Live Encounters Magazine October 2012


Religious Responsibility: Racist Incitement by State Funded Rabbis – Steven Beck

My Journey – to my son, Sean by Terry McDonagh

Habib Tanvir: Towards an Inclusive Theatre by Anjum Katyal

Photo Gallery – Varanasi from Joo Peter

Space and Time – Candess M Campbell

From Vienna to Yogyakarta: The Life of Herb Feith – Jemma Purdey

Strangers in ‘paradise’? Somali asylum-seekers in Indonesia – Antje Missbach

They are just Papuans: Representing the Papuan conflict in a foreign country – Budi Hernawan

When Jewish Vegans Don’t Give A Fig For Honey! – Natalie Wood

Tzfat (Safed) – A photo feature – Sari Ganulin

Indian soldiers lauded in Israeli textbooks for freeing Haifa!

Indian lancers marching through Haifa after it was captured


Haifa, Israel: While remaining largely unknown in their own country, some Indian soldiers will now become household names in Haifa in northern Israel after figuring in the history textbooks taught at schools for their contribution in liberating this city in 1918.

The municipality of Haifa has gone ahead with its decision to immortalise the sacrifices made by Indian soldiers, many of whom are buried in the cemetery here, by including the stories of their valiant efforts in liberating the coastal city during the First World War in the school curricula as part of the history textbooks.

“The move is a part of Haifa municipalities efforts to preserve the city’s history and heritage,” Hedva Almog, deputy Mayor of Haifa told people gathered to pay respects to Indian soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice in the war to liberate the city.

Haifa Historical Society has done an extensive research on the role of the Indian army in the region.

As per their findings, a large number of Indian soldiers sacrificed their lives in this region during the First World War and nearly 900 are cremated or buried in cemeteries across Israel.

Almog said that the municipality is planning big centenary celebrations to commemorate the event in 2018, calling upon India to join hands in making it a success.

Charge de Affaires at the Indian mission in Tel Aviv, Vani Rao, reacted positively to the request extending support in organising the Centenary celebrations.

The Indian army commemorates September 23rd every year as Haifa Day, to pay its respects to the two brave Indian Cavalry Regiments that helped liberate the city in 1918 following a dashing cavalry action by the 15th Imperial Service Cavalry Brigade.

Residents of the Israeli city also celebrate Haifa Day the same day with a series of cultural programmes during the week.


United Kingdom British Empire

Indian Princely states


Ottoman Empire Ottoman Empire

German Empire German Empire


Arrival and Departure

Words fall and scatter, rolling away like marbles. She looks, speechless. Life kicks within her crying to be let out.  Gently she holds her stomach and whispers “Hush my baby, daddy will come home soon”, as she watches him walk away. Godspeed she shouts out in a voice breaking with sorrow.

He is gone carrying a gun to kill people in another land.

Now she lies legs apart screaming like a banshee in an antiseptic room with masked people around gently coaxing her, “Push, Push”. Suddenly there is a cry…”it’s a boy”.

On the other side of the world he lays face down in the bright lights of hatred and violence, his hands searching for his legs that lie somewhere else in the desert sand.

Life was ending just as it was beginning.

“Hush my baby, daddy will come home soon”

Victory We just stopped oil drilling in Achuar territory!

Amazon Watch
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Dear Mark,

Late last week I called Achuar leader Peas Peas Ayui with terrific news: Our long and hard campaign has forced Talisman Energy to abandon oil drilling plans in Achuar territory in the Peruvian Amazon.

“I thank you and our allies for standing with us in solidarity to confront this problem,”Peas exclaimed. “It brings me great happiness to have achieved what we set out to do.”

It’s your support of Amazon Watch that makes victories like these possible.
Please continue to help us support the Achuar!

Talisman is the fifth oil company that the Achuar have forced to leave. It demonstrates that together we can stop the destruction of the rainforest. Here’s how:

  • The Achuar remained strong and united with support from around the world.
  • Over 10,000 of you signed a petition demanding Talisman to leave.
  • Hundreds supported Achuar leaders’ travel to Canada.
  • Dozens turned out to protest outside Talisman’s offices in Calgary, Canada.
Peas Peas Ayui “It does not end here, we have to remain awake.
We ask that our allies do not forget us and do not leave us.”

— Peas Peas Ayui

We cannot walk away now. Peru and Ecuador are poised to auction new oil concessions in and around Achuar territory. In response Amazon Watch is building international solidarity for the Achuar cause, pressuring the Peruvian government to abandon oil drilling plans, and supporting the Achuar’s own vision of development with sustainable income projects, traditional medicine centers and bilingual education.

Our combination of hard-hitting international campaigns and direct support for the Achuar is working. Help support an Amazon without oil drilling: Donate today.

For the Achuar,

Gregor MacLennan
Gregor MacLennan
Peru Program Coordinator

Committee to Protect Journalists reports on Japan’s independent journalism

CPJ Blog

Press Freedom News and Views

Japan’s independent journalism on trial with Tanaka

By Nathalie-Kyoko Stucky and Jake Adelstein/CPJ Guest Bloggers
Journalist Minoru Tanaka is being sued over a piece on Japan's nuclear industry. (Nathalie-Kyoko Stucky)

Journalist Minoru Tanaka is being sued over a piece on Japan’s nuclear industry. (Nathalie-Kyoko Stucky)

It doesn’t take a baseball bat to silence a reporter in Japan–increasingly the blunt weapon being wielded by corporations, power brokers, and politicians is the court gavel.

