Sunday, August 30, 2009

Michael Barnett, JCCV and AJN Watch

Further to our post re Michael Barnett's letter , here's a short response to his childish bleatings, with the hope that this reaches those to whom he addressed his letter.

From Barnett's letter:

Ten years ago, in 1999, Aleph Melbourne applied to the JCCV for membership. This was an extremely bitter time for the group and as a result of the failed application I was exposed to a level of hate and intolerance that would shock most people.
The attempt by Aleph to become a constituent member of the JCCV always was and still is one of sheer arrogance and provocation. Why on earth should a miniscule group (if it indeed there is such a group) of insignificant nobodies, whose sole aim is to promote and publicize abnormal sexual behaviour, be admitted to an organization representing Victorian Jewry?

(Yes, whether Barnett likes it or not homosexuality is not normal. Until recently EVERONE accepted this. The advent of ‘political correctness’ meant that saying so is limited to honest private conversations by people, who are not interested in bitchy responses and “hate and intolerance’ accusations.

The first sign of your abnormality is the fact that heterosexuals don’t go around advertising and publicizing what they do privately. THAT is normal. Your desperate need for constant publicity (even disgusting parades) announcing and showing off to the world your sexual proclivities – proves this is not normal behaviour.)

Despite all this, Mr Barnett, we don’t hate you. Really. We just simply are not interested in you and your activities. We really don’t care how you live your life and what you get up to - with whom or how. Most people, knowingly or unknowingly, have homosexual acquaintances socially or professionally. And they get along fine. Why? Because they don’t bore us with their personal stories.

Go ahead and do whatever you like. But please SHUT UP about it and stop shoving your lifestyle down our throats.

As for you personally, it is obvious that aside from your homosexuality you have nothing to offer or indeed talk about. How sad.

So don't be so surprised when decent, normal and respectable (religious and irreligious) organizations don’t welcome you to their forum.

Most of the world is sickened by homosexuality. That's just human nature and no legislation will help with their attitude. As for those who follow the Torah and Halacha - which categorically bans it - they cannot ever see it as an acceptable lifestyle. They can’t. The Torah is not theirs to alter, modify or modernize.

All that still does not mean we ‘hate’ you and your type. Observant Jews don’t hate. We don’t hate Shabbat-desecrators and we don’t hate non-Kosher consumers and we don’t hate homosexuals. We get along fine with all types of irreligious Jews – as long as they don’t try to attack our Jewishness and propagate their anti-Torah lifestyles.

Have you ever considered that if the JCCV deemed you as worthy for membership, why not other offensive groups, eg:
“Melbourne Jewish Idol-worshippers”
“Jewish Adulterers Society”
“Jewish Lesbian Hindu Society”
“Australian Jewish Chazir-fressers Club”
“The Shabbat-desecrators Association”
“Jews for Jesus”
“The Ladies Yom Kippur & Tisha B’av Lunchers Guild”

"Melbourne Jewish Car Thieves/Drunk-Drivers/Coke-sniffers"

Funny, no? But no funnier than accepting your Aleph club.

The issue dominated the Jewish media for weeks leading up to the vote and many more thereafter. During this time there was no shortage of homphobic attacks and
expressions of intolerance from all manner of community leaders at Aleph Melbourne's membership application.

We have no idea what attacks you refer to, but as long as there was nothing physical (and I am sure that there wasn’t) big deal. You asked for it by repeatedly opening your mouth and provoking most of the Jewish community. Don’t be so precious. You knew all along what you were going into, so don’t bleat when someone replies. Did you really expect no one to respond?
When you start with an entire community, you cannot afford to be so sensitive.

Wind forward to 2009, now ten years along. On July 10 this year, Rabbi Chaim Ingram,Honorary Secretary of the Rabbinical Council of NSW, wrote a letter to the AustralianJewish News where he unapologetically and unsympathetically lumped homosexuals alongside people who committed adultery, bestiality and incest and later went on to defend his stance, hiding behind the cover of Jewish law.
Here is part of the “offending” letter” :

Judaism teaches that while only Jews need uphold the 613 mitzvot of the Torah, human society as a whole must also adhere to a moral and ethical code comprising seven statutes known as the Noachide Laws. Five of these laws correspond to five of the 10 Commandments. One of them is a prohibition against gross sexual immorality comprising adultery, bestiality, incest and homosexual intercourse. A second is the establishment of legislation that will maintain morality in accordance with the Noachide code. Therefore, no Torah-abiding Jew can ever make peace with the concept of legalising or validating homosexual “marriage” in any society in which he or she lives.

Does Barnett, who demands ‘tolerance’ for his mob, expect religious Jews (and indeed non-Jews) be banned from quoting the Torah?

