Antisemitism going up

Antisemitism going up, not down, in France following Toulouse attack

August 29, 2012 | Sharyn Mittelman

France’s Jewish communities are deeply concerned by the rise in antisemitic incidents since last March’s deadly shootings of a seven-year-old girl, and a Rabbi and his two children at the entrance to a Jewish school in Toulouse by radical Islamist Mohammed Merah.

One might expect that following the Toulouse attack, condemned by all political leaders and societal elites, it would inspire greater reflection and tolerance towards Jews. However the opposite appears to be occurring. Professor of Sociology at the University of Paris Shmuel Trigano said, “There is a before – and after-Merah… Despite the widespread condemnation of the killings, there was, among certain people in France, a desire to see this type of violence continue.”

The truth (and lies) behind Rachel Corrie's death

The truth (and lies) behind Rachel Corrie’s death

August 29, 2012 | Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz

Yesterday, Israeli Judge Oded Gershon of the District Court of Haifa handed down his verdict in the civil case between the State of Israel and the parents of a young American woman killed in Gaza in 2003, acquitting the State on all counts. The circumstances surrounding the death of then 23-year-old Rachel Corrie are well known, however there has been a long-standing dispute regarding some key facts. 

Corrie’s parents had claimed that the IDF either deliberately killed Corrie or was guilty of gross negligence. Judge Gershom dismissed the claim on the grounds that the IDF could not be liable for civil damages that occurred in a ‘war zone’ during the course of armed conflict.

Nevertheless, he went on to…

Media Week - Burns' lukewarm analysis; Some get it

Media Week – Burns’ lukewarm analysis; Some get it, others don’t; Justice denied

August 28, 2012 | Allon Lee

Former US diplomat Nicholas Burns argued that a diplomatic solution will only arise when America “create[s] a direct channel between Washington and Tehran and begin[s] an extended one-on-one negotiation with all issues on the table…To be successful, however, the US must be ready to compromise by offering imaginative proposals that would permit Iran civil nuclear power but deny it a nuclear weapon.”

A Brazilian-Turkish deal in May 2011 offering Iran medium-enriched uranium for medical research came unstuck when Iran started putting impossible conditions on any such deal, Sydney Morning Herald (Aug. 17).

Mob violence

Mob violence, human rights and Pakistan’s blasphemy laws

August 27, 2012 | Or Avi Guy

Rimsha Masih, a 12-year-old Christian Pakistani girl has been jailed for allegedly desecrating Holy Scripture, after a local cleric claimed that she burnt pages of Noorani Qaida, a children’s textbook about the Koran.

On closer examination, it appears likely that putting the girl, and her mother, behind bars is claimed to be for their own protection. The case draws a sad picture in which one of the most severe implications of the blasphemy laws is “mob justice.”

Media Week - Time out;  Growth is good; A quote without foundations

Media Week – Time out; Growth is good; A quote without foundations

August 24, 2012 | Allon Lee

Time‘s Karl Vick (13/8) offered a simplistic account of the effect of the growing population of ultra-Orthodox Jews in Jerusalem.

Vick implied that Jewish control over Jerusalem since 1967 has been bad for Christians and Muslims: “Millions visit the Holy City each year. Most are pilgrims to the signal sites of Christianity, though Muslims gather at their own great shrine above the Western Wall. Neither, however, are terribly welcome as residents. Since 1967, Jerusalem has become a resolutely Jewish city.”

Except that Jerusalem has been a majority Jewish city since the 1850s. Furthermore the 68,000 Palestinians living there in 1967 have quadrupled to 288,000 in 2012, with Palestinian Arabs now making up 37% of Jerusalem’s residents, compared to 25.8% in 1967.

Following attacks

Following attacks, Israeli leaders vow to stamp out racism

August 24, 2012 | Ahron Shapiro

Israeli leaders have responded with outrage at a pair of unrelated, racially-motivated attacks against Arabs last Thursday. Calls for swift justice, soul-searching and a new co-existence education campaign were voiced within the government, opposition and Israeli media commentators. Police responded with numerous arrests.

Iran’s NAM Extravaganza/ Al-Qaeda in Syria

August 24, 2012

Next week, Iran is set to become the president of the 118-nation Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), and host a six day Summit of the NAM in Teheran. As Golnaz Esfandiari of Radio Free Europe has reported, Teheran is going all out in an effort to use the Summit to attempt to ” shed its image as a global pariah” and ” gain much-needed support to counter Western pressure over its controversial nuclear program.” Meanwhile, despite urgings from the US, Israel and others not to participate, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has announced he will attend the Summit. This Update looks at the implications of the Summit for the NAM, the UN, and especially efforts to maintain international pressure on Iran to halt its illegal nuclear weapons program.

Incitement watch: Saudi cleric's Blood Libel and PA honours terrorists while forbidding Jews from praying at holy site

Incitement watch: Saudi cleric’s Blood Libel and PA honours terrorists while forbidding Jews from praying at holy site

August 17, 2012 | Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz

The Times of Israel reported an official statement from the Palestinian Authority on Tuesday accusing Israel of “incitement”. The source of the alleged incitement was a call from opposition MK Aryeh Eldad, from the hard-line National Union party, demanding that Jews be permitted to pray on the Temple Mount/al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem.

In an ironic twist, this statement was reported on the same day as reports emerged of a new mausoleum that the PA is building to honour the eight terrorists responsible for an attack on an Israeli hotel in 1975, which resulted in the deaths of eight civilian hostages and three Israeli soldiers…

Israel's deliberations on Iran military strike

Israel’s deliberations on Iran military strike

August 17, 2012

This Update deals with the currently very intense discussion in Israel about the possibility of a military strike on Iran’s nuclear program, as sparked by reports in the Israeli press last week that said that PM Binyamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Ehud Barak were close to making a decision and were pushing for military action as soon as this October.

First up is an interview on the significance of the Israeli debates from veteran American Middle East diplomat Dennis Ross. He argues that the latest moves by Barak and Netanyahu are intended both to prepare international opinion, but more importantly, Israeli public opinion, for the reality that a strike may become necessary fairly soon.

On 20th anniversary of ties

On 20th anniversary of ties, Israel and India embark on second honeymoon

August 16, 2012 | Ahron Shapiro

As India and Israel celebrate their 20th anniversary of diplomatic ties this year, the number of cooperative ventures between the countries are expanding at an accelerating pace.

This week, Israel and India entered a fifth round of talks towards the creation of a much-anticipated free trade agreement.

Meanwhile, on July 31, Israel’s Consul General in India Orna Sagiv spoke before a large audience in Bangalore ahead of Israel’s opening next month of a Indian consulate in the city – India’s third most populous – joining Israel’s other consulate in India’s most populous city, Mumbai, and its embassy in New Delhi.

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