Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Nazi policy from some hypocritical Australian luvvies

The theatrical world is generally very Leftist.  Fantasy is their trade

A Sydney theatre has refused a young Jewish theatre group’s request to use its venue in an alleged act of discrimination.

The Jewish group, Hillel is a not-for-profit educational and cultural organisation which aims to ‘inspire university-aged young adults to engage with Jewish life’ and become future leaders.

The group are planning a series of performances about survivors of the holocaust and were in search of a venue.

When Hillel made an application to perform at The Red Rattler Theatre in Sydney’s inner west, they were shocked at the email they received in response.

‘Our policy does not support colonialism/Zionism. Therefore we do not host groups that support the colonisation and occupation of Palestine,’ the Marrickville Theatre group responded curtly.

Members of the youth group could not believe that they were being rejected, allegedly due to their religious beliefs.

Assistant director Shailee Mendelvich was confounded when she received the rejection email from The Red Rattler Theatre group.

‘I was shocked and disappointed because I believe that denying a Jewish group the right to make a commercial booking is clearly racial discrimination and, in this case, Antisemitism,’ Ms Mendelvich told Daily Mail Australia

Ms Mendelvich was particularly troubled by the rejection as The Red Rattler Theatre are also a not-for-profit, artist-run company which purports to have ‘community at heart’.

On their website, the Red Rattler claim that the theatre ‘was set up as a space where racism, homophobia, transphobia and sexism are not welcome on stage, in the audience, at the door, and at the bar.’

‘We ask you to join us in efforts to make this space welcoming, stimulating, and happiness producing to people regardless of their ethnicity, sexuality or gender.’

Hillel believes that the decision to reject a Jewish theatre group contradicts the company’s ethos.

‘I hope that people working in community service and the not-for-profit sector can acknowledge the common ground we share, especially for events that encourage honest and open creative expression for important cultural or social issues.’

The event series, called ‘Moth’, is a performance evening to ‘encourage people to express themselves in a creative way’.

The upcoming event aims to ‘unpack what it means to be the third generation of holocaust survivors.'

The NSW Jewish Board of Deputies chief executive Vic Alhadeff have written to the theatre to express his concern that Hillel have been discriminated ‘based on conflicts taking place far from Australia.’

Mr Alhadeff sent the letter on March 13 and has placed several calls with The Red Rattler but is yet to receive a response.

‘It is disappointing that a theatre group (The Red Rattler Theatre company) let politics get in the way of policies, as they claim their ethos is about equality and acceptance,' Mr Alhadeff told Daily Mail Australia.

Mr Alhadeff also reiterated that the group are apolitical and the purpose of the performance would be to explore the impact of the holocaust on modern generations, rather than engaging with the issue of the occupation of Palestine.

‘These young people have been the subject of discrimination because of an overseas conflict whilst conducting a play which had nothing whatsoever to do with any conflict overseas,' he said.

‘Their focus was on exploring the lessons future generations can learn from the holocaust survivors.’

‘The Jewish community in Australia are Australians. This is very disappointing as we need to be able to embrace difference and focus on the shared values we have as Australians.'

The Hillel theatre group continue to search for a venue for their performance and are looking forward to the series, which will include the spoken word, poetry, acoustic instrumental performances and rap.

Daily Mail Australia attempted to contact The Red Rattler Theatre Company for comment but did not receive any reply.


Australia a puzzling hotbed of Islamic State recruiting

The London-based International Center for the Study of Radicalization and Political Violence reports that between 100 and 250 Australians have joined Sunni militants in Iraq and Syria. Given Australia's vast distance from the region and its population of just 24 million, it is a remarkable number. The center estimates that about 100 fighters came from the United States, which has more than 13 times as many people as Australia.

Experts disagree about why the Islamic State group has been so effective recruiting in Australia, which is widely regarded as a multicultural success story, with an economy in an enviable 24th year of continuous growth.

Possible explanations include that some Australian Muslims are poorly integrated with the rest of the country, and that Islamic State recruiters have given Australia particular attention. In addition, the Australian government failed to keep tabs on some citizens who had been radicalized, and moderate Muslims have been put off by some of Prime Minister Tony Abbott's comments about their community.

Greg Barton, a global terrorism expert at Monash University in Melbourne, said Australia and some other countries underestimated Islamic State's "pull factor."

