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Winning Friends and Influencing People 3: Anti-Semitism, The Hiatus, and Secret GLBT Business.

I’ve written before about the story of my paternal grandmother’s Holocaust survival. In short, her father, a religious Jew, made friends with the local priest long before the catastrophic events that wiped out Polish Jewry.
As Jews from my family’s village were packed off to the concentration camps, this priest managed to forge papers for my [...]


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 [...]


AJN 1 – Transforming Trauma: Congratulations Nomi Blum

Nomi Blum has won the B’nai  B’rith Bernard Lustig scholarship (AJN, page 12), which enabled her to take part in a Monash intensive course in South Africa and Rwanda to study apartheid and genocide.
In itself, winning this scholarship was a commendable achievement. What struck me as particularly interesting, was Blum’s personal path to this academic [...]


The Community Survey: Civil Discussion, the “Volunteer” Canard, and Intimidation

Yesterday, Mum and I attended the afternoon session of Andrew Marcus’s discussion of the community survey, at Monash University.
I urge everyone who can, to get hold of a copy of the survey results. At the presentation, we were also offered “Key Findings from the 2006 Census” on Victoria’s Jews, collated by Markus and Tanya Aronov.
Markus’s [...]


Part Five – Axis of Honour: Dislocation, Family, and Terror

You probably remember the refrain, during the Bush years, that the Islamists objected to our freedoms and our way of life – that this is why America was attacked on September 11.
This is not exactly in the realms of profound analysis, and belonged with Bush’s ill advised response soon after the attacks, that America was [...]


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 [...]


Part Three – The Axis of Honour: Honour and Shame

Honour and Shame

Parts one and two of this series have focused on how both right- and left-wing ideologies prevent us from understanding terrorism. I’ve mentioned that if we remove ideology from our analyses, we have a much better chance at tackling the issue, both theoretically and practically.
I’ve also suggested, “honour” as one framework that [...]


The Axis of Honour: Honour, Communalism, and Islamist Suicide Terrorism – Introduction

This is a huge topic. I’ve decided to devote a number of posts to it, rather than compose one mega thesis.
It will read as a series – the political analysis equivalent of a Dickens serial, though probably less lucrative.
Unfortunately, the nature of this sort of blog (until I get someone with technical abilities to spruce [...]


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 [...]


Reader Response 4: Coups, Town Halls, and the Reluctance to Comment

It would seem prudent to gather some momentum, and to get a feel for the common ground shared by all Jewish moderates before storming Beit Weizman.

While the last sentence is somewhat tongue in cheek, it does allude to an idea that emerged at The Sensible Jew: what do people think of an open meeting, to which all Melbourne Jews are welcome, in which we could ask the leaders of the ZFA, ECAJ, AIJAC, and other bodies some questions regarding their recent media performance, and their claims to legitimate representation?

Would such a meeting do any good? Is it at all worthwhile? Are our institutions so rotten that attempting to graft democratic elements onto them would be futile? If so, by what mechanisms could an alternative leadership be established?