MK has been on the support Sudan bandwagon for a while now, and so have our friends over at Jewish Aid Australia. JAA CEO Gary “Samo” Samowitz has written a column in this weeks Australian Jewish News about the need to help Sudan and the lessons that we should take from Pesach and apply to the world today.
This is a very important idea and not dissimilar from the one I had when writing about the relevance of “never again” to preventing current genocide rather than just commemorating a past one. I am going to do something that I do not often do and quote myself:
What is happening in Sudan is no Holocaust, it is not nearly as industrialised or systematic as the Nazi genocide. The Nazis aimed to eradicate the Jews from the planet, whereas the Sudanese Arabs are more showing callous indifference to a group of people of a different race who live on land that they want for themselves. That said, there are few arguments to make that eradicating the black Africans living on valuable land in Sudan does not amount to genocide. Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir was indicted for genocide by the ICC in 2009 and has been flaunting this indictment ever since.
Of course, none of this raises an eyebrow because, as I have written before, the world does not care about black Africans. They fall at the bottom end of the spectrum in terms of value of human life. If Jews are really serious about “never again”, this is not a situation that we can ignore in good conscience. Don’t let the world stand by as the Sudanese genocide continues.
Unfortunately, the AJN seems determined to plummet into irrelevancy and so it has almost no online content aside from a Godawful iPad app that was out-of-date before the iPad was even made. Therefore, I can’t link to Samo’s column directly and you will have to make do with this crappy photo (click to enlarge):
N.B. For a great background on the current siege of South Kordofan and the campaign against the Nuba people, see Akbar Ahmed here.<
Also, here’s a Foreign Affairs interview with New York Times journalist Nicholas Kristof on his experiences in the Nuba Mountains:
(via Foreign Affairs)
Apparently carbon dioxide’s more radical younger brother, carbon monoxide,* has a calming affect in cities. Ergo, reduce carbon pollution (and unlike CO2, CO is genuinely pollution) and we’ll all be a little more stressed.
Of course, CO is also quite toxic (it’s the gas that kills you when you leave your car running in a confined space) but who cares? We can all relax.
What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Calmer? – The Shmooze – Forward.com
Prof. Itzhak Schnell of Tel Aviv University’s Department of Geography and the Human Environment has found that low levels of CO gas can have a narcotic effect on those who inhale it, helping them better deal with the pressures of city living. In particular, he found that the CO helped them cope better with high noise levels in urban settings.
*Yeah, for anyone who has studied chemistry, pun intended. And I’m so sorry…
In the last week, I have made one or two (tasteless) comments that my workload has been easier thanks to the earthquake in Japan. That said, there is some very real truth in this. Foreign Policy‘s David Rothkopf has gone-through the potential impact on the world focussing on the destruction reaped by nature and not people:
What will the Japanese disaster’s toll be in the Middle East? | David Rothkopf.
Consider that this week that the world debated nuclear reactor safety in Japan while Iran worked silently to develop nuclear weapons capabilities, while Pakistan continued to build its massive arsenal.
What is happening in Japan is extremely important and it warrants the attention of world leaders and it is heartening to see global assistance flowing into the stricken nation. But it does not excuse those leaders from their responsibilities to address other urgent issues elsewhere, and yet one cannot help but feel that many are seeking cover behind these grim stories datelined in Sendai or Iwate Prefecture, an excuse for inaction or worse, for inexcusable actions.
It would be a sad irony if part of the toll of the Japanese quake included thousands more dead in Libya, or the freedom of aspirant millions from the Maghreb to the Gulf. Britain’s David Cameron has said he will seek U.N. action on Libya, a resolution and a threat of a no-fly zone at some point in the future. It’s an admirable ambition but poses the questions: At what point will that be? What will be left of the opposition?
It probably has a lot to do with the movie Notorious released in 2009, but I’ve been hearing Biggie everywhere over the last year or so. Hip Hop in general seems to be making a comeback, with Kanye topping every “Top 10 of 2010″ style things, but Biggie seems to have really made a comeback a decade after his death ( although his whole career seems to have happened after his death anyway, so it may not be so out-there). He’s definitely beating his rival Tupac at the moment, despite Pac’s miraculous stream of posthumous releases.
So just in time to keep the sales (or at least downloads) soaring, it looks like police have made a breakthrough in his death investigation.
Investigation into death of Notorious B.I.G. heats up – CNN.
According to one law enforcement source, the investigation into the 13-year-old unsolved case was “reinvigorated” months ago as a result of new information, but the source would not elaborate further because of the ongoing investigation that includes the Los Angeles Police Department, L.A. County District Attorney’s Office and the FBI.
It will be interesting to see what comes out of this, although solving Biggie’s murder will take him out of the exclusive club of musicians who died mysteriously. He’ll no longer be chilling with Pac, Jeff Buckley, Buddy Holly, Elvis, Michael Jackson et al. Although he will get to hang with John Lennon, as a musician who was assassinated, which I guess is a silver lining.
Meanwhile, this remix is amazing:
This apparently shows the Twitter use worldwide on NYE. I know that Australia is very sparsely populated, but our population definitely looks underrepresented, even on the East Coast.
I’m not sure why it’s taking so long for this tool to reach us Down Under when the rest of the world seems pretty on board to the point where Kanye refuses to interview on anything else. Even parts of Africa are brighter than Sydney and Melbourne. If this was a map of electronic lighting usage or something, you would assume that Australia was a developing country.
See the Foreign Policy post HERE.
From Munich to the Mabhouh assassination, the secretive Israeli intelligence agency has pulled off some pretty elaborate operations in its time. But lately, Middle Eastern media outlets and politicians have been getting a bit carried away.
Vulture spies, killer sharks, satanic rock shows, Facebook and apparently the underpants bomber. You name it, it was probably caused by Israel. The above link goes through these ones pretty well, it’s really quite funny/scary how many people believe these kinds of things. It did, however, manage to completely overlook that Israel caused the earthquake in Haiti earlier this year – which was a little silly.
Even Wikileaks apparently is in league with the Zionists. You see, as the theory goes, Mr Assange made a secret deal not to embarrass Israel – that’s why all of the cables released just confirm things we already knew and mostly vindicate Israel’s stance on issues. All of the evidence of genocidal plans and war crimes is sitting somewhere on Assange’s hard drive. I mean, it’s not like these guys could have been WRONG about Israel, is it?
Those crazy Israelis, what will they get up to next?
Some very cool images here. Particularly 15-17, all three of which show amazing contrasts between luxury and poverty in a single image.
I’m not quite sure what it’s trying to say about Israel/Palestine, although it does show the absurdity of the situation quite well.