"We're all coming to terms with the fact that this is a formidable targeter and predatory recruiter that goes after individuals one by one with a very masterful use of technology, and our sense of confidence that because we've got society working well makes us secure misses the point," Barton said.

Muslims make up about 2.2 percent of the population in Australia, compared to just 1 percent in the United States. And while many U.S. Muslims are from families who migrated in pursuit of the American economic dream, a larger proportion of Australian Muslims are from families who fled Lebanon's civil war in the 1970s and '80s.

Australian Muslims of Lebanese origin are largely based in Sydney, the country's biggest city. They have been less successful in integrating into Australian society than many other groups, and the first Australian-born generation of these migrant families has been overrepresented in terrorism offenses and general street crime.

Mohammad Ali Baryalei, an ethnic Lebanese who reportedly became a high-ranking member of the Islamic State group's operational command, was formerly a Sydney nightclub bouncer and bit-part television actor. Australian security agencies suspect he single-handedly recruited dozens of Australians and helped them enter Syria.

Once a Sydney street preacher with the Muslim group Street Dawah, Baryalei was reportedly killed in battle in Syria last fall at age 33. The Australian government has yet to confirm his death.

Baryalei is accused in court documents of inciting from afar Islamic State sympathizers in Sydney to brutally slay a randomly selected victim. Security services recorded a telephone conversation between him and Omarjan Azari, who is awaiting trial on charges that include preparing to commit a terrorist act.

"What you guys need to do is pick any random unbeliever," Baryalei allegedly told Azari, according to court testimony. "Backpacker, tourist, American, French or British, even better."

Sydney-born Khaled Sharrouf, also ethnic Lebanese, horrified millions last year by posting on his Twitter account a photo of his 7-year-old son clutching the severed head of a Syrian soldier. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry described the image as "one of the most disturbing, stomach-turning, grotesque photographs ever displayed."

Sharrouf's appearance on the Syrian battlefield highlighted a flaw in Australia's defenses against the Islamic State group: lax border security. Sharrouf had served a prison sentence in Australia for planning a foiled terrorist attack and had been banned from leaving the country, but used his brother's passport to leave in 2013.

The Australian government acknowledged there was a problem with a system of airport security that was more focused on who was coming in than on who was leaving. The government announced in August that biometric screening will be rolled out at all Australian international airports as part of 630 million Australian dollars ($500 million) in new spending on intelligence, law enforcement and border protection.

Counterterrorism police units have been attached to major airports to screen passengers. The unit at Sydney Airport was instrumental in recently intercepting two Sydney-born brothers, aged 16 and 17, who were about to fly to Turkey without their parents' knowledge. Authorities suspect the brothers were headed to Syria.

Australia's net still has holes.

Jake Bilardi, an 18-year-old who converted to Islam a few years ago, had avoided Australia's counterterror radar when he left his Melbourne home for Syria in August. After Bilardi's family reported him missing, police found chemicals that could be used to make a bomb at his home. Images of Bilardi armed with a rifle in front of Islamic flags appeared on social media sites later that year.

A picture of a young man resembling Bilardi behind the wheel of a van was posted this month with claims from the Islamic State group that foreign fighters from Australia and other countries took part in a near-simultaneous attack in Iraq that involved at least 13 suicide car bombs and killed two police officers. The Australian government has yet to confirm Bilardi's death.

Bilardi's father, who became estranged from Bilardi and his five older siblings after divorcing their mother, said the Islamic State recruit had had psychological problems as a child that were not addressed.

"He was a soft target," John Bilardi told Australia's "60 Minutes" television program in an interview broadcast on Sunday.

"He was a prize; he was a trophy that they paraded online. They gloated about how they had recruited this young boy who didn't even have a Muslim background," he said.

"They used him for their own — what cause? All I see is that they're murdering people, including my son," he added.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has been granted enhanced powers to prevent Australians from joining IS and, in some cases, from returning to Australia. She has canceled about 100 passports, including Jake Bilardi's, though he left before his passport was revoked.

Keeping would-be militants from leaving Australia, however, increases the risk that they will wreak havoc at home.

Numan Haider, an 18-year-old Muslim Australian of Afghan origin, stabbed two Melbourne police officers and was shot dead in September, a week after his passport had been canceled. He had caught authorities' attention months earlier over what police considered to be troubling behavior, including waving what appeared to be an Islamic State flag at a shopping mall.

