The Lemon Tree: A Palestinian Opinion

Recently, the AJDS hosted a screening of the Israeli Film 'The Lemon tree'. We asked Maher Mughrabi, a local Palestinian, to make some comments about the film. It is important that we hear voices such as Maher Mugrabi's, to counter the view that there are not people 'from the other side' willing to talk and debate us. ++++++ Good evening ladies and gentlemen It is appropriate that the film you have just seen begins with the old song that tells us that the lemon tree is very pretty and that the lemon flower is sweet, but the fruit of the poor lemon is impossible to eat. Watching it for the second time I am caught again between the power of the acting and the artistic accomplishment the film represents and the bitter and unpalatable truths it can only partially illuminate.

Body parts trade in Israel?

Body parts trade in Israel? Unfortunately, it's not so clear. [Warning--this may make your blood boil, so I suggest searching for other web information] Counterpunch (www.counterpunch.org) is a pretty eclectic website, edited by left-wing Alexander Cockburn, which features people such as Uri Avineri in its stable of contributors alongside writers whose views range from reasonable to crackpot (e.g. Craig Paul Roberts, a libertarian former Reaganite functionary). There is no way of providing feedback to the site (at least on its free public version). Every day, there are 4 or 5 lengthy essays, ranging from the crisis in the American financial system, to terror in Latin America, Afghanistan, to Palestine/Israel. The discussions it has had of the body parts trade are highly controversial, but deserve to be carefully considered, because past scandals are documented in the Israeli media. I haven't seen these reports raised elsewhere. At first, I was highly sceptical of the allegations in Sweden, because they seemed beyond belief, but now I am not so sure.

Israelis Discuss Support for President Obama and Two-State Solution

J Street [http://tiny.cc/vo73Z] sat down with a number of prominent Israelis, including former military and security officials, to discuss the importance of a two-state solution and J Street’s work supporting the President’s efforts to achieve such a resolution. These interviews demonstrate the deep support among prominent Israeli former military officials, political leaders, diplomats, writers, and artists for the strong American leadership that is critical to achieving a two-state solution and providing real peace and security to Israel as a Jewish democracy.

To Boycott or Not Boycott? That is the question

To Boycott or Not Boycott--that is the question? Sol Salbe's previous post got me thinking, so I have written this post which is my personal view, and no one elses! It's become a nostrum in some left circles (including some supporters on the Israeli left), that there is no alternative but a general or selective boycott of Israel, or Israeli products, or for divestment from Israel. There's also been some attempts to associate AJDS with boycotters (false). The most recent call for a boycott came from Neve Gordon, an Israeli academic (http://tiny.cc/E6XB0), which released a torrent of critical opinion on 'right' side of politics. For someone like myself, the boycott poses a dilemma, particularly because so many people of my age supported a boycott against South Africa during the worst years of apartheid--

A nuanced view must be heard!

A blog post from Sol Salbe It is not black and white. No matter which way you look at the Israeli/Palestinian conflict the same conclusion is reached: matters are not clear cut. It just is not true that one side is always right and the other side is invariably wrong. But of course that's the kind of view that one hears most often because those who see the world without shades of grey usually shout the loudest. Time after time one gets the hardline-one sidedness where the facts do not get a run, or at most are selectively picked to fit in with the view the writer had long ago predetermined. You only need to know whether the writer belongs to the Israel-first or Palestine-first crowd, and you can join the dots yourself blindfolded.

Is It Right To Speak Of A ‘Jewish Lobby’?

What motivates the fierce attacks by some Australian Jews against others? Larry Stillman looks at why some people want to shut down debate on Israel so badly. Many observers of the ongoing debate over Israel and its place in Middle Eastern issues have wondered at the ferocity and influence of those voices promoting what is often called a "pro-Israel" position. Published in New Matilda, 4 Aug 2009: http://tinyurl.com/o886rq (Note that some of the comments are patently offensive, erroneous and come from various racists and conspiracy theorists.)

Posing questions for the AFL and narratives of suffering

I'd thought that the Australian Football League's attempts to bring together Israeli and Palestinian young people was a good thing, though, I like many others had been puzzled by the lukewarm response from local Palestinians. As far as I know, the mainstream press has offered no opportunity to give them space for their reluctance to get involved.

Painting Obama as an enemy will hurt Israel badly

Middle East News Service Comments: The best indication I have seen so far that the US is slowly beginning to be perceived as the enemy in Israel has been in the writing of Australian Expatriate Isi Leibler who expounded on The case against Obama [http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1246443820172&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull]. Leibler is hard-liner but he cannot but he is not in the same league as Obama other critics like Anne Bayefsky. The Obama White House is certainly scaring the Israeli right. Dan Fleshler highlighted a good reason when he wrote:

Denial – an imaginative story

Denial an imaginative story The chairman of the Public Speakers’ Union rose to his feet and addressed the meeting: “Ladies and Gentlemen. Our next speaker really needs no introduction but I will attempt one anyway…..” The audience grew restive, with booing and catcalls erupting from several sections of the packed hall. “Ladies and Gentlemen,” remonstrated the startled chairman, “Professor David Irwin is an invited speaker and he deserves a polite hearing. Those who wish to take issue with his views may do so after his speech, at question time.”