Author Archives

A Q Farhat

A Retired Asst Professor of Pediatrics currently working in Canada.

I’m not going home today

As a Palestinian who lives in the Old City of Jerusalem, I must admit, I am so glad I’m not going home today. Instead of making my usual journey back to Jerusalem via the miserable Qalandiya checkpoint, I will be staying on this side of the wall. Today, of all […]

One in four Tel Aviv couples divorces

Statistics show one in four Tel Aviv couples divorces, and 20 percent of the city’s families are single-parent households, a rate considerably higher than the national average. The Tel Aviv municipality is giving serious consideration to a proposal meant to facilitate divorces in the city. According to the Central Bureau […]

Indonesia’s Democracy

Readers of last Friday’s edition of The Australian may have been struck by the juxtaposition between an opinion piece by Foreign Minister, Kevin Rudd, in which he described Indonesia’s democracy as going ‘from strength to strength’, and the headline on the very next page: ‘SBY urged to back UN on […]

Banning Jewish practices

Two traditions that have been mainstays of Judaism are under attack in different parts of the world these days for the same reason: people who feel morally superior have decided that circumcision and Jewish dietary requirements for animal slaughter are cruel and inhumane. As a political progressive, as a member […]

Beneath Jerusalem, an undergound city takes shape

JERUSALEM – Underneath the crowded alleys and holy sites of old Jerusalem, hundreds of people are snaking at any given moment through tunnels, vaulted medieval chambers and Roman sewers in a rapidly expanding subterranean city invisible from the streets above. At street level, the walled Old City is an energetic […]

Leaders call for a return to Pancasila

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and the heads of seven key state institutions agreed to “strengthen” the state ideology Pancasila amid fears of rising radicalism among the nation’s youth. “All state institutions are committed to actively strengthening Pancasila as the nation’s ideology according to each institution’s role, position and authority,” Constitutional […]

Who picks which religions are sacred?

This newspaper roundly condemned the province of Quebec’s religious studies curriculum in an editorial published May 24, “Moral relativism in the classroom.” The program, known as Ethics and Religious Culture, dares teach children that all religions are worthy of respect. The editors wrote: “Normative pluralism is moral relativism, the notion […]

Kindly remain seated

Not much in Netanyahu’s speech to Congress came as a surprise, but many were shocked by the thunderous applause. Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu must have felt more at home speaking to the US Congress than when he addressed the Israeli parliament: Had he made the same speech at the […]

IDF appoints its first female major general

Orna Barbivay will become the Israel Defense Forces’ first female major general, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz decided yesterday. She will head the General Staff’s Personnel Directorate. Barak and Gantz also announced two other new appointments yesterday, as part of the first round of […]

Indonesia Best Country to Start Business: BBC

Indonesia has been listed as the top country for entrepreneurs to start a business, ahead of the United States, Canada, India and Australia, according to a survey commissioned by the BBC. The results are based on 24,000 interviews conducted by international survey firm Globescan across 24 different countries — where respondents were […]

Battle over civics ends in ouster of two critics

Prof. Yedidia Stern says real reason she was relieved of her role as the Education Ministry’s chairman of its professional advisory committee on civics, is that she opposes changes being pushed by the ministry’s pedagogical secretariat….Zameret wanted “about half the study time” to be devoted to Israeli and Zionist history […]