Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council

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ABC along with Reuters appear to back pseudo-think tank's attempt to manipulate TA stocks

ABC along with Reuters appear to back pseudo-think tank's attempt to manipulate TA stocks Author: Ahron Shapiro Categories: Israel, NGOs, Palestinians, Updates    

On July 23, ABC Newsradio host Tracy Holmes interviewed Hugh Lovatt, the co-author of a report by the European "think tank"/NGO, the European Council on Foreign Relations, calling on Europe to impose sanctions on all Israeli banks, because they do business in the West Bank.

The interview was posted on ABC's website under the wordy headline: "Tel Aviv's bank index took a dive yesterday when the European Council on Foreign Relations issued a report on Israel's settlements in the West Bank".

That, however, is only a half-truth.

The Last Word: Reclaiming Cohesion
Is this the face of "community cohesion"?

The Last Word: Reclaiming Cohesion Author: Jeremy Jones Categories: Australasia, Immigration/ Multiculturalism    

A mid-July contrast: In a number of cities and towns across Australia, small gatherings rallied to a call to "Reclaim Australia", and were generally confronted by counter-protesters calling for bigots to, well, go back to where they came from. Meanwhile, at the Parramatta campus of the University of Western Sydney (UWS), hundreds of academics, researchers, bureaucrats, politicians and others conferred on Advancing Community Cohesion.

Biblio File: Bullies, Dissemblers and Slanderers

Biblio File: Bullies, Dissemblers and Slanderers Author: Jeremy Jones Categories: Anti-Zionism, Media/ Academia    

Fast forward to 2015, where the most vocal of those in the forefront of anti-Israel activity brand themselves as supporters of boycotts of, divestment from, and sanctions on, Israel (BDS). 

While there may well be some individuals misled into believing peace, justice or some other worthy aspiration is served through joining the anti-Israel bully chorus, it is not difficult to show how this is, to say the least, delusory.

Print edition
Essay: Washington's Iran Lobby

Essay: Washington's Iran Lobby Author: Sohrab Ahmari Categories:

The metamorphosis of Iran, in elite American opinion, from terrorist state into US partner is a long-brewing triumph for a certain set of ideas about the Islamic Republic and its relation to the nation it has called the "Great Satan" since its birth... Its basic purpose has always been to sell the Iranian regime as moderate, amenable to reason, even decent and democratic, relative to its neighbours. 

Israel and the Iran Deal
Netanyahu: Solid backing in Israel for Iran stance

Israel and the Iran Deal Author: Amotz Asa-El Categories: Iran, Israel    

By sheer coincidence, the deal to constrain Iran's nuclear program was signed during the three weeks in which Jews commemorate what began with the breaching of ancient Jerusalem's walls and ended with the torching of its Temple.

Though opinions in Israel vary concerning Iran's immediate threat to the Jewish state, the deal signed in Vienna in July left many Israelis feeling that diplomatic walls have been breached abroad. Yet political walls may soon be mended at home.

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A Great Deal - For Iran

A Great Deal - For Iran Author: Elliott Abrams Categories: International Security, Iran    

It has taken decades to build the structure of international sanctions against Iran, and now we are entirely abandoning it. To believe that these sanctions can or will "snap back" - 60 pages' worth of listed firms, entities, companies, ports, ships, banks, individuals, and on and on - if Iran engages in some violation is foolish. 

Editorial: Empowering A Rogue Author: Colin Rubenstein Categories: International Security, Iran    

The Iranian nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), struck in mid-July by the P5+1, led by US President Barack Obama, poses a grave danger to peace and stability in the Middle East and beyond on two different levels. It not only fails to stop Iran's drive for nuclear weapons capability, it also actually strengthens Teheran in its efforts to destablise neighbouring states, its support for terrorism and its determination to achieve regional hegemony.

Carr's offensive ANU speech

Carr's offensive ANU speech Author: Sharyn Mittelman Categories: Australasia, Updates    

Former foreign minister Bob Carr gave a speech at Australian National University (ANU) on July 14, co-hosted by the Centre for Arabic and Islamic Studies and two Palestinian advocacy groups, Australians for Justice and Peace in Palestine (AJPP) and Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP). In it, he made crude and untrue comments about the "Israel lobby", suggesting sinister undue influence by the Australian Jewish community. For example, Carr spoke in his speech of "the Israel lobby and its quite objectionable control over Australian policy."

Is there "no alternative" - other than war - to the recently announced Iran deal?

Is there "no alternative" - other than war - to the recently announced Iran deal? Categories: International Security, Iran, Updates    

US President Barack Obama gave a long media conference on Wednesday (Washington time) on the Iran nuclear deal announced Tuesday, in which he defended the deal, while admitting it had some shortcomings and would have some negative consequences, such as boosting Iranian support for Hezbollah and the Assad regime in Syria. His key point was this, "“There really are only two alternatives here. Either the issue of Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon is resolved diplomatically through a negotiation, or it’s resolved through force, through war" while insisting that no better deal than the one reached was achievable. This Update is devoted to some replies to that claim (which is also the key claim generally made by most advocates of the agreement.)

The Iran Nuclear Deal: The day after

The Iran Nuclear Deal: The day after Categories: International Security, Iran, Updates    

As readers are no doubt aware, after years of negotiations a final nuclear deal between Iran and the P5+1 powers (US, UK, Russia, China, France and Germany) was announced yesterday.  A White House summary of the key provisions of the deal is here, while the full 160-page agreement can be read here. This Update offers some analysis of the deal's provisions and its implications, as well as a piece on the Israeli perspective of the deal.

