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Asia Watch: Volunteers Abroad Categories: Antisemitism, Asia, Islamic Extremism     Author: Michael Shannon

Indonesian jihadists periodically swarm the streets to noisily proclaim their intention to fight alongside their Muslim brethren in various Middle East hotspots, but these displays seldom result in verifiable action abroad. Now, there is no doubt that Indonesians are joining the procession of jihad

Scribblings: Jim Crow and the "Pact of Umar" Categories: Antisemitism, Middle East     Author: Tzvi Fleischer

I've written before in this column (e.g. see Jan. 2012, March 2012, and Nov. 2012) about the oft-repeated myth that the Jews of the the Middle East enjoyed tolerance and freedom from racial hatred until the late 19th and early 20th century, when Zionism and the import of European antisemitism suppos

Editorial: Rhetoric and Reality Categories: Australasia, Israel, Palestinians     Author: Colin Rubenstein

The June 25 announcement by Palestinian delegation to Australia head Izzat Abdulhadi that there would be no trade sanctions imposed by Arab and Muslim countries on Australia over the Government's position of refraining from referring to east Jerusalem as "Occupied" was both anticlimactic and to be e

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Iran and the Iraq Crisis

Iran and the Iraq Crisis Categories: International Security, Iran, Iraq, Updates    

The subject of this Update is the Iranian role in the crisis in Iraq - and the suggestions being made that the US and its allies share a common interest with Iran in protecting the Baghdad government from the attacks of the Sunni Islamist groups ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria)

Sensationalising 'settlement announcements'

Sensationalising 'settlement announcements' Categories: Israel, NGOs, Palestinians, Updates     Author: Ahron Shapiro

In my blog post from June 2, I showed how construction in Israel's West Bank settlements had slowed, but that the media had failed to report it. This month, two pieces of commentary by former Bush Administration deputy national security advisor Elliott Abrams - who was the official in charge of mon

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Clinton reveals some vital peacemaking home truths

Clinton reveals some vital peacemaking home truths Categories: Israel, Palestinians, Updates     Author: Allon Lee

It has not received much coverage in Australia, but Hillary Clinton's new book "Hard Choices" chronicling her time as US Secretary of State in President Barack Obama's first administration, upends the oft-made assumption that Israeli-Palestinian peace talks were stillborn between 2009-2012 because o

The reality of Hamas-Fatah “unity”

The reality of Hamas-Fatah “unity” Categories: Israel, Middle East, Palestinians, Updates     Author: Gabrielle Debinski

It has become clear over recent days that the crisis created by the kidnapping of three Israeli teens is severely straining the Fatah-Hamas unity pact, signed in April, and implemented via a new "technocratic cabinet" earlier this month. A senior Fatah official was quoted as saying that if Hamas was

Australia's Jerusalem stance welcomed in Israel, Washington, mostly ignored in Arab world

Australia's Jerusalem stance welcomed in Israel, Washington, mostly ignored in Arab world Categories: Australasia, Israel, Middle East, Palestinians, Updates     Author: Ahron Shapiro

Attorney General George Brandis' and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop's recent terminological clarification - that the Abbott Government would not refer to east Jerusalem with any pejorative descriptor, and explicitly not "Occupied East Jerusalem" - was welcomed in the Israeli press but drew limited at

East Jerusalem and semantic rabbit holes

East Jerusalem and semantic rabbit holes Categories: Australasia, Israel, Op-eds     Author: Glen Falkenstein

In Through the Looking Glass, Humpty Dumpty told Alice "when I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean - neither more nor less." Alice retorted: "The question is, whether you can make words mean so many different things." More than 140 years after Lewis Carroll's masterpiece wa

Sweden: Surveying Antisemitic Attitudes

Sweden: Surveying Antisemitic Attitudes Categories: Antisemitism, Europe, Updates     Author: Glen Falkenstein

The recent survey on worldwide antisemitism conducted by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) labelled Sweden as one of the world's least antisemitic countries and as the least antisemitic country in Europe, with just 4% or those surveyed classified as having "antisemitic attitudes."

The Crisis in Iraq

The Crisis in Iraq Categories: Iraq, Islamic Extremism, Updates    

This Update is devoted to analysis of the crisis in Iraq, where this week an extremist Islamist group, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), took control of the second largest city, Mosul, and then moved to take other major towns, with the Iraqi Army apparently doing little to

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