Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council

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Biblio file: The US and Asia’s China Syndrome

Biblio file: The US and Asia’s China Syndrome Author: David Feith Categories: Asia, China, United States    

The United States has repeatedly been surprised by major developments in Asia, sometimes catastrophically so. Think Pearl Harbor... the victory of Mao Zedong's Communists in the Chinese civil war... the Korean War... Vietnam... or the rise of a Chinese superpower competitor from the depths of Maoist misery.

Michael R. Auslin's The End of the Asian Century seeks to prevent Americans from again being surprised by the disruptions that still might come in Asia.

Print edition

Noted and Quoted - May 2017 Categories: Australasia, Israel, Media/ Academia, Middle East    

An SBS TV "World News" (March 30) report from Greg Dyett was marked by its lack of context.

Reporting on the March 29 Arab League summit in Jordan backing the 2002 Arab peace initiative, Dyett said it "calls for a complete Israeli withdrawal from Palestinian territories."

Viewers weren't told the plan demands that Israel accept it without negotiations, including effectively recognising a Palestinian right of return.

Essay: Resisting the Past
Abbas: Demanding an apology from Britain

Essay: Resisting the Past Author: Alex Joffe Categories: Palestinians    

On the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, the Palestinians have launched a campaign calling for an official British apology and compensation. This effort illustrates the ways in which honour, internationalisation, symbolism and playing on Western guilt shape the Palestinian culture of denial, which impedes progress towards either a stable Palestinian state or peace with Israel.

Behind the News - May 2017
Former Syrian army Brigadier-General Zaher al-Sakat

Behind the News - May 2017 Categories: Iran, Israel, Palestinians, Russia, Syria    

In the wake of the April 4 chemical weapons attack on the Syrian rebel held town of Khan Sheikhoun, the former head of chemical warfare in the 5th Division of the Syrian army, Brigadier-General Zaher al-Sakat, who in 2013 defected from the regime, has stated that the regime has large amounts of chemical weapons which remain undeclared.

Deconstruction Zone: Losing the rational Israeli
Jibril Rajoub: Unreasonable demands alienating reasonable Israelis

Deconstruction Zone: Losing the rational Israeli Author: David Brinn Categories: Israel, Palestinians    

I asked him if the painful concessions he mentioned included recognising that likelihood as part of a land adjustment of the pre-1967 war lines.

Rajoub answered by raising his voice and saying absolutely not, all settlements were "a malignant cancer." Whose fault is it that they exist, he demanded to know, adding that it was Israel's problem to solve, not his.

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The Age Gets Loew – a Fisking

The Age Gets Loew – a Fisking Author: Gareth Narunsky Categories: Israel, Media/ Academia, Palestinians, Updates    

The Age newspaper (and the Sydney Morning Herald online) ran a “report” from anti-Zionist activist and author Antony Loewenstein on April 10 titled Ticking towards war: What will it take to change life in the Gaza Strip?

Anyone familiar with the self-described independent journalist’s prior writings on Israel and the conflict with the Palestinians would already know that his work is fraught with omissions, bias and errors. And unfortunately, so it goes on.

After N Korea, don't forget Iran

After N Korea, don't forget Iran Author: Shmuel Levin Categories: Asia, International Security, Iran, Op-eds    

As North Korea once again comes to the fore of the world's conscious, the lesson should be clear. What matters is not short-term talk, deal, and negotiations, but whether Iran's long-term ambitions have changed.

For now, this does not seem to be the case. And, if this is allowed to fester, the long-term result may be another North Korea, if not something even worse.

AIR New Zealand: Campus speech controversy
Bassem Eid: NZ visit met campus opposition

AIR New Zealand: Campus speech controversy Author: Miriam Bell Categories: Australasia, Media/ Academia    

In reality, there is a high degree of misunderstanding about what freedom of speech means. All too often, people seem to think the principle only applies if they agree with what is being said - with anything else being re-defined as "hate speech".

This tendency has been further complicated by the growth of the internet and social media and all that they entail. While they provide more people with platforms to express their views, they have also led to an increased aversion to hearing differing points of view.

