like the rest of us and deserve respect due any human being except those who remove themselves from the human race by actions that are extremely antisocial like murder, pedophilia, genocide etc, etc.
    I will be the first to defend anyone who is bullied because of their sexuality, colour or religion. What I do not like is that this man is targeting me and defaming me because he does not like my opinions on some subjects.
    These are the posts that he will not publish because they show him for the unpleasant and vicious man he is whatever his gender politics, religion or political beliefs. He claims I am a bully. Well I don’t know about that, but the fact that he reacts the way he does, they follow a typical bully pattern of behaviour. Denigrate, lie about and generally misrepresent and try to destroy the reputation of the person you feel insignificant against.
    Are you threatened by me Mikeybear because you are so insecure about yourself????
    I think he needs help and fast. His actions bear all the hall marks of an unstable person, just like that Principal in NSW who could not stand single mothers and told everyone I must be unstable because my husband left me when I was four months pregnant to fend for myself and his and my unborn child.

    Here are the posts that he was not game or intelligent enough to post and I am looking for a lawyer to take this issue up and if I find one I hope Mikeybear has good insurance and a good number of assets to pay for the settlement.
    First answer
    t is really interesting that someone like Mikeybear who is such a proponent of rights of the individual (gay or otherwise) does a number of things which are frankly cause for concern.
    1. He publishes an email address on this blog which states that ‘your email address will not be published.’
    Strike ONE and then Strike TWO
    2. He indulges in behaviour that is both offensive and bullying because he does not allow me to have my opinion but is trying to intimidate and frighten me into acquiescing my honest opinion.
    Should I feel flattered that he devotes a whole blog post to me? Did he spend the whole afternoon googling and going through anything I have posted on the net? Maybe I should. Maybe I will find a ‘gay’ fatwa imposed on me. Salman Ruskdie and I can swap notes over a latte in London one day, that would be nice. I hear he is a very intelligent man. I do love his novels too.
    Let’s get back to the issue at hand. I have never been abusive or otherwise of gay or homosexual people. I have recognised their contributions to society, but I do not agree with their lifestyle and do not support gay marriage. End of story.
    Mikey it is sad that you can read but you don’t seem to comprehend what you are reading. I charge $100 an hour with materials for a full 60 minute lesson and by the end of 6 sessions you will be up there with the best. I will teach you how to analyse texts and to respond more appropriately than you are doing at the moment.
    You my friend are the bully, not me. I do not care what a kid’s religion or gender politics are. I was there to teach History and English. I was more interested in their sentence construct, use of grammar, vocabulary expansion, general expression and above all the gaining of knowledge. They did not know about my political views and I did not get into discussions about the gay rights or religious rights with classes or anything to do with MY PERSONAL LIFE because there are lines that teachers do not cross and I do not need to spell those out for you.
    I did discuss the rights of the individual and respect for the individual and I am a great believer in the individual bearing responsibility and we need to acknowledge that before we focus exclusively on the ‘rights of the individual.’ We need to be responsible contributors to society.
    You, my friend, have infringed on my rights as an individual and I am going to ask you nicely to withdraw this blog post before I start to take you very seriously and seek legal advice and look into the legalities of a defamation suit. It does you no favours and frankly you are the frothy mouthed one, not me. Go get yourself a rabies shot and calm down.

    Second answer
    re you afraid to post my comment Mikey Bear or do you specialise in what information you allow people to post and you have decided that you dislike my opinion do much I don’t deserve the right of rebuttal for publication?


    Third answer

    Actually I was very married at the time and the irony of all this is that ‘gays and unmarried people’ use invitro fertilization all the time. So I guess it takes one dysfunctional to know another hummm(?)
    Interesting but my comment will not get published because all Mikey bear is interested in is slander and defamation.

  • Galus Australis says:

    At Galus, we appreciate it when people comment on our articles.

