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Action Against Sydney BDS Academic; DNA Test for Birthright; Chief Rabbi’s Racism; Should Yeshiva pay up and More

August 1, 2013 – 4:40 pm5 Comments

From the editor:

bds2Tzedek calls for Yeshiva to set up a compensation fund for victims of sexual abuse. What do you think Yeshiva’s needs to do to right the wrongs of the past?


From a press release: “[Israeli advocacy group], Shurat HaDin, has filed a class action complaint under the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 with the Australian Human Rights Commission over a Sydney professor’s [Jake Lynch] participation and public support of  boycotts of Israel including an academic boycott of  Israeli universities….

“In its letter sent to the Australian commission, Shurat HaDin pointed out that the Federal Racial Discrimination Act of 1975 made it unlawful for anyone “to do any act involving a distinction, exclusion…or preference based on race…or national or ethnic origin which has the purpose…of nullifying or impairing…fundamental freedom in the…economic, social, cultural or any other field of public life.”

According to solicitor Andrew Hamilton: “The BDS movement is racist by its own definition because it seeks to discriminate and impose adverse preference based on Israeli national origin and Jewish racial and ethnic origin of people and organisations. It does nothing to help Palestinians and indeed harms them. It is merely an excuse for the vilest public anti-semitic campaign the western world has seen since the Holocaust.”

According to Shurat Hadin director Nitsana Darshan-Leitner: “….We are hopeful that this historic proceeding against
the BDS movement will serve as a model for battling it in other
jurisdictions worldwide.”

The text of the complaint can be found here:


On their website, the Anti Defamation Commission states, “The ADC is the Jewish communal organisation that works to ensure a safe and fair society for Australians of all faiths and cultures, by combatting antisemitism and racism in all its forms.”

What should the ADC‘s position be on asylum seekers, particularly with regards to their portrayal in the commercial media?


“Youth program reportedly casts doubt on Russian woman’s Jewishness because her father didn’t register her birth until age 3″ and now a DNA test is being demanded. What do you think are reasonable parameters for assessing Jewishiness? (hat tip to Seraphya Berin)


The new Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel is mired in controversy already for racist remarks. Is the Chief Rabbi’s racism part of a broader culture of intolerance? Or is it secular Zionism that is failing us?


A number of JCCV affiliated organisations have joined an anti-homophobia campaign. Is there a problem with homophobia in the community? If so, how best do we address it?


Wishing readers a Shabbat Shalom!

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