Sensible Jew in The Sunday Age

The Sensible Jew is once again featured in the Sunday Age.

I urge all our readers, old and new, to read Tom Hyland’s excellent article.

Heartfelt thanks to Mr Hyland for his thoroughness, and his sensitivity to my family situation.

***

It’s amazing what a story in the The Sunday Age will do for a blog’s readership.

The page views for yesterday on this blog – as tallied by Wordpress – totalled 625.

At only 9:00am this morning, page views are already at 941.

***

Update 7:00pm

Unfortunately, Wordpress crashed this afternoon. Apologies to those of you who tried unsuccessfully to read the blog or to comment. Fortunately, the problems now seem to be resolved.

Site traffic has really spiked. 2970 unique views have been logged so far. It will be interesting to see what the final tally is at the end of the day.

Side note: to those of you who find the title of this blog offensive because it seems to imply I am the only sensible Jew, please rest assured that the name was always meant to be ironic. I would never suggest there is only one legitimate worldview. But the old saw about two Jews/three opinions is based in truth: all Jews are convinced their opinions are sensible.

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65 Responses to “Sensible Jew in The Sunday Age”

  1. Rasmuncher says:

    I am reading through your blog with great interest. You express a viewpoint that is balanced and refreshing. It does not reflect the typical defensive nature that perhaps Captain Unwashed represents. I look forward to commenting on his bile.

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  2. Dean says:

    First, so you know, I am not a Jew. But I have lived with a wonderful orthodox Iraqi Jewish family for three years when I was just a pup. The Age article was well written and hence I am here.

    Can someone tell me why the Jewish community leaders of today are by and large so defensive and adverse to even the mildest constructive criticisim? History has much to do with it, but surely, with all the lessons learnt, we are finally in a more enlightened age, one which should encourage tolerance and self examination.

    I fear that David is in danger of becoming Goliath.

    And as for Captain Pugwash – it is easy to be abusive and uncouth when hiding behind a pyseudom – If what he writes he believes in, come out and show yourself. Let there be rational debate.

    Goodonya Alex Fein.

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  3. New Jew says:

    Mazel tov on the return of The Sensible Jew. I first read about your website in an article in The Age a couple of months ago and found the articles and most of the responses to be interesting and thought provoking. It didn’t matter whether I agreed with every position or sentiment, what was and remains important for me is that a forum such as TSJ exists.

    Clearly, Alex, your commitment to maintaining TSJ and the interest shown by the number of visitors to the website demonstrate that the bitterness harboured by some who left posts will not derail TSJ. Most visitors and contributors themselves are sensible.

    Thank you for your tenacity and providing TSJ for our community.

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  4. Hi Sensible Jew,

    Nice to see you back, and nicer to see what you look like :) When I started with this site, I thought you were your mother, since they showed *her* photo. Anyway what I’m trying to say is, ‘wanna go on a date’?

    My blog is linked so you can get an idea of my headspace.

    Regards

    Mr. Goldblog

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  5. Stew says:

    Speaking of newspapers, anyone read the cover story of The Weekend Australian Magazine?

    Quite perplexing really. Confirms in my mind what many have long suspected – that many in Israel act with a self-righteousness that is dragging the rest of the world into that conflict.

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  6. Stew says:

    Hi SJ,
    Got a link to that report?

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  7. justin says:

    Hello Alex

    I’m another one of these ‘fly-by’ goyim (!), but I wrote a note of support after your first Age article…and here’s another.
    Whenever I start categorising Jews (or any other group for that matter), I think of people like you breaking the mould for the better. There are individuals behind every group, and we should take each person as he/she comes. I hope elements of your own community start to see this, but somehow, with such a coloured, rich, tragic and almost fantastic history, I fear it’s just too easy for Jews to slip into the dominant Jewish zeitgeist of the times.

    Keep up your great work!
    Justin

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  8. Sasha Goldberg says:

    Dean said it all and this is my first blog.

    “Can someone tell me why the Jewish community leaders of today are by and large so defensive and adverse to even the mildest constructive criticisim? …”

    Over the years I have been shocked and amazed that if anyone ever dared to raise a question, highlight a concern or simply to ask a hard question the older generation would go on the war path. That is why so few of us ever speak and why this web site is sent from above. Thank you for giving us a chance to be heard at long last.

