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Scribblings: History of the Recognition Condition Author: Tzvi Fleischer Categories: International Jewry, Israel, Palestinians    

I've written before about the fallacy of media claims alleging that Israel's requirement that a peace treaty with the Palestinians recognise Israel as a "Jewish state" or "nation-state of the Jewish people" is a "new demand". Rather than something the current Netanyahu Government just thought up - possibly to thwart progress toward peace as is sometimes alleged - the idea was pushed during 2007 negotiating sessions by Tzipi Livni, then-Foreign Minister in the Olmert Government, according to the leaked Palestinian documents called the "Palestine papers".

Strange Bedfellows

Strange Bedfellows Author: Clarissa Sebag-Montefiore Categories: China, International Jewry, Israel    

"Do the Jews Really Control America?" asked one Chinese newsweekly headline in 2009. The factoids doled out in such articles and in books about Jews in China - for example: "The world's wealth is in Americans' pockets; Americans are in Jews' pockets" - would rightly be seen to be alarming in other contexts. But in China, where Jews are widely perceived as clever and accomplished, they are meant as compliments.

The Last Word: A+ for AIPAC

The Last Word: A+ for AIPAC Author: Jeremy Jones Categories: America, International Jewry    

Some years ago, I was invited to attend the Annual Policy Conference of AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. At that time, attendance was in the hundreds and the agenda narrowly focused.

This year I returned to AIPAC as an invited speaker on the subject "Israel and Asia - New Frontiers?" - in recognition of AIJAC's work in this region.

Estimates of total attendance at the conference ranged from 14,000 to as many as 17,000 people...

AIR
Interfaith dialogues in Madrid, Kiev, Melbourne and Sydney

Interfaith dialogues in Madrid, Kiev, Melbourne and Sydney Categories: Australasia, Interfaith Dialogue, International Jewry, Media Releases    

Jeremy Jones AM, AIJAC's Director of International and of Community Affairs, participated in four quite different, yet all significant, interfaith events in the last two weeks of October.

The busy period began in Madrid, Spain, where he took part in the International Leadership Council dialogue, in which representatives of the Vatican and World Jewry convene every two years to discuss matters of concern and areas for cooperation.

The Last Word: Pitching Dialogue

The Last Word: Pitching Dialogue Author: Jeremy Jones Categories: Interfaith Dialogue, International Jewry    

Welcomed as special guests at the baseball game between the Washington Nationals and the New York Mets was the "Delegation of Muslim & Jewish Leaders from the Southern Hemisphere." The announcement brought cheers and applause.

As part of that delegation, I spent two intensive days in Washington with colleagues from Australia, South Africa and New Zealand. We had ample opportunity to discuss distinctive features of our varying national experiences, issues which divide as well as unite us and determine what we could learn from our US hosts.

Updates
AIJAC prominent at Global Forum for Combating Antisemitism

AIJAC prominent at Global Forum for Combating Antisemitism Categories: Antisemitism, International Jewry, Media Releases    

The Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council played an important role in the deliberations of the Global Forum for Combating Antisemitism, which took place recently in Jerusalem.

Jeremy Jones AM, Director of International and of Community Affairs for the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council, who is internationally recognised as the expert on antisemitism in Australia and an authoritative exponent of inter-religious dialogue, was given the honour of Chairing the Plenary Seminar " Muslim Religious Leaders Condemning Antisemitism".

Australian Jewry's unique experience discussed at American Jewish Committee Global Forum

Australian Jewry's unique experience discussed at American Jewish Committee Global Forum Categories: Australasia, International Jewry, Media Releases    

The unique experiences of Jews in Australia, the relationship between Australia and the USA and the global priorities in Australian diplomacy featured in a wide-ranging discussion with H.E. Kim Beazley, Australia's Ambassador to the USA, at a session of the Global Forum of the American Jewish Committee in Washington earlier this month.


Baroness Margaret Thatcher, Israel and the Jewish people


Baroness Margaret Thatcher, Israel and the Jewish people Author: Talia Katz Categories: International Jewry, Israel, United Kingdom, Updates    

Thatcher's reputation as the "Iron Lady" reflected her self-proclaimed status as a conviction politician, and this is echoed in the eulogies delivered following her death. Though her legacy has divided opinion, when it came to Israel and the Jewish people, she is remembered for her strong, supportive and effective foreign policy credentials, and her dedication to fighting antisemitism in all its guises.