In May of this year, a writer for the weekly magazine Shukan Kinyobi was sued by one of Japan’s most powerful nuclear industry figures, for a total of 67,000,000 yen (US$858,000). The thrust of the lawsuit is that the term used to describe the plaintiff is libelous.

This is a landmark case because it is the first time that a journalist has been sued over an article, but not the magazine which published it. It is a clear attempt to bully the individual reporter and to create a rift between freelance journalists and the periodicals that run their stories.

Reporters working for major newspapers or media outlets in Japan are usually part of Japan’s press club system, which allows them great access to government agencies and protects them to some degree. Newspapers like the Yomiuri Shimbun and others have the power of millions of readers and ample finances to shield their reporters from lawsuits of this ilk, but independent journalists do not.

The individual being sued is Minoru Tanaka, age 52, an investigative journalist who has long written about Japan’s problematic nuclear industrial complex, known as “the nuclear village,” composed of utility firms, politicians, advertising agencies, and retired bureaucrats. His article–which touches upon the deep collusion between the president of a nuclear safety company, Japan’s nuclear industry, politicians, and possibly even organized crime–was published in the Dec. 16, 2011, issue of the magazine. .

All the materials Minoru Tanaka used for his article were available in the public domain. The plaintiff, Shiro Shirakawa, president of the nuclear safety company New Tech, launched a lawsuit against Tanaka in May, complaining that the word Tanaka had used in his article to explain the role of Shirakawa as a nuclear “fixer” was insulting and defamatory. In Japan, the term fixer means someone who arranges profitable business deals often using dubious methods. It has a negative connotation but is also used in the sense of the word “middleman” or “organizer” in the popular vernacular.

The plaintiff demanded Tanaka pay a total of 67,000,000 yen in damages and attorney fees.

This act of targeting one single individual and the fact that the plaintiff is much more powerful financially and politically makes the case a strategic lawsuit against public participation, or SLAPP, according to Tanaka and the publisher of Shukan Kinyobi, Hajime Kitamura.

The lawsuit is in the preliminary stages and a verdict is expected next year.

After the latest hearing at the Tokyo District Court, Tanaka said, “The mainstream Japanese press has still not touched the story, probably for fear of financial damages.”

He said one of the reasons that support for him is not widening at a rapid pace is because of the existence of the press club, or the Japanese Kisha Kurabu system. “The major media outlets that are part of the press club system do not welcome freelance or individual writers because they want to monopolize information for themselves. They are not very supportive of individual journalists,” Tanaka said.

Off the record, a reporter for a major television network in Japan affirmed this, saying, “There is no upside to writing about this case and the plaintiff has ample resources to make further nuisance lawsuits.”

But a growing number of people are supporting Tanaka today, because it is not only his problem, but a problem for freedom of the press in Japan. Many reporters think there should be laws to limit or suppress SLAPP lawsuits. For the time being, it’s never been more expensive or risky to be an independent reporter in Japan, especially for those who write under their real names rather than pen names or initials. Already, some weekly magazines have a practice of writing articles about scandals without using the name of the main persons involved, while naming others unlikely to sue or cause problems. A classic example of this was the Shukan Shincho article in September of 2008, about the lavish birthday party of the Yamaguchi-gumi crime boss, Tadamasa Goto, attended by some of Japan’s famous singers and celebrities. The celebrities in attendance were named; the crime boss was not.

The detrimental effect of the lawsuit could be immense. Unfortunately, the mainstream Japanese media is more concerned about the short-term financial costs of reporting on the trial, with very little consideration of the long-term costs for journalism in Japan.

Questions sent to Shirakawa via his firm on justification for the lawsuit or why there was such a delay between publication and legal action were not answered.
Nathalie-Kyoko Stucky was an assistant correspondent for the Jiji Press in Geneva, covering the United Nations. She is now a freelance writer in Tokyo who has written for AFP, The IndependentJane’s Intelligence Review and the Atlantic Wire.

Jake Adelstein is an investigative journalist, consultant, and the author of Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan and former Yomiuri newspaper staff reporter. He currently writes for the Atlantic Wire and The Daily Beast

First day First Show That’s it

Pic by Mark Ulyseas

You twist, you turn, put your head under the pillow, shove it out of the window and yet that thing in the deep recesses of your mind remains embedded for a life time – a beautiful memory which can never be relived. First day, first show and that’s it. No second chance. The memory is framed with hope. It is all that remains of the day, a moment forever in eternity.

My mama said not to look back in pain, anger or joy. Never to look back. To look forward. To walk towards the ever shifting horizon. To let it be. Like the  friends and lovers who have come and gone leaving residues of emotions like scattered crumbs of a baguette on a clean white table cloth, forming a symmetry of forgotten dreams.

The rainbow of thoughts floats through space nurtured by wishes. My head turns to the cerulean sky as the images dissolve into shadows of the night. I stand by the roadside watching the stars.

My mama said that a beautiful memory could never be relived.

But she never told me that I would have to carry it alone.