Wednesdays 4pm; replay Fridays 1pm

For the news behind the news. For analysis and insight into important stories about Israel, tune in to The Israel Connexion, presented by David Schulberg every Wednesday afternoon from 4 to 5 pm at j-air.com.au on J-AIR radio.

In collaboration with experts from all walks of life, who specialise in various aspects of Israel’s political life, arts and culture you will hear in depth interviews delving into issues affecting Israel and on topics to do with Israelis and their involvements around the world. If you miss any of the programs on The Israel Connexion you can listen to all the podcasts of previous programs at Omny Studio.

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29 Jun 2022, 5pm

29 Jun 2022, 5pm The Israel Connexion Doug Altabef, chairman of the board of directors of Im Tirzu whose motto is ‘Building the Zionist Dream’ and Sam Tatarka, former Zionism Victoria president and chairman of Beth Weizmann community centre to ‘The Israel Connexion’. We will be discussing an interview the CEO of the New Israel Fund did on the ABC World Today program on Wednesday 24th June and a ZOOM event with Martin Indyk that it hosted on Tuesday 23rd June, 2020. 

22 Jun 2022, 7pm

22 Jun 2022, 7pm The Israel Connexion Aviv Bushinsky is a political analyst for leading media outlets. He previously served as a media advisor to former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Gil Hoffman served as the chief political correspondent and analyst for The Jerusalem Post. He has interviewed every major figure across the Israeli political spectrum. They spoke at a media briefing on the subject ‘Fifth Election in Two Years: Israeli Parliament to Be Dissolved Next Week’. I will also replay an insightful interview I recorded in 2019 with Prof Gideon Rahat, senior fellow at The Israel Democracy Institute, prior to the elections that were held in September of that year. We spoke about the election process in Israel and why Israel is prone to having so many elections.

8 Jun 2022, 12pm

8 Jun 2022, 12pm The Israel Connexion On May 25th the Australian Palestinian Advocacy Network (APAN) joined forces with Amnesty International Australia to conduct a webinar titled ‘Understanding Israel’s Apartheid’ which was loaded with antisemitic lies and propaganda. The nefarious character of this event was plainly evident and at times I could hardly contain myself as speaker after speaker proceeded to slander Israel with their anti-Zionist poison. This episode has been produced in order to address those who are not honest enough to engage with their opponents, avoiding being challenged for the nasty libels they keep uttering with impunity. The entire episode is devoted to excoriating the motley crew who spoke at the webinar that damned Israel for its alleged apartheid policies against the Palestinians.

1 Jun 2022, 9pm

1 Jun 2022, 9pm The Israel Connexion This week I dig into the archives of this program to present a couple of interviews with those who support the Palestinian cause. You will hear first from Izzat Abdulhadi, who has been the head of the General Delegation of Palestine to Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific since 2006. (1:28-23:48) After that I will play an interview I did four years ago with pro-Palestinian activist Greg Barns, a senior counsel, Australian Lawyers Alliance spokesperson and a senior journalist for The Mercury newspaper. (23:49-45:00) Includes commentary on the UMSU anti-Israel motion that has now been rescinded. (45:09-52:20)

25 May 2022, 3pm

25 May 2022, 3pm The Israel Connexion I tackle the subject of ABC anti-Israel media bias, which has been a long running sore with the national broadcaster. For perspective I play an interview I recorded almost 5 years ago with Gaven Morris who was the then ABC News chief. Even though the interview is a little dated it does depict how the ABC operates when it comes to its reportage on Israel. The interview starts off with remarks about ads that former MP Michael Danby placed in the press about the ABC’s Middle East correspondent Sophie McNeill, who has since taken over the role of Australian researcher for Human Rights Watch, an Israeli bashing organisation that accuses Israel of being an apartheid state. On May 28th Sophie McNeill will be a guest speaker at the Australian Friends of Palestine’s Gala Dinner. Her anti-Israel activism has continued in the same vein as when she reported for the ABC, where at least she needed to show a modicum of restraint. Working now for the disreputable NGO Human Rights Watch her anti-Israel animus is unbridled. Conclusion:  Only a fully external complaints body can truly address the need for genuine independent oversight of the ABC and provide assured procedural fairness to plaintiffs and their complaints.

19 May 2022, 12am

19 May 2022, 12am The Israel Connexion Repeats of interviews with Josh Burns, the Labor member for the seat of Macnamara and Senator James Paterson, Liberal senator for the Victoria since 2016. On the eve of a federal election it is worth listening to what these candidates have had to say in the past. 

