Labor MP accused of excluding key figures of Australia’s Jewish media from multiple events

17 August 2018
ROSE BRENNAN
, EXCLUSIVE, The Daily Telegraph

LABOR MP Shaoquett Moselmane has been accused of excluding key figures of Australia’s Jewish media from multiple events that were billed as celebrations of multiculturalism.

It is the second serious allegation this week against Mr Moselmane of excluding the Jewish community from multicultural events.

It comes as the government targeted Mr Moselmane in parliament with Treasurer Dominic Perrottet dramatically accusing Labor of holding “anti-Semitic views”.

“(The media have been) accurately representing anti-Semitic views they have on that side,” he said.

Both J-Wire and the Australian Jewish News told The Daily Telegraph they could not recall being ­invited to the Multicultural and indigenous Media awards which Mr ­Moselmane established in 2012 and ran until 2016.

Shaoquett Moselmane has come under fire for excluding the Jewish community from multicultural events.

The events were held at NSW Parliament House. Australian Jewish News CEO Joshua Levi accused Mr Moselmane of not sharing values of multiculturalism.

“We didn’t even receive an invitation from Moselmane … seemingly he has a problem with the Jewish community. Luke Foley is a friend of the Jewish community, but if he ­really cares about that relationship it’s about time he take real action against someone that doesn’t seem to share his values of multiculturalism.”

Labor leader Luke Foley declined to address the latest allegation with a spokesman saying the media awards were not an official Labor event and were started by Mr Moselmane as a “private individual”. The complaints about the media awards come days after Mr Mosel­mane was accused of “excluding” Jewish Board of Deputies chief executive Vic Alhadeff from a Labor event.

New South Wales state opposition leader Luke Foley declined to address the latest allegation (AAP Image/Dean Lewins)

“Mr Moselmane’s hostility to Jewish Australians is pretty clear now.

“It’s a pattern of behaviour that should rule him out of leading a Labor multicultural organisation,” Mr Alhadeff said.

Mr Perrottet raised the Jewish community’s concerns in parliament, saying Labor held “anti-Semitic views”. The issue erupted in parliament with Labor’s only Jewish MP Ron Hoenig saying Mr Perrottet’s comment was “deeply offensive”.

“I am the only Jewish member of the Labor Party, most of whose family was exterminated in the final solution. I take exception to suggestion that I would join an anti-Semitic party in any circumstance … neither I nor the Jewish community regard the Labor Party as anti-Semitic. And I find the Treasurer’s comments to be deeply offensive,” Mr Hoenig said.

Mr Moselmane did not respond to request for comment.

Nelson Mandela: propelled from a village to a place in history

The Australian
July 19, 2018
Vic Alhadeff

Nelson Mandela congratulates Springbok skipper Francois Pienaar. Picture: AFP

I returned to South Africa a week before the 1994 elections — the first time in that country’s troubled history every adult would have the right to vote. Irrespective of race.

I was driven from what was still called Jan Smuts Airport in Johannesburg to The Sowetan — a newspaper for black readers — where a Zulu tradition called Ukweshwama, designed to symbolically drain away the evils of the past, was about to take place.

A bull was tethered to a pole in a courtyard, a fiercesome dagger resting nearby. Black and white management and staff jostled in anticipation. Then, after chants and prayers, a dignitary lifted the animal’s head and with a flourish, ceremoniously slit its throat. Men positioned a large bowl to capture the outpouring blood and the rapt crowd burst into Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrica — the Xhosa-Zulu hymn which now comprises the first half of South Africa’s national anthem.

One of Nelson Mandela’s signature characteristics was an ability to combine and respect traditional and modern cultures and values. As evidenced by the Ukweshwama ritual, which marked the culmination of the hated Apartheid system while heralding a democratic election.

And as Mandela brilliantly personified when, in an act which was in equal measure symbolic, strategic, political and essential, he donned the No 6 jersey of Springbok captain Francois Pienaar at the 1995 World Cup final against the All Blacks at Johannesburg’s Ellis Park Stadium and presented him with the Webb Ellis Cup. Through that ingenious master-stroke, he sent a powerful message to the country’s 35 million blacks — who detested the Springboks because of the regime they represented — that rugby was an intrinsic facet of the Afrikaans tradition and therefore needed to be accepted and respected. Equally, he sent a powerful message to the country’s 5 million whites that he, their newly elected black president, was willing to embrace their hallowed sport. The crowd of 63,000 erupted, enraptured, understanding the power of what they had witnessed.

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela would have turned 100 yesterday. I served as chief sub-editor of The Cape Times. Mandela was incarcerated on Robben Island at the time — but he was the unspoken presence in the editorial room.

A key instrument in the government’s strategy of subjugating the black population while keeping the ruling white sector uninformed about the revolutionary movement fermenting beneath the surface was a draconian system of censorship. Mandela and other anti-Apartheid activists were not merely imprisoned, they were also banned, which meant it was forbidden for media to quote them or report anti-Apartheid activities. The deeper issue was that South Africans never heard from Mandela or his colleagues, could not read — legitimately, at least — of their grievances and aspirations, and never saw their photographs.

Generations of South Africans therefore had no idea what the leaders of the majority looked like, sounded like, thought, felt or dreamed — whether that related to the right to vote or live with their families. Unless one of the handful of progressive politicians spoke out under the protection of parliamentary privilege, those who were banned were effectively confined to a non-existence. Furthermore, if their names were mentioned, it was invariably by a government politician in a pejorative context in which they would be condemned.

Yet Mandela was there. ­Silenced. Casting a giant shadow. And as one of the nation’s anti-Apartheid newspapers, we were acutely aware that in our midst was a colossus whose time had to come. And when it did, it would change South Africa forever. Mandela exemplified the African notion of Ubuntu, which in Xhosa culture means “I am because we are”, one’s humanity is determined by how one interacts with others, a person is a person through other people.

