Friday, July 31, 2009

AJN hypocrisy

Charming to see the AJN commenting that the Age's irrelevant mention of the Leifer affair.

This is from the same newspaper that beat up the original story into a appalling and lurid sensation. And long after the rest of the Australian media stopped mentioning it, the AJN continued to rehash it week after week – ad nauseum.

Pity that there isn’t a Walkley Award for hypocrisy – the Jewish News would be the front runner.

No comment necessary

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Stick to what you know, Adam

Remember young Adam’s terrifying warning on “Watching the Watchers”, ( see: ) about keeping an eye on AJN Watch?
While we have been quivering in our boots, in trepidation of his next salvo, it seems that he has approved of our blogposts since that time - as there hasn’t been another peep from him.

We, on the other hand, cannot allow his above piece to go by without a comment.

In that feeble and unbecoming attempt at sarcasm and tabloid reporting, Kamien appoints himself as both judge and posek regarding those organ transplants.

Our advice to Adam: Stick to tittle-tattle and gossip about the dreckerati and leave matters of halacha and law to rabbis and judges.

"As Kosher as the AJN..."

A reader sent us this cutting from the AJN adding:

I was surprised that you hadn't mentioned this piece from last week's AJN. Seems that the ignorami employed by the Jewish News haven't got a clue about Kashrut matters. Nothing! Don't they realise that Kosher meat cooked in a Treif pot is basically Chazir treif?
And even when cooked in a Kosher pot but by irreligious or non-Jews the result is just as Treif?

Where are the 2 KA's?

Why haven't we heard any comment from them?


Thanks PJM for that. You make some excellent points.
Hopefully the KAs will now take some action.

Unfortunately our community has become hardened to the upsetting occurrence of Treif food establishments being publicised by the AJN.
Treif, Chametz bePesach, Chilul Shabbos are all regulary advertised in the so-called "Jewish" newspaper.

However,free publicity for a purely Treif cafe trying to attract "kosher" consumers may be a new low.

Meanwhile your words "Kosher meat cooked in a Treif pot is basically Chazir treif" seem like a great analogy to Divrei Torah published in the AJN...

Friday, July 24, 2009

Mail from "Frum Bundist"

Hi AJN. I have been following your blog with interest.
May I ask you to post the attached ad which appeared in the AJN - placed by unhappy Bundists.
- Frum Bundist
AJN Watch is sure getting around! Bundistn reading us?
Who would've thunk?

(Maybe it's time for a Bundist AJN Watch?)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

And we thought that this headline was referring to us...and themselves!

Now we are "outright liars"!

"Melbourne Yid" - the AJN's defender - replies on Jewgleperth:
Melbourne Yid Says:

While the posting of the front page photo was abhorrent to all Jewish and other fair minded people the charge of mesira against the Jewish News is completely false. If you had bothered to read other news reports the AJN just reported what had already been reported in other news media. Unfortunately, as has been seen in other frum communities, we are not immune from breaking the law. How it is reported is another matter and the front page photo was wrong.

Two more final points:
- Your comment “How many frum people do you know?” just emphasises my point that you are are nasty person who cannot listen to anyone who has a different point of view.
- I do not believe for one minute that “in the 3+ weeks of our existence we have had approx 1800 “unique visitors” and almost 4000 page loads”. I posit that that statement is either an outright lie or that your web counter is faulty.

It was clear mesireh. The AJN’s sensationalist style and it’s repeated ad nauseum articles on the story eventually forced the SA Police to investigate. Had the AJN behaved responsibly there would have been a fair chance that the police would have overlooked or ‘forgotten’ about it all. They certainly aren’t seeking to tangle with rabbis or the Jewish community. The AJN, with some help from a few ‘nice’ Adelaide people ensured that there was a full investigation which led to the charges.

In any case we areglad to see that finally you too recognize that the front page report was wrong.

Of course you still haven’t explained why the AJN doesn’t report on financial skullduggery and other scandals when it involves rich non-frum Jews.

You say that we are nasty!? Us nasty? Why? Because we questioned your respectful comment that “most frum people think they [AJN Watch] are a joke” ?
And then you publicly accuse us of being liars! Yet WE are the ‘nasty’ ones!

For the record, we have absolutely no problem with other points of view. We believe in “live and let live”.
What we are here for is to ensure that we no longer passively turn the other cheek when this country’s Jewish newspaper offends and upsets religious Jews. You obviously disagree with our aims and that is your privilege.

Finally, despite abusive insult saying that we are lying regarding our visitor numbers, we do wish to thank you for confirming our suspicions that the figures are pretty good. They must be - if they upset you.

We assure everyone that they come from the Stats Counter people who we hooked up to sometime after the blogs inception. The only ‘faulty’ hitch we have had is that for approx 3 half days – for some unknown reason the counter was disabled and we missed out on some figures.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

"Melbourne Yid": "Frum people think AJN Watch is a joke"

In reply to our response on the Jewgle Perth blog to his earlier comments, the same person has tried again. Our reply follows.

Melbourne Yid Says:

AJN Watch’s comments are, as usual, rambling and long winded. Rather than talking to the point they attack the individual. This has become standard form of argument among those who are so insecure in their Yiddishkeit that they cannot abide anyone with a different view.

I don’t think anyone in the frum community likes everything about the AJN. I have heard from members of the “Liberal” community that they also feel that they are not given a fair go. Reading this blog it is apparent that Perth residents are also dissatisfied with the coverage of that city in the AJN. One size does not fit all. The reason that there are so many shuls and shtieblach in Melbourne is that we need variety in our lives.

If the AJN Watch people toned down their righteous indignation and hatred for anyone who does not think like they do then maybe they would have more supporters. As it stands most frum people think they are a joke.

