Jews & Multi-Culturalism Down Under

I think it is a mistake for Jews to seek anything different for non-Jews than they seek for their own group. So just as Jews seek to increase cohesion among Jews, they should welcome non-Jews seeking the same thing.

Reading the following essay made me sick to my stomach because I recognized the truth in many of its points. I take comfort from the fact that there’s nothing in Judaism that says Jews should push for diversity for the goyim or seek anything different for the goyim than they want for their own group. No great rabbi, for example, has ever written a book against racism or homophobia or Islamophobia. There’s no Jewish law — not in the Torah or the Talmud or the codes — against racism or homophobia or Islamophobia.

I wish the goy wasn’t so weak that a few Jewish activists could push him around. The Australian goyim evidently are particularly weak (as Jews make up less than 1% of Australia’s population).

Brenton Sanderson writes:

In her book Ideology and Immigration the Australian sociologist Katharine Betts states that the dismantling of the White Australia policy was the result of an elite conspiracy: “Public resistance,” she notes, “was circumvented by the use of administrative procedures and secrecy rather than open debate.” The final phase of the abolition, which involved the enactment of the Racial Discrimination Act by the Whitlam government (1972–75), was “a political victory” for the cosmopolitan elite, which, while failing to convert White Australia’s supporters “by reason and evidence,” left them “unconverted but outmanoeuvred.”[iv]

In the decades since the enactment of the Racial Discrimination Act in 1975, Jewish activists in Australia have continued to push for further legal restrictions on speech deemed contrary to their interests. In 1995 their activism, in the form of detailed submissions to the National Inquiry into Racist Violence and the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, succeeded in having section 18C inserted into the Act by the then Labor government. This radically restricted free speech in Australia by making it “unlawful to offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate another person or a group of people because of their race, colour or national or ethnic origin of the person or of some or all of the people in the group.” In doing so, Section 18C placed totalitarian limits on the freedom of speech in a nation traditionally regarded as one of the freest in the world. Almost anything you might say about race is likely to offend someone. Section 18D sets out some supposed exemptions to this radical restriction on free speech — stating that artistic works, scientific debate and fair comment on matters of public interest are exempt providing they are “said or done reasonably and in good faith.”

Crucially, unlike with defamation laws, the truth of a statement is irrelevant as to whether an individual is entitled to be offended or insulted under Section 18C. If a truthful statement about a particular race or ethnicity (which a judge believes was not made “in good faith” according to his own subjective interpretation) causes offence to someone who identifies with that race or ethnic group, the truth-teller can be punished under the Act.

Thus Section 18C places drastic restrictions on the freedom of speech of Australians. It should not need saying that any commitment to free speech is a commitment to allowing people to say and write things you dislike, that you detest, that you disagree with and find offensive. If the words spoken are words we all find congenial, then there is no need for any commitment to free speech.

The ideological nature of Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act was starkly illustrated in the case brought against conservative commentator Andrew Bolt. In 2009 Bolt wrote two columns pointing out that individuals with very small amounts of Aboriginal ancestry (or in some cases none) were taking advantage of a raft of government scholarships and affirmative action job vacancies by choosing to identify exclusively as Aboriginal. Bolt claimed these people were choosing to identify as Black to leverage their career and social advancement.


While Bolt did make some factual errors in these articles, his central proposition was entirely valid and later corroborated by the Australian Bureau of Statistics which, in commenting on the results of the 2011 Australian Census showing a 93,000 increase in the number of Aboriginal people between 2006 and 2011, observed that:

A change in people’s propensity to identify as being of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin is found to be a significant contributor to the increase in counts of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people which cannot be attributed to measurable demographic factors. In particular, the large increase in the count of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander children aged 5–14 years in 2011 has been driven by a greater propensity of their parents to identify themselves and their children as being of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin in the 2011 Census when compared to the 2006 Census.

For pointing out this this rather obvious fact, and that this increasing Aboriginal self-identification had been encouraged by the multitude of financial and professional incentives available to those identifying as “Aboriginal,” Bolt was pilloried, hauled into court, and found guilty of violating the Racial Discrimination Act. In September 2010 nine of the “Aboriginal” people Bolt identified in his articles commenced legal proceedings against him and his employer the Herald-Sun. The complainants, who were represented gratis in the Federal Court by the Jewish barristers Ron Merkel and Herman Borenstein, sought an apology, legal costs and a gag on republishing the articles and blogs and “other relief as the court deems fit.” In the trial Merkel argued in reference to Bolt’s articles that “this kind of thinking led to the Nuremberg race laws’ and that Bolt had adopted a eugenic approach to Aboriginality.”

Australian Jewry has a long history of using Aboriginal activism as a political and ideological weapon in their broader war on White Australia. One Jewish source describes Jews and Aborigines as “two peoples with histories of dispossession and humiliation and killing who recognise each other, who find points of intersection and of parallel.” Australian Jewish leader and activist Mark Leibler claims to “have developed a deeper understanding of the connections between Indigenous and Jewish people and the underlying affinity we share. … We must listen to and respect the hard stories. Stories that are repeated all over Australia — stories of injustice, oppression and horror. Defiant stories of the proud survival of identifiable people. Stories resonating with familiar themes for each and every Jew.”[v] Speaking on behalf of Australian Jews Leibler claims that: “We’ve suffered 2,000 years of persecution and we understand what it is to be the underdog and to suffer from disadvantage.”

