J Street pushing a policy that leads to disappointment

My following article appears in today’s Crikey: Antony Loewenstein writes from Washington DC: During this week’s first J Street conference in Washington DC… ”‰—”‰a US-based, “pro-Israel and pro-peace” lobby group that aims to widen the debate over the Middle East… … ”‰—”‰an older woman stood up in a session titled “What does it mean to be pro-Israel?” and…

A search engine with a mind on settlements

Google fans, hold your applause, as it looks like one of its founders backs the colonial project in Palestine: Jewish Billionaire, Sergey Brin, one of the founders of Google, donated $1 million to the so-called Hebrew national Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) which heavily encourages Jews around the world to immigrate to Israel and the United…

Aceh moves to the sharia beat

Having just visited Aceh in Indonesia, this New York Times feature about the place is timely: Just before noon prayers one recent Friday — a mandatory session for men — the Shariah police’s all-female brigade hopped onto a Toyota pickup to begin patrols. Dressed in olive uniforms, the officers hewed to the city center, away…

Dancing the post J Street blues

The dust is settling after the J Street conference. Many thoughts continue to resonate and the challenges ahead. A good summary of proceedings is from blogger Richard Silverstein, who I was finally able to meet in Washington DC. Where are the spaces for Jewish dissent? How willing is the Jewish mainstream to hear critical voices…

All we are saying is give Facebook a chance

I’m sceptical, but when the political elites aren’t really interested in bringing peace, alternatives must be found: For many of its 300 million enthusiasts, Facebook is a convenient way to keep in touch with friends, track down old sweethearts and share drunken photographs with the world. But the global power of the social networking site…

The crimes in Gaza will be remembered

If Israel and the US believe that killing Palestinians is an acceptable part of doing business, they’re dead wrong: Human rights lawyers and pro-Palestinian activists in a number of European countries hold lists with names of Israel Defense Forces soldiers allegedly linked to war crimes committed during Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip. Existing…

The price paid by humanity last century

Historian Daniel Jonah Goldhagen writes in his new book Worse than War: Genocide, Eliminationism, and the Ongoing Assault on Humanity: The number of people who have been mass murdered [in the 20th century] is, conservatively estimated, 83 million. When purposeful famine is included, the number becomes 127 million, and if the higher estimates are correct…