Is Tzipi Livni saying anything new?

Tzipi Livni of the Kadimah party has published a statement concerning a proposed new and open relationship between Israel and the Diaspora. She is particularly concerned about the religious secular split and the growth of extremism and how it alienates Jews abroad. She is clearly positioning herself for the future.
But other than that, is she really saying anything new which challenges the Zionist status quo?

Academic Islamaphobia in defence of Israel

It has only happened to a very small degree in Australia, but as part of an apparently coordinated strategy to undermine criticism of Israeli politics, academic ‘conferences’ are being held at places like Yale to prove the generic evil of Islam. This is on top of the frenzy over the Mosque at Ground Zero. The list of supporters and participants of such events is a who’s who of the Jewish and non-Jewish neo-con establishment as well as representatives of the Jewish right in Israel.

Taking a Moral Stand: Support for Israeli artists who say NO to normalizing settlements

The moral and symbolic stand against being associated with the occupation is gaining traction.
Jewish Voices for Peace in the US has organized a letter from people involved in the creative arts and reports the event as follows:
“When some 60 leading Israeli actors and playwrights signed a letter stating they would refuse to play in the new theatre in Ariel, one of Israel’s largest settlements, the attacks from Prime Minister Netanyahu, Israel’s Minister of Culture and Sport and many others were swift and intense. Over 150 leading Israeli academics and writers-including Amos Oz and David Grossman- came to their defense. It was the first time such mainstream figures had drawn a line around normalizing settlements which are illegal according to international law, and which constitute one of the main impediments to a lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians.
Inspired by their courage, and responding to a call for international support, Jewish Voice for Peace has developed a statement that has been signed by over 150 theater and film professionals representing some of the most respected and renowned artists in theater, film and television – including Four Pulitzer Prize winners, several recipients of Guggenheim Fellowships, a MacArthur Fellowship, a National Medal of Honor,and scores of recipients of the highest U.S. acting honors, including Tony Awards, Emmy Awards, Grammy Awards, Obie Awards, Drama Desk Awards, and the Oscar.

'Being Arab'

Arena’s newly renovated ‘reception’ area in Kerr St. Fitzroy was packed with people last night attending the launch of their newly published book ‘Being Arab’. Professor Ghassan Hage launched the book with an interesting comment on the need to open up spaces in identity politics which allow for movement between particularistic attachments (place, tradition, culture, language, religion, etc.) and adherence to universalist principles such as human rights.

Call It What It Is: Murder

Middle East News Service comments:
This News Service (as well as the Australian Jewish Democratic Society that has been sponsoring it) has always condemned those who use violence to achieve their aims in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We are appalled at every death but particularly those of people who did not take part in the hostilities. The Israeli Human rights organisation B’Tselem has documented the death of 100 Palestinians between the end of the war in Gaza (Operation Cast Lead) and the end of July. These included 16 Palestinian minors and 32 people who did not take part in the hostilities. This news service didn’t issue statements on the occasion of any of those deaths and we do not see a reason to issue one now. All those who are responsible for the death, on both sides, stand condemned not only by us, but by all decent people around the world. We do not believe that those who employ terrorism should be rewarded by either us or anyone else changing their policies and actions.
Please read the linked strong comment from Mitchell Plitnick and his following addendum that really rounds it up.
Sol Salbe