The cross-cultural blog-off

As previously noted, leading Iranian blogger Hossein Derakhshan is currently in Israel in an attempt to break the taboo between the two peoples. This Haaretz interview covers a vast range of subjets, from Bush to anti-capitalism, the power of blogging to the repressive Iranian regime. Key quote: “I am trying to show Israelis that there…

Within the community

The International Herald Tribune explains a bold, new media experiment: “When riots erupted in the outskirts of many French cities last autumn, media around the world struggled to find a way to tell the story of those suburban areas, known as the banlieues. “A Swiss magazine took the opportunity to try a new approach to…

Munich redux

My following article appears in today’s edition of Crikey: “Steven Spielberg’s latest film, Munich, is a milestone in mainstream American culture. It tells the story of the 1972 Palestinian attack on Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics but focuses more on the aftermath – and Israel’s response – than the massacre itself. Many prominent Jewish…

History repeating?

Australia was directly complicit during Indonesia’s long and brutal occupation of East Timor. West Papua is little different: “The Indonesian military is using the same tactics of terror in West Papua that were employed during its bloody reign in East Timor, and Australia should step in to mediate a peace settlement, warns separatist Herman Wainggai.…

The choice is easy

Some, of course, simply believe Hamas should be ignored. It is precisely this kind of Western arrogance that (partly) led to the Hamas victory, will lead to more bloodshed and force Hamas to seek support in the Islamic world. While Mahmoud al-Zahar, leader of Hamas in the occupied territories, discusses his group’s future plans and…

The Secular Party

Australia has a new political party, The Secular Party of Australia. They believe in: – Separation of Church and State– Individual Freedoms and Choices– Progressive Economic Policies– A Fair and Equitable Society– Global Solutions to Global Problems Check out their platform. I particularly like their ideas for the Middle East: “The only possible long-term solution…

Barriers to peace

The following statement has been issued by “Jews Against Genocide“: “On January 19th we, a group of concerned Jews, spray painted the infamous Nazi slogan ‘Arbeit Macht Frie’ (‘Work Makes You Free’) on a sign placed by the Israeli occupation authorities at the Kalandia checkpoint that read ‘The Hope of Us All’. “The Sign ‘The…

The real legacy of Ariel Sharon

In the wake of the Hamas victory in the Palestinian territories and the sickness of Ariel Sharon, the Middle East is again in flux. For those in Sydney, I’ll be speaking at the following event on Thursday, February 2 at 7pm at the Humanist Society Bldg, 10 Shepherd St (transport: off Broadway, near corner City…

Double bind

Tony Blair is easily impressed: “Meles Zenawi was hailed last year by Tony Blair as a leading member of a new generation of African leaders, and was praised for his enlightened approach to the continent’s problems. Indeed, the Ethiopian Prime Minister impressed Mr Blair so much that he asked him to become a member of…