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Asia Watch: Race to the Bottom Categories: Asia, Israel     Author: Michael Shannon

A frequent complaint in Australian political commentary is that the level of debate here is pedestrian at best, especially at election time. Indeed, if hyperbole and distortion is the daily gruel of politics worldwide then it has a special flavour in Malaysia, where Israel is invoked on the slightes

Asia Watch: Temple Bombed in Jakarta Categories: Asia, NGOs, United Nations     Author: Sharyn Mittelman

Jakarta was rocked on August 4 by a bomb exploding at the Ekayana Buddhist Centre - injuring three people among the 300 who had gathered to hear a sermon. A note found at the scene stated: "We respond to the screams of the Rohingya", indicating the attack was in response to violence against Rohingya

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Editorial: 'Start-up Nation' comes to Asia Categories: Asia, Israel     Author: Colin Rubenstein

The welcome mat put out for Netanyahu in Beijing is part of a growing trend across East, South and Southeast Asia. Israel's reputation as the "start-up nation" - a dynamic economy centred on hi-tech, innovation and entrepreneurship - is causing regional leaders to sit up and take notice. And for the

Asia ahead in courting hi-tech Israel

Asia ahead in courting hi-tech Israel Categories: Asia, Israel, Op-eds     Author: Colin Rubenstein

ISRAELI Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's recent visit to China was revealing. Despite Chinese criticism of alleged Israeli airstrikes on arms shipments in Syria, Beijing arranged a program that strongly hinted it regards Netanyahu as an important visitor.

Asia Watch: Sporting colours

Asia Watch: Sporting colours Categories: Asia, Holocaust/ War Crimes     Author: Michael Shannon

Emerging from nearly two decades of military rule, Myanmar has been a largely closed country known mainly for its iconic figure of democratic resistance Aung San Su Kyyi. Recent visitors have been surprised to find that amidst the transition to democracy, one may encounter young men sporting large s

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Asia Watch: Two Tracks

Asia Watch: Two Tracks Categories: Asia, Israel     Author: Michael Shannon

Indonesia's public stance towards Israel - established by a long precedent - is still characterised by loud, almost ritualistic denunciations and rejections, yet equally established is the precedent of pragmatic, private flirtations, including the constant stream of tourists and visits by influentia

10th Anniversary of the Bali Bombings

10th Anniversary of the Bali Bombings Categories: Asia, Australasia, Terrorism, Updates     Author: Sharyn Mittelman

Today marks ten years since the ‘Bali Bombings', which tragically killed 202 people, including 88 Australians and 38 Indonesians, and injured more than 240. For many Australians, the memory of the Bali bombings are now part of our collective national consciousness, an acute awareness of the e

Essay: Unexplored Possibilities

Essay: Unexplored Possibilities Categories: Asia, Israel     Author: Andrea Nadel

The current growing economic, political and military strength of numerous Asian countries has led observers to refer to the "Asian Century," and the world has taken notice. Indonesia exemplifies Asia's ascendancy: as the world's most populous Muslim-majority nation, it has experienced significant ec

Asia Watch: State of Tension Categories: Asia     Author: Michael Shannon

In Malaysia today, it seems that being sympathetic to the Palestinian cause is not enough - especially if you are Christian and (even worse) have visited the Holy Land, which means entering Israel.

Israel looks to Asia's next generation

Israel looks to Asia's next generation Categories: Asia, Israel     Author: Yehonathan Tommer

In recent years, Israel has been coming to sees its future as increasingly linked with Asia. This fact is underscored by changing strategic realities, the region's influential emergent economies, and American and European woes in an unresolved global financial crisis. Three of the world's largest ec

Asia Watch: Both sides of the coin

Asia Watch: Both sides of the coin Categories: Asia     Author: Michael Shannon

Over the past decade, Indonesia's counter-terror operations have been undeniably effective, with all of the key Jemaah Islamiah (JI) leaders either dead or behind bars. The successes pile up, yet the extremism and intolerance that provided the basis of the worst acts of terror still finds expression

Thailand's slow-burn insurgency heats up

Thailand's slow-burn insurgency heats up Categories: Asia, Terrorism     Author: Zachary Abuza

On March 31, a series of coordinated bombings, the likes that have not been seen since 2007, rocked the Southern Thai cities of Yala and Hat Yai. These attacks were spectacular and garnered both domestic and international media attention. While a wakeup call to the international community and the T

The Last Word: RID-ing against Intolerance

The Last Word: RID-ing against Intolerance Categories: Asia, Australasia, Interfaith Dialogue     Author: Jeremy Jones

A visit to Semarang, the largest city in Central Java, is in many ways an assault on the senses. The humidity, with searing heat and blustery winds, is unavoidable, as are the blinding colours and the food which comes in two varieties - syrupy sweet or hot and spicy. My recent trip, to participate

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New Leadership and Old Tricks from Pyongyang

New Leadership and Old Tricks from Pyongyang Categories: Asia, International Security     Author: Nir Reichental

Imagine the following terrifying scenario for the international community - a rogue, impoverished country armed to the teeth with doomsday weaponry, a regime infamous for its belligerence, yet one whose perceptions of reality and decision-making processes are a mystery. Let us further imagine such a

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