"is a baleful creed which, far from bringing people together drives them apart. That is because multiculturalism is not a synonym for people from different cultures all getting along together. If this were so, it would be no more than a re-statement of how all decent and civilised societies should behave.
No, multiculturalism is the doctrine which says that no culture can ever claim precedence over any other. So there can be no hierarchy of values, and no society can uphold its historic traditions and values against any challenge. It is therefore by definition impossible for a multicultural society to uphold liberal values over their opposite – or, indeed, to uphold the fundamental democratic axiom of 'one law for all'. It is also an oxymoron; for without an overarching set of cultural values to which everyone equally subscribes, there is no cultural glue to keep together a society -- which then disintegrates into a war of group against group, value against value and the strong versus the weak.'And in the English-speaking world whose well-meaning liberal elites pioneered the concept, many a critic of multiculturalism is inclined to cynically point out that multiculturalism in practice entails the tolerance of every culture except that of the majority, host society one. This is particularly true of Britain.
As Melanie Phillips has observed, "the doctrine which held that no culture could be considered superior to any other because that was ‘racist’ [has] meant children were no longer taught about the nation in which they lived, and about its culture. So not only were they left in ignorance of their own society, but any attachment to a shared and over-arching culture was deliberately shattered."
Australia, it is often claimed, pioneered the concept of multiculturalism, and among the prime upholders of the concept in practice are, of course, the bureaucrats whose livelihoods depend on it.
But in the Australian state of Victoria the Israeli culture, of all the cultures practised in the island continent, is under attack from none other than the Victorian Multiculturalism Commission!
A club, consisting of both Jewish and non-Jewish members, which specialises in Israeli dance, has been singled out for discrimination.
Reports the news service J-Wire:
The festival was organised under the auspices of the Victorian Multicultural Commission and a grant had been awarded to Marta Balan who according to a submission to the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission [VEOHRC]approved the performance of the Machol Group.
When the participants’ names were released, Esther Blumenthal-Skop of Machol was surprised to learn that the name of the Machol Israeli Dancing Club had been truncated to Machol Group and all references to Israel had been removed with the club being described as a Jewish dance group.
No change had been made ot other groups including Chinese, Hungarian, Armenaian and Ukrarnian Traditional Folk Dances and the Irish Reel and Jigs.
In her submission to VEOHRC, Blumenthal-Skop said she asked for an explanation and was told that the organiser would not be held responsible for consequences if the words “Israel” or “Israeli” were used to describe the group.
The submission states that Ms Balan agreed to the original wording but within hours Machol was told that choreographers had decided that the dance bracket was not suitable for the event…and that the artistic director was not made aware of this and was surprised at Machol’s non-appearance at the final rehearsal.
Chairman of VEOHRC John Searle told J-Wire: “The matter is now in the hands of the Victorian Muliticultural Commission and we await their findings.”
Machol organiser Moshe Lichenstein told J-Wire: “We were invited to attend the Festival by Ms Balan who has danced with us in the past. We were planning to send eight girls who were going to perform three dances. We have more than 200 members in our group and we dance four times a week.” He added that Machol had never experienced a problem like this since it was established in 1993. Machol’s members are not all Jewish.'In denying a Melbourne Israeli dance group the right to perform the Commission has been guilty of a bizarre derilection of duty and an unconscionable instance of anti-Israel spite. This matter merits further investigation, at the highest level.
Here's what might be termed a Bolt from the [White and] the Blue. Yes, in identifying this as yet another instance of "the fashionable new anti-semitism," Andrew Bolt, the perspicacious and deservedly popular columnist of the Melbourne Herald-Sun sums up the situation very nicely. Good on yer, cobber.
(Hat tip: readers Rob and Shirlee).