Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council

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Colonel Kemp's views on Israel and Gaza echoed other senior military officers
Richard Kemp

Colonel Kemp's views on Israel and Gaza echoed other senior military officers Author: Allon Lee Categories: Anti-Zionism, Israel, Media/ Academia, Middle East, NGOs, Palestinians, Terrorism, United Nations    

The recent visit to Australia by retired British Colonel Richard Kemp, who was commander of British forces in Afghanistan, Yugoslavia, Northern Ireland and Iraq, generated national headlines when demonstrators tried to stop him from speaking, claiming he "supports genocide" for his assessment of last year's war in Gaza (though he had not even mentioned either Israel or the Palestinians when the demonstrators attempted to shut down his talk).

Yet many people did not realise that Kemp is hardly alone among respected senior military figures willing to publicly voice their opinion that the Israeli Defence Forces' tactics and conduct in last year's war with Hamas were proportionate and reasonable - perhaps even exemplary, given the circumstances, despite the tragedy of the undoubted civilian casualties which did occur.

 

Letter: Palestinian intransigence Author: Colin Rubenstein Categories: Israel, Palestinians, Updates    

Your editorial "Eight-state solution floated" (25/3), noted the Palestinian Authority stated in 2008 it would not accept a mini-state of cantons. However, that comment misrepresented what was being discussed. That year, Israel offered the Palestinians a contiguous state equal in size to the land in the West Bank, with a capital in East Jerusalem and a land bridge to Gaza. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas simply walked away...

Print edition
More Post-Election Analysis from Israel

More Post-Election Analysis from Israel Categories: Israel, Updates    

Here is some more good analysis of the Israeli election on Tuesday and the unexpectedly strong win by incumbent PM Binyamin Netanyahu and his Likud party. A good discussion of the possible coalition configurations suggested by this outcome comes from Ben Sales of the JTA. This Update features further analysis of the various aspects of this result.

Statement: AIJAC mourns passing of Malcolm Fraser AC

Statement: AIJAC mourns passing of Malcolm Fraser AC Categories: Australasia, Media Releases    

The Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council mourns the passing of Malcolm Fraser, who gave many years of service to Australia, most notably as this country's twenty-second Prime Minister (1975-1983).

He was an often controversial, even divisive political figure, but will be warmly remembered by us for his pioneering commitment to Australian multiculturalism...

Letter: Israel Furphies Author: Jamie Hyams Categories: Israel, Media/ Academia, Palestinians, Updates    

Tony Walker ("Israel poll threatens Labor peace" 14-15 March) perpetuates a myth about the Israeli/Palestinian dispute - that the Netanyahu government is "committed to an expansion of Jewish settlements." In fact, settlements have not expanded beyond their geographic boundaries since 2004, and housing starts in settlements were 19% less in the five years of the Netanyahu government than in the five previous years...

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More on the under-reported realities of Gaza's stalled reconstruction
Guardian 6 Mar 2015

More on the under-reported realities of Gaza's stalled reconstruction Author: Glen Falkenstein Categories: Israel, Updates    

European Union (EU) envoys met in early March with officials in both the Israeli foreign ministry and Palestinian Authority (PA) to advance Gaza reconstruction. The envoys reportedly indicated to the Israelis that positive moves had been made on their part to rebuild Gaza, and they also criticised the PA for its lack of progress and co-operation.

Israeli election results appear to be surprisingly strong win to Netanyahu's Likud

Israeli election results appear to be surprisingly strong win to Netanyahu's Likud Categories: Israel, Updates    

With more than 99% of the vote now counted, the Israeli election, which occurred yesterday Israel time (meaning overnight Australia time) has led to a resounding victory for incumbent Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his Likud party. This is a surprise - contrasting not only with the polls of recent weeks, which suggested the opposition Zionist Camp party was somewhat ahead, but even the exit polls from yesterday, which showed the two largest parties virtually neck and neck.

If anything, a weakening of the far-right in Israel

If anything, a weakening of the far-right in Israel Author: Ahron Shapiro Categories: Israel, Updates    

SBS called it a "shift to the hard right", but they're dead wrong.

With over 99 percent of the vote counted, it is apparent that the shift that actually occurred in yesterday's Israeli election was in the opposite direction - a move of many far-right voters towards the centre, along with an impressive climb in support for the now-united Arab parties and a decrease in support for the ultra-Orthodox parties as a result of the split in Shas. In fact, overall, the final tally bears a remarkable resemblance to the 2013 election, with the exception of these significant developments.

Miriam Margolyes and Antisemitism

Miriam Margolyes and Antisemitism Author: Glen Falkenstein Categories: Antisemitism, Australasia, Updates    

"It's becoming a growing concern: who would ride with us, the Australian Jews? The answers I received that night were vague and left me wanting more."