As a member of Parliament, representing a large Jewish constituency, and as Britain's longest serving PM in over a hundred years, Thatcher was widely recognised as both a true friend and strong ally to the Jewish people and to the State of Israel.

Hugo Chávez's antisemitic re-election strategy

Hugo Chávez's antisemitic re-election strategy Author: Andrea Nadel Categories: America, Anti-Zionism, Antisemitism, International Jewry, Updates    

Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez's hatred of Israel is no secret. His despotic regime's alliances with countries hostile to Israel, most prominently Iran, are also no secret. Less well known has been the devastating toll that his regime's overt embrace of antisemitic rhetoric and policies has had on the Venezuelan Jewish community - though AIJAC's Allon Lee blogged on this in February. Now, as the ailing strongman takes on Henrique Capriles in Venezuela's presidential election campaign, he is again resorting to antisemitism as a tactic.

The Last Word: A very long-term Engagement

The Last Word: A very long-term Engagement Author: Jeremy Jones Categories: Interfaith Dialogue, International Jewry    

The American Jewish Committee is, by any standards, an outstanding organisation, and its May 2012 Annual Meeting and Global Forum provided testimony to this effect.

From debates on Iran featuring analysts who individually would command respect and attention due to their expertise; through sessions where a variety of serving Ministers for International Affairs shared understandings of contemporary challenges; to a hugely informative and educational debate on the strengths and weaknesses of President Obama and Mitt Romney - there was hardly a word spoken which was unnecessary or uninteresting.

Will France's new government take a laissez-faire approach to Iran?

Will France's new government take a laissez-faire approach to Iran? Author: Ahron Shapiro Categories: Europe, International Jewry, Iran, Updates    

The election of French Socialist party leader Francois Hollande to his country's presidency on Sunday - a victory over Nicolas Sarkozy which had been expected following his strong showing in the first round of voting on April 22 - is certain to impact French foreign policy regarding Iran, as well as Israel.

Sarkozy had been seen as one of Europe's most strident opponents to Iran's nuclear program. According to Hollande's advisers, as well as many analysts, France is unlikely to continue in its role as a spearhead for European action on Iran under its new government.

The crisis of bad journalism: why Lateline guest is being ridiculed everywhere

The crisis of bad journalism: why Lateline guest is being ridiculed everywhere Author: Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz Categories: America, International Jewry, Israel, Media/ Academia, Updates    

Last night, ABC Lateline featured an interview by Emma Alberici of former New Republic editor Peter Beinart. Beinart has been a figure of much controversy lately due to his new book The Crisis of Zionism -- an extension of his 2009 essay 'The Failure of the American Jewish Establishment' in the New York Review of Books -- in which he makes the case that the Jewish community in America is taking an incorrect line on Israel and provides his own perspective on how the Israeli/Palestinian conflict ought to be addressed.

The book provoked a litany of responses from across the political spectrum, with almost every senior figure in the American foreign policy world deriding or distancing themselves from his contribution. As a result, there is a very substantial body of work from which to draw in order to evaluate every point that he makes. In general, most experts agree that Beinart is largely well-intentioned and does genuinely want the best for Israel, however he is at the same time hopelessly naive and heavily encumbered by a lack of serious research on the topic. His views are those of...

The Last Word: QandA-ary

The Last Word: QandA-ary Author: Jeremy Jones Categories: Antisemitism, Australasia, International Jewry    

I have known Cardinal George Pell for a number of years, discussed Middle East politics over a kosher meal he arranged for me in his home, worked with him on a range of matters of Catholic-Jewish concern and had any disagreements treated respectfully and graciously. In that light, watching him on ABC television's Monday "Infotainment" program, "Q & A", was not a comfortable experience.

Passover reminds that slavery is not just ancient history

Passover reminds that slavery is not just ancient history Author: Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz Categories: Australasia, International Jewry, Israel, Op-eds, Sudan    

On Friday night, while the Christian world is celebrating Good Friday and the rest of Australia is celebrating a four-day weekend, the Jewish community in Australia will be holding the annual Passover seder, marking the beginning of the week of Passover.

The story of the children of Israel's escape from Egypt is well-known - there was even an animated movie about it - yet Jews are called upon to recount the Exodus each year in its entirety as if it were we who had left slavery in Egypt towards freedom in the Promised Land.

