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September 2009

Sep
29
2009

In The New Year 2: Thoughts After Yom Kippur

This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series In The New Year

One of my grandparents never set foot in a concentration camp.
All four went through the Holocaust and all four lost most of the people they ever knew; but one – my paternal grandmother – managed to spend the war in Poland without being captured by the Nazis.
All such stories are intricate, complicated tales of foresight, [...]

Sep
25
2009

A Very Dirty Business: AJN Watch Gets Personal

AJN Watch is a nasty little site, run by people who have some serious issues with the Jewish News, homosexuals, and now me, among others.
What makes their latest post so special is that they feel they have stumbled upon some extremely hot, breaking news.
What these people do not realise is that their, “latest scoop” is [...]

Sep
25
2009

Wishing You All Well Over the Fast

I wish all readers the very best over the fast.

Sep
24
2009

How to Make Enemies and Repel People: Robert Goot and 60 Minutes

For those still defending our current leadership’s handling of public relations, please ask yourselves this question: if our leaders are so very effective, why does Israel continue to receive consistently unflattering press?
Indeed, problematic coverage, which used to be the preserve of the public broadcasters, has now bled into the mainstream.
The 60 Minutes segment, “Hate Thy [...]

Sep
24
2009

AJN – Loose Lips and the Holocaust

It’s the sort of article one has to read twice just to make sure it’s not a hallucination.
On page 3 of this week’s AJN we learn, yet again, how close we are to another Holocaust.
Or perhaps we learn that if you complain enough to the ABC, they’ll say only positive things about Jews.
Or that it’s [...]

Sep
22
2009

Stridency: The Enemy of Persuasion

After the pool closed at the end of summer, there wasn’t much to do on kibbutz.
During our year in Israel, on a youth movement leadership programme, my group and I spent half the time on an isolated socialist idyll that sustained itself by operating a large plastics factory.
When Autumn arrived, the recreation choices diminished to [...]

Sep
21
2009

In The New Year: Glimpses of the Future at Auburn Rd Shul

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series In The New Year

I have written previously about the crises facing our community – assimilation, disaffection, substance abuse, among many others.
But I had another fear: that generations X and Y are either not inclined or incapable of taking the reins from the baby boomer generation. I have worried that our community is becoming so atomised, and our young [...]

Sep
17
2009

The Sensible Jew on ABC Radio and in the AJN

The ABC’s PM programme (Radio National, 774 Melbourne, 702 Sydney and all local ABC stations) did a fair and balanced story on the issue of homophobia in the Jewish community.
There is a small bit of Sensible Jew interest at the end.
I made it clear that homophobia among Jews is the preserve of a very small [...]

Sep
14
2009

An Interfaith Adventure: Evangelicals, Alcohol, and a Very Strange Night

Every so often, someone comes up with an idea so bizarre, it must have merit.
I have written before about my belief in the importance of grass roots inter-communal dialogue – the sort of interactions that do not take place in formal settings, in which difficult questions can be asked, and even occasionally answered.
So when a [...]

Sep
10
2009

Part Six – Axis of Honour Final: Palestinian Suicide Terrorism

Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
Part Five
Part Six – Axis of Honour Final: Palestinian Suicide Terrorism
The aim of this series has been to demonstrate a universal framework for understanding suicide terrorism, dismantling the notion that such tactics could only emerge from Islam. At the same time, I have been extremely critical of those wanting to downplay [...]