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Gender: Female
Hometown: Canberra
Home country: Australia
Current location: 149°7'51"E, 35°16'42"S
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 35,688

Journal Archives

MK on settler outposts: No civilized country demolishes homes

Oh, the irony...

This week, national-religious MK Zevulun Orlev (Habayit Hayehudi) was interviewed on an Israeli news show called London & Kirschenbaum about his proposal for a bill to legalize illegal settler outposts in the West Bank (yes, you read correctly – to make legal what is illegal). The private bill, which has been tabled due to the Prime Minister’s objection, would bar the state from demolishing and evacuating settler outposts in the West Bank that have been around for four years and have at least twenty families living in them.

One such outpost is Migron, which has been the center of controversy in the news in recent days as the government has once again demonstrated its pro-settler agenda. The Supreme Court has ruled the outpost must be demolished by March 2012, but Prime Minister Netanyahu has circumvented the decision by reaching an agreement with the settlers to move their illegal outpost two kilometers over and turn where they live now into a farm. Peace Now has an informative report on the Migron situation which can be found here.

So getting back to MK Orlev: In his interview, he defended the bill with the argument that (paraphrasing from the Hebrew): families who moved to the West Bank in good will and with government support cannot be evacuated from their homes because no civilized country in the world has a policy of house demolitions.

Posted by Violet_Crumble | Sat Jan 28, 2012, 05:38 AM (3 replies)

Protesters mob PM

Police have had to rescue the Prime Minister and Opposition Leader after they were trapped in the Lobby Restaurant by angry Tent Embassy protesters.

About 200 people surrounded the restaurant, which is near the Tent Embassy, banging on the glass sides and chanting "shame" and "racist".

They kept Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott trapped in the building near Old Parliament House for up to half an hour this afternoon before a large contingent of police forcibly escorted the political leaders through a side door to a waiting car.

Protesters chased their car down the road, banging on its roof and bonnet.

The ABC is reporting that police will investigate footage of the event.


And here's why it happened...

Comments by federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott that perhaps it was time for the Aboriginal tent embassy to move on triggered a protest that trapped him and Prime Minister Julia Gillard in a Canberra restaurant.

About 200 protesters ran from the tent embassy, where 40th anniversary celebrations were under way, to the nearby Lobby restaurant in Canberra after learning Mr Abbott was giving a speech there.


Posted by Violet_Crumble | Thu Jan 26, 2012, 01:51 AM (10 replies)

UK raises concerns over Israel's treatment of Palestinian children

The British government has raised concerns about Israel's treatment of Palestinian minors arrested and interrogated for stone-throwing and other crimes, highlighted in an article in the Guardian.

Alistair Burt, the Foreign Office minister for the Middle East, urged Israel to address the UK government's concerns when on a visit to the country a fortnight ago.

Burt told the Guardian he had "raised concerns about the treatment of Palestinian children in Israeli detention. I urged the Israeli government to address these concerns."

Burt was also asked in the House of Commons last week about the issue of solitary confinement for Palestinian minors. Labour MP Sandra Osborne called on the government to condemn the practice and demand the release of 106 children detained in the Israeli military prison system.

In response, Burt referred to an earlier statement in which he said the practice of shackling children was wrong. Minors are routinely shackled throughout court hearings in the Israeli military justice system.

Osborne told the Guardian Israel's treatment of Palestinian minors was "unjustified in the context of human rights". She had been appalled and distressed on visits to the Israeli military juvenile court at Ofer, near Jerusalem. "No civilised democracy should treat children in that way," she said.

Posted by Violet_Crumble | Tue Jan 24, 2012, 05:14 AM (76 replies)

Racism links to Aussie car flags

DRIVERS who fly Australian flags on their cars to celebrate Australia Day are "more racist" than people who do not, according to research from UWA.
University of Western Australia sociologist and anthropologist Professor Farida Fozdar and a team of assistants surveyed 513 people at the Australia Day fireworks on Perth's Swan River foreshore last year to find out whether there was a link between car flag flying and racist attitudes, Perth Now reports.

Professor Fozdar said the team found that of the 102 people surveyed on the day who had attached flags to their cars for the national holiday, 43 per cent agreed with the statement that the now-abandoned “White Australia Policy” had “saved Australia from many problems experienced by other countries”.

She said that only 25 per cent of people who did not fly Australia car flags agreed with the statement.

Under the “White Australia Policy”, which was non-official government policy until after World War II, non-Europeans were barred from migrating to Australia.