11 May 2022, 8pm

11 May 2022, 8pm The Israel Connexion Following the disgraceful antisemitic motion passed by the University of Melbourne Student Union I caught up with Melb Uni student Noa Abrahams, who is the chairperson for Netzer in Melbourne, to hear about the disquiet over the motion and find out what measures are being considered to counter it. I will also refer to the B’nai Brith speakers forum on the topic ‘BDS: What Can We Do?’ that was held on Sunday night at Beth Weizmann. You can watch a recording of the event on my YouTube channel. (0:30-34:44) With the launch of season 2 of the the spy thriller Tehran I was granted the opportunity by Apple TV+ to do an interview with Daniel Syrkin, co-creator, writer, an executive producer and director of the series and you can watch the vodcast of that interview on my YouTube channel. (34:51-51:40)

4 May 2022, 5pm

4 May 2022, 5pm The Israel Connexion This week I return to the studio to do a special live program from the J-AIR studio with schlichim from the local community, who will be sharing their perspectives on Yom Hazikaron and Yom Ha’atzmaut.  Sefi Shalam works as the Shaliach (Israel Emissary) to the Australian Progressive Community on behalf of the Jewish Agency. Motty Goodman is his counterpart involved with Bnei Akiva. Orit Elkayam-Cohen is the Jewish Agency Representative to Australia and NZ .

13 Apr 2022, 7pm

13 Apr 2022, 7pm The Israel Connexion Michael Harari marked 30 years’ service in the Foreign Ministry in July 2017. His final position abroad was as Israeli Ambassador to Cyprus (2010-2015), whilst his domestic positions have included Head of the International Division in the Foreign Ministry’s Centre for Political Research; Deputy Head of the Political Planning Division; and Director of the department responsible for the Centre’s work on the Palestinian arena and Jordan. Today, he serves as a consultant in the fields of strategy, policy and energy, lectures in the Political Science Department at the Jezreel Valley College, and is a Policy Fellow at Mitvim, The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies.  (0:42-40:49) I have tried in vain to get the Greens to elaborate on their policy platform relating to Israel/Palestine, which has not been updated since 2010. Invitations to their candidate in Macnamara  (my local electorate) Steph Hodgins-May and their foreign affairs spokesperson SenatorJanet Rice have been ignored. I will elaborate on why our community needs to be very wary of supporting candidates at the coming Federal election, who would willingly sell out on Israel.  (40:57-50:41)

6 Apr 2022, 6pm

6 Apr 2022, 6pm The Israel Connexion On April 8, 2022, Eytan Stibbe is scheduled to take off on the historic Rakia mission to the International Space Station. This mission is an opportunity for breakthroughs in dozens of Israeli technologies and scientific experiments in space, a chance to advance education and the arts in Israel. I speak with payload specialist Eliran Homa who gives me the lowdown on this exciting mission. (22:40-47:12) Adi Gefen Adler is the UIA’s regional director responsible for the schlichim serving in Australia. We sat together in the J-AIR studio for the full show with my conversartion with Adi coming before and after the Rakia space mission segment. Adi explained his role, visiting Australia 3-4 times a year to liaise with the resident shlichim.  We discussed the affect on the mood in Israel from the flurry of fatal terrorist attacks in the past week and how the UIA is handling the Ukraine refugee crisis.

30 Mar 2022, 10pm

30 Mar 2022, 10pm The Israel Connexion David Bedein serves as Director of The Center for Near East Policy Research and he follows the UNRWA trail, exposing their malfeasances. We will discuss a short video titled ‘UNRWA ignites Jerusalem’ that can be found on his website and consider how UNRWA is managing its affairs, given that it is experiencing a large shortfall in funding.

30 Mar 2022, 7pm

30 Mar 2022, 7pm The Israel Connexion His Excellency Mr. Amir Maimon is the recently appointed Ambassador of the State of Israel to Australia, following an extensive career in the Israel Defense Force and the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs. After a 14-year military career in the paratroopers unit of the IDF, (Ret) Lt. Colonel Maimon joined the Foreign Service. He has held diplomatic posts in London, Canada, Turkey, Ethiopia, and Washington. Mr. Maimon served as the first Ambassador of the State of Israel to Lithuania, along with other notable appointments within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Israeli National Defense College. (0:51-28:48) David Bedein serves as Director of The Center for Near East Policy Research and he follows the UNRWA trail, exposing their malfeasances. We will discuss a short video titled ‘UNRWA ignites Jerusalem’ that can be found on his website and consider how UNRWA is managing its affairs, given that it is experiencing a large shortfall in funding. (28:53-51:02)

27 Mar 2022, 12pm

27 Mar 2022, 12pm The Israel Connexion Samer Sinijlawi is the chairman of the Jerusalem Development Fund and a member of Fatah. He featured in a debate last year on this program with Fleur Hassan-Nahoum, a deputy mayor of Jerusalem, about the legitimacy of the Sheikh Jarrah evictions and home demolitions. Samer was head of Diplomatic and International relations for the Fatah Shadow Leadership and Reform Stream. He was the President of the Palestinian Council of Young Political Leaders 2000-2006, and Head of Israeli and International File for Fatah Supreme committee 1994-2000. He was detained by the Israeli authorities at the age of 15 for 4 years during the first Intifada in 1988-1992.