Terror attack on Jewish school in France a stark reminder of antisemitic threat

Terror attack on Jewish school in France a stark reminder of antisemitic threat Author: Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz Categories: Antisemitism, Australasia, Europe, Far Right, International Jewry, Islamic Extremism, Terrorism, Updates    

Last month, I wrote in defence of the security concerns of Australia's Jewish community. With a heavy heart, I must note that these concerns have been unfortunately vindicated once again. Last night, a shooting attack outside Ozar Hatorah, a Jewish school in Toulouse, killed much-loved schoolteacher Yonatan Sandler, as well as his two sons -- Aryeh, age five, and Gavriel, age four -- as well as Miriam Monsonego, age seven. Another boy was injured.

According to the chilling AFP report, a masked gunman dismounted from a Yamaha scooter and began shooting, hitting Sandler as he tried in vain to sheild his sons. The shooter then chased after Miriam as she ran into the school, grabbing her and killing her at close range...

AIR
The plight of Venezuela’s Jewish community

The plight of Venezuela’s Jewish community Author: Allon Lee Categories: America, Antisemitism, International Jewry, Israel, Updates    

Venezuelan Supremo Hugo Chavez often accuses Israel of committing genocide against the Palestinians.

And so voluminous is the Chavez definition of the term that it is a surprise he has failed to notice that half of his own country's 200-year-old Jewish community has disappeared since he assumed power in 1998. But then the evaporation of this patriotic, productive, and loyal group is largely a consequence of Chavez's hostile policies and rhetoric...

Australia's Jewish community has legitimate security concerns

Australia's Jewish community has legitimate security concerns Author: Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz Categories: Antisemitism, Australasia, International Jewry, Terrorism, Updates    

In yesterday's Age, Barney Zwartz has reported on a former editor of the Australian Jewish News questioning the amount that the community spends each year on security.

Goldberg is undoubtedly correct in one regard: the community could benefit from extra funding for education. That said, the unfortunate reality is that the money spent every year on security for the Jewish community goes to countering a very real threat.

For starters...

“The Promise”

“The Promise” Author: Tzvi Fleischer Categories: International Jewry, Israel, Media/ Academia, Middle East, Palestinians, Updates    

On Sunday night, SBS-TV screened the first of four episodes of a controversial British historical drama set in pre-state and contemporary Israel, entitled "The Promise". When it was screened in Britain by Channel 4 in February, it led to an official letter of complaint by the Board of Deputies of British Jews, as well as strong critiques from Booker prize winning novelist Howard Jacobson, noted British academic expert on the Holocaust David Cesarani, and others....

I include below some of the critiques of "The Promise" from Britain for the benefit of Australian audiences.

New study: male circumcision is effective in preventing HIV in men Author: Or Avi-Guy Categories: International Jewry, Updates    

An international public debate about male circumcision has been reignited by a San Francisco referendum - see an Australian report on this issue here - with anti-circumcision activists demanding that the circumcision of a minor be made a criminal act and treated as an assault. However, inconveniently for those who insist that circumcision is "barbararic" or comparable to the the terrible practice of female genital mutiliation, this week additional scientific proof of the possible medical benefits of circumcision revealed in a UN Announcement.

Updates

A False Linkage: Indonesian slaughterhouses and Kosher killing Author: Geoffrey Levin Categories: Australasia, International Jewry, Media/ Academia, Updates    

As a number of backbench Labor MPs have come out against the recent government decision to lift the suspension of live cattle exports to Indonesia, partly on the basis that all animals should be stunned before slaughter, a false linkage has been made by some critics between the images from Indonesia's slaughterhouses and the killing of animals for Kosher consumption.

As noted in a recent post, numerous experts on the welfare of livestock, prominent amongst them Professor Temple Grandin, testify that Kosher slaughter is ethical and painless, with Grandin noting "I have observed that cattle held in an upright restraint device had almost no reaction to correctly done Kosher slaughter that was performed with a special long knife...the cut with the special knife appear to not cause pain" . Grandin concluded "It appears the animal is not aware that its throats has been cut."

 

The Truth about Kosher Slaughter Author: Geoff Levin Categories: Australasia, International Jewry, Updates    

The Sunday Age has recently published two articles, an editorial, and a blog post alleging that Kosher slaughter causes undue pain to animals, advocating legislation that would effectively end the production of kosher meat in Australia.

While the articles repeatedly claimed that unstunned slaughter means an inhumane "up to 20 seconds" of pain for sheep, this conflicts with many expert opinions that confirm that Kosher slaughter is ethical, painless, and humane.