Syria strike sends global message
Missiles fired against a Syrian airbase on April 6 and 7 symbolised a significant shift in US policy

Syria strike sends global message Author: Amos Yadlin and Assaf Orion Categories: Middle East, Russia, Syria, United States    

On the level of the world powers, the US attack demonstrated Trump's willingness to employ military force independently for the purpose of upholding international norms and enforcing previous resolutions, even after Russia and China vetoed a resolution in the Security Council in this regard.

Asia Watch: A ‘dark horse' surges ahead
Anies Baswedan (right) and running mate Sandiaga Uno claim victory

Asia Watch: A ‘dark horse' surges ahead Author: Michael Shannon Categories: Asia    

Elections to determine the leadership of a major South East Asian city have not traditionally attracted much international attention. But Jakarta's gubernatorial race of 2017 was always going to be an exception, touching upon deep national undercurrents of religious and ethnic identity and interests of established political elites.

Settling in on settlements
Evacuees of the Amona outpost will be allowed the only new settlement

Settling in on settlements Author: Elliott Abrams Categories: Israel, Palestinians    

Israeli settlement activity was in the news in early April because the Trump Administration had been steadily defining its policy.

What has emerged is a good policy: sensible, flexible, and realistic...

Obama policy had made construction in the settlements a sore point for eight full years. This was one reason among many for the constant tension between the government of Israel and that of the United States during all of Mr. Obama's term in office.

Emmanuel Macron on Israel and France’s Jewish community

Emmanuel Macron on Israel and France’s Jewish community Author: Shmuel Levin Categories: Europe, Israel, Updates    

As Emmanuel Macron claimed victory in the French Presidential election this week, French Jewish community leaders expressed relief. As Joel Mergui, President of the Israelite Central Consistory of France, wrote: Macron's win "constitutes a veritable relief for all our nation and for the Jewish community of France".

Rouhani likely to survive hard-line challenge

Rouhani likely to survive hard-line challenge Author: Mehdi Khalaji Categories: Iran    

Although the entry of high-profile hardliners could make the race more interesting, the current President remains the favourite in Iran's May 19 election, which could also help determine the next Supreme Leader.

Print edition
The Last Word: Blood Libels

The Last Word: Blood Libels Author: Jeremy Jones Categories: Antisemitism, Australasia, Holocaust/ War Crimes    

The publication of a novel which, in effect, advocated this lie as truth, written by a person purporting to be of Ukrainian descent claiming to be an authentic, neglected voice, brought debate on this malevolent ahistoricity to the mainstream media.

Eventually, the author, Helen "Demidenko" (real surname Darville, later changed to Dale) was exposed as a fabricator and as having used other people's creative work without attribution.

Scribblings: Exposing the Livingstone Formulation
Ken Livingstone: False claims undermining the moral foundations of Israel

Scribblings: Exposing the Livingstone Formulation Author: Tzvi Fleischer Categories: Anti-Zionism, Antisemitism, United Kingdom    

The AIR doesn't often quote the UK's Guardian newspaper positively, given that paper's dyed-in-the-wool anti-Israel editorial stances and slant to its reporting. However, the Guardian deserves full credit for an April 5 editorial exposing an ugly formulation which has become increasing common on the anti-Israel left.

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Another French Revolution

Another French Revolution Author: Anshel Pfeffer Categories: Europe    

The exit polls clearly indicating that Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen were through to the second round of the French presidential election were barely in before the main right-wing party's candidate, third-place Francois Fillon, as well as fifth-placed Socialist candidate Benoit Hamon, conceded. Within the hour, Fillon and Hamon urged their supporters to vote on May 7 for centrist Macron, and more importantly, against the ultra-nationalist Le Pen.

Abbas goes to Washington/ Fatah-Hamas escalation fuels Gaza electricity crisis Categories: Hamas, Israel, Palestinians, Updates    

This Update deals with two issues, previewing Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas's important trip to Washington to meet US President Donald Trump later this week, and also providing the background to the escalating tension between the PA and Hamas over control of Gaza, which has resulted in serious electricity problems for Gazans (including most recently a PA refusal to continue paying Israel for the large amount of electricity it supplies to Gazans.)