Israel refuses to participate in UN “human rights” farce

February 1, 2013 | Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz

Israel has been making headlines recently for its failure to show-up to its “Universal Periodic Review” (“UPR”) session at the United Nations Human Rights Council (“HRC”) and for refusing to cooperate with a recent “fact-finding mission” into settlements in the West Bank. …

Sadly, it appears that the reforms to the UN Human Rights Commission and its re-branding as the “Human Rights Council” have had little effect…

Israeli Politics – Barak bows out, Tzipi Livni jumps in

November 30, 2012 | Or Avi Guy

There is never a dull moment in Israeli politics, let alone when the upcoming elections are right around the corner. This week three main developments took place, any of which could significantly influence the political outlook.

New Huawei allegations - Iranian partner breaching US sanctions

New Huawei allegations – Iranian partner breaching US sanctions

October 31, 2012 | Sharyn Mittelman

There are new allegations regarding the Chinese telecommunication company Huawei, with Reuters reporting that an Iranian partner of Huawei, Soda Gostar Persian Vista, last year tried to sell embargoed American antenna equipment to an Iranian firm.

This latest report of breaching US sanctions, may further undermine Huawei’s concerted efforts to improve its image in Australia, following an Australian government decision in March this year to block Huawei from bidding on its National Broadband Network (NBN) due to national security risks.

Hungary revisits blood libel conspiracy

April 18, 2012 | Sharyn Mittelman

Far-right political parties appear to be making a comeback in Europe, especially in Hungary and in Greece. In Hungary, the radical nationalist party commonly known as Jobbik – (‘The Movement for a Better Hungary’), has been growing in power and popularity and is considered by many scholars to be fascist and antisemitic.

In the workplace? In a car? Middle East grapples over women's whereabouts

In the workplace? In a car? Middle East grapples over women’s whereabouts

November 17, 2011 | Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz

As I wrote earlier this year, a great deal of the problems facing the Arab world as it stumbles towards democracy stem from a conservative culture that is inhibiting female participation in society.

How do you solve a problem like Pakistan?

How do you solve a problem like Pakistan?

November 9, 2011 | Sharyn Mittelman

Pakistan is a foreign policy conundrum for the West. While Pakistan has publicly been an ‘ally’ to the West in fighting al-Qaeda and supporting the war in Afghanistan, privately its intelligence agencies work with the Taliban and support terrorist organisations. In addition, Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal is considered by many to be unstable, and therefore poses a very real threat to international security should it end up in the wrong hands.

West failing Arab liberals as Islamists rise

West failing Arab liberals as Islamists rise

September 1, 2011 | Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz

Protests are raging again in Iran, this time ostensibly over the drying up of a salt lake in Iran’s East Azerbaijan Province. It is true that the local people are suffering from the damage that the lake’s gradual erosion has done to their economy, however the familiarity of videos such as the one below, showing grainy images of Iranian police shooting at protesters, who throw rocks in return, point to a general discontent with the ruling Ayatollah regime that boils just below the surface of the Islamic Republic.

The 1979 “Islamic Revolution” was the first case of a relatively young Islamist movement actually gaining dominion over an entire state. The subsquent deterioration of Iran was mirrored in the other Islamist “successes” in Afghanistan, Sudan, Gaza and large portions of Algeria, Yemen and Somalia. The totalitarian ideology that promises a return to the “glory days” of Islam through forced regression to a 7th-century civil society has to date yielded nothing but misery to those living under it. Yet, as this blog has been reporting, the ideology remains perhaps the most influential force in the Arab world, with its adherents looking increasingly likely to hijack the “Arab Spring” revolutions…

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Palestinian UN Bid Losing Momentum?

July 22, 2011 | Sharyn Mittelman

The Palestinian plan to seek UN recognition of an independent Palestinian state along the pre-1967 lines may be losing momentum, according to numerous media reports.

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