To Melbourne Yid:

Our comments are ‘rambling and long-winded’ only to those who don’t like the fact that your AJN now has a site keeping a close watch on it and unafraid to comment stridently.

We should tone down our ‘righteous indignation and hatred’? What hatred? Denouncing your newspaper's nasty reporting style and their repeated (insinuated and open) smear campaigns against a sector of the community?

If that is called hatred, we plead guilty.

As for your comment that "most frum people think they are a joke" - how would you know?
How many frum people do you know?

For your information, all of us at the AJN Watch blog have no previous blogging knowledge or experience, thus had/have no idea what kind of readership figures we could expect. (After all, how many frum Jews are there in Australia? How many of them ever buy the AJN?)

So we are more than pleased to report that despite Melbourne Yid's opinion that we are a 'joke', in the 3+ weeks of our existence we have had approx 1800 "unique visitors" and almost 4000 page loads. Far, far better figures than we ever dreamed of.

And may we take this opportunity to remind Melbourne Yid that he did not respond with a single word to our earlier charges:

"...the case of Rabbi Engel...the way they sensationalized the original story - which forced the police investigation. This was nothing less than pure ‘mesireh’..."
"Following that... the outrageous front page “Charged” poster."
"...[AJN] never mentioned anything about the massive scandals involving rich and famous irreligious Jews. .."

We await your reply.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

From Jewgleperth's comment section

In response to the Jewgleperth blog post we copied here: the following comment was made. [Our reply follows]

Melbourne Yid Says:

I must admit that I didn’t have the patience to read this very long blog post. Maybe I am a victim of the internet generation with my short attention span

In any case I must object to you mentioning the AJN Watch blog as a “good example” of a blog “which help to deliver a new style of media for Australian Jews”. This blog is entirely dedicated to bashing the Australian Jewish News and has no other redeeming qualities. While there are many negative things to say about the AJN it is not necessary to invent grievances or to argue with every comment that may hint at something positive about the paper.

That blog is obviously written by the extreme right-wing of Melbourne Orthodoxy who do not recognise the Jewishness of anyone but their own community. Nothing that the AJN can write will pacify them. Saying that they are not above using the Jewish News to publicise their own community.

AJN Watch Says:

Melbourne Yid, let us guess you are an employee of the AJN - moonlighting as a Yid.
After all, no reasonable impartial person would write quite like you.

In any case, maybe due to your short attention span, you have completely missed the reasons behind the creation of AJN Watch. These are stated quite clearly on our masthead:

“AJN Watch observes and comments on prejudice, misrepresentation and monopolistic abuse of power in the pages of the Australian Jewish News - especially regarding the observant community. ….. It is this blog’s mission to spotlight errors, expose misrepresentations and vigorously respond to items that malign or defame the Orthodox community.”

Thus while you may consider this as “bashing”, fair and reasonable people are grateful that for first time in memory this not insignificant sector of Australian Jewry has a voice where it can forcefully respond to the biased and unjust treatment handed out to frum Jews for decades.

Plans to create such a blog have been around for a number of years but have for various reasons been suspended. However, the case of Rabbi Engel was the final straw. First in the way they sensationalised the original story - which forced the police investigation. This was nothing less than pure ‘mesiroh’ - dobbing a fellow Jew it to the authorities. As you, Melbourne Yid may or may not know, halachically and historically the ‘moser’ is/was considered to be the lowest form of humanity in Jewish life - reviled and despised by all.

Following that, they came up with the outrageous front page “Charged” poster. When that happened the entire spectrum of Jewry should have risen up in arms against these hypocrites - who never mentioned anything about the massive scandals involving rich and famous irreligious Jews. But what happened? Besides a few letters to the editor - nothing. Where was Melbourne Yid then? If you did comment about it, we haven’t heard it.

But those behind AJN Watch, did take action and decided that no longer will we sit by passively and allow our community to be smeared and besmirched by Australia’s only national Jewish newspaper. Most of the reaction has been highly positive. But if the defense of observant Jews offends you - we apologize and suggest that you don’t read our blog.

We, on the other hand, hope that the Jewish News- knowing that it is now facing continuous scrutiny (as per that nasty piece in last week’s Shmooze page) - will think twice before denigrating, attacking and offending our community.

By the way, your comment: ” That blog is obviously written by the extreme right-wing of Melbourne Orthodoxy who do not recognise the Jewishness of anyone but their own community…” almost confirms that you are one of the AJN’s anti-frum gang. Slandering hundreds of good Jews - because they won’t take it any more from your beloved newspaper. Shame on you.

In any case, what difference does it make who the bloggers are? Why don’t you try and respond to the charges of prejudice and unfairness - rather than write lies about religious Jews?

As for your comment that “… they are not above using the Jewish News to publicise their own community….” which community are you referring to? Or have you also fabricated that fact?

To our knowledge since the arrival of the Hamodia, “right-wing” organizations have almost stopped using the AJN.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Jewgleperth talks about blogs

Blogging changes the Jewish community

We live in the age of information technology. The evolvement of blogging over the past few years has been a phenomena that has developed a status and culture of its own. Blogging preceded some the more advanced forms of social networking that we have seen develop over the past year, but I believe it will also outlast some of the more abbreviated forms of communication. This is because of integrated media opportunities it offers.

Some people use blogging as an online diary, others as a reference depository. In some cases there is a cause to advance, and in others it is merely an occupational pastime. Our JewglePerth blog was established to provide a medium of communication and awareness for the Orthodox Jewish community in Perth.

There are many blogs appearing around Australia that provide a direct line of communication between those people that want to access the views and opinions of Australian Jewry, and those people who want to measure what the issues and attitudes are, and general pulse of the community is.

