We now know what Washington’s model is for the Middle East, in its most attractive guise. In answer to Egypt’s Tahrir Square uprising, they have smoking craters filled with the charred remains of rebels, conscript soldiers, civilians and other blameless people who must have seen the joy in Egypt and Tunisia and wished it for themselves. In answer to the turbulent, democratic republic, with its tumult of leftist, Nasserist, Islamist and liberal currents, they offer a prolonged civil war at best, culminating in a settlement with Muammar Gaddafi’s son Saif and his sibling.
Matthew Cassel, assistant editor of Electronic Intifada, has recently been reporting from Egypt where he witnessed first hand the revolutionary upsurge that toppled the Mubarak dictatorship and continues to reshape the region. Cassel will be speaking at the Resistance Conference May 6th - 8th, Redfern Community Centre, Sydney. For more information or to register visit: www.resistance.org.au/conference2011. Resistance activist Patrick Harrison spoke to Cassel about his experiences and the revolutionary movements in the Middle East.
Love Andrew Bolt or loathe him, you’ve got to admit the right-wing Herald Sun columnist and radio shock jock is a master of the ambush interview. Add in Liberal Party leader Tony Abbott’s slipperiness with any kind of truth — scientific, political or otherwise — and you have a media product so toxic it deserves to be trucked off for incineration by people in respirator suits. Unfortunately, that’s the product that was all over the talkback airwaves and parliamentary reports for several days at the end of March.
While Palestinian, Israeli and international non-violent protesters who march against Israel’s policies in the Occupied Territories are literally showered in sewage, beaten, arbitrarily arrested and sometimes killed by Israeli forces, the battle against non-violent resistance has taken its own ugly form in Australia.
The Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu is reputed to have said: “If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.” This sums up the problem we face from human-caused climate change. A “climate scoreboard” published by Climateinteractive.org calculates the impact of the current commitments by the world’s governments to cut carbon emissions. It estimates that if the promised emissions cuts are carried out in full, the earth would still warm by about 4°C by 2100 — far above the maximum warming of 1.5°C needed to maintain a safe planet.
I read an article by Greg Sheridan on multiculturalism in the April 2 Weekend Australian and there are a few points that need to be said. First of all, Sheridan says he sees no future to multiculturalism. He says it is a failure and that it doesn't work in Australia. Well, I believe that we live in a world where borders are less important than ever before.
BP has asked United States regulators for permission to resume drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, the New York Times said on April 3. The request comes less than a year after the devastating oil spill in the gulf, caused by an explosion in BP’s Deepwater Horizon rig in which 11 workers died. The NYT said: “BP is seeking permission to continue drilling at 10 existing deepwater production and development wells in the region in July in exchange for adhering to stricter safety and supervisory rules, said one of the officials.
If you change the names, the description of what is happening in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank would be a description of what is happening in South Africa. — South African anti-apartheid campaigner and Nobel Peace Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu, 1989
Nathan Lovett-Murray

When Australian Football League player Nathan Lovett-Murray was growing up, his favourite record was “Black Boy” by Coloured Stone. “Black boy,” goes the song, “black boy/The colour of your skin is your pride and joy/Black boy/Black boy/Your life is not destroyed.” Lovett-Murray still marvels at its power.

Below is a letter published in March by the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network that endorses the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel. The letter was issued in response to a February 15 statement by Zionist (pro-Israel) groups that said the BDS campaign was anti-Semitic and “antithetical to freedom of speech”. * * * Because academic, cultural and commercial boycotts, divestments and sanctions of Israel: • are being called for by Palestinian civil society in response to the occupation and colonisation of their land,
Residents on Camp Road, Broadmeadows, were surprised to see 300 people marching down their street on April 2, calling for an end to the mandatory detention of asylum seekers. The march ended with a rally at the Broadmeadows detention centre, known as Melbourne Immigration Transit Accommodation. About 150 young asylum seekers between the ages of 13 and 17 are held in this centre. All of them are unaccompanied: meaning that they have no families with them.
“As Palestinians were preparing for their weekend this Thursday afternoon,” ElectronicIntifada.net said on April 7, “all of a sudden barrages of Israeli artillery fire and air raids by warplanes struck several regions of the Gaza Strip”. “Five Palestinians were killed and about thirty more injured. Israeli shells struck farm land, homes, a mosque and an ambulance.” Israel has threatened to escalate its military assault on the Gaza Strip. ElectronicIntifada.net said on April 4 that more than 20 Palestinians had been killed by Israeli attacks since the start of March.