Hamas accepting ceasefire is key

Hamas accepting ceasefire is key

July 25, 2014 | Glen Falkenstein

THE difference between Israeli and Hamas tactics in the current Gaza conflict has been acknowledged by no less an authority than the Palestinian Ambassador to the UN Human Rights Council, Ibrahim Khraishi, who recently stated: “I am not a candidate in any Palestinian elections, so I don’t need to win popularity among the Palestinians. The missiles that are now being launched against Israel, each and every missile constitutes a crime against humanity, whether it hits or misses, because it is directed at civilian targets.”

Hamas makes civilian casualties a tragic certainty

Hamas makes civilian casualties a tragic certainty

July 25, 2014 | Glen Falkenstein

More than 2,200 rockets have been fired by Hamas and other terrorist groups from the Gaza Strip into Israel since July 8, and the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) have responded by attacking terrorist targets in Gaza.

Israel initially countered the rocket fire by telling Hamas, “quiet will be met with quiet”, yet Hamas continued to fire rockets. Israel also accepted a ceasefire proposal by Egypt, backed by the Arab League and the Palestinian Authority (PA), which on July 15 was rejected by Hamas.

Letter in The Age: Under threat

July 25, 2014

Your editorial (”Might overwhelms the right to defend”, 23/7) was inflammatory. Hamas, a terrorist organisation proscribed by many nations, including Australia, initiated this conflict by escalating rocket attacks across Israel. It rejected Israel’s overtures to de-escalate, as well as three Arab ceasefire proposals Israel accepted. Hamas positions its military assets – rockets, launchers, weapons, command centres and tunnel entrances – amid civilian homes and buildings, even mosques, schools and hospitals; a war crime.

Hamas' rocket attacks provoked Israel's ground offensive into Gaza Strip

Hamas’ rocket attacks provoked Israel’s ground offensive into Gaza Strip

July 21, 2014 | Sharyn Mittelman

Israel is currently under attack as Hamas and other jihadist groups have fired more than 1600 rockets into its territory this month. The rockets have sent millions of Israeli citizens – Jews, Muslims, Christians, Druze – sprinting into bomb shelters. They have as little as 15 seconds to run for cover. It is not a situation any county would tolerate.

Real issue is no peace partner

Real issue is no peace partner

July 14, 2014 | Jamie Hyams

ISRAEL has again been forced to defend its civilians against unprovoked and indiscriminate massive rocket and other terror attacks from Hamas, a partner in the new Palestinian unity government, and kindred groups in Gaza…

Israel responded at first with low-intensity raids, stating several times that if the rockets stopped, so would the retaliation.

Hamas instead significantly escalated the rockets, and attempted to infiltrate Israel by tunnel and by sea, forcing Israel to degrade Hamas’s ability to continue these attacks.

Hamas rockets beg response

Hamas rockets beg response

July 11, 2014 | Sharyn Mittelman

With confrontation between Israel and the Hamas in the Gaza Strip escalating, it is important to understand the conflict’s context. Israel is currently under attack, with over 180 rockets fired into its territory from the Gaza Strip in recent days. The rockets have sent Israelis from central Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, from southern Beersheba to northern Hadera, running into bomb shelters.

Letter: Foggy thinking on Israel’s “occupation”

June 24, 2014 | Colin Rubenstein

Laura Tingle makes the unsubstantiated, ill-informed claim that the Australian Government’s articulation of its position on east Jerusalem was a result of the “Israel lobby” switching its “funding allegiance” to the Coalition (“The fog of war rolls from Jerusalem to Canberra”, 20 June). This is not simply a fiction, but deeply offensive.

Australia right to stay out of Middle East's semantic games

Australia right to stay out of Middle East’s semantic games

June 24, 2014 | Mark Leibler

In response to the recent controversy over the Australian government’s clarification to continue to avoid referring to east Jerusalem as ‘occupied’, The Age editorialised ‘the goal of a two-state solution … is not helped by pretending Israel is not in control of lands claimed by the Palestinians’ (June 20).

No one would disagree that Israel has indeed been ‘controlling lands claimed by the Palestinians’ – but the word for land controlled by one party but claimed by another is ‘disputed’ not ‘occupied’.

Why terminology matters in pursuit of a peace deal

June 24, 2014 | Or Avi Guy

There has been much discussion about the federal government’s clarification of the terminology it intends to use in regards to east Jerusalem – and the strong reaction to it from local Arab diplomats and Palestinian representatives, threatening trade boycotts or other sanctions.

East Jerusalem and semantic rabbit holes

East Jerusalem and semantic rabbit holes

June 18, 2014 | Glen Falkenstein

In Through the Looking Glass, Humpty Dumpty told Alice “when I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less.” Alice retorted: “The question is, whether you can make words mean so many different things.”

More than 140 years after Lewis Carroll’s masterpiece was published, the meaning and correct use of words continue to be disputed – with the ongoing dispute over east Jerusalem taking a semantic and very public turn earlier this month in the Australian Senate.

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