One year after Operation Protective Edge, Hamas is to blame for Gaza's delayed reconstruction
Hamas member carries a model rocket, December 2014

One year after Operation Protective Edge, Hamas is to blame for Gaza's delayed reconstruction Author: Miriam Smallman Categories: Israel, NGOs, Palestinians, Updates    

The one-year anniversary of Operation Protective Edge, Israel's war to stop Hamas' rockets, saw the Australian media run stories that paint a bleak picture of the current state of the Gaza Strip. The stories tend to disproportionately focus on Israel's blockade as the key reason for Gaza's plight, ignoring Palestinian divisions that have undermined the transfer of aid.

...However, this past March, officials from the EU's five largest countries - Germany, France, Italy, the UK, and Spain - criticised the Palestinian Authority for not doing more to expedite Gaza's reconstruction. "There is positive movement on the Israeli side in everything regarding Gaza," one EU diplomat said.

Only Iran benefits from this appalling gamble
Iranians celebrate the nuclear deal

Only Iran benefits from this appalling gamble Author: Colin Rubenstein Categories: America, Australasia, International Security, Iran, Middle East, Op-eds    

The PM's caution and Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop's warning that Iran needs to fulfil its commitments are fully justified. The test must be whether the agreement, with the US, UK, China, France, Russia and Germany, will, in fact, stop Iran acquiring nuclear weapons - not just slow this down - and it appears to fail that test.

AIJAC deeply concerned about Iran nuclear deal

AIJAC deeply concerned about Iran nuclear deal Categories: International Security, Iran, Media Releases    

AIJAC is deeply concerned that the deal announced between Iran and the P5+1 will further destabilise the Middle East. It seems likely that it will only delay but not prevent Iran's ability to obtain nuclear weapons, while also providing Teheran with a large amount of new resources to continue its efforts at destabilising regional neighbours and in supporting terrorism...

Another deadline passes in Iran nuclear negotiations

Another deadline passes in Iran nuclear negotiations Categories: International Security, Iran, Updates    

The extended deadline for finalising a nuclear deal in the P5+1 talks with Iran, scheduled to end yesterday after being extended from June 30 (and having previously been extended twice), has been extended again. While some reports say it is only for 72 hours, the White House is also apparently preparing public opinion for a third option: ongoing indefinite talks while keeping in place the November 2013 interim agreement.

Iran's most recent new demand is reportedly that all arms embargoes on Iran must be ended as part of the deal.

This Update analyses this reality as well as some of the concessions that the US-led P5+1 has offered Iran to get to this point.

Print edition
Hillary Clinton, BDS and the Anti-Normalization Campaign Against Israeli-Palestinian Co-operation

Hillary Clinton, BDS and the Anti-Normalization Campaign Against Israeli-Palestinian Co-operation Author: Glen Falkenstein Categories: Anti-Zionism, Israel, Updates    

"Breaking down barriers of anger and prejudice, facilitating friendships, and inspiring action to promote peace."

Sound promising, doesn't it? The leaders of Creativity for Peace, an NGO with the stated goal of "preparing young Israeli and Palestinian women to pave the way for peace in their communities and across borders with compassion, courage and an understanding of the story of the other" tried to follow through on their mission statement last month with a conference in East Jerusalem.

Noted and Quoted - July 2015 Categories: Media/ Academia    

Murdoch University lecturer Ameer Ali called on the West to engage Iran "as an equal partner in the fight against IS... or allow IS to become a reality with all unwelcome consequences." Ali essentially absolved Iran of any responsibility in the rise of IS, blaming Saudi Arabia for promoting "religious radicalism" through "Wahabi sharia" and Israel's "prolonged recalcitrance towards a peaceful solution to the Palestinian issue" as key reasons "for the emergence of IS," West Australian (June 16).

Behind the News - July 2015
Restrictions eased: Ramadan in Jerusalem

Behind the News - July 2015 Categories: Egypt, Gulf states, International Security, Iran, Israel, Palestinians    

Israel eased restrictions on Palestinians for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan to enable easier access to holy sites. West Bank male worshippers over the age of 40 were allowed to enter the Temple Mount area without a permit, as were women of all ages. Palestinians travelling to Israel for family visits were also permitted entry without formal permits.

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Media Microscope: War Stories Author: Allon Lee Categories: Israel, Media/ Academia, United Nations    

The overwhelming majority of the media coverage on June 23 of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) report into last year's Gaza war failed to observe that Israel was forced to fight an enemy deliberately operating inside civilian residential areas.

Europa Europa: Tribal Troubles
Nicola Sturgeon: Forced to reassure Scottish Jews

Europa Europa: Tribal Troubles Author: Douglas Davis Categories: Antisemitism, Europe    

The pipes are skirling and the saltires are snapping smartly in the summer breeze, but there is an undercurrent of concern. Ignoring pleas from the Scottish Jewish community, the local councils of Edinburgh, Glasgow and many smaller Scottish towns flew the Palestinian flag above their offices in solidarity with Gaza after last year's conflict.

The predictable effect was to send the rate of antisemitic incidents through the roof. Scottish Jews experienced almost as many antisemitic incidents in one month as in the entire previous year.