Australian Jews take on Australia’s pro-Israel Jewish lobby

After noting earlier in this blog the creation of the group “Independent Jewish Voices”, a group of more than 100 prominent British Jews, formed in response to a perceived pro-Israel bias among that country’s major Jewish organizations, a similar group has formed in Australia reports The Age.

A BREAKAWAY group from Australia’s main pro-Israel Jewish lobby organisations was launched yesterday with the backing of leading Jewish academics and identities.

The group, Independent Australian Jewish Voices, attracted the support of 120 Jewish Australians, including a state MP and a former federal Labor government minister.

“We are Jews with diverse opinions on the Middle East who share a deep concern about the current crisis in the region,” the group says. “The Jewish establishment does not represent the full range of Jewish opinion.”

Among the supporters are ethicist Professor Peter Singer, based at Princeton University; Professor Arie Freiberg, dean of law at Monash University; Robert Richter, QC; Dr Moss Cass, a former Whitlam government minister; Louise Adler, chief executive of Melbourne University Publishing; Ian Cohen, of the NSW Greens; Eva Cox, of the Women’s Electoral Lobby; Professor Dennis Altman, of La Trobe University; Henry Rosenbloom, of Scribe Publications; and Professor Ephraim Nimni, based at Queen’s University in Belfast.

Source: New group takes on Jewish lobby – National – theage.com.au

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Aussie – Kiwi insults – bad or just good comradery?

 Reported in The Age:

Underarm bowling and Phar Lap’s origins may have led to Kiwis taunting Australians over the years, but enough is enough, say New Zealand tourism authorities. A new marketing campaign is aimed at getting New Zealanders to be more friendly to Australian tourists and to tone down their insults. Tourism New Zealand chief George Hickton said the taunts had not shown up in surveys as a major issue, but he thought they could go too far. “We rib each other, there is no doubt about it. We know no-one wants to get ribbing the whole time,” Hickton said. “I have heard it (taunts) said and thought people should back off,” he said. The New Zealand Herald newspaper has dubbed the campaign “Be-Nice-to-Australians month”.

What do you think? I am a Kiwi living in Aussie, and I get hammered at work with NZ jokes and insults. Sheep is the first joke you here, and then bragging about how Australia is better than NZ at everything, how New Zealand is one of the most inferior countries in the world, how Kiwis are lucky to be here,  that there is no greater country in the world than Australia etc etc.

Of course, to keep the peace, one normally just shuts one gob! I am sure the same thing happens to Aussies in NZ, and probably more vehemently because most Kiwi’s think about NZ like Aussies think about Australia – probably even more so, and most New Zealanders have at least visited Australia, which only confirms their beliefs! 🙂

I think it is good to have a rivalry, and have jokes about each other, but they CAN go to far. Now for a Kiwi joke:

In the NZ Herald article Through gritted Teeth – It’s Be-Nice-to-Australians Month, Aussie journalist and former Wallaby Peter FitzSimons says the Trans-Tasman ribbing is usually good-natured. “These days in Australia, you barely ever hear anyone even mention the fact that the price of lamb in New Zealand has gone up to $2.95 an hour.”

Source: Aussie insults no laughing matter says Tourism NZ – Travel – theage.com.au

 

John Howard beats the refugee drum again

Amusing ditty in The Age by Tracee Hutchison, accusing J Howard of being desperate playing the race and immigration card again. No! Really?

 Definitely worth a read. 

The Howard Government is in trouble in an election year and it’s playing the “we will decide who comes to this country card”. Sound familiar? With nowhere to hide on a series of blunders over Iraq, David Hicks and the environment, with the economy threatening to tip entire suburbs of Howard’s battlers out of their first-home-buyer-bonus-bought houses and an Opposition Leader who has knocked the Eveready-Bear stuffing out of the PM, it’s time for Tampa Mark II.

Welcome to Howard’s Australia, where we specialise in welcome-to-the-country ceremonies for people fleeing persecution. These welcoming rituals require you to be incarcerated in a part of Australia that isn’t technically Australia. Please be under no illusions about this. You have not arrived in Australia. And do not be fooled that the name Christmas Island suggests generosity. It doesn’t. Our specially trained welcoming guards will monitor your every move, ensuring you talk only to each other, as talking to a stranger who may want to offer you legal advice is not something we encourage if you haven’t technically reached the Australian mainland. …..

Source: Refugee talk? Oh, right! It’s a poll year – Opinion – theage.com.au

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NZ leads the way with topless bikers

A tittilating story about a topless motorcycle parade in Christchurch, New Zealand, that may well make its way to Australia.

Christchurch's Erotica Lifestyles Expo kicked off today with a bare-chested Boobs on Bikes tour of the city.

Photo: David Hallett, The Press

The so-called Boobs on Bikes parade was held to promote an erotica expo and a group of about 20 motorcyclists – a mixture of men and women – took off their tops while they rode through the South Island city.

Organiser Steve Crow said Boobs on Bikes was an exercise in equal rights and was allowed after a test case he brought in 2005 that determined women could appear topless in public.

Source: Boobs on bikes bid for Oz – World – smh.com.au

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