Ha’aretz reveals claims about major settlement expansion are wrong

Ha’aretz reveals claims about major settlement expansion are wrong

October 17, 2017 | Ahron Shapiro

Talking about building settlements and actually building them are two different things. It’s an important distinction that isn’t made often enough.

Conspiracy theories about the Kurds and the Mossad

Conspiracy theories about the Kurds and the Mossad

October 11, 2017 | Shmuel Levin

In the wake of Kurdistan’s recent independence referendum, all manner of creative accusations have emerged alleging that the referendum was part of a secretive Israeli and/or Jewish conspiracy. Admittedly, Israel has been supportive of an independent Kurdistan, but Kurdish national aspirations predate Israel’s existence. The Kurds were first promised an independent state in the 1920 Treaty of Sevres, following World War One.

The Kurdistan referendum – the aftermath

The Kurdistan referendum – the aftermath

October 4, 2017 | Shmuel Levin

As discussed here on FreshAIR a few weeks ago, despite significant opposition, Iraq’s Kurds proceeded on 25 September with an independence referendum resulting in an overwhelming ‘yes’ vote of 93%. The referendum was opposed with near-unanimity from multiple countries, including most prominently, Turkey, Iraq, and Iran. Now these countries are threatening retaliation.

Settlement housing construction plummets to five-year low

Settlement housing construction plummets to five-year low

September 15, 2017 | Ahron Shapiro

In January, coinciding with the inauguration of US President Donald Trump, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s government advanced plans for thousands of new homes in Jewish neighbourhoods of east Jerusalem as well as the West Bank (the vast majority within settlement blocs.)

Yet since then – according to the latest figures released by Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics, actual housing starts have dropped to its lowest point in five years.

Strangely, the media has been silent about this disparity.

The crackdown on Palestinian freedom of speech – and why you probably haven’t heard about it

The crackdown on Palestinian freedom of speech – and why you probably haven’t heard about it

September 14, 2017 | Shmuel Levin

In the last few months, the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and Hamas in Gaza have been busy. In the West Bank, the Palestinian Authority has introduced a new “ban on websites”. Like all laws passed since 2007, the new Electronic Crimes Law was passed in July 2017 by presidential decree without consultations with Palestinian civil society or the public.

Israeli PM’s historic visit to Latin America

Israeli PM’s historic visit to Latin America

September 14, 2017 | Sharyn Mittelman

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrived in Argentina on Monday – the first visit by an Israeli leader to the region since Israel’s creation in 1948. Netanyahu is also visiting Colombia and Mexico before travelling to New York, where he will address the UN General Assembly. 

Israel and the UN: A new page?

Israel and the UN: A new page?

September 5, 2017 | Gareth Narunsky

In September 2016, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu stood at the podium of the United Nations General Assembly and declared that “Israel has a bright future at the UN”.

He also declared “the war against Israel at the UN is over” and that “a decade from now an Israeli prime minister will stand right here where I am standing and actually applaud the UN.” Given some of the events at the UN which have transpired since… the prediction that it may take a decade for things to change at the UN today appears to be on firmer ground than the claim that the war on Israel at the UN is over.

The “targeting” and “pressure” that so annoyed John Lyons

The “targeting” and “pressure” that so annoyed John Lyons

September 4, 2017 | Tzvi Fleischer

Former Australian Middle East correspondent John Lyons – now headed for the ABC as their new “head of investigative and in-depth journalism” – apparently does not like AIJAC very much.

He’s certainly been making that very clear of late in repeated public statements…

So what did we do that so upset Mr. Lyons? Mainly, we criticised some of his journalism when he was Middle East correspondent with the Australian from 2009 until January 2015…

So here are some examples of some of AIJAC’s past critiques of Mr. Lyons – as well as several related critiques from other sources…

Is an independent Kurdistan finally about to be born? And if so

Is an independent Kurdistan finally about to be born? And if so, what does it mean for Israel?

September 1, 2017 | Shmuel Levin

Despite being delayed several times before, Iraqi Kurdistan is now set to vote in an independence referendum on 25 September 2017.

The Kurdish people are the fourth-largest ethnic group in the Middle East, at approximately 30 million people. They speak “various dialects of their own language, Kurdish, although governments have sometimes banned its usage”, and are largely Sunni Muslim. Although they have no state of their own, they are indigenous to a mountainous region which covers territory in present day Turkey, Iraq, Syria, Iran and Armenia.

Mike Khizam op-ed in Adelaide Advertiser: A Deconstruction

Mike Khizam op-ed in Adelaide Advertiser: A Deconstruction

August 22, 2017 | Gareth Narunsky

In an online op-ed for the Adelaide Advertiser on Friday 11 August, AIJAC guest Dr Eran Lerman congratulated the South Australian Legislative Council for rightly calling for a negotiated outcome between Israel and the Palestinian Authority prior to a Palestinian state being recognised.

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