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Do Melbourne Ports Residents Still Welcome Refugees?

June 5, 2013 – 10:34 pm74 Comments

Source: National Geographic

By Ann Birrell
In the 1970s, Australians welcomed nearly 100,000 Vietnamese refugees.

In the 1980s, I was in one of my first jobs as a lawyer, as a Federal Court Judge’s Associate to Sir Reginald Smithers. When hearing immigration appeals, Smithers was a leader. Often reviewing the decisions of hostile immigration ministers, he articulated the big picture vision of Australia and our interests, one of his legacies, often quoted is:

[An immigration Minister should take a broad view of ‘interests’] by reference to a liberal and even compassionate outlook appropriate to a free and confident nation and conscious of its reputation as such.

In 2013, many are now asking what happened to that fair Australia, to that free and confident nation?

Last week, in a new low, Labor and the Liberals voted together to pass a Migration Amendment Bill to effectively excise the Australian mainland to avoid the application of the 1951 Refugee Convention; asylum seekers and their children, arriving by boat can be sent off shore to mandatory indefinite detention without rights to review. The old parties voted against Greens amendments of human rights oversight, no children on Manus Island and access for the media. As the Asylum Seekers Resource Centre noted, no other country has ever done this and 94% of these people are found to be refugees.

Julian Burnside QC, barrister and past President of Liberty Victoria (who over the years, has opened his own home to many Hazara asylum seekers) questioned the basis of the Government “no advantage” policy bluntly:

It will not save lives at sea unless it makes coming to Australia look less attractive than facing down the Taliban … Do we, as a country, want to present ourselves as so hostile – so heartless, so ungenerous – that it’s better to stay put and take your chances with the Taliban or whatever tyrannical regime is trying to kill you?

Senator Christine Milne, the leader of the Australian Greens, took a similar view, highlighting that the reason we are getting more asylum seekers is because of persecution as in Sri Lanka, where we have recent reports of impeachment of the Chief Justice and the abduction of academics. Christine Milne, addressed the Senate last week, saying:

[Labor and Liberal have chosen] base domestic politics of fear and mean spiritedness above decency and compassion … ahead of an election so that [they] can brag out there in the community … The hypocrisy here is extreme … In 2006 Labor was up in arms … now Labor in Government has done what John Howard was not able to do.

Asylum seekers and refugees are part of a world where war and oppression exist. In such a global environment, there are no quick answers, only effective and ineffective, humane and inhumane methods of managing what is an ongoing problem. After having been militarily involved in Afghanistan for over 10 years, Australia has an obligation beyond funding war, to invest in peace and stability to remove the need for people to flee.

So what has happened? Has Australia changed? Has our community in Melbourne Ports changed?

Parties that mislead the community and whip up the politics of “fear of others and mean spiritedness ” generally do not poll well in Melbourne Ports. In 1998 the vote in Melbourne Ports for One Nation was the lowest in Australia. The vote for parties like the CEC is also among the lowest in Australia. In 2010, the Melbourne Ports Greens Senate vote was the highest in Victoria, after the Melbourne electorate.

Melbourne Ports is a tolerant and inclusive electorate with strong humanitarian values. Many of our residents are active in campaigns to support and advocate for asylum seeker and refugee rights, with many of these human rights activists coming from families who themselves suffered as refugees.

Almost 33% of our residents were born overseas—around 10% more than the national average. We are proud to provide a home to refugees from many continents. Melbourne Ports has a high number of Jewish Australians, who would understand more deeply than most, the humanitarian crisis of asylum seekers arriving by boat. Many have drawn parallels to the tragedies of the St Louis refugees and the Struma in WWII – those who were turned away and faced the holocaust or drowned, being refused asylum.

In 2013 residents continue to support the Refugee Convention and continue to welcome vulnerable and friendless people fleeing persecution and violence.

In supporting the decision to excise all of Australia from the migration zone, my Labor and Liberal opponents are not representing the values of the people of Melbourne Ports.

As your representative, I will stand up for the humanitarian and legal obligations to asylum seekers and refugees called for by the Refugee Convention 1951 and its Protocol: time limits on detention, improved welfare protections, and access to rights and assistance to those who arrive at our shores seeking protection.

I will stand up for our refugee communities, and work for safe pathways, and a compassionate and fair refugee policy. That’s my vision for how to advance Australia fair.

Ann Birrell is the Greens candidate for Melbourne Ports.

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  • Otto Waldmann says:

    The argument that “Australia funds the war in Afganistan” is beyond the unfair, it is simply offenssive. It is offensive to the intellect as well as to those Australians who believe ( and ACT on the ground ) in the spirit of an improvement in the psyche, the very structural existence of a nation. And some of them risk and lost their lives for. We are still talking about an Afgani people encouraged by base traditions of violence and who are also encouraged in their “struggle” to shake off the “imperialist invaders” by misguided advocates of “human rights” who, just as the author of the current piece, misconceive social, political and cultural responsiblities of the civilised world for ill-intended strategies.
    By peddling the mantra of a Western Society plundering the “innocent” local war-lords and their local followers, the author is not helping the very cause she believes she….. believes in !
    Further, we, Australians, and for that, the entire civilised world, is NOT responsible for the cruelties of regimes still engaged in conflicts of very local origins with very local means of settling scores. Trillions have been spent on all kinds of UN generous programmes etc. meant to change tragic societies. Those who received the assistance have assisted themselves in perpetuating criminal regimes.

    Basic, primitive, but guess what, I am just blending in…………

  • Frederika Steen says:

    Thank you Ann for clarity of argument and historical context. As a human rights supporter I was there when the Indochinese asylum seekers came by boat and then as refugees in a large scale orderly migration program sourced from the miserable refugee camps in our region- Hong Kong, Malaysia, Indonesia, The Phillipines.

    For the last decade it has been stateless Hazaras, Iraqis, Iranians, Kurds and now Tamils who have come the perilous way, by boat, only to be denied the freedom and peace they yearn for in isolated detention centres/prisons, before release into the community .
    First it was temporary visas for real refugees under Howard, and after 3 years they were granted permanent protection. Now under Gillard it is Bridging Visas with no end date and no processing since 13 Augustr 2012 and no right to work.