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  9. Berliner says:

    Hi Alex,
    Congratulations on being gutsy and using your intelligence. If there were more people like you in our community, I might not have virtually turned my back on it as I did over 40 years ago, despite being related to some of the “swill”.
    In my own world, equality and mutual respect are fundamental givens : every person on earth is a spark of God, without exception. Over the years, I made myself fairly unpopular with many fellow Jews by following (and occasionally, but only when asked, talking about) my principles. But I learned early on that you might win the battle, but can still loose the war – just *talking* about “the right things to do” does not constitute *living* by them. As a family friend once remarked : “A pig in a suit is still a pig”. That is why political correctness has always left me cold.
    It’s lovely to see someone standing by their principles, and (brainless trolls notwithstanding) attempting to bring the light to “those who will see” (no point shining the torch where people’s eyes are closed…). Mazel Tov ! Keep up the good work.
    Berliner

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  10. Tim says:

    I’m disinclined to spend much time reading blogs because of the waste in reading set ideological rants when commentary is posited. I too came across this blog after reading today’s Age. It is good to find that such rigour exists in addition to articles in the London Review of Books et al. To have revealed yourself shows some courage, a courage not often revealed by those most strident with alternative views; though ‘views’ may be too kind.

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  11. Berliner says:

    Hi Alex,

    Thanks for your quick reply. Despite the fact that I support your endeavours, I have no intention of becoming a regular respondent to this forum, much as I have enjoyed reading the posts and comments : among other things, I am sadly critically time-poor. However, there is one issue in your reply to me that I feel I need to respond to: yes, I have largely abandoned dialog with the Jewish community. (I concentrate instead on trying to engage constructively with individuals, regardless of their gender, race, or religion). That actually does not mean that I have turned my back on my Jewish roots. But I do feel that it is equally futile to yell louder at a person who is profoundly deaf as it is to preach to the converted.

    Over the decades, I have taken the opportunity to explore most other major religions, and quite a few minor ones. What I am sure of is this : almost without exception, most *true* religions contain the same seeds. The fact that most of them largely became defunct upon the demise of their originators, and often prostituted by their more fanatical followers, is another issue entirely. That fact just illustrates a fundamental shortcoming of human nature, which is to see the world *objectively*. There are many religions in which I have found fundamental and important ideas addressed in a way which is more accessible (to me) than that same idea in Judaism, and I therefore studied and accepted those ideas.

    For instance (and just for instance) Buddhism posits some principles which I find very attractive, and I have therefore accepted these ideas into my way of life. But I would hasten to add that, despite the fact that I have had quite a bit of exposure to Buddhism, among many other religions and philosophies, I would *never* call myself a Buddhist (as many people who have had a whiff of this lifestyle seem to do) : I think that would be a gross insult to the *real* Buddhists. I would also *never* try to foist these ideas upon another poor, unsuspecting, fellow human being. We are all the same, but we are all different. So what works for me may not work for anyone else. We tend to forget that. I guess that being a one-eyed anything is still being one-eyed…

    But I was born Jewish, so I have a right to call myself a Jew. That does not mean that I have to condone, let alone support or even promote everything that Jews do. By the same token, it certainly does not mean that feel I must (anonymously) attack those who hold different views to mine. Perhaps the brainless attackers of all things different might do well to consider the saying (attributed to Voltaire) : “I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it !”

    Keep shining that torch, Alex !
    Kind regards,
    Berliner

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  12. Robbie says:

    Hi,
    So apparently I’ve been living under a rock as today was the first time I read about you. I’m jewish, young and openminded. I don’t think the community leadership is perfect, nor do I feel it neccesarily represents everyone.
    That being said, I had a few issues I thought I’d bring up…
    Firstly I consider myself, and most of the people I know in the community to be by and large, sensible. I felt that by specifically calling yourself the sensible jew, it had the implication that Jews on the whole are not sensible… a sentiment I found rather offensive.
    I don’t believe that Jews are any more closed off to criticism than other people or the not so subtle connotation in the age article which implied that you were a voice of reason coming out of an unreasonable group.
    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having different opinions and actually agree with you on many issues. I just feel that making national news out of this blog turned voicing your opinion into public condemnation of an entire community and I simply don’t see what purpose that serves other than fuelling misunderstanding of a community which I feel is extremely diverse and accepting.