In his ruling for the complainants in 2011 the presiding judge Mordy Bromberg (also Jewish) declared that: “I am satisfied that fair-skinned Aboriginal people (or some of them) were reasonably likely, in all the circumstances, to have been offended, insulted, humiliated or intimidated by the imputations conveyed by the newspaper articles. … Even if I had been satisfied that Section 18C conduct was capable of being fair comment, I would not have been satisfied that it was said or done by Mr Bolt reasonably and in good faith.”

Thus “good faith” as interpreted by a judge is now the criteria for acceptable speech about race in Australia — with this to be determined by the likes of Justice Bromberg who is a prominent member of the Australian Jewish community. This point was not lost on Bolt himself who noted that “And which judge becomes relevant, doesn’t it? Or are we not allowed to suggest that, either?”

Justice Mordy Bromberg (on the right)

Justice Mordy Bromberg (on the right)

In light of Bromberg’s judgment, Bolt rightly concluded that: “This is a terrible day for free speech in this country. It is particularly a restriction on the freedom of all Australians to discuss multiculturalism and how people identify themselves.” Bolt later opined that: “Our laws against free speech are a disgrace. Aboriginal identity should not be a subject that cannot be discussed freely.”

Following the Bolt case there was a concerted push for the repeal of Section 18C from within conservative and libertarian circles in Australia. With the election of the Abbott Liberal government in September 2013, the repeal of section 18C became a potential reality with the new Attorney-General George Brandis promising to make repeal of section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act a priority of the new government.

Unsurprisingly, this has prompted a massive campaign of resistance among Jewish intellectuals and activists. The Shadow Attorney-General and prominent Jewish lawyer Mark Dreyfus led the charge, calling on Tony Abbott to back away from a pledge to repeal Section 18C. Dreyfus says he condemned Senator Brandis’ plans, ”from the moment he first opened his mouth,” saying Section 18C “embodies Australia’s condemnation of racial vilification and protects our society from the poisonous effects of hate speech. When Senator Brandis says that repealing these laws is in the interests of freedom of speech, what he really means is freedom to engage in public hate speech.”

Dreyfus had earlier sent an open letter to the then Opposition leader Tony Abbott in which he argued that the Coalition’s stance on Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act is inconsistent with its support for the London Declaration on Combatting Anti-Semitism. Dreyfus insisted that Section 18C “is precisely the kind of legislated protection against anti-Semitism and discrimination that the London Declaration calls on its signatories to enact.”

Shadow Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus

Shadow Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus

Showcasing their contempt for democracy when it conflicts with Jewish interests, Jewish activists oppose the repeal of Section 18C regardless of the fact that Tony Abbott and the Coalition went to the September 2013 election pledging to repeal all or most of Section 18C of the act. During the election campaign Abbott had noted that “If we are going to be a robust democracy, … we’ve got to allow people to say things that are unsayable in polite company.”

Following Abbott’s electoral victory in September Australia’s Jewish leaders have stepped up their fight against any changes to the Racial Discrimination Act. Peter Wertheim, the Executive Director of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, warned that the ”wholesale repeal” of sections of the act would encourage “more sinister forms of hate speech.” Wertheim claimed repealing the relevant section of the act, without any replacement, “would mean Australia was turning back the clock 15 years in complying with the convention against all forms of racial discrimination”. The executive director of the Australia/Israel Jewish Affairs Council, Colin Rubenstein, chimed in, maintaining that repeal of Section 18C would give “succor to racists.”

Noting organised Jewry’s vociferous opposition to the repeal of Section 18C, the hitherto philo-Semitic Andrew Bolt argued that “I believe Jewish community leaders now leading the charge to defend the RDA have seriously misread the lessons of their community’s tragic history. The Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council … is profoundly wrong about this and is now publicly insulting people it privately supports.”

Bolt then turned his attention to the leadership of the AIJAC, noting that: “AIJAC chairman Mark Leibler is causing more harm than he realizes by sanctioning this vilification of people whose free speech his community and organization has relied upon. Mark, making me collateral damage in your campaign is something I cannot forgive.”

Bolt ostensibly feels entitled to some support from Jewish leaders after his many years of obsequious support for Israel:

Please do me the courtesy of not now trashing my reputation by smearing me as some kind of enemy of Israel or Jews just to win a debating point. I’ve dared say more in Israel’s defense in public than many Jews with a public profile. Drag me down in this debate and you only undermine one of Israel’s greatest supporters in the media. And you win only trash in doing so — laws even worse that the kind activists used to try to stop me from saying what I did … about anti-Israel boycotts. … I have risked my reputation to defend Israel from calumnies before a mob and a media only too keen to hear and spread them, and on national television.

Bolt was apparently under the delusion that his fawning support for Israel in the past entitled him to a degree of sympathy from organized Jewry in his backing for the repeal of Section 18C.

I have been particularly disappointed to be treated as collateral damage by Jewish community leaders and political players who have been demanding these illiberal laws be kept. Several have privately assured me they found the case against me a misapplication of the law or even an injustice. But not one publicly said so. Every one of them knows what a supporter I have been of the Jewish community, not just in print, yet not one publicly protested when a Jewish QC [Queen’s Counsel] told a Jewish judge in my case something far more foul than anything I had written — that my thinking resembled that of the Nazis who drew up the Nuremberg race laws. That obscene slur struck me as a legally sanctioned defamation. … But I believe the Jewish community — or those members involved in public advocacy — should reflect on whether principle here has been trashed for advantage by representatives who should know better.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been noted in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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