    Can you believe this is happening in this fair land of milk and honey? Why be so cruel… remebering that men come first ( because it is llifethreatening) and women and children are “back there” , in danger, in poverty and their protector and provider is tripped of his ability to help them? How anti family is that? I thank the politicians from the Greens for their consistent promotion of human rights and decent treatment of our boatpeople- who are legal when they cross our border, whichever mode of transport they use, however much they paid the greedy ferryman…

  • frosh says:

    On Tuesday night, I attended the Monash Israel Oration, given by Daniel Gordis, who spoke on the legacy of Menachem Begin.

    One thing Gordis mentioned, in what was an outstanding oration, was Begin’s willingness to aid refugees, particularly given the Jewish experience in WWII.

    Gordis gave a detailed account of the story of the first Vietnamese refugees to receive Israeli citizenship, and Begin’s direct role in this.

    A congruent account by Shoshana Bryen is given in this article:


    A fascinating story, well worth reading.

  • Joel says:

    Thank you Anne. It is pleasing to know how thoughtfully and broadly you have considered this subject and the way in which it would be of interest to this (my) electorate. It will be a key factor in my voting decision in this election

    Whilst asylum seeker policy is indeed going to be a big one in September, my sense is that your potential for a seat in Melbourne Ports is threatened by the pereceived (whethe true or false) antagonism that the Greens are said to hold towards Israel; a close topic to the hearts of most jews in Melb Ports. My feeling is that if you excised the israel issue (not the Aussie mainland) from the Greens policy, that you would get a sharp inrease in votes from hundreds, if not thousands in the Jewish camp! Whlst my view is that it’s a shame that so much good Greens policy is thrown down the drain because of a single foreign policy, it is still the way many in the Jewish camp will act at the booth.

    It would be interesting (perhaps in a separate piece)for you to explain truly what is the Greens policy on Israel, perhaps addressing things like:

    a) What is the relatinship between State and Fed greens on Israel?
    b) to what extent do the PERSONAL voices of Fed green MPs (or potential MPs) impact upon party lines and actions (many in Vic fear that the extreme views of NSW green members is enough to make them note vote greens in Melb Ports). In short – what’s more important: What the Greens LINE is, or what they DO/SAY?
    c) How, if at all, the greens policy on israel differs from the Coalition’s, Labour’s or even Obama’s policy (to give people a good sesne of how the greens fair)

  • Michael Burd says:

    Considering antisemitism is on the rise, attacks and intimidation against Jews at an all time high perhaps our Jewish community can offer these Asylum seekers some work.
    After all most of these people from Iraq, Iran, Palestinian Territories, Somalia and Pakistan are mainly unskilled labor we could engage them as Security Guards to look after our Synagogues, Community Centers Jewish days schools and visiting Jewish Israeli speakers, Politicians, Entertainers and sportspeople.

  • Otto Waldmann says:

    Burdy, mate you are really GOOD !!!

  • Shirlee says:

    I have no issue with refugees providing they come in the way I and millions of others did…through the front door, not the back and certainly not by displacing those who have been waiting 4 and five years to enter legally.

    Haven’t we had enough here with Maksoud Abdel Latif this past week.

    An Egyptian who was convicted in 1999, by a military court, who found he was a member of the terror group Egyptian Islamic Jihad and guilty of crimes including premeditated murder

    He hid his identity when he came to Australia on an asylum boat and ASIO missed the fact that the Egyptian authorities had issued a warning through Interpol that any country finding him should notify Cairo

    I wonder how many more like this are slipping quietly in?

    I think Ann Birrell should look at the latest disastrous figures for the Greens before voting day.
    The latest Newspoll shows that the Greens primary vote was 11.8% at the last election – now it’s along at just 8%

  • Joel says:

    Shirlee, Otto, Michael,

    If you are interested (I very much hope you are) in getting to the bottom of tough questions you raise about terrorism fears (Shirlee), the effect of migration on local population and culture (Michael) and passing on of responsibility (Otto), these two sheets I found to be really insightful and based heavily on fact, not supposition. They dispel a number of your suggestions (or at the very least, temper them). I’d love to hear your thoughts (or anyone elses):

    The longer one: http://www.asrc.org.au/media/documents/myths-facts-solutions-info-apr-2011.pdf

    The shorter one: http://www.asrc.org.au/media/documents/myth-busters-summary-Aug2012.pdf

  • Otto Waldmann says:

    Dear Mr. Joel (?)
    Thanks fr your kind invitation to get to the bottom of certain things related to what I already made quite clear statements. I am not asking questions, I am not expressing doubts about what I write. I am quite sure that I have THE answers. The pages of statements you sent me to are by now the well known mantra of the Greens tireless and, dare say, useless, advocacy for an uncritical consideration of access to Australia of illegal migrants – the Greens, of course, do not consider them illegal -.
    At my age and intellectual experience the paper I just perused ( as well as the broken reccord statements of all Greens ) has reached the stage of an unbearable , irrelevant tripe.
    Sorry Mr. Joel. but you and your people cannot lecture/teach/demonstrate anything I would need to know in order to polish, better my position on the above issues. I too have access to the REALITY you reckon ONLY the Greens have exclusive access to. The dif. is I use my own brain power not the strict and stale ideology of a political group bent on terrorising the political scene in Australia.

  • Michael Burd says:

    One would have to be living on planet mars or so far entrenched in your leftist world not to accept the reality that the increase in asylum seekers from Islamic countries has conincided with the rise of anti semitism
    Do you honestly believe a someone brought up and indoctrinated on hating Jews will suddenly leave all that prejudice intollarance and ignorance at the port of embarkation of their leaky boats at Karachi
    Gaza Tehran Baghdad etc
    unfortunately the current wave of asylum seekers are not the same as the asylum seekers in the 1930 40 50 50 and 70,s
    The Jews Greeks Italians Chinese Cambodians for example asilimilated did not threaten or intimidate other existing Australians and certainly did not expect Australians to change their ways or culture
    Joel I know you don’t want to accept it but multu cultural ism is not what it was time to move on .

  • Shirlee says:

    Joel, by the way I echo the sentiments of both Michael and Otto. I am sick to death of the loony left.

    Michael, back then it wasn’t multiculturalism, it was “multiracial” and therein lies the difference.

