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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22 May 2024, 7pm

22 May 2024, 7pm The Israel Connexion Proceedings from the Labor Friends of Palestine fringe event that took place at the Victorian State Labor Conference 2024. Speakers in order were : Community Organising and Advocacy Lead Noura Mansour. a Palestinian educator, political analyst, writer, activist, and community organiser, from Acre, who has a Master’s in International Relations from Haifa University. Maria Vamvakinou MP (Calwell) in support of the Parliamentary Friends of Palestine Tony Piccolo,  Assistant State Secretary of the Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union (AMWU)

22 May 2024, 5pm

22 May 2024, 5pm The Israel Connexion The Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ) has reported a 738% increase “in antisemitic attacks on Jewish Australians” since Oct 7th. I speak with Alex Ryvchin, co-CEO of the ECAJ about the avalanche of antisemitism we are experiencing in Australian society today. (0:31-37:10) Air Doctor connects travelers to a global network of over 25,000 professional medical practitioners, including GPs, paediatricians, dentists, ophthalmologists, dermatologists, gynaecologists, and orthopedic specialists, spanning 75 countries. I speak with co-founder Jenny Cohen Derfler. (37:17-57:35)

15 May 2024, 5pm

15 May 2024, 5pm The Israel Connexion The situation on our university campuses has worsened with anti-Israel protests continuing unabated.  I speak with Ilya Somin,  who is a law professor at George Mason University, the B. Kenneth Simon Chair in Constitutional Studies at the Cato Institute and a blogger for the Volokh Conspiracy  He has written a couple of articles Student Movements Are Often Wrong and Campus Anti-Israel Protests and the Ethics of Civil Disobedience. (0:31-31:57) To gauge some reactions to the anti-Israel encampments on many of our universities in Australia I spoke with  Alyssa Peterson, a Ph.D student at the University of Queensland, who is part of the team responsible for the establishment of Camp Shalom there (31:57-43:48) and an undergraduate student at Melbourne University.(43:48-58:22)

8 May 2024, 5pm

8 May 2024, 5pm The Israel Connexion Many countries including Canada and Australia have now resumed funding UNRWA, despite all of the explosive revelations about UNRWA's complicity with Hamas.  Both my guests this week are involved in initiatives to redress this injustice. Richard Marceau is Vice President, External Affairs and General Counsel, Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA). Richard is a former Member of Parliament, a lawyer, a published author, a human rights activist, and a person passionate about the Jewish story. For over thirty years Henry Kopel served as a US criminal prosecutor.  His writings challenge conventional wisdom regarding the causes of mass atrocities, by re-focusing the discussion away from the oft-cited factors of “ancient hatreds” and “poverty” and towards the more demonstrable causal vector of ideological hate indoctrination. His latest book War on Hate: How to Stop Genocide, Fight Terrorism, and Defend Freedom calls on the liberal democracies to robustly confront the sources and conduits of mass hate indoctrination. 

1 May 2024, 7pm

1 May 2024, 7pm The Israel Connexion The Australian Academic Alliance Against Antisemitism (5A) comprising a network of 250 academics, working across 26 Australian universities and medical centres, from diverse disciplinary backgrounds, cultural identities, and religious affiliations, aims to counteract antisemitism in the tertiary sector and medical and research affiliates through education and advocacy. Steven Prawer, professor of physics at the University of Melbourne and co-chair of the alliance, recalls how October 7 became his ‘Herzl’ moment. [This is the full interview with Professor Steven Prawer.]

1 May 2024, 5pm

1 May 2024, 5pm The Israel Connexion John Lockwood, the chairman of an Australian pro-Israel Christian organisation called Kingdom Builders, is partnering with Jewish community organsations and the Global Israeli Leadership. John founded the Southern Cross Alliance for Israel, which started 5 years ago in an effort to bring Jews and Christians together in support of Israel and to combat the scourge of antisemitism. John is also associated with Never Again is Now, (NAIN), a Christian grassroots movement educating and mobilising Christians to actively stand up against antisemitism.  (0:31-34:06) The Australian Academic Alliance Against Antisemitism (5A) comprising a network of 250 academics, working across 26 Australian universities and medical centres, from diverse disciplinary backgrounds, cultural identities, and religious affiliations, aims to counteract antisemitism in the tertiary sector and medical and research affiliates through education and advocacy. Steven Prawer, professor of physics at the University of Melbourne and co-chair of the alliance, recalls how October 7 became his ‘Herzl’ moment. (34:12-58:24)

