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palestinian Archives - David Werdiger

More on Beinart, Chabad and Israel

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Following Peter Beinart’s controversial article about Cory Booker’s association with a couple of Chabad Rabbis, I wrote this piece on Open Zion / The Daily Beast to address some of the common misunderstandings about the way Chabad works as an organisation. Space did not allow me to go into detail about the specific issues he raised, so I will do so here. His first contention is that … the values of Chabad rest uneasily alongside…

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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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Abbas: Palestinians need calm in Syria

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Palestinian Authority President Mahmood Abbas issued a firm message about the situation in Syria to the world media today, in a bold attempt to bring the world media focus back to his cause. “It’s time for the legitimate and democratically elected Syrian government of Bashar-al-Assad to restore law and order to their country, and for the terrorists who oppose him to put down their weapons and accept his authority”, he said. Abbas and the Palestinian…

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Who is a Palestinian?

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“I think there is an Arab nation. I do not think there is a Palestinian nation. I think it’s a colonialist invention … When were there any Palestinians? … until the 19th century Palestine was the south of greater Syria.” – Azmi Bishara, 1994 “The appearance of the Palestinian national personality comes as an answer to Israel’s claim that Palestine is Jewish.” – King Hussein of Jordan, 1987 “Yes, the existence of a separate Palestinian…

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9/11: The day the words changed

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They say that on 9/11, the world changed. It certainly did change much about our world, and has reshaped the relationship (or lack of) between the west and the Muslim world. It continues to impact our daily lives – just ask anyone who has travelled by air, or look at the way the collective memory of American citizens leads them to react to events like earthquakes or large-scale accidents. New Yorkers seem to be living…

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Democracy at Work

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A new law against boycotts in Israel has sparked a storm of protest. Civil rights advocates have slammed it as a jeopardising free speech, and pro-Palestinian human rights groups have condemned it, some suggesting that it endangers the country’s democratic character. After being passed in the Knesset by a vote of 47-38, it will almost certainly be challenged in the courts as to its constitutionality. Some people read this and think: what a terrible country Israel must…

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All the President’s Speeches

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President Barack Osama has made another pivotal speech directed to the Muslim world. Again, for those who don’t want to read or watch the whole thing, here is an abridged version that will give you the gist of what all the fuss was about: Thank you. Thank you (applause). Thank you. Please have a seat. I want to begin by thanking Hillary Clinton. I count on Hillary every single day, and I firmly hope and…

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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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