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  13. Berliner,

    It’s sad to hear that you have abandoned dialogue with the Jewish community. I have a variety of feelings about this blog, and have engaged with it and with Alex from its early days. One thing is clear: it has been able to reach out to many unaffiliated Jews, and this is a powerful thing.

    Many of us are time-poor (everyone asks me how I find the time to write here and there); engaging with and being a part of a community is very important on many levels, so I hope at the very least you can use this and similar sites as a way to stay in touch, even if you only choose to lurk.

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  14. Awww SJ, thanks for your kind words!

    Watch out for a lot more discussion about “community” when the preliminary results of communal survey come out this week …

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  15. TheSadducee says:

    Welcome back SJ – nice to see you writing again. Good luck with everything. :)

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  16. Daniel says:

    Sasha Goldberg’s comments seem to encapsulate a common theme:

    Over the years I have been shocked and amazed that if anyone ever dared to raise a question, highlight a concern or simply to ask a hard question the older generation would go on the war path.

    Grow up.

    What you are seeing, is robust debate, and people vigorously defending their viewpoint. All too often, that’s resented by Johnny-come-latelys (such as this blog) who stick their head up, make a whole lot of noise and then get offended that people give it right back to them.

    However, your complaints are politically immature if not outright childish.

    Warpath? Give me a break! Nobody’s getting hurt, killed or threatened. In contrast, try speaking out about Islam and see where that gets you.

    What a bunch of sooks.

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  17. Paul G says:

    Considering Ms. Fein’s clear strength in self-promotion, I would not be surprised if these so-called ‘trolls’ were not indeed generated by her as a tool to drum up publicity. Sad really! Anyway, I am sure that this post (like all other dissenting posts) will be moderated shortly.

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  18. Paul G says:

    Well, considering that the article in Sunday Age was mainly about “Captain Pugwash” rather than anything substantive, I do think that is what is getting you hits. Furthermore, you make the unsubstantiated assertion that the trolls are necessarily Jewish – how can you prove this? You can’t.
    Rather than have a dig at communal structures and leadership, why don’t you do something constructive and stop wasting our time?

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  19. Paul G says:

    and no, Ms Fein, you object to anything that doesn’t conform to your (limited) world-view.

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  20. Melinda Merlot says:

    Dear Sensible Jew,
    It was great to see you in the “Age”, and your courage and openness for dialogue.
    Israel’s existence as a nation is amazing.
    I recently listened to a producer- Bill McKay- online talking about his DVD “Against all odds” which details unexplainable phenomena during Israel’s wars. I found it very moving-especially regarding Golda Meir. I would be interested in your Jewish point of view. You can listen here:
    http://www.sidroth.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=8599&news_iv_ctrl=0&abbr=rad_
    Regards,
    Melinda

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  21. E. Gal says:

    Hi Alex

    Congrats on the blog!

    I haven’t had a chance to read all past blogs but have you considered running for one of the community leadership positions?

    Thanks and happy blogging!

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  22. michael says:

    M/s Fein has a lot in common with Loewenstein and his comrades self promotion and cashing in on bagging the Jewish community. Of Course Fairfax like Honey to bee’s loves to publish anything negative about Jews to please their readership , that we have seen . Unlikely Journo Hyland or al’age would ever promote Muslim /Arab dissidents who wouldn’t dare set up a blog site to criticize their community it’s leadership or Palestinian belligerence . Lucky for Fein the most danger she would encounter are a few letters from some angry Jews, no fatwa’s how brave she is.

    No doubt Feins blog site will continue to attract anti- Zionist,left wing Jews, anti Zionist bloggers like ‘Merc’ , socialists and the usual suspects that thrive on anything negative about Jews and or Zionists.

    Fein’s blog site has nothing positive to offer only yet another meeting place for the like minded.

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  23. michael says:

    ”The Sensible Jew is a blog set up in May to stimulate debate among Melbourne Jews about what its author perceives to be failings of Jewish community leaders”

    ….above from your promotion in al ‘age , sounds pretty negative to me & Can’t recall of any of these so called Muslim dissident bloggers in Australia you refer to , perhaps you can point me in the right direction..

    I stand by my previous observations and you can delete all you want as If I care!

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  24. E. Gal says:

    Do you hate all men? Or just middle-aged men? Or just Jewish men?

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  25. E. Gal says:

    You just seem to have a beef not with communal leadership but, more specifically, with male community leadership.

