On June 1, formal Israeli festivities were held around the country to commemorate “Jerusalem Day”. One of the main events of the “Jerusalem Day" celebrations is the “Dance of Flags”. Tens of thousands of people, waving Israeli flags, march through Palestinian parts of the city. This year, the marchers chanted slogans such as “butcher the Arabs”, “burn their villages”, and “death to the leftists”. The marchers also surrounded a mosque, frantically chanting “Muhammad is dead” and “They are only Arabs, they are only fleas”.
One of the claims made most often by Israeli officials and supporters is that Israel is the “only democracy in the Middle East”. But in recent weeks, media outlets around the world have reported on a string of new laws in the Knesset (the Israeli parliament) meant to curtail the work of human rights non-government organisations (NGOs). Foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman has even referred to such groups as “terrorism aids”. The targeted NGOs report on human rights abuses in the entire area under Israeli control: that is, within the state of Israel, as well as the West Bank and Gaza.
Fatah, the dominant party in the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) and which controls the Palestinian Authority (PA) in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, held its sixth general conference in Bethlehem over August 4-6.
At 10:40pm on August 1, an unidentified man with a ski mask walked into a weekly meeting of Gay Lesbian Bisexual Trangender teenagers in Tel Aviv and shot indiscriminately with an automatic weapon. Two people were killed and a dozen wounded.
The University of Western Sydney Student Association (UWSSA) has launched a new campaign for better quality education, with speak-outs, information stalls and open forums that are drawing many students into action.
The opening night of the first conference of the Aboriginal Rights Coalition (ARC), held in Australia Hall on May 23, drew 170 activists from around Australia.
On February 12 Imad Fayez Mughniyeh, a leader of Hezbollah which led the successful resistance to Israels July-August 2006 war on Lebanon was assassinated in Syria.
On January 26, most people around the country celebrated Australia Day. Thousands of Australian flags with the British union jack were raised, shrimps rolled on the barbie and beer poured like water.
Starting with Melbourne University and spreading around the country like a fire in a library, universities have announced major cuts in arts and humanities departments.