Canada's Palestinian envoy in antisemitic twitter impasse

Canada’s Palestinian envoy in antisemitic twitter impasse

October 25, 2011 | Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz

According to AP reports, the Palestinian Authority (PA) envoy to Canada, Linda Sobeh Ali, was recalled yesterday after she tweeted a link to a Youtube video calling upon “millions” to “destroy the Jews”.

Of course, the Canadian Authorities were very hostile towards the video and pressured the PA into recalling Ali. The PA, however, not only made excuses for the poem but went on to blame the “Jewish Lobby” for having to bring their envoy home.

Joseph Lavoie, a spokesman for Canada’s foreign affairs minister, said Monday it was a serious enough matter for the Palestinian Authority that they recalled Sobeh Ali…

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The Shalit prisoner swap agreement - The Arab reaction

The Shalit prisoner swap agreement – The Arab reaction

October 25, 2011 | Or Avi Guy

Many reactions in the Palestinian street and media to the release of prisoners in exchange for the release of abducted Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit reveal a worrying and disturbing narrative of glorification of the returning terrorists and support for their heinous crimes and violent ways. Calls for future abductions of Israeli soldiers as bargaining chips for future prisoner releases were also common.

Gaddafi's death

Gaddafi’s death, Libya’s future

October 25, 2011

The death of long-standing Libyan Dictator Muammar Gaddafi on Thursday has led to the effective end of the NATO-supported Libyan revolution against his rule. This Update is devoted to understanding Libya’s outlook and dilemmas in the wake of Gaddafi’s death.

First up is noted American Middle East scholar Fouad Ajami, who comments that the end of a despot like Gaddafi is always odd and somewhat anti-climactic, revealing the mighty dictator as only a petty, frightened man – and comparing Gaddafi’s end to that of Saddam Hussein.

Elections in Tunisia

Elections in Tunisia

October 24, 2011 | Sharyn Mittelman

On Sunday 23 October, Tunisia held its first truly free election since its independence. Tunisian Hadiya Al Sabie said:

“It’s the first time I have voted from my heart….Not for something that I am forced to vote for, but from my heart.”

The polls have now closed after a voter turnout out of around 90 per cent of the country’s 7 million registered voters. Tunisians voted to elect a 217-seat interim government to write a new constitution and govern until proper parliamentary and presidential elections can be held.

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Media Week – Shalit editorials; The Price; The Prisoners

October 21, 2011 | Jamie Hyams

The Australian (13/10) titled its editorial about the deal to release Gilad Shalit “Upholding a hallowed principle”. With typical insight, it concluded, “It is galling to see terrorists released. We take comfort however from Shalit’s imminent release from detention, which was against all international norms. We will share his joy when he is reunited with his family. The Israelis emerge with honour, having upheld the principle that human life is sacred and needless suffering cannot be endured. We can only hope that the returning Palestinians will do the same.” A Sydney Morning Herald editorial (14/10) also sensitively considered Israel’s dilemma, stating “To accede to the demands of any kidnapper is repugnant. It is all the more so when Hamas, which controlled Shalit’s fate, has never abandoned the destruction of Israel as its stated aim. Yet equally, to abandon a captured soldier goes against human nature, as well as political good sense and the interest of Israel’s defence force.” 

Gilad Shalit is free... What now?

Gilad Shalit is free… What now?

October 19, 2011

Kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit is free after five years and four months in captivity in Gaza, and the elation in Israel is overwhelming. (An excellent collection of news and analysis on the release and its aftermath has been assembled by Britain’s Telegraph. Israeli PM Binyamin Netanyahu’s remarks welcoming Shalit home are here.) This Update focuses on the significance and aftermath of his release.

Does Australia have the strength to show weakness like Israel?

Does Australia have the strength to show weakness like Israel?

October 19, 2011 | Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz

Interviewed last night by ABC Lateline‘s Ali Moore, former Haaretz editor David Landau, who once infamously told then US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that he wished to see Israel “raped” in a US intervention forcibly imposing a settlement to the conflict, expressed his horror at the “weakness” that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is displaying to the world. According to Landau, Netanyahu did so through his sudden reversal of his previous refusal to agree to a prisoner exchange for Gilad Shalit.

I find myself in a strange and invidious situation because I’m not naturally of the right. I’m very much of the peace camp of the side of the sort of, so to speak, political spectrum that’s always encouraged dealing with the Palestinians in the hope of making a final peace deal with the Palestinians, yet I find myself frankly horrified and, as an Israeli, also mortified by this shameless turnabout by the prime minister, Mr Netanyahu…

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How international NGOs failed Gilad Shalit

How international NGOs failed Gilad Shalit

October 19, 2011 | Allon Lee

In the wake of Gilad Shalit’s release overnight from captivity in Gaza, major international NGOs have come in for criticism for not publicising his illegal incarceration by Hamas, an organisation on whose behalf these same NGOs have tirelessly campaigned to pressure Israel to lift its legal blockade of Gaza.

Iran’s alleged Washington plot re-examined

Iran’s alleged Washington plot re-examined

October 19, 2011 | Tzvi Fleischer

As noted in the last Update, the recently exposed alleged Iranian plot to kill the Saudi Ambassador to the US at a Washington restaurant – and commit a number of the other terror attacks in the US – is a big story which has provoked much commentary and analysis.

Some of that analysis, such as by former CIA agent Robert Baer on ABC-TV’s “Lateline” has cast doubt on the story, arguing the alleged plot, as outlined, appears too amateurish and slapdash to be the work of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corp.

What price to free one man?

What price to free one man?

October 18, 2011 | Allon Lee

As the five-year hostage ordeal of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit draws to a close, we offer up some of the standout commentary from the last week on the merits of the deal reached by the Israeli government with Hamas.

The tension in the debate concerns the personal interest and the national interest and how these two forces interact have caused intense heartache and headaches for Israel.

 

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