Visiting Israeli snubbed

Moshe Feiglin.

AUSTRALIAN Jewish leaders distanced themselves from Israeli former MK Moshe Feiglin, who was in Australia this week.

The ex-Likudnik, a former Knesset deputy speaker, who has slammed feminism and homosexuality, faced a cold shoulder from organisations of various stripes, as well as federal and state roof bodies.

Executive Council of Australian Jewry president Robert Goot said his organisation “was not consulted about, and has had no role” in the trip and Feiglin’s views are “inimical to the ECAJ’s policies”.

Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) president Jennifer Huppert noted the Israeli MK “has expressed extremist views in the past regarding women, sexual orientation and political issues which are inconsistent with the values and policies” of the JCCV.

NSW Jewish Board of Deputies chief executive Vic Alhadeff tweeted that his organisation “rejects, dissociates itself” from Feiglin’s “bigoted views”.

Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council executive director Colin Rubenstein said the ex-MK’s visit  “does not make any positive contribution to peaceful dialogue”.

The Australasian Union of Jewish Students stated on Facebook it “stands against these views which violate our principles and policies”.

And a joint statement from the New Israel Fund, Aleph Melbourne, Habonim, the Australian Reform Zionist Association, Netzer and six other organisation stated that Feiglin’s views “have no place in a modern democracy such as Israel”.

“Moshe Feiglin’s views on women, homosexuality and Palestinian citizens of Israel are inconsistent with Jewish values,” the statement said.

Feiglin – who is raising funds for Zehut (Identity), a party he recently formed – told The AJN during his visit that he was “very sorry that those organisations did not even try to verify” accusations against him and blamed “extreme leftist so-called organisations led by the New Israel Fund” for swaying the communal leadership.

Confronted with his anti-gay, anti-feminist public record, Feiglin claimed his Zehut movement has gays and women in it. “Gays have human rights but at the same time we should take care of the rights and values of the traditional family.”

The Israeli stood by his claim that Christians support Israel because they seek to convert Jews and by his idea that Gazans can be paid to leave Gaza.

PETER KOHN