Archive for the ‘The Human Condition’ Category
Stephen Hawking’s decision to boycott the Israeli president’s conference has gone viral. Over 100,000 Facebook shares of the Guardian report at last count. Whatever the subsequent fuss, Hawking’s letter is unequivocal. His refusal was made because of requests from Palestinian academics.
Witness the speed with which the pro-Israel lobby seized on Cambridge University’s initial false claim that he had withdrawn on health grounds to denounce the boycott movement, and their embarrassment when within a few hours the university shamefacedly corrected itself. Hawking also made it clear that if he had gone he would have used the occasion to criticise Israel’s policies towards the Palestinians.
While journalists named him “the poster boy of the academic boycott” and supporters of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movementcelebrated, Ha’aretz, the most progressive of the Israeli press, drew attention to the inflammatory language used by the conference organisers, who described themselves as “outraged” rather than that they “regretted” Hawking’s decision.
That the world’s most famous scientist had recognised the justice of the Palestinian cause is potentially a turning point for the BDS campaign. And that his stand was approved by a majority of two to one in the Guardian poll that followed his announcement shows just how far public opinion has turned against Israel’s relentless land-grabbing and oppression.
Filed under: Human Rights, Middle East Politics | 7 Comments
by James M. Wall (UPDATE BELOW) A Boston Marathon Interfaith memorial service, “Healing Our City”, was held at Boston’s Cathedral of the Holy Cross Thursday, April 18. It was a service that concluded with remarks delivered by President Barack Obama. The National Journal’s Matthew Cooper called Obama’s remarks “an emotional rallying point for the city”. It was also, Cooper […]
Filed under: Religion and politics, The Human Condition | 4 Comments
by James M. Wall Writing for both Newsweek and The Daily Beast, Peter Beinart used a surprising phrase to describe how President Obama plans to deal with the Israel/Palestine issue during his second term. Beinart took his clue from the “pro forma and bland” response the White House made after Israel’s defiant announcement that it […]
Filed under: Middle East Politics, Obama, Politics and Elections, The Human Condition | 10 Comments
by James M. Wall Drawing from a report by Save the Children, Electronic Intifada’s Managing Editor Maureen Clare Murphy, describes what she correctly terms, Israel’s managed “humanitarian crisis in Gaza”. A humanitarian crisis that is managed? Wait a minute; “managing” means controlling what happens. Yes it does. Which is how it comes about that Israel […]
Filed under: Middle East Politics, Politics and Elections, Religion and politics, The Human Condition | 7 Comments
Tags: american tax payers, chronic malnutrition, electronic intifada, Middle East, politics
by James M. Wall After working for five US presidents, Dennis Ross has resigned his position as President Obama’s chief Middle East advisor. Presidents Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, Bush II and Obama, all arrived at the White House determined to recast the nation’s role in finding a permanent peace between Israel and the Palestinians. Sometimes immediately, […]
Filed under: Middle East Politics, Netanyahu, Obama, Politics and Elections, The Human Condition | 18 Comments
by James M. Wall Richard Goldstone, Chas Freeman, Shirley Sherrod. If you figure ‘Shirley” as a nickname for a first baseman, “Freeman to Goldstone to Sherrod” could be a modern day version of the celebrated double play Chicago Cubs’ combination of “Tinkers to Evers to Chance”. It could even be a prestigious law firm on […]
Filed under: Media, Middle East Politics, Religion and politics, The Human Condition | 2 Comments
By James M. Wall The times they are a’changing. Not immediately and not fast enough, but the signs are promising. Consider these three stories: Michigan State President Says No to ADL Michigan State University invited retired South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu to deliver the university’s 2009 commencement address. Tutu is the recipient of the Nobel Peace […]
Filed under: Religion and politics, Religious Faith, The Human Condition | 4 Comments
by James M. Wall Elections do have consequences. Imagine any other current American politician handling questions from the international press corp and town hall meetings the way Barack Obama has been doing on his European trip. We have much […]
Filed under: Politics and Elections, The Human Condition | 2 Comments
by James M. Wall There are not many “good news” stories in politics these days. But a Florida woman, Henrietta Hughes, was central to one of the few “good news” moments that reached national attention in Fort Myers Thursday. Huffington Post has the story with two videos, one with the beginning of the story, the other […]
Filed under: Religion and politics, The Human Condition | Leave a Comment
Wayne Holst, a Canadian colleague, has a list serve he sends out weekly with information and reprints, Recently, he included an update on the condition of Chicago’s Father Andrew Greeley, the Catholic priest and novelist, who has been in a coma as a result of a fall on a Chicago street. A second Short Take from […]
Filed under: The Human Condition | Leave a Comment