Melbourne Jewish support group Aleph says it’s tired of the homophobic intolerance coming from some sections of its community.
The comment follows an attack by an Orthodox blog criticising the Australian Jewish News (AJN) for its coverage of the murder of two people in Tel Aviv at a gay and lesbian youth centre.
The blog set its sights on the AJN for an editorial condemning conservative Israeli Orthodox newspaper Hamodia for failing to report the deaths.
-œThe last thing [Hamodia] readers are interested in is what is happening in Tel Aviv snakepits of dreck and perversion, it read.
It claims to expose misrepresentations and respond to items in AJN that -œmalign or defame the Orthodox community. It implies homosexuality is -œdepraved and -œdebased.
Aleph spokesman Michael Barnett said the comments could not go unchallenged.
-œThe impact it has is, it sends a message to hate gay people, he told Southern Star.
-œIt’s just a horrible diatribe. It incites more hatred and I think that oversteps the mark.
Barnett said the blog illustrates there is still much discussion to be had within Australia’s Jewish community about tolerance.
-œFor the most part the Jewish community is fairly accepting, except in Orthodox circles, he said.
Jewish leaders said the views in the blog were limited to a small segment of the community.
Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) president John Searle said he wasn’t aware of the blog until it was brought to his attention.
-œI expect that is not a view that’s widely supported, he said. -œIf it appears they were murdered for their sexuality, if that is the case, then that is very sad.
-œI’d suggest these views reach a narrow circulation and don’t mirror the wider community.
Barnett said Aleph does not have membership in the JCCV. He said this is unlikely with JCCV’s Orthodox voting majority, although he is in talks with Searle next week.
AJN editor Ashley Browne told Southern Star he was aware of the blog, but said the views expressed were not representative of the Orthodox community.

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