Limmud Oz 2011Australian Jewish community politics when it comes to Israel and dissenting views is explosive, and a current controversy is no exception. (See, for example, what I wrote for New Matilda in 2009, but there have been episodes since then).
Limmud Oz 2011 has recently banned two speakers, known as supporters of BDS from the conference, even though they were not going to talk about BDS. Why it has happened at such a late stage is interesting–is it another case of the people with the money making not so subtle hints…

The management of Limmud Oz has accused Peter Slezak and Viv Porzolt of being promoters of politics which unequivocally calls for the destruction of Israel (though in my view, not all supporters of BDS have that view, though there is an extreme wing of which I am critical, particularly because of a strong whiff of Judeophobia) and complete ignorance of the continuing trauma of Jewish history. But in the eyes of many, I suppose the two banned people also have devils’ horns and bomb belts.
Limmud Oz also used my name and that of other people, in order to claim they were still for free speech. I was not asked if I supported their argument.
Notwithstanding the controversy over BDS, the fact that a major Jewish event wishes to exclude two speakers because of other views they have is deeply disturbing, particularly because some of the views they have about the current state of Israel politics are shared by many Israelis and to some degree, people like me. Where I differ with them is the blanket and blunt application of BDS and this has to be argued about, because other positions, such as targeted sanctions of West Bank products and services can be argued as a more effective and politically savvy approach.
What makes this episode even more laughable and embarrassing is that until I pointed it out a couple of days ago, Vickie Janson of the QSociety was going to run a session with her usual, stereotyping anti-Muslim, pseudo-intellectual diatribe. Her view on Muslims should of course not be confused with legitimate discussion of failures in the Muslim world, but the views she presents are akin to those of those propogated by anti-Semites. The organiser of Limmud Oz, Michael Misrachi has now indicated that she is no longer appearing. He has not indicated if that is because of me or for some other reason. The fact that her rubbish fell through the radar of Limmud is pretty amazing. And there are still a couple of people appearing at the Limmud who appear to wish to keep the stereotype going that Jews and others hate all Muslims.
The solution to this selective hypocrisy?
Janson should have been able to appear so that she could be ripped to shreds, and likewise, Peter Slezak and Viv Porzolt the BDS people should have also been able to defend whatever it is they were supposed to be speaking about.
The issue is being debated to death on Galus Australis and reported about on Jwire.
Whether or not the panel I was supposed to appear on–about Jewish Dissent– occurs is still in the balance because a number of us think that despite our different views with Slezak and Porzolt, we too should ban ourselves out of solidarity.
[Michael Brull also logs his response @ Overland.

Limmud Oz 2011Australian Jewish community politics when it comes to Israel and dissenting views is explosive, and a current controversy is no exception. (See, for example, what I wrote for New Matilda in 2009, but there have been episodes since then).
Limmud Oz 2011 has recently banned two speakers, known as supporters of BDS from the conference, even though they were not going to talk about BDS. Why it has happened at such a late stage is interesting–is it another case of the people with the money making not so subtle hints…

The management of Limmud Oz has accused Peter Slezak and Viv Porzolt of being promoters of politics which unequivocally calls for the destruction of Israel (though in my view, not all supporters of BDS have that view, though there is an extreme wing of which I am critical, particularly because of a strong whiff of Judeophobia) and complete ignorance of the continuing trauma of Jewish history. But in the eyes of many, I suppose the two banned people also have devils’ horns and bomb belts.
Limmud Oz also used my name and that of other people, in order to claim they were still for free speech. I was not asked if I supported their argument.
Notwithstanding the controversy over BDS, the fact that a major Jewish event wishes to exclude two speakers because of other views they have is deeply disturbing, particularly because some of the views they have about the current state of Israel politics are shared by many Israelis and to some degree, people like me. Where I differ with them is the blanket and blunt application of BDS and this has to be argued about, because other positions, such as targeted sanctions of West Bank products and services can be argued as a more effective and politically savvy approach.
What makes this episode even more laughable and embarrassing is that until I pointed it out a couple of days ago, Vickie Janson of the QSociety was going to run a session with her usual, stereotyping anti-Muslim, pseudo-intellectual diatribe. Her view on Muslims should of course not be confused with legitimate discussion of failures in the Muslim world, but the views she presents are akin to those of those propogated by anti-Semites. The organiser of Limmud Oz, Michael Misrachi has now indicated that she is no longer appearing. He has not indicated if that is because of me or for some other reason. The fact that her rubbish fell through the radar of Limmud is pretty amazing. And there are still a couple of people appearing at the Limmud who appear to wish to keep the stereotype going that Jews and others hate all Muslims.
The solution to this selective hypocrisy?
Janson should have been able to appear so that she could be ripped to shreds, and likewise, Peter Slezak and Viv Porzolt the BDS people should have also been able to defend whatever it is they were supposed to be speaking about.
The issue is being debated to death on Galus Australis and reported about on Jwire.
Whether or not the panel I was supposed to appear on–about Jewish Dissent– occurs is still in the balance because a number of us think that despite our different views with Slezak and Porzolt, we too should ban ourselves out of solidarity.
[Michael Brull also logs his response @ Overland.