23 Mar 2022, 8pm

23 Mar 2022, 8pm The Israel Connexion Samer Sinijlawi is the chairman of the Jerusalem Development Fund and a member of Fatah. He featured in a debate last year on this program with Fleur Hassan-Nahoum, a deputy mayor of Jerusalem, about the legitimacy of the Sheikh Jarrah evictions and home demolitions. Samer was head of Diplomatic and International relations for the Fatah Shadow Leadership and Reform Stream. He was the President of the Palestinian Council of Young Political Leaders 2000-2006, and Head of Israeli and International File for Fatah Supreme committee 1994-2000. He was detained by the Israeli authorities at the age of 15 for 4 years during the first Intifada in 1988-1992. (0:31-40:23) Johnny Weiss was the first Executive Director of the Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce and also the inaugural National Executive Director for 15 years. Along with a dedicated team he built the Chamber as a major business organisation with regular trade missions to Israel and an active business networking programme. In 1993, he established the Trans – Tasman Business Circle to provide a forum for Australian and New Zealand business and government leaders. This body is planning an historic inaugural Business Mission to Morocco – Israel – UAE later this year and Johnny Weiss told us a bit about it. (40:32-51:53)

16 Mar 2022, 10pm

16 Mar 2022, 10pm The Israel Connexion Dr. Martin Sherman is founder and executive director of the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies. He served in operational capacities in the Israeli Defense establishment. for seven years, and was a ministerial adviser to Yitzhak Shamir’s government.  In his ‘Into the Fray’ column Martin reveals that something is awry with Israeli law enforcement. For example, the decision of the court not to dismiss the indictments against former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, overriding the legal principle of “abuse of process“. (0:31-27:40) Rachel Ben-Dor is the chair person and founder of ‘Four Mothers’ (Leave Lebanon in Peace) the most successful grass-roots movements in Israeli history that shaped the Lebanon pullout in 2000, the story of which has been made into a film that is showing at JIFF. (30:48-51:48)

16 Mar 2022, 9pm

16 Mar 2022, 9pm The Israel Connexion Rachel Ben-Dor is the chair person and founder of ‘Four Mothers’ (Leave Lebanon in Peace) the most successful grass-roots movements in Israeli history that shaped the Lebanon pullout in 2000, the story of which has been made into a film that is showing at JIFF.

16 Mar 2022, 9pm

16 Mar 2022, 9pm The Israel Connexion Dr. Martin Sherman is founder and executive director of the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies. He served in operational capacities in the Israeli Defense establishment. for seven years, and was a ministerial adviser to Yitzhak Shamir’s government.  In his ‘Into the Fray’ column Martin reveals that something is awry with Israeli law enforcement. For example, the decision of the court not to dismiss the indictments against former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, overriding the legal principle of “abuse of process“.

15 Mar 2022, 9am

15 Mar 2022, 9am The Israel Connexion Dr Martin Sherman speaks about the questionable basis for the on-going trial of former Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. This is part of an interview discussing the article ‘Law Enforcement in Israel – Something to Worry About’ in Martin’s regular column ‘Into the Fray’.

9 Mar 2022, 11pm

9 Mar 2022, 11pm The Israel Connexion Karim Hakimi fled Afghanistan following the capitulation by the United States to the Taliban. He is currently languishing in the Emirates Humanitarian Camp facility in Abu Dhabi. Hakimi is the human face behind the Afghanistan-Israel Friendship Association. (0:31-23:37) Idan Goldberger is the executive director of Australian Friends of Sheba Medical Center, which is the largest hospital in Israel and has been ranked among the world’s top ten hospitals worldwide by Newsweek magazine. (23:37-49:48)

9 Mar 2022, 10pm

9 Mar 2022, 10pm The Israel Connexion I came across Karim Hakimi on FaceBook early last year. He was the person behind a FaceBook group (Afghanistan-Israel Friendship Association) obviously supportive of Israel. I was keen to learn what Karim was trying to achieve by doing this in a country where you would get into very serious trouble if you were found out.

9 Mar 2022, 12pm

9 Mar 2022, 12pm The Israel Connexion Idan Goldberger is the executive director of Australian Friends of Sheba Medical Center, which is the largest hospital in Israel and has been ranked among the world’s top ten hospitals worldwide by Newsweek magazine.

3 Mar 2022, 12am

3 Mar 2022, 12am The Israel Connexion The son of Yitzhak Shamir will speak about the film ‘Shamir: War, Peace and a Dream’,  a riveting documentary which brings together a veritable roll call of Israeli politicians and generals to talk about the extraordinary life and legacy of Yair’s father Israel Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir. (1:18-17:32) Writer, director and producer of the film ‘The Narrow Bridge’ psychologist Esther Takac speaks about her film, which is a searching journey into the souls of four people who, after searing pain, develop strengths they never had before. We watch as Bushra, Rami, Meytal and Bassam, Palestinian and Israeli women and men who lost a child or parent in the conflict, transform their grief into a bridge for reconciliation. (17:38-33:24) Behind the international success story of Amos Oz, a symbol of the Israeli conscience and a writer translated into 45 languages, lurked a double tragedy. When he was 12-years-old his mother committed suicide, and a few years before his death his daughter accused him of being physically and mentally violent, ending all communication with him. A series of conversations with his latest biographer is presented in the film ‘The Fourth Window’, weaving biographical passages, literature and conversations with the main people in Amos Oz’s life. (33:24-51:22) [all part interviews with podcasts available of each full interview]

2 Mar 2022, 11pm

2 Mar 2022, 11pm The Israel Connexion Behind the international success story of Amos Oz, a symbol of the Israeli conscience and a writer translated into 45 languages, lurked a double tragedy. When he was 12-years-old his mother committed suicide, and a few years before his death his daughter accused him of being physically and mentally violent, ending all communication with him. A series of conversations with his latest biographer is presented in the film ‘The Fourth Window’, weaving biographical passages, literature and conversations with the main people in Amos Oz’s life.