    My Greek and Italian friends, all born overseas, Italy, Greece, Egypt and Cyprus are all proudly Australian, not hyphenated Greek-Australian or Italian-Australian. My children are Australian, not English-Russian-Polish-Australian

    We speak about the differences between then and now. They all say their parents came here to become AUSTRALIAN. They assimilated as quickly as they could.

    British Prime Minister David Cameron said “Multiculturalism, was undertaken for the highest of motives. It was intended to create a more tolerant society, one in which everyone, regardless of colour, creed or culture, felt at home. Its effect has been precisely the opposite
    Multiculturalism, entered into for the noblest of reasons, has suffered from the law of unintended consequences. By dissolving national identity it makes it impossible for groups to integrate because there is nothing to integrate into, and by failing to offer people pride in being British, it forces them to find sources of pride elsewhere.”
    This has been echoed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and ex-French President Nicolas Sarkozy

  • frosh says:

    Hi Shirlee,

    I’m an “Australian-Jew”. And I use the word Jew in the tribal sense.

    Perhaps I should be deported.

    Michael, Otto, and Shirlee – you have so little grasp on the reality of asylum seekers that come to Australia, be it on boats or otherwise. Perhaps volunteer for a month or so working with asylum seekers, and then you can make a more informed decision. Otherwise, accept that you are writing a position of supreme ignorance.

    I am certainly not part of the “loony left” that you refer to, although your comments here make you seem as though you are all part of the “crackpot right”.

    Thankfully, I don’t think any of you live in Melbourne Ports.

  • TheSadducee says:

    Wasn’t Shirlee a refugee herself?

    I think it would be the height of arrogance (possibly even supreme ignorance?) to suggest to a refugee that they have no idea about the experience of asylum seekers/refugees…

  • Michael Burd says:

    Gee Froshy when ever some one says ”I’m not part of the blah blah blah” you can bet they are.. a bit like well my best friend is a Jew ”’Froshy no need to be embarrassed or ashamed …

    As far as your invite to work with Asylum seekers can I come along with you an wear my ” I Love Tel – Aviv” t- shirt ?

    Thank goodness Froshy I have better things to do with my life……

  • frosh says:

    Yes ‘Burdy’, you can wear that shirt.

    And yes Burdy, I understand that you have a other very important things to do. After all, the AJN relies on you to help fill up its letters-to-the-editor pages every week.

  • Michael Burd says:

    Sadduce that ridiculous argument about comparing Jewish Refugees to the current wave of Islamic Asylum seekers is about as ignorant as it gets and is also very insulting to Jewish refugees of the past.

    Firstly Jews only wish they had their own passports and documents with them they certainly would not have disposed of them.

    Jewish Asylum seekers did not flee because their fellow Jews were killing them or because of inter ethnic/Religious rivalry , prejudice, intolerance , racism and violent behavior by their own kind.

    Jewish asylum seekers would have been happy to go to any country that would have them not like the current wave of asylum seekers who shop around and choose Australia because of our overly generous social services they would receive.

    German Australians did not require armed security guards at their Churches or community centers they did not experience any intimidation or threats from angry Jewish refugees who left their war horrible experiences in Europe . Jews left their war torn experience in Europe and moved on and did not expect or demand hand outs and freebees.

    Jews did not force their religion or try to change any customs here or expect any preference just because they were Jews.

    If anything Seduce Jews were model immigrants that the current wave of Asylum seekers could take as an example.

  • TheSadducee says:


    Learn how to read and comprehend what you are reading.

    I was questioning Frosh’s shot at Shirlee about having no idea about refugees when she was a refugee herself…

  • Shirlee says:

    @ TheSadducee

    Are you a complete idiot or only part of one?

    **Wasn’t Shirlee a refugee herself?**

    Sure, that’s right !!
    I came here as a fully fare paying passenger on the leaking ‘Canberra’ from England. Being British I didn’t need to apply to come here. People from elsewhere in the world did and they did so in an orderly fashion, with no queue jumping. They came to a country that was less than happy taking in the Jewish refugees from Europe. Now argue than one pal. I have just been involved in studies on this issue with the Faculty of Arts of USYD.

    ***I think it would be the height of arrogance (possibly even supreme ignorance?) to suggest to a refugee that they have no idea about the experience of asylum seekers/refugees…***

    Can you read ?? Obviously not. That is a figment of your imagination

  • TheSadducee says:

    Ok – I must have missed something here?

    Shirlee – were you a refugee or not?

    I read your statement above…

    “I have no issue with refugees providing they come in the way I and millions of others did”

    as suggesting that you were a refugee yourself. Obviously I have misunderstood your position – were you an economic migrant?

    Apologies to everyone involved if I have misunderstood your statement above.

  • frosh says:

    Apology accepted.

  • Shirlee says:


    **I’m an “Australian-Jew”.**

    Therein lies the difference. I am Australian. I have a Cockney accent, so it’s pretty obvious where my roots are. I don’t call myself an English-Australian and even though I am fiercely proudly Jewish it’s not part of my ‘official title’

    **Perhaps I should be deported.**
    Another person being stupid !

    **Michael, Otto, and Shirlee – you have so little grasp on the reality of asylum seekers that come to Australia**

    How dare you be so presumptuous making a statement like that!!! The self-righteousness here is astounding.

    A good many of these so-called asylum seekers have been shown to be anything but that.

    There are thousands of people elsewhere in the world waiting, in fear of their lives, to be granted permission to come here legally. They are living in war torn areas and in camps, many have been waiting for years, only to be displaced by, for want of a better word, queue jumpers.

    **I am certainly not part of the “loony left” that you refer to, although your comments here make you seem as though you are all part of the “crackpot right”.**

    Well, I hate to burst you bubble frosh, but you sound just them and believe me know because I follow and document them. I’m anything but “crackpot right” I just see things as they are. Though why I have to justify myself to you, I don’t know.

    **Thankfully, I don’t think any of you live in Melbourne Ports.**

    Thankfully no, nor in Melbourne, thank G-d. I’ve had the experience of trying to organise an event there, which proved to be too expensive thanks to the security required from the loony left. Jewish and otherwise

  • Joel says:

    Some thoughts to Burd and Shirlee (Otto, again, as in previous discussions, the naked anger and hate that comes through your words is always so surprising).

