Israel vs Saudi Arabia

There's been some discussion on the internet on the 'hypocrisy' of Israel for sending relief teams to Haiti when it leads aggression against Palestinians. See, for example, http://mondoweiss.net/2010/01/port-au-hasbara.html, or another site on the Zionisation of Disaster Relief. As if no other country sees advantages in news and photo opportunities for humanitarian relief. But at least some people have the sense to give Israel credit, where credit is due.

Statement on the continuing Seige of Gaza by the AJDS

The civilian population of Gaza continues to suffer a a year after Operation Cast Lead. The Israeli government, while using propaganda to deny the facts, continues to besiege the Palestinian population though collective punishment. The current protests against the siege by various international activists, Palestinians, and Israelis, though ignored by Israel, indicate that the problem will not just go away.

Gaza protests- a report from Cairo

Vivienne Porzolt is participating in the international protests against the Gaza blockaded. Below is an account of her experiences from Gaza Sent: (from Cairo) on Monday, December 28, 2009 6:21 PM

[M E News Serv] Truth cast in lead

Middle East News Service Comments: There are many commemorations of the Gaza War (Operation Cast Lead) taking place at the moment in Gaza and its neighbours. The common theme to all is a call to end the siege on that small piece on land. Combatants for Peace (A group of Israeli Palestinians former fighters who have given up the use of arms) held such an commemorative evening on Saturday night 26 December.

Continuing effects of Operation Cast Lead and the Gaza Seige

Despite the fact that a year has passed since the start of the Gaza military operation, the damage caused by three weeks of war and the near total closure preceding it has yet to be repaired. The reason: Israel's ongoing policy blocking goods from entering the Gaza Strip, including a near total ban on reconstruction materials. The Gisha site provides considerable detail on the facts of the situation, with links to 'official' spin.

More ammo for anti-Israelism

The infection of nationalism has long-affected the naming of places in Israel, with many Arab place names being changed to Hebraized versions after 1948. Of course, the spray-painting of signs in Arabic is a not unfamiliar site in Jerusalem.

AJDS December 2009 Newsletter is available.

As usual, the Newsletter is jam-packed with commenty and opinion, including: -A critical view of the latest Australian anti-Semitism report from the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, by Sol Salbe -Opinions on the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions Campaign - Ten Reasons to send more (US) troops to Afghanistan, Arthur Washkow Dafna Golan on Israeli Denialism and the Goldstone Report.

The Qalandiya crossing–one Palestinian’s account.

I have been through there a couple of times, and that's enough. It's disgusting and degrading, even having an Australian passport doesn't stop the dirty looks and ritualized humiliation.But let a Palestinian speak for her frequent experience. Qalandiya's Horrors By Joharah Baker for MIFTAH December 23, 2009 Anyone who knows me knows how much I hate to cross Qalandiya checkpoint.

Denis Altman: Coming Out Jewish

Denis Altman delivered a powerful address at the AJDS dinner on December 13 2009, which addressed issues of not just gay and Jewish identify, but the politics of Diaspora communities, and a new role for Australia in working with its Muslim neighbours to break down anti-Semitism. Denis is a thought leader in both Australia and the US, and his speech covered many issues of concern to progressive Jews. His remarks suggest a new role for Australians in working with neighbouring Muslim countries. Due to a bug, the Youtube video won't screen on this page, but use the links below . Please note, there are 5 videos in sequence, with a slight overlap between each (total about 45 minutes). Video 1 Video 2 Video 3 Video 4 Video 5

Swiss mosques–A rocky path

This letter, slightly edited appeared in the Melbourne Age. THE success of the referendum in Switzerland to ban minarets on new mosques (The Age, 1/12) fills us with disquiet. This concern arises whenever laws are enacted that target a minority community, whether limiting the display of religious symbols in France, quarantining welfare payments to Aborigines in the Northern Territory or restrictions on Muslim places of worship.