One of the many issues facing society is the double standard. It comes in all shapes and sizes and does not discriminate. The strict definition of a double standard is “a rule or principle which is unfairly applied in different ways to different people or groups.”
Double standard’s are more sinister and can be used to disguise corruption, create an easy path to power, drive an agenda or perhaps educational philosophy. It is all around, us yet many of us, only catch a glimpse of it when witnessed.
We can all think of the common double standards regarding sexual behaviour, male sexual activity is promoted, while female promiscuity results in slut shaming and labelling with derogatory terms.
Freedom of speech is one of the hottest double standards in Australia at the moment, not helped of course by the many failures of the Australian Human Rights Commission, especially in relation to QUT. How can excluding bring about togetherness and acceptance? I am not aware of any interfaith dialogue that uses exclusion and non-discussion as a way of bringing people together. Those who believe segregation is the answer, need to study history.
We believe that any racist cartoon or statement, should be recognised as such and removed regardless of who it is targeting. However many people, now use racism as an excuse to shut down rational discussion and debate. No better example is the role of Islamism in Australia, and why Islamist leadership, is often not united when condemning terror attacks ? It is not racist to pose that question, we should all be asking why this situation is allowed to exist in the first place.
Locally a major double standard exists where it is considered bad form to criticise any Jewish community organisation regardless of their track record in corporate governance, objectives and aims. We would not accept such behaviour in the wider world but it is acceptable in the local community because ….. ?
Is it acceptable to have many organisations and random individual’s visiting Perth to solicit donations for Israel, when Menora Charity Fund and other local charities are stretched to the limit providing for those in need in our local community ? Do we just rely on our own decision making to keep things in balance, or has the time come to have an open discussion about where community priorities should be focused ?
We all know that some organisations are wasteful when spending money, others are in long term decline because they are no longer relevant and need to be disbanded, some need to be reinvigorated and some need to be held to account because we as a community simply deserve better.
A great example of a double standard, is analysing the discussion on the Jewish Perth facebook group. There are many members of the group who rather than defend their organisations values and legacy, call for all debate to be shutdown and censored, on the basis that they are offended. You would seriously have expected the Australian Human Rights Commission to have been involved already. A poster on the group posted a statement about the Habonim youth group. Rather than defend Habonim, the first and many other responses were to shutdown the debate. Eventually someone saw the light, and actually posted something positive about Habonim. It is really not that hard, to find positive things to say about Jewish youth groups, so why it took so long is anyone’s guess.
Maybe the rage from having your world view challenged causes people to lose focus and engage in personal attacks rather than focusing on the real issue.
As a community we have so much to be proud of, the State’s leading academic school, synagogues catering to all facets of Judaism, community aged care facilities, youth groups, cultural functions and leadership in droves. We are proudly represented in the wider community by individuals, who have been successful in almost every field and discipline. Yet we have a disaster, of our own making, in our very own backyard.
The Jewish Centre was built for a different Perth. A time before waves of immigration, changed the face, and expectations of the community. A time when the community, could be supported from traditional fundraising activities. The Jewish centre as it stands now is a relic of its former self. The infrastructure is in urgent need of repair, the business model is broken, and the function centre, underutilised.
The tireless work undertaken, by the current committee is only a band aid approach, and the best that can be done given the circumstances and history. It is time for the patchwork to stop and wholesale surgery undertaken.
A public/private partnership model could be undertaken where retail shops, commercial and special use office space, a shared kitchen facility, accommodation, memorials to the various Jewish events in our calender and a modern function centre, could all be considered as part of a new vibrant Jewish centre for our community. The funds could possibly come from the private sector, who build and operate the facility for a period of time, after which it passes back to the community to manage and operate. All we need to do as a community, is offer our support by utilising the facilities once it has been rebuilt.
The centre is appealing for funds to make urgent repairs and I am sure that any support they receive would be appreciated.
Previously I have defended The Maccabean when they refused to advertise certain events, being held by the New Israel Fund. The Maccabean’s decision to shy away from advertising revenue, from dubious sources should be commended, even if the entire debacle could have been handled in a better manner. The Maccabean management showed courage in making a decision, and defending it, within other media outlets, even in the face of considerable, and often extreme adversity.
Every section of the community was outraged, and many people I have been in touch with wrote to The Maccabean, for and against their decision, yet not a single letter to the editor was published. While everyone carried on complaining about the NIF and The Maccabean, the real underlying crisis was missed. The Maccabean is no longer the voice of the community. Community organisations, stakeholders and individuals need a forum, where all views can be expressed openly, and debated in a rational forum, free of bias. It is not a scary concept to let people express an opinion, even if it is contrary to the mainstream, because it can be challenged openly.
The Maccabean exists nowadays in an era where we rapidly watch the decline of print media. Print media globally is shrinking and will cease to exist within the next decade. The writing is on the wall, I mean the tablet or phone, so to speak. The modus operandi of The Maccabean is almost over. As the curtain comes down on an era, we as a community need to work out the next phase, because without a voice, without a melting pot of ideas, where are we going ?
The recent storm in a teacup between the New Israel Fund claims of censorship by The Maccabean led to, typical left wing conspiracy hysteria. Nothing new here, the left constantly play the victim to draw attention to a spurious cause, founded on lies, deception and propaganda.
Another movie is now being promoted and this time The Maccabean approved the advert !!
If the NIF need some assistance understanding why there abhorrent views should not be welcome in any community look no further than these two examples.
Is it s no Dream – The Life of Theodor Herzl, exploring the life and times of Theodor Herzl, father of the modern state of Israel. Narrated by Academy Award winner, Sir Ben Kingsley and starring AcademyAward winner Christoph Waltz as the voice of Theodor Herzl, the film examines how Herzl, a well known journalist and playwright, an assimilated, Budapest born Jew, horrified by the Dreyfus trial in Paris and the anti-Semitism he saw spreading across Europe, took upon himself the task of attempting to create a Jewish homeland in Palestine against all odds. Over the span of 8 years, Herzl organized and led a worldwide political movement that within 50 years led to the establishment of the state of Israel. The film follows Herzl as he meets with Kings, Prime Ministers, Ambassadors, a Sultan, a Pope and government ministers from Constantinople to St. Petersburg, from Paris to Berlin, from Vienna to Vilna in his quest to build a Jewish nation.
Without question Theodor Herzl was a hero, his hard work and dedication paved the way for the Modern state of Israel as we know it.
The Silver Platter – The powerful wake-up call to fight those who are plundering the country: How do 20 tycoons control Israel’s economy? How did Israel go from being a highly egalitarian society to an unequal one in 30 years? Why are young Israelis struggling to afford their rent? Why is food so expensive? Why is there such concentrated economic power? How is cronyism destroying the social fabric of Israel? Watched by more than 1.5 million Israelis, “Magash Hakesef” (The Silver Platter) is one of the most exciting TV mini-series to come out of Israel in recent years.
Economic injustice exists in every country on the face of this planet, it is not unique to Israel. Australia is controlled by an elite group of business people and networks, however there are also plenty of opportunities for everyone. These opportunities are there for the taking. Complaining about not having a chance to succeed, is irrelevant, when you are unable to help yourself, because your lack of vision causes you to focus on being a victim. BOOM !!
Just for kicks Google “NIF Theodore Herzl” and the first record that shows up “The Perversion of Theodor Herzl – New Israel Fund”
which ultimately takes you to an article that is as much an Israel bashing exercise as we have come to expect from The NIF.
Some things never change but exposing them at least balances the equation.