2 Mar 2022, 11pm

2 Mar 2022, 11pm The Israel Connexion Writer, director and producer of the film ‘The Narrow Bridge’ psychologist Esther Takac speaks about her film, which is a searching journey into the souls of four people who, after searing pain, develop strengths they never had before. We watch as Bushra, Rami, Meytal and Bassam, Palestinian and Israeli women and men who lost a child or parent in the conflict, transform their grief into a bridge for reconciliation.

2 Mar 2022, 11pm

2 Mar 2022, 11pm The Israel Connexion The son of Yitzhak Shamir will speak about the film ‘Shamir: War, Peace and a Dream’,  a riveting documentary which brings together a veritable roll call of Israeli politicians and generals to talk about the extraordinary life and legacy of Yair’s father Israel Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir. 

23 Feb 2022, 9pm

23 Feb 2022, 9pm The Israel Connexion The first part of an interview with Naftali Moses whose sixteen-year-old son was murdered in a 2008 Palestinian terrorist attack in Jerusalem. The interview is an appraisal of Colum McCann’s book Apeirogon. (0:20-24:13) Rambam Health Care Campus is a 1,000-bed academic hospital serving the over 2 million residents of Northern Israel. It is ranked as one of the most recommended hospitals in Israel. Providing comprehensive medical services in all medical specialties, Rambam is the tertiary referral center for 12 district hospitals. Its commitment is to the entire spectrum of patient care, ranging from the best treatments and therapies, to the support of clinical research.  I will be speaking with Dr. Avi Weissman, a senior anesthesiologist at Rambam Health Care Campus and Director of Anesthesia of Rambam’s Ambulatory Surgery Center. Avi has been the Director of Medical Operations at Rambam since 2014. (24:20-47:15)

23 Feb 2022, 9pm

23 Feb 2022, 9pm The Israel Connexion Naftali Moses’ sixteen-year-old son was murdered in a 2008 Palestinian terrorist attack in Jerusalem. After reading Colum McCann’s book Apeirogon Naftali wrote an article for Mosaic magazine in which he expressed some serious reservations about the tenor of this book. 

17 Feb 2022, 11am

17 Feb 2022, 11am The Israel Connexion Jonathan Turner is the CEO for UK Lawyers for Israel which is an association of lawyers who support Israel and seek to ensure that the rights of Israel and Israelis are respected. I will speak with him on the steps being taking in Britain to legislate against BDS and how his organisation is working to counter the widespread campaign to delegitimise the state of Israel by weaponizing international law. [full interview]

17 Feb 2022, 10am

17 Feb 2022, 10am The Israel Connexion Filmmaker Michal Weits turns the camera back on her family and herself as she grapples with the legacy left by her great-grandfather Joseph Weits in her film BlueBox, screening at this year’s Jewish International Film Festival next month. The Jewish National Fund’s (JNF) ubiquitous Blue Box campaign was internationally successful in raising support for the purchase and forestation of land in early 20th century Palestine. Joseph Weits, filmmaker Michal Weits’ great-grandfather, was a key figure in the organisation. [full interview]

16 Feb 2022, 6pm

16 Feb 2022, 6pm The Israel Connexion Filmmaker Michal Weits turns the camera back on her family and herself as she grapples with the legacy left by her great-grandfather Joseph Weits in her film BlueBox, screening at the Jewish International Film Festival next month. The Jewish National Fund’s (JNF) ubiquitous Blue Box campaign was internationally successful in raising support for the purchase and forestation of land in early 20th century Palestine. Joseph Weits, filmmaker Michal Weits’ great-grandfather, was a key figure in the organisation. (0:40-27:09) Jonathan Turner is the CEO for UK Lawyers for Israel which is an association of lawyers who support Israel and seek to ensure that the rights of Israel and Israelis are respected. I will speak with him on the steps being taking in Britain to legislate against BDS and how his organisation is working to counter the widespread campaign to delegitimise the state of Israel by weaponizing international law. (27:16-51:48)

10 Feb 2022, 12pm

10 Feb 2022, 12pm The Israel Connexion The Amnesty report accusing Israel of being an apartheid state is a libel that will no doubt increase the amount of antisemitism that the Jewish community is confronting.  I tackle a post and remarks put up by the vice-president of APAN on the radio program ‘Palestine Remembered’ on 3CR that, besides being utterly false, contributes significantly to the pile of antisemitic abuse we are facing.

