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gaza Archives - David Werdiger

You might be a racist

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The world owes comedian Jeff Foxworthy a debt of gratitude for his funny and clever stand-up routine “You might be a redneck”. While some rednecks might take pride in the label, other labels, particularly “ist”s, are rapid argument enders. No-one wants to be labelled a racist. Indeed a recent blog post gives a guide to supporters of Israel who do not want to be labelled a racist. This looks like a follow-up to the earlier…

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if only Israel ended “the occupation” …

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The Jewish world is in shock after the brutal murder of five members of the Fogel family, from the town of Itamar in northern Samaria. On Friday night (the Jewish Sabbath), as they were sleeping, a Palestinian broke through the fence around the town, and brutally cut the throats of the family as they slept. I say the Jewish world, because the uproar at this massacre can hardly be heard from the rest of the…

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So many Muslim apologists, so little time

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An interesting contrast between two cases of Muslim apologism appears in my favourite newspaper The Age this weekend (hey, if I gave up my subscription, what would I write about?). The first is from Julie Szego, who writes a disturbing essay on the bikini bans at public pools. In Australia, I hear you ask? Yes, VCAT recently approved an exemption to the Equal Opportunity Act to compel “participants aged 10 and over … to ensure their…

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What price for Gilad Shalit?

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There are so many angles The Age could have taken for a story to mark Gilad Shalit‘s four years in captivity. As a counterpoint to their regular stories of the suffering of Palestinian families, they could have told us of the anguish suffered by his family, not having any idea where their son is being held, or any idea of the prospects for his release. They could have highlighted this blatant breach by Hamas of…

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Hamas ‘disciplines’ army officers over Gaza

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A Hamas army report on its conduct in Gaza last year has revealed that two officers were ‘disciplined’ for insufficiently endangering human life when they authorized three hundred civilians to be moved to a UN school that was being used to fire rockets. Hamas division commander Mohammed el-Hafiz, known as Abu Gosh, and brigade commander Bilal Diya-al-Din, known as Abu Falih, were summarily executed for exceeding their authority in approving the use of human shields…

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Obama’s Cairo Speech

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You’ve probably heard a lot about Barack Obama’s speech to the Muslim world in Cairo last week. Plenty was said before and after, and it may come to be a watershed moment in US-Muslim relations. Now some of you might’ve read the speech, or watched it (it’s quite long), but for those who haven’t (and those who have), here is an abridged version that will give you the gist of what all the fuss was…

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Backman’s Vitriol

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I am disgusted at the anti-Israel vitriol spewed forth by Michael Backman, and strangely hidden away in the business section of The Age (note: the article was subsequently removed by The Age from their web site, but can still be found here). According to his inverted world view, it seems the onus is upon Israel to “transform” the Palestinians from enemies to friends, and their fault if they are unable to. He thinks the entire…

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Education is the Difference

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I am a student again. Recently, I decided to embark on a post-graduate degree. When considering my options, I attended an information evening at the university to hear about the course I was considering. When asked questions about the difference between this course and similar ones at other universities, the speaker responded with a message that still remains with me: “Whether you choose to do the course with us or elsewhere is your choice, but…

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Violence in Gaza

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Yet another example of Ed O’Loughlin’s twisted sense of cause and effect appeared in his latest piece of the violence in Gaza. What is going on there is surely bordering on civil war between the Fatah and Hamas factions for control of the region. Palestinians are murdering Palestinians – women, children – but this doesn’t receive the top billing as a news story that it might otherwise deserve. No worldwide condemnation, no UN statements. And…

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