Tag Archives: Jeff Halper

Subscribe to Jewish Peace News. Defense of German Critic, Halper in Australia, Seven Jewish Children–A Play for Gaza

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Jewish Peace Activists Defend German Critic of Israel

More than 370 Jewish peace activists from around the world signed a statement defending German politician Hermann Dierkes against charges of anti-Semitism.

Dierkes, a left-wing politician with a distinguished record of fighting for social justice, called for a boycott of Israeli goods as a means of putting pressure on the Israeli government to end its oppression of Palestinians. For this he has been subjected to vicious denunciations for anti-Semitism.

Jeff Halper: An unhelpful discourse on Israel / Middle East News Service

JPN picked this up from Antony Lowenstein. It is Jeff Halper’s unpublished op-ed on getting censored during a trip to Australia. As JPN’s Racheli Gai writes:

“The following article was written by Israeli/American peace activist Jeff Halper for the Australian Jewish News. The paper refused to run the piece, despite spending weeks attacking Halper and his supporters in its pages.
The type of dynamics Halper describes in the essay, where organized Australian Jewry comes to the “rescue” of an idealized Israel – an “Israel” which has nothing to do with Israel as a real country, doesn’t seem unique to Australia. It’s certainly the case in the US, and I suspect in other countries as well, that the Jewish diaspora latches on to an imaginary Israel for its own needs, even while Israel puts Jewish diaspora to its own
unholy uses.”

Seven Jewish Children–A Play for Gaza

As JPN’s Rebecca Vilkomerson wrote, “Caryl Churchill, a renowned British playwright and feminist, wrote a short play called: Seven Jewish Children–A Play for Gaza. It premiered in London in February and in New York on March 16th, in an event marking the anniversary of Rachel Corrie’s death. It was produced at the New York Theatre Workshop, which was the center of a controversy three years ago when it backed off from its decision to produce the play “My Name is Rachel Corrie.”

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Israeli human rights advocate Halper too hot to handle for Jewish paper

Antony Loewenstein gets to the heart of the matter- the Sydney-based Jewish newspaper, Australian Jewish News (AJN), just refused to run an ad promoting a talk by Israeli Committee Against House Demolition’s Jeff Halper, but happily runs ads supporting extremist settlers, because nobody complains:

I contacted the AJN’s National Editor, Ashley Browne, to shed more light on the decision to block the ad. He said that the paper was not obliged to run the ads and refused ads all the time.

When pushed, he acknowledged that he supported the publisher, Polaris Media’s Robert Magid – who recently claimed in the paper that the late English playwright Harold Pinter was a “political extremist” for daring to criticise Israel – to cut ads that would “offend significant members of the community, especially subscribers”. I asked him how an ad that simply listed a handful of events would be “offensive”, but he gave no further information.

Magid told the Herald that he rejected the ad because he didn’t “like the crowd who are bringing him out.” He went on: “I am familiar with them. They use their Judaism to bash other Jews and issues associated with the Jewish community.”

I queried Browne why the paper seemed happy to run irregular ads from the fundamentalist, West Bank settler movement. “Nobody has ever complained about those ads,” he replied. Clearly the message of the colonial project in the West Bank – a recent EU report found yet more evidence of illegal development around East Jerusalem – is less “offensive” than a mild-mannered Jewish peace activist.

Last year, as we reported, Sacramento, California’s Jewish newspaper similarly refused to run a calendar item about Dr. Alice Rothchild’s book tour. The backlash forced them to print an explanation on page one of the next edition.

The moral fiber of any community is built by addressing, head-on, the challenging questions raised by these human rights leaders– it is not built be refusing to even entertain the questions.