Home Ed: 34: August/2009

Ed: 34: August/2009

Indonesia – The Model for Muslim Democracy

Indonesia's success in building democratic institutions in just 10 years is equally remarkable. It is yet another demonstration of the appeal of free institutions, in this case to people with East Asian value systems and in a country with the largest Muslim population in the world.

Syrian Nazis on the Air

3ZZZ's Syrian programming advances the Nazi-inspired dogma of a violent secular party - it is the mouthpiece of the Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP).

Editorial: Talking Terrorism

Australia, the West and many other countries, including many in the Arab and Muslim world, are engaged, against their will, in a struggle with groups that use violence in the name of an ideology rooted in one interpretation of a major world religion. This reality must be stated clearly – it cannot be obfuscated.

Julia and Friends in Jerusalem

Julia Gillard's visit to Israel last month was a success, though it barely made a splash in the local Israeli media. The Deputy Prime Minister's meetings with Israeli leaders were described as a "substantive exchange" and these are expected to stimulate an overall upgrading of diversifying bilateral ties.

Scribblings: Reductio ad Absurdum

So the US position comes down to this: the Israeli government must actively discriminate against Jews, including non-Israeli Jews, when it comes to making decisions about private building permits in all of east Jerusalem - more than half of Israel's capital - even when this could have no conceivable effect on future Palestinian claims in the area during peace negotiations.

The Last Word: Unspeakable Cruelty

When speaking with a leader of the Baha'i community in Australia recently, our conversation inevitably turned to events in Iran. In May 2008, seven leaders of this community were seized from their families, imprisoned and faced allegations of grave seriousness. For 15 months, there have been regular indications that trials will occur and that people whose only real offence seems to be their religious beliefs will have the chance to mount legal defences. But the Iranian regime is not only authoritarian and brutal, but almost unspeakably cruel.

Europa Europa: European “Soft power”

The European Union presents a virtually seamless front when it comes to censuring Israel. True, there are murmurings of dissent from some of the weaker, newer members which are still emerging from the Soviet shadow, but they are swiftly whipped into line by the more muscular states of "Old Europe".

Settlement Freeze Tag

American presidents have been trying to solve the Arab-Israeli conflict since the days of Truman. Sooner or later, every one of them has learned a harsh lesson about the limits of American influence.

A Workable Peace Plan

Israel has put forward a serious peace plan which deserves international support from anyone sincerely wanting to solve the Israeli-Palestinian and Arab-Israeli conflict.

After the Earthquake in Iran

The good news is that 30 years on, the Islamist Revolution is finally on the defensive. The bad news is that even the crisis in Iran has so far failed to produce a Western treatment plan for the Middle East's many ailments.