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  26. E. Gal says:

    “I cannot imagine men (and they are almost always men), who are of a certain age, even letting a 34 year old woman like me through the front door, much less electing her to a leadership position.”

    Why don’t you give it a shot rather than simply bad-mouthing?

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  27. E. Gal says:

    Well, I guess the fact that Australia has never had a female PM is sufficient ‘evidence’ to demonstrate the ‘unrepresentative’ and ‘undemocratic’ nature of Australian politics.

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  28. E. Gal says:

    Do you consider calling people “swill” legitimate criticism?

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  29. E. Gal says:

    So, who do you think that you represent? Jewish women? Under-50’s? You claim to be somewhere between Lowenstein and the Ultra-Orthodox but it’ll be interesting to see how your readers respond when the truth comes out. I can hardly wait!

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  30. E. Gal says:

    The only threats on this site are from you against male community leaders over the age of 50. You’re cute, freckles!

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  31. Daniel says:

    My argument that a small, unrepresentative group of middle-aged men is doing the community harm,

    Bollocks. Pure and simple.

    One only need browse the photo gallery of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies, to see the demographic. They aren’t all middle aged, nor men.

    Hmm… Let’s take a look at one of them:

    “The Board’s President Robin Margo S.C. (centre) and Vice Presidents Yair Miller (left) and Roma Shell (right)”

    One of them, isn’t middle-aged, one of them isn’t male. All three were elected. Care to rethink your claim? Of course not. The facts should never get in the way of a good spray.

    Meanwhile, you are middle-aged, female and doing plenty of damage to the Jewish Community by attracting its enemies. Who might I ask, appointed you?

    A simple question: Have you ever nominated for election to any of these bodies? Have you attended meetings? What was the outcome? Or have you not got involved, made (obviously) incorrect assumptions and simply slagged them off from the sidelines. I’d appreciate your honest answer, as it shouldn’t be hard to find out whether you’ve ever been nominated (funny how democracy can be transparent sometimes).

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  32. Michael Burd,

    While the old adage “my enemy’s enemy is my friend” is very often true, it is not the case that “my enemy’s friend is also my enemy”. With a philosophy like that, you just end up with more and more enemies!

    Attacking anyone who says something publicly that anti-semitic groups happen to use as “fuel” against Jews isn’t productive. When someone from the Moslem community actually steps up and is critical of terrorism or anti-semitism (true – it doesn’t happen very often), do we sneer and say “see how they bicker amongst themselves”? A better response would be to reward and welcome the view itself and be less concerned with any internal politics on the other side of the fence.

    As a community we ought to be able to indulge in public debate about issues. Our leadership and our community are far from perfect, and the optimist in me thinks the benefits from open discussions like these overrides any negatives.

    We have every right to question SJ’s goals, motives and agenda in all of this. I’m still not satisfied with the answers to those questions, but will continue the engagement anyway.

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  33. Distant Relative says:

    Dear Sensible Jew (or Jewess, perhaps, or is that not pc?)

    I was sorry to see you leave last month and I am glad to see you’re back. I’m hoping that you won’t get too serious and somewhat long-winded (Axis of Honour) and will remain punchy and to the point, as before. Good Luck.
    Anything on the changes at the AJN?

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  34. New Jew says:

    Mazel tov on the return of The Sensible Jew. I first read about your website in an article in The Age a couple of months ago and found the articles and most of the responses to be interesting and thought provoking. It didn't matter whether I agreed with every position or sentiment, what was and remains important for me is that a forum such as TSJ exists.

    Clearly, Alex, your commitment to maintaining TSJ and the interest shown by the number of visitors to the website demonstrate that the bitterness harboured by some who left posts will not derail TSJ. Most visitors and contributors themselves are sensible.

    Thank you for your tenacity and providing TSJ for our community.

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    • sensiblejew says:

      Hi Dean, and welcome!

      Your story sounds fascinating. If you feel like it, it would be wonderful to hear of the circumstances in which you spent time with this family.

      As for defensiveness in the community and all that:

      Firstly, we are neither Davids nor Goliaths. We are neither weak and oppressed in Australia, nor are we quite the bully boys we’re made out be by some.

      Unfortunately, the dfensive tone you hear is very much a reality. It comes from a handful of unelected, unrepresentative men who have taken it upon themselves to speak on behalf of every Australian Jew.

