Denial not necessary

Gideon Levy, Haaretz, February 26: Words do not kill. So there is no statement for which it is permissible to send a person to prison. Freedom of speech is absolute, even when that which is spoken is as despicable and ridiculous as Holocaust denial. Those who start to doubt that principle will not know where…

News bytes

– John Howard claims that refugees have only themselves to blame during the 2001 children overboard scandal. – Workers at the Sydney Opera House are already affected by the Howard government’s draconian industrial relation laws. Fourth Estate Radio reports exclusively on the fight for worker’s rights. -…  A Kenyan blogger living in the UK demands…

Chomsky in Iraq

A Tiny Revolution reveals a surprising fact about Iraq’s leadership: “New Republic Senior Editor Lawrence Kaplan recently spent time in Iraq. Among the things he witnessed was this“: On the day the preliminary results of December’s elections were announced, [Iraq’s Prime Minister Ibrahim] Jafari invites the election commissioners for dinner. The liberal activist Mustafa Al…

Behind the corporate gloss

Two recent court cases in vastly different corners of the globe prove the need to monitor Western multinationals in developing countries. Nigeria: A Nigerian court on Friday ordered Royal Dutch Shell PLC to pay southern communities $1.5 billion (1.2 billion euros) in compensation for environmental pollution and degradation in the oil-rich Niger Delta. Argentina: Ford…

Thank the Lord

It’s encouraging to know that the BBC was prepared for armageddon: In the event of all-out nuclear war, the BBC was to distract the nation by broadcasting a mix of music and light entertainment shows, secret papers released by the Home Office reveal. Hundreds of security-vetted BBC staff and a select band of unnamed radio…

Taking them at their word

Hamas’s new prime minister, Ismail Haniyeh, Washington Post, February 26: “We do not have any feelings of animosity toward Jews. We do not wish to throw them into the sea. All we seek is to be given our land back, not to harm anybody.” Read the whole interview. It’s a fascinating insight into current Hamas…

Iraqi voices

The situation in Iraq is worsening by the day as more evidence emerges of death squads roaming the country. US influence is thankfully waning and average Iraqis are suffering. Blogger Truth About Iraq explains: This has to be the most corrupted incompetent government ever assembled by US foreign policy. It doesn’t function on so many…

The dissolution of Palestine

Jennifer Loewenstein, Counterpunch, February 24: For those who haven’t noticed, Israel opposes a two-state solution. It has been doing everything in its power to prevent a Palestinian state from emerging and will continue to do so as long as it can count on the complicity of its powerful friends and on abundant popular indifference. Under…

Covering the head

The latest fashion accessory for the 2006 World Cup in Germany is already causing waves in Israel. Who says the Dutch don’t have questionable taste? Meanwhile, authorities in Tajikistan are demolishing the country’s only synagogue.