Statement on the terrorist attacks in Denmark

Statement on the terrorist attacks in Denmark

February 16, 2015

AIJAC expresses its sincere condolences to the victims and their families of the terrorist attacks in Copenhagen on the weekend. The victims of the deadly attacks included documentary filmmaker Finn Noergaard who was killed while attending a discussion at a café on freedom of speech and Dan Uzan, a Jewish volunteer security guard who was killed while guarding a synagogue where around 80 people were celebrating a Bat Mitzvah. Five policeman were also injured in these attacks and we hope for their full recovery.

Paris no excuse for revisiting 18C

Paris no excuse for revisiting 18C

January 21, 2015 | Sharyn Mittelman

ON January 7 there was an attack on free speech in Paris by murderous terrorists inspired by a jihadist ideology, not French laws on hate speech.

Despite this truth, the attack on Charlie Hebdo and the horrific murders of 17 people have led some commentators in Australia to rehash the debate on section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act, claiming we cannot say “Je suis Charlie” and support hate speech laws. But we can and we should.

Not condemning anti-Semitism only fuels extremism

Not condemning anti-Semitism only fuels extremism

January 21, 2015 | Glen Falkenstein

“I went down to the freezer, I opened the door, there were several people who went in with me. I turned off the light and the freezer…I brought them inside and I told them to stay calm here, I’m going to go out”.

Lassana Bathily, a Muslim employee of a kosher grocery store in Paris, saved several Jews from Amedy Coulibaly who murdered four men finishing their shopping before the Sabbath. Earlier that week, Cherif and Said Kouachi, who along with Coulibaly had sought to send radicalised French youths to Iraq, killed twelve people in an attack on the Charlie Hebdo headquarters.

First Person: Time to wake up

First Person: Time to wake up

December 16, 2014 | Jeremy Jones

Armed hostage taking is extremely rare in Australia, and armed hostage taking accompanied by a banner that evoked images of Islamic State, al-Qaida or other groups known for their inhumanity, barbarity and callous disregard for morality and decency, is unprecedented.

Washington’s goal now appears to be to legitimise Iran as a nuclear threshold state in exchange for a few concessions

Washington’s goal now appears to be to legitimise Iran as a nuclear threshold state in exchange for a few concessions

December 8, 2014 | Colin Rubenstein

Negotiations between the P5+1 and Iran over Iran’s nuclear program in Vienna have just missed another major deadline. November 24 was the date set for a final deal – after an extension in June – under the interim agreement signed late last year. Moreover, this latest extension, unlike the previous one, violates a key provision of the initial interim deal last November which set a one year limit on the talks.

Letter to The Age/SMH: Home demolitions

December 8, 2014 | Jamie Hyams

In Australia, a major purpose for imposing lengthy jail terms is to deter would-be criminals. But what if the would-be perpetrator intended to die in their attack, in the belief that they would go straight to paradise? What if they murdered in the knowledge they would become a hero in their community, they may even have streets named after them, and their family would be exceedingly generously compensated for their loss?

Moral clarity about Islamic State needs zero tolerance of terrorism

Moral clarity about Islamic State needs zero tolerance of terrorism

October 24, 2014 | Ahron Shapiro

IN Ottawa on Wednesday, a lone gunman rampaged in and around Canada’s parliament, killing a Canadian soldier before being killed. Authorities said he was a convert to Islam, radicalised to commit his act of terrorism.

That day in Jerusalem, a newborn girl was run down and killed in her pram when a vehicle intentionally rammed a crowded tram stop. The Palestinian driver, killed while fleeing, had an extensive ­arrest record for nationalistic violence and familial connections to Hamas. He was glorified on Hamas-affiliated websites as a martyr and a Hamas spokesman said his attack was only “natural”.

No to backburner

No to backburner, yes to a two-track strategy

October 21, 2014 | Glen Falkenstein

Iran’s securing nuclear weapons would destabilise a region already suffering from mass upheaval, in addition to having dire security implications for the rest of the world. Multilateral efforts to deter the sadistic actions of ISIS, a crucial priority, seem to have distracted from international efforts to halt Iran’s nuclear program. As identified in the recent post by Andrew Nikolic, a nuclear Iran remains a broader strategic priority and potentially worse threat.

Nuclear-armed Iran would pose a far bigger threat than Islamic State

Nuclear-armed Iran would pose a far bigger threat than Islamic State

October 2, 2014 | Colin Rubenstein

The Islamic State is certainly dangerous and must be “degraded and ultimately destroyed”, in Obama’s words. But nothing could damage long-term regional and wider global stability, and Australian and American interests in the region, more than to allow the fight against the Islamic State to become the distraction that allows Tehran to develop nuclear weapons capabilities or extend its regional sphere of influence…

Ceasefire talks offer chance of lasting peace in Gaza

September 22, 2014 | Colin Rubenstein

All attention has turned to Australian military personnel being sent to Iraq to destroy the Islamic State. But crucial talks are set to commence soon on another critical battleground in the quest for Middle East peace.

This week talks are expected to begin in Cairo to produce a long-term ceasefire for Gaza. Israeli representatives and a joint Hamas-Palestinian Authority delegation are supposed to meet under Egyptian mediation to discuss relaxation of border controls by both Israel and Egypt, Israeli demands for demilitarisation of Gaza, Hamas demands for a sea port and airport and payment of Hamas salaries, and reconstruction arrangements.

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