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  35. sensiblejew says:

    Hi and welcome, Rasmuncher.

    Thank you for your kind words about the blog! I certainly hope you’ll stick around and comment on future topics.

    I do ask, though, that if any trolls do pipe up and write unpleasant comments, that you do not respond. Trolls feed off outrage. I simply delete any comment that is racist, homophobic, or abusive/off topic.

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  36. sensiblejew says:

    New Jew, hello and welcome.

    Thank you for your lovely comment! It is wonderful to read that while you may not agree with everything on the blog, you support the existence of such a forum. I hope you’ll return and share more of your thoughts on various topics.

    As for the trolls, they’re unpleasant, but that’s what the delete button is for :)

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  37. sensiblejew says:

    Welcome back, Aaron!

    And heh!

    Mum has been invaluable as a consultant and she was really brave to take the flak for me when I was still anonymous. I take it as a really big compliment you thought I was Yvonne.

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  38. sensiblejew says:

    Hi Stew.

    I saw the cover of the mag yesterday and buried my head in my hands. I hate dealing with the Israel/Palestine conflict, but I’m going to have to address that piece, I think.

    But it’s also a mistake to think that Israelis are dragging the world into some sort of end of days, or that without them, peace would reign in the Middle East. A cursory look at the UN Human Development report on the Arab world will give a pretty clear picture of that.

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  39. sensiblejew says:

    Hi Stew.

    Pop the words, “human, development, UN, report, Arab” into Google. I’m pretty sure there’s a report done every year. There’s also heaps of interesting commentary on the reports.

    I think the first one was conducted in 2002. I remember how shocked everyone was when the data first started coming out.

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  40. sensiblejew says:

    Hi Justin and welcome.

    Thank you for such a lovely comment. Your views on individuals and community mirror mine exactly.

    I hope we see more of your comments on various issues in the future.

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  41. sensiblejew says:

    Hi Sasha and welcome.

    I hope you find a place here for discussing such issues.

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  42. sensiblejew says:

    Hi Berliner and welcome.

    Thank you for your lovely comment.

    Perhaps this blog can be one way for you to express elements of your Jewish identity that may have been dormant for a while.

    I hope we hear more from you.

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  43. sensiblejew says:

    Hi Tim and welcome.

    Wow! That is perhaps the best complement I’ve yet been paid.

    I do hope you’ll continue to read and contribute to the discussions in comments.

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  44. sensiblejew says:

    Hi Berliner.

    I love hearing from readers and try to respond as quickly as possible. Except for the odd troll, I consider it a privilege to communicate with people who have come here for discussion.

    I think David Werdiger puts it very well, and I do hope you return despite your reservations.

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  45. sensiblejew says:

    Hi and welcome, Robbie.

    I have written on this issue before, but it seems time to reprise it:

    The name of this blog is ironic.

    I most certainly do not see my worldview – or any other, for that matter – as the single, defining, “sensible” position. In fact, that is the exact opposite of what this blog’s about. When I began the blog, it struck me as a funny title, because ever Jew believes his/her ideas are sensible.

    So please do not take offense. There’s plenty to raise your blood pressure legitimately on this blog, but the title really shouldn’t.

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  46. sensiblejew says:

    David Werdiger, as always, you provide a really valuable contribution. Thank you for putting it so well.

    For those who are new here, David and I disagree on many matters pertaining to Judaism and Jewish politics. But his is exactly the sort of intelligent contribution that elevates this blog. He forces me and others to consider our positions carefully for assumptions and prejudice.

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  47. sensiblejew says:

    David, indeed. I’m looking forward to the survey’s publication.

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  48. sensiblejew says:

    Sadducee!

    Welcome back! You and your rigorous arguments have been sorely missed.

    I really look forward to reading your thoughts on a variety of topics.

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  49. sensiblejew says:

    Daniel, I have deleted one of your comments because it was a content-free diatribe of personal abuse.

    Regarding the comment that remains:

    1) “Johnny-come-latelys” – are new voices less legitimate than those that have been around for a while? How long does someone need to have been opining before theirs is a legitimate voice? And how indeed did they get started if experience is mandatory for having an opinion?

    2) Do not tell people to, “grow up.” Do not call people, “childish.” This lowers the level of discourse, and adds nothing to the debate.

