By Daphne Anson
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In the Shtetl on the Yarra (aka Melbourne, specifically the district known as Caulfield, within the jurisdiction of Glen Eira City Council) there has been a brouhaha regarding a Jewish gym owner Avi Yemini’s invitation to controversial One Nation party leader Senator Pauline Hanson and party member Senator Malcolm Roberts, to address interested members of the Jewish community. When the Glen Eira Council advised that it could not provide premises for the proposed meeting, Mr Yemini changed the location to his gym. (Its name? “IDF Training”. Its speciality? An Israeli martial art, Krav Maga.)
Later, the Caulfield Park Bowling Club undertook to host the event, which would be taking place now, Sunday evening, 4 December, had it not been called off owing to security concerns, those ever-tolerant types from the left having vowed to cause a rumpus outside the venue, with Jews Against Fascism (but not, apparently, Islamofascism) called on protesters to bring
“your noisemakers: your graggers, your pots and pans, your shofars, your musical instruments”
“Australia’s premier fascist parliamentary party is coming to the matzah belt.”
The curiously-named Australian Jewish Democratic Society, a body known for its anti-Israel views and for inveighing against Jews expressing “Islamophobia,” was also among the protesters.
“We protested One Nation because they’re racist and fascist and their Islamophobia, antisemitism, racism and anti-immigrant attitudes are destructive and hateful….”
So said one of the Jewish leftists opposed to the meeting.
The charge of antisemitism is highly dubious, with both senators expressing their support for Jews and Israel.
It is, of course, to be wondered why these leftist Jews give a free pass to the antisemites on the political left: could it be because Zionists and Zionism are the target of that antisemitism, as in the case of the appalling Greens?
These Jewish and as-a-Jew “anti-fascists” are anti-racist but forget that Islam is not a race.
During her first incarnation as a federal politician, in the 1990s, Senator Hanson’s focus was on opposing mass immigration from South-East Asia into Australia. Now, she and her party focus, inter alia, on opposing Islamic immigration and fretting about how it might impact upon Australia’s security and society in the years to come.
There is no doubt that Senator Hanson is a bit of a ratbag, and that her views are typically crudely expressed, and some unfortunate. But, like Senator Roberts, she is an elected representative of the Australian parliament, and if people wish to go to hear the two speak, than that is their right. The fear of radical Islam is a real and justified one, and Jews have as much reason to worry about it as anyone else, without jibes of racism being hurled at them by the totalitarian left.
It is also Mr Yemini’s right to invite the senators, though obviously Jewish communal officialdom’s feathers were ruffled when he issued the invitation through the “Independent Council of Australian Jewry,” a body hitherto unknown.
Needless to say, Mr Yemini is not the only Australian Jew who worries about radical Islam, and it goes without saying that Jews have as much reason to worry about it as anyone else, without jibes of racism being hurled at them by the totalitarian left.
How many members of the Jewish community intended to attend the meeting is unknown. But Senator Hanson certainly has her Jewish fans, and several of them have been articulate in her support in letters to the Australian Jewish News and on J-Wire. For instance:
“Please be assured Senators Hanson and Roberts that not all Jewish people are so opposed to free speech, and can be intimidated into silence by hard-left bullies. I may not agree with much of your political views but you have been elected to one of the world’s most robust, democratic parliamentary systems, and so deserve to be heard peacefully in any public forum. It’s such a pity that people who want to hear what you have to say, are now just going to hear from the haters, about what you may or may not have actually said, regarding current issues facing Australia today….”
and, from an evident non-Jew,
“Our wonderful nation is being manipulated by leftist propaganda. The ABC is the chosen weapon. The ALP and the Greens are the perpetrators…. The media are causing total polarisation and hatred, just as they have done in the USA with the absolutely biased and manipulative coverage of the recent election. Though I do not subscribe to everything of the Hanson view point, I respect her more than ever for having the courage to stand up to a hateful, blasphemous, manipulative and corrupted media…. It is a fact that the Islamists hate Israel. They bring this hatred to our beautiful nation. They should integrate or leave. Simple as that. It would be good if they took their ABC, ALP and Green buddies with them.”
‘To compare One Nation to Oswald Mosley’s British Union of Fascists [as one commentator in the paper did] is totally inappropriate. The essential element of fascism is violence and intimidation. Mosley’s troops wore uniforms, worshipped Hitler and provoked street battle with Jews and communists. There is no resemblance to Senator Hanson of One Nation.
As in the case of those who voted for Donald Trump, there would be some “deplorables” who support One Nation, while many others of its its followers are reacting to the perceived failure of the “establishment” and its surrender to the politically correct mindset.
If we are so broad-minded that an avowed critic of Israel, [World Vision Australia’s] Tim Costello, is invited to address a Jewish organisation [Hadassah, at Glen Eira Town Hall last month], why should we refuse to listen to someone who is sympathetic to the Jewish community but whose views we oppose?”