24 Apr 2024, 7pm

24 Apr 2024, 7pm The Israel Connexion Ralph Seliger has been a left-wing Zionist activist since the 1980s. He's edited and written widely for print and online platforms, usually on Israel and Jewish-related topics. His current focus is as co-editor of The Third Narrative, a website dedicated to a nuanced perspective on Israel, defending its existence and security, while also advocating a two-state solution with the Palestinians. The Third Narrative is critical of the settlement enterprise and most Israeli practices and policies in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. (0:42-42:06) Noam Safir, 20, from Eilat, is the granddaughter of Shlomo Mantzur, 86 who is a Holocaust survivor and the oldest hostage taking into captivity by Hamas. Just before Passover she made a speech pleading for the release of her elderly grandfather. (42:13-49:43)

18 Apr 2024, 9am

18 Apr 2024, 9am The Israel Connexion The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms while Countering Terrorism happens to be Professor Ben Saul, Challis Chair of International Law, Sydney Law School and Elected Academic Fellow, The University of Sydney Senate. In this complete interview with Professor Ben Saul we wrestled over the consequences of the accidental killing of an Australian aid-worker, discussed Israel's handling of humanitarian aid for Gaza and I questioned the validity of much of what the United Nations represents. 

17 Apr 2024, 7pm

17 Apr 2024, 7pm The Israel Connexion Eitan Drori OAM joined me in the studio live speaking with Ahal Besorai, an Israeli Certified Forum Facilitator and Coach and British lawyer, who currently lives in the Phillipines. Ahal, born in Kibbutz Be'eri, is a former officer in an IDF Navy Commando unit and a chairman of the Young President Organization (YPO) London Chapter.  Ahal's younger sister was killed in Kibbutz Be'eri on Oct 7th, while her husband was taken hostage. Eitan Drori manages his own consultancy company focusing on promoting Israeli innovations in Asia Pacific and Europe. He is Chairman of Global Israeli Leadership that fosters worldwide Israeli Diasporic leadership. (0:53-29:23) =================================================== The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms while Countering Terrorism happens to be Professor Ben Saul, Challis Chair of International Law, Sydney Law School and Elected Academic Fellow, The University of Sydney Senate. We tangle over the consequences of the accidental killing of an Australian aid-worker, examine Israel's handling of humanitarian aid for Gaza and I question the validity of much of what the United Nations represents.(29:30-57:25)

10 Apr 2024, 8pm

10 Apr 2024, 8pm The Israel Connexion The recently appointed CEO of the Zionist Federation of Australia Alon Cassuto is responsible for leading the organisation through the most challenging times being faced by Australia’s Jewish community. Cassuto is an accomplished lawyer and management consultant. Born and raised in Jerusalem, the former youth movement madrich (leader), AUJS and Israel Programs leader, and Chair of the Young Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce (YAICC), Cassuto embodies the spirit of activism and advocacy that is at the core of the ZFA’s mission. (0:41-34:55) COGAT (Coordinator of the Government Activities in the Territories) is the official Israeli unit tasked with the coordination and facilitation of humanitarian initiatives to assist the civilian population in Gaza and is doing so in coordination with the international community. I spoke with Shimon Freedman, who is a COGAT spokesperson for international media. (34:56-56:37) Australia's deluded foreign minister Wong responding to a question from an ABC interviewer by totally avoiding an answer, instead uttering a bunch of weasel words and then seeing the ABC interviewer not bothering to ask for a proper answer to the question.   (56:37-58:22)

10 Apr 2024, 10am

10 Apr 2024, 10am The Israel Connexion ABC journalist Sally Sara does not tell Wong that she has not answered her question. Wong avoids having to explain how Israel is supposed to defeat Hamas without a ground operation in Gaza.

3 Apr 2024, 9pm

3 Apr 2024, 9pm The Israel Connexion Born in Tel Aviv and educated at UCLA and Columbia College in Chicago, Duki Dror Darwish is an internationally award-winning documentary filmmaker.  His extensive body of work spreads over multiple topics and forms – character-driven journeys, experiment biographies, investigative docs, and historical epics, have won him international recognition and success. His latest production is about the Nova Music Festival Massacre.

3 Apr 2024, 9pm

3 Apr 2024, 9pm The Israel Connexion Understanding the world is harder than ever. There is too much information, too much propaganda, and too much virtue signalling. Moral Clarity: Truths in Politics and Culture is a vehicle to speak truth to nonsense. Nachum Kaplan holds a degree in politics from Monash University in his native Australia and has spent 30 years working as a journalist, commentator, and C-suite media strategist to Fortune 500 companies. 