    Otto – What I do find astonishign though is how you so frankly dismiss suffering simply because you beleive the reason behind it is not meritorious enough. That Muslim refugees or asylum seekers are fleeing because a FELLOW muslims threaten to torture, falsely imprison or murder them (or their families), albeit a ‘distinction’ from the predators of past refugees to Australia, is not a material distinction.

    My guess is if you asked such people if their pursuers were still their ‘fellows’ you wouldnt find many answers in the affirmative basket.

    If a fellow Jew tried to kill YOU one day and you fled to another country, and made an application for asylum somewhere, why would it be improtant that your pursuer was of your tribe or not?

    Burd – I never made any hint of a proposition that migrants who hated Jews back home would love them when they arrived here. All I ask is for you to appreciate that generalisations are damaging (as I will illustrate below). But I do appreciate the distinctions you made betweendifferent refugee populations (again, see below)

    Shirlee – I actually apprecaite the distinctions you made between the waves of 50, 60s and 70s, the cultures from which they came and the kinds of values they held dear and the personal freindships you mentioned with some of those groups. I think that is a REALLY important point for people to consider as they try to whitewash all asylum seekers as the same; with the same motivations and ideas.

    In a similar vein, I will also add, your efforts to distinguish between types of asylum seekers (thereby helping to dispel generalisations and stereotypes) should also be employed when viewing our new waves of migrants. Some may be haters. But some not. Frosh’s suggestion to visit the ASRC is an important for the primary reason that meeting the person is very helpful in going beyond the stereotype; showing that it is riddle with fallacies. And it is in that vein that I gues you would appreiciate remembering the distinctions between people.

    I hope you manage to read some of those ASRC documents (and dont treat Otto’s unwillingness to engage in mature dialogue). They really do address alot of this serious concerns.

    Lastly, it doesn’t help to call someone “loony left” because unfortunately, it only reflects back anger and looniness. Let’s just speak to each others views, try and gain understanding (as I beleive I am doing) and leave out name-calling. It really adds nothing. Neverthleess, I am forgiving.

    Happy long weekend!

  • Shirlee says:

    @ TheSadducee

    **Shirlee – were you a refugee or not?**


    **“I have no issue with refugees providing they come in the way I and millions of others did”

    as suggesting that you were a refugee yourself. Obviously I have misunderstood your position – were you an economic migrant?**

    I came here because I always had a desire to come here. My family, a large one, came here with the big influx of ‘legal’ immigrants after the war. I have no idea why, but Australia always had a great pull for me. As a student of Geography I specialised in Australia. When my husband an I got engaged I suggested we come here. He thought I was nuts, but said “Why not?”

  • Shirlee says:

    @ Joel says:

    **Otto – What I do find astonishign though is how you so frankly dismiss suffering simply because you believe the reason behind it is not meritorious enough.**

    I think I can pretty much safely say that Otto is the one person here who knows what it means to be a refugee, being Hungarian.

  • TheSadducee says:

    thanks Shirlee – that proves that I am a complete idiot then!

    (and I should practice what I preach i.e. comprehension).

  • frosh says:


    Can’t you see the irony of someone like yourself, who migrated for totally arbitrary reasons, resenting those who migrate, fleeing a horrendous situation?

    And please don’t tell me about “legal”. Legal-Schmegal!
    I’m quite sure that your immigration to Australia was illegal under the Migration Act of 1787.

  • Shirlee says:


    Don’t worry about it. I’m a tad sensitive these days, thanks to the work I do on the Internet. Someone recently said to me I should separate myself from the that for a while and had no idea how I do.

    Not sure how I do it. Though it pays off at times. A couple of weeks ago I received a beautiful message on FB from a Gazan Arab. I really am learning now what is going n there. I’ve always felt for the people (sorry to disappoint you frosh)and ‘meeting’ him has heightened that.BTW he knows I’m Jewish

    Now I must cook. I have the family coming for dinner. I have to cook and my husband has done a disappearing act so he doesn’t have to help

    Have a good weekend and a gitte shabbos

  • TheSadducee says:

    Fair point frosh – however her experience as a migrant would not make her completely ignorant of the experiences of refugees then, true? :)

    Anyways, the whole issue is a side-show, unless radical action is undertaken to rectify the problems in these states this problem will never end.

    That is what the Greens should be peddling – plans on an international level to address the fundamental problems of these states to address why people are fleeing rather than just addressing the fleeing people.

    On this level the Govt/Oppn/Greens are all woefully inadequate in that they don’t seem to have any real plans to ever actually fix the problem, rather than just address the outcomes of it.

  • Shirlee says:

    I am not against people fleeing their horrendous situations. I have issues with them ‘just arriving’. There are thousands who have been waiting to come here legally for years who get displaced because of these people. This applies not only to those coming in boats, it applies also to those that fly in.

    I can assure it was quite legal for British citizens to come here no questions asked. Whitlam changed that and I found myself having to get a ‘re-entry’ visa.

  • Shirlee says:


    Thank you and g’day

  • Michael Burd says:

    Joel with respect I don’t agree with your analogy and I don’t agree with your way of thinking at all on this topic so I guess as they say we will have to agree to disagree { and lets hope the Libs get in}

  • Michael Burd says:

    I, Curious Saduce, Froshy and Joel whilst I have your attention I would like to pose a hypothetical question to you but would request a very honest yes or no answer.

    Lets say G- d forbid there was a civil war in Israel between say orthodox and non orthodox Jews and they started killing each other, similar to what we see in most Arab/ Muslim countries and the reason why they flee their own land.
    Lets say Jewish refugees started flooding into Europe in their Millions and also
    fled to Australia on leaky boats in a similar illegal fashion we see nowadays.

    What I would like to know is would we see the same obsession , enthusiasm by all the Refugee asylum activists, the Socialists , Trade Unions, Greens,Jewish Care, AJDS, IAJV, all the Islamic and Arab organizations, the Julian Burnsides, Tim Costellos, Malcolm Frasers, Adrienne Jacksons, Marilyn whatshername. etc
    Would all these people { including all the Muslim groups ] be marching in the streets so enthusiastically Would Fairfax , ABC and SBS spend as much time and effort advocating their cause constantly having Asylum seeker refugee activists on air and in Op Eds giving their plight ?