Australian authorities were clearly taken by surprise by the growing domestic menace posed by Islamic State followers. Less than a year ago, officials reduced security at Parliament House to cut costs. Since then, security at the seat of national government has been increased to unprecedented levels.

In September, the government raised Australia's terrorist threat level to the second-highest level on a four-tier scale. Police attempting to disrupt terrorist plots have raided scores of homes. Several suspects have been charged and others have been detained without charge under new counterterrorism laws. The nation's main domestic spy agency is juggling more than 400 high-priority counterterrorism investigations — more than double the number a year ago.

But the intensified vigilance was no hindrance to Man Monis, a 50-year-old Iranian-born, self-styled cleric with a long criminal history. In December, Monis took 18 people hostage at a downtown Sydney cafe, forced them to hold up a flag bearing the Islamic declaration of faith against a cafe window and demanded he be delivered a flag of the Islamic State group. Monis and two hostages were killed at the end of a 16-hour siege.

A government review found that Monis had fallen off a terrorist watch list despite repeated warnings to security services from members of the public concerned by his online rants. As a Shiite Muslim, he was thought an unlikely recruit to Islamic State, a Sunni Muslim movement.

As traumatic as the hostage crisis was, it could not be compared to the enormity of the Sept. 11 terror attacks on the United States. Hass Dellal, executive director of the Australian Multicultural Foundation, which promotes awareness of cultural diversity within Australia, said that history might make Americans more resistant to Islamic State recruiting.

Dellal also said public discussion of issues around radicalization and extremism is more balanced in the United States than in Australia, which effectively banned Middle Eastern Muslims from immigrating until the 1970s.

Some Muslims have been critical of comments by Prime Minister Abbott, accusing him of driving a wedge between them and the rest of Australia.

"I've often heard Western leaders describe Islam as a religion of peace. I wish more Muslim leaders would say that more often, and mean it," Abbott in a speech in February that angered many Muslims with its suggestion of duplicity.

Barton, the Monash University expert, said Australia may prove to be not so different from the United States, if the Islamic State group expands its influence in America.

"It may be a lag effect," Barton said. "It may be in six months' time, the figures are much more comparable."


Dredges will not damage reef

Greenie scaremongering has no scientific basis

The resources and ports sectors continue to defend their dredging practices as safe after the Queensland and federal governments unveiled a long-term Great Barrier Reef management plan.

The plan includes a ban on dumping dredge spoil anywhere in the world heritage area, a limit on port expansion to four sites and targets for reducing sediment, nutrient and pesticide contamination.

It will be a key factor in the UNESCO world heritage committee's decision on whether to list the reef as "in danger" in June this year.

The Greens on Monday urged the federal government to go further after the Australian Coral Reef Society released a report recommending against the expansion of the Abbot Point coal terminal in central Queensland.

Top coral reef scientists were presenting a choice between protecting the Great Barrier Reef and developing Queensland's Galilee Basin, Greens senator Larissa Waters said.  "In an age of climate change, it's scientifically impossible to do both," she said.

"The Abbott and Palaszczuk government's Reef 2050 Plan for the World Heritage Committee completely ignores the impact of the Galilee Basin coal mines on the reef and other world heritage areas."

Ms Waters said increased shipping through the reef would lead to ocean acidification, more dangerous storms and coral bleaching.

But linking the basin's development to the reef's plight was "a new low point in a campaign of misinformation", GVK Hancock said.

Every reputable analyst agreed that global demand for coal would grow for many decades regardless of the basin's development, spokesman Josh Euler said.  "If we as a nation don't develop the Galilee Basin then some other country will develop their equivalent resource," he said.

Mr Euler said this would allow competitors to gain significant financial and employment benefits.  "The expansion of the existing Abbot Point Port will not impact the Great Barrier Reef."

The government's plan ignores a science-based approach to dredging, according to Ports Australia.

An unwarranted blanket ban on dredging was placing the long-term viability of the ports system at risk, according to chief executive David Anderson.

"The science has been discarded, and instead the policy has been dictated by an activist ideology, with the complicity of UNESCO, which has swayed these governments," he said.


A house of cards and half of them are jokers

Piers Akerman

THE eye-catching topless model and fitness trainer Anastasia Bakss, who invites her internet followers to “Sing up (sic) and get advice of fitness free” would doubtless be a titillating addition to the NSW legislative council.

But while her ability to stimulate greater interest in the upper house is unquestionable, whether she has the qualifications to actually add anything to the level of debate is dubious.

