Current UN Special Rapporteur on the Occupied Palestinian Territories Francesca Albanese (Image: Shutterstock)

Article 51 and Israel’s inherent right to self-defence

December 12, 2023 | Oved Lobel

In a public address in Canberra on Nov. 14, Francesca Albanese, the UN’s Special Rapporteur on the Occupied Palestinian Territories, made the argument that Israel “cannot claim the right of self-defence against a threat that emanates from the territory it occupies – from a territory that is kept under belligerent occupation.” It is in the public interest to examine whether this sweeping assertion actually has a basis in settled international law.

Image: X/ Twitter

“I went through hell”: What the released hostages say about their captivity

December 8, 2023 | Alana Schetzer, Aviva Winton

Returning hostages were forced to smile, shake hands with their captors and thank them publicly as part of Hamas’ propaganda. However, in one video a Hamas fighter is seen ordering captives to keep waving – and there are also reports that hostages were given tranquilisers prior to their release to make them appear happy.

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News reports whitewash the crimes of Palestinian prisoners being released

November 29, 2023 | Ahron Shapiro

Some news reports have drawn an apparent moral equivalence between the completely innocent Israeli hostages and the Palestinian prisoners, including by whitewashing or downplaying the severity of the terror-related crimes many of the prisoners were found guilty of.

Image: Shutterstock

The silence about Hamas’ ongoing war crimes

November 29, 2023 | Oved Lobel

One either cares about the principle of IHL adherence or one doesn’t. Anyone who is unable or unwilling to mention Hamas’ countless and ongoing violations of IHL at the same time as they express concern, well-founded or not, about Israel’s conduct clearly belongs in the latter category.  

Pro-Palestinian rally in Milan, Italy, with signs promoting the lie that Israel is committing genocide in Gaza (source: Eugenio Marongiu/Shutterstock)

The Big Lie: “Genocide” in Gaza

November 23, 2023 | Oved Lobel

The fundamentally unserious, grotesque and yet pervasive claim by Palestinians and their supporters that Israel is committing “genocide” or “ethnic cleansing” in Gaza should not really be dignified with a direct response. Yet it is once again necessary to emphasise that these words have specific meanings that have very little relation to how they are currently being used.  

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Fact sheet: Gaza’s hospitals and ambulances – and Hamas’ exploitation of them

November 14, 2023 | AIJAC

Below is a current update on the reality of the situation with respect to the hospitals of Gaza – including the well-documented evidence and history of Hamas’ use of hospitals and ambulances for terrorist purposes. These practices remove their protected status under International Humanitarian Law, allowing the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) to strike these targets, though of course while continuing to seek to minimise harm to civilians within the laws of “proportionality” and while adhering to other relevant rules.

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Are you a “Fascifist”?

November 14, 2023 | Oved Lobel

You are not a humanitarian, however, if your response to this horrendous carnage is to call for a ceasefire rather than an Israeli victory and the destruction of Hamas’ military capabilities – you are a fascifist, no matter how well-intentioned.

Israel strikes Hamas targets in Gaza, 2021 (Photo: Nick_ Raille_07 / Shutterstock.com)

The media, Palestinian children and the numbers game

November 10, 2023 | Oved Lobel

The stories of children being killed in Gaza are indeed horrifically sad and tragic – even if we actually have no accurate numbers on the extent of this tragedy – and to some extent, it is understandable that journalists want to highlight these terrible stories. Unfortunately, the goal of at least some journalists appears to be primarily to draw some nonexistent moral equivalence between those Palestinians under 18 killed during legitimate Israeli military operations with the Israeli children brutally murdered or kidnapped by Hamas.

Image: IMF/ Flickr

Hanan Ashrawi proves – yet again – why she should never have been a candidate for any peace prize

November 6, 2023 | Alana Schetzer, Allon Lee

Today, November 6, marks exactly two decades since then NSW Premier Bob Carr presented Palestinian official, activist and academic Hanan Ashrawi the then largely unknown Sydney Peace Prize, an award that prompted major national controversy. In recent weeks, Ashrawi has made outrageous statements that have whitewashed Hamas’ barbaric crimes against Israel on October 7 – vindicating yet again the stance taken by the Australian Jewish leadership in 2003 that she should never have won the award.

Pro-Palestinian rally in Sydney, October 21, 2023 (source: Steve Tritton)

“Pro-Palestinian” slogans often amount to advocating terrorism or calling for genocide

November 2, 2023 | Oved Lobel

It would be prudent for Australian institutions and state governments to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism to help them understand and ideally combat what is fairly open racism and terrorism advocacy by some activists.

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