‘Israel’s not Disneyland’ | AJN

5 Oct 2012
The Australian Jewish News Melbourne edition

‘Israel’s not Disneyland’

Hagai El-Ad
Hagai El-Ad

ONE of Israel’s top civil rights campaigners will arrive in Australia this week to speak to audiences in Sydney and Melbourne. Hagai El-Ad (pictured), the executive director of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), said he is excited to meet with Australians and discuss their views on the Jewish State.

“This will be my first time in Australia and I am very much looking forward to meeting openminded people that are curious about the real Israel,” said El-Ad, who is being brought to Australia by New Israel Fund Australia.

“I want to open people to a real relationship with Israeli society because Israel is not always the Disneyland image that some people think.”

El-Ad, who completed an astrophysics degree at university, became an activist for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in his youth. “One thing just led to another and gradually my eyes were opened to the broader reality of some of the discrimination in Israel.”

He said the biggest challenges in Israeli society now are the occupation of the West Bank, which he claimed is the cause of countless human rights violations, as well as the fight for complete and full equality for Israeli citizens and the need for social justice reforms.

“Israel has become one of the less equal countries in the West in the context of economic disparity and a lot of work needs to be done to reduce the disparity in society.”

He reflected on the recent spate of public rallies in support of social and economic reform.

“People think in the beginning that it’s about the lack of rent control in Tel Aviv and the lack of affordable houses when they protest, but the conversation continues and it gets to planning policies in the Arab sector, the unrecognised Arab and Bedouin villages and other forms of inequality.

“It doesn’t matter what door they go through to talk about human rights and equality, it is good that people are discussing it.”

For information on El-ad’s speaking dates go to www.nif.org.au.

Meeting with IRAC Director Noa Sattath – June 12, 2012

Meeting with IRAC Director Noa Sattath.

  • Tuesday, 12 June 2012
  • 12:00 until 13:30
  • Location:
    To be confirmed
  • The Jewish Religious Action and Advocacy Centre (JRAAC) present Israel Religious Action Centre (IRAC) director Noa Sattath.Noa is in Australia to take part in Limmud Oz, where she is one of
    the presenters. She is a student in the Israeli Rabbinic program
    in Jerusalem. Prior to her work in IRAC, Noa was the Executive
    Director of the Jerusalem Open House, the LGBT community centre
    in Jerusalem. Noa was also the Executive Director of MEET, a nonprofit organization that uses technology to create a common
    language between Israeli and Palestinian young leaders.This event is a chance for young adults who are interested in social justice issues to hear what Noa has to say and discuss some of the social justice issues facing Israel, Australia and the world

Melbourne’s new GLBTIQ multicultural social support group

Exciting news from the Australian Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer Multicultural Council (AGMC Inc).


New Multicultural Social Support Group

The AGMC Inc. is pleased to announce the creation of a new Multicultural Social Support Group. This group has been established to fill a void that has existed for many years in communities that are not represented by individual cultural groups.

In Melbourne today we have cultures that are strongly represented by existing groups. The Greek, Italian, Latin, Asian, Maltese, Muslim and Jewish communities are currently represented by existing groups however as far as we are aware, there is nothing or very little in the form of a group for many cultures.

This new group has been established primarily for the cultures that have no options of support when seeking support from others in the same or similar culture. The idea of establishing this group came about as we have been approached by many people who are looking for this avenue for themselves. We now invite all those individuals and anyone else that identifies as Multicultural and GLBTIQ to come along to our inaugural meeting and tell us what your needs are and how we can help. Come and meet like minded individuals who have similar concerns and interests as you. Make new friends and establish new networks.

We thank all those that have prompted us to establish this new group and we hope that many find it a useful outlet and that over time we can assist in the creation of new multicultural social/support groups in Melbourne and beyond. We also thank the VAC for their support of this group.

The intention is to hold the meetings on the first Monday of each month. Details of the first meeting are as follows:

Date:         Monday 5th September 2011
Time:        7.30pm to 9.30pm
Location:   VAC/GMHC – 6 Claremont Street, South Yarra
For further information please call 0466-340-412 or email contact@agmc.org.au