AJDS reaction to Netanyahu’s speech

A lead letter published in the The Australian, 16 June 2009 THE US President’s recent speech in Cairo heralded a new beginning in relations between the US and the Muslim world, and signalled a re-engagement with finding a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It is, therefore, disappointing that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s response has merely restated Israel’s position with a new precondition that the Palestinians must recognise Israel as a Jewish state.

Inadequate Netanyahu

Akiva Eldar and Yossid Sarid have pulled no punches into the inadquacey of Netanyahu's response to Obama http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1092898.html A friendly tip from Abu Mazen By Akiva Eldar Dear Mr Netanyahu, I admit that I did not hold my breath in anticipation of your speech. I heard that your first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, said it is not important what the gentiles say - what is important is what the Jews do.

Sign the statement to support Obama’s initiative for peace

The AJDS has written a statement in support of the Obama initiative in the Middle East. If you support this statement, please follow the link at the end of the statement to provide your public endorsement through an online petition which demonstrates the extent of support for a new approach in the Middle East. Background (Preamble): The Australian Jewish Democratic Society together with other Jewish Australians who care greatly for both the future of Israel and the legitimate national aspirations of Palestinians strongly endorse the views recently expressed by the US President in Cairo. His words represent a sea change in approach to a conflict that has festered for so long that many of us have despaired of the possibility of finding a path to a resolution. His words articulate both the main elements of the conflict as understood by the Australian Jewish Democratic Society and a way forward to hope:

Comparing Kapos & Jewish Activists is not Kosher

When the horrors of the Holocaust and the actions of the nazis are associated with more modern events, many of us find the comparisons to be demeaning and insensitive. When those tags are applied to Israel we find them totally offensive. Yet Morry Sztainbok (AJN letters 5/6/2009) finds no problem using those sorts of comparisons when it comes to people he clearly despises. To quote him: "..then it was Kapos, today Jewish 'peace' activists; then it was Mein Kampf, today the charters of Hamas and Fatah." So Sztainbok thinks that it is within the acceptable limits of public debate to associate kapos with Jews he disagrees with, and compare Palestinians with the nazis. His words make that clear. I think that sort of vilification is offensive to Jews and Palestinians. My only comfort is that my letter will be one of many who condemn Sztainbok's words. After all, the Jewish community wouldn't display a double standard, would it? Harold Zwier

Seven Jewish Children-some opinion from AJDS people

The recent kerfuffle over the short play Seven Jewish Children predictably brought out the worst in the rightist organisations which rule the roost in the Jewish community.  They specialise in several methods of political assasination of views it does not like 1) attack the messenger and get personal to divert attention from the message or  action being taken 2) take no prisoners (they grew up admiring Daleks).  

Ten Comments on Obama in Cairo – Still Accumulating, Not Expending Capital

Ten Comments on Obama in Cairo – Still Accumulating, Not Expending Capital-- Daniel Levy

 This piece was also published at TPM Café


The Obama team´s remarkable wordsmithery and the president´s unparalleled capacity for delivery were exquisitely on display again today in Cairo. But this speech should perhaps be remembered as much for what was not said. Gone was the arrogance and lecturing: there was no lavishing of praise on Egypt´s undemocratic leader – the word ‘Mubarak´ was not even mentioned once. Out too was the purple finger version of democratization and even the traditional American condescension toward the Palestinian narrative. But perhaps most remarkably of all, the words ‘terror´ or ‘terrorism´ did not pass the president´s lips. Here was a leader and a team around him smart enough to acknowledge that certain words have become too tainted, too laden with baggage, their use has become counter-productive, today the Global War on Terror framing was truly laid to rest.