    However, we have recently received several emails and comments from readers of various political persuasions who have reasonably asked that we implement a policy to deal with commenters who monopolise threads.

    Thus, we issue a general request to all commenters on this site that they take care not to monopolise a conversation, particularly on the more heavily commented threads. We also ask that commenters conduct themselves in a civil and friendly manner.

    If the editors feel that you are a culprit of this, they may email you asking you to limit your daily number of comments. If a culprit ignores this request, we may regretfully have to place that commenter in the pre-moderation basket.

    Of course, this assumes the culprit provides a legitimate email address. Where they do not, then the editors will be unable to provide the courtesy of a caution.

  • Anonymous says:

    [Eds: Comment removed. If you have a complaint about a particular commenter, please EMAIL the editors. Do NOT use this thread for that purpose].

  • adam rosenblatt says:

    oh so tribal and jewish and full of schmaltz. get those tribal blinkers of and read my blogs in the himalayan times and the big picture vik rubenfeld. my new definition of a jew is any person not necessarily jewish who adopts the abrahamic abhorrence of idolatry and human sacrifice and refuses to worship themselves. today is the day of avatar and james cameron and the very survival of our specie is on the chopping block. with regards dr adam rosenblatt. ps personal regards to david solomon the penultimate fundamenatalist jewish extremist historian and wandering jew..

  • Oy Vey says:

    [Eds: The below comment was removed from an unrelated thread and placed here.]


    let me refer you to your post Nov 1 2010 3.07pm last para last line…”purely quoting another commentor” spelt by you as
    c o m m e n t o r. Well, frosh one of us is a liar AND also
    a psychotic…it sure ain’t me.

    I (respectfully) suggest that you have your eyes and memory

    Seems you can dish it out but can’t take it, so ergo you attack
    me personally.

    So, no direct answer only more hocus pocus mumbo jumbo in
    your last para..predictable given your pompus attitude.


    ..just as you have not gagged frosh’s response to me, I trust
    you will be even handed and allow me this response to frosh.

  • frosh says:

    Oy Vey,

    You’ve done it again- three times in a row now! I’m guessing that you do not know how to use the copy and paste function.

    Every time you quote me, you insert your own spelling mistakes and then claim them as mine.

    The word I used (and continue to use) is commenter, not “commentor.”

    Feel free to issue me with a public apology, preferably using your real name, which the editors have been professional enough not to disclose, despite your constant badgering.

  • Oy Vey says:


    …no such word as ‘commenter’ in the English Oxford Dictionary,
    Perhaps you’re quoting from the “frosh” translation? Or is it an
    invention of yours?

    Feel free to issue me with an apology for your impolite snide last
    paragraph, preferably using your full real name.

  • ittay says:

    Birthdays come and go each year,
    Today is yours, so don’t you fear.
    Conversations fill the air,
    We have joined you since we care.

    Funny jokes and laughs out loud,
    We will always be your crowd.
    We shall dance all through the night, (to the music of leonard cohen)
    Until our spirits are truly light.

    Love Carm and Ittay

  • Marky says:

    Recent comments list the last 15 comments. Often there can be more comments in a few hours, thereby one misses out on previous comments on a different subject. Could you add a link “more” or have more than the 15, so we don’t miss out on recent comments that were posted before more recent comments?

  • Galus Australis says:

    Thanks Marky,

    We’ll definitely look into this.

  • Galus Australis says:

    Apologies to those who received spam comments in their emails last night or saw them on the site – our spam filter was down. It’s now back up and running so there shouldn’t be any more problems.

  • frosh says:


    Imagine if someone who is not an Indigenous Australian spent all their time on an online magazine pertaining to Indigenous Australians constantly leaving hateful comments, regardless of the topic of the various articles published on that site?

    What would you say about such a person, Mohan?

  • Atoz says:

    I have a feeling what Mohan would say. That is he is trying to get us to see and correct the errors of one’s way. However, much of Mohan’s comments are not worth spending too much time thinking about.