The survey also found that a total of 56 per cent of people with car flags feared for Australian culture and believed that the country’s most important values were in danger, compared with 34 per cent of non-flag flyers.

Read more: http://www.news.com.au/national/racism-links-to-aussie-car-flags/story-e6frfkvr-1226251913064#ixzz1kM9tSsu3
Posted by Violet_Crumble | Tue Jan 24, 2012, 01:56 AM (20 replies)

Salvos apologise to Muslim group over snub

IT WAS supposed to be a relaxing holiday camp where Muslim school boys from western Sydney could play sport, listen to motivational speakers and hang out.

But after Bilal El-Hayek, a youth co-ordinator with the Lebanese Muslim Association, made a tentative booking and sent a $400 deposit for a camp at the Collaroy Centre, he was told the Salvation Army-owned venue could not accept the booking.

The only acceptable guests were those who practised Christianity, a staff member allegedly told him.

''I told her we don't want to preach any religion. This is just a group of young people coming to have fun,'' Mr El-Hayek said. ''I was very disappointed. This is discrimination.''

The Salvation Army yesterday apologised and invited the Lebanese Muslim Association to rebook. The Salvation Army's head of communications, Major Bruce Harmer, said the incident was due to a ''misunderstanding''.

A condition on the centre's booking form states that the Salvation Army can cancel any booking should a group's use of the facilities be ''inconsistent with Salvation Army beliefs or purposes''. This point was open to misinterpretation by staff, Major Harmer said in a statement.

''We are currently addressing this situation,'' he said. ''The Salvation Army welcomes people of all faiths and denominations to enjoy the facilities of the Collaroy Centre.''

Posted by Violet_Crumble | Tue Jan 17, 2012, 07:36 AM (2 replies)

UN chief urges end to Israeli occupation

BEIRUT — UN chief Ban Ki-moon on Sunday called for an end to Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories, saying the illegal building of settlements worked against a two-state solution.

"The Israeli occupation of Arab and Palestinian territories must end. So must violence against civilians," Ban said in a keynote address at a conference in Beirut on democracy in the Arab world.

"Settlements, new and old, are illegal. They work against the emergence of a viable Palestinian state," said the UN secretary general.

"A two-state solution is long overdue. The status quo offers only the guarantee of future conflict."

Posted by Violet_Crumble | Tue Jan 17, 2012, 06:48 AM (4 replies)

Costa Concordia: are women still prioritised over men in evacuation procedures?

I found this interesting article and comments when I was lazing around at work today getting cold feet over the cruise I booked a month or so ago on an equally massive ship as the Concordia. I've seen a fair few people both in RL and on the internet using that antiquated 'women and children first' thinking, and I agree with the person in the article who said it's real Victorian thinking from a time long gone.

'There's no such thing as "women and children first" in the international regulations that set out the evacuation procedures at sea. The only priority that is made is that specially adapted lifeboats are provided for people with mobility problems In reality, studies show that people tend to behave in relatively selfless ways and help the people who require it. Even if they express fear, true panic is relatively uncommon.

The International Maritime Organisation's guidance on maritime safety mentioned above and known as Solas is not openly available as a PDF. The Maritime and Coastguard Agency have pointed me towards three statutory instruments 2721, 2722 and 1561, which translates that international guidance into UK law applying to all vessels operating from British ports. I'm going to have a look through those to see if they tell us anymore.

But considering the fact that women and children first is a cultural notion rather than in anyway a legal requirement, what do you think? Should people still adhere to a Victorian notion of prioritising women in disaster situations? Is it a handy shortcut to prioritising those in need in high stress situations or a sexist relic of another era?'

Posted by Violet_Crumble | Tue Jan 17, 2012, 06:03 AM (14 replies)

Gender, Race and the Burqa Ban

On Dec. 12, Canada's Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Jason Kenney issued a ban that prohibits Muslim women from wearing the burqa and niqab while taking the oath of citizenship. He provided two reasons for this. The first rests on a technicality that citizenship judges must be able to see one take the oath. Rightly fearing that this could be easily accommodated without the need to remove the garments in question, he added a second reason: an appeal to "deep principle" that requires an open public display of "loyalty to Canada."

Kenney's ban is not without precedent. It is part of a larger pattern of Islamophobia. From France, where President Nicolas Sarkozy has disapproved of the burqa as "a sign of subservience" and where women are legally prohibited from wearing the full veil in schools and hospitals, to Barcelona, Spain, which outright bans it in public places, Muslims are brought into the spotlight only to be erased. In this struggle over identity and the right to cultural expression, women's bodies have become a battlefield for right-wing political parties, feminists and antiracists alike. It therefore makes sense to consider Kenney's latest move by taking account of its gender and racial implications.

