I’m sorry: there’s no nice way of putting this. Danny Lamm’s agreeing to be keynote speaker at an event put on by a racist, far right, fundamentalist Christian organisation, Catch the Fire Ministries – whose leader (Daniel Nalliah) is open about hating Muslims, LGBTQI people, and women – is just fucking weird.
Lamm’s justifications for his actions are even weirder: sure Catch the Fire nearly got done for racial vilification, but these fundamentalist Christians really seem to love Israel (pre-rapture, anyway). Also Lamm is a long-standing friend of Daniel Nalliah’s and Catch the Fire, therefore Lamm feels it’s appropriate that a Jewish communal leader not only attend the event, but deliver the keynote address at a celebration for Israel’s 70th birthday.
This reminds me of the subnormally intelligent Jews, like an uncle by marriage, who gleefully share neo-Nazi propaganda (in this case, from Geert Wilders) approvingly because it’s saying something positive about Israel. And then when you try to point out that they’re sharing neo-Nazi content, they and their supporters scream, ‘DON’T BRING POLITICS INTO THIS.’
I have no idea whether Lamm realises that Nalliah, along with other Christian ‘Zionists’ are not, in fact, friends of the Jews. They believe that Jewish ‘ownership’ of Israel is a necessary *temporary* phase before the coming of the motherfucking apocalypse.
And these nutbar Christians are very keen to see policies put in place that actually *escalate* the Israel/Palestine conflict in order to bring the motherfucking apocalypse *closer*.
*That* is who Danny Lamm, President of the Zionist Federation of Australia (ZFA), consorts with.
It is not just beyond accepted behaviour.
It is not just a sign of a broken moral compass.
It is a demonstration of the profoundest stupidity I have seen in Australian Jewish leadership. And the bar for that is pretty fucking high.
An article in the AJN, reporting Lamm’s arrant idiocy, quotes *unnamed* Jewish leaders who muttered their concerns, but who are too chickenshit to go on the record.
That alone renders every single current Jewish communal leader unfit for their current role.
Just to give you a sense of how beyond the pale Nalliah and his ‘Ministries’ are, MP, Kevin Andrews, known as one of the most religious and conservative members of the Liberal party, withdrew from an event once he heard Catch the Fire was going to be involved.
Make no mistake, this isn’t an aesthetic objection to Lamm.
It’s not that this ‘looks bad’.
Nor is this a left/right issue.
This is about sense and judgement – or its complete absence in this case.
It also tells us that Lamm has no one around him with decent judgement whom he respects or listens to.
There’s no one to tell him that he’s gone and ruined his reputation pretty much for good – just as there was no one to tell him that supporting someone who calls survivors of sexual abuse ‘hysterical bitches‘ isn’t a great look either.
Lamm is also president of Mizrachi Synagogue, which is languishing behind comparable places of worship when it comes to women’s participation. I have no idea whether there is anyone there to tell him that his very presence as President makes generational continuity at the shul less and less likely.
Indeed, the ZFA website is reflective of its shitshow culture. In its ‘about’ section, if fails to detail who’s President, who’s on the board, and who works there.
The ZFA is primarily a communications outfit and it fails at every turn.
One of its ‘writers’ – I have no idea what her official title there is – is the young-ish Emily Gian. One wonders what her feelings are about her boss hobnobbing with a man who blamed Victorian bush fires on slutty women getting abortions.
All of this says something about the health of our organised community.
It is sick and dying.
And believe it or not, that’s a good thing.
We need this die-off in order for new growth to occur – for new ways of Jewish organisation to emerge.