Ditching a black and white reading

“So many fundamentalists in my own community, the Jewish community, have grown very angry at me for allowing the Palestinians simply to have dialogue and for allowing Tony Kushner to be the author of that dialogue.” Steven Spielberg, talking about the reception to his film, “Munich”

News bytes

– Steven Spielberg, defending his film “Munich” in Der Spiegel, says he “would be prepared to die for the USA and for Israel.” – Cindy Sheehan is thinking of entering politics on an anti-war platform. – Simon Jenkins writes in the London Times how Britain – and by extension, Australia – is “being set up…

Munich

Steven Spielberg’s latest film is a milestone in American mainstream culture. The story of the 1972 Palestinian attack on Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics, the movie is less concerned about the massacre and focuses instead on the aftermath. Many prominent Jewish groups and Zionists have condemned the work, clearly a sign that Spielberg has…

On the hustings

Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – and Likud’s failed leader – has compared the rise of Hamas to the success of the Nazis in 1930s Germany: “A few days ago, a new foe arose. When Hitler rose to power, it was said that ruling would moderate him, and it was also said in regards…

About race

Tim Wise, Znet, January 27: “If you’re looking to understand why discussions between blacks and whites about racism are often so difficult in this country, you need only know this: when the subject is race and racism, whites and blacks are often not talking about the same thing. To white folks, racism is seen mostly…

The truth lies behind

While some in the Australian mainstream media seem to naively believe that the Hamas win in the Palestinian elections was a great surprise – read Amira Hass to discover why so many Palestinians voted for the militants – veteran Israeli commentator Aluf Benn articulates an official, yet revealing, view: “The Israelis warned the Americans that…

Convincing the non-believers

The following article appears in this week’s Australian Jewish News (January 27): NSW Education Department dumps Mid-East simulationMark Franklin “The NSW Department of Education and Training has dumped a controversial program, developed by Macquarie University, in which students simulate the main players in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. “In the computer simulation, university students, as well as…

The problem with democracy

Robert Fisk, The Independent, January 28: “Oh no, not more democracy again! Didn’t we award this to those Algerians in 1990? And didn’t they reward us with that nice gift of an Islamist government – and then they so benevolently cancelled the second round of elections? Thank goodness for that! “True, the Afghans elected a…

Teaching the kids

The latest educational development in Tajikistan is causing waves: “Tajikistan’s secondary school system will be placing an increased emphasis on Islam, as per a new government initiative. “The move pleases Islamic parties in the country, which unlike those in other countries in Central Asia, are allowed to participate in the government.” Some secularists are unhappy…