IAJV June newsletter

The following email was just sent to the Independent Australian Jewish Voices email list:

Dear friends,

The recent Gaza flotilla debacle has brought international attention to the blockade on Gaza by Israel. Media coverage has been intense and we have been pleased to see the growing dissent worldwide among Jews. The wider community is no longer ignoring the usual Jewish silence or apologetics as even the Sydney Morning Herald editorialised in early June that “it is time for Jews of the diaspora to question Israel’s actions”.

A few days later, IAJV co-founder Peter Slezak published a piece in the Sydney Morning Herald that stressed these issues facing Jews in particular, and called for a more critical, public Jewish position on Israeli behaviour and the 43 year-old occupation:.

In other news, IAJV co-sponsored film screenings in Sydney and Melbourne of the documentary ‘American Radical’ on Norman Finkelstein. These were highly successful events at which Antony Loewenstein and Peter Slezak spoke with other panellists to large audiences in both cities. In particular, there was a significant sense of the growing importance of communication and collaboration between Jews, Palestinians and the wider community.

Towards this end, we would like to draw your attention to the exemplary activities of Australian media producer Daz Chandler in the West Bank, bringing the human face of Palestinians and their plight to a wider audience. We stongly recommend support for her current fund-raising activities seeking to bring broadcast equipment to young people in the West Bank. See her work here:

We believe it is an important initiative and we hope that you may contribute generously to her current fund-raising campaign before it closes shortly. A brief indication of the work from the website:

Although this is a part of the world that features quite heavily in the Western media, the coverage rarely features the everyday individual, living that life. Radio Lajee brings a human face to the refugee community, creating a greater cross-cultural connection built on communication, shared interests and understanding. The project provides this community with a new skill-set, broadcast quality equipment and most importantly, the opportunity to tell their stories their way to a Western audience.

Finally, the following are recent writings on the Middle East:

The Los Angeles Times report on life in Gaza.

The US-magazine Nation reports on the growing movement in the US towards boycotts, sanctions and divestment from Israel.

Gideon Levy in Haaretz on Israel’s growing international isolation after the Gaza flotilla debacle.

Best wishes,
Antony Loewenstein
Peter Slezak
Eran Asoulin
Jim Levy