Showing posts from July, 2014

Is it a joke or what?

The umbrella body of the Jewish community in Sydney threatened to take action against a major newspaper for publishing a cartoon about Gaza that it claims “racially vilifies” Jews.

Yair Miller, president of the New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies, wrote to the editor of the Sydney Morning Herald Tuesday claiming that the cartoon by Glen Le Lievre in the July 26 edition was in breach of the Anti-Discrimination Act.

“In our view this is racial vilification, not only in the sense of offending, insulting, humiliating and intimidating Jews as a group, but also in the sense of inciting third parties to hatred of Jews,” Miller wrote.

The cartoon, published alongside a virulently anti-Israel article by columnist Mike Carlton, showed a yarmulke-wearing Jew sitting in an armchair etched with a Star of David, using a remote control to detonate a collection of buildings, presumably in Gaza.

The Anti-Defamation Commission of the B’nai B’rith also lodged a formal protest against the “anti-Semitic…


The poem by Robert Frost is one of those I had to memorize in high school, and therefore despised then. Who wants to learn only for the sake of examination? But this one, The Road Less Taken, has been so instructive, and so pivotal in my life, that I read it with measured frequency and today share it with you.

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,    

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has …

Thoughts on Israel/ Gaza Peace: A conversation

I thought I would put in one compilation things I've written or others have written that may help in the conversation viz Israel and Gaza war 2014. Follow the links, come back here, follow more links, and then comment. I almost always (99% of the time) publish what others comment. I want to hear from you. That's truth. And truth matters. Let's discuss...

You might have to copy and paste some of these URLs. Sorry about that.

Civil tragedy.  21 July 2014  Civil?

Where is real peace?  19 July 2014 Real peace

A video from Dennis Prager, American talk show host. A calm evaluation

After three teens were killed Pain and grief

Israeli ambassador on weapons depots on CNN Weapons depots
Not about Middle East, but Senseless shootings

My Facebook updates:
#pray4jfjisrael Praying from Australia for the healing of a nation and the people of Israel and Gaza. Especially JFJ there. (26 July)

My friend Matt Darvas wrote this piece today. What is your response?…

Civilians and human tragedy

The word 'civil' is an adjective and has the following meanings: 1) relating to ordinary citizens and their concerns, as distinct from military or ecclesiastical matters (such as 'civil aviation' or 'civil marriage ceremony.' This could also include conflicts occurring between citizens of the same country such as the "Civil War" in Yugoslavia. 2) It can also mean (in Law) relating to private relations between members of a community which are not criminal like the phrase 'civil action.'

There is another meaning 3) which sounds courteous and polite, urbane, polished, cultured and cordial. And maybe that's where the problem of human shields and shooting of civilians is having a hard-sell in the public of late. Let me explain.

The word's origin appears to be from the Latin 'civis' which is the word for 'citizen'. So the assumption to most in the West where I live is that civil people should behave more properly towards cit…

Peace, peace, when there is no peace

Ezekiel was a Jewish prophet and priest who lived between 622 BCE and well into the 6th Century BCE. He was among a few thousand Jewish people who were taken into captivity in Babylon, when he was about 25 years old or so and he prophesied for a couple decades along with a contemporary named Jeremiah.  His words then are useful today, so his prophecies were not only for then, they can be helpful to us who want to know the signs of the times and the times of the signs. (By the way, many churches 'celebrate' Ezekiel's life and ministry around 21 July which is Monday.

In what we title "Ezekiel chapter 13" (he didn't break his writings into chapters and verses; we do that), he wrote: “Thus I will spend My wrath on the wall and on those who have plastered it over with whitewash; and I will say to you, ‘The wall is gone and its plasterers are gone, along with the prophets of Israel who prophesy to Jerusalem, and who see visions of peace for her when there is no pea…

JEWS FOR JESUS: What Are You For?

Behind enemy lines

Don't be confused. This is not a movie review of the 2001 Gene Hackman/ Owen Wilson debacle so titled.  For the review of that sad piece of Hollywood read Roger Ebert's review here. No, for me this is about traveling to Russia in June and pondering it after returning to Sydney a couple weeks ago.

When I was born in 1951, the embers of World War II were long cooled. Before I turned 3, Josef Stalin died. He defined much of what I understood in my primary school days as Russia or the USSR. Under Stalin's rule, the concept of "socialism in one country" became a central tenet of Soviet society. He replaced the New Economic Policy introduced by Lenin in the early 1920s with a highly-centralized command economy, launching a period of industrialization and collectivization that resulted in the rapid transformation of the USSR from an agrarian society into an industrial power. However, the economic changes coincided with the imprisonment of millions of people in corre…

Calvary: the movie and its themes

I had never heard of the movie Calvary until last week. Then my wife and I went to see it.  The website of the movie says, "Father James is a good priest who is faced with sinister and troubling circumstances brought about by a mysterious member of his parish. Although he continues to comfort his own fragile daughter (Pictured) and reach out to help members of his church with their various scurrilous moral- and often- comic problems, he feels sinister and troubling forces closing in, and begins to wonder if he will have the courage to face his own personal Calvary."

A personal Calvary. That's intriguing. The 'original' Calvary of course is a hill in Jerusalem and was made 'famous' by the death of a carpenter-turned-rabbi-turned-... executed one there on Calvary.  His name is Yeshua.  Father James who lives 38 kilometres from Sligo, Ireland, calls him Jesus. But which Calvary is in view in the mind of the writer/ director?

I will not tell you the endi…

Deep pain and grief

Three men-- Naftali Frenkel, Gilad Shaar, and Eyal Yifrach-- are dead. The words are intentionally bare and stark. They had not even lived 21 years of their lives. This gathering in Zion Square, a public square in West Jerusalem, Israel, located at the intersection of Jaffa Road, Ben Yehuda Street, Herbert Samuel Street, and Yoel Moshe Salomon Street. It is one of the vertices of the Downtown Triangle commercial district. Since the British Mandate era, Zion Square has been the focal point of the cultural life of downtown Jerusalem.

Zion Square was also the site of several terrorist attacks and a 2012 assault on Palestinian youth by a group of Jewish youth.

So it is fitting that this gathering took place after the world learned the fate of the three young Jewish teenagers. The world shook its head in dismay and disbelief. How could anyone take hostility to this low? We felt a kick in the stomach and like the people in the photograph, joined together in quiet reflection and in observab…