So you don’t like my opinion. You have the right to argue against it.
The problem is, that the debate quickly degenerates.
The Maccabean exercised its discretion and right to not accept an advertisement from NIF. They explained their position and declined to enter further discussion. Then social media took over.
It needs to be pointed out that there is a distinction between commercial advertising and editorial. If a publisher chooses not to accept the money of an advertiser for ideological reasons; well, that is their right as a publisher. If a newspaper wants to provide balanced coverage it will present multiple perspectives on an issue. However if the newspaper chooses to censor, then it will exclude content in order to prevent its readership from exposure to that content.
It has been my experience as a reader of the Maccabean that the publication has provided a “right of reply” to many issues over the years. The paper has not engaged in censorship and I’m not aware of people or organisations submitting editorial content to the paper that has been refused inclusion.
The stereotyping of the Maccabean and particular community members as “right wing” is also unjustified. There is no editorial policy that I am aware of that the Maccabean has published. The rest is left to perception. A quick look at the pages of the Maccabean will show they have content from a range of contributors, from across the political spectrum.
There are members of organisations that have different political viewpoints. I can identify plenty of Bnei Akiva Members who are politically left, and even a few Habonim Members who are politically right. These labels of “left” and “right” are not helpful. There is a spectrum out there and although many like minded people will cluster around movements that position themselves onto that spectrum, it is not fair to tar all members of an organisation or community group with one political brush.
Maybe we have lost the ability to respectfully debate? Maybe we are too intent on shutting down conversations by allowing them to drift away from the important issues that are raised in the first place.
With respect to the movie being advertised by the NIF. The topic of the movie is critically important and along with other matters of social justice should be matters of profile and discussion within the Jewish community. I support that fully. However I also concur with many others that the organisation that is hosting this presentation should not be welcomed as part of the family of community organisations within the community. The reason is that donor funds to this organisation have been directed to activism that destabilises and tarnishes Israel, and places the military defenders of Israel at risk. This is irrefutably evidenced.
The focus of this debate is not whether or not the Silver Platter movie is an appropriate issue to profile (I believe it is), but whether the NIF is an organisation that should be welcomed, respected and accommodated within the tent of the Perth Jewish community (I believe it isn’t).
You might not like my opinion. You have the right to argue against it, because this blog, just like the Maccabean does not engage in editorial censorship.