A blot on the Jewish people

There are lots of famous Jewish atheists from Sigmund Freud to Ayn Rand to Isaac Asimov to Woody Allen.

How do you think the Jewish community would have reacted if what follows had happened?

A Jewish couple, atheists, artists, puts on an exhibit in which they critique five major religions with artworks and commentary. At the end of the first day the gallery owner comes up to them and says, you are attacking Islam and that means you favor the Jews in “Palestine.” This is “racism.”

They try to explain that they are critiquing five major religions equally, did not single out Islam, did not mention the Palestinian issue, and therefore took no position on it.

Not good enough. The gallery owner continues his tirade and blames the Jews in “Palestine” for all the woes of the Arabs. The woman asks, “What is your reaction when Arabs blow up a bus full of Jewish children?” His response, “So what?”

Things deteriorate and in a few days he bans the couple from his gallery and their own exhibit.

They respond to the gallery owner’s anti-Semitism on their web site. He sues. The judge, who makes not the slightest effort to examine the issues in depth, awards the gallery owner $450,000. With costs that will run to a million dollars.

In other words this couple is being punished obscenely for merely standing up to an obscure anti-Semite. There’s been nothing of this magnitude in which anti-Semitism has been so rewarded in a court in a democracy since the case of the army officer Alfred Dreyfus, who was framed with treason in France 120 years ago.

Would you not think that the Jewish community would support this couple, not necessarily financially, but morally and with a few words of thanks?

The case actually happened in Australia. But the artists were non-Jews. Their names are Demetrios Vakras and Lee-Anne Raymond. When the gallery owner started his tirade, they could have half mumbled something in agreement and walked away. Their exhibit would have gone on as before. Their lives would have gone as before. They knew little about the Palestinian issue. But they did recognize an anti-Semite. They did the right thing. They stood up to him.

Since the judgment was announced in June, no one at all in Australia has commented on it. This is a blot on the Jewish people. This gallery owner was not born yesterday as an anti-Semite. If you don’t stand up to anti-Semites, they will run over you. Who else has he run over? And when non-Jews, out of a sense of human decency, get involved, it is indecent for the Jewish people to shun them. Vakras has spent much time studying ancient cultures and religions and so he went at modern anti-Semitism in the same methodical way. Vakras concluded that this guy is a “left-wing Nazi” and if you take the time to tour the web, you can see he is common type today. What Vakras said about the gallery owner was 100 per cent true, but it went over the head of the judge which is not surprising since the judge had his head through most of the trial in the sand.

I’ve published a book on the case. I’m not promoting it here. I’ll send it free PDF to anyone who wants it. It’s called: “Injustice Hits Rock Bottom Down Under: The Vakras Case.” When you look around you realize that the Jews have very few true friends in the world. When two stand up and pay such a high price, they deserve better than the treatment this couple has received from the Jewish public in Australia and elsewhere.

About the Author
Dov Ivry is from the Maritimes in Canada, born in Nova Scotia, raised in New Brunswick. He worked as a journalist there for 20 years with a one-year stop at the Gazette in Montreal. He's been hanging out in Israel for 36 years, doing this and that, and managed to produce 66 books.