    3) Indeed, there is robust debate now. You seem not to like it very much. I myself am never offended by differences of opinion, and this is amply reflected throughout the entirety of this blog’s comments. I am, however, intolerant of abuse and threats, and of content-free ramblings that distract from genuine attempts at inquiry.

    4) Do you set the bar so low for governance that it is only when people are “hurt, killed, or threatened,” that we need to take issue?

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  50. sensiblejew says:

    Hi Paul G.

    Could you please explain how exactly trolls generate publicity?

    Have you actually read the comments in any of the threads? They almost always contain dissenting opinions. I love genuine, rational debate. I object, however, to racist, homophobic, mysoginistic and other types of content-free abuse. There is a clear difference that is apparent to most people.

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  51. sensiblejew says:

    Paul, your comments are now bordering on the tedious. I will answer these questions, but after that, unless you have anything new to say, I suggest you save your energies for another pursuit.

    1) It was the writer’s decision to focus on Captain Pugwash. It is not particularly complex to discern what is my voice and what is the author’s. I suggest you re-read the article. Some of the good captain’s rants have not been deleted so they are visible for anyone who is interested. The author of the article was clearly interested.

    2) Have a look at the troll’s comments. He is clearly knowledgable about the community, he claimed to be a community leader, and many of his deleted comments involved personal, abusive remarks about guest writers on this blog. He may not be Jewish, but he would have to have a keen interest in the community and access to some nasty community gossip to be able to write what he did. If you choose to believe he was not a Jew, that’s fine, just comment on the matter elsewhere.

    3) The whole “why don’t you do something constructive and stop wasting our time?” canard is old, and has been dealt with repeatedly. Most people agree that encouraging debate, discussion and transparency is valuable in itself. If you do not, please do not upset yourself any further and find a more suitable site.

    4) You are free to believe that I “object to anything that doesn’t conform to [my] (limited) world-view.” But we’ve heard you. Move on.

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  52. sensiblejew says:

    Hi Melinda, and welcome.

    Thank you for your kind words.

    You and I are in agreement: Israel’s existence as a nation is indeed amazing. Thank you for the link.

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  53. sensiblejew says:

    Hi E. Gal, and welcome.

    I do hope you get a chance to read some of the older posts. The blog only started in May, and many of the issues are still very relevant.

    As for my running for any sort of office, the problem is, no communal leader is elected directly by the community.

    In order to be “elected” to any office, you first have to become a member of one of the existing, utterly unrepresentative, and very conservative groups.

    I cannot imagine men (and they are almost always men), who are of a certain age, even letting a 34 year old woman like me through the front door, much less electing her to a leadership position.

    That’s the fundamental flaw in system: the leadership elects itself and is accountable to no one. The JCCV, for example comprises a number of groups that have voting rights, but the JCCV gets to decide which groups are allowed to become members in the first place.

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  54. sensiblejew says:

    Hi Michael Burd.

    Dear me – where to start?

    1) My mother and I are staunch Zionists. That you compare us to Loewenstein indicates you have not read the numerous pieces I have written lambasting Loewenstein’s work, nor the many occasions that I have condemned anti-Zionism. They are many and not hard to find.

    2) You probably did not read The Age article either. It contained no negative portrayals of Jews at all, save for the trolls.

    3) Think carefully before you hit the “submit” button. You need to go to Google immediately and type in “Muslim, dissident, blog.” You could conceivably spend the rest of your life reading Muslim writers who actually risk their lives agitating for freedom of speech, the rule of law, and other liberties you and I can take for granted.

    Now, you’ve had your fun. Any more baseless (and insupportable) accusations that I’m anti-Zionist will be considered trolling and will be deleted.

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  55. sensiblejew says:

    Michael Burd, can you not distinguish between criticisng leadership and criticising the Jewish people? No where in the article are the Jews of Australia maligned.

    My argument that a small, unrepresentative group of middle-aged men is doing the community harm, is very different from slandering my people en masse.

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  56. sensiblejew says:

    E. Gal – I’m not sure I understand.

    I hate no one.

    I like some men, and others, less so. Whether they are Jewish, or middle-aged is immaterial.

    Why do you ask?

    For what it’s worth, in the same way that I can distinguish between Jews and our leadership (objecting to the latter, not the former), I can distinguish between men who preside over the community in a club-like atmosphere, and men in general. It is not a particularly difficult task.