Here are just three of many good examples of other blogs, all of which help to deliver a new style of media for Australian Jews in their own unique way:

Aussie Echo

AJN Watch

Galus Australus (a successor blog to the Sensible Jew, and we wish them all the best, especially in light of the recent signoff post by their predecessor, that articulates the need for an alternative community forum in much the same way that we do)

The social change that blogging represents is worth thinking about. Many articles have been written from a Rabbinic perspective that discuss blogging formats from a halachic perspective. The laws of Lashon Hara, the isssues of bittul zman, matters of general respect, anonymity, and the controlled use of the internet itself are serious issues that are addressed from a Jewish perspective. I am not qualified to comment on this, but I am conscious of the positive and negative level of influence that blogging can create.

In an age of ever increasing scrutiny, the accountability and responsibility of publishing anything is becoming more important. The responsibility of a publisher is an awesome one. All publishers should welcome inquiry and critique, provided that it is appropriately directed. This is especially so for bloggers.

From a sociological viewpoint, I believe the traditional structure of the Jewish community will be transformed by the form of free speech that blogging delivers. Most of this I suspect will be for the good, but it will also sadly come at the expense of many things, including traditional community models and structures.

The blog delivers a forum that allows views to be expressed outside the scope of the editorial control of an organisation or the Jewish media. Suddenly the freedom of expression is not limited, and issues and perspectives that were not within the scope of discussion before (or stifled by the community leadership) are suddenly within the public domain, whether or not that is desired.

More here:

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Rabbi, you're a sport!

From our sports reporter:

Nice of the AJN to report on Melbourne's rabbis and their sporting feats despite the fact that they weren't held on Shabbos...

"The Jewish News isn’t a newspaper based on circulation"

Forging a new identity

THE doomsayers will tell you that the clock is ticking on newspapers, and that within 10 years, newspapers might be obsolete. These doomsayers tell us that we will be consuming our news on the internet and increasingly on our Blackberrys, iPhones and other cool devices. Convention now tell us that young people don’t read newspapers at all and the blogosphere is full of a story about a 15-year-old intern at Morgan Stanley’s London office, Matthew Robson, whose report on teenage media habits spelled further gloom for the newspaper industry.

It is in these challenging times that we at the AJN launch our new website. It is more visual than before, gives more prominence to our multimedia content and engages in social media, particularly Facebook and Twitter like never before. The challenge here at the AJN is how to grow our brand in the online space without compromising our 115-year history as a newspaper.

The Jewish News isn’t a newspaper based on circulation - we like to talk about readership here because we know the paper gets passed around. Three families might read one copy of the paper, particularly during Shabbat. Using that statistic, a significantly large percentage of the community read our newspaper.

So what to do? We are planning to break more news on our website and in most cases, we won’t be won’t be waiting for the print edition of the newspaper to publish our main stories. But the news component of the paper will remain strong because we know we have many elderly readers for whom newspapers remain their their first and most trusted source of news from our community and Israel.

And we’ll save some of the best features, opinion and analysis for the newspaper and then online. And the whites and blacks (simcha and death announcements) will appear first in the newspaper for the considerable future. But we’ll be working hard to engage Gen Y and Gen Z (yes, my 14-year-old daughter tells me her generation now has a label) through Twitter, Facebook and other emerging social media. Now and as always, we want you to tell us how we can make the AJN talk best to you. And send us your photos, your stories, your tweets and your updates.

The future doesn't look too promising, does it?
AJN is not based on circulation? Yeah, try and tell that to savvy advertising agencies and see how far you'll get.

Years ago, when they had more respectable readership figures, the AJN circulation was voluntarily audited by an organisation still used by other publications. These days, of course, it would quite rash to reveal how low the figures have really sunken to.

As we've mentioned previously, the cut and paste jobs from the Jerusalem Post website isn't going to encourage anyone to spend $3.50. Nor the regurgitated media releases supplied by Jewish organisations and neither the PRW, which arrives - free -in everyone's letter box weekly - together with the rest of the junkmail.

Looks like it's up to the "whites and blacks" to save the AJN.

We'll be watching with interest.

Sam Lipski - more goyish than the goyim

Guest post:

This post was submitted by one of the rabbis who attended the recent Victoria Police Jewish Community Dinner – as reported in the AJN (top).

Dear AJN Watch,

The Jewish News article failed to mention one very important fact, ie, that the 'featured speaker' - former AJN editor-in-chief - Sam Lipski, was virtually the ONLY man in the crowd who did not cover his head. All the non-Jewish policemen and irreligious Jews attending were wearing yarmulkes. But the 'community icon'? No way. Lipski showed how to out-goy the goyim.
This obviously had the gentiles wondering why they were supposed to wear kipot when the so-called Jewish icon was not.

The discussion amongst the attending rabbis was if Lipski’s behaviour was an embarrassment, a Chilul Hashem or both.

All I can add is: “shame on you Sam, shame”.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Chilul Shabbos emails from jwire # 2

In response to the Aussie Echo blog post re AJN Watch (reproduced here: ),
the editor of J-wire wrote:
"There is an alternative source [to the AJN] which does cover ALL communites [will be at the Yeshiva next week for the G-G's visit]... "

AJN Watch's comment:
Yes, we are subscribers. And while you do not publish - as far as we know - biased anti-frum material, we are quite disappointed that your site is Mechalel Shabbos bifresiyeh by sending your daily email at 3.00 pm on Saturday afternoons. Why not show some respect for Shabbos and Shabbos-observers by waiting a few hours until after dark?

