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Daily Archives: January 12, 2009

Coming up on the photoblog

Here are some of the pics in waiting. Keep your eye on the photoblog over the next week to see the best of these, and maybe more…

comingup

 

The pic top left jan11_029 has already appeared on this blog. A few of the others in the top row were published yesterday or this morning.

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Posted by on January 12, 2009 in site news

 

Quote of the week: Week 2 2009

True grit is nurture to advantage pressed,
What oft was fought but ne’er so well redressed.

You have to visit Marcellous to see where that came from…

Just in case: the original by Alexander Pope is —

True wit is Nature to advantage dressed,
What oft was thought but ne’er so well expressed.

 
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Posted by on January 12, 2009 in Quote of the week

 

Only the demons are dancing…

Sadly, that is my belief about the current situation in Israel.

Twenty years ago I was working in a place where the Israeli and Australian flags flew, where the anthems of both countries were sung in school assemblies, and among my colleagues were quite a few Israeli citizens. They would come down here to Surry Hills when they were homesick to eat in Abdul’s Lebanese restaurant, where they may have heard Arabic spoken as they partook of the shared pleasure in felafels and hummus. Among those colleagues, especially the Israeli ones, was a wide range of views. On the one hand there was the Jewish Studies teacher who caused a bit of a stir when she told her class: “If I was a Palestinian I would join the PLO tomorrow.” (This was in 1988-89.) She had been a tank commander in the Israeli army, was invited to join Mossad, and knocked them back on the grounds she didn’t approve of them. Her father, after all, was an Israeli communist. On the other hand there was one young man called Conan the Barbarian by the (Jewish) kids, whose claim to fame was the number of Arabs he had strangled. Or so the kids told me. Another colleague told me he preferred not to be called a “Jew” as he was an atheist and thought “Jew” expressed a certain religious assumption he didn’t relate to; he was however happy to be called an Israeli.

All that complexity no doubt still exists, despite policies that were well under way in 1988-9, which my colleagues would often argue about. I met great people in my time at that place; one, from South Africa, had a brother who defended ANC members in the courts and whose father had at one time hidden Nelson Mandela when he was on the run.

All of them had been touched, one way or another, by the Holocaust.

But it is hard to deny the implications of these maps, which I first saw on 3 Quarks Daily a few days ago. I posted the entry in my Google Reader, along with quite a few other posts from a range of people, including the Kashmiri Nomad, a bright but comparatively hard line Muslim. Comparatively, but not into violence, as far as I can tell after several years reading his views and even sometimes exchanging comments. But to the maps.

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Posted by on January 12, 2009 in faith and philosophy, Holocaust, human rights, humanity, interfaith, Israel, memory, Middle East