9 Feb 2022, 11pm

9 Feb 2022, 11pm The Israel Connexion Senator James Paterson, a member of the Senate in the Australian Parliament since 2016, was elected last year to be the Chair of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security. I spoke with him about BDS, IHRA and the Amnesty International travesty. (1:55-28:43) From last week’s show second part of the interview with Professor Eliezer Tauber, whose recent book ‘The Massacre That Never Was’ proves that no massacre of Palestinians took place in the village of Deir Yassin in 1948, exploding a myth that has been the cornerstone of the Palestinian narrative for seven decades. (34:00-51:26)

8 Feb 2022, 3pm

8 Feb 2022, 3pm The Israel Connexion What really happened at Deir Yassin? In The Massacre That Never Was, an extraordinary work of engrossing narrative and exhaustive research, Professor Eliezer Tauber proves that no massacre of Palestinians took place in the village of Deir Yassin in 1948, exploding a myth that has been the cornerstone of the Palestinian narrative for seven decades. 

8 Feb 2022, 2pm

8 Feb 2022, 2pm The Israel Connexion Richard Landes coined the term Pallywood ("Palestinian Hollywood"), which refers to "productions staged by the Palestinians, in front of (and often with cooperation from) Western camera crews, for the purpose of promoting anti-Israel propaganda by disguising it as news."  Richard is an American historian and author who specializes in medieval millennial thinking. Until 2015 he taught at Boston University, and then began working at Bar-Ilan University, where his current interests include defending the politics of Israel in the light of what he calls media manipulation by Palestinians.

2 Feb 2022, 4pm

2 Feb 2022, 4pm The Israel Connexion Richard Landes coined the term Pallywood ("Palestinian Hollywood"), which refers to "productions staged by the Palestinians, in front of (and often with cooperation from) Western camera crews, for the purpose of promoting anti-Israel propaganda by disguising it as news."  Richard is an American historian and author who specializes in medieval millennial thinking. Until 2015 he taught at Boston University, and then began working at Bar-Ilan University, where his current interests include defending the politics of Israel in the light of what he calls media manipulation by Palestinians. (3:40-29:49)  [Listen to part 2 of this interview in the next program.] What really happened at Deir Yassin? In The Massacre That Never Was, an extraordinary work of engrossing narrative and exhaustive research, Professor Eliezer Tauber proves that no massacre of Palestinians took place in the village of Deir Yassin in 1948, exploding a myth that has been the cornerstone of the Palestinian narrative for seven decades. (29:54-51:49) [Listen to part 2 of this interview in the next program.]

26 Jan 2022, 10am

26 Jan 2022, 10am The Israel Connexion You have been listening to Labor MP Josh Burns telling us that his party won’t sell Israel down the river if Labor manages to gain power.  Following the Gaza conflagration last May a full page ad appeared in the Australian Jewish News for a number of weeks, no doubt making a huge dent in Josh’s pro-Israel budget. In that ad Labor senator Kimberley Kitching joined Josh in stating, "Labor stood proudly with Israel when we pushed for its membership at the United Nations in 1949. Labor freinds of Israel include, famously Bob Hawke, Julia Gillard, the Victroian Premier Daniel Andrews and many, many others. We stand proudly with Israel today and will always defend its right to live in peace and security". It seems that Josh’s pro-Israel budget has run dry without a word coming from him or any of any his Labor colleagues to criticise the BDS bullying campaign that has been running against the Sydney Festival,  because of the funding support that came its way from the Israeli embassy in Canberra. Labor leader Anthony Albanese and opposition arts spokesman Tony Burke have refused to take a stance on the anti-Israel boycott disrupting the Sydney Festival, despite some nameless ALP colleagues ­privately voicing opposition to the campaign. NSW opposition arts spokesman Walt Secord has been the only Labor member at either a state or federal level to publicly discuss the boycott. Jewish MP Mark Dreyfus, shadow attorney general, elected to the House of Representatives for the seat of Isaacs, knows that if he expresses any public support for Israel that the large constituency of anti-Israel voices in his electorate will start screaming their opposition. Consequently Mark stays silent on a matter of serious concern to our community, preferring instead to ensure his seat remains securely Labor. The legality of BDS is being questioned, it is incumbent on Mark to tell us where he stands on it and not to be cowered by political expediencies. Labor’s silence is particular troubling because of what their allies have been saying. NSW Young Labor Left formerly headed by Anthony Albanese himself has backed the anti-Jewish boycott. Also coming out in support of the boycott have been the Maritime Union and the Media Union.  Despite longstanding party tensions concerning the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Mr Albanese makes out that he is a trenchant opponent of the BDS movement. Last July, in an address to the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, the Opposition Leader said he considered the BDS campaign as one “based upon a racial targeting of a group, in this case Israel”, and vowed to continue to oppose the movement. However in this case Albanese was addressing a captive Jewish audience; he has not demonstrated his willingness to echo his concerns to the wider community.

