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Indigenous Australia

Down the radioactive rabbit hole
Adnyamathanha Elders are "shattered" that, of the six sites shortlisted by the Federal Government for a national nuclear waste dump, the one on Wallerberdina Station in the Barndioota region of South Australia, is now the only one pegged for further assessment, writes Nat Wasley for New Matilda.  

The Political Community

What kind of society does this budget enable?
It is important to move from the budget to consider the plan it enables. If the budget is for the whole nation, it should look to the good of all, with each person and business having a responsibility for the good of others, particularly the most vulnerable. When budgets are constructed in such a way that the cost of their balancing is gross inequality and the exclusion of vulnerable people from participation in society, they should be rejected. They do not serve but betray the economy, writes Andrew Hamilton for Eureka Street.  

What Nakba Day means in Australia
Australia Day marks the date of the colonial invasion by the First Fleet. Thus, while many Australians celebrate the day, many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples mourn it as Invasion Day or Survival Day. The creation of Australia meant their dispossession, and the devastation of their peoples and cultures. Likewise, Israel’s founding is celebrated on Yom Ha’atzmaut. This is held on the Jewish calendar’s equivalent of 14 May, the anniversary of the day in 1948 when Israel declared independence.  

When Israel was the anti-Semite’s Homeland
It was an assessment no one expected from the deputy head of the Israeli military. In his Holocaust Day speech last week, Yair Golan compared current trends in Israel with Germany in the early 1930s, when Nazism took hold, writes Jonathan Cook for The Palestine Chronicle. It was an assessment no one expected from the deputy head of the Israeli military. In his Holocaust Day speech last week, Yair Golan compared current trends in Israel with Germany in the early 1930s, when Nazism took hold.  

See also Israel – will Nazism comparisons trigger soul-searching?

New Nationalist myths entrench white denial
Dismantling white myths about history is a positive step, a potential pin in an ethnic nationalism which lingers here. Yet these posters pop up often not in bastions of that denial, but rather on walls across Western Sydney, in suburbs whose demographics hardly tell tales of fortresses of white privilege. It seems that, less than a project to dismantle white myths about history, the popularity of these stories is more an attempt to bring non-white Australians into a new myth in the making.  

Does New Zealand have a problem with anti-Maori racism?
New Plymouth mayor Andrew Judd has said he will not seek re-election after receiving abuse for campaigning for greater Maori representation in Taranaki.  

Refugees and Migrants

JRS welcomes Pope’s controversial visit to Lesbos
As member states of the European Union close their borders to desperate refugees, Jesuit Refugee Service Australia has welcomed Pope Francis's dramatic gesture in taking back to the Vatican refugee families from the Greek island where so many refugees are stranded as a timely intervention that highlights the need for global solidarity and generosity.  

See also Papal praise for JRS in Italy


Bangladesh rice harvest ruined in flash floods
Catholic charity Caritas is assessing the emergency needs of thousands of farmers after recent flooding devastated thousands of hectares of agricultural land in northeastern Bangladesh.  

Climate change in the Solomons
The Solomon Islands have lost five atolls and seen at least six more severely eroded, as sea levels have risen over recent decades, writes Thom Mitchell for New Matilda.  

Ecology to be taught in Indonesian schools
With some 70 million out of 127 million hectares of forestland in Indonesia facing destruction because of industrial exploitation and plantations, the country’s priests are welcoming plans to introduce a new subject into schools. The government hopes ecological education in schools will help raise awareness about this and encourage future generations to look after their natural world.  

The imperative of human responsibility – an ethics for the technological age
Hans Jonas opened my eyes to how ethics must become part of the fabric of the future as well as of the present, writes John Pawlikowski.  


Mindinao prelate calls on Duterte to address peace process
A leading Filipino church official has called on the country's newly elected president to immediately address peace issues in the southern Philippine region of Mindanao.  

Use It

Watch The Film The Government Didn’t Want You To See
The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC), Australia's largest independent not for profit whose mission is to uphold the rights of people seeking asylum will hold a fundraiser screening of the year’s most controversial documentary, Chasing Asylum. Saturday 28 May, 4pm, Cinema Nova, Carlton.

Palestinians are last defenders against Zionism – Gaza-born journalist Ramzy Baroud
In this speech recorded for conferences in New Zealand and Australia (March and April 2016), Dr. Ramzy Baroud explains the nature of the fight ahead and why Palestinians need to reach a critical mass in their fight for equality and justice. Baroud has been writing about the Middle East for more than 20 years. He is an internationally-syndicated columnist, a media consultant, an author of several books and the founder of PalestineChronicle.com.

Watch video here

From the editor

Whether the Budget Scott Morrison is called on to produce for the nation on July 2 benefits the whole of society including the most vulnerable is a question Catholic social teaching asks us to ponder constantly. Yet the Budget is too often merely an exercise in balancing the books and keeping wealthy voters happy.  

Cecily McNeill

Quote of the month

"How inseparable is the bond between concern for nature, justice for the poor, commitment to society, and interior peace."

Pope Francis, Laudato Si #10 2015

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