01 June 2016

Open letter to the "Australian Centre for Jewish Education" about the Australian launch of StandWithUs

Director ACJC 
Assoc. Professor Mark Baker
Australian Centre for Jewish Civilisation (ACJC)
Monash University, Vic.

Dear Sir,

We have a program on Jewish community radio J-AIr 87.8 FM Melbourne covering Israel and Jewish related issues. One of our regular topics is Anti-Zionism on Campus and in Academia.

You may be aware that internationally respected Israel advocacy organization, StandWithUs, is establishing an office in Australia.

Based on previous attempts by StandwithUs to help counter the epidemic of anti- Zionism and anti- Semitism in Melbourne, we learned that you and your ACJCstaff were fiercely opposed to any form of Israel advocacy on campus. We understand you or one of your fellow academics stated that university campus was not the place for Israel advocacy.

One of our topics on our program next Tuesday will cover StandWithUs, its previous encounters via AIJAC, and Joel Burnie. We would like to hear from you or one of the ACJC representatives to understand your current stance on the matter since that 2008 encounter.

Alternatively, if you are not willing to make an ACJC staff member available to discuss this topic, I have enclosed a list of questions, which you can answer in writing. This way, we can still inform our listeners of your point of view - we believe it is important that our listeners hear both sides of any dispute, so they make up their own minds.

We at Nothing Left strongly believe in 'not shutting down debate' and conducting civil discussion.

In the past, your academics made the StandWithUs issue public by speaking with mainstream media. As such, we have cc'd a number of other interested parties. Given ACJC is a community funded department, we are sure your benefactors and supporters would also like to be kept in the loop.

We would appreciate if you could please respond by 4pm Monday 6 June, 2016, with either an acceptance to discuss the issues / questions below on-air next Tuesday, 7 June between 9 - 11am, or if you are not willing to participate in a discussion on-air, in writing via email.

1.       Will StandWithUs representatives be made welcome by ACJC on Monash University grounds? (Yes / No)

2.       Will Standwithus be given an equal opportunity to speak with Jewish students along with Israel -Critical guest speakers that you have from time to time? (Yes / No)

3.       Can you clarify the following:

o Do you or any of the ACJC current or former staff believe Israel's flag should be changed because the 'Magen David' Star of David may offend or not relate to Israel's Arab / Muslim minority? (Yes / No)

o Do  you or any current or former ACJC Staff suggest changing Israel's national anthem 'Hatikva' because it offends or does not relate to Israel's minority Arab / Muslim citizens (Yes / No)

4.       What is the ACJC and staff position on Israel remaining a Jewish State i.e. a State for the Jews?

Thank you,
Nothing Left Co- Host
MIchael Burd