Calls for release of Israeli soldier after 5 years of captivity

Calls for release of Israeli soldier after 5 years of captivity Author: Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz Categories: America, International Jewry, Islamic Extremism, Israel, Palestinians, Updates    

Tomorrow will mark 5 years since kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit has been held illegally by Hamas in Gaza. As Isabel Kershner has reported in the New York Times, Hamas has again refused a request from the Red Cross to visit Shalit - so that they could merely ascertain what kind of conditions he is being held in and whether he is alive or dead.

The International Committee of the Red Cross on Thursday publicly demanded that Hamas provide proof that an Israeli soldier captured five years ago and held in Gaza is still alive. Hamas promptly rejected the demand.

The forgotten struggle in Libya?

The forgotten struggle in Libya? Author: Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz Categories: Antisemitism, Holocaust/ War Crimes, International Jewry, Libya, Middle East, Updates    

Associated Press writers Matti Friedman, Aron Heller and Michelle Faul have given this bleak reminder of the once proud Jewish community of Libya, who were driven-out over several decades and currently live in exile as a diaspora - mostly in Israel.

The article outlines the current feelings of the Libyan Jewish communities:

Bublil-Waldman, who heads an organization of Jews from Arab countries in San Francisco, said she was still angry and hurt by the memory of her family's expulsion from Libya. Those feelings remained strong, she said, and at this point she "would be afraid to go." Navit Barel, a 34-year-old Israeli of Libyan descent, said the upheaval made her want to visit the country where her parents were born. Her mother and father, now deceased, both grew up near the Dar al-Bishi synagogue. "I feel like it brought back my yearning to talk to my father," she said.

The Curious Case of The Dog in The Rabbinical Court

The Curious Case of The Dog in The Rabbinical Court Author: Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz Categories: International Jewry, Israel, Media/ Academia, Updates    

Israeli newspaper Maariv published a report over the weekend alleging that a group of rabbis in Jerusalem had made a bizarre ruling to stone to death a dog that they believed was a reincarnated rabbi. The story was picked-up by Ynet, the English-language website for Israeli tabloid Yediot Ahoronot, and subsequently made it into the world’s media, including the News Ltd tabloids in Australia.

A JERUSALEM rabbinical court has condemned to death by stoning a dog it suspects is the reincarnation of a secular lawyer who insulted the court's judges 20 years ago. ...Clearly still offended, one of the judges sentenced the animal to death by stoning by local children. The canine target, however, managed to escape.

If this sounds a little far-fetched to be true, that’s because it is. As observed here, a simple story involving a dog that was safely removed from a rabbinical council by the municipal dogcatcher became "sexed-up" somewhere in the Israeli secular press. It also seems like the fact-checking department had a day off at a lot of normally reputable publications.

Jones in high-level dialogue in Bosnia

Jones in high-level dialogue in Bosnia Categories: Europe, Holocaust/ War Crimes, International Jewry, Media Releases    

Jeremy Jones, Director of International and Community Affairs for the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council, was in the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo for a series of high-level discussions last week. The visit, organised as a result of Jones hosting leading Bosnian religious and political figures for meetings in Australia over the past few years, was designed to strengthen the ties between Bosnians and Jews as well as Bosnia and Australia.

Editorial: Hate - What's Old is New Author: Colin Rubenstein Categories: Anti-Zionism, Antisemitism, Australasia, International Jewry    

Of course, disproportionate hatred of Israel is nothing new - nor are attempts at making parallels of Nazi treatment of Jews with Israeli treatment of Palestinians, however ignorant, offensive and morally bankrupt these attempted parallels are. What is new, and what is making observers increasingly worried, is the mainstreaming of these sentiments over the last few years.

The Forgotten Jews Author: David Harris Categories: International Jewry, Israel, Middle East    

I am a forgotten Jew. My roots are nearly 2,600 years old, my ancestors made landmark contributions to world civilisation, and my presence was felt from North Africa to the Fertile Crescent - but I barely exist today. You see, I am a Jew from the Arab world.

AIR

The Last Word: Wilful Blindness Author: Jeremy Jones Categories: Antisemitism, International Jewry    

The magnificent Notre Dame Cathedral in the centre of Strasbourg, France, is deservedly on the itineraries of most visitors to the city. On the outer facade of the cathedral there are two statues of idealised young women - Ecclesia and Synagoga, in place for almost 800 years. Ecclesia, representing Christianity, is grinning in triumph while Synagoga, representing Judaism, has her head bowed in defeat and wears a blindfold to symbolise her inability to see the "truth" of Church teachings.