3 Apr 2024, 7pm

3 Apr 2024, 7pm The Israel Connexion Born in Tel Aviv and educated at UCLA and Columbia College in Chicago, Duki Dror Darwish is an internationally award-winning documentary filmmaker.  His extensive body of work spreads over multiple topics and forms – character-driven journeys, experiment biographies, investigative docs, and historical epics, have won him international recognition and success. His latest production is about the Nova Music Festival Massacre. (0:37-29:45) Understanding the world is harder than ever. There is too much information, too much propaganda, and too much virtue signalling. Moral Clarity: Truths in Politics and Culture is a vehicle to speak truth to nonsense. Nachum Kaplan holds a degree in politics from Monash University in his native Australia and has spent 30 years working as a journalist, commentator, and C-suite media strategist to Fortune 500 companies. (29:52-58:16) [Separate full length versions of each of these interviews are available].

30 Mar 2024, 12pm

30 Mar 2024, 12pm The Israel Connexion ABC radio presenter Rafi Epstein toeing the line at the ABC.

27 Mar 2024, 9pm

27 Mar 2024, 9pm The Israel Connexion 𝐋𝐢𝐥𝐥𝐢𝐚𝐧 𝐊𝐥𝐢𝐧𝐞 – is the acting Head of Philanthropy for the Victor Smorgon Group and the Founder of Impact Outfit, a family office advisory group. She has just returned from a trip to Israel. Lillian is passionate about working with individual investors and family offices to help them align their personal values with their philanthropic and business interests. Lillian was the inaugural director of the Pathways to Politics Program for Women at Melbourne University and the former development director at Stand Up, a Jewish social justice organisation. (0:56-19:53) 𝐌𝐢𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐥 𝐔𝐳𝐢𝐲𝐚𝐡𝐮 – works with the Eshkol Regional Council, which consists of 32 communities along the Israeli border between Israel and Gaza. She was a guest speaker at the United Israel Appeal’s gala event recently. She is working directly with the regional Mayor to develop the region’s response to the incredible trauma they have endured. Her message is inspirational amidst the intense pain and suffering she was bearing personally and communally. (23:19-33:36) 𝐁𝐫𝐢𝐠𝐚𝐝𝐢𝐞𝐫 𝐆𝐞𝐧𝐞𝐫𝐚𝐥 𝐑𝐞𝐬. 𝐀𝐦𝐢𝐫 𝐀𝐯𝐢𝐯𝐢 at an IDSF briefing discussed his meeting with the US State Department and a shocking accusation about IDF soldiers in Gaza. He also bemoaned the US-Israel relationship following the US abstaining in a vote by the UN Security Council demanding an immediate ceasefire to the war in Gaza. (33:36-57:42)

20 Mar 2024, 6pm

20 Mar 2024, 6pm The Israel Connexion Israel had to change its entry for Eurovision because its original selection 'October Rain' was deemed to be too political. Now Eden Golan will be singing 'Hurricane' and I spoke with Israeli Eurovision expert Amir Alon about Israel's prospects at Eurovision 2024. Alon Amir was slated to be a judge before the Estonian pre-Eurovision contest, a position he has held multiple times, but was rescinded the offer due to being Israeli. (0:38-27:34) Dr. Laura Wharton, originally from the U.S., received a B.A.from Harvard University before immigrating to Israel. She served in the IDF, was a member of Kibbutz Kfar Blum, and completed a doctorate at the Hebrew University, where she now teaches. Laura is and has been very politically active, was on the Meretz party list for the Knesset and today is a member of Jerusalem's City Council. (27:41-58:14)

13 Mar 2024, 6pm

13 Mar 2024, 6pm The Israel Connexion Dr. Dan Diker is president of the Jerusalem Centre for Public Affairs and a Senior Fellow and longtime Director of the Counter-Political Warfare Project at the Jerusalem Center, former Secretary-General of the World Jewish Congress and Research Fellow of the International Institute for Counter Terrorism at Reichman University (formerly IDC, Herzliya). We will discuss the latest issues emerging that are affecting the progress of Israel's war in Gaza. (00:53-26:15) Daniel Lewkovitz is a security expert and the mastermind behind a new documentary in the making "Where's the Jews?", covering what took place at a hateful rally outside the Sydney Opera House on Oct 9th. It includes never before seen high quality (4K) footage from the Opera House, speeches and images which are shocking, highlighting how this rally was poorly handled by the police, which is symptomatic of a serious malaise in our society. ​(26:22-58:09)

9 Mar 2024, 1pm

9 Mar 2024, 1pm The Israel Connexion Joseph Braude is a Middle East scholar and author, who is the founder and president of the Centre for Peace Communications, which works through media, schools, and centres of spiritual and moral leadership in the Middle East and North Africa to roll back divisive ideologies and foster a mindset of inclusion and engagement. A year ago I spoke to Joseph about a major initiative of the Centre for Peace Communications, an animated series “Whispered in Gaza” which depicts Gazans from all walks of life sharing their stories, struggles, and hopes for the future. This week we will speak about the amplification of the voices of Gazans who are critical of Hamas. 

