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JCCV Defends 18C

JCCV Defends 18C

16 February 2017

Jennifer Huppert, President of the Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) has commended the ECAJ and AIJAC in their advocacy in defence of Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Act).

Jennifer Huppert said:  “In addition, we would like to draw attention to the activities of the JCCV in leading efforts to ensure that racial discrimination protections are maintained.

Firstly, the JCCV made a submission to the Parliamentary Inquiry into Freedom of Speech arguing in favour of the retention of Sections 18C and 18D, and received a letter of support and thanks from the Victorian Minister for Multicultural Affairs, the Hon Robin Scott for the submission.

Secondly, the JCCV Executive Director David Marlow organised a coalition of 100 faith, multicultural and community groups from diverse backgrounds, including Jewish, Christian, African, Chinese, Vietnamese, Italian, Greek, Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu and Sikh communities, which endorsed a joint submission to the Parliamentary Inquiry.  This submission argued strongly that any watering down of Section18C was a needless and dangerous step.

Thirdly, the community coalition, chaired by David Marlow, has arranged meetings with members of Parliament to explain the need for maintaining the protections of the Act and expressing our common concerns with anything that might encourage racism or antisemitism.

And lastly, David, with Online Hate Prevention Institute CEO Andre Oboler (also an Executive Member of JCCV), Prof Joseph Camilleri of Pax Christi, and Yasser Soloman representing the Muslim community jointly represented the coalition of faith and multicultural communities at the Parliamentary Inquiry when it met in Melbourne.  They spoke on the same panel facing questions from the Inquiry committee as Helen Kapalos, Chair of the Victorian Multicultural Committee and Joe Caputo, Chair of the Federation of Ethnic Communities Councils of Australia.

The JCCV recognises that, while we are firmly in favour of the retention of Sections 18C and 18D, there are differing views in some sections of the community, and in partnership with Beit Aharon Synagogue, and the Mount Scopus Parents’ Association, JCCV has arranged a debate to discuss the topic with Shadow Attorney General Hon Mark Dreyfus QC MP, Rabbi James Kennard, Georgina Downer from Institute of Public Affairs and Member for Goldstein Tim Wilson MP at 7:30pm on Wednesday 15 March, to be chaired by the ECAJ President Anton Block.”

Ms Huppert added: “We will continue to work strongly against racism and antisemitism.”

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