The above post has received the following comment:

Milhouse said...
If, as you say, this is a daily mailing that goes out every day on the dot of 3 o'clock, then it's obvious even to blind Freddie's dog that it's an automatic job. No human sends out a message at exactly 3:00:00 every single day. Nor is it in the nature of a news site for someone to type up a single "daily update"; such messages are always an aggregation of whatever stories have been entered in the last 24 hours. If you don't realise this then you have no business commenting on anything that goes on on the net. For you to use this as the basis of an accusation of chilul shabbos is outrageous. You need to substantiate that charge, or withdraw it and apologise. Hotzo'as shem ra is also an aveira.

OK, so now Motzoei Shabbos we checked today's email from JWire.

From: On Behalf Of J-Wire
Sent: 2009-07-18 15:04
Subject: {Disarmed} J-Wire

• Melbourne Film Festival ignores activists
• No to Toben
• Gold for Roy

Melbourne Film Festival ignores activists
Posted: 17 Jul 2009 10:01 PM PDT
The Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) has rejected calls by Palestinian activists not to accept “blood money” from the Israel Government. MIFF chief executive Richard Moore said that films for the festival, which begins next week, are not...

For more on this story and other breaking news click on the story title to visit J-Wire

No to Toben
Posted: 17 Jul 2009 09:45 PM PDT
Holocaust-denier Dr Fredrick Toben has been barred from visiting a Courage to Care exhibition in country Victoria.Federal Court judge Anthony Besanko responded positively to an application made by Jeremy Jones, a former president of the Executive...

For more on this story and other breaking news click on the story title to visit J-Wire

Gold for Roy
Posted: 17 Jul 2009 09:22 PM PDT
Roy Vandersluis has finally won a Gold Medal at his own record-breaking ninth Maccabiah. The Australian team won Gold in the Seniors Golf tournament with Vandersluis taking Silver as well for second best personal score. The 62-yr-old golfer from...

For more on this story and other breaking news click on the story title to visit J-Wire

At first glance it looks like the posts were added at around 10.00 pm Friday night. However upon rechecking we noticed the tag 'PDT' which obviously refers to the blogs origin on the USA west coast - Pacific Daylight Time. Then we went to Time Zone Converter to confirm what 10.00 pm PDT on the 17th July was in Australian time. Here's the result for you:

The World Clock – Time Zone Converter
At the specified time, local time in Melbourne was 17 hours ahead of Los Angeles

Location LA (USA) Local time Friday 17 July 2009 at 10:00:PM PDT
Melbourne (Australia) Saturday, 18 July 2009 at 3:00PM

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

AJN letter-writers re the paper’s “role to report the news”

Mr Zukerman – despite being a teacher for 37 years - obviously has much to learn. Comparing the story of Bernie Madoff’s conviction (which, BTW, we don’t recall taking over the entire front cover of the AJN) and the case of Rabbi Engel - who has never been convicted of anything (and very possibly may never be) shows that he simply doesn’t get it.

That is without even considering the fact that while the Engel case involves some tens of thousands of dollars, with Madoff it is tens of billions.

Zukerman’s comments also indicate that he has already found Rabbi Engel to be guilty - even before he has spent a single day in court. Nice.

But our main question to him and “HD” is, where were you when a number of leading figures in the Australian Jewish community were charged, convicted and even imprisoned for crimes involving not thousands, but millions of dollars?
We can’t recall ever hearing your concerns about the AJN’s “role to report the news”.

Or are you too happy with the AJN’s policy that it is only imperative “to report the news“ when it is negative about rabbis and other religious Jews,but not when regarding rich mates and family members of AJN staff and management?

Monday, July 13, 2009

Thank you - Rabbi Chaim Ingram

Rabbi Ingram of Sydney can always be relied upon to bring forth the views of authentic Torah Judaism. Australia’s frum community owes him their thanks and support for not bowing to the avodah zara of Political Correctness.
Oh, for the days when even more rabbis raised their voices without fear or favour. Whenever necessary, Rabbi Chaim Gutnick and Rabbi Y Groner would powerfully state the Torah truth – even when it was unpopular.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Shmuley's eulogy on Michael Jackson

We have posted the above in response to this request:

LA Chabadnik said...
I would like to read Boteach's hesped on his friend. But living overseas I cannot get hold of the newspaper and it doesn't appear on their website. I am sure that there are others also who would appreciate your scanning and posting the article.

(Apologies for jottings and doodlings - but it will help you identify Shmuley's 21 "I"s.)

The Jewish News hits back hard!

Well, well, well, who would’ve thunk it? The Jewish News trotting out its heavy artillery to repel AJN Watch. Yes folks, Captain Adam Kamien and his S.S. SHMOOZE have been engaged to avenge the honour of his employer! So critical is this assignment, that Shmooze has reduced its usual piffle about Borat, Bruno and the rest of the dreckerati to focus efforts on abusing, accusing and slurring AJN Watch. And he has done it - in his sneering best.

Poor little Adam complains about the “bottomless trench of desperate boredom” behind “AJN bashing” on the blogosphere. And he kvetches about this blog’s anonymity. What a hypocrite! A quick check will show that all comments on the AJN website are anonymous.

But the REAL chutzpah is that the Shmooze column - which is obviously cobbled together by some underemployed cut-and-paster - in most week’s editions doesn’t disclose who that nebech is. Yep., anonymous! (And quite understandable too. After all, why would any self-respecting journalist want his/her name associated with such drivel?)

But seriously Adam, rather than throwing a childish tantrum, why not attempt to respond to the issues raised by this blog? Several charges and serious grievances have been made against the tabloid that you so smugly defend. Why not address these rather than roll out a Thesaurus-like list of every spiteful word you can think of? It’s time to grow up and learn to write like a mentch. Then, and only then, will AJN Watch consider any ‘challenge’ of yours.

