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Rudd’s $20m security for Jewish schools

Jewish schools are set to become the main beneficiaries of a $20-million security plan announced by Kevin Rudd in Sydney on Friday.
Rudd, together with his education spokesman Stephen Smith, also offered an extra $16 million in general funding to Jewish schools and committed to the Howard Government’s changes to the socioeconomic status (SES) funding appeals process.

The joint announcement came on a red-letter day for Labor, which is also set to benefit from the Greens’ announcement on Friday it will hand preferences in the key seat of Wentworth to ALP candidate George Newhouse, who was present for the funding announcements at Sydney’s Moriah College.

Rudd told the gathered media that if elected, the ALP would assist any school with a particular security risk, but emphasised the funding is for “predominantly the Jewish schools”.

“This will be funding which will be available immediately. We are very conscious of the particular needs of the Jewish community in regard to security,” Rudd said.

“We are not talking about regular acts of vandalism, because they occur at schools right across the country, [but] where because of national security considerations there are particular threats to particular school community, we believe nationally we have a responsibility to act.”

Smith added that a Rudd government would fund security so that Jewish schools would not have to direct resources away from education.

“We would actually [prefer] the schools to be spending money on educational outcomes and so those schools which are assessed to be at risk will be eligible to apply for assistance,” Smith said.

Member for Melbourne Ports Michael Danby, Australia’s only Jewish federal MP, made the trip to Sydneyfor the important announcement. Danby has been lobbying against the government’s controversial SES system, which disadvantages some “poorer” Jewish schools, for nearly 10 years.

“The announcement today is, as far as I am concerned, the biggest political achievement I have been involved in since being elected in 1998,” Danby said.

Last week, Federal Education Minister Julie Bishop announced an amendment to the SES funding appeals process, which the Coalition has promised Jewish schools it would address for almost a decade. The Howard Government also announced a plan that will see donations towards funding Jewish community security become tax-deductible.

The security spending announcement was followed by confirmation that a Labor government would support the government’s amendment. Under the new appeals process, Jewish schools have already begun to appeal their SES rating based on a calculation that will take family size into account.

In addition, Labor said it would also throw an extra $4 million per year for the next four years in the direction of the Jewish schools, particularly ultra-Orthodox schools such as Kesser Torah College in Sydney and Yeshivah-Beth Rivkah Colleges and Adass Israel School in Melbourne.

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Danny, I was under the impression that Muslim money (if they are working???) goes back home. I have heard that because of their very very large families and our wonderful welfare system that they don't need to work, which would explain why we don't see men of middle eastern extraction around working much...

Posted by Gaye on 2007-08-19 13:45:34 GMT

Isn't it ironic that tax payer money,some of it derived from Muslims, is going to protect Jewish Schools.

Posted by Danny on 2007-08-19 07:23:26 GMT

The bad news is that we need all this money to protect our community from Muslims in the first place!

Posted by michael on 2007-08-15 12:09:15 GMT

Rudd also deserves credit for telling community leaders to try and get the Libs to match his proposals, so that there's a win whatever happens for Jewish schools. That's a sign of a good heart in respect to this issue.

Posted by Doug on 2007-08-15 11:59:57 GMT

Another good new/bad news situation. Good news that Jewish schools will get the resources to help protect them/ bad news that so many see the need for this. The Muslim World is so brainwashed that many have lost their humanity. They are a danger to all - but first the Saturday People, and then the Sunday People.

Posted by Roberta E, Dzubow on 2007-08-15 02:03:27 GMT

Mazel Tov Michael. The real problem that I can see is going to be deciding what level of funding each school needs, and as important, WHO will be making these decisions.

Posted by Danny on 2007-08-13 07:04:27 GMT

Great! Now let's get the Liberals to match the committment.

Posted on 2007-08-12 20:38:23 GMT

Without being Australian, this funding initiative seems to recognize the type of threat being made toward Jewsish institions, primarily from it's Muslim community - a community I would assume Australians are just as concerned about, as are Europeans. With crime in the EU amongst Muslim communities growing frighteningly rapid, and the chances of Muslim youth commiting serious economic and sexual crime being 20-30 times that of native Europeans, I assume Australians see the need to fund and protect what they regard as a peaceful, and highly productive component of their society, i.e. Jewish schools. One should say "well done!" Clearly, Mulsim communities will bark and complain, asking "what are you doing for us today?" But, when crime, unemploytment and transfer incomes to the Muslim community is honestly and openly accounted for, and compared to the general population, I am quite sure the question will sound ridiculous. In fact, one might readily begin to see the absurdly disproportionate resources needed to support Muslim communities.In the EU there is no ethnic group requiring more State resources per capita, while the same group seems completely unappreciative of the freedoms and opportunities afforded to it by it's democratic hosts.

Posted by Brian_007 on 2007-08-12 11:20:58 GMT

I am sorry, but we come from Queensland where Mr Rudd comes from and his government made it legal to lie in parliament..We are very well aware of his many antics.. Mr Beatie, Mr Rudd and co are the reasons that we are now almost without water. The Coalition had brought land for a dam but Labor told the greenies and the people of the area where the dam was to be built, that if they gave their votes to Labor that labor would resell the land, and thus even though there were thousands of people moving to Queensland every month when Labor got into governmnet they sold the land, so now we are almost out of water,, Sorry but if they make it legal to lie in parliament, and do the people down for votes then what will they do and say to get votes from us.. Rudd says that he is a Christian socialist just as Hitler did, but you cannot be a socialist and a Christian, as socialism does NOT believe in God, there is no place in socialism for God as a belief in God stops them being able to bring in what they want to bring in, like homosexuality abortion etc....

