Richard Pithouse - At a public discussion on the land question in Johannesburg on Friday, February 27, Dikgang Moseneke, the Deputy Chief Judge of the Constitutional Court argued that contrary to much of the bluster that often surrounds the issue of land, the Constitution does allow for expropriation and does not make land reform impossible. He noted that neither the phrase 'willing buyer, willing seller', nor the logic behind it, appear in the Constitution. Sadly, South Africa's Constitution often gets misrepresented on the land question.
Mandisi Majavu - Last month Christian Rudder, co-founder of OkCupid, an online dating website, released statistical data collected over a five-year period about how people who subscribe to the website 'weigh race in deciding attraction'. According to OkCupid, "racial bias has intensified a bit" with respect to how people choose romantic partners. Basically the data shows that subscribers prefer to date whites in the online dating world. Black women, black men and Asian men get "short shrift". How in our modern societies can this still be happening? Could it have something to do with the sexual socialisation of men and women in today's world?
Anna Majavu - South Africa has a growing number of unemployed teaching graduates, especially Black teaching graduates. The strangest thing about this state of affairs is that many pupils, even those as young as six, are completely excluded from schools, which are "full". Many other countries in the world either set up prefabricated classrooms and hire additional teachers, or build new classrooms as soon as the school heads towards full capacity. This happens as a matter of course, yet schools in South Africa are simply declaring that they have no more space, leaving both children and teaching graduates out in the cold.
Lauren McCauley - As Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu enjoyed no less than 26 standing ovations during his speech before the U.S. Congress on Tuesday, March 3, the resounding applause did not include the clapping hands of nearly sixty lawmakers who did not attend the controversial address. Independent Senator Bernie Sanders joined 56 Democratic lawmakers in the boycott, which was seen by many as a snub to the powerful Jewish-American lobby group, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). Republican House Speaker John Boehner had invited the Israeli leader to speak against the on-going Iranian nuclear talks without first consulting the White House. President Obama and Vice President Biden also skipped the speech.
Nick Galasso & Marjorie Wood - Extreme economic inequality is corrosive. It makes poverty reduction harder, hurts our economies, and drives conflict and violence. Reversing this trend presents a significant challenge, but one where we've seen some progress. This article offers eight ways to move the world forward in reducing global inequality highlighting a comprehensive strategy to foster redistribution from a focus on the wealthy through a wealth tax to an emphasis on improving wages for the poor. In between are a range of other suggestions from advancing workers' rights in democracies to addressing unfair world trade rules. Finding our way to a more equal world is not impossible.
Watch - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said the world must stand together to stop Iran from gaining access to a nuclear weapon in his much-anticipated address to the U.S. Congress. Al Jazeera’s senior political analyst, Marwan Bishara, analyses Netanyahu’s speech arguing that the Israeli prime minister chose to focus on Iran’s nuclear programme to avoid having to address the Palestine question. He argues further that only when speaking about Iran can Netanyahu speak for the Jewish people, only then can he invoke the Holocaust and Nazi Germany. Its the kind of rhetoric that makes him look presidential and instills fear in people's hearts.
Watch - Banksy has recently travelled to Gaza. On February 25, the graffiti artist/political activist unveiled his latest project, graffiti art amongst the ruins of Gaza. Alongside his Gaza artworks, Banksy produced the mini-travel documentary, "Make this the year YOU discover a new destination". Mimicking travel industry blurbs, Banksy's mini-doc parodies tourism in Gaza to expose the cost of Israel's occupation and repeated bombardment of Gaza. At the same time, Oxfam has also released a report, which contends that it could take up to a century to rebuild Gaza. Watch Banksy’s Gaza mini-documentary on SACSIS and find a link to his website to view his latest work, a poignant and defiant account of life in Gaza.
Watch - Against the backdrop of a South African couple liquidating their assets to travel to Iraq to join the extremist Islamist organisation, the Islamic State, which has established a caliphate in northern Iraq and Syria that it governs by sharia law, SACSIS caught up with Middle East expert, Na'eem Jeenah and put the question to him: "What would it take to defeat ISIS?" Jeenah contends that it will take more than a military response. What is needed to properly defeat ISIS is an ideological battle and Muslims themselves need to take the lead in challenging ISIS' theological arguments. Sadly, however, he argues that the world is going to be stuck with ISIS for quite some time.
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