Rabbi Ingram isn't “hiding’ behind Jewish law. He is quoting it “unapologetically and unsympathetically”. That law is what has guided us for thousands of years and will continue to do so - long after Barnett has been forgotten.

On August 1 in Tel Aviv there was the horrific shooting in the gay community centre
where two people were killed and 15 people injured. The Australian Jewish News
covered this event comprehensively. As a direct result of this coverage an anonymous Melbourne Orthodox Jewish blogger posted on AJNWatch some of the most hurtful language directed at gay people that I have ever read.
“The most hurtful language directed at gay people that I have ever read”. What a load of nonsense. You obviously are convinced readers of your letter will not bother to investigate such disgusting libel. Otherwise you wouldn’t dare to lie so barefacedly.

This prohibition forms a tenet of Orthodox Jewish dogma and is more fervently upheld than just about any other biblical commandment.
More lies and nonsense.

The prohibition against homosexual intercourse (and effectively anything relating to any expression of homosexuality) permeates the teachings of Orthodox Judaism at all levels, through schools, colleges, synagogues and every other aspect of Orthdox Jewish life.
Utter garbage. How insulting to think that Orthodox Jews have nothing else to study and be concerned about other than homosexuality.

I challenge you to find an Orthodox Rabbi in Australia who will not denounce practicing homosexuals as sinners and who will not refer to us alongside people who have committed sins of the gravity as murder, adultery, incest or bestiality.
Repeat. It is not the rabbis who denounce. It is the Torah.

Finally, here's some free advice for you. If you are really seeking to find a place where your type of ‘Judaism’ is acceptable, why not visit a friendly Reform/Liberal temple, where the rabbis and rabbiesses have unlimited freedom and leeway and (as they already disregard most of the Torah) will have no problems in making you feel at home.
And who knows? Maybe at some time in the future, they will invite you to become their representative on the JCCV.


Talking about tolerance and intolerance, someone sent us an exchange on Barnett's Facebook page which shows how much 'tolerance' he and his mates have for other views.


Dayenu Sydney:
By the way, did you report the blog to Google? Sounds like it might contravene their terms of service.

Michael Barnett:
Of course, but it I feel it's better it stays up for the moment as it adds weight to the argument.
Also there this garbage:

The ugly side of Jewish extremism that the JCCV wants us to ignore ...
This blog appeared on the "AJN Watch" web site on August 7 2009. This has got to be one of the ugliest pieces of homophobic hate I have ever read.

This blog was one of the catalysts for me writing this letter.
I brought this blog up in a meeting with John Searle, President of the Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) on August 19 2009. The official word of "The voice of Victorian Jewry" was to ignore it, not to give it any oxygen and it will go away. Some example of responsible leadership Mr Searle.
Just imagine what would have happened if the world buried its head about the Nazis and The Holocaust.

"Just imagine what would have happened if the world buried its head about the Nazis and The Holocaust."
Yep. According to Barnett the AJN Watch blog is comparable to the Nazi Holocaust! The author of such an idiotic comment, wants to sit on the Jewish community's foremost representative council.


  1. Michael Barnett has the courage to sign his name on his work, while you continue to hide behind a blog. He's a much braver man than you'll ever be.

  2. Most blogs happen to be anonynous, actually.
    In this case, who wants to be haraased constantly by Barnett and his 3 mates, They have plenty of time to spend seeing they have no wife or children to be occupied by. Most people who have lives don't have the time to waste.

    But whatever, AJN Watch has made some excellent points and shown up Barnett for exactly what he is - a whinging bleater.

    So Gregory, forget about the identities and concentrate on the facts. That is far more important.

  3. We think we have been more than fair to Michael Barnett by linking to his letters and opinions as well publishing some of his views.
    Regarding his complaint that he is not tolerated by the community and who won’t accept him as a member of the JCCV, we have explained why in our view the JCCV has been 100% correct in refusing to accommodate a single-issue individual who represents hardly anyone.

    This was followed by Barnett comparing this blog to the Nazi Holocaust and we said that his comment is idiotic.

    We feel that when a debate sinks to such childish name-calling - it is time to call it quits.

    So until that time than an issue of genuine interest/importance arises around this topic, AJN Watch blog will no longer accept any comments about it and reverts to our main objective of observing and commenting on prejudice, misrepresentation and monopolistic abuse of power in the pages of the Australian Jewish News.

    We will continue to spotlight errors, expose their misrepresentations and vigorously respond to items that malign or defame the Orthodox community.

    We apologize to all those comments didn't appear this time, but we are confident that you appreciate our rationale.


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