Town of Vincent facilities to be used to stage racist play

The Town of Vincent is an inner metropolitan municipality with approximately 30,000 residents.  The governance of the Town is overseen by 10 elected members who have a legal responsibility to exercise “good governance”. 

It has come as a surprise to many members of the Jewish community that the Town’s facilities will be hired out to the Friends of Palestine to stage the play “Seven Jewish Children”.  This play is a nasty example of hate speech, supposedly extended credibility because it is classified as art. 

Although racial vilification in Australia is illegal, the legislation excludes creative work.

The Councillors of the Town of Vincent do not have to exercise a moral vote on this matter because it will not appear on their agenda.  The administration is dealing with the hire of facilities as an operational matter, noting that they are simply making the premises available without sanctioning the activities that will take place.  However the Town and its Councillors have received a number of representations from the Jewish community noting that the community is offended by this work.  To all intents and purposes, these sensitivities have been ignored.

Imagine for one moment that the play subjected ridicule towards Christians, Muslims, or other religious groups.  Imagine if it was a play that contained imagery that implied Indian students or Asian migrants to Western Australia was “unaustralian” and not only contained ridicule, but sent a message of white supremacy to the viewers.  The play would rightly be classified as racist.  It is unlikely that a Local Government would wish to host this at one of their venues.

It must be asked what is different?  This play commences with Holocaust imagery.  It portrays Jewish people as being people who glorify death, support political subjugation, are indifferent to hurt and murder.  It then takes the modern anti-Semitic carnard of drawing a connection between modern Israel and Nazi Germany, implying that Israeli’s are the new Nazi’s.

It is entirely unacceptable for the Town of Vincent to knowingly make its facilities available so that this vile hate speech can be given public airspace.  This is a matter of community standards.  We have limits.  In the same way that pornographic art is not permitted in public places, racist art should also not be permitted in public places. 

A group called the Jewish Issues Watch has circulated a petition about this issue.  The communication is below.  Jewgle supports this petition and urges you to sign.

 

Dear supporter of a harmonious community

 

The play Seven Jewish Children is an offensive piece of political propaganda dressed up as creative art.

 

Regardless of viewpoints on the conflict between Israeli’s and Palestinians, for which reasonable debate should be encouraged, it is important not to cross the line and use racist imagery in the process.

 

The Friends of Palestine organisation in Perth have had their attempts to stage this play overturned by a number of venues.  However the Town of Vincent have accepted a booking for the staging of this play.

 

It is highly inappropriate for the publicly owned infrastructure of ratepayers to be used to promulgate racism.  However the Town of Vincent have washed their hands of this matter and buried themselves in the bureaucracy of their administration to avoid confronting this as an important moral issue.

 

A petition has been circulated to evidence to the Town of Vincent that the community is outraged by the use of Local Government property to promote racism.

 

I urge you to sign this petition, and to forward the link to your friends and colleagues who also agree that the racial vilification of Perth’s Jewish community on public property should be stopped.

 

The link is at  http://www.gopetition.com.au/online/35844.html