PS. Your comment that AJN Watch is “undignified” was real cute. A real pity that we missed an opportunity to ‘dignify’ ourselves by adopting some of your illustrious prose. Eg, ”…dross that slavers from your keyboards, polluting the blogosphere …”

PPS. Your comment: “If your posters had it their way, Hamodia would be the only rag in town” implies that the AJN is the other ‘rag in town’. Mr Zablud, no doubt, will thank you for the compliment.

And whilst it is not our job to defend the Hamodia (this blog, BTW, has no connections with the publishers), before you try to disparage them you may be interested to learn that the Hamodia outstrips the Jewish News in almost every sphere. Hamodia offers dozens of pages of Israeli, world and Jewish news, well-written and interesting feature articles, women’s and children’s sections - as well as items of local interest. That compares pretty well to the AJN’s 2 or 3 pages of cut-and-and paste material from the Jerusalem Post website and a few media releases supplied to it by local organisations. (If the AJN ever ran an honest poll of its readership it would confirm that the main reason of those who still buy it, are the births, marriages and death notices. (No doubt, if they could introduce divorce notices, circulation figures would rise.) The only other worthwhile reading in that paper is the ‘letters page’ - which is supplied by readers and not by paid staff.

The AJN can only dream of having the kind of readership and influence that the Hamodia has. Here’s some of what Wikipedia has to say:
Hamodia is a Hebrew language daily newspaper, published in Israel. A daily English language edition is also published in the United States and Israel. The U.S. version is the first Haredi Jewish daily newspaper ever published in English in the U.S. It is also the only Orthodox Jewish newspaper published daily in two different country editions.
The weekly edition, in English, is published simultaneously in Jerusalem, London, New York and Melbourne. Recently a French weekly version has been introduced and enjoys a wide circulation both in the French speaking community in Israel and in France itself.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Michael Jackson - Death notice poster in Israel

A reader from Israel sent us the above photograph of a street notice announcing the death of Michael Jackson - using a Hebrew version of his names. Presumably this is a spoof (though one can't be sure, after reading Boteach's eulogy).

Shmuley Boteach: Not enough space between the 'eyes'...

The ‘Hesped’ on Michael Jackson by Shmuley Boteach [AJN 3/7/09 ] probably says as much about Boteach and his family as it does about Jackson.

Rather than being embarrassed by his close relationship with this notorious weirdo, menuval and alleged paedophile, Boteach tells us that his daughter burst into tears when learning of Jackson’s demise.

How can a so-called ‘orthodox’ rabbi and indeed one that calls himself a Lubavitch chosid, allow his children to be exposed this bizarre and creepy individual whose live-in partner was an ape?

Is Boteach proud of the fact that his friend’s friend was a chimpanzee?

The question many ask is - is there truly no level that Boteach won’t sink to for the sake of publicity and self-promotion?

Talking of self-promotion, perceptive AJN readers would have become aware of Boteach's serious blemish, ie, not having enough space between his eyes. Or rather –“I”s.
Yep. No less than 21 times does Rabbi Shmuley use the word “I” in that short obituary of his mate. One could be forgiven for thinking that he was actually eulogising himself…

A quick Google search also brought up the following – which require no commentary.

Jackson was loving and attentive father, many say
By JOCELYN NOVECK AP National Writer

NEW YORK (AP) - When Rabbi Shmuley Boteach brought his children to play with Michael Jackson's kids at Neverland Ranch some eight years ago, the rabbi's youngsters naturally made a beeline for the fabulous rides - the Ferris wheel, the roller coaster, the bumper cars. But when Jackson's own kids asked to go on the rides, he gently reminded them of the family rules, according to Boteach: The rides were only for birthdays or special occasions.

"He was very concerned that the kids grow up with the right values," says Boteach, Jackson's former friend and spiritual adviser…

"To the extent that Michael Jackson's kids COULD have a normal life, he wanted them to have it," says Boteach, who eventually fell out with Jackson.

"Listen, I'm not here to whitewash the sins of Michael Jackson - he was accused of some abominable things," says the rabbi, referring to the pop star's trial and acquittal on molestation charges. "But when it came to being a father, there was much to admire."
…Of course, even Jackson's closest friends are at a loss to explain what for many is the single most memorable image of Jackson as a father: the shocking moment when he dangled Blanket, then an infant, over a hotel balcony in Berlin, showing the baby off to fans with a delighted grin. "What made that incident so inexplicable was that he was an OVER-protective father," Boteach says.

Michael's Messages

"Jew me, sue me.....kick me, kike me...." Lyrics from a 1995 Michael Jackson song

"They're like leeches....the Jews do it on purpose..." Recorded phone message from Jackson, 2005

These quotations, coupled with the report from Panorama magazine that Jackson had followed the lead of his brother Jermaine and converted to Islam, would seem to indicate that the late singer was essentially hostile to Jews and Judaism.

Yet, equally credible reports indicate that he was a frequent Sabbath guest at the home of Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, who toured with Michael Jackson in 1999 and brought him along to the Carlebach Shul in Manhattan that year.

I do not understand the connection between the two men, who had very different outlooks.
Perhaps Jackson then felt a need for a rabbi in his life, and Boteach felt the need for a rich homosexual pedophile in his. Go figure!

Most bizarre of the connections between Michael Jackson and the Jewish people is that his second wife Debbie Jean Rowe (Mrs Jackson 1996-1999), the mother of his two older children (Michael Joseph and Paris Michael Katharine), is Jewish! According to Jewish law, the children are Jewish too, although they may not know it.

