Professor dropped by Jewish lobby group

A prominent Jewish lobby group has withdrawn support for an Israeli academic who warned that Muslim populations could place countries including Australia at risk of violence. The Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council yesterday announced it had cancelled plans to co-host public appearances by Professor Raphael Israeli, including events in Melbourne next month. “AIJAC is very concerned by Professor Israeli’s implication that the Muslim community as a whole is a threat or a danger,” the council’s executive director, Colin Rubenstein, said. “His comments are both unacceptable and unhelpful and AIJAC cannot be associated with them.”

The Age, 17 February 2007

See also AIJAC press release, 16 February 2007

The original interview with Professor Israeli which caused the controversy (headed “Limit Muslim intake urges visiting scholar”) appears to have been removed from the Australian Jewish News website. However, it has been incorporated into a follow-up article, which reports:

“Citing France, where Muslims comprise about nine per cent of the population, as an example, Professor Israeli warned growing Muslim communities could change the political, economic, and cultural fabric of a country. ‘You have to adopt some kind of preventative policy. In order not to get there, limit the immigration and therefore you keep them a marginal minority, which will be a nuisance, but cannot pose a threat to the demographic and security aspects of a country’.”

See also Sydney Morning Herald, 16 February 2007