Australia

Analysis: Australian TV gets more neutral

By Dan Goldberg, October 1, 2009

Its geographical distance from the Middle East has done nothing to prevent a row in Australia over the terminology used by a major broadcaster to describe the occupied territories. Staff at SBS, a taxpayer-funded broadcaster, have been ordered to avoid using the term “Palestinian land” when referring to the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Instead, SBS’s Ombudsman recommends referring to “Israeli settlements on the West Bank” or “Israeli settlements on the outskirts of Jerusalem” because SBS wants to ensure “the language used is neutral”.

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Steve Brook becomes a prolific fiction writer at the age of 75

By Candice Krieger, September 3, 2009

At the age of 75, London-born Steve Brook, who lives in Australia, admits he left it late to publish his first book.

He did so in 2003 and has since published four more, most recently For Sam. Out next week, it is a tragic satire about the imagined life of triage Brook’s uncle, Sam.

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UK Beth Din settles Sydney rabbi’s row

By Marcus Dysch, August 27, 2009

A long-running legal battle between a prominent Sydney rabbi and his cash-strapped congregation has been settled by the London Beth Din.

Rabbi Moshe Gutnick, of the Orthodox Bondi Mizrachi Synagogue, will receive AUS$952,000 (£484,700) when he leaves the congregation, which he has led for more than 21 years.

The LBD ordered the shul to pay the rabbi a £121,224 lump sum when he departs, either by resignation or dismissal. He will then receive the rest of the money in monthly payments, starting in March 2012.

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Denier Fredrick Toben jailed in Australia

By Dan Goldberg, August 20, 2009

Dr Fredrick Toben, the Holocaust denier who avoided extradition from Britain to Germany last year, is finally behind bars in Australia.

Toben, 65, the director of the Adelaide Institute in South Australia, was found guilty in May on 24 counts of contempt of a 2002 court order to remove antisemitic material from his website.

This included claims that gas chambers did not exist at Auschwitz and that the Holocaust was “a lie”.

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Anger over Hizbollah TV go-ahead

By Dan Goldberg, Sydney, August 13, 2009

Jewish leaders in Australia are outraged that a television station sponsored by Hizbollah has been permitted to broadcast.

The move last week by the Australian Communications and Media Authority to allow Al-Manar TV access to Australia reverses two previous decisions to ban it.

Dr Colin Rubenstein, executive director of the Australia/Israel and Jewish Affairs Council, blasted ACMA’s decision that Al-Manar did not violate the government’s amended anti-terror laws as “regrettable, if unsurprising.

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Wizard of Oz makes history

By Dan Goldberg, July 30, 2009

An Australian golfer has rewritten the history books by competing in his ninth consecutive Games.

Roy Vandersluis, 62, was not content just to participate; he also won his first ever gold medal — something that has eluded him since 1977.

He was part of the Masters golf team that claimed gold – Australia’s first at the Games – at Caesarea Golf Club, beating America and South Africa.

He shot a final round of 72, the best card of the tournament. He also won silver for his individual score.

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Ken Loach’s Israel boycott fails in Oz

By Dan Goldberg, Sydney, July 23, 2009

British director Ken Loach has withdrawn his film from the Melbourne International Film Festival because the event receives funding from the Israeli government.

Mr Loach followed through on a threat to pull his film, Looking For Eric, from the festival as a protest against “illegal occupation of Palestinian land, destruction of homes and livelihoods [and] the massacres in Gaza”.

He succeeded with the same ultimatum to the Edinburgh Film Festival in May, prompting it to return a grant that was intended to help fund the visit of an Israeli filmmaker.

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Film festival rejects Loach's Israel boycott

By Jessica Elgot, July 17, 2009

An Australian film festival has said it will not bow to pressure from British filmmaker Ken Loach to boycott Israeli films and sponsors.

The chief executive of the Melbourne International Film Festival, Richard Moore, has rejected a threat by Mr Loach to withdraw his film Looking for Eric, starring Eric Cantona, unless the film festival boycotts Israel.
He said films had been chosen solely on artistic merit for next week's festval.

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Klinger in the A-team

By Dan Goldberg, June 4, 2009

Prolific batsman Michael Klinger has been selected to represent Australia A for the first time.

Klinger, 28, will play two four-day matches against Pakistan in July.

The selection comes shortly after the South Australian star won the 2009 State Player of the Year award after scoring more than 1,600 runs.

“My dream is to play Test cricket for Australia,” said Klinger. “But this is definitely a stepping stone to where I want to get to.”

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Non-Jew ban is scrapped

By Dan Goldberg, June 4, 2009

Maccabi Australia has abandoned a controversial plan to ban non-Jews from competing in its sports teams.

The board of Australian Jewry’s largest member organisation decided last month to enforce its constitutional right, insisting that it would be an exclusively Jewish club by December 31, 2010.

Clubs that did not abide by the directive would have been disaffiliated from the roof body. Australia’s Equal Opportunity Act allows clubs to discriminate in order to preserve a minority culture.

But a backlash from within the Jewish community prompted the board to recant.

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