The following newsletter was just sent to the Independent Australian Jewish Voices email list:
There are a number of IAJV-sponsored and related events coming up that we would like you to know about. The first event begins in Sydney this weekend; it features Sahar Vardi and Micha Kurz, two Israeli activists and former IDF soldiers.
Sahar Vardi is a 21 year old peace activist and refusenik from Jerusalem who was imprisoned in 2008 for refusing her mandatory military service. She was released in January 2009 and has been working since with the Israeli Committee against House Demolitions, the Sheikh Jarrah Solidarity movement and speaking at international forums promoting equal rights for Palestinians.
Micha Kurz is a co-founder of Breaking the Silence and Grassroots Jerusalem, Micha has been an outspoken critic of Israeli policies in the West Bank and East Jerusalem since he finished his military service. Currently co-director of Grassroots Jerusalem, Micha maps social inequalities, justice issues and environmental problems in and around the Jerusalem area.
The second event is the visit to Australia of Professor Ilan Pappe. As well as speaking at the Opera House’s Festival of Dangerous Ideas, he will speak in Sydney’s Leichhardt on Sunday September 16th and at UNSW on the 17th of September. The details for the latter talks will be finalised very soon.
Ilan Pappe is an Israeli historian and socialist activist. He is currently a professor with the College of Social Sciences and International Studies at the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom and director of the university’s European Centre for Palestine Studies. He was formerly a senior lecturer in political science at the University of Haifa and chair of the Emil Touma Institute for Palestinian and Israeli Studies in Haifa. He was formerly a leading member of Hadash, and a candidate on the party list in the 1996 and 1999 Knesset elections.
Apart from helping to organise and sponsor events such as the above, IAJV has continued its involvement with APAN through Peter Slezak’s position on the Executive Committee, including a delegation lobbying Federal MPs including Foreign Minister Bob Carr and several public lectures in Canberra, Melbourne, Adelaide and Wollongong. Bob Carr blogged about meeting APAN here.
Recently, Peter Slezak and Avigail Abarbanel were guests on Radio National’s Late Night Live speaking about Jewish peace activists. Peter also has a forthcoming Radio National feature on his trip to Palestine titled ‘Breaking the Silence’.
Antony Loewenstein is the co-editor of a new book, After Zionism, on the one-state solution. It features new writings from some of the key thinkers on the Israel/Palestine conflict, including John Mearsheimer, Sara Roy, Joseph Dana, Ghada Karmi and many others.
Lastly, two recent articles may be of interest to you. One, from the Guardian, discusses the fact that Israel is losing mainstream international political support, due to the expansion of the settlements and the continued restrictions on Gaza. The second, by Jonathan Cook, argues that “Israel has barely put a foot right with the international community since its attack on Gaza more than three years ago provoked global revulsion.”
And we would be grateful for support for our ongoing efforts. Specifically this time we are asking for help with the above two events, especially the visit to Sydney by Ilan Pappe, which IAJV is sponsoring. Donations can be made in the following ways. You may use the “Donate” button on our website www.iajv.org
Or use the following bank details for making an electronic transfer:
Unicom Credit Union
Account Number: 26241843
Cheques can be written to “IAJV” and posted to:
PO Box 6128
UNSW Sydney, NSW 1466
Thank you in advance,
Independent Australian Jewish Voices