13 Jan 2022, 2pm

13 Jan 2022, 2pm The Israel Connexion Given how the Sydney Festival boycott has achieved such prominence for the BDS bullies I believe we need to get more active in denouncing their israelophobic bigotry. I recorded this segment to be included with this week’s replay of a highlight from my program in 2021.

22 Dec 2021, 8pm

22 Dec 2021, 8pm The Israel Connexion Ruth Eshel, former dancer/choreographer and critic at Haaretz for 27 years, unfolds a wealth of dance going back to before Israel was even a country. She has spent the last 20 years honing her book ‘Dance Spreads Its Wings’ and we speak about how dance has developed in Israel and about those who have contributed to its popularity. (0:37-33:19) Jamie Hyams, senior policy analyst at AIJAC, joins me to discuss an intriguing discovery that James Carleton speaks about in an episode ‘Disagreeing Well’ that appeared on the ABC’s God Forbid program. I am alluding to a unique interview that James’s father Richard Carleton did in 1970 with PFLP leader Ghassan Kanafani, who soon after was assassinated by the Mossad. (33:29-51:27)

15 Dec 2021, 7pm

15 Dec 2021, 7pm The Israel Connexion Simon Plosker is the Managing Editor for UN Watch, an organisation dedicated to holding the United Nations accountable to its founding principles. There have been 20 UNGA resolutions this year, 14, which is 70%, targeting Israel for admonition. Three resolutions have been passed recently. including one on Jerusalem, and another on the Golan Heights. Many of these are sponsored by Arab and Muslim states. Some are co-sponsored by the worst human rights abusers in the world, such as Cuba, Venezuela and North Korea. [This is the ‘full’ version of the interview with Simon Plosker.]

15 Dec 2021, 5pm

15 Dec 2021, 5pm The Israel Connexion David Matas is legal counsel for B’nai Brith Canada, which is a major supporter of Israel. We examine the fallout from the Valentina Azarova affair, whereby the University of Toronto came under huge pressure to accept Azarova’s candidature for the position of director of the law school’s International Human Rights Program. David has written an article ‘Antisemitism at Canadian Universities’ in which he contends that there is a problem of antisemitism at Canadian universities. He says that one obvious indicator is that the number of Canadian universities, which have adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance endorsed working definition of antisemitism, is zero. (00:37-24:46) Simon Plosker is the Managing Editor for UN Watch, an organisation dedicated to holding the United Nations accountable to its founding principles. There have been 20 UNGA resolutions this year, 14, which is 70%, targeting Israel for admonition. Three resolutions have been passed recently. including one on Jerusalem, and another on the Golan Heights. Many of these are sponsored by Arab and Muslim states. Some are co-sponsored by the worst human rights abusers in the world, such as Cuba, Venezuela and North Korea. (24:56-51:48)

8 Dec 2021, 11pm

8 Dec 2021, 11pm The Israel Connexion The Leadership Dialogue Institute is a private diplomatic channel fostering closer cultural ties between Australia, the UK, and Israel. Musician, businessman and philanthropist Albert Dadon AM launched the Australia Israel Leadership Forum in 2009, quickly broadening its scope to include the U.K. The ‘Institute’ is a think tank comprising political, academic, and business leaders and personalities who are willing and eager to exchange on crucial, meaningful, delicate, and sometimes taboo topics. The annual Leadership Dialogue run by the ‘Institute’ will take place December 13-16 and Albert Dadon will tell us what is in store. (00:52-23:28) American political commentator and author Thomas L. Friedman just wrote an article for the NYT titled Trump’s Iran Policy Has Become a Disaster for the U.S. and Israel. I will speak with Barry Shaw, a spokesperson for the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies, who will eviscerate Friedman’s claim that the decision to scrap the Iran nuclear deal, urged on by secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, and Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, was one of the dumbest, most poorly thought out and counterproductive U.S. national security decisions of the post-Cold War era. (23:38-46:16)

1 Dec 2021, 5pm

1 Dec 2021, 5pm The Israel Connexion Malaysia was refusing to grant visas for Israeli players to participate in the squash world championship in early December – the tournament has now been cancelled. This has been the latest instance of the Muslim-majority Southeast Asian nation, which has no diplomatic relations with Israel, attempting to bar Israeli athletes from the country. I spoke with chairman of the Israel Squash Assocation, Aviv Bushinsky about this episode. (00:59-43:18) Following my program last week about the BDS protest that took place at the Melbourne Queer Film Festival, an article appeared in the Fairfax-Nine media reinforcing a view that the Israeli Film Fund requires grantees to sign a loyalty pledge to receive funding. (43:28-51:25)