  • Mohan to frosh says:

    Hello frosh. That person must be living an untruth not facing the truth. If you find an untruth point it out and disprove it. End of story and pathetic ad hominem attacks. They don’t demoralise people who are sure of their facts.

  • frosh says:


    Most people would say that such a person has an unhealthy (and racist) obsession.

  • Sam says:

    What is it about anti-semites and their inability to punctuate? Add him to the growing list as well. It must have been that all of Mohan’s teachers were abysmal failures in their art.

  • confused says:

    now there is another site to watch

  • Ilana Leeds says:


    Too much watching of others going on and not enough watching the personal directions of themselves.
    It actually is good practice before you go out and start being critical of others you should look at what your own faults and correct them. Usually what you hate in others is also a fault of your own that you fail to recognise.
    People who despise themselves often are the first to react to the slightest bit of dislike from another person and those with healthy self esteem walk on.

  • Ilana Leeds says:


    ‘you should look at what your own faults are and correct them.

  • Marky says:

    Urgent Tehilim required: Aust 4/58

  • adam rosenblatt says:

    get your backsides moving in the style of abram abraham who was a revolutionary who understood the universal ,nature of the torah and of course abraham was a former babylonian. galus autralianis readers you are much too narrow in your egocentric tribalism. not good and in fact your schmatzik attitude to life is counterproductive and shames the israelite tradition of makhloikis makhloikis with its abhorrence of self worship and idolatry.

  • The Glen Eira String Orchestra is now a new project with 26 members, mostly from Elsternwick and Caulfield. We would appreciate someone from Galus Australis contacting us to discuss how we can spread the word about this new and exciting community project. Please refer to http://www.sonialetourneau.com to learn more about the Glen Eira Strings. Sonia Letourneau can be contacted on 0405 570 045.

  • Leo Braun says:

    Testing: horizontal line feature, if any …

  • melina says:

    The q society of Australia were on television last night , i believe that you had dealings with them at a.j.d.s..?

    Would you care to do a story on this organization’s values and their connection to the Jewish community?

    Correct me if i am wrong, there is a Jewish member, believe it or not?

    They sound a tad extremist!



  • Mohan to sam says:

    [Eds. Comment removed – Please don’t revive old arguments that are irrelevant to content on this site.]

  • jan says:

    [Eds: If you are concerned about an issue, please feel free to submit an article for publication via the prescribed channels]

  • watcher says:

    [Eds: If you are concerned about an issue, please feel free to submit an article for publication via the prescribed channels]

  • Howard Marosi says:

    Eds: Comment removed. It is preferable that the General Feedback section is used for just that, “General Feedback”. This includes general feedback about the website/publication, as well as general community announcements. This section is not for feedback on the Haggadah

  • Marky says:

    Ed: Comment removed as the original comment this comment replied to has now been removed.

  • Howard Marosi says:

    Dear Galus

    You have removed my comment about the Haggadah. It seems no less “general” than many other comments that remain, including one which comments on mine.

    Perhaps you could explain your policy more clearly?


  • Mr Marosi,

    You will notice that at least two comments immediately preceding your original comment were removed with the same explanation. If one wishes to write an article on a specific topic, the most appropriate thing to do is to email the editors with your topic suggestion.

    Starting an unrelated topical discussion at the bottom of a long line of comments, on a page devoted to website feedback (as clearly indicated at the top of the page) cannot do any substantive topic of discussion justice and will detract from the feedback page.

  • Ilana Nathan says:


    I am currently studying the characteristics of people who identify as being Jewish as part of my Bachelor of Psychological Science degree.

    I would really appreciate it if you could help me by completing a 5-10 minute online questionnaire. If this interests you, simply click on the hyperlink below to receive further information on the purpose of my study.


    Thanks in advance for taking the time to assist me!

