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where's Israel « Previous | |Next »
December 03, 2006

The current conflict between Fatah and Hamas in the Palestinian territories has been stirred by the US and Israel and their stubborn refusal to recognize a democratically elected Hamas and to starve the Palestinian government of funds.This calculated destruction of the Palestinian economy through the imposition of sanctions is designed to undermine the Hamas Government.

What is often ignored in Australia is the insight of ex -president Jimmy Carter-- the occupation of Palestinian land by the Israeli settlers and military and a system of occupation that is designed to separate Israelis who live on Palestine territory and Palestinians who want to live on their own territory.


Saying the above in Australia challenges the view that Hamas is a terrorist organization by those who think in terms of the global war on terror. It's the Palestinians who continue to fire rockets into Israeli land. It's the Palestinians who have kidnapped Israeli soldiers. It's the Palestinians that continue to perpetuate terrorist acts against the Israelis.

Australia's Jewish community is politically conservative and it is frustrated with the inherently left-wing bias perceived in Australian universities. So it is no suprise that we have a local expression of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict in terms of the Israeli lobby's attack on Middle Eastern studies in Australia's universities.As Anthony Lowenstein reports, it is claimed---by Jewish Labor MP Michael Danby and Ted Lapkin of the Australia/Israel Jewish Affairs Council amongst others--- that students are being fed an increasingly biased and distorted anti-Israeli view of the region by "Arabist" academics. Danby's and Lapkin's criticisms are focused largely on the two best known Middle East study courses in the country: Andrew Vincent's Centre for Middle Eastern Studies at Macquarie and the Australian National University's Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies, directed by Amin Saikal.

the word "fed' is suggestive. That implies there is no debate or critical ethos in the universities and no attempt to foster critical reasoning on this issue.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 01:59 PM | | Comments (0)