The Biblio File: Justice, Not Denied

The Biblio File: Justice, Not Denied Author: Lauren Jones Categories: Australasia, Holocaust/ War Crimes, International Jewry    

After 30 years devoted to identifying, hunting down, and lobbying foreign governments to prosecute suspected war criminals, comes a long-awaited memoir by Efraim Zuroff, historian and current Director of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre in Jerusalem. Despite the passage of time, decline in health and advanced age of the alleged Nazi war criminals, Zuroff launched "Operation Last Chance" in 2002, a final attempt to bring remaining war criminals to justice via a system of rewards for verifiable tips about previously unidentified suspects.

The Conversion Factor Author: Amotz Asa-El Categories: International Jewry, Israel    

Current Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and, indeed, the vast majority of Israelis, agree with Sharon's original view that the partly Jewish immigration of the 1990s, which has since then demonstrated its patriotism, learned Hebrew, and contributed crucially to the economy's development, should be made Jewish under religious law with minimum hassle. Moreover, Netanyahu is particularly sensitive to the qualms of American Jewry, with whom he has been close for decades and whose strategic value to Israel is well known.

The Last Word: Time to join the Task Force Author: Jeremy Jones Categories: Antisemitism, Holocaust/ War Crimes, International Jewry    

After more than a decade of activity, the ITF still generates energy, enthusiasm and creativity. It serves as a facilitator of co-operation and the exchange of ideas designed to bring about "best practise" in combating the malevolent ideas which lay at the basis of Nazism and acts as a counterweight to those who seek to deny, diminish and misrepresent the nature, and abuse the memory, of the Shoah.

Updates

How to Support - and Improve - Israel Author: Colin Rubenstein Categories: America, Australasia, International Jewry, Israel, Op-eds    

Julie Szego's column entitled "The Need for a Critical Diaspora" (July 2) placed entirely too much uncritical faith in the arguments of American author and journalist Peter Beinart. She fails to take adequate account of the outcome of the intense and interesting debate that has ensued in America since Beinart's essay, "The Failure of the American Jewish Establishment" was first published in mid-May. In particular, Szego seems unaware that critics have shows that much of the empirical basis of Beinart's key claim is just plain factually wrong.

Australia to have representative on peak international dialogue group Categories: Australasia, Europe, Interfaith Dialogue, International Jewry, Media Releases    

The International Jewish Committee on Inter-Religious Consultation (IJCIC), a coalition of major international Jewish organisations representing world Jewry to other religions, is to have direct Australian input. "I am pleased to announce the inclusion of Jeremy Jones, the Director of International & Community Affairs of the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council, as part of the delegation of the American Jewish Committee to IJCIC," Mark Leibler, AIJAC's national chairman said this week.

Rome and Jerusalem Author: Amotz Asa-El Categories: Europe, Holocaust/ War Crimes, International Jewry, Israel    

The papacy of Pius XII represented a low point in the history of Catholic-Jewish relations, but several years after it ended, a theological rapprochement between Catholicism and Judaism ensued, eventually producing a political honeymoon between the Holy See and the Jewish state.

Alexander Downer speech to American Jewish Committee upon receiving the Ramer Award for Excellence in Diplomacy, Washington D.C. Categories: America, Australasia, Europe, International Jewry, Israel, Speeches    

The Australian and American Jewish communities have a lot in common. In both cases Jews have found in our countries the peace and tolerance which was denied them over the centuries in Europe and the Middle East: but they have not only found freedom and tolerance in Australia and America, they have contributed mightily to our two societies.

AIR

Revitalising Multiculturalism under Rudd Author: Colin Rubenstein Categories: Australasia, Immigration/ Multiculturalism, International Jewry, Op-eds    

Australian Multiculturalism... has been official bipartisan policy, federal and state, for more than 30 years and has helped create and sustain what is one of the most successful multi-ethnic, tolerant, democratic societies in the world. It contributes effectively to our social cohesion, economic prospects and positive profile in our region and beyond.

Updates

Head to Head Author: AIJAC staff Categories: Australasia, Immigration/ Multiculturalism, International Jewry, International Security, Iraq, Middle East, Terrorism, United Nations    

As has become traditional in the lead-up to a federal election, the Australia/Israel Review posed a series of questions to Prime Minister John Howard and Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd focusing on international security, the Middle East, and domestic polices of special interest to the Australian Jewish community.

