Assad's Email

Assad’s Email, Iran and the Palestinians

March 16, 2012 | Ahron Shapiro

As has been widely reported in the Australian press today, on Wednesday the Guardian went public with a trove of messages that they had obtained which purportedly had been mined out of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s personal email account.

What was less widely reported was that, as a key strategy, in the emails the Iranians told the Alawite Assad to shore up his image among the country’s majority Sunni Muslim population by fashioning himself as an uncompromising opponent of concessions to Israel and as a defender of Jerusalem.

UN Commission on the Status of Women singles out Israel for condemnation

UN Commission on the Status of Women singles out Israel for condemnation

March 16, 2012 | Sharyn Mittelman

The United Nations’ Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) has done it again – in its annual session it condemned only one country – Israel, while ignoring the human rights violations of women around the world, including especially the current crisis in Syria – where women are being raped and murdered…

Want to avoid a strike on Iran? Then keep threatening to strike Iran

Want to avoid a strike on Iran? Then keep threatening to strike Iran

March 16, 2012 | Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has recently been the subject of much criticism because of what some see as an unnecessarily militaristic attitude regarding Iran, arguing that his statements indicate a clear gung-ho — even warmongering — attitude. The reality may actually be the very opposite.

Israel is believed to have previously taken-out two different nuclear programs: Iraq’s in 1981 and Syria’s in 2007. I say “believed to have” because Israel has never officially admitted to the second one; indeed, no Israeli public official ever even recognised that Syria had a nuclear program and in neither case was there any prior warning (in fact, prior to the strike on Syria’s secret reactor in 2007…

Egypt to end Camp David?/ Syria Again

Egypt to end Camp David?/ Syria Again

March 16, 2012

This Update deals with recent developments in Egypt, and especially the passage of a unanimous resolution by Egypt’s Islamist-dominated parliament demanding a severing of all ties with Israel on Monday.

Israeli strategic analyst Jonathan D. Halevi looks at the implications of the resolution in more depth, including all of its provisions –  its statement that Israel will “never” be anything but an enemy, full support for Palestinian “armed resistance” against Israel, demands for a total boycott of Israel and a severing of all ties, an implied demand for an Egyptian nuclear capability and its rejection of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process…

More on Israel-China relations

More on Israel-China relations

March 15, 2012 | Ahron Shapiro

Burgeoning relations between Israel and China has been the focus of considerable attention in recent months, including from us here at AIJAC (see here and here)

Now Israeli journalist Oren Kessler has written a new piece which is a must read for anyone interested in this subject – it’s entitled “Shalom, Beijing” and appears in the American publication Foreign Policy this week.

 

Another child's death falsely blamed on Israel as leaked emails reveal Assad's scapegoating

Another child’s death falsely blamed on Israel as leaked emails reveal Assad’s scapegoating

March 15, 2012 | Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz

Just days after being exposed for fraudulently blaming the accidental death of a 15-year-old boy on an “Israeli airstrike”, Hamas officials have again attempted to implicate Israel in the death of a Gaza youth — this time, seven-year-old Baraka al-Mughrabi. Just after Mughrabi passed-away last night, reports started emerging that he had been killed by an Israeli strike.

Not long after, however, these remarks were retracted as the truth of his death emerged…

Gaza Academic: Israel's targeted killing policy works

Gaza Academic: Israel’s targeted killing policy works

March 14, 2012 | Ahron Shapiro

Israel, which has sometimes been criticised in the media for targeting terror kingpins in Gazan airstrikes, has received a validation of the policy’s effectiveness in curbing terrorism from an unlikely source: A Gazan university professor.

Mukhaimer Abu Saada, professor of political science at Al-Azhar University in Gaza City, told the AFP in an article published March 12 that Israel’s strategy has been very successful.

 

UNESCO half-heartedly condemns Syria

UNESCO half-heartedly condemns Syria, but leaves it on its Human Rights bodies

March 14, 2012 | Or Avi Guy

On March 8, UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) published a condemnation of human rights violations perpetrated by Assad’s regime in Syria. The resolution was passed with 35 votes in favour, and 8 opposed, making UNESCO the third UN agency (after the General Assembly and the Human Rights Council) to address the human rights situation in Syria. However this condemnation seems inconsistent with UNESCO’s treatment of Syria, since Assad’s representatives are still sitting in two UNESCO committees dealing with human rights issues: the Committee on Conventions and Recommendations and the Committee on International Non-Governmental Organisations…

False reports about the death of 15-year-old Gaza boy - and other internet falsehoods about the Gaza situation

False reports about the death of 15-year-old Gaza boy – and other internet falsehoods about the Gaza situation

March 13, 2012 | Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz

The Kony2012 campaign was not the only viral campaign in recent days that spread some dubious information. A number of allegations of Israeli targeting of civilians that surface over the past few days have been outed as downright lies.

The most glaring example is the death of 15-year-old Nayif Shaaban Qarmout, who was killed in northern Gaza on Monday. The first reports emerged from Palestinian Authority-controlled media outlet Ma’an News, citing unnamed “witnesses” who attested that the boy was hit by an Israeli airstrike.

The claim caught the eye of the Israeli military, who were understandably confused, given that they had not launched any airstrikes on northern Gaza during the time that he was killed. An AFP reporter confirmed that there did not appear to be any evidence of an airstrike in the area, but the dead boy did seem to have been killed by an explosive device, albeit apparently one that he himself was carrying…

Media Week - Foreign advice; A word to the wise; and SMH's headlining act

Media Week – Foreign advice; A word to the wise; and SMH’s headlining act

March 13, 2012 | Allon Lee

Former Foreign Minister Gareth Evans was quick out of the blocks to suggest Kevin Rudd’s successor should still make the case for Australia winning a temporary UN Security Council seat in 2013/14.

“It will certainly be almost impossible if we paint ourselves into a tiny minority corner on the Palestinian statehood issue, should that come to a vote in the General Assembly before October,” Evans wrote (Age, 1/3).

However, last October, Australia, the United States, Canada, Czech Republic, Germany, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Palau, Panama, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Sweden, and Vanuatu all voted against admitting the non-existent state of Palestine to UNESCO as a full member state. A further 52 countries abstained from voting.

 

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