Semantics matter

Haaretz reports: The question of [Rabin assassinator] Yigal Amir’s right to conjugal visits and to father a child is fundamentally one of semantics. Having been classified as a “murderer,” he is entitled to all the natural rights granted to criminal killers. Had his crime been defined from the outset as “a terror attack” (as it…

The gift that keeps on giving

As a Jew writing about the Israel/Palestine conflict, it is clear that many fellow Jews are fundamentally opposed to robust debate on the Middle East. They simply look away, refusing to acknowledge the depths of depravity perpetuated by the Israelis in the occupied territories. A profound moral blind-spot suddenly appears, and Jews become insulated from…

Can Labor win in 2007?

My following article appears in today’s Crikey newsletter: The fate of Labor at the 2007 election is dependent on the performance of John Howard. The Australian’s Steve Lewis recently argued… that the “man of steel” is showing signs of political ineptitude and Kim Beazley is starting to discover his inner mongrel. The NSW Fabian Society’s discussion…

Extremism meet bigotry

Jonathan Cook, Counterpunch, October 25: So why are Israel’s politicians, of the left and right, so comfortable sitting with Lieberman, the leader of Israel’s only unquestionably fascist party? Because, in truth, Lieberman is not the maverick politician of popular imagination, even if he is every bit the racist – a Jewish Jorg Haider or Jean…

Figures don’t lie

My latest New Matilda column discusses the catastrophe in Iraq: As the Iraq war drags on, and Britain and Australia wait for more unconvincing talking points from the Bush Administration, one US general has no doubt who will solve the crisis. Marine General Peter Pace, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, last week defended…

The centre of the world?

While a top US general muses about “collateral damage” in his country’s mission to liberate/dominate the world, the American public treats the political system with (justified) contempt: Half of all Americans believe most members of Congress are corrupt – a figure that has risen 12 points since the start of the year – and more…

The countdown begins

When an extreme Zionist expresses concern that “left-wing bodies” in the US, George Soros and weak Jewish leadership “represents a real and serious threat to Israel”, we should be pleased. As I’ve long argued, current-day Israel is immoral and unsustainable. Open-ended American support will not last forever, and nor will blind Jewish support. When these…