Moderates must not become apologists for radical Islam Author: Colin Rubenstein Categories: Australasia, Immigration/ Multiculturalism, International Jewry, Islamic Extremism, Lebanon, Op-eds    

THE Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) cancelled our planned participation in the program of Israeli professor Raphael Israeli after his controversial remarks about Muslim immigration and communities. Characterising Muslim communities as a threat or danger per se is a sentiment we reject and with which we do not wish to be associated.

AMIA Revisited Author: Colin Rubenstein Categories: America, Europe, International Jewry, Iran, Terrorism    

On November 9, there was an extraordinary development in an 11-year old case of terrorist mass murder. Argentina finally identified and named the Lebanese Hezbollah member, Ibrahim Hussein Berro, allegedly responsible for the suicide bombing of the Argentine Israelite Mutual Aid Association (AMIA) Jewish community centre in Buenos Aires in July 1994.

Terrorism Teheran Style Author: Ted Lapkin Categories: International Jewry, Iran, Op-eds, Terrorism    

YOU know it's not business as usual when prosecutors from one country file a criminal indictment against another country's head of state. But that's precisely what happened late last year when Argentine authorities laid terrorism charges against former Iranian president Ali Akbar Rafsanjani.

Multiculturalism is still the way to go Author: Colin Rubenstein Categories: Australasia, Immigration/ Multiculturalism, International Jewry, Islamic Extremism, Op-eds    

MULTICULTURALISM has been official bipartisan policy, federal and state, for more than 25 years. It has helped create and sustain what is arguably one of the most successful multi-ethnic, tolerant democratic societies in the world, and is vital for our social cohesion, economic prospects and positive profile in our region and beyond.

AIR

Governments, Australian Muslims, must work together to contain the threat from domestic Islamic extremists Categories: Antisemitism, Australasia, Immigration/ Multiculturalism, International Jewry, Islamic Extremism, Lebanon, Media Releases    

The Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) today called for a thorough and immediate review of legal and policy counter-measures in the wake of new revelations about the extent of extremist hate material and pro-terror propaganda in some Australian bookshops in Mosques and Islamic schools.

Updates

Crossing Over Author: Colin Rubenstein Categories: Europe, International Jewry, Israel    

After almost six decades of exclusion and discrimination, it looks like Israel's ambulance service and humanitarian organisation, the Magen David Adom (MDA), meaning Red Star of David, will finally be able to join the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

Last Chance for Justice Author: Leon Kofmansky Categories: Europe, Holocaust/ War Crimes, International Jewry    

Over sixty years after the murder of Jewish teenager Peter Balazs in Budapest, the last of the accused has finally been arrested. If Australian courts find a Hungarian extradition request in order, Perth resident Charles Zentai will stand in the dock, accused of committing the murder along with two accomplices (the other two were brought to justice shortly after the end of World War II).

Cordoba Days Author: Jeremy Jones Categories: Antisemitism, Europe, International Jewry, Islamic Extremism    

During Soviet times, the story was told of a young man who opted to become a futurologist rather than meet his family'?s expectations of becoming a historian. His argument was that, under Communism, it was not too hard to predict the future but it was almost impossible to predict the past.

Remembrance Author: Jeremy Jones Categories: Australasia, Europe, International Jewry    

When plans were underway for the first visit to Australia by Pope John Paul II, in 1986, the Vatican made an unprecedented offer to the Australian Jewish community. During the Sydney leg of the visit, time would be specifically allocated for dialogue between the Executive Council of Australian Jewry and the Pontiff, with formal presentations to be made by each party. From the viewpoint of 2005, it might seem surprising that, less than two decades ago, there was as much apprehension as enthusiasm from Australian Jewry.

Books: War and Peace Prize Author: Ted Lapkin Categories: Anti-Zionism, Europe, International Jewry, Media/ Academia, Palestinians    

The Code of Ethics of the Society of Professional Journalists urges the media to "diligently seek out subjects of news stories to give them the opportunity to respond to allegations of wrong doing." And if this rule pertains to the hurly burly world of journalism, one would think that it might apply with redoubled force in the more slowly-moving realm of academia. Think again: at least where Drs. Philip Mendes and Geoffrey Brahm Levey are concerned. This ethical lapse surfaces in a new anthology that is co-edited by Levey and Mendes. Entitled Jews and Australian Politics, the book features a chapter jointly written by the editors that strongly criticises AIJAC over its actions during the Hanan Ashrawi controversy.

60 years on Author: Jeremy Jones Categories: Antisemitism, Europe, International Jewry    

In the last week in January, the Australian media gave considerable coverage to the Shoah, the Nazi Genocide, as the world marked the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz by Soviet troops.