  • TheSadducee says:

    I do hope this very interesting article will be followed up by Galus – a very interesting continuation of the Greens/Marrickville BDS saga…

  • frosh says:

    Hi Sadducee,

    Sorry for the somewhat late reply – we’ve been on a Rosh Hashonah break.
    If you or anyone else (perhaps a NSW based person) are interested in writing a follow-up to theis, please contact the editors. Thanks.

  • Lancashirelass says:

    I found this site by accident. I am one of those unique people known as ‘Gerim’ (I think) I met, fell in love and married a jewish man. I converted in 1963 a year before I married. I have lived in the Jewish community all my life and although my husband and family were not particularly religious we did observe the main holydays. Why am I unique? Because I am not accepted by either of two religions; the one I left and the one I embraced. At least not accepted by any but the reform schule and community and not so much there I expect. My problem is I am a blonde, blue eyed female. For the last almost 50 years if I meet any new jewish group or individual the first comment is “but your not Jewish” I think I must give out some sort of signal which warns people of an approaching stranger!
    I need to sell my small flat in Caulfield North because it is getting far to expensive to live in this area as a pensioner, in fact it is getting too expensive to live in Melbourne as a pensioner. I have been looking at Frankston North as a cheaper alternative in which to retire. I have been very reluctant to leave the ‘ghetto’ around East st Kilda and Caulfied I have lived here all my adult life. I emigrated from England when I was 20 years of age in 1962, and settled in East St Kilda, marrying and embracing a Jewish way of life, so you can see how scary it is for a person like me to leave friends and family behind and to embark on a new adventure into the wilds of Frankston. I wonder if the Chabad community would accept me, I think not. I taught at Adass in elsternwick as an emergency teacher for about two years; retiring after thirty years of teaching; both in Australia and England, in 2009. I would love to help the community to set up a kindergarten or primary school or even to advise on home schooling (on a voluntary basis of course) I was a kindergarten teacher in London for over two years in 1998, I was in charge of a school nursery (as they are called in the uk) of 45 children ranging in ages from three to five years of age.
    Whether I find the courage to leave Caulfied North or not I wish all jewish families best wishes as new ‘settlers’ in Frankston.

    [Eds: Hi Lancashirelass, you might consider reposting your comment under the article titled Choose Your Own Adventure: Frankston. The link is here]

  • Leo Braun says:

    “At Galus Australis, we try to be open and accessible to our readers. Thus this is a section for readers to provide general and honest feedback”!

    • Very well, please explain to understand the reason behind the repeatedly faced anomaly? Where my sincerely inputted comments were quarantined forever or just bounced like a water off a duck’s back. Is it because my true testimonies are too close to the bone and cannot be countered by the civilly contested arguments? Aren’t all Jewish beliefs mattered equally?

  • Hi Leo,
    Your comments often get picked up by our SPAM detector because they contain lots of links.
    In addition to containing lots of links, your comments are often very long and more importantly, are not written in plain english, which makes them very difficult to decipher.
    We get hundreds of SPAM comments daily which include links to irrelevant websites. In general, comments that are not relevant to the topic, and particularly comments that contain links that are not relevant to the topic are considered SPAM regardless of the intent of the author. If we cannot understand your comment (because it is not written in plain english) then we cannot assess whether or not it is SPAM.
    We suggest that you take the time to write concise comments in simple language and with as few links as possible.

  • Mandi Katz says:

    Hi eds – the discussion on Philip Mendes’s piece “Answering the Finkler question” has become an unpleasant rant with no constructive purpose at all as far as I can tell, except to expose the nasty views of the people involved in it.

    Would you consider closing the discussion?


    [Eds: Hi Mandi, thanks for drawing our attention to that. Taking a look we can see that the conversation over there has long since gone off topic, hence we’ve now closed the comments section on that article. Should anyone feel they have a new contribution to make on that topic, they should feel free to contact us].

