The following newsletter was sent out today:
We are sending our occasional newsletter here and would like to take the opportunity to thank everyone who has been so supportive of our efforts; both with their willingness to sign our recent statement and donations. You will be aware that we are very limited in our resources and so it is both very heartening and practically helpful to receive so much ongoing encouragement and support. Above all, it indicates clearly that we are helping to fill an important gap in the public dialogue.
Our recent IAJV advertisement appeared prominently in the Sydney Morning Herald, the Australian and Australian Jewish News with around 120 signatures (http://antonyloewenstein.com/2010/10/09/australian-jews-say-enough-is-enough/) and highlighted the importance of Jews speaking out for peace and justice in the Middle East.
The ad was attacked by the Australian Jewish News’ columnist Mark Baker (http://jewishnews.net.au/news/2010/10/07/saddened-by-the-sense-of-censorship/15800) and a number of Jewish writers in the letter’s pages of the AJN (http://antonyloewenstein.com/2010/10/21/myopic-jews-berate-iajv-for-caring-about-human-rights/).
We are pleased with the more than 130 Jewish signatories (and growing) and very generous financial support that made the advertisements possible. We continue to receive many emails and letters from across the community including both Jewish and non-Jewish supporters who express gratitude and encouragement for our public stand as Jewish voices. We are planning to maintain the momentum with new initiatives and will inform you all soon of IAJV events in the pipeline.
We want to express our thanks to all who contributed in various ways to our efforts and thereby to add to the growing pressure on the Australian government to take a more enlightened view of the Middle East crisis.
In other news, American Jewish writer and activist Anna Baltzer recently toured Australia and attracted large crowds across the country. She received great media coverage (Eg. http://www.abc.net.au/pm/content/2010/s3047744.htm and http://www.smh.com.au/national/activist-questions-contract-20101026-172eo.html).
Her visit was sponsored by Australians for Palestine, Coalition for Justice and Peace in Palestine and IAJV and we are again pleased to work together with these groups to promote human rights in the Middle East.
Anna was attacked by the mainstream Jewish community and defended by IAJV’s Peter Slezak on J Wire:
Alan Gold on Baltzer
Peter Slezak reply to Gold
David Singer reply to Slezak
Peter Slezak reply to Gold and Singer
David Singer again
Anna appeared at Canberra’s Parliament House and made a presentation to 20 Federal parliamentarians among many others including diplomats and journalists. As in her many talks, Anna presented some of the troubling aspects of human rights violations in the West Bank and the need for governments and individuals to act on behalf of the principles of justice, international law and human rights for all.
Finally, the following links are some recent news from the Middle East:
– Antony Loewenstein, Western politicians prefer to ignore Israel’s inherent racism, Sydney Morning Herald:
– Gideon Levy, Israel is proud to present; the aggressor-victim, Haaretz:
– Israeli human rights group B’Tselem on abuse of Palestinians in Israeli detention:
– Israeli human rights group Gisha on the real situation with the Israeli blockade of Gaza:
Thanks again for your support and ongoing interest in our efforts.
Best wishes for now,
Independent Australian Jewish Voices