23 June 2016

Response to the Election Questionnaire, from Elizabeth Re, National Party

The following is the response to the Jewish Community Council Questionnaire, received from Elizabeth Re, candidate for the Senate representing WA, endorsed by the National Party.

1.  Safety and Security
The Jewish Community is increasingly concerned about the safety and security of community members and assets. (Refer to Appendix 1 – Jewish Community Security.)

Do you envisage any changes to government support and funding of Jewish-community security? If so, what changes?

Personally, I would hope that as part of the overall safety of all of our schools and communities that governments realize the need to improve security measurers’ city wide as all children are Australia’s future assets

2.  Private Schools

Do you envisage making changes to government funding of our Private Schools? If so, what changes?

My parents, my children and I all attended private schooling and appreciate and value the moral and cultural identity that this education system encourages and offers in the community. Private schools actually save the state money and have a history of producing well rounded students who achieve in adulthood

3.  Religious Freedom

Observance of the Jewish religion and customs include the ritual circumcision (“brit milah”) of male children at the age of 8 days, and observing Jewish dietary laws (eating food that is rabbinically-certified as kosher). Do you envisage making changes to any of the following? If so, what changes?
·         regulation of brit milah
·         regulation of kosher slaughter (“shechita”)
·         regulation of kosher certification

Personally, I do not believe that any changes are necessary, and as a health inspector who worked in disease control for many years I am very supportive of the circumcision
Eating kosher food is a cultural choice which I do not have an issue with or see that it needs to be changed

4.  Israel

Our community overwhelmingly supports Zionism as the modern political movement for the self-determination of the Jewish people; and Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people.

Do you support those notions?

Personally I believe people should retain their cultural identity as it makes Australia stronger and richer and persecuted people should be liberated
Do you support the strengthening and enhancement of government-to-government and people-to-people ties between Australians and Israelis at all levels, including trade/economic, academic and cultural ties?

Australia may be an island, but we need to engage in trade with all nations in order to prosper and move forward in this rapidly changing world

Do you consider Australian-media reporting on Israel to be fair and unbiased? If not, would you take any specific action or make any statements to promote fair, unbiased reporting?  

Personally I believe the media is biased against many issues and races and I consider that the media needs to be taken to task to promote journalism and not gutter press

Arab leaders have created a culture of death that motivates terrorism. (Refer to Appendix 2 – Incitement to Terror.) Do you consider that Australia could make a practical difference, especially considering that about a third of the Palestinian Authority’s budget is financed by foreign aid? 

Exploitation of children and terrorism can never be condoned or ignored and foreign aid should come with a balance sheet on what the money has been spent on and if a satisfactory answer is not provided then aid should be withdrawn or reduced if proof is not provided that the money is used for the intended purpose

There have been calls for unilateral recognition of a “Palestinian” State that does not yet exist. (Refer to Appendix 3 – Unilateral Recognition of a “Palestinian State”.) Will you take any action to oppose Australian recognition of such a unilateral declaration?

Personally Australia should not be involved in this and I would do my best for this not to be endorsed

 5.  Global Antisemitism
There is a global campaign to delegitimize Israel’s right to exist, including a “Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions (BDS) campaign, which is aimed at destroying Israel, in the guise of promoting peace between Israel and its neighbours. (Refer to Appendix 4 – The BDS Campaign.) Will you take any action or make any statements to stop this hateful campaign in Australia and globally?

The “Durban Strategy”, like many other strategies that have been collectively agreed to in recent years have not been founded on significant evidence or modeling and most are a byproduct of someone trying to get a notch on their belt and should be treated accordingly

6.  Antisemitism in Australia

Our community has a high degree of concern about the influence, in Australia, of anti-Israel and anti-Zionist movements such as the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign and other forms of de-legitimisation of Israel and the cover they provide for anti-Semites to express their hatred. Do you envisage taking any action in relation to any of the following? If so, what action?
·         Legal protections against promotion of racial hatred and of racially-motivated violence.  
·         Sections 18C and 18D of the Racial Discrimination Act.
·         The activities of radical preachers in schools and religious institutions.
·         Public and school education campaigns against violent and/or extremist ideologies.
Schools, communities and educational establishments exist to foster and promote innovation etc, education and role modeling for future generations and also learning from history to go forward, anything that promotes disunity, promotes violence, promotes hatred, and promotes violence I personally believe should not be permitted and legislation is paramount to ensure good citizen values are not compromised

7.  Relations with Iran

Iran continues to contravene its international obligations and remains the greatest state sponsor of global terrorism. (Refer to Appendix 5 – Iran: a Rogue State.)

Do you envisage making any changes to the following, without prior public consultation?
·         additional diplomatic representation of Iran in Australia
·         further relaxation of sanctions and expansion of trade

Personally I believe that Australia needs to be stronger and set up policies and legislation to reflect the sentiments of Australians that we do not condone or support terrorism in any form