His four-hour closing address at the Rivonia Trial in 1963-64 — which saw him receive a life sentence — is one of the great speeches of all time. After recounting tales he heard as a child from tribal elders and recalling the deals of the African National Congress and the indignities suffered by his people, he discarded his notes and turned to Justice Quartus de Wet. “During my lifetime,” he said, “I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination and against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic, free society in which all persons live together in harmony with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”

The same qualities of leadership, character and conviction which propelled him from a timeless riverside village to a place in history for all time.

 

NSW anti-hate legislation passed in to law

J-Wire
June 22 2018
By Vic Alhadeff

The Crimes Amendment (Publicly Threatening and Inciting Violence) Bill 2018  is now law.

Vic Alhadeff
Chief Executive Officer
NSW Jewish Board of Deputies

Individuals who incite or threaten violence against people based on their race, religion or sexuality will risk a three-year jail sentence under the new laws.

NSW Jewish Board of Deputies CEO Vic Alhadeff – spokesperson for the Keep NSW Safe campaign – said “This is a great day for NSW, a great day for Australia.
No one should ever have to live in fear because of who they are or what they believe.
The NSW government has made a powerful statement and said that incitement to violence will not be tolerated. Full credit to Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Attorney General Mark Speakman for identifying this gap in the law and full credit to the Labor Opposition and the minor parties for unanimously supporting this bill.”
Keep New South Wales Safe Alliance encompasses 31 community organisations and leaders.
With Alhadeff at its spokesman it has lobbied for the changes for three years.
The previous legislation had not produced a single prosecution.
The bill passed unanimously through both Houses of Parliament.

CSU students who wore Nazi, KKK costumes either ignorant or arrogant

By Vic Alhadeff
June 20, 2018
Opinion
The Sydney Morning Herald

The celebration marked the end of semester. A number of students arrived at Wagga Wagga’s Black Swan Hotel wearing Ku Klux Klan gowns and hoods. They duly posted a photograph of themselves in that deeply offensive attire, together with a man in blackface holding a bowl of
cotton – symbolic of the inhumane slave labour which black prisoners were forced to undertake after being abducted from Africa.

A photo depicting students in Nazi-era costume was posted online.
A photo depicting students in Nazi-era costume was posted online.  Photo: Supplied

Then there was a photograph, also posted online, of students wearing striped uniforms – reminiscent of the garb Jewish prisoners wore in the Nazi death camps during the Holocaust and emblazoned with the German word for Jew (Jude), while an individual posed behind them in Nazi uniform with a swastika visible on his arm.

In 2005 Prince Harry – third in line to the throne – caused widespread outrage when he arrived at a private fancy-dress party wearing a crude imitation of a German Army uniform, complete with swastika on his left sleeve, flashes on his collar and eagle insignia on his chest. The
incident created headlines around the world, as well as appropriate criticism.

The students at the Black Swan took Prince Harry’s offensive idea to another level. While they are private citizens, by publicising their grotesque charades on social media, they turned them into a public spectacle and made them a public issue. They identified three of the darkest

chapters of recorded history, each causing the persecution and death of vast
numbers of innocents in the name of bigotry and vicious race hatred, and made fun of the victims, the survivors, and the current generation, whose forbears were directly harmed by those atrocities.

A screenshot of an Instagram post showing party-goers dressed in KKK and blackface costumes.
A screenshot of an Instagram post showing party-goers dressed in KKK and blackface costumes. Photo: Supplied

They crossed the line between being provocative and humorous – a readily acceptable facet of a functioning democracy – to being deliberately offensive, and in so doing diminished the enormity of the crimes of the KKK, the Nazis and the slave-owners.

The university has said it is rightly ashamed of the profoundly insensitive and hurtful conduct of its students and has committed itself to ensuring they make appropriate amends. But have the students expressed contrition or regret? Either they were remarkably
unaware of the magnitude of the crimes against humanity which they were
mocking, or they were aware but, again remarkably, simply didn’t care. At best
their ignorance was shameful, at worst their arrogance was appalling.

University students are a demographic which should produce some of our country’s future leaders. If they believe it is acceptable to mock those who suffered at the hands of the KKK, the Nazis and the slave owners, then we have a problem. Worse, when we lose sight of fundamental
principles of decency and the lessons of history and memory, we risk losing our
moral centre and slipping into dangerous territory in which prejudice and
bigotry are permitted to flourish.

 The invitation to turn up at that Wagga Wagga pub in politically

incorrect attire was just an entry ticket; it’s the line that the students
subsequently crossed that gives cause for concern.

Vic Alhadeff is chief executive of the NSW Jewish Board of
Deputies.

Blitzed: how the Nazis’ conquest of Europe got a chemical boost

BY VIC ALHADEFF

The Australian
July 1, 2017

“I demand that you do not sleep for at least three days and nights if that is required,” General Heinz Guderian is said to have told the thousands of German troops who had massed to cross the Meuse river and push into Belgium and France in 1940.

Continue reading Blitzed: how the Nazis’ conquest of Europe got a chemical boost

Greek tragedy and tales of heroism during Holocaust remembrance

BY VIC ALHADEFF

The Australian
March 18, 2017

At 11.30am tomorrow, Yiannis Boutaris will lead a march through Thessaloniki. Sporting tattoos on his arms and a tiny diamond earring, the fiercely independent mayor of Greece’s second largest city brazenly wore a symbolic yellow star — which the Nazis forced Jews to wear during the Holocaust — to protest against the election of neo-Nazi Golden Dawn members to his city council.

Continue reading Greek tragedy and tales of heroism during Holocaust remembrance