24 Nov 2021, 5pm

24 Nov 2021, 5pm The Israel Connexion At the Jam Factory screening of the Israeli film ‘The Swimmer’ at the Melbourne Queer Film Festival (MQFF) there was a protest of about 50 people appearing under the banner of the anti-Zionist group the Tzedek Collective. There had been pressure put on to the MQFF committee to have the film removed from the program, because the protesters oppose what they call Israeli apartheid and pinkwashing of alleged oppression of Palestinians. (0:37-27:23) I got two reactions to this opportunistic BDS initiative: spokesperson for Aleph Melbourne Michael Barnett (1:04-7:55) Jerusalem Post film critic Hannah Brown (7:55-26:10) Daniel Seaman, seasoned media observer, has served the Israeli Government in various roles over the past 30 years, including Director of the Government Press Office and most recently as the Deputy Director General for Information at the Israeli Ministry of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs. He has served as an adviser and spokesperson to the governments of six Prime Ministers. These days he serves periodically as a political analyst and commentator on Israel channel 20. (27:23-51:01)

17 Nov 2021, 9pm

17 Nov 2021, 9pm The Israel Connexion Gideon Behar is the Ambassador at Special Envoy for Climate Change and Sustainability at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel. Previously he occupied the post of Head of Bureau for Africa at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the post of Special Envoy for African Affairs. Between 2011-2016 he was Director of the Department for Combating Antisemitism and Holocaust Remembrance. He served as Israel’s Ambassador to Senegal 2006-2011. He currently teaches a course on “The impacts of Climate Change on International Relations” at Hebrew University. (00:48-32:10) Hear part 2 of an extensive interview with Ofer Cassif MK who belongs to the Hadash party and is the sole Jewish member of the Joint List. (32:25-51:19)

10 Nov 2021, 6pm

10 Nov 2021, 6pm The Israel Connexion During the first intifada Ofer Cassif MK was the first person to refuse to serve in Judea and Samaria, for which he was imprisoned four times. At the same time, he joined the Communist Party and the Hadash movement, in which he held—and still holds—leadership positions. He was elected to the Knesset in September 2019, 2020 and 2021 as part of the Joint List. (0:32-29:50) Jerusalem Post diplomatic correspondent Lahav Harkov has just returned from her trip to Glasgow, where she took part in the international COP26 climate conference, alongside Prime Minister Naftali Bennett. She will tell us a little about what Israel is doing to deal with climate change.(29:51-49:12)

3 Nov 2021, 6pm

3 Nov 2021, 6pm The Israel Connexion AIJAC research associate Dr Ran Porat explains that there is ample evidence to substantiate that the 6 Palestinian NGOs banned by Israel are PFLP-affiliated. He suggests why donor nations and Palestinian civil society is so outraged at Gantz’s order declaring these NGOS in the West Bank as terrorist organizations. (0:42-25:04) Sefi Shalam works as the Shaliach (Israel Emissary) to the Australian Progressive Community on behalf of the Jewish Agency. Motty Goodman is his counterpart working with Bnei Akiva. Coming from opposing backgrounds in Israel, Sefi a left-wing secular-Reform city-boy and Motty a Modern-Orthodox settler they often don’t agree. They re-visiting key events in Israeli modern history – 2005 disengagement from Gaza  and the 1994 peace prize given to Arafat, Rabin and Peres.

31 Oct 2021, 5pm

31 Oct 2021, 5pm The Israel Connexion Dr Dana Barnett has written an article for the Begin-Sadat Centre for Strategic Studies with the controversial title ‘The Jerusalem Declaration on Antisemitism Is Itself Antisemitic’. The Jerusalem Declaration on Antisemitism (JDA) was created to replace the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism, which so far has been adopted by some 36 countries including Australia a week ago.  Dana explains why writers of the Jerusalem Declaration want to steer away from the adoption of IHRA.

27 Oct 2021, 11am

27 Oct 2021, 11am The Israel Connexion Dr. Alon Ben-Meir and Major General (Res) Gershon Hacohen continue their debate in part 2 on Alon’s proposition ‘The Occupation Severely Endangers, Not Enhances, Israel’s National Security’ Dr Dana Barnett specializes in the nexus between post-Zionism and the Israeli academy. Following the announcement by PM Scott Morrison to adopt the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism there has been a hue and cry from so-called progressive elements in the community to drop IHRA in favour of the Jerusalem Declaration on Antisemitism, which Dr Barnett contends is in itself antisemitic. 

20 Oct 2021, 8pm

20 Oct 2021, 8pm The Israel Connexion Dr. Alon Ben-Meir is a professor at New York University’s Center for Global Affairs and Senior Fellow at the World Policy Institute. Ben-Meir is an expert on Middle East and West Balkan affairs, international negotiations, and conflict resolution.  Major General (Res) Gershon Hacohen, a senior research fellow at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, was responsible for the Israeli pullout from Gaza, which he believes was a grave mistake. He has written a comprehensive report ‘The West Bank’s Area C: Israel’s Eastern Line of Defense’, highlighting the need for Israel to maintain its national security. This week Alon and Gershon locked horns in the first part of an extensive debate/discussion on the premise ‘The Occupation Severely Endangers, Not Enhances, Israel’s National Security’

18 Oct 2021, 10am

18 Oct 2021, 10am The Israel Connexion Hadar Sela works for CAMERA-UK (formerly UK Media Watch and BBC Watch), dedicated to promoting fair, accurate and balanced coverage of Israel in the British media – challenging inaccurate, skewed and often inflammatory characterisations of Israel that mislead news consumers and policy makers – and often fuels anti-Jewish racism. This is the full interview.