On Q&A on 2nd March, Journalism student Erin Gordon asked the panel "Who would ride with us, the Australian Jews," pointing to a rise in antisemitic attacks and questioning why there had not been wider support to combat such hatred.

What did Netanyahu really say about a Palestinian state?

What did Netanyahu really say about a Palestinian state? Author: Ahron Shapiro Categories: Israel, Media/ Academia, Palestinians, Updates    

It has been widely reported in Australia and elsewhere that Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu "ruled out" a Palestinian state in an interview with the Israeli website NRG on Monday. However, most reports have left out a crucial portion from the translation from the original Hebrew of Netanyahu's remarks which would better explain his true position.

Israel Election Update

Israel Election Update Categories: Israel, Updates    

Today's Update focuses on some new analysis of the state of the Israeli election campaign, now in its final week. The polls have been very varied (an excellent compilation of all significant election polls comes from "Jeremy's Knesset Insider" website) and show that the competition between the two main parties remains close - though it is worth noting that the larger balance of forces between the various parties in the centre right-religious and centre left-Arab blocs is at least as important as the specific votes for the main Likud and Zionist Camp parties.

Blurred lines: When BDS becomes blatant antisemitism

Blurred lines: When BDS becomes blatant antisemitism Author: Sharyn Mittelman Categories: America, Anti-Zionism, Antisemitism, Australasia, Updates    

Advocates of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel (BDS) often argue that their campaign is not antisemitic, despite the fact that openly antisemitic statements come up frequently among activists and forums associated with the movement. Once again, examples of where BDS activists have crossed the line into explicit antisemitism are piling up, including in Australia.

Bailed Al Jazeera journalist reveals the truth about the network's agenda and role in his fate

Bailed Al Jazeera journalist reveals the truth about the network's agenda and role in his fate Author: Allon Lee Categories: Anti-Zionism, Egypt, Islamic Extremism, Israel, Media/ Academia, Middle East, Palestinians, Terrorism    

Mohammed Fahmy is an Al Jazeera journalist currently on bail awaiting retrial in Cairo on ludicrous terrorism related charges, and a close colleague of Australian Al Jazeera journalist Peter Greste, who was released after imprisonment on the same trumped-up charges in late January. Fahmy, an Egyptian-born Canadian, has just joined the chorus of Al Jazeera employees revealing that the Qatari royal family, which owns and runs the news organisation, sets and interferes with the organisation's editorial line, and says that this interference has damaged his ability to defend himself from the Egyptian charges.

This is, of course, hardly news to AIJAC readers and is merely further confirmation from an insider that Al Jazeera is nothing like an independent news service.

Print edition

Letter: Free speech protected Author: Colin Rubenstein Categories: Australasia, Op-eds    

Chris Berg (Opinion, 1/3) misrepresented an article I wrote with Michael Kapel published in The Age in 1994. In context, the line that Berg quotes does not say that newspaper articles would never be subject to the Racial Discrimination Act, as he implies...

Hamas remains the barrier to rebuilding Gaza

Hamas remains the barrier to rebuilding Gaza Author: Sharyn Mittelman Categories: Op-eds, Palestinians, United Nations    

LAST October, the international community pledged a massive $7 billion to assist the Gaza strip's reconstruction after Hamas's July war with Israel.

However, only about 5 per cent of the money has been delivered to Gaza so far and reconstruction is clearly slow. While some aid agencies based in Gaza blame Israel's security blockade for the slow rate of reconstruction (while ignoring Egypt's total blockade), the real reasons lie elsewhere.

Netanyahu's US Congress speech on Iran

Netanyahu's US Congress speech on Iran Categories: America, Iran, Israel, Updates    

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu gave his long-discussed and controversial address to the US Congress on Tuesday, Washington time (this was early Wednesday morning in Australia.) This Update deals with the effect and aftermath of that speech.

The full text of what Netanyahu said is below - video of it can be seen here.  We recommend it be read or viewed in full, not least because much of the media coverage in Australia of the speech has frankly been less than helpful - and sometimes even less than truthful - in helping media consumers understand the gist of what Netanyahu said.

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International voices against the delegitimisation of Israel - Czech President Miloš Zeman, former Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird and former Spanish PM Jose Maria Aznar

International voices against the delegitimisation of Israel - Czech President Miloš Zeman, former Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird and former Spanish PM Jose Maria Aznar Author: Sharyn Mittelman Categories: Israel, Updates    

The 2015 AIPAC policy conference, which came days before Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech to the US Congress generated considerable media attention. Pundits commented on the US/Israel relationship, contrasting the speeches made by Netanyahu and US National Security Advisor Susan Rice on the issue of Iran's nuclear program. However, there were some other significant speeches at the conference deserving of more attention than they received, particularly from Czech President Miloš Zeman, former Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird and former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar.