The Irish Times has published a feature on Roger Casement which quotes Jordan Goodman, author of The Devil and Mr Casement: One Man's Struggle for Human Rights in South America's Heart of Darkness (just published in paperback). Mario Vargas Llosa's new novel, to be published in Spanish this November, is based on Casement's life, so expect a flurry of interest in this fascinating and important figure.
"Cocaine is funding wars, and these wars are killing Indians and pushing Indians aside. It would be nice to make people aware in rich societies that, to get this white powder, many things happen and many people are hurt and have their rights violated," says Juan Alvaro Echeverri, an anthropologist at the University of Colombia, who has recorded tribes' attempts to come to terms with the Putumayo genocide.
Such ongoing abuses make Casement's legacy as a campaigner for human rights and for an end to the evils of colonialism as relevant today as a century ago - unlike the question of whether the "Black Diaries" were forged by British intelligence, says Jordan Goodman, author of The Devil and Mr Casement, a history of his involvement in the Amazon.
Visit the Irish Times to read the article in full.
The issue of what it means to be on Israel's side is thrown into sharp relief by the career of the redoubtable Israeli journalist, Gideon Levy, who has been touring Britain to promote his excoriating new book, "The Punishment of Gaza". The veteran columnist for the liberal Israeli newspaper Haaretz writes as one for whom the righteous claims his country makes are so belied by its psychotic conduct as to be an insult to the brain. What makes Levy such an impressive figure is that he has no hesitation in voicing unqualified dismay at the kind of country Israel has become. He believes that it is candor not uncritical sycophancy that is the hallmark of one who truly cares about a country or about a fellow human being...
Brimming with moral urgency in person and on the page, Gideon Levy is a fresh incarnation of an ancient Jewish type: The prophet without honor in his own land.
Visit the Arab News to read the piece in full.
Jon Snow was in conversation with Gideon Levy at two events in London this week, and blogged about the first on the Channel 4 website:
To Amnesty International last night for a session with Gideon Levy the iconic columnist (the Twilight Zone) of the widely regarded Haaretz newspaper. He’s an increasingly lone voice in Israeli journalism, urging his fellow countryman to recognise what their illegal occupation of Palestinian lands is doing to their own society, their own country.