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ZFA Alienates (plus updates and headlines)

October 4, 2013 – 10:09 am23 Comments

By Anonymous:

intimidation2I am a university student in Australia with a youth movement background. For reasons of my own, I don’t want my name published with this article.

The ZFA released an ‘advocacy update;’ on Wednesday October 3rd entitled ‘The J Street Crowd and its idiosyncrasies’ in which the writer claims that the J Street Crowd shows a ‘disregard for Israel’s right to peace with security, [which] leaves an uncomfortable taste in the mouth’ The writer’s tone is of thinly veiled mistrust towards J Street, demonstrated by the fact that half the article is dedicated to discrediting the organisation rather than describing the conference the article is purportedly about.

There are many issues pertaining to the claims discussed in the article, but its core problem is simpler and more pertinent than its lack of cogent argument. The ZFA used its weekly ‘advocacy update’ to slander the largest progressive Zionist body in the world – an organisation that, according to it’s mission statement, supports ‘the state of Israel as homeland of the Jewish people.’

The ZFA essentially decided it would be a good use of community resources to write an article that suggest that J Street supporters are parochial, naïve and don’t really have Israel’s best interests at heart.

There is nothing wrong with someone writing an article criticising J Street; many respected Jews and Israelis have done so. But this is a situation where a body that proclaims to represent Australian Zionists is publishing an article that offends a large proportion of Australian Zionists! And community leaders wonder why they are charged with being unrepresentative. And they wonder why young people don’t come along to the establishment community events.

Through this article, the ZFA alienates members of our own Jewish community who may have an affinity with the J-Street position. In particular, young people are more likely to be progressive thinkers and affiliate themselves with J street. So, whilst the ZFA and the JCCV and all the other abbreviations in our community bemoan the lack of ‘youth engagement’ – they simultaneously publish divisive and inflammatory articles that are sure to offend the exact people whom they are attempting to attract! The saddest part is that the community is investing tens of thousands of dollars into ‘community youth development.’ I’m certain that over the next few weeks I will receive another facebook invitation to an event aimed at ‘nurturing young Jewish leaders’ or something along those lines. But the money is being wasted. The issue is not a lack of enthusiastic, passionate young people – it’s just that those young people don’t feel connected to the ZFA. No amount of free drinks at a ZFA party will excite people who feel that the ZFA only represents a certain version of Zionism.

So the ZFA, and the community, has arrived at a crossroads and a decision must be made. The ZFA can continue to be a vanguard for only one type of Zionism, and lose support of any other Zionists; or it can further Zionism in all its colours and earn the respect and support of the entire Australian Jewish community. *** Headlines: Shabbat Parshat Noach Candle lighting: 6.09pm Shabbat ends: 7.07pm Art Spiegleman  – of Maus fame – is coming to Melbourne. The Jewish International Film Festival begins October 30 in Sydney and November 6 in Melbourne. *** Headlines from J-Wire: Melbourne’s Jewish Care goes retail. Sydney’s The Central Synagogue will host the Police and Servicemen Remembrance Service this Friday evening. John Safran with Julia Zemiro. The ABC apologises to ECAJ Australian movie director Kane Senes has just finished shooting his feature film “A Relative Stranger”  in Austin, Texas. Yad Vashem Founder passes away. and more… *** Headlines from The Shtetl Voice: Sydney house for rent. Family Parsha. Parsha Noach in a nutshell. From days gone by. Melbourne house  for rent. Kosher Australia symposium. Mayanot concert: Souls On Fire. Lamplighter for Parshat Noach Annual Jewish Anglican Friendship Dinner. Wizo Breast Cancer Awareness Seminar Yavne Israel Raffle Arnold Block z”l Meorial Lecture Series: Rabbi James Kennard asks whether should Jews live in Israel? Designer Jewellery Daylight savings reminder And more… *** From Gift of Life Australia:

Please help
Gift of Life Australia raises awareness [ not funds ] about the life saving possibilities that anyone within the Jewish community has the opportunity of  performing  the mitzva of saving the life of another Jew, by donating their blood stem cells.
Nowadays, life threatening disorders such as Leukaemia,aplastic anaemia and immune deficiency syndromes can be cured by replacing the sick blood cells with matching healthy ones.
Only 1 in 3 patients will find a match within their family, the other 75% need to look for a match on the unrelated Stem Cell /Bone Marrow Donor Registries.
As DNA is inherited , the likelihood of finding a match is higher within one’s own ethnic group but , the Jewish community is under-represented on the Australian & Worldwide Donor Registries so the chances of a Jewish patient finding an unrelated match is only about 1 in 10 000 !
Family matches are also hard to find because many Jewish bloodlines were
severely severed by the Holocaust & most families are not over endowed with relatives !
Gift of Life Australia was set up to facilitate the enrolment of 18-45 year old healthy men & women of ethnic minority groups onto the Aussie Stem Cell & Bone Marrow Donor Registry,a world wide Register.The testing consists of completing the Red Cross / ABMDR medical questionnaires & forms and giving a small , two teaspoons blood sample.
Anyone may go anytime to any Red Cross Blood Donation Centre or Mobile Unit and whilst donating blood ask to join the ABMDR . As special forms and test tubes are required, an appointment is advisable.
A special blood testing session has been set up for Tuesday 8 October 4-7.30pm at Caulfield Blood Bank,by appointment : Shula 0414 780 444, info@giftoflifeaustralia.org.au . The flyer with details is attached.
There have been over 2 million transplants worlwide with no adverse side effectcs to the donors ever reported.
Today there are several Leukaemia patients including a 1 year old and a 46 year old ,in Melbourne who will die unless we find a stem cell donor for them ASAP  within the Jewish community as no one in their family has been found matching.
….there are still about 15 000 young 18-45 year olds in Victoria  who have not heard about this program ,hence my plea to you to help with “spreading the word “
Call me please if you have any questions


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