  • Michael Burd says:

    I meant “Jewish Aid’ Not Jewish Care……..

  • TheSadducee says:


    I would say yes. All the groups you mention would have sympathy with the non-Orthodox Jews who were forced to flee Israel in your hypothetical civil war.

  • Otto Waldmann says:

    Eds: Comment removed. Please write in plain and polite English.

  • Shirlee says:

    Please let me clarify something I said earlier, which Otto alluded to in his comment which was removed.
    I didn’t mean that he was a refugee. I meant he must know what it feels like coming as he did from an old Soviet bloc country. I said Hungary by mistake. It was Romania

  • Otto Waldmann says:

    I think that we have all reached a stage at which we can take stock of what is happening in the world in terms of turmoils, their causes and effects.
    In the past few decades we have seen that the notion of refugees arriving on our shores has changed dramatically. Analogies are a poor way to express any condition. Those who either do not understand particular phases of history or ntentionally want to obstruct logic, will mix the victims of the policies of the Third Reich and its willing allies against the Jews with what happened during the Cold War and the victims of a the US vs the Communist world and go even further and make analogies between Darfur and Treblinka or between the Tamil insurgencies and Auschwicz.
    As a result, even some Jews fall into the mire of emmotional anxieties and cannot distinguish between particularities of events.
    This is conducive in some places to intentional denials of Jewish claims of current increasing waves on anti Semitism.
    Correct appraisals will deliver varried conclusions.
    One is that an increasing number of recent arrivals in Australia from certain societies have been contributing very visibly to the number and quality of public manifestation in Australia of a new kind of anti Semitism, the post Six Day War type. The intensity of anti Semitic events is unprecedented, the virulence addresses issues well beyond the strict area of the ME conflict. Practically speaking , Australia has NEVER seen prior to the last approx. twenty years the intensity of all kind of public manifestations, chanting hatred against things Jewish, for Israel , if and when singled out as the object of these manifestations, is the MOST Jewish identity one can address.
    We see now these FACTS often enough to be concerned. And we are concerned and astute enough to look seriosuly at the immigration/refugee issue in relation to these events.
    No one can obfuscate these facts and claim Universal Human Rights.
    Those who do it would have abandoned ALL principles of Human Rights as we know and respect them.

  • Doodie Ringelblum says:

    Michael – in response to your hypothetical about Jewish refugees fleeing Israel. I know some of the groups you mention would certainly not be running political campaigns, writing letters and marching in the streets demonstrating to let “illegal” Jews in, and others of the groups would.

    But I am interested in knowing whether you would?

  • Shirlee says:


    I don’t think there’d be a hope in hell it would happen.

  • Michael Burd says:

    Doodie obviously none of the groups or people I mentioned above would treat any potential Jewish asylum seekers in the same manner they do so enthusiastically as Asylum seekers from Islamic countries, to say Muslims, socialists and the left even the Jewish Left would do so would be naive ,misleading and dishonest.

    Are you asking if I personally would go out to bat for Asylum seekers from countries at war with Israel , that indoctrinate worldwide hatred and incite violence against Jews and that would stir up hatred against Israelis and Jews in Australia of course not , at least unlike some of the contributors on this blog site I am honest.
    Doodie you should go to some of the anti Israel anti Semitic Rally’s in Sydney and Melbourne [ I do often] and have a look at the make up of the protestors.

    Food for thought Israel has a policy that it accepts all Jewish asylum seekers and refugees not matter where from. Israel has no oil is one third the size of Tasmania and manages this policy I am not saying there are no problems taking in so many different nationalities but they still do it and the people get a second chance in life.

    There are so many large wealthy Islamic countries in the same neighborhood that could take in all these asylum seekers from Islamic countries where they would have more in common Language , culture , religion, Politics etc. These Oil rich countries should take an example from Israeli Jews .

    BTw I wish I could express my self as eloquently as Otto .

  • Doodie Ringelblum says:

    Michael – you haven’t answered my question at all. You posed the hypothetical of Jewish refugees from Israel due to a civil war. I asked whether you would demonstrate etc to allow those “illegal” refugees into Australia.

    Meanwhile it is completely false to lump all the organisations you list together and say that none of them would fight tooth and nail for the rescuing of Jewish refugees from Israel in your hypothetical example.

    Pretty sure that IAJV and ICV wouldn’t. Many of the Greens would; some unions would; AJDS certainly would and of course amongst the socialists you refer to is the Bund, SKIF, Hashomer and Habonim. You think they would do nothing?

  • Otto Waldmann says:

    I only wish I had the clarity of geopolitical vision and irreversibly persuasive phrase of one Michael Burd !!!

    Delving into hypoteticals well away from strking ralities is not simply abandoning known truths for the benefit of farcical rethoric, it is dialectically dishonest !! Along these lines, all I want to know, to complete the picture of a character viciated inside by disgusting prejudices, i.e. THE Michael Burd as intended by Doodie, is if Mchael would massacre children women and old age pensioners waiting for their special bus for palestinians in the “occupied Territories ” quietly and doning expressions of oppression and (justified ) fear at Tahana Merkazit in Tel Aviv, simply because the palestinian who served Michael atone of the food stands put – totally by mistake – “hariv” on Michael’s shaurma. ( n.b. hariv is an impossibly hot sauce ). And Michael said THREE times in THREE languages, Arabic ( LA HARIV !!), Hebrew (LO HARIV !!!) and English (NO HARIV !!!!!), as witnessed by scores of innocent bystanders. Doodie’s subsequent question owould be, ” Ahhh, I got you. Alll those so called “innocent” bystanders were Jewish, weren’t they, and I bet they DO have hariv on their shaurma, but, to perpetuate a climate of the said oppression, suddenly their taste buds were allergic to their – otherwise prefered- hariv.
    And thus , at least the Greens have now the “hot” issue of DEMONSTRABLE Jewish prejudice on their political agenda. Doodie, mate, this is how I see it and I too have 20/20 political vision.

