Tough targeted sanctions needed against Iran
January 20, 2012 | Colin Rubenstein
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report released in November 2011 provides the strongest evidence to date that Iran has undertaken research and experiments geared towards developing nuclear weapons. And just last week, the IAEA confirmed that Iran was enriching uranium up to 20 percent, a major step toward weapons grade level, at an underground site at ‘Fordow’, a once-secret underground site revealed in September 2009 by the US, France and Britain.
Enhancing Israel-Asia relations
December 31, 2011 | Colin Rubenstein
Israeli President Shimon Peres’s groundbreaking visit to Vietnam in November with a delegation of more than 60 prominent Israelis, including two government ministers and leading figures in finance, industry, agriculture and defense was a landmark event. The delegation was given a rousing welcome, including a dinner with all the members of the Vietnamese government in which Peres’s hosts surprised him with a group of Vietnamese singers who had prepared renditions of Israeli songs in excellent Hebrew.
New order, same rules
December 27, 2011 | Or Avi Guy
Will the Arab revolutions bring freedom for women? So far the signs are bad.
Many women in post-revolution Egypt, Libya and Tunisia are concerned. During the Arab Spring they played a key part in the protests by taking to the streets, marching and protesting alongside men. As the old order fell, hopes for new-found freedoms and political liberties surged, and women’s rights were no exception. Yet some of the new regimes have been quick to reinforce laws and norms limiting these rights, justifying it as a return to values undermined by previous regimes…
Negotiations only way ahead in Israel-Arab conflict
November 18, 2011 | Allon Lee
One of the many admirable characteristics of the Australian archetype is a propensity for plain speaking.
So it is to Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s credit that Australia sent the Palestinian Authority a clear message by voting against admitting the non-existent state of Palestine to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). In essence Australia was reaffirming its repeated stance that the only way to end the Israeli/Palestinian conflict is through negotiations.
As it is, the Palestinians will now apply to 16 other UN affiliated bodies for admission on the specious basis of being a state, which they are not yet according to the criteria set out under international law.
Only one path can lead to two states
November 17, 2011 | Mark Leibler
Australians should be proud of the fact that our Prime Minister and Foreign Minister have consistently and publicly supported, with bipartisan agreement, a genuine, negotiated two-state resolution to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. This is why Australia wisely voted against the admission of Palestine to UNESCO and why Australia should vote against Palestinian ‘statehood’ if and when it comes to the United Nations General Assembly.
Hopes and dreams for Israel in the post-Gaddafi era
October 28, 2011 | Allon Lee
After four decades of tyranny, Colonel Gaddafi, the Clown Prince of brutal dictators, is dead.
Gaddafi’s crimes were many and well documented.
At this time we must reflect on his victims and note that at the height of his brutality some on the left and right in Australia supported him.
His passing, however, doesn’t mean we should be unconcerned with what comes next in Libya.
No progress on peace until Palestinians change stance
October 11, 2011 | Colin Rubenstein
Speaking to ABC “Lateline” recently, Palestinian Authority (PA) official Nabil Shaath lamented that the Israelis have been “in full occupation of [his] country for years, 62 years.” There is a subtle but profound message in that number. Going back 62 years, Israel existed in the territory set by a 1949 armistice agreement with the surrounding Arab countries, within the so-called “Green Line” that now delineates what is internationally recognised indisputably as Israeli sovereign territory.
Until June 1967, the West Bank was occupied and annexed by Jordan and Gaza was placed under military rule by Egypt. That Shaath considers Israel’s existence in 1949 as an “occupation” speaks volumes about the true mindset of the PA – for all of the rhetoric about a return to the “pre-1967 borders”, even mainstream PA figures consider Israel’s existence, even within the 1948 borders, as illegitimate…
Appalling way of bigotry and hatred on anti-Semitic path
September 22, 2011 | Jeremy Jones
On a dry, hot day in Durban, South Africa, in 2001, Australians attending the United Nations’ World Conference Against Racism started planting a ”sea of hands” to stimulate discussion on the many challenges facing indigenous Australians.
I was one of the people delegated to give ”hands” to passers-by and encourage them to help build the display, with an overwhelmingly positive response from people from many nationalities who enjoyed the break from the intense and often nasty politicking taking place in the sessions. However, a group of about 10 men and women, with badges identifying them as predominantly coming from ”Palestine”, made audible, contemptuous comments at the fact a ”Jew” (me) was part of the project and went to advise anyone who would listen to dissociate from the event.
UN Palmer Report: Blockade of Gaza Legal
September 7, 2011 | Sharyn Mittelman
The release of the United Nation’s ‘Palmer Report’ into last year’s flotilla incident aboard the Mavi Marmara has vindicated Israel by finding that its naval blockade of the Gaza strip is legal under international law. Moreover, Israel has the right to enforce that blockade – including in international waters. It has also rebutted many of the false claims and assumptions that have been made about the flotilla incident and about the broader situation in Gaza.
The UN investigative committee headed by former prime minister of New Zealand Sir Geoffrey Palmer, an expert on maritime law, was established by the UN to examine the Israeli raid on the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara on May 31, 2010.
A No vote at the UN is a Yes vote for Israeli-Palestinian peace
September 2, 2011 | Allon Lee
Australia should vote against any United Nations resolution that attempts to replace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians as the only route to Palestinian statehood.
If a “Yes” vote produced a Palestinian state that resolved all the issues of borders, refugees, settlements, and Jerusalem, Israel would be the first to support it.
Unfortunately, as it stands, the resolution the Palestinians are seeking absolutely will not help end the conflict and will almost certainly exacerbate it.