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Where we stand

As many from our community come from migrant backgrounds and are all too familiar with histories of persecution and fleeing, the rights of refugees to live in safety is something we are passionate about.  Australia has an abhorrent track record of treatment of asylum seekers, for which it has been internationally condemned. We demand a fair, just and compassionate response to refugees seeking asylum.

Over the coming months the AJDS is developing our approach to this campaign. In this meantime this page should be considered a skeleton of what we hope it will be. Please join our supporter mailing list to keep up to date on progress.

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“[They were returned to the trimotor plane]. The refugees then began to beat the sides of the plane and hammered at the windows, breaking one of them.”

Croydon Airport, England, 1939
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latest updates in this campaign

AJDS Statement on the ongoing persecution of Rohingya people

The Australian Jewish Democratic Society stands with Rohingya people and demands an end to crimes against humanity. Recent weeks have seen the wholesale slaughter of Rohingya men, women and children in the streets, villages, and backblocks of the Rhakine state, Myanmar. There have been innumerable reports of rapes, with entire villages burned to the ground. […]

The tradition of Palm Sunday rallies

By Yael Winikoff. Palm Sunday, the Sunday before Easter, celebrates Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem.  It has come to be traditionally viewed as a time to reflect on victory, joy and peace, and for these reasons has been a date that has been marked with marches and protests on such issues as war, nuclear disarmament and […]

Impressions from the anti-Trump rally, Melbourne February 3, 2017

By Larry Stillman. Hello all, I ran home like crazy to try to put in a report about the anti-Trump demo for those who are observant though as far as I can see, the sun is well and truly shining. Yes, there was a 1/2 hearted from Palestine to Mexico slogan attempt by the young […]

One Nation’s cancellation and a letter by Robin Rothfield

Pauline Hanson and Malcolm Roberts’ planned Caulfield visit in November, 2016, which was organised by a far Right Jewish group, was cancelled due to a collaborative effort within the broad Jewish community. While the One Nation senators claimed it was the extremist Left that shut them down, as Michael Brull wrote in New Matilda, “It is […]

Raising money towards a camcorder for the AJDS: a fundraising drive

The AJDS often hosts unique events and gatherings, attended by a diverse crowd that gathers to talk in ways otherwise unavailable. We cherish these moments and always try to keep a record of each as best we can – notes, pictures, and recordings. For this reason, we call upon our members and supporters to dig deep […]

Why I spend my Friday nights in hell: visiting the Melbourne Immigration and Transit Accommodation centre (MITA)

By Sivan Barak. Every Friday night for the past 60 weeks I’ve driven out of the ‘ghetto’, over the river, just 32 km south, to the far away land of Broadmeadows. It’s a weekly participation  in a macabre ritual, the antithesis to Melbourne’s dubious title, ‘most livable city’. During these visits I witness what I can only […]

‘A racist pig’: on embroiling children in the war on refugees

By Jordy Silverstein On March 25 2004 it was reported by the Hobart Mercury that “immigration minister Amanda Vanstone said yesterday she had received letters from primary school children calling her a racist pig.” Apparently, “she said she was not offended by the abusive letters but annoyed children had been influenced to write such things.” […]

Mum, did you steal any refugees? Sylvie Leber on the Baxter convergence, 2003

The Baxter Detention Centre in South Australia was used for the mandatory detention of asylum seekers between 2002-2007.  In 2003 detainees protested and set fire to the facilities over the Easter Weekend protests. This happened again with worse results in 2005, but then Immigration Minister Amanda Vanstone said that acts of vandalism and self harm […]

Migrant Justice in Settler-Colonial Australia (published in Arena)

By Sam Levnad This article was originally published in Arena Magazine. How can we work towards refugee and asylum-seeker rights while acknowledging Aboriginal sovereignty? The death in September last year of Aylan Kurdi, a three-year-old Kurdish Syrian boy, filled the front pages of international media. Aylan, along with his elder brother, Galip, and his mother, […]