  • Michael Burd says:


    Of course I would demonstrate if ”illegal” Jewish refugees were to try to enter Australia.
    Of course these refugees would pose any threat to other existing Australians or other existing minorities.
    Would not try to convert others to Judaism or criticize other minority religions.
    These Jewish refugees would be tolerant of Gays as well.
    These Jewish refugees would be so happy to be accepted here they wouldn’t be wasting their time joining the Socialists stormtroopers in street demonstrations protesting and vilifying other minorities.
    These Jewish refugees would not end up sponging of our overly generous welfare system as they would be used to working hard and not needing others to support them.
    I doubt these Jewish refugees would end up being a major minority in our prisons and would not need to convert their inmate friends to Judaism either.
    I think you are very wrong about the socialists which include those AJDS looneys , Israeli Jews do not fit into their ideology thats for sure.
    I think the Jewish refugees would be very short of friends and supporters for that reason.
    Hope that now answers your question to me?

  • Doodie Ringelblum says:

    Thanks Micheal. Yes it answers my question.
    Please correct me if I have misunderstood you.

    You are saying that is a good thing to demonstrate and agitate to bring “illegals” into this country – provided they are the right sort of “illegal”.

    You believe that some “illegals” are not acceptable to Australian society but that some are (even though they are “illegal”)

    You are saying you have the capacity to tell – without meeting, investigating or assessing the individual men, women and children involved – which “illegal” refugees are peace-loving, worthwhile members of society, and which ones aren’t.

    And you seem to be able to do so just by knowing their religious, ethnic or national identity.

    And you speak with such certainty it is clear that if you were given the task of screening these “illegals” that you wouldn’t make ANY false positive or false negative mistakes.

    Thankyou Michael – you have indeed answered my question.

  • letters in the ageSo Obama says:

    So Obama as an African American should be deported??


    I know many second and third gen who love being bilingual or trilingual

    Some people are jealous me thinks of having the best of both cultures!!

    By the way,some of my woggy friends are more fun to socialise than those bloody boring Angos…

    Ducks for cover

  • letters in the age says:


    Should read those boring Anglos

  • letters in the age says:

    Whats the diffetence between an Australian Jew and a Jewish Australian??

    $30,000 in school fees to indoctrinate them into thinking otherwise really


  • letters in the age says:

    By the way…there will be civil wars in Europe namely Greece in the next ten years


  • Michael Burd says:

    Hey Doodie
    I hope you watched 60 Minutes Programm on 9 and or Sunday Night Program on 7
    pretty well sums up the situation here and in Uk.
    Only thing Doodie not sure whether the religion of Peace guys featured in both programs were
    of the ‘Shea’, ‘Sunni’ or the third and fastest growing sect ‘Minority’ types?

    “Islam to Rule Over Australia.”

    Quote from the programme tonight:

    Journalist: Will Australia one day be under Sharia Law?
    Sheik: Of course, I’m certain about it. The flag of Islam will fly over the Parliament of Australia.

  • Shirlee says:

    I wonder if Doodie has seen these?


    Today Tonight – Troubled suburbs reaction to the previous video

  • Shirlee says:

    What happened here? This is the first one

  • letters in the age says:


    Oh the polite racism of the middle classes…

    Play nice people…the m.s.m isnt a credible source

  • Joe in Australia says:

    If we “welcomed nearly 100,000 Vietnamese refugees” in the 1970s it averages out to around ten thousand per year. We have a higher humanitarian intake than that today – not very much higher, but at least somewhat higher. We can’t possibly take every refugee in the world; what level would be appropriate? Ten thousand per annum? Twenty? One hundred? Keep in mind that refugees, if admitted, will likely seek to reunite their families; the ultimate migration intake will be some multiple of the number of refugees admitted each year.

    Most refugees seeking entry to Australia have passed up many other countries on their way down under. Their selection of Australia was motivated by a desire for a better life than they would have had in their other points of call. This is entirely reasonable and I have a good deal of sympathy with it, but why should an Iraqi refugee resident in Indonesia have priority over an Indonesian in the same country? Why should Australia not choose the migrants it feels will best benefit the country?

    A refugee intake program is at best a tiny Band-Aid on the vast suppurating boil of world conflict and displacement. I wish we would increase our level of humanitarian assistance, but the size of our refugee intake is something of a red herring: our compassion would be best harnessed by accommodating more disadvantaged migrants within our general admission, and better supporting the UNHCR and similar bodies which help vastly more displaced people than teh few who manage to make it all the way to Australia.

  • Michael Burd says:

    Funny thing ,Australia UK and US had troops in Vietnam , don’t recall Aussie Vietnamese Or British Vietnamese 5 th Communists plotting to kill their hosts because we were in Vietnam killing Vietnamese. We had troops in Korea don’t remember any 5 th columnists Aussie Koreans plotting to kill Aussies because we were over there killing Koreans…
    Can still recall those Lakemba religion of Peace guys on the TV tonight praising his Jihadi brothers in UK for the massacre of that Brit unarmed soldier because we Aussies and Britt’s were raping killing Muslims in Afghanistan and Iraq he said…
    Now we have Muslims and their leftist supporters demanding Americans and their allies {Aussies] go into yet another Arab country Syria to prevent Muslims killing Muslims.. Just imagine those Lakemba Religion of Peace guys if or when that happens..

    Next time Kuwait Saudi Arabia, or some other oil rich thiefdom is invaded or threatened by a fellow Muslim country or when Bosnia’s Muslims come under attack, I hope the first phone call for help isn’t to the White House as usual…Let them call the Russians , North Koreans or Chinese to go to their defense>>>

  • letters in the age says:

    Nice letter in The Age on Assange Mr Burd….

    You do have a lot of time on your hands…


  • letters in the age says:

    When people speak of assimilation I think of that lovely bigot Bolt…

    Yes,in a court of law ,he lost so we can call him that and the self hating Dane has proved that generation were wrong!

    You lose that european sensibility as Bolt has done…,you suffer the consequences of being an assimilated douchebag

    Mr Bolt is a perfect example of where it went wrong…

  • Michael Burd says:

    letters in the age says:
    June 10, 2013 at 12:21 am

    Nice letter in The Age on Assange Mr Burd….

    You do have a lot of time on your hands…

    Your right Letters in al’ Age ,Off to Israel this morning perhaps I can spend some of that time on the Beach in Tel- Aviv


    Letters The Age 10 July 2013

    Putting lives at risk

    I never thought I would agree with anything this government did but washing their hands of Julian Assange is the right decision. I find it incredible that there are Australians not concerned that by their actions, Assange and Bradley Manning have risked the lives of our serving troops and secret service personal in war zones. If others did what they have done, there would be world anarchy. I don’t want my tax dollars spent on this man.

