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Mossad and Our Passports

In the current debate surrounding the Australian passports used in the assassination of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai, there are two equally unsound positions.
Firstly, there’s the shrill (if exultant) Anti-Zionist response, that often tips over into outright racism. (see readers comments at the end of the stories)
On the other side, Jewish Australian leadership still hasn’t managed [...]


The New Direction

Not long after this blog began in May, a phenomenon emerged: some of the more interesting developments began to take place either via email, or offline altogether.

After having lived away from the community – both in Australia and overseas – for ten years, I began reconnecting with Jews from the various sub-communities, and from different generations.

This was both a refresher course (some things hadn’t changed) and a steep learning curve, as I navigated through the labyrinthine arcana of communal politics and caught up on developments among the younger generations.

Since returning from the hiatus and outing myself in early August, blog-related activity offline has become even more frenetic. Being “out” has given me the opportunity to meet numerous people, and some of the more inspiring and exciting developments seem to be coming from Generations X and Y.


A Brief History of The Sensible Jew

This piece was originally published in The AJN in September.
In February, I received an email that had gone viral in Melbourne’s Jewish community. It claimed that owners of a Caulfield-area restaurant were anti-Semites and urged readers to boycott it. On the one hand, something in the email’s tone aroused my suspicion. On the other, I [...]


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, [...]


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 [...]


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 [...]


Dvir Abramovich in The Age: No Laughing!

Although Dvir Abramovich’s opinion column in today’s Sunday Age grossly misstates facts and makes various bizarre assertions, I would still like to thank him for the free publicity he has so generously given this blog, through his opinion piece.
Nevertheless, it is only right that [...]


Part Four – The Axis of Honour: Honour, Modernity, and al Qaeda

To read the previous posts in this series, click on the links below:
Part One: Introduction
Part Two: Honour, Communalism, and Islamist Suicide Terrorism
Part Three: Honour and Shame
Part Four: Honour, Modernity, and al Qaeda
The first three instalments of this series asked whether it was possible to find an ultimate cause for suicide terrorism, without falling back on [...]


Bren Carlill of AIJAC Responds to Part Two – Axis of Honour

Bren Carlill, responding in comments, to the second in the The Axis series,  makes some very interesting points – not least of which, is that his piece in The Australian was edited so that key information was omitted.
After reading his comment, I think it’s appropriate to retract my implication that he views all Muslims/Arabs as [...]


Talking Tachles 2: In Defence of the Right to Responsive Representation and Transparency

In the first post in this series, we asked a number of questions regarding representation, legitimacy and transparency. Some of the responses  touched on themes such as apathy and whether there is indeed any “right” to representation at all.
Firstly, a  straw man has been created in the suggestion that we are somehow disciples of Joseph [...]