  • Hi Everyone,
    We’re trying out a new comment system, in order to try to encourage thoughtful comments.
    The main difference is that commenters will login in to an account of their choice (Facebook, Twitter, Google, LinkedIn, OpenID, or LiveFyre) to comment but there are lots of other features too.
    We’d love you to try it out and let us know what you think, either here, on our Facebook page, or otherwise feel free to email the editors with any feedback.

  • Doodie Ringelblum says:

    Liked the old style and layout much better. 
    Takes longer to load up pages now and the time stamps are very hard to read.

  •  @Doodie Ringelblum Hi Doodie, Thanks for the feedback – we don’t want to affect load times and we agree that the timestamps are very faint. We’re planning to reassess in a few weeks, and may well return to the old style or to something in between.

  • Eliezer says:

    The new style has a number of problems associated with it.  For one thing, if you write a response to a previous comment, it is harder to refer to which specific post it is because there is no visible time-stamp on each post.  But more importantly, previous posts have had all their paragraph breaks eliminated, so that they become much harder to read, especially if they are longer ones.   All that remains is one solid block of print in a previously several paragraph comment, without any indication of changes of topic or new subjects within the comment.  Additionally, I notice that what was previously viewable on a single web-page is now chopped into shorter slices of comments, which must be downloaded and accessed bit-by-bit.  The only advantage so far as I can see is that the type font is larger and easier to read, but the older smaller one was still readable.

  •  @Eliezer Hi Eliezer, Thanks for your feedback. In terms of replying to previous comments, if you click ‘reply’ then you can reply to a specific comment inline. Does that help? As we said to Doodie, we’re planning to reassess in a few weeks, and may well return to the old style or to something in between.

  • Eliezer says:

     Thanks GalusAus, I of course understand that one can reply to any post, as I am doing for example right now, but no doubt my comment just above was not clear: I meant that it is very difficult to clarify that one’s reply applies to a specific earlier post that might be quite a few posts back in time, or to mention that this reply is in response, let us say, to certain specific named posts.

  • Eliezer says:

    Another nice feature in some blogs is the provision given for a person to edit his or her comment further, after it has been posted.

  • 1. When clicking on a comment link, it doesn’t go directly to the comment
    2. It doesn’t remember the sort order between articles (I prefer oldest first)
    3. The comment box itself should be next to the newest post always

  • All that said, I fully commend the editors for embarking on some changes to improve the comment system and comment policies. Any little nitpicking on details are things that can be worked through and I’m sure will be addressed in time. This is all a positive step to make GA a better place for the community to discuss important issues. It’s easy to complain – that has to be tempered with recognition of the effort that has gone into building this up into a fantastic community asset. Too often that is just taken for granted (especially considering Frosh & RSD have invested a lot of their own time and energy into this, and it doesn’t make a red cent).

  • arieeel says:

    Sorry @Galus Australis  I don’t like this new commenting feature as it meant I had to join livefyre (yet another social media tool) as I don’t necessarily want my twitter and facebook linked to my comments here.
    Some who feel the same have told me they will just stop commenting altogether…

  •  @arieeel Hi Arieel, Thanks for your feedback. We realise that there will be some people who won’t comment if they have to do so through a login. The reason that we are trying this out though is that some people have in the past unfortunately left very inappropriate comments. We are wondering whether requiring people to use a login that they have to verify using a real email address providing at least some continuity in their comments over time will encourage better comment quality. We aren’t sure whether this system will have that effect; hence the trial period.

  •  @davidwerdiger Thanks David. We’re hoping that the new commenting system will encourage more productive discussions.

  •  @arieeel In addition, one can login using your Facebook ID without one’s comments appearing Facebook. One just needs to click “Skip” on the section that ask about this when one logs in.