    Michael Burd, Toorak

    Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/national/letters/cowardly-carr-puts-us-interests-first-20130609-2nyag.html#ixzz2VlDzJ2D8

    Our Jewish community representatives should read this article .

    Dismantling border laws leaves refugees for dead
    Andrew Bolt
    Herald Sun
    June 10, 2013
    Read more:


    WHAT’S the difference between conservatives and the Left? It’s another 150 boat people feared dead off Christmas Island.

    Those dead, and 1000 others drowned since Labor scrapped our tough border laws, are the price of one of the deadliest characteristics of the Left.

    In 2008, then prime minister Kevin Rudd dismantled the tough laws, which for six years had kept boat arrivals down to three a year.

    He could see those laws had worked. Officials warned weakening them would bring back the boats.

    But still he scrapped them, with many in the media cheering him. (“A stain was removed from the soul of this nation,” hallelujahed The Age.)

    And when I repeatedly wrote of the boat people being lured to their deaths at sea, Labor pretended not to hear or know.

    (“There is no evidence to support this figure,” deputy prime minister Julia Gillard snapped, when the Opposition repeated my claim that 25 people had, by then, already died.)

    So why did Labor do such a lethally stupid thing?

    It is because they wanted to seem “compassionate”. They wanted to be judged by their intentions, not the consequences.

    But across the Third World, people with $10,000 knew there was now a way to emigrate to somewhere safer and richer without having to queue or pass any tests. By throwing away their passports, they made it almost impossible for us to check their stories of fleeing oppression.

    Even better, Labor stacked the Refugee Review Tribunal with pro-refugee members, appointed by a panel that included the Refugee Council boss.

    We see now the consequences – 100 boat people arrive each day, or enough to fill Canberra in 10 years – even without family reunions.

    These are mostly Muslims, largely without English or marketable skills. Two years ago, the Immigration Department estimated just 9 per cent of Afghan asylum seekers had jobs five years after arriving.

    The danger to Australia of importing so many hard-to-assimilate people is obvious, even without the risk of Islamist militancy. The danger to the boat people we again see.

    A conservative, prizing reason, would weigh all this and conclude the boats must be stopped, by almost any means. Never mind that we seem “mean”. Fixing the problem is what counts.

    But to romantics on the Left, seeming kind is what counts. Never mind the consequences of that “kindness” – bodies in the sea and strife on our streets.

    Oh, and scream “racist” at conservatives who do point out such things. Making others seem bad is part of this game of seeming, not doing.

    How many of Labor’s worst mistakes are born of this vanity?

    Think of the “stolen generations” myth. Never mind that no believers can name even 10 children stolen just for being black. Never mind the myth makes us leave Aboriginal children in ghastly danger.

    Think also of the global warming faith. Never mind that the world has not warmed for more than 15 years. Never mind that pointless warmist policies makes electricity cost too much for the poor to heat their homes.

    Seeming good while achieving evil has been the sin of the Left since even before the bloody French Revolution. But the Left has its victims even here. There they are, in the sea.

    Read more: http://www.heraldsun.com.au/national-news/victoria/dismantling-border-laws-leaves-refugees-for-dead/story-fnii5sd6-1226660976128#ixzz2VlAGxww9

  • letters in the age says:

    Lovely Mr Burd!

    Enjoy it


  • letters in the age says:


    This is probably one of the best blogs I have come across thus far on politics

    Very interesting articles written by a decent Liberal…

    Burd et al ,the well written articles are very good and highly entertaining


  • letters in the age says:


    Ethnics still continue to contribute with their outstanding achievements…

    Hyphernated or otherwise

    Respect where its due please!

  • Otto Waldmann says:

    The implied obvious conclusions of Bolt’s article are:

    – generous and humane immigration policies of te Labor kind offer asylum to boat people regardless of their capacity to integrate, hence the high unemployment and visible signs of anti-social behaviour at those dwelling among the same ilk with “alternative” spiritual cum political “strategies”. It stands to (some !!) reason that, if a large majority of the “passangers” on the leaky boats do not attract sufficient points for the useful integration one dares mention, then that vast majority would be sent back. Thus, the entire edifice of ruins of a former much strciter border control ( dar I say Liberal ) is revealed as a massive failure, something quite a few qould argue it is, anyway.
    – multiculturalism as understood by all actvists of the “universalist-non-critical” school, must be mainatined, again, regardless of its consequnces. Th notio has reached such absurd levels that Romania, where I am spending now some time, which practically has NO migrants of any kind, also has joined in the hora ( a very Romanian word, trust me ).
    Anxious to be politically correct, those who join the political spectrum because they have attained a “suitable” vocabulary of latter days, ride with unimaginable cudos among the proffessional vociferous stormtroopers, on a notion of indiscriminate embrace of all and sundry happy to drift into societies hardly capable to run their own economicaly trouble affairs, let alone able to tend to the mending of century old local cultural treasures. Italy, for instnce, has ran out of funds for fixing up majestic historic treasures. It has become a repulsive circus maximus of heave tolls on whoever wants to look at masterpieces once free to wonder at.
    Lack of funds would demand sme AUD20.00 per person to walk among the famous ruins of the Forum Romani, AUD25.00 per person to visit once free for all Capella Sisstina and Michelangelo’s Sixth Pieta, once gracing the entrance of the main hall, not a lira demanded.
    Sagrada Familia will demand some AUD30.00 to wonder inside, again, a few years ago free to admire. ALL are telling you that ” Non ce il dinaro !!”. We have no more funds available from OUR Governments !!. I wondered then, walking through a Venice where hundreds of kiosks have “blossomed” along the canals tended strictly by Bangladeshi refugees and hlf the shops run by their new Chinese owners, if The Serenissima would be second now to “admiring” the glorious new sky-scraper in Shanghai. To turn the knife even deeper, the new Veneto accent is now ” tlee Eulo”.
    Open arms and open gates make a lot of difference, I’d say……….

