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Aussie Jewish paper refuses ad for activist’s speech

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SYDNEY, Australia (JTA) — An Australian Jewish newspaper refused an ad for a lecture by an activist opposed to Israeli demolitions of Palestinian homes.

Robert Magid, the publisher of the Australian Jewish News, would not run an advertisement in this week’s edition for a speaking tour by Jeff Halper, a co-founder of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions.

Halper was scheduled to speak at Emanuel Synagogue, a Progressive temple in Sydney, and at other venues across the country in a speaking tour sponsored by left-wing Jewish organizations.

Magid said he did not know Halper or any of his work.

"I don’t like the crowd who are bringing him out," the weekly’s publisher told the Sydney Morning Herald. "I am familiar with them. They use their Judaism to bash other Jews and issues associated with the Jewish community."

Halper’s visit to Australia, which began Thursday in Melbourne, is sponsored by Jews Against the Occupation, Independent Australian Jewish Voices and the Coalition for Justice and Peace in Palestine.

Vivienne Porzsolt of Jews Against the Occupation told the Herald, “The powerbrokers want to restrict information to the Jewish community because they don’t want alternative voices heard on the Israel issue."

Halper, an anthropologist who taught at Ben Gurion University until his retirement in 2002, was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006. He is the author of the 2008 book "An Israeli in Palestine: Resisting Dispossession, Redeeming Israel."

Emanuel Synagogue was reconsidering whether to host the March 23 lecture. Halper is scheduled to speak in Sydney at two universities.
 

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