  •  @arieeel Hi Ariel, Sorry abou the multiple replies, but just one more thing. If you go to the Triple J article, and look for Frosh’s comment, you can see an example of what happens when you login via Facebook. Frosh’s full facebook name doesn’t appear because you still get to choose a name, his picture does (although I think this could be different if he had tighter privacy settings on his picture), his comment wasn’t shown on Facebook, and if you click on his picture it takes you to livefyre and not his Facebook profile. So the link to facebook when you login through facebook may not be as strong as you might think!

  • Eliezer says:

    At the “Comments” blog to the article “Compassion First – a Response to Robert Magid,” Larry Stillman wrote that he took exception to comments critical of the likely effects of sizeable Muslim immigration on the security and well-being of the Jewish community here, on the grounds that the very expression of these concerns was out of line and could provoke a Breivik-style terrorist atrocity here in Australia, and so he was glad he had the IP and email address of the critics, should “problems arise” in the future. This response is obviously intended to put a chill on further discussion of these matters at this website, and even to imply that should any such atrocities occur in the future that might validate critics’ concerns, it would be the critics themselves who warned about them who would be to blame for them, and, it is clearly implied, he would make sure that these personal tracking data would be supplied to ASIO and police investigators.  It should be noted that none of the comments or commentators were promoting violence in the slightest, nor encouraging it in any way, nor did they suggest breaking any law.  Larry’s response was therefore entirely uncalled for, and I asked him to retract those threats. He has not, and indeed has ceased all discussion on the blog, so, after waiting two days for a response from him, I turn to this general feedback page to ask just what are the policies here at galusaustralis regarding critical comments on its blogs?  Is it policy here to volunteer IP addresses and email addresses to ASIO and police of normal blog participants, whenever (may God forbid) there are terrorist events?  Can reasoned and calm criticism of AJDS policies, that rejects all forms of terrorism and other violence, be accepted at this website?  I would like a clarification, and hopefully an apology and retraction from the site managers, regarding this matter.

  • Levi a refugee from the USSR says:

    Larry’s comments tend to be very long, so I never bother to read them. As a result, I never actaully picked up on Larry’s comments until you raised it, so thanks for pointing it out.

    Well, for a person who consistently supports and is sympathetic to Jihadists
    And their cause – fancy being reported by him to ASIO. Does that mean that I could hand over his IP address to ASIO also and directly link him to the Tolouse massacre, the sucide bombing in Bulgaria plus thousands of other incidents? Or better still can I link him and the AJDS to the massacre of 88 Aussies in Bali ? That would really get ASIO on his back.

  •  @Eliezer Hi Eliezer, Larry has never had any access to IP addresses of commenters and never will. We don’t read all of the comments so if there is a problem such as a threat you should *email* the editors (these do not include Larry as you can easily find out by clicking on the editorial tab above). Threats are against our commenting policy so if you email us we can remove the offending comment. However, you can’t then continue to write about a removed comment – it’s either removing or responding and we leave that up to you.

  • Eliezer says:

     @Galus Australis Thank you for this important clarification, which as far as I am concerned allays the chief of my concerns and concludes the matter. The whole subject has been disagreeable and I do not wish to pursue it any further.  Again, thank you for your clarification.

  • We are getting to the end of our trial period for the ‘new’ comments system. Please feel free to tell us what you think (e.g. keep the new system; go back to the way it was; etc).

  • Moose says:

    Hopefully people will still remain respectful in their comments.

  • Galus Australis says:

    While we received some positive feedback from some readers who appreciated the reduction in overly nasty comments, most of the feedback we received preferred the ‘old’ system, and clearly even readers who typically leave worthwhile and considered comments (even those that comment under their real name) have been, for whatever reason, less inclined to comment under the new/trial system.

    As such, we have decided to revert back to the ‘old’ system for the time being.

    Shavua tov.

  • Tonight we are migrating the site to what is apparently a faster server.
    Users may experience some downtime tonight, from about 10pm Australian Eastern Daylight Time (GMT+11).

    We apologise for any temporary inconvenience caused, but we hope that once the migration is completed it will enhance user experience.

