Hi all,We are writing in regard to a number of recent events that we think will be of interest to you.
The first is the Limud Oz conference to be held at the University of New South Wales from the 8th to the 10th of June.
It is a “festival of Jewish learning, culture and creativity”. As their website says, “the program features academics, artists, educators, experts and enthusiasts, and an incredible variety of lectures, workshops, discussions and performances on virtually every topic under the sun. Presenters hail from Israel, the US, South Africa, New Zealand and around Australia.” The list of presenters, including Peter Slezak and Michael Brull, is here. The full program is here.
It is worth noting that after accepting Peter Slezak’s talk on the program, following misrepresentations by the Australian Jewish News and pressure from certain quarters, the Limmud-Oz board re-considered the case. The Limmud Board decided not to cancel Slezak’s talk, as they explain in a recent statement.
Another forthcoming event of note is the Human Rights in Palestine Conference to be held at the Australian National University on the 11th and 12th of September.
The conference is titled Dispossession and Discrimination: Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Amongst the speakers are Professor Richard Falk, who is the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories; Professor Jeff Halper, who is the co-founder and Director of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD); and Dr Sara Roy, from Harvard University’s Centre for Middle Eastern Studies.
This conference will be a world first by bringing leading international experts together to discuss economic, social and cultural rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. More details can about the conference be found here.
Also, we’ve been asked by the Australian Jewish Democratic Society (AJDS) to ask for your support to help keep alive and strengthen the Grassroots Jerusalem project. Grassroots Jerusalem is a Palestinian-based platform for social, urban and human rights activists and organizations in Al-Quds (Jerusalem). They amplify local resources available for and from grassroots activists, leaders and organizations by developing a (virtual and real) environment for meeting, sharing information, educating, growing and coordinating on shared issues of urgent and long-term concern.
Their project is specifically aimed at supporting two communities in Jerusalem: Al-Walajeh andAl- Jahalin. Please click through to find out more information on these communities. They are aiming to raise $5500 to support Grassroots Jerusalem to empower local organisations and activists in these communities. Click here to donate.
Also in the news lately is the BDS campaign and specifically the Coalition’s promise to cut off federal grants for individuals and institutions who support the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions campaign against Israel. Liberal deputy leader Julie Bishop has hardened Coalition policy towards BDS, which she has branded anti-Semitic. Here’s an Op-Ed by Bishop George Browningexplaining why criticism of Israel is not anti-Semitic. And here’s an Op-Ed by Stuart Rees, professor emeritus at the University of Sydney and the chairman of the Sydney Peace Foundation, about the same issue.
Recently Peter Slezak was part of a group of APAN (Australia Palestine Advocacy Network)executive members who met with Foreign Minister Bob Carr. Dr. Mona El-Farra of Gaza was also in attendance. More information can be found on the APAN website.
And lastly, IAJV now has a new look website, and like the old one it is being constantly updated with the latest news and views about the Middle East, as are our twitter and facebook accounts.Independent Australian Jewish Voices
We would be grateful for support for our ongoing efforts, without which we would not have been able to continue our various activities. Donations can be made in the following ways. You may use the “Donate” button on our website www.iajv.orgOr use the following bank details for making an electronic transfer:
Unicom Credit Union
Account Number: 26241843