Another Letter to the Editor re the "Charged" front page

Disgusting cover

I AM very puzzled and very annoyed that The AJN could use a rabbi (no matter what he had done even if guilty) for sensationalism and put his photo on the front page of the paper so maybe you could sell more papers (AJN 19/06).
It lies on the shelves so that everyone can see and remark about the Jewish rabbi who was charged.
To me and many of my friends it is absolutely disgusting that a Jewish newspaper could stoop so low against a Jew.

Killara, NSW

Guest Post - from a Perth reader

We have been contacted by a Perth reader who has noticed similarities between the aims of this blog and one that originates in his city. We invited him to forward a guest post which shows that frum Jews in Perth have been pro-active in defending themselves far better than we on the Eastern board of the continent. We commend them and wish them much Hatzlacha.

Guest Post by Perth Sam

Thank you AJN Watch for accepting my offer to report from the other (and often forgotten) side of the country.Some of the problems you have with the AJN are replicated in our local publication The Maccabean. Nothing was done about it until, thank G-d, a group of bloggers here got together to expose and counter articles and writers who are Torah-unfriendly and/or disparage observant Jews. Their blog is worthwhile checking out - even if you do not live in WA. It includes lots of Jewish and Perth information. Amazingly, this site has a larger readership than The Maccabean, which should give hope to those behind the AJN Watch blog.

To introduce Easterners to some of the offensive material we cop, here’s a sample pack of posts and comments on JewglePerth:

Extreme insult and an utter disgrace

There is nobody from the Orthodox Jewish community that writes each week in the Maccabean about their authoritative understanding of progressive Judaism, and in the process insults, misquotes and misrepresents what its ideals stand for. There is a person from the progressive Jewish community that writes each week in the Maccabean about interpretive ideals of Orthodoxy with an unbelievable bias of hatred and vicious twisting of ideas. I have just chosen to no longer attend the Kristallnacht commemoration as this person will be a speaker, and I am embarrassed that somebody who can direct so much warped analysis and insulting commentary about my beliefs is extended the respect to represent the community publicly. Why does our harmonious and generally placid Jewish community subjected to such divisive and unfair badgering? The Maccabean has totally lost the plot. SNIP.
How are we expected to tolerate such madness? How low does the Maccabean have to get, that it now reaches the point where it can sanction the use of Kristallnacht and the Holocaust to bash down the beauty of Judaism. To the editors of the Maccabean - it is incumbent on you to apologise to the members of your community who are followers of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, and it is incumbent on you to stop insulting our religious beliefs by printing obscenely inaccurate accounts of what Orthodox Judaism stands for. November 7th, 2008

Responses to “Extreme insult and an utter disgrace”
JJ Says: As the editors of the Maccabean are by and large all secular and reform who equally despise orthodoxy, I don’t expect any apology to be forth-coming. I suggest a complete cessation of purchasing it. Permanently. It is, after all, basically the temple newsletter.Votewith your subscription Says: JJ - Finally some common sense - Vote with your subscription. I agree.

Mordechai Says: The Perth Jewish Community would be in excess of 95 percent Orthodox affiliated The only way to put a stop to the current situation is for all lay as well as religious community leaders to meet with the Maccabean board of trustees and explain why the current situation CAN NOT be allowed to continue

Maccabean makes a mockery of Judaism

Any self respecting Jew who is a reader of the Maccabean should be outraged by the article in this weeks Did you Know column. The column notes its own disclaimer: “I too would like to alert my fellow Jews that some of the material contained in the article may differ from the belief in Torah MiTzion in the belief that the Torah was given to G-d on Mount Zion (sic) a little less than 5769 years ago. A Judaism has always accommodated various and sometimes even opposing Jewish ideas and so I feel justified in assuming mutual respect for our doctrinal differences is still a hallmark of Judaism in the 21st century”.

Maybe Judaism has accommodated various and opposing Jewish ideas. But Ken, the problem is that your ideas are not Jewish. And no, they are not mutually respected when they pollute the pages of the Maccabean masquerading as Jewish expression. Here are some of the supposed “facts of Jewish history” that Ken asks us to respect:
[My apologies, Apikorsus deleted –PS]
…The irony of some of the text about the history of Moses being sourced from Midrash, which the author probably both does not realise or does not believe in, is amusing in itself. But why should we have to put up with this continual insult of the Jewish faith? SNIP Once again, shame on the Maccabean for choosing to insult the Jewish community of Perth, and shame on Ken Arkwright for writing such provocative and uninspiring revisionist bulldust. If you are a reader of the Maccabean and agree that this content in our paper is an intolerable insult, please make sure to make the editor aware of your dissatisfaction.

Predictably Pathetic

How predictable! During this time of nine days when Jews should be unified in understanding the implications of the Temple’s destruction that the Maccabean has to publish a column that totally discredits all that the Beit Hamikdash stood for. How predictable! That this blog will pick up the matter and profile the outrageous insult that has once again been hurled at the Perth Jewish people through the very pages of their own newspaper. If you look closely at the reform liturgy, especially the German prayer books of the early 20th century, you will see that references to Jerusalem, the Temple Service (avodah) and a return to Zion were removed. Under this movement a German identity could not be transposed with a Zionist identity. The yearning of our people for the service of the Beit Hamikdash was our desire for 2000 years. The reformist Jews disowned this heritage, and to this day cannot reconcile their intellectual relationship with Jewish spirituality with the practicalities of halachic observance.But wait, there’s more! In order to satisfy their own shortcomings, they need to discredit those who still believe in the concept of the ingathering of exiles and the redemption of the Jewish people. They have to selectively misrepresent passages of Tanach without the aid of interpretive sources, and then have the chutzpah to present so-called Rabbinic contradictions from the Talmud as proof, even though they reject the virtues of Torah Shebalpeh in the first place. SNIP

The article says it all when it quotes that “Progressive Judaism never considered the Temple on Zion as the focal point for Jewish worship.” Perhaps the best compatible quote to accompany this statement is from Charles Golding who writes “The halachah is what it’s all about. Make no mistake: Reform, progressive, Conservative, Masorti, reconstructionist these man-made groups operate a pick-and-mix style halachah more akin to ”Jewish-style” food: it looks and smells like the real thing, but it isn’t. Without the halachah, it is impossible to be Jewish.”

I will spend the 9th day of Av, alongside millions of Jews around the world, contemplating the reasons why the Jewish people endure exile. I will lament over the words of the prophets, and reaffirm the centrality of the avodat Beit Hamikdash to the fulfillment of Jewish ideals, Sadly, there will be Jews in Perth who will at the same time be sitting outside with their bagels, reading the Maccabean, and completely missing the meaning of what it means to be Jewish. SNIP

On it goes

Let’s lay into the Maccabean again for printing another grossly offensive article to followers of Judaism. It gives us no pleasure to continue to badger this disgraceful display of destructive invective, but the Maccabean must be held to account for its persistence in being an anti-Jewish publication.

We can put on record that the readership of this blog exceeds the readership of the Maccabean, but we much prefer to be a blog, not a competitive form of media, nor a Maccabean watchdog. Nothing would be better for us than opening a Perth Jewish newspaper each week and reading interesting news about our community, but sadly it all gets spoilt by the insulting and inaccurate nonsense written by Ken Arkwright.

There are so many good things about this community, but the Maccabean refers to draw on the negative misrepresentation of Judaism instead.This week the article contains a subheading ”Torah spelling errors”. The reference to the Tettragrammaton, when pronounced Yud K Vav K, is described in the article as a nonsensical word. In fact the word is so holy to Jews that it is only pronounced in the Beit Hamikdash. The word is also related to the word Havayah, which means existance. The word says “Hashem is”. The Maccabean takes the word and removes everything G-dly from its meaning. SNIP

Shame on the publishers of the Maccabean for yet again delivering anti-Jewish literature into the mailboxes of Jewish homes in our city.

Responses to “On it goes”
Yisro Says: The issue is that many people have written in to the Maccabean on their persistent publication of this particular column, and the response has always been that they don’t find it a problem and won’t be changing anything. The key issue here is they present to a largely uneducated population Mr Arkwright’s fiction as fact. The average reader of the Maccabean is potentially going to come away viewing Judaism through Mr Arkwright’s eyes - and that’s a very sad sight to see, I’m sure. Ken presents Judaism as a fictious, hypocritical, non-sensical joke. A man-made concept which is largely borrowed from other religions, in particular Christianity (which he seems to hold in higher regard), despite the fact that Christianity came long after Judaism. Readers who view the Maccabean and a source of genuine information are (not counting their own naivety and lack of critical thinking) being done a massive disservice. If they would only present the column as “a Reform Judaism Opinion” or some other more appropriately named column (perhaps “I’m Insecure So I Attack Other’s Belief’s”), the complaints would stop. However they refuse to take even this minor “editorial” advice. Perhaps a real issue is that while the Maccabean may be an important news publication for Perth’s Jewry, it is largely seen as the mouthpiece of the Reform and secular communities. The Orthodox community feels maligned and marginalised by this publication and in reality, it serves to deepen divides, not bridge them.

Gedalia Says: ….This is not a campaign to shut down Ken. It is a campaign to tone down the rhetoric, and to stop the author’s deeply entrenched hatred for Orthodoxy seeping into what is presented as scholarly research. If I was to write an article that delegitimised reform, I suspect the Maccabean would not publish it. In fact, I hope they would not. However it has to work both ways. What if I was to write an article that said that all Jews have to accept Jesus as the Messiah? Would the Maccabean consider that appropriate for its readers? If not, then why is it acceptable to write that the Tetragrammon is nonsensical, the Torah is not Divine, that Judaism accepts virgin birth, or that the Ten Commandments demonstrate hypocrisy? The truth is that most Maccabean readers are so ignorant of their own tradition and religious dictum that they are not even aware of the insidious nature of these articles. Which is quite sad, because it’s not always that subtle. Do not mistake this anger from amongst the Orthodox as either intolerance or an issue of perspective vs free speech. It’s about respect for Jewish values, and the limitations of how far an interpretation can carry before it loses all semblance as a credible position expressed in the name of Judaism...


How much longer do we have to put up with our local Jewish newspaper discrediting itself and the community, by publishing material that is beyond the bounds of normative Jewish interpretation, insulting to intelligent readers, and offensive to believing Jews? The assertion that the message of the book of Ruth is that we should embrace the concept of mixed marriages is simply absurd. The inference that assimilation should be fostered is destructive. It is entirely relevant that Ruth is the descendent of a Moabite (a nation precluded from Jewish destiny) and the progenitor of the Messianic era, but for the exact opposite reasons as the ones suggested in the Maccabean. Ruth represents one of the most awesome twists in human history, teaching us the miracle of divine intervention. Ruth allows us to understand that if we show faith, despite the most seemingly infallible challenges in the world, then reward will come. It is not a theological “problem” that Ruth was a convert, as the Maccabean would have us believe. It is precisely the point. Ruth is symbolic of Jewish loyalty to Torah, paradoxical to the suggestion that she represents the idea it should be disbanded. Ruth secured her place in Jewish destiny by saying “Wherever you go I will go; wherever you lodge I will lodge. Your nation is my nation; and your G-d is my G-d.” This is the true way to react positively to changes in society. The alternative is to water-down, reinterpret, change, bastardise, and misrepresent Jewish ideas that have remained true and authentic for 4000 years. The Maccabean article talks in general terms about all religions, and advocates that religion needs to respond to changes in societal values. That response, writes the pages of the Maccabean, should be to sanction and encourage assimilation, homosexuality, or anything else that is desired in the form of a human relationship. Once again, the Maccabean has shamed its readership and contributed towards the destruction of Jewish identity in Perth.