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  57. sensiblejew says:

    E. Gal, I have deleted one of your comments for content-free abuse.

    Your accusation is baseless. My issue is with the homogenous nature of a leadership that acts as though they are members of a club or society, not as representatives of an ethnic community. they are therefore entirely unrepresentative

    They are unrepresentative because there are women in the community and there are adults under the age of 50 in the community… I hope the point is clear to you: it is odd that neither group is represented even in bodies that are entirely undemocratic.

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  58. sensiblejew says:

    E. Gal, why don’t you compose a plan of how one might go about running for a leadership position. Can you even tell me where and when the various bodies meet?

    You would also do well to read my previous comment to you which explained why it is absolutely impossible for a non-member of the club to gain admission.

    One also needs to distinguish between, “bad mouthing,” and legitimate criticism of people who represent an entire ethnic group. Are you saying that such people should be completely unaccountable, free to do as they wish, without any scrutiny whatsoever?

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  59. sensiblejew says:

    It is ridiculous to compare the Australian political system with the labarynthine, opaque machinations of our communal representatives.

    As for the “unrepresentative swill” comment, you do know that it was a Keating quote, regarding his feelings towards the senate.

    The fact that you have to dig so far back to the very inception of this blog in a search for some sort of evidence that I, “bad mouth” is ample proof that this site is not about sinat chinam, vitriol, or personal abuse. It is about examining the transparency deficit and the lack of democracy in our community.

    Please confine yourself to one comment at a time.

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  60. sensiblejew says:

    E. Gal – this comment is approaching a threat. You are very close to being banned.

    I have never claimed to represent anyone. I am not running for political office. You seem not to understand the difference between representation and commentary.

    Just by the way, it doesn’t take a linguistics degree to know that you are the resident troll, posting under a proxy.

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  61. sensiblejew says:

    And you, my friend, are banned.

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  62. sensiblejew says:

    Daniel, every single issue you raise has been dealt with ad nauseum on this site. Most have been dealt with in the comments section of this thread. That my activities anger you so, might indicate the need for some self reflection.

    I have deleted another of your comments (content-free abuse/diatribe), and will commence deleting any further repetitive questioning as it renders discussion here tedious.

    For now, I will do you the courtesy of answering your questions. If these answers do not satisfy you, I strongly recommend you go elsewhere for your online entertainment,

    1) In every post, I have always qualified my comments on male dominated leadership, using the term, “almost always.” Please do not comment here again without first reading the relevant posts.

    2) The presence of one or two non-baby-boomer or female representatives does not in any way diminish this contention. Victoria’s leadership is quite homogenous.

    3) Yes I am middle aged (assuming I pop off this mortal coil at age 68), and yes I am female. I am not entirely sure of your point. It isn’t clear either exactly which “enemies” have been attracted by my writing. Not a single comment needed to be deleted for anti-Semitism or anti-Zionism on Sunday, when The Age article was published.

    4) You seem not to grasp the concept of free expression. No one needs to be “appointed” to be allowed to write commentary.

    5) You only need to read a couple of comments up, on this very thread, to view the answer to your question about my standing for office in a communal organisation.

    As I have said before, if you are incapable of doing even the most cursory perusal of what has already been written, and consequently write tedious, repetitive questions, you will be deleted.

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  63. sensiblejew says:

    Hi David.

    You make some excellent points regarding the value of debate within communities.

    I am curious, however, with which answers of mine are you unsatisfied, regarding my goals/motive/agenda.

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  64. sensiblejew says:

    Hi Distant Relative.

    You can call me, “Jew,” but “Alex” works as well.

    “Jewesses” mainly appear in bad historical fiction – the product of over heated male Gentile imaginations.

    Anyway, thanks for the lovely, “welcome back.”

    The Axis series is most definitely long winded, but boy: you should have seen it before the edits!

    Some people will find it tedious and won’t bother, but the series has actually been attracting more comments and page views than many other posts. There’s definitely an interest in discussing these matters away from the usual sloganeering.

    But you’re also right that an important part of this blog is about Melbourne Jewish communal leadership and PR. These are the, “punchy” pieces; and later today, such mattres will be front and centre.

    As for the AJN upheaval – there’s not an awful lot of real information floating around. There’s been plenty of speculation on the web, and I have a few theories of my own – but they’re not backed up by anything concrete. I’ve been wrestling with how to post about something that has so little public information surrounding it.

    You have email.

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