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Asia Watch: Causes and Effects Categories: Asia     Author: Michael Shannon

Rapidly consolidating power over key institutions of the state, and backed by very high approval ratings, Duterte is in a position to redirect the Philippines' foreign policy like none of his predecessors... Although Manila released a statement of "regret", and Duterte insisted that his foul-mouthe

Asia Watch: Own goal

Asia Watch: Own goal Categories: Asia, Israel     Author: Michael Shannon

Malaysians avidly follow football... The ultimate dream is to host the FIFA World Cup. To make this outside possibility a little more likely, in 2013 Malaysia offered and was accepted to host the 2017 FIFA Congress that will determine the host nation of the 2026 World Cup. As so often happens, poli

Asia Watch: King-pin down

Asia Watch: King-pin down Categories: Asia, Islamic Extremism, Terrorism     Author: Michael Shannon

Santoso and his men from the MIT have been behind numerous attacks on police since 2012, particularly the anti-terror unit Detachment 88. By the time he was shot, he was responsible for the deaths of more than a dozen police and had tried to kill many more. Having pledged allegiance to Islamic Stat

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Asia Watch: Crossing a line Categories: Asia, Islamic Extremism     Author: Michael Shannon

The Islamic month of Ramadan is meant to be a period of physical sacrifice (fasting) in order to achieve deeper religiosity, but all too often it highlights excess. Indonesia and Malaysia may be far from Islam's Middle Eastern heartland, but are increasingly subject to its influences.

Same old Mahathir

Same old Mahathir Categories: Antisemitism, Asia, Updates     Author: Gareth Narunsky

One could have been forgiven for thinking, during a 60 Minutes interview with former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad in March, that the one-time strongman of Malaysian politics had mellowed out significantly.

Asia Watch: Enter the "Strongman"

Asia Watch: Enter the "Strongman" Categories: Asia     Author: Michael Shannon

There is no shortage of opinions about the Philippines' President-elect, 71-year-old Rodrigo Duterte. A brash, foul-mouthed, misogynistic, fascistic strongman; a courageous, uncompromising, vengeful practitioner of rough "justice" that brought law and order to a city beset by criminal and political

Israel and Singapore - out of the shadows

Israel and Singapore - out of the shadows Categories: Asia, Israel     Author: Sharyn Mittelman

While, in the past, it was always kept low-key, Israel and Singapore have a deep and enduring relationship that has lasted more than 50 years. Not only do these two small but prosperous states at opposite ends of Asia have extensive cooperation in commerce and defence trade, but they share a profoun

Israel's push for productive solutions

Israel's push for productive solutions Categories: Anti-Zionism, Asia, Europe, Israel, Op-eds     Author: Colin Rubenstein

THE Lebanese branch of the anti-Israel boycott movement has demanded that country's government ban the film Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice because, in the movie, Wonder Woman is played by the Israeli actor Gal Gadot. Worldwide, the film has box office takings of over $1.2 billion. Many people -

Asia Watch: Spotfires

Asia Watch: Spotfires Categories: Asia, Islamic Extremism     Author: Michael Shannon

While the Islamic State territory in Syria and Iraq is receding, IS-linked entities still pose a deadly threat not only in Europe but also Southeast Asia, with hotbeds of activity in the southern Philippines and Indonesia's Central Sulawesi region.

Asia Watch: Pronouncements and Pragmatism

Asia Watch: Pronouncements and Pragmatism Categories: Asia, Israel, Palestinians     Author: Michael Shannon

Fresh from hosting 57 countries over March 13-14 at a special two-day Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) summit on the Palestinian question, Indonesia's diplomatic foray into the issue was set to be symbolically crowned with the opening of an honorary consulate in Ramallah and meetings with P

Asia Watch: Soft Power

Asia Watch: Soft Power Categories: Asia, Israel     Author: Michael Shannon

Israel's push to gain ground in Asia is nothing if not multifaceted and the growing trade and cultural links may yet reap political benefits over the long-term.  Much has been said already of the interest Israel's hi-tech industries are generating in Asia. Countries like Singapore and Chi

Nuclear Outsourcing to Pyongyang?

Nuclear Outsourcing to Pyongyang? Categories: Asia, International Security, Iran     Author: Emily B. Landau & Alon Levkowitz

There is a strong possibility that Iran will continue to benefit from North Korea's nuclear advances, and some of Iran's nuclear activities might take place in North Korea itself, using the "hermit state" as a convenient backyard.

Essay: Antisemitism as Political Tool

Essay: Antisemitism as Political Tool Categories: Antisemitism, Asia     Author: Jon Emont

Malaysia is in political and economic crisis as it has been, now, for many months, due to a huge and still unresolved corruption scandal featuring a mysterious US$700 million that was transferred into a bank account belonging to the country's Prime Minister Najib Razak. The money arrived just before

Asia Watch: On the Crest of a Wave?

Asia Watch: On the Crest of a Wave? Categories: Asia, Terrorism     Author: Michael Shannon

The explosions that rocked downtown Jakarta in broad daylight on Jan. 14 surprised only those who were unlucky enough to be in the vicinity at that time. There had been hints of what was to come for weeks. After the coordinated attacks across Paris in November, Bahrun Naim, a former Internet caf&ea

ISIL's bid to unite Southeast Asian jihadists

ISIL's bid to unite Southeast Asian jihadists Categories: Asia, Islamic Extremism, Terrorism     Author: Zachary Abuza

The pathways to recruitment to ISIL are slightly different than in the past. In Indonesia, ISIL has been able to graft onto much of JI's social network, owing in large part to people such as Abu Bakar Ba'asyir and Abdurrahman Aman's early pledges of allegiance to ISIL. In addition to JI's mosques, m

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