Palestinians prisoners to be released - many with blood on their hands

Palestinians prisoners to be released – many with blood on their hands

October 18, 2011 | Sharyn Mittelman

Israel released the names of the Palestinian prisoners to be released in deal to free IDF soldier Gilad Shalit who has been held captive by Hamas since 2006. The prisoners include some of the most notorious terrorists perpetrators against Israel including individuals involved in the Sbarro and Café Moment suicide bombings, murderers of Nachshon Wachsman and the video taped October 2000 lynch of IDF reservists Vadim Nurzhitz and Yossi Avrahami in Ramallah.

Yesterday, the Israeli Supreme Court rejected four petitions against the prisoner swap deal to free Shalit. The petitions were filed by the Almagor Terror Victims Association and relatives of Israelis killed in Palestinian attacks.

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Misrepresenting ‘Palestinian Prisoners’

October 18, 2011 | Sharyn Mittelman

Media commentators on the Palestinian prisoner swap deal to free Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit from Hamas have at times wrongly insinuated that there is a degree of moral equivalence on both sides.

For example, in Ruth Pollard’s “Israel names prisoners to be free” on The Age (17/10/2011), she writes:

“For Palestinians, who have at least 6000 loved ones in Israeli prisons, some for serious crimes, some for political activism and many held without charge or trial, the release of 1027 is not enough. Anxious relatives of prisoners gathered in town squares throughout the West Bank at the weekend, holding photographs of family members and praying their names would be on the list of those to be released.”

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Media Week – Fraser Strikes Again; Wakim’s Rant; Perspective on Gilo

October 14, 2011 | Jamie Hyams

There has once again been a plethora of pieces about the Palestinian statehood bid at the UN. Probably the most misguided was by Malcolm Fraser in the Age (4/10). Dismissing as “thin” the sensible argument that agreement should come through negotiations, he disturbingly claimed that Western opposition to the Palestinian bid was “because of the lock that Israel has over the policies of too many Western countries.” His “two major stumbling blocks to peace” were not Palestinian intransigence, but Palestinian division and “the expansion of illegal settlements in the West Bank, the daily diminution of what might become Palestine.” In fact, building in settlements since 2003 has only been within the existing settlement boundaries, so there has been no diminution of land.

 

A Deal on Gilad Shalit/ Egypt and the Copts

October 12, 2011

As readers are hopefully aware, the big news out of Israel is the approval given overnight by the Israeli cabinet to a deal that will see long-captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit released by Hamas in exchange for more than a thousand Palestinian prisoners. (The reported details of the deal have been summarised by AIJAC’s own Sharyn Mittelman.) Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s statement on the Egyptian-German mediated agreement is here. AIJAC’s statement on this news is here.

Breakdown of Iranian attempted assassination of Saudi official on US soil

Breakdown of Iranian attempted assassination of Saudi official on US soil

October 12, 2011 | Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz

This morning (Australian time), US Attorney-General Eric Holder announced that two men had been charged with attempting to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the US and, more significantly, doing so on behalf of the Iranian government. The two men were Manssor Arbabsiar, a naturalised US citizen of Iranian origin, and Gholam Shakuri, who is believed to be in Iran. Incredibly, Arbabsiar cooperated with the US authorities once arrested and so much of the information on the assassination plot was collected from his testimony.

Naturally, the Iranian government has denied the allegations and blamed a Zionist conspiracy.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast called the claims a “prefabricated scenario” and a “ridiculous show…

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In 1949

In 1949, who wanted a Palestinian state? Only Israel!

October 12, 2011 | Allon Lee

It won’t stop the revisionist propaganda underpinning the Palestinian unilateral declaration of independence campaign, but newspaper accounts from 1949 prove that the nascent State of Israel supported the establishment of a Palestinian state on the West Bank and Gaza and opposed the land being absorbed by surrounding Arab countries.

Jamie Hyams on "The Shtick"

Jamie Hyams on “The Shtick”

October 12, 2011

AIJAC’s Jamie Hyams explains the Palestinian UN bid on Melbourne community television program “The Shtick”

Iranian actress lashed for Australian movie appearance: there are more where she came from

Iranian actress lashed for Australian movie appearance: there are more where she came from

October 11, 2011 | Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz

The Australian Government has rightly condemned the Iranian decision to punish Iranian actress Marzieh Vafamehr with 90 lashes for participating in an Australian-made film that was critical of the Iranian regime. In a sense, however, Vafamehr is lucky that her “crime” had an Australian connection – this was enough to muster international support for her situation and will hopefully lead to her receiving better treatment. Unfortunately, the reprehensible abuse in Vafamehr’s case is just another episode in the Islamic Republic’s constant suppression of any dissent or criticism.

As noted in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal by American-Iranian journalist Roxana Saberi, who was arrested in Iran in 2009 but freed under international pressure, while foreigners with international backing tend to be quickly released by the Iranians, Iran’s hundreds of domestic political prisoners are rarely as lucky.

Just after my release from a Tehran prison in May 2009, an Iranian prisoner wrote an open letter entitled, “I wish I were a Roxana.” Haleh Rouhi, a follower of Iran’s minority Baha’i faith, was serving a four-year sentence for antiregime propaganda, although she said she was simply “teaching the alphabet and numbers” to underserved children…

 

Price Tag crimes continue in Israel; near-universal condemnation expressed

“Price Tag” crimes continue in Israel; near-universal condemnation expressed

October 10, 2011 | Or Avi Guy

In recent weeks, “price tag” crimes, committed by right-wing extremists, have intensified in Israel. Those acts included burning mosques in the West Bank and spraying them with graffiti, setting private Palestinian vehicles on fire, breaking into an IDF military base and sabotaging army vehicles in the base’s auto-shop and leaving threatening graffiti at a left-wing activist’s residents in Jerusalem. While the police and Shin – Bet are investigating these incidents, last week’s signalled yet another red line crossed as price tag acts were committed within Israeli town inside the 1967-lines (the “Green Line”), and fierce condemnations were expressed from all sides of the political spectrum.

AIJAC UPDATE - The political and moral costs of the failure to sanction Syria

AIJAC UPDATE – The political and moral costs of the failure to sanction Syria

October 7, 2011 | Tzvi Fleischer

Today’s Update looks at Syria, Iran and Turkey against the backdrop of the veto by China and Russia of sanctions by the UN Security Council against the Assad regime in Damascus for its ongoing violent crackdown against anti-government protesters. The resolution was supported by nine members but, significantly, Lebanon, which occupies a temporary seat on the Security Council, abstained from the vote, as did South Africa, India and Brazil. After the vote the EU indicated it intended passing its own sanctions against Syria. Meanwhile Turkey’s PM Recep Erdogan continues to use the Syria issue and relentlessly attacks Israel for his own regional ambitions. We offer a number of articles that reveal the changing dynamics in the Middle East that are are not receiving sufficient attention in Australia and elsewhere.

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