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Danby Speaks About School Funding and Community Security at JCCV Plenum

August 8, 2013 – 4:21 pm14 Comments

From the editor:

michael danby2The JCCV has just issued the following press release:

“Michael Danby MP, Member for Melbourne Ports and Parliamentary Secretary for the Arts spoke about Funding for Schools and Security at the August Plenum of the Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV).  He also outlined his success in garnering Government support for a number of important Jewish community issues, including:

. Bipartisan opposition to the BDS campaign in Australia

. Funding for Jewish school projects notably at Adass, Leibler-Yavneh College and Yeshivah College

. Signing of the London Declaration by Julia Gillard as Prime Minister

  • . Glen Eira College’s successful Hebrew Immersion Program

  • . Raoul Wallenberg becoming Australia’s first honorary citizen, and

    . Funding for security for Jewish schools.

Members of the community at the Plenum also requested support for Australia to sign up to the Taskforce for Holocaust Education, as 31 other countries have, as well as funding for important community organisations such as the United Jewish Education Board (UJEB).

There was extensive discussion of the security needs and priorities of the community and Nina Bassat, President of the JCCV highlighted the critical need for ongoing operational funding for the Community Security Group (CSG).

Danny Lamm, President of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ) also raised the importance of funding security for non-school communal premises, such as the Canberra Jewish Community Centre and the Beth Weizmann Community Centre.

Mr Danby said that although there were constraints on Government funds, “there will be no Toulouse’s in Australia, not on my watch”.

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  • Joe in Australia says:

    I feel bad for Michael Danby. I have no doubt that he’d have had a much easier and more successful career if he had swallowed his principles and kept silent. As it is, I doubt that he really has a place in the modern Labor party, whose attitude towards Jews and Israel is marked by coldness, if not marked hostility. That’s a shame: it wasn’t always like this, and I suspect he’d say the same thing if he were free to do so.

  • Philip Mendes says:

    whose attitude towards Jews and Israel is marked by coldness, if not marked hostility.

    Joe: Where is your empirical evidence for this wild and nonsensical assertion?


  • Joe in Australia says:

    I’m hardly the only one to have noticed Australia’s changed attitude towards Israel. I seem to recall the AJN saying much the same thing. Consider Bob Carr’s reaction to the Prisoner X affair, or our overblown response to the the alleged misuse of Australian passports. Then look at the shift in Australia’s voting patterns in the UN: we now abstain on anti-Israel motions, when before we voted against them.

    As for the shift in attitude towards Jews: I was astonished when Julia Gillard called a Federal election for Yom Kippur. It was an extraordinary slap in the face, whether it was deliberate or careless. Michael Danby himself declared that he wouldn’t be campaigning on election day – have you ever heard of a sitting MP feeling the need to do something like that? There are other things but they’re generally more subtle, characterised by a lack of concern more than overt acts. But my point is that the ALP used to have a warm relationship with the Jewish community. Now it doesn’t, to the extent it has any relationship at all.

  • Joe in Australia says:

    Oh, here’s one of the AJN articles I was thinking of:
    Australia changes UN vote

  • Yaron says:

    Politicians are the same all over. They promise to build a bridge where there is no river.
    Nikita Khrushchev

    How much of what Mr Danby is taking credit for is not necessary or would have been achieved without his intervention?

    And what of the timing of the release, only a few days into an election. Are the JCCV now campaigning for Danby or is this merely a happy coincidence?

  • Joe in Australia says:

    I presume the JCCV released a description of Michael Danby’s talk in August because he had addressed them a few days earlier? As for things like getting then-PM Julia Gillard to sign the London Declaration: if Danby is taking credit for it then he probably deserves it: do you really think things like this happen without anybody lobbying for them? My problem with him isn’t the person, it’s the party. I have the impression that without the efforts of Danby, Dreyfus, and a few other party heavyweights, the ALP’s policy on the Middle East would be as bad as the Greens’.

  • Reallity Check says:

    Joe in Australia, you make a good point about the need of Danby and Dretfus in parliament. That’s why you need to vote for Danby, and support Dreyfus as well.

  • letters in the age says:

    Mr Danby is sadly history….

    Thanks for your contribution but sadly your organization is in need of generational change to survive.

    (That does not mean party hacks and ex_advisers either.)


  • Joe in Australia says:

    I suspect that if Michael Danby loses his seat (held by a 2PP majority of 7.5%) it will mean that the ALP is out of power, so the perceived need for him will be moot. In any event, people who want to lodge a protest vote can certainly vote against Labor in the Upper House without any cause for concern.

  • Reallity Check says:

    If Michael Danby loses his seat, it’s likely that the Greens will win it. Danby was hardly moot when Labor was in opposition Joe.

  • TheSadducee says:

    Have to second Lamm’s comments about the ACT Jewish community centre – arguably worst security infrastructure of a significant Jewish location (volunteers are very good though) – I think it’s actually been firebombed while people were inside?

    In addition, a hideous building and pretty useless for the communities needs (it houses both orthodox and progressive communities without a proper prayer location for the progressive).

    A good example of poor design not taking into account future needs.

  • Joe in Australia says:

    The Greens could only win Melbourne Ports by having a greater number of votes than either Labor or Liberal after eliminations. At the last election Michael Danby and Kevin Ekendahl each scored just over 32,000 votes, while all the minor parties together scored just over 20,000. There is simply no way that a Green candidate is going to score more than the Liberal or Labor candidates, even if they get all the preferences from all the minor parties together.

  • letters in the age says:

    The fact that Mr Bandt was elected last time is a clear indication that the two party system is broken and there will be a large donkey vote this election sadly..

    I wouldnt mind another hung parliament either to make it even more interesting…

    The political class have failed with the vibe out in the electorate bordering on being sickening and having contempt for them

    A local eatery in my area has banned politicos entering their premises with a very cheeky sign..


    Love democracy or lack thereof of it…

  • letters in the age says:


    That’s why i love Melbourne in all its’ quirky glory.


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