Preventing Muslim women from covering their faces is a necessary move, maintains Kenney, in order to welcome them into the Canadian way of life. It is allegedly about preserving what Canada is really about—tolerance and openness—while extending freedoms to women who have yet to enjoy them, and perhaps who do not fully understand them.

But the desire to unveil Muslim women is not about a technicality, or even about Canadian values—whatever these might be—it is, rather, a racist desire born of the urge to reject the traditions and cultural symbols of a certain group. We should even go so far as to admit that it is about rejecting that group from public life. The ban is, in other words, the very opposite of what Kenney alleges it is about. It is about telling Muslim women who cover their faces that they have no place here, and that if they want to interact with the state, they must do so by discarding their former selves.

Posted by Violet_Crumble | Sat Jan 14, 2012, 07:12 AM (0 replies)

Australia rebukes Japan over breach

THE Gillard government has complained to Japan after a whaling vessel went deep into Australian territorial waters in pursuit of a protest vessel.

Hours after Japan said yesterday it would release three Australian protesters who illegally boarded a whaling security ship, it emerged that another vessel of the Japanese fleet went as close as four nautical miles to Tasmania's Macquarie Island in pursuit of the activists' long-range ship Bob Barker.

This brought the Japanese ship, the whale catcher Yushin Maru No. 3, inside Australia's 12 nautical mile territorial limit, where domestic laws ban whaling.

A spokesman for Attorney-General Nicola Roxon said the government had complained to Japan about the incursion.

Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/national/australia-rebukes-japan-over-breach-20120110-1ptlv.html#ixzz1j9E7NU93
Posted by Violet_Crumble | Wed Jan 11, 2012, 06:22 AM (0 replies)

ADL report on anti-Muslim bigotry...

I posted this in a massive thread in a forum, but it's worth posting here, as it shows a disturbing trend when it comes to attitudes towards Muslims...

Anti-Muslim Bigotry Intensifies in U.S.

Over the past few months, an intensified level of anti-Muslim bigotry has surfaced in a variety of public forums. While some of the anti-Muslim sentiment has fed on growing community concerns about Islamic extremism, much of it has focused on various plans to relocate or expand mosques around the country.

Several groups with extreme anti-Muslim agendas have launched public campaigns that have both sheltered and fueled this bigotry. Some of the more troubling public campaigns have been initiated by Stop Islamization of America (SIOA), the The Dove World Outreach Center, Operation Save America (OSA) and Act for America! (ACT).

SIOA, which has organized inflammatory demonstrations against the proposed Islamic Center near Ground Zero, has run bus ads juxtaposing an image of an airplane headed toward the burning World Trade Center with another building labeled "WTC Mega Mosque" and the words "Why There?"; The Dove World Outreach Center called for an "International Burn a Koran Day" on the anniversary of September 11 attacks; OSA has demonstrated in front of mosques and issued flyers that read: "Islam is another murderous cover-up for the devil;" and ACT is calling for an end to "Muslim immigration."

The intolerance advocated by these and other groups has been exacerbated by occasional calls for violence. In May, for example, Michael Berry, a Houston talk show host, said "I hope the mosque [near Ground Zero] isn't built, and if it is, I hope it's blown up, and I mean that."

Incidents of violence have also marked the current atmosphere. For example, on February 4, 2011, a Muslim man was stabbed in the neck with a pocket knife at a bar in St. Petersburg, Florida. During a verbal altercation preceding the incident, the attacker allegedly told the victim, "Muslims are the root of the problems," according to the arrest report. In August 2010, a man stabbed a New York City taxi driver in an apparent hate crime. The attacker allegedly asked the driver if he was Muslim, referenced military checkpoints and uttered an Arabic phrase before attacking the taxi driver with a knife.

Some opponents seem to be taking their cues from public figures. In June, Pat Robertson made the following statement on the 700 Club: "We have to recognize that Islam is not a religion. It is a worldwide political movement meant on domination of the world..." Robertson's statement later appeared in an event announcement for a demonstration against the Islamic Center of Temecula Valley in California that was posted to a local Tea Party Web site. Then, at the July 30 demonstration in front of Temecula mosque - to which some protestors had brought their dogs to offend worshippers - some participants held signs that read, "Muslims Danced for Joy on 9/11" and "Mosques are Monuments to Terrorism."

Posted by Violet_Crumble | Wed Jan 11, 2012, 04:54 AM (0 replies)
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