Remember Baruch (Jerusalem Prize) O'Farrell, the former premier of NSW who just couldn't for the life of him recall receiving a $3,000 bottle of grange hermitage on his birthday from a developer?
Well, still on the subject of gifts with heady brews attached, it seems Baruch's left his successor the proverbial poisoned chalice, a Community Relations Commissioner who doubles as an Israel lobbyist! Read on:
"Premier Mike Baird has publicly reprimanded the chair of the NSW Community Relations Commissioner, Vic Alhadeff, over 'inappropriate' remarks that accuse Palestine of war crimes and appear to gloss over Israeli violence. But critics say the rebuke to Mr Alhadeff, who is also chief executive of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies, does not go far enough and say he should be removed from the government-appointed position.
"The dispute has laid bare the deep fissures between Sydney's Arabic and Jewish communities, and raises questions over Mr Alhadeff's dual roles, which require him to support the Jewish [sic: Zionist] cause and promote community unity... In an email to members of the Jewish community this week, Mr Alhadeff condemned acts by Palestinian militant Islamist [sic: Islamic resistance] group Hamas during conflict ignited by the murders of 3 Israeli students last month. The incidents [sic] triggered a suspected reprisal killing of a Palestinian teenager, followed by riots in East Jerusalem and the exchange of rockets between Israel and Gaza.
"Mr Alhadeff's email, titled Israel Under Fire, criticised the 'Hamas terror organisation' for launching rockets on Israeli towns, saying families had been forced into shelters and 'children kept from summer camp'. Israel would 'do whatever is needed to defend its citizens. All options are on the table', he said. He accused Hamas of 'war crimes' for 'indiscriminately' attacking civilians, claiming in contrast, Israel uses 'care to avoid civilian casualties' and 'pinpoint technologies to hit the targeted infrastructure'.
"The statement triggered outrage amongst Arab leaders in NSW, including Joseph Wakim, former Victorian Multicultural Affairs Commissioner and founder of the Australian Arabic Council, who described the views as 'biased and provocative'. He said Mr Alhadeff ignored the attack on the Palestinian teenager and failed to mention 'air and sea strikes that have already killed 35 Palestinian civilians'. 'He has very clearly taken one side and said, 'here are the goodies and here are the baddies', Mr Wakim said. 'Do such statements build bridges and community relations, or wedge a wall between us and them?' Mr Wakim said Mr Alhadeff's appointment to the Community Relations Commission in December last year 'should never have happened' because it created a serious conflict of interest. He called on Mr Alhadeff to relinquish one role." (Jewish leader Vic Alhadeff slammed over Hamas 'war crimes' remark, Sydney Morning Herald, 12/7/14)
One role? Good one, Mr Wakim!
Click on my Vic Alhadeff label below for details of the rise and rise of Mr Alhadeff.