Egypt under a Muslim Brotherhood President

Egypt under a Muslim Brotherhood President

June 29, 2012

This Update focuses on new analysis from noted experts on the likely trajectory of Egypt under its new President, Muhammed Morsi from the Muslim Brotherhood.

First is Eric Trager, the expert on Egyptian domestic politics for the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, who discusses whether the democratic election victory of the Brotherhood means that it will now behave as a democratic party. Trager discusses considerable evidence of undemocratic behaviour by the Brotherhood and their supporters during the lead-up to the election, including signals that the Brotherhood intended to fight for a Morsi victory by any means necessary if he failed to win.

Motion for one minute’s silence unanimously passed in Australian Parliament

Motion for one minute’s silence unanimously passed in Australian Parliament

June 26, 2012 | Sharyn Mittelman

A motion calling upon the International Olympic Committee to observe a minute’s silence at next month’s London Olympics for the 11 Israelis killed in the 1972 Munich massacre, has today been unanimously passed in the House of Representatives.

The motion was moved by Paul Fletcher (Bradfield, Lib.) and seconded by the Josh Frydenberg (Kooyong, Lib.).

Declassified documents from '67 show Israel's willingness to trade land for peace

Declassified documents from ’67 show Israel’s willingness to trade land for peace

June 22, 2012 | Ahron Shapiro

Did Israel’s government covet the land it captured as part of the defensive war of June 1967, which ended with Israeli forces in control of the Sinai Peninsula, Golan Heights, West Bank and Gaza?

For the most part, not at all, according to 200 pages of newly declassified transcripts from cabinet and committee meetings in the days following the war, released by Israel’s National Archive this month.

Iran nuclear talks go nowhere/ Iran and Syria

Iran nuclear talks go nowhere/ Iran and Syria

June 22, 2012

As readers are probably aware, the third round of “P5+1” talks with Iran over its nuclear program took place on Monday and Tuesday of this week in Moscow and ended not only with no sign of an agreement, but without any clear plans for further high-level talks. This Update deals with what happened in Moscow and the implications of the talks’ failure.

First up, Barak Ravid of Haaretz receives some insights into the exact nature of  the discussions from an anonyomous participating diplomat. He says that the Western states attempted to correct an Iranian belief that they were interested in a deal at any cost, while the Iranians were vague and unhelpful in discussing plans to limit their enrichment of uranium to 20% – which is, in terms of technical difficulty, almost bomb grade – and refused to discuss the fate of the secretly-built underground Fordo enrichment complex at all.

Egypt's Uncertain Post-Election Future

Egypt’s Uncertain Post-Election Future

June 21, 2012

This Update deals with the aftermath of events in Egypt over the weekend – both the run-off presidential election (which the Muslim Brotherhood’s Muhammed Morsi claims to have narrowly won, though his opponent, Ahmed Shafiq, makes the same claim, but election authorities are reviewing appeals and it is not clear when an official announcement will be made ), and the military’s announcement of a temporary constitutional arrangement which effectively strips the Presidency of most of its power.

Media Week - Antisemitic poster boys; Radio daze; Go Canada

Media Week – Antisemitic poster boys; Radio daze; Go Canada

June 21, 2012 | Allon Lee

A Sydney Morning Herald story (16/6) on the Egyptian Supreme Court overturning a ban on the presidential candidacy of former Mubarak-era Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq featured a picture of a male protester holding a poster of Shafiq covered in at least five Star of Davids.

The paper’s accompanying caption stated: “Hatred….protesters hold a defaced poster of presidential candidate Ahmed Shafiq”. Perhaps “Stereotypical antisemitism that is a feature of Egyptian political discourse” might have been a more apt description.

Thailand

Thailand, Israel defence ties highlight Jerusalem’s increasing focus on Asia

June 20, 2012 | Ahron Shapiro

Ties between Israel and Thailand increased last week following a visit to Israel by Thai Defence Minister Sukumpol Suwanatat, which culminated in the signing of an intelligence pact between the two countries.

According to the report in the print edition of Friday’s Bangkok Post, Thai and Israeli defence ministries have signed a non-disclosure agreement over classified information on intelligence, military and security.

“The agreement is part of the two countries’ cooperation on security issues. We also agreed to exchange information on anti-terrorism operations,” Sukumpol told the paper.

According to the story, a Thai military source added that Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak offered his mine-clearing and other military technology to the Thai Defence Ministry to help Thailand cope with ongoing violence in the country’s south.

The visit came in the wake of a terror explosion in Bangkok on February 14 which wounded five people. The bombers, reportedly linked to Hezbollah, allegedly intended to attack Israeli diplomats in the city.

The blindness behind the NGO petition to end the Gaza blockade

The blindness behind the NGO petition to end the Gaza blockade

June 20, 2012 | Sharyn Mittelman

Fifty international charities and UN agencies have made a joint media appeal to lift the blockade of the Gaza Strip. Some of the charities that have signed the petition have Australian branches including: Amnesty International, Oxfam, Care International, War Child and HelpAge International.  The petition states:

“For over five years in Gaza, more than 1.6 million people have been under blockade in violation of international law. More than half of these people are children. We the undersigned say with one voice: ‘end the blockade now'”.

The petition appears to overlook a number of key issues which are discussed in this blog post.

Amnesty's response to atrocities in Syria: "International community must act"... with yet more empty words

Amnesty’s response to atrocities in Syria: “International community must act”… with yet more empty words

June 20, 2012 | Or Avi Guy

After more than a year of brutal repression of anti-regime protest, the atrocities against civilians in Syria keep reaching new heights. Growing attention to the bloodshed and violence in that country by the international community and human rights organisations, even if tragically belated, could have been a hopeful sign that something might finally be done to put an end to the bloodshed. In reality, however, no such steps appear to be in sight.

Hamas: We're responsible for major new outbreak of rocket attacks

Hamas: We’re responsible for major new outbreak of rocket attacks

June 20, 2012 | Ahron Shapiro

Dozens of rockets have been launched from Gaza into Israel during a new outbreak of fighting this week. Also, in a new twist, Hamas has taken responsibility for the attacks, rather than merely passively permitting other groups such as Islamic Jihad to launch rockets from its territory – a policy that had been in place for the past year.

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