Opposing radical Islamist terrorism is a moral duty

Opposing radical Islamist terrorism is a moral duty

May 1, 2013 | Colin Rubenstein

Some are now arguing that terrorism should be accepted as a normal hazard of modern life, like traffic accidents. Others draw false comparisons between terrorist acts and the rampages of mentally ill gunmen tragically endemic in the US. These sentiments fail to acknowledge the unique characteristics and goals of terrorism. Terror attacks are perpetrated by immoral ideologues, not the mentally ill. This is true whether the terrorist is acting alone or as an operative in an organised network.

As the instigator for terrorism, radical Islamism is not the only global actor, but it is a major player, and to deny this is to deny reality.

 

Change drives Israel coalition

Change drives Israel coalition

March 25, 2013 | Or Avi Guy

The new Israeli coalition government – sworn in after weeks of negotiations only two days before the US President’ arrival – was indeed an achievement, and one the President should be able to appreciate. Just as Obama was elected on a platform of “hope and change” an appropriate way to describe the new Israeli coalition would be as “the coalition for change”.

Obama will have to drive parties hard to achieve progress

Obama will have to drive parties hard to achieve progress

March 21, 2013 | Colin Rubenstein

Obama will find many fresh faces in [Netanyahu’s] government – and also some new opportunities to push forward towards peace with all of Israel’s neighbours, especially the Palestinians. He will also find a government likely very concerned about pressing regional issues – especially the Iranian nuclear threat and the Syrian civil war – but also one interested in achieving the maximum policy co-ordination possible with Washington on these issues.

Jewish disloyalty: The myth that just won't die

Jewish disloyalty: The myth that just won’t die

March 4, 2013 | Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz

Public debate in Australia has taken on a dark and worrying tone over the past few weeks. Recent revelations about the disturbing circumstances surrounding the death of Australian-Israeli Ben Zygier raised a spectre of racial hatred that most Jewish-Australians had hoped would have been left behind in the middle of the last century.

Obama trip to focus on Iran/Syria

Obama trip to focus on Iran/Syria

February 18, 2013 | Colin Rubenstein

North Korea’s latest nuclear test has again brought into focus the growing urgency of stopping the nuclear weapons program of another country on the road to nuclear weapons capability – Iran. The rapidly closing window of opportunity to either persuade Iran to change course or, if all else fails, disable its nuclear facilities by force, is the backdrop for US President Barack Obama’s visit to Israel next month.

Ban Hezbollah in all its guises or forever be victim to its terror

Ban Hezbollah in all its guises or forever be victim to its terror

February 11, 2013 | Colin Rubenstein

FOLLOWING revelations that an Australian passport holder is a terror suspect in the July 18, 2012, Burgas bus bombing in Bulgaria that killed six people, it is high time all countries, including Australia, banned Hezbollah in its entirety.

Bulgarian Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov said in an update on the investigation into the bombing, “There is data showing the financing and connection between Hezbollah and the two suspects . . . What can be established as a well-grounded assumption is that the two persons whose real identity has been determined belonged to the military wing of Hezbollah.”

Does the CPACS boycott of Israel pass the 'racism' test?

Does the CPACS boycott of Israel pass the ‘racism’ test?

January 31, 2013 | Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz

Racism is not always as obvious as some would like to believe. There is generally a ‘perfectly rational explanation’ for each isolated racist incident. The underlying prejudice only becomes apparent when looked at in a broader context.

One such case is policy adopted by the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Sydney (‘CPACS’) of boycotting any ties with Israel and shunning anyone who supports Israel’s existence. There have been numerous accusations of racism, especially as the centre has a history of promoting some particularly virulent antisemites, but they are not calling for the slaughter of the ‘Christ-killers’ just yet, and their explanations for the boycott can sometimes sound reasonable.

Israeli elections: the doomsday merchants proven wrong

Israeli elections: the doomsday merchants proven wrong

January 29, 2013 | Or Avi Guy

The dust is settling after the election in Israel, and the efforts to establish a stable coalition are well underway. Prior to the election, concerns were raised in the global media and the blogosphere, about the rise of the so-called ultra-nationalist religious right in Israeli politics.

Doomsday-esque predictions about a right wing coalition dominated by the ruling party Likud-Beitenu along with Ha-Bayit Ha-Yehudi (the Jewish Home) and the ultra-Orthodox parties prematurely eulogised the two-state solution, warning against settlement expansion and supposed Israeli reluctance to negotiate.

Netanyahu needs friends for action

Netanyahu needs friends for action

January 25, 2013 | Colin Rubenstein

This week’s election in Israel has produced a legislature with broad ethnic, gender and ideological diversity, demonstrating yet again the strength and vitality of the Middle East’s first genuine democracy.

Under its proportional representation system, no party in Israeli history has ever received enough seats in the 120-member Knesset (Parliament) to govern on its own and negotiations have commenced to determine the make-up of the coalition government.

‘Undecided' voters key to the Knesset

‘Undecided’ voters key to the Knesset

January 17, 2013 | Ahron Shapiro

Predicting the outcome of Israeli elections is always tricky, but especially this year, as we witness a late surge by charismatic businessman Naftali Bennett’s Jewish Home party, which is drawing some support away from Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s Likud Beitenu list.

Meanwhile, the strength of Centre-left and Left-wing parties has been obscured by the large number of undecided voters – almost one in three, according to a recent poll.

 

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