Ms Bakss, who helpfully shares her prescription for a better, acne-free life on her website, appears to have had no life experiences which might guide her to make the critical choices on legislation which would come before her should NSW voters take complete leave of their senses and give her their votes as a representative of the No Land Tax Party.

The Russian immigrant fled to Australia 10 years ago, not as a political refugee but as one fleeing from a disappointing brush with Cupid.

As she says, she arrived in this country “running away from love that didn’t meet expectations, I flew in to the Sydney city which beckoned with its beauty and a far away distance!

“It seemed to me that I can forget everything from my past life by learning hospitality and adopting new Western ways of running the business!”

She turned her back on her former nation after finding that “my concepts of health and fitness were true Russian too-starve or follow the soup / pineapple / blood group diets today to look good on a date tomorrow and alcohol and discos and sex combined burn all the calories so I can again eat a cake or two again!”

That diet she dismisses contemptuously: “No wonder I looked far from being healthy smoking chubby and covered with pimples!”

But it’s the NSW voters who should be studding their expressions with exclamation marks as they contemplate the possibility that Ms Bakss — or any of the other 109 members of the No Land Tax Party standing for upper and lower house seats — could possibly wind up on the public payroll in Macquarie Street after the March 28 election.

The empirical evidence from the farce that is now being played out in the senate in Canberra demonstrates the dangers of voting for single issue parties and voting for parties that are controlled by single individuals.

The delamination of Clive Palmer’s PUP clique should provide a salutary lesson to voters concerning the risks involved in voting for inadequate candidates.

When Prime Minister Tony Abbott accurately described the senate as “feral” he could have been describing the actions of Senator Jacqui Lambie, or her fellow former PUP upper house colleague Glenn Lazarus, or Senator Ricky Muir, the sole representative of the almost non-existent Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party.

Interestingly, in his amusing maiden speech delivered eight months after being elected to the senate, Muir reflected for a moment on democracy. Quoting from the Museum of Australian Democracy’s website, he said: “Australia is a representative democracy. In this political system, eligible people vote for candidates to carry out the business of governing on their behalf.”

The assumption there is of course that the candidates are capable of engaging in the business of governing.

By his actions, and those of some of the other crossbenchers — and, to their discredit, members of the opposition — there is little to suggest that they are either able or willing to actually engage in that business.

While it is extremely desirable to have people who are not embedded in the political class decide to enter politics, there are obvious flaws in a system that can be so easily gamed, either through massive advertising spending or through the manipulation of voting preferences.

The No Land Tax Party which Ms Bakss hopes to represent in the southern Sydney seat of Heffron is a vehicle for its leader Peter Jones, an ex-trade unionist and former Labor Party member banned for three years from being a club director by the Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing (OLGR) following their investigation of the Brighton-Le-Sands Amateur Fishermen’s Association.

He has had discussions with Glenn Druery, the so-called “preference whisperer” who assisted Muir in his tortuous assemblage of the numbers necessary to transform a minuscule primary vote into a senate seat.

Druery also helped the Shooters and Fishers Party take the balance of power in the NSW upper house in a minor party alliance with the Christian Democratic Party at the last state election.

The luck of the draw has given the No Land Tax party a significant boost by placing it in the rewarding Group A box on the Upper House ballot papers.

When voters are faced with the massive 394-candidate ballot paper, there will undoubtedly be substantial numbers who will vote for a candidate from Mr Jones’ party with little knowledge of their candidate’s views on critical matters, Mr Jones’ agenda, or the deals he has executed to give value to the votes his candidates receive before they expire.

Under the preferential voting system, transferred preferences carry the same weight as the primary vote — and by fielding more than a hundred candidates, Mr Jones has the potential to become an important powerbroker as the votes are tallied.

If Ms Bakss or any members of Mr Jones’ assembled team, most of whom he has never met, are elected, there is at least one person who might be pleased and it’s the German philosopher George Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel.

Sadly, his aphorism that “we learn from history that man can never learn anything from history” may be about to enjoy a renaissance.


1 comment:

Paul said...

3rd generation holocaust survivors? I'm sorry but that's up there with Stolen Generation, Legacy of Slavery etc. How long must people hang on to their precious, lucrative victim-hood?

And why Marrickville? Anyone would think they wanted the refusal for political advantage. They certainly got that. I wonder if a script for this show even exists?