13 Oct 2021, 9pm

13 Oct 2021, 9pm The Israel Connexion Yona Schiffmiller, Director of Research at NGO Monitor, explaining the case of Mohammed El-Halabi, the manager of operations in Gaza of the international humanitarian NGO World Vision, accused of funnelling 60% of World Vision’s Gaza budget to the terrorist group Hamas. (0:41-27:02) Hadar Sela works for CAMERA-UK (formerly UK Media Watch and BBC Watch), an organisation dedicated to promoting fair, accurate and balanced coverage of Israel in the British media – challenging inaccurate, skewed and often inflammatory characterisations of Israel that mislead news consumers and policy makers – and often fuels anti-Jewish racism

6 Oct 2021, 9pm

6 Oct 2021, 9pm The Israel Connexion Major General (Res) Gershon Hacohen, a senior research fellow at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, was responsible for the Israeli pullout from Gaza, which he believes was a grave mistake. We discuss his article Israeli Arabs’ Violent Lawlessness: An Existential Threat. (0:53-34:55) Tsadok Yecheskeli is team Israel Start-Up Nation media director, who spoke about the achievements of this cycling initiative with its multi-pronged vision. Watch the video documentary Racing for Change to be really inspired. (36:05-59:15)

1 Oct 2021, 9pm

1 Oct 2021, 9pm The Israel Connexion Professor Eytan Blumenthal is the Director of the Department of Ophthalmology at Rambam Health Care Campus Professor Blumenthal graduated (with honors) from the Faculty of Medicine of the Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical Center, Jerusalem. After completing an Ophthalmology residency at the Hadassah University Hospital, Professor Blumenthal continued to specialize in glaucoma at the Shiley Eye Institute at UCSD, one of the top glaucoma centers worldwide. Professor Blumenthal specializes in the treatment and surgery of difficult glaucoma and cataract cases. Such patients are referred from all over the country and abroad. His major research interests include glaucoma, diagnostic technology in glaucoma, and developing diagnostic and surgical devices. Amongst his research achievements, are a lens used for laser treatment after glaucoma surgery, and a device used during filtration surgery. His research focuses on improving surgical techniques in complex cases. As the Director of the Ophthalmology Department at the Rambam Health Care Center, Professor Blumenthal leads a team of experts in all fields of Ophthalmology. Patients choosing Rambam’s Ophthalmology Department will find a professional, skilled and compassionate staff, utilizing cutting-edge technology.

29 Sep 2021, 7pm

29 Sep 2021, 7pm The Israel Connexion Major General (Reserves) Gershon Hacohen, who served in the IDF for 42 years, commanding troops in battle on the Egyptian, Lebanese and Syrian fronts. He was a Corps commander, and commander of the IDF. Today Gershon is a senior research fellow at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies.  David Collier is an investigative journalist, fighting antisemitism and the delegitimisation of Israel. He attended the 2021 conference of the British Labour Party where a resolution was passed condemning Israel for allegedly perpetrating an “ongoing Nakba in Palestine.”

22 Sep 2021, 9am

22 Sep 2021, 9am The Israel Connexion Josh Feldman caught my eye when he wrote a piece titled ‘We Need to Start Teaching Jewish Youth About the Nakba’ that appeared in the Australian Jewish News at the end of August. (0:40-28:40) Ron Finkel has been at the helm of Hadassah Australia for many years doing what he calls Impact Philanthropy in Israel and Australia, playing an ongoing, constructive role in building Israeli civil society. (29:05-48:52)

15 Sep 2021, 4pm

15 Sep 2021, 4pm The Israel Connexion Comments about an AFOPA online event ‘Medical Apartheid. Unequal impact of COVID 19 on Israel & Palestine’, a segment from the 3CR radio program ‘Palestine Remembered’ and the EcoPeace online event ‘A Climate Ripe for Change: Can the Middle East Survive the Climate Crisis Without an Overhaul of the Geopolitical Climate?’

31 Aug 2021, 1pm

31 Aug 2021, 1pm The Israel Connexion Sharren Haskel is a member of the Knesset for the New Hope party. She formerly served as a member of the Knesset for Likud. She was the youngest member of Likud and the second youngest member of the 20th Knesset. Joining the interview was Alex Goodman, Friends of Likud Australia president. The conversation covered a range of topics: the Sheikh Jarrah evictions case (0:51) the message of ‘New Hope’ – the party Sharren Haskel represents in the Knesset (6:45) the stability of the Israeli government coalition (13:25) bill to decriminalise marijhuana use put by Sharren to the Knesset (27:04) Sharren’s involvement with the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus (30:05) prospects for the meeting between Israeli PM Naftali Bennett and US President Joe Biden (38:07) the Mohammed el-Halabi fraud trial (46:47) Sharren’s Knesset aspirations (53:07)