Taking Stock

January 2009 was an interesting month for the Jewgle Perth blog. We had 5,000 different users view our site, with around 50,000 hits. By comparison, during 2008 we welcomed 30,000 people to this blog who took the time to read through our pages some 200,000 times. The surge of traffic in January was no doubt due to Israel’s Gaza incursion, and the material we published to advocate for the sad but necessary action that the Government of Israel needed to take for the sake of its citizen’s security. Thank you to all of those people who have viewed our blog, engaged in debate, and sent in feedback. These figures go to show just how more effective the online media is by comparison to the print media in this day and age. It is timely to remind our readers, many of you regular readers, and most of you local to Perth, why this blog was first established.

You can read more in the about us here , but essentially we were established to provide a medium for profiling and discussing local Jewish issues from an Orthodox perspective. We started this blog when, some years back, we were concerned that not all of the important issues were being raised, and that neither the local or national Jewish newspapers were always appropriately ‘representing’ Jewish values. On occasions the Jewish media went as far as presenting our community with content that is the very antithesis of traditional Jewish values (masked as Jewish commentary) which undermines the halachic integrity that has sustained Jewish communal life for millennia. All of this has been permitted in the supposed name of plurality, through the mechanism of intellectual dishonesty. The impact of this destruction of communal unity and dilution of Judaic interpretation is more destructive than its publishers could imagine, and represents a blight and an embarrassment to the Jews of our generation. Sadly this remains the case today. We therefore consider that one of the functions of this blog is to put forward a critical (often contrary) position that keeps our communal discussions focused on both substance and accuracy where we believe that a stand needs to be taken. SNIP.

The Jewgle blog will continue to be an advocate of traditional Jewish thought, and sadly but not apologetically, we often have to be outspoken in order to achieve this.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Chilul Shabbos emails from

In response to the Aussie Echo blog post re AJN Watch (reproduced here: ),
the editor of J-wire wrote:
"There is an alternative source [to the AJN] which does cover ALL communites [will be at the Yeshiva next week for the G-G's visit]... "

AJN Watch's comment:
Yes, we are subscribers. And while you do not publish - as far as we know - biased anti-frum material, we are quite disappointed that your site is Mechalel Shabbos bifresiyeh by sending your daily email at 3.00 pm on Saturday afternoons. Why not show some respect for Shabbos and Shabbos-observers by waiting a few hours until after dark?

Thursday, July 2, 2009

When Kron got it right!

A helpful reader of this blog has offered to share his archives of AJN cuttings accumulated over the years. These include offensive cartoons by AJN staff caricaturist Kron, which at the time of their publication upset many.

But for today we bring you a work by Kron which aptly depicts what this blog is all about!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Guest Post: The thoughts of a long-time AJN reader

AJN Watch is proud to publish our first guest post.
We invite our readers to submit their posts and comments.

by Old-Timer

I thank the blogmasters for allowing me to join them as an irregular poster here and look forward to offering my thoughts about the standards of reporting in the AJN.

As my name divulges, I have been around for a long time and despite my general repulsion of much what I see in that newspaper, I am a news junkie and just cannot help myself reading it weekly. Belive me, it pains me that I am financially supporting the hand that so often strikes me and those close to me. A few good slaps back at them are long overdue. So thank you AJN Watch.

There is much to be said about the huge difference in AJN’s reporting (or more often non-reporting) of scandals and negative occurrences in the community. When these relate to religious Jews the AJN carries on mercilessly. However when rich and important figures who are not well known for their observance of our faith it may get a few lines, or in many cases not a single word.

Cast your memory back to about 7-8 years ago when a certain former president of a frum Shul was in the news, Who can forget the nasty and vicious coverage the AJN gave that story which at the same time guaranteed that every single Jew who ever had anything to do with that Shul community felt that he/she was being personally smeared by the relentless and disgusting articles – week after week.

It was around that time that a person of major note in the community, but with no claims to religiosity, was being featured in the general media with some truly ‘juicy’ personal scandal. There isn’t the slightest comparison of that personage to the humble ex-shul head. But did the AJN sensationalise the revelations of this person? Of course not. Not a single line in their paper.

Or take the case of another important and well-known communal figure who was charged and found guilty of offences involving hundreds of millions of dollars – lost by investors large and small. This story too, featured on the news and finance pages of every newspaper in the country…except the AJN. Not a SINGLE word. The charges against Rabbi Engel are a zilch compared to what this gentleman was found guilty of. But anyone reading our Jewish ‘newspaper of record’ would never had known. In that case, in addition to not being (at least knowin to be) part of the frum community, the other great advatagge for this individual wasl that the AJN was owned and run by close relatives. They obviously had no intention to add shame to the family. And that would be very understandable – had they had such feelings for the families of other members of the community who happen to have a relative in trouble. But the AJN has no such concerns at all for families of religious Jews and often hurts their families and even entire communities.

This type of ‘religious-anti-Semitism’ actually warrants a proper examination by some major media investigative source, eg, The Age or the TV program Media Watch. But until that happens I appreciative this new AJN Watch blog, which hopefully will – if not achieve in keeping the AJN bastards honest – at least expose their hypocrisy and double standards and their targeting of a certain powerless segment of Australian Jewry.

To help achieve this, visitors to this site should spread the word and the link – especially to any connections to the wider media.