Middle East News Service Comments: The best indication I have seen so far that the US is slowly beginning to be perceived as the enemy in Israel has been in the writing of Australian Expatriate Isi Leibler who expounded on The case against Obama [http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1246443820172&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull]. Leibler is hard-liner but he cannot but he is not in the same league as Obama other critics like Anne Bayefsky. The Obama White House is certainly scaring the Israeli right. Dan Fleshler highlighted a good reason when he wrote:
Denial an imaginative story
The chairman of the Public Speakers’ Union rose to his feet and addressed the meeting:
“Ladies and Gentlemen. Our next speaker really needs no introduction but I will attempt one anyway…..” The audience grew restive, with booing and catcalls erupting from several sections of the packed hall. “Ladies and Gentlemen,” remonstrated the startled chairman, “Professor David Irwin is an invited speaker and he deserves a polite hearing. Those who wish to take issue with his views may do so after his speech, at question time.”
The Israeli group Breaking the Silence has just released a collection of testimonies by Israeli soldiers that took part in the Gaza attack last December and January.
Sol Salby blogs the following–
In the United States we have had a situation over a long time that opinion polls and elections results reflected a very liberal Jewish opinion while community leadership was dominated by the conservatives especially on Israel/Palestine. The emergence of J-Street and the change of personnel in the White House is changing that situation slowly and as editor of the Forward conclude: “As to the new seating arrangements, our best advice is to get used to it.”
Bitter Lemons http://www.bitterlemons.org/ is an example of a website that can offer reasoned debate over controversial issues.
Given the controversy over Hamas (a terrorist organisation or a legitimate political force?), the opinions expressed in a recent issue (July 6, 2009 Edition 26) are well worth considering. Follow the link above, and think!
* The stick-and-stick approach has failed
by Ghassan Khatib
No political process can be successful without Hamas
* Test Hamas intentions separately
by Yossi Alpher
How many Australian Jews would support a nuclear-free Middle East?
Meaning what? Well, perhaps this, for starters. A regional agreement to be open to frequent and regular inspection, monitoring and public disclosure of research and development, investments, organizational capacity-building, importation and trade, planning and implementation of nuclear explosive/contamination weaponry ( including depleted uranium) by a peak international organization such as the IAEA (international atomic energy agency).
Uniquely, as far we we know, this opinion piece by two people well known in the Jewish and Arabic speaking communities in Australia has now been published on the same day(July 2, 2009), by newspapers which serve each community, the Australian Jewish News, and An-nahar. We hope that this article reflects a new era of dialogue and realism not just in Australia, that also has some influence in the Middle East.
Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech throws a couple of specks of kosher synthetic food freshener on what was always going to be a stale, dry, cold and limp dish he was serving up to his unexpected visitor, Barack Obama. No Palestinians were at the table although they were being offered some drudge-work in the kitchen once they’d passed the indefinite probationary labour test for the pre-breakfast 3AM shift. This was dressed up as economic reconciliation.
****This is an entirely personal viewpoint****
The hysteria surrounding Gilad Shalit in Israel –and passed it on through the Jewish News in Australia–deserves comment. I’ve been thinking about it for some time, and it was only when I read Haaretz (see below), that I thought it was time to comment.
Here`s the cold truth.
Shalit is a prisoner of war.
THE US President’s recent speech in Cairo heralded a new beginning in relations between the US and the Muslim world.The Australian Jewish Democratic Society (AJDS) believes it is in the interests of all countries in the region to respond positively to the opportunity presented by this constructive re-engagement with
the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.