Art, war and another Afghanistan

Last week I spoke on a panel at Melbourne’s Wheeler Centre on “Art, War and Another Afghanistan” alongside photographer Barat Ali Batoor, human rights lawyer and activist Diana Sayed, Afghan football player and recently arrived from Kabul, Fatima Yousufi (who was featured in a recent New York Times story), and Hazara musician Taqi Khan. Afghanistan…

How much do we owe Afghan refugees?

My new piece for Declassified Australia on the disparity between Afghan and Ukrainian refugees and how Australia (and the US) view the neediest people on the planet: Around 6,000 humanitarian visas have been granted to Afghan refugees in the 12 months since the end of the US occupation in August 2021. This is from a total of…

Twenty Years plus since Taliban takeover of Afghanistan

The Twenty Years project is a collaboration between Afghan artists, journalists and a number of Australians, including me, about the legacy of the US-led war in Afghanistan. There was recently a major exhibition at Blacktown Arts gallery in Sydney, Australia featuring Afghan artists Khadim Ali, Elyas Alavi, Orna Kazimi, Najiba Noori, Melbourne-based artist Tia Kass…

Challenging the power of Murdoch

My debut article for US outlet The Intercept: RUPERT MURDOCH, who oversees a global media empire that includes Fox News, doesn’t like losing, but he just tasted defeat in Australia’s election. Despite years in which Murdoch’s media properties vociferously backed conservative Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Labor leader Anthony Albanese won the May 21 contest. Australia…

Will the Australian election give voice to Palestinians?

My latest investigation for Declassified Australia (including my photos from Gaza in 2017): It’s one of the longest trials of a Palestinian in Israeli history with no end in sight. Israel charged a Gaza-based, World Vision Australia employee, Mohammed El Halabi, in 2016 with illegally diverting millions of dollars of aid money to Hamas. Six years on, Halabi remains in detention…

Supporting Palestinian rights can be risky

Back in 2007, I co-founded Independent Australian Jewish Voices (IAJV) with academic Peter Slezak, a space to support more critical voices on Israel/Palestine. One of our early signatories was Moss Cass, a senior minister in Gough Whitlam’s government in the 1970s and one of the world’s finest environment ministers. He recently died at 95 and…

ABC Radio National Big Ideas on Afghanistan and the Taliban

The ongoing humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan receives far too little international media attention. Last night ABC Radio National Big Ideas program featured a discussion about the issues: The crisis in Afghanistan Six months after the withdrawal of Australian troops from Afghanistan, it is clear the embattled country is in the midst of a major humanitarian…