Public comments on AJN owner/editor’s remarks about refugees.

  Mr Magid’s ill-considered remarks have engendered a very strong reaction.  Not only has the middle of the road/conservative Galusaustralis recorded a number of critical comments, but in the 130 or so signatures to the Open Letter received so far, some very strong, at times moving comments have been made for him to consider.  Please sign if you haven’t and and share around.  A full list of signatories and comments will be posted in the next couple of days   (comments have been made accepting information will be made public).      
  •  I too was a refo (from Vienna Feb 1939)…I too (aged 3.5) was shoved into an internment camp (Tatura) as an “enemy alien” for 18 months…and according to my ASIO file am still out only on “parole”. I too remember the Nissen huts, barbed wire and armed guards of Tatura. Once released, I too was called a “refo” at least 4 times daily. I too remember with pain the sneers of the Aussie Jewish establishment at St Kilda Synagogue (Dangelow’s own)who told us how to dress, how to eat, how to walk and how to speak only English. Many of us Jews who escaped the death camps of Europe by a whisker are fully with the Afghans are fully with the Tamils are fully with all the refugees…we are all still refos. We greatly miss the late and great Richard Pratt, also a refo, who was proud of his immigrant origin and in his Australia Day Speech argued cogently for the fact that to be sustainable Australia needs a population of at least 50 million people. So let us welcome the refos. I am desperately sad that Bob Magid, a former staunch socialist, humanist, friend and immigrant himself has launched this unnecessary, uncharacteristic and flawed attack on “compassion” for refugees.
  • I find the notion, that the Jewish community is less compassionate than it appears, offensive. I am a holocaust survivor, who came by boat and was welcomed by the Menzies Government in 1949. My experiences have certainly influenced my view on asylum seekers and so they should.
  • I have spent 6 years working on asylum seeker health and ethics. We need more compassion, not less. As Jews, we should begin with the word “Welcome.” Have we not all one Father?
  • The article is deeply offensive. It completely misrepresents the complex reality regarding the journey and decisions immigrants take when leaving their countries. We Jews – no strangers to being a stranger – should have more compassion and empathy. Robert Magid, you do not speak in my name.
  • MR Magid’s article in the Jewish News is sadly full of errors and fear. Most refugees in Australia are genuine and thats why the vast majority are granted residence. There are stories of refugees being sent back to the homelands who have disappeared, and suspected dead. The assumption that most refugees are Muslim and therefore m9ight bedangerous is wrong as well. many are Christians, and some are Hindu or Buddhist. Refugees on boats are not wealthy and often families have made financial sacrifices to get a place on a boat. Wealthy refugees fly in as business migrants. This fear of terrorism has been used as a political weapon to scare people. Terrorist attacks in Australia, negligible. Democracy allows for expression by every on, even Mr Magid, and we have the right to reply. However an owner of a newspaper has an added responsibility of at the least, making sure that what is said is at least factual, and based on evidence. In Australia we are all migrants (except for the original people) or descendants of migrants, I would think that on this basis we should have a greater understanding and compassion for people fleeing persecution and the ravages of wars.
  • The article by Magid is fundamentally flawed and flawed.
  • I no longer wish to read the AJN
  • Shame on any Jew who speaks in this totally ignorant way of the plight of others. One might expect and rightfully, that we should be two things – firstly be empathic and secondly be erudite enough to know the real facts in this case. And yes finally and most importantly, overcome your own emotional attachment to the sole ownership of the ‘ethic’ of victimology.
  • Magid’s article foments fear and hatred and it is good to see how many readers have been outraged.  In my parents’ generation so many Jews found refuge in Australia who were not at risk of death – Magid’s curious super-criterion.
  • Unlike the French Bourbons, the despised pre-revolutionary aristocracy, who were said to never forget and never learn, the author of this inaccurate, misleading and unfeeling article appears to have learnt little about his chosen subject but forgotten a great deal of history.
  • I am gob smacked at such racist ill-informed disgusting commentary. This man knows nothing about the situation it is quite obvious.
  • Shame on your newspaper for publishing such an appalling article – the facts are wrong, the prejudice is offensive, and what is the intention of the writer apart from stirring up baseless political fears? We must all have the courage to help people in need, not judge them based on ignorance. Journalists have a commitment to truth, and that is not evident in this writing.
  • Racism, bigotry and prejudice toward asylum seekers is unacceptable in Australia, a country which has become home to so many boat people from all over the world.
  • Anti-refugee sentiments have no place in my Jewish identity and spirituality.
  • Robert Magid has learned nothing from the Holocaust which taught us that as Jews who have suffered discrimination and persecution throughout our history, our role is to show compassion for others who are in that position, and not just for “our own.” The anti-Muslim views expressed in his article are provocative and very one-side.
  • Oh Bobby, have you lost the plot, or what? Your diatribe is completely factually inaccurate and offensive to anyone who is in touch with security issues and the Australian Jewish community. Your vilification of Muslims as a threat to Australian Jews is demonstrably wrong, as our enemy, and the Muslims’ enemy, is the same bunch of Liberal-voting, Holocaust denying, climate change denying, Alan Jones/ Pauline Hanson/ John Howard/ Tony Rabic arseholes, you have clearly sided with.Shame on you, Bobby Magid. Shame.
  • Robert Magid’s opinion piece was as disgusting as an opinion piece on refugees can be in the a newspaper circulating in a community where everyone has refugees in their family tree.
  • Very sad that Bob Magid who is so familiar with the Israeli experience of absorbing 1 million immigrants from the former CIS (many of whom were “economic” and not Zionist), and who arrived en masse in the space of 12 months in 1990-91 is unable to comprehend that Australia could also benefit from absorbing many more immigrants and refugees than it does at present and even enjoy the economic benefits as Israel has done.
  •  The Torah reminds us we were slaves in Egypt and we need to show compassion. I am concerned about jihadists but we need to build connections with other communities. It is our role to do that as Jews.
  • Many asylum seekers (notably Afghanis) have been murdered upon being returned to Afghanistan and Tamils have been mistreated when returned to Sri Lanka
  • You may own the Jewish Newspaper but you do not speak on my behalf!
  • I am ashamed to read such an opinion piece in the AJN.
  • the attitudes towards moslem communities is a shameful, racist attitude, as all such generalisations are. boat refugees are desperate, and as jews – yes, jews – we should do everything – in australia or israel or anywhere – to save lives.  australian jews, many secon-generation to survivors – should raise a humanistic voice. so very sad to read this in a jewish paper.
  • Magid’s article foments fear and hatred and it is good to see how many readers have been outraged. In my parents’ generation so many Jews found refuge in Australia who were not at risk of death – Magid’s curious super-criterion. We were not at risk of death when we fled Poland in 1948. My wife’s father in 1938 arrived here stateless from Nazi Vienna and he was not at risk of death, so far as he knew. A compassionate Minister called Harold Holt permitted him to stay. And I wonder what Magid would say about my Zionist uncle, a people smuggler in Poland after the War: he helped Jews cross the border into Czechoslovakia and thence to Palestine. They were not at risk of death either.
"It’s not reflective of the Jewish community that I know"- an opinion.<< >>Strewth! <strike>510</strike> 580 signatures (so far) rebutting Robert Magid

About the author : Larry Stillman