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Abu Sayyaf - Jihadists or ordinary thugs?

Abu Sayyaf - Jihadists or ordinary thugs? Categories: Asia, Islamic Extremism, Terrorism     Author: Zachary Abuza

The Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) has returned to the international spotlight following its July pledge of allegiance to ISIS and its 24 September threat to behead a 71-year-old German hostage unless a US$5.6 million ransom was paid and Germany pledged to quit the coalition attacking the Islamic State. Bot

Hebron Diary

Hebron Diary Categories: Author: Ahron Shapiro

"Excuse me, looking for a guide?" While standing in the plaza outside of Hebron's Cave of the Patriarchs - the burial place of Judaism's great patriarchs and matriarchs and its second holiest site, I was approached by a Palestinian man in his early twenties, waving a brochure. I wasn't really looki

Time for Plan B on Iran's Nukes

Time for Plan B on Iran's Nukes Categories: International Security, Iran     Author: Dennis Ross

It is no accident that hardly anyone involved in the Iranian nuclear negotiations has expressed optimism about meeting the November 24 deadline for a comprehensive agreement. The Iranian and US governments are continuing to meet regularly but there are few signs of meaningful progress. Indeed, the

Grounded in Iraq?

Grounded in Iraq? Categories: Iraq, Middle East, Syria     Author: Jonathan Spyer

The United States and its allies have launched a military campaign whose stated goal is, in the words of US President Barack Obama, to "degrade and ultimately destroy" the Islamic State (IS, also known as ISIS or ISIL) established by Sunni jihadis in a contiguous land area stretching from western Ir

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Summer in Paris

Summer in Paris Categories: Antisemitism, Europe     Author: Robert Wistrich

On July 13, the eve of Bastille Day (a national holiday in France), a mob laid siege to the Don Abravanel synagogue in the Eleventh district of Paris. The "protesters," mainly of North African Arab origin, had broken off from a larger demonstration supported by a small band of left-wing allies - Com

After 75 Years

After 75 Years Categories: Antisemitism, Europe     Author: Arsen Ostrovsky

Almost unnoticed, Sept. 1, 2014 marked the 75th Anniversary of the commencement of World War II, when Nazi Germany invaded Poland in 1939, formally unleashing the darkest chapter in European history. However, insofar as the European Jewish community is concerned, we must ask: has the situation once

Europa Europa: Writing on the Walls Categories: Antisemitism, Europe     Author: Douglas Davis

On a sublime autumn afternoon my bus rumbles towards the Rue des Rosiers. It is the heart of Paris, the heart of the Marais quarter, and also the heart of the Jewish community. Or it was. As the bus passes the Louvre, a bleak plaster wall is covered with a huge piece of graffiti. It is the detritus

Scribblings: Reality and Racism Categories: Islamic Extremism, Israel     Author: Tzvi Fleischer

There has been a lot of talk in the media about how Israel is supposedly becoming a more right-wing, less democratic and more "racist" society. Anecdotal evidence cited to support this view usually includes things like controversial Israeli legislative proposals, incidents of racist violence or vand

Editorial: Mahmoud Abbas’ folly Categories: Israel, Palestinians     Author: Colin Rubenstein

On October 22, Palestinian terrorist Abd al-Rahman al-Shaloudi ploughed his car into a packed light-rail stop in Jerusalem, murdering newborn Chaya Zisel Baron and Ecuadorian student Karen Yemina Mosquera and injuring eight other Israelis. Al-Shaloudi, who was shot and killed by Israeli police, appe

Statement: The death of Gough Whitlam

Statement: The death of Gough Whitlam Categories: Australasia, Media Releases     Author: Colin Rubenstein

Gough Whitlam was a towering figure in Australian political life, who brought Labor back to power after a long period in the political wilderness and, despite his short tenure as PM, made many substantial and significant initiatives and reforms in areas such as education, the arts, the environment,

No to backburner, yes to a two-track strategy

No to backburner, yes to a two-track strategy Categories: International Security, Iran, Op-eds     Author: Glen Falkenstein

Iran's securing nuclear weapons would destabilise a region already suffering from mass upheaval, in addition to having dire security implications for the rest of the world. Multilateral efforts to deter the sadistic actions of ISIS, a crucial priority, seem to have distracted from internat

US$5.4 Billion Pledged for Gaza

US$5.4 Billion Pledged for Gaza Categories: Middle East, Palestinians, Updates    

This Update deals with the international donors conference for Gaza that took place in Cairo on Sunday, and led to pledges of US$5.4 billion in money to be divided equally between Gaza reconstruction and the Palestinian Authority. We lead with a critique of the likely effects of th

The reality TV test

The reality TV test Categories: Israel, Middle East, Palestinians, Updates     Author: Gabrielle Debinski

Furore erupted throughout the Arab world last week when the Saudi owned MBC TV network referred to "Israel" on a world map it showed on its popular TV program, Arab Idol, rather than using the name "Palestine". MBC was forced to issue an apology after it identified Israel as the country of origin of

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Givat Hamatos – the origins and significance of yet another settlement controversy

Givat Hamatos – the origins and significance of yet another settlement controversy Categories: Israel, Palestinians, United States, Updates     Author: Gabrielle Debinski and Tzvi Fleischer

Media coverage of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's meeting with US President Barack Obama at the White House on October 1, was largely dominated by concurrent statements from the White House and US State Department respectively, denouncing an Israeli decision to persevere with the plannin

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