  • We’ve still got some more double passes to give away to PARIS MANHATTAN, screening around Australia in December and January.

    It’s first come, first serve. To win one, like us on Facebook (if you haven’t already) and tell us your favourite Woody Allen and/or French language film, and we’ll send you a double pass (until we run out!)

    Go to https://www.facebook.com/galusaustralis

  • Chaim says:

    It has been a while..

    I wanted to share a pdcast I came across that I have been listening to for the last few months. It is at onbeing.org. It is objective and intellectual.


    It addresses spiritual thought in our times from atheism to Judaism.
    it addresses science, health, technology
    It addresses politics including Israel/Palestinian/Middle east conflicts

    I am now a well inform addict!

  • Hi,

    I too came upon your site by chance; it looks interesting. I wold love to read more, but unfortunately I can’t – the print is too small and can’t be enlarged. I wonder if more readers are having the same problem.

  • Hi Shirley,

    Sorry to hear you have had trouble with the size of the font.

    As a suggestion, try holding down the “Ctrl” button, and pressing the “+” button. This should magnify the screen.

    If you go to far, hold down the Ctrl button and press the “-“ button. This will reduce the size of the content on the screen.

    Finally, should you wish to reset, hold down the Ctrl button and press the “0“ button. This will reset the screen to the default.

  • Otto Waldmann says:

    Eds: Comment removed.

    If you wish to discuss comment moderation, then the way to do this is not via the comment thread, but rather to email the editors.

  • Mandi Katz says:

    Hi eds – I am a little surprised at how you are implementing the commenting policy. I find Otto Waldmann’s comments inane (at best) and generally don’t bother reading his comments but why can’t he comment under a pseudonym given that there is a general policy to allow anonymous comments and comments under pseudonyms.

  • Alex Fein says:

    Hi Mandi.

    Comment moderation operates on the identity of the commenters, not the name they use.

    For example, a troll will use multiple pseuds in order to derail proceedings. It is much simpler – and to my mind makes more sense – to hold an individual accountable for his or her actions.

    The policies that Otto violated are clearly articulated in the editorial section. Otto was given two (polite) warnings before he posted a third comment that contained profanity and abuse. He was suspended after this attack.

    In order for Galus to be a forum in which constructive discussion can take place, we need to provide a space that is free from trolling, abuse, bullying, and the derailing of conversation.

  • Mandi Katz says:

    Thanks Alex – fair enough. Abuse isn’t OK whatever name or pseudonym it’s made under.

  • Ilana Leeds says:

    Editor: Personal abuse and insults violate our moderation policy. You have been warned a number of times. Your account is now suspended.

  • Marlo says:

    We’d like to send you guys a copy of our Annual Report. What’s the best land address?

  • Mandi Katz says:

    Alex- you’re doing a great job here. Really enjoying the more reflective pieces about art, life and the universe.

  • Alex Fein says:

    Thanks so much, Mandi. Really glad you’re enjoying the content.

  • Marky says:

    Hi. When commenting, one now needs to drag the Gimmel. I cannot do this on my over 2 year old smartphone. Is there anyway to overcome this? Most of the time I don’t have access to a computer.

  • Galus Australis says:

    Hi Marky.

    There are compatibility problems with some smart phones. I’m sorry for the inconvenience.

    If you like, you’re welcome to email me – alex.fein at galusaustralis dot com – with your comment, and I’ll put it up under your name.

    Apologies again.

  • Avigael says:

    Still too much editing on content which is not breaching any modes of decency (ie not swearing etc), stifling free speech. However out of all the Australian Jewry sites, you are the least restrictive so Kol HaKVod for that. I would like to see more discussion where it is less moderated so people are free to express their opinions, which is something Australian Jewry has not had. Also one should be able to post longer and copied (referenced accordingly) material.

    Too much editing and rules cause people to go elsewhere, as soon as choice is offered.

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