  • Reallity Check says:

    Actually, I preferred the letter by David Seal in today’s Age to Mr. Burd’s. Being there is not helping, it just gives the extremists material for their recruitment campaign.

  • Otto Waldmann says:

    Reality, back in business……….
    Tell you what the dif. is:
    Our troops – under the direct and exclusive commnad of the AUSTRALIAN authorities – are fighting AGAINST organised terrorist organisations in Afganistan ( which, by the way have, at least, in their ideological sights Israel as well ) , whereas your hero, the brave soldier Assange, is fighting WITH the mentioned terrorists. ( This only applies to those aware of what is really happening in the wordl !!)

  • Reallity Check says:

    What are you on about Otto? Assange is no hero of mine. You on the right have one axium; either you’re with us or you’re against us. Now narrow, how limiting.

  • Otto Waldmann says:


    you said it, we on the right SIDE, do keep it narrow and limt ourselves to the relevant. You should try for a ( necessary ) change be WITH us.

  • Levi (a refugee who came here legally) says:

    Never thought I would say this but I admire the anti-semitic, pro Bds bigot, Julian Burnside for putting his money where his mouth is. It would be nice if more of his fellow travelers would do the same. Otherwise these people wouldn’t be living in poor suburbs like Dandenong or Bundoora, where they are disenfranchised and resort to crime etc. If they all lived in leafy areas like Melbourne ports- alongside their wealthier, leftist supporters, (who would be responsible for their overall welfare and well being) – than I would be the first to support the Greens. Come on guys- put your money where your very liberal and open mouths are. Open up your homes and your schools etc. don’t expect poorer areas to take large influxes of “asylum” seekers and be forced tp live and deal with the consequences.

    That being said, I’m sick and tried of the repetative comparison b/w jewish holocaust refugees, vitanmese refugees and mulsim “asylum” seekers. Lets compare apples with apples. Jewish refugees do not try to enforce their religion and values on other people or their host countries. Neither do vitanmese. No jews or vitnamese have rioted, bashed police and called for the murder of people who allegdely insulted their religion and culture. They dont murder soldiers in broad day light. they don’t gang rape “aussie sluts.” Jews and vitanmese also did not have the opportunity to settle in countries like Indonesia or malaysia…because none of these countries are
    jewish or buddhist. Muslim “asylum” seekers have that opportunity available to them. Apples with apples please.

    Finally, its ironic once again to see the usual suspects who want to give “asylum” seekers the complete benefit of the doubt, also advocate that there be increased scrutiny placed on australian jews for having “dual loyalty” (a polite term for treason) to Israel. There is more that I can add, but the moderators won’t like it :)

  • letters in the age says:


    Absolutism is boring guys…..

    With us or against us eh??

    Geez,the intellectual debate just got worse here.



  • letters in the age says:

    Dandenong has wealth im told…

    You dont have to live in the leafy suburbs to br nicely middle class and get assistance

    How judgemental and rude to say that about Melbourne and its lovely suburbs

    There is wealth spread out everwhere in Melbourne these days!!

    Play nice people

  • Otto Waldmann says:

    … and the, after watching Levi, the Russian, wonder why wouldn’t a traditional “Anglo”, Julian Burnside consumate his affection for the specific unfortunate, it occured to me that the reason Burnside and his fellow marchers ( and that includes the entire Green family ) against the Zionists is NOT a certain affinity for the ostensive anti Semites per se. These BDS devotees have found something in common. Century old Western type anti Semitism has found its organic confluence with the latter day Jew haters of the post Israel and, more so, post Six Day War era. None of these enthiast pro palestinian of pure Anglo Saxon, some more Saxon than others though, have absolutely no personal, educational, intellectual association with anything Arabic, Islamic, generally Middle Eastern specifics. They are simply the residue of traditional Xtian anti Semitism, a faith also predicated on a …………Jewish theme.
    This is the real “other side” of the coin with which these paasionates about matters Jewish pay their Islamic affinity toll.

  • Shirlee says:

    Enlightening piece from the Australain.


    It’s behind a ‘pay wall’. However if you search the title, the whole article will come up.

    **’Frauds’ granted refugee status as determination process breaks down**

    AUSTRALIA’S refugee determination process has broken down completely, admitting large numbers of people whose claims to refugee status are fraudulent.

    The claims come from a former senior Immigration Department official who says the system favours those who tell lies over those who tell the truth, is easily scammed and has become utterly dysfunctional.

    “Having considerable experience interviewing and assessing boat arrival claims, I can confidently say … that we are approving large numbers of people who are fabricating claims,” he wrote in an unpublished account of the process, obtained by The Weekend Australian.

    “Indeed, the current refugee determination system works in favour of those who are most adept at spinning a yarn.”

  • Dave says:

    While you are trying to convince the Jews of Melbourne Ports that Greens are worthy of their vote: David Shoebridge and John Kaye publicly opposed the London Declaration on Combating Antisemitism, Greens Leader Christine Milne refused to sign the Declaration, David Shoebridge courted and corresponded with Holocaust denier Frederick Toben, Shoebridge told Toben that he refused to give in to “Jewish” pressure, Christine Milne refused to rebuke him, the NSW Young Greens posted a poll on their Facebook page asking whether Israel has the right to exist. We have also had Lee Rhiannon supporting the BDS movement, Sarah Hanson-Young attending rallies where people displayed Swastikas, the whole Marrickville Council saga and much much more…

    All you Greens apologists sicken me. Whether or not Israel or Jews feature in their official policies, it’s not hard to work out what they really think.

  • Otto Waldmann says:

    Yes, indeed, the whole string of comments above are replied with impeccable precision and comprehensively with what Dave has given us !!!
    ( This has been a failed Greens ellectoral attempt on a site where most contributors are far better informed and a lot more cynically disposed to political demagogy than the author of the main piece imagined )

  • Shirlee says:

    Thank you Dave !!! It’s good to hear from the voice of reason.

  • Otto Waldmann says:

    Just a simple question for Ms Birrell

    Ms Birrell, have you signed the London Declaration on Anti Semitism !!!
    If you have not signed it tell us how do you explain the audacity of addressing here a prediminantly Jewish audience.
    We have a word ( or two ) for that instance, it is : hutzpah !
    Subsequent and most suitable ones I know won’t be printed……………..

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