The death of a communal mind

It’s always interesting to be in a country with at least 11 officially recognized African tribal communities, and a number of other ethno-cultural tribes including the Jewish community.

AJDS Statement of support for Overland editorial response to ‘some critics’.

Overland magazine has been attacked by an academic ‘push’ for publishing non-mainstream opinions on the Israel-Palestine issue. Here is the AJDS response.
The Executive of the Australian Jewish Democratic Society is in broad agreement with the views expressed by Jeff Sparrow and the rest of the Overland editorial staff in the final two paragraphs of their 3 May statement titled “Overland and Bias: a response to some critics.” They wrote:

This wall is a philosophy….“a political code for shutting up shop.”

David Hare is a British playwright and performer. His monologue, The Wall, was broadast on the ABC in Australia, but unfortunately, it is not available for streaming. Since he first visited Israel and the Palestinian territories to write Via Dolorosa, which the Royal Court presented over 200 times in the West End and on Broadway, David Hare has regularly been back to the region. Now he offers a searching 40-minute study of the Israel/Palestine separation barrier which will one day stretch 486 miles and be over four times as long as the Berlin Wall – and in places, twice as high (review).
A version of the monologue is available on the NYRB website. It is quite extraordinary, and try to read it aloud.

Killing Israel's Democratic Future

It’s remarkable that there has been little in the general press about the killing of another Palestinian protester, Ahmed Salem Deeb, by a sniper in the Gaza strip 3 days ago. It’s another case of a protester suffering from ‘overkill’ and the creation of a popular martyr.

Rudd's Backflip

Rudd’s backflip on the CPRS and emission trading is of a piece with his underwhelming backpedalling on child care centres, asylum seeker refugee status processing, the development of Australian Human Rights legislation, solar energy rebates and insulation roll-outs.

Reverse the asylum seekers decision!

The following statement was issued by the AJDS’s
official spokesperson Les Rosenblatt.
The 9 April Australian government decision to stop processing the asylum/refugee entitlements of Afghanis and Sri Lankans – predominantly from the persecuted minorities of Hazaras and Tamils – combined with the threat to force their return to their countries of origin – based on completely untenable claims of “durable security” in these countries – is intolerably inhumane.
The Australian Jewish Democratic Society agrees with the Geneva-based Internal Displacement Monitoring

Yasher koah, Judge Goldstone

[Yasher koah is a traditional Hebrew expression meaning “May your strength be firm”]
Unlike the liberal Haaretz, the English-only Jerusalem Post is way to the right of Centre. These days it has only two progressive columnists left, so often, like others I miss Larry Derfner. And he is good. This one of those rare articles that comes close to a must read. Not only does he expounds on aspects of Richard Goldstone’s decision to the commission named after him that I haven’t seen before it tackles other issues as well.

Elie Wiesel's dangerous fantasies about Jerusalem

The past week or so has seen strong responses to Nobel Prize winner Elie Wiesel’s full page ads in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and elsewhere, in which he made a number of claims about Jerusalem being ‘above politics’, or that Jerusalem is not mentioned in the Koran.