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Just How Far Right Is Spiritgrow? Odd Goings On at Wheeler and Ari Shavit Demolishes Anti-Zionism

May 25, 2014 – 4:14 pm8 Comments

From the Editor:

anti-IslamWhile Galus usually avoids the Israel Palestine issue, preferring to focus on issues Antipodean, we believe three recent stories bring the conflict in the Middle East closer to home and warrant our readers’ attention and discussion.

The first story concerns Rabbi of Spiritgrow, Laibl Wolf, opining on Islam’s inherent tendencies towards extremism in a shul lecture and on the suspect nature of those believing in the two state solution in a piece on the Spiritgrow website.

While Rabbi Wolf has denied that he was directly comparing proponents of two states to Nazis or Jewish capos, many who have read the piece feel otherwise and are very angry.

A number of people have suggested that Spiritgrow itself is disingenuous inasmuch as it markets itself as open and small [p] progressive, while in reality, it adheres to a staunch religious right ideology which it propagates to its congregation. You can read Rabbi Wolf’s piece here.

Meanwhile, Melbourne was alight over the past week with rumour and innuendo regarding a Wheeler Centre debate/panel on Israel/Palestine.

It is unclear what actually transpired; initially a debate was scheduled which would have included BDS proponent, Samah Sabawi, Geoff Bloch, and ADC’s Dvir Abramovich.

At one point, Ms Sabawi – a vocal critic of Israel who openly calls it an apartheid state – received an email from The Wheeler Centre that allegedly uninvited her because the alternative was that other debaters would pull out if she appeared.

The Wheeler Centre then announced that the debate had been cancelled and a panel would take place instead. This panel would include Ms Sabawi, but not Geoff Bloch or Dvir Abramovich.  Geoff Bloch denied that he had threatened to pull out if Ms Sabawi appeared.

You can read more about the panel controversy here and get more information on the event here.

And finally, Israeli writer, Ari Shavit was interviewed by Jon Faine and Raphael Epstein and then debated Ms Sabawi on 774 radio. Mr Shavit’s spirited defence of Israel and the right of the Jewish people to self-determination was quite extraordinary and definitely worth a listen if you missed it.

You can listen to the interview and debate here.

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