Interview with Anna Burke

Anna Burke: ‘It’s time for a rational debate about refugees’
‘We have now got a world wide refugee problem. We don’t have one here but we do have one world wide. It is now time to start having a rational debate about what we do with these people as opposed to playing the race card.’ Interview with Anna Burke, who has represented the seat of Chisholm in the House of Representatives for the ALP since 1998. Burke is the former Speaker of the House (2012-2013), and has been a consistent advocate for asylum seekers. She will retire at the next election. Read more

Rabbis speak out

Rabbis speak out – call for compassion – as Jewish support for asylum seekers grows

Senior rabbis in Sydney ‘call for compassion’ amid the growing protests against government plans to deport some 267 people facing return to Nauru. Jewish groups are also planning to join protest rallies across the country on Palm Sunday.

In a strong statement released this week, 16 rabbis from Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Canberra call on the government to observe its obligations under international refugee and human rights law and to act with compassion for all people being held in offshore detention.

Making special mention of the people currently facing deportation back to Nauru, the rabbis state their “deep concern”, and that they “stand in solidarity” with other faith leaders across Australia who have offered “protection and sanctuary to people seeking asylum.”

“Judaism commands us to recognise the vulnerability of strangers among us and to treat them with respect and dignity, indeed love,” say the rabbis, “because our people have often been strangers….and have stood where they stand.”

Jewish groups under the banner “Jews for Refugees” will be joining rallies being planned across Australia for Palm Sunday on March 20th, calling on the government to stop the deportations.


The Statement Rabbis call for Compassion, signed by 16 rabbis, follows a similar statement by the Rabbinic Council of Victoria, issued last month.