Posted by Gaye on 2007-08-12 05:41:21 GMT

Doug, I have never head of Mr Rudd backing the Jewish people, I have however heard that he backs extensively homosexuals so I have typed out a small portion from their own 1988 conference;;; The Australian Labor party policy statement from their 1988 Confrence is binding on every ALP politician. (Evidently) When elected to govern Queensland, the ALP Pledged to... . Legalise homosexuality.. . Legalise abortion on demand, making no distinctions betyween abortion and any other medical proceedure.... . Open the floodgates for Pornography by Abolish Queensland Film and Literature Board of Review. Remove any compulsion on teachers to conduct Bible studies... Introduce poker machines. Policy points are from their 1988 Policy Document and branch Members Handbook... Is this what we want for Australia.. They have also vowed to make us into an Asian country.. with the wages accordingly.. so if this is so it will put more pressure on the Jewish and Christian people.. was

Posted by Gaye on 2007-08-12 05:23:47 GMT

The Muslim community complaining about verbal insults of their woman wearing the Hijab...what a joke if only Jewish community's probelms were about Jews wearing a kippa, they wouldn't need to spend in excess of Ten million dollars a year protecting their community, property and visiting Israelis from islamic extremsists and fanatics. After the Victorian civil liberertires did a survey about Islamophobeia it was revealed the Muslim community's biggest problem was it's woman being verbally abused, don’t fall into the trap of comparing what the Jews face against extremists in the Muslim community and a few insults! It should be noted Victroian civil liberties have never done a similar study on Anti Semitism against Jews !

Posted by michael on 2007-08-12 02:54:42 GMT

A security "fund' is bad policy and bad for the Jews.First it is special treatment which always rebounds, second it is bureaucratic and expensive to administer.Tax deductions for security donations are preferable because it encourages all individual communities, including muslim communities( who also complain about potential violence against girls wearing hijab) to assess and bear the cost of their security

Posted on 2007-08-12 02:22:29 GMT

This is a coup. Neither Labor nor Liberal have done this since 9/11. Latham's hitlist was bad. Michael Danby, and dare I say Kevin Rudd, deserve a mazel tov or three about this, not cynicism. Rudd is a strong, firm and consistent supporter of Israe—and the Jewish people— notwithstanding his one unfortunate comment about abstention in the UN.

Posted by Doug on 2007-08-12 02:04:29 GMT

LETS NOT GET CARRIED AWAY. ---------------------------- Michael Danby has done a great Job for Jews and is a great Zionist, but when push comes to shove remember what Rudd said when Howard and his co supporters of Israel voted along side Israel’s only other supporter USA {and Micronesia} against the Arab/Muslim/Left backed Un resolutions’ If labor were in Power they would of abstained.. Perhaps it's time for labor supporters to look up the meaning of abstaining in the dictionary!If I had a friend and I needed him/her to vote for me abstaining wouldn't help me. The only real support Israel needs is at the UN level, its no point Rudd telling a room full of Jews in Australia what they want to hear, just as he will tell a room full of Muslims and Arabs what they want to hear. When Rudd gets into power and there will be more anti Israel UN resolutions it is hardly likely Labor will suddenly start voting along side USA and offend their much larger Muslim constituency, its just won’t happen!

Posted by michael on 2007-08-12 02:00:54 GMT

Notwithstanding the cynicism about Labor, this still represents a win for the schools in question, and the push has come from Michael Danby, whose seat is not in jeopardy. The leapfrogging of Lib vs Labor is simply a fact of politics. Bottom line: Micheal Danby has pushed for something and succeeded. Let's not take that away from him

Posted by Ralph Zwier on 2007-08-12 01:17:18 GMT

For those critical of the Labor Party's attitude to Israel, perhaps you should catch up with Susan Ley, the Liberal member for Farrer and current Chairman of the Federal Parliamentary Friends of Palestine and the former Chairman, Bruce Baird, the Liberal member for Cook. Mr Howard is a great supporter for Israel, but there are other members of the Parliamentary Liberal party do not share his views.

Posted on 2007-08-12 01:04:02 GMT

Ditto to the last several comments. The Left has never been a friend of Israel and Rudd is all smoke and mirrors. As Mike says, Rudd plays the political game very well. Don't sell your soul for a bowl of pottage.

Posted by Aurora on 2007-08-11 22:20:48 GMT

A I being cynical in assuming this is a vote buying exercise for Wentworth, NSW? As a Jewish issue, one can assume Labor will continue to abstain on UN Israel issues.

Posted by richard on 2007-08-11 21:52:11 GMT

Howard lite, once again? And how much money is being promised to Islamic organisations who claim to be victims of 'Islamphobia'? By leaving out synagogues this promise is a joke. Note that none of the Jewish orgs responsible for security have commented.

Posted by J on 2007-08-11 14:45:28 GMT

Well done Michael Danby. However the Muslim community should be paying for the cost of our security .After all it is their extremists and fanatics that threaten our security!

Posted by Michael on 2007-08-11 12:41:35 GMT

Like the preceding comments, the AJN appears to have written a pure Rudd PR piece. However, Rudd's plan was a REACTION to the Prime Minister's EARLIER announcement that Jewish communal security would become tax exempt, buried as a side-note much later in the article. Moreover, as the article and transcripts note, Rudd referred only to Jewish schools and apparently didn't include synagogues and other high-risk venues.

Posted by D on 2007-08-11 12:33:30 GMT

Michael Danby for Prime Minister!!

Posted by Wazza on 2007-08-11 12:15:55 GMT

It is good to see that Kevin Rudd would carry on a great Labor tradition of supporting the Jewish people. And Michael Danby deserves our support as the only Zionist in parliament.

Posted by Peter Cohen on 2007-08-11 12:13:46 GMT