i had a lovely but busy easter holiday. it included a trip down to christchurch for the annual conference of the islamic women's council. these conferences have been happening since 1990, and are a wonderful opportunity for muslim women to get together and discuss topics of importance to us.
the theme of this year's conference was "raising children in western society". i may write up my speech notes at some point to put them up. needless to say, there were some very good presentations as well as a chance to catch up with women around the country.
last week i became a member of the facebook group "no israeli embassy in wellington". it's not a step taken lightly. israeli government policies are something i've opposed strongly for years, but this current government seems to be going further faster.
pablo on kiwipolitico has an interesting post about israel/palestine. it's certainly a good summary of the issues, and it brings back a memory. someone asked me (a few years ago now) whether or not i thought israel has a right to exist. my simple answer is no, i don't believe it has an inherent right to exist. i don't believe in any rights granted by biblical texts. i can understand the desire for a jewish homeland, but don't accept that an existing people should be alienated from their homes to provide one.
on the other hand, i am a realist. i also accept that there is no way for the current state of israel to be dismantled without causing a whole lot of bloodshed. even more than the blood that is currently being shed daily. but accepting the existence of the state of israel does not mean acceptance of the continuing and constant land grabs and the continuing and constant oppression of the occupation of palestine. which is why i don't support the re-opening of the israeli embassy in wellington. to do so will mean a symbolic acceptance of that oppression, and ethically wrong.