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Editorial: The Asian Connection Categories: Asia, Israel     Author: Colin Rubenstein

As Netanyahu attempted to point out, the assumption that Israel is becoming more isolated in recent years makes sense only if one's focus is mainly on a segment of opinion in Western Europe - ignoring the US, Eastern Europe and Israel's renewal of old ties in Sub-Saharan African. But a most importan

Enhancing Israel-Asia relations

Enhancing Israel-Asia relations Categories: Asia, Israel, Op-eds     Author: Colin Rubenstein

Israeli President Shimon Peres's groundbreaking visit to Vietnam in November with a delegation of more than 60 prominent Israelis, including two government ministers and leading figures in finance, industry, agriculture and defense was a landmark event. The delegation was given a rousing welcome, in

The Last Word: Malays' Malaise

The Last Word: Malays' Malaise Categories: Antisemitism, Asia, Libya     Author: Jeremy Jones

On a different scale, but in some ways belonging to the same brand of journalism, was a piece in the Sydney Morning Herald: "A sex guide from Malaysia's Obedient Wives".The article delivered, as one expert on Malaysia put it, "some richly deserved ridicule" - reporting the "Obedient Wives Club's sex

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Asia Watch: The Elephant in the Room Categories: Asia, Islamic Extremism, Terrorism     Author: Michael Shannon

Concerns about growing religious intolerance in Indonesia have been heightened in recent weeks in the wake of violent attacks and restrictive local laws, but legislative moves appear unlikely to address the core problem. Some recent scene-setting events demonstrate the scope of the problem.More tha

Indonesia's backlash against Saudi-style Islam

Indonesia's backlash against Saudi-style Islam Categories: Asia, Saudi Arabia, Updates     Author: Michael Shannon

The beheading of Ruyati binti Satubi - an Indonesian maid executed by Saudi authorities in June for the killing of an allegedly abusive Saudi employer - has stirred such revulsion in Indonesia that Islamic leaders there are openly challenging the harsh, Wahhabist creed of Islam that has gained a foo

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Asia Watch: The Old Bogeyman

Asia Watch: The Old Bogeyman Categories: Antisemitism, Asia     Author: Michael Shannon

One of the most reliable indices of political heat in Malaysia is when the spectre of Jews or Israel is invoked to discredit domestic political enemies. That no instance seems too far-fetched is an interesting indicator of how Jews are perceived in a country with no Jewish population of its own - a

Asia Watch: New Broom Categories: Asia, Terrorism     Author: Michael Shannon

With Malaysian Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim still detained by a farcical trial and Prime Minister Najib Razak's sclerotic UMNO-led coalition firmly in control, the entrenched political stalemate could yet be upset from a surprising direction. Long viewed as a promoter of fundamentalist Islam in p

From Pyongyang with love

From Pyongyang with love Categories: Asia, International Security, Iran, Middle East, Syria     Author: Allon Lee

North Korean cooperation is a linchpin in Iran's development of ballistic missiles, without which progress would be retarded a very great deal. On Iran's nuclear push, the evidence is less conclusive, but North Korean assistance seems likely to be very significant to Iran’s nuclea

Fall of the Teflon Terrorist? Categories: Asia, Islamic Extremism, Terrorism     Author: Zachary Abuza

On Aug. 9, 2010, members of Indonesia's elite counter-terrorist police force arrested the militant cleric Abu Bakar Bashir as part of their ongoing investigations into a terrorist training camp discovered in February 2010 in Aceh, plots to kill President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and scheme to launch

Asia Watch: Stormy Seas Categories: Asia, Israel, Palestinians     Author: Michael Shannon

As elsewhere, the Israeli military confrontation of activists aboard the Freedom Flotilla's MV Mavi Marmara on May 31 put Israel at the centre of fiery rhetoric in Southeast Asia over recent weeks. In Indonesia, demonstrations were staged in Jakarta and regional cities over several days.

Wahid's Way Categories: Asia     Author: Theodore Friend

The genial complexity of Wahid's character, which drew millions to him, was not adequate to the pressures of the presidency. But his life, career, and elements of caprice contain abundant clues for anyone who would understand modern Sufism, global Islam, and the Republic of Indonesia.

The Great Leap Forward Categories: Asia, Terrorism     Author: Zachary Abuza

No country deserves more credit for improving its counter-terrorism operations and capabilities than Indonesia. While terrorism will never be eliminated, Indonesia has developed a strong and effective counter-terrorist force, while at the same time consolidating its democratic transition.

The legacy of a true friend Categories: Asia, Israel, Op-eds     Author: Colin Rubenstein

Almost uniquely among Muslim leaders and the heads of Muslim states, Wahid was not reticent about his friendship for Israel and his close ties and desire for even closer ones with the Jewish people.

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Asia Watch: Business Interests Categories: Asia, Israel     Author: Michael Shannon

While there is no imminent prospect of Indonesia establishing diplomatic relations with Israel, Jakarta's longstanding political stance is no impediment to a burgeoning commercial relationship with the Jewish state.

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