7 Mar 2024, 3pm

7 Mar 2024, 3pm The Israel Connexion Gidi Grinstein is an Israeli societal entrepreneur. He is the founder of the Reut Group), a non-partisan not-for-profit research, strategy and leadership group. He helped to found TOM: Tikkun Olam Makers, a global nonprofit that aids the disabled, elderly and poor. Gidi has been involved in peacemaking in the Middle East region since 1995 and is able to offer his astute insights into how we arrived at the events of October 7, where we stand now, and what current and future negotiators need to know. Grinstein is the co-author of the book, (In)Sights: Peacemaking in the Oslo Process Thirty Years and Counting, which chronicles the past three decades of the peace-making process and outlines a path forward.

6 Mar 2024, 9pm

6 Mar 2024, 9pm The Israel Connexion Gidi Grinstein is an Israeli societal entrepreneur. He is the founder of the Reut Group), a non-partisan not-for-profit research, strategy and leadership group. He helped to found TOM: Tikkun Olam Makers, a global nonprofit that aids the disabled, elderly and poor. Gidi has been involved in peacemaking in the Middle East region since 1995 and is able to offer his astute insights into how we arrived at the events of October 7, where we stand now, and what current and future negotiators need to know. Grinstein is the co-author of the book, (In)Sights: Peacemaking in the Oslo Process Thirty Years and Counting, which chronicles the past three decades of the peace-making process and outlines a path forward. Last week I played the first part of my extensive interview with Gidi Grinstein and this week listeners can hear the second part of it. (0:37-29:47) Joseph Braude is a Middle East scholar and author, who is the founder and president of the Centre for Peace Communications, which works through media, schools, and centres of spiritual and moral leadership in the Middle East and North Africa to roll back divisive ideologies and foster a mindset of inclusion and engagement. A year ago I spoke to Joseph about a major initiative of the Centre for Peace Communications, an animated series “Whispered in Gaza” which depicts Gazans from all walks of life sharing their stories, struggles, and hopes for the future. This week we will speak about the amplification of the voices of Gazans who are critical of Hamas. (29:54-58:03)

2 Mar 2024, 3pm

2 Mar 2024, 3pm The Israel Connexion Michael Kroger spoke to an audience at the B'nai Brith Armchair Series this week and he exhorted the Israeli government to show the 47 min video that depicts in horrendous details the atrocities committed by Hamas. Ask our community leaders and the Israeli embassy why are we not showing more people what happened on Oct 7th?

28 Feb 2024, 11pm

28 Feb 2024, 11pm The Israel Connexion 𝑻𝒉𝒆 𝒊𝒎𝒑𝒂𝒄𝒕 𝒐𝒇 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝑮𝒂𝒛𝒂 𝑾𝒂𝒓 (Lessons from Oslo) Gidi Grinstein is an Israeli societal entrepreneur. He is the founder of the Reut Group), a non-partisan not-for-profit research, strategy and leadership group. He helped to found TOM: Tikkun Olam Makers, a global nonprofit that aids the disabled, elderly and poor. He has been involved in peacemaking in the Middle East region since 1995 and is able to offer his astute insights into how we arrived at the events of October 7, where we stand now, and what current and future negotiators need to know. Grinstein is the co-author of the book, (In)Sights: Peacemaking in the Oslo Process Thirty Years and Counting, which chronicles the past three decades of the peace-making process and outlines a path forward.This interview will be in two parts, with the second part to be broadcast next week. (1:05-29:28) ABC questions Islamic leader This year, the holy Muslim month of Ramadan in Australia is being overshadowed by the Israel-Gaza war. In Australia, anger at the ongoing conflict has now sparked a boycott, with Muslim community groups pulling out of an annual dinner with the Victorian Premier. Listen to the guest on ABC RN Breakfast who was Adel Salman, the president of the Islamic Council of Victoria. (30:11-39:40) David Adler (AJA) Muslim organisations motives in cancelling Iftar events. The presumptious, pretentious and pompous Jewish Council of Australia Visa program bring large numbers of Palestinian refugees from Gaza into Australia.  (39:40-57:41)