Obama’s notable UN speech

Obama’s notable UN speech

September 23, 2011 | Tzvi Fleischer

US President Barack Obama’s UN Speech yesterday was a milestone, in that it Included an unusually lucid explanation of Israel’s strategic situation and its right to normal relations with its neighbours.

Drama at the UN

Drama at the UN

September 23, 2011

As readers are aware, the UN General Assembly session for 2011 has begun in New York amidst considerable drama of various sorts. While the media focus has mainly been on the status of the Palestinian bid to gain UN recognition as a state, there’s a great deal more going on. This Update focuses on the various dramas occurring.

WikiLeaks - Over as a “cause celebre”

WikiLeaks – Over as a “cause celebre”

September 20, 2011 | Tzvi Fleischer

There is little doubt that the phenomenon of WikiLeaks has lost the excitement and positive glow it once sparked among journalists, pundits and activists. Infighting in the organisation, the lack of anything terribly surprising in most of the more recent releases of information and the loss of novelty partly explain this change. But the recent “accidental” release of the entire unredacted database of US diplomatic cables not only led to widespread condemnation, but helped put the final nails in the coffin of WikiLeaks as the global “cause celebre” it once was among many, including in Australia.

Now Nick Cohen of the Guardian has written a piece suggesting the possibility that the unredacted cable leak could well have been an intentional act by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange…

In Palestinian statehood bid endgame

In Palestinian statehood bid endgame, the real loser will be peace

September 20, 2011 | Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz

As the day of reckoning for the Palestinian statehood bid at the UN, now reportedly slated for Friday, draws ever closer, there is a frantic last-minute effort to avert the potentially disastrous showdown in favour of peace talks. Such talks are widely recognised as the only possible way to reach a genuine and lasting solution to the decades-old conflict. For example, Quartet Middle East envoy Tony Blair said yesterday that:

“What we will be looking for over the next few days is a way of putting together something that allows their claims and legitimate aspirations for statehood to be recognized whilst actually renewing the only thing that’s going to produce a state, which is a negotiation directly between the two sides…

[Post continues]

New Zealand withdraws from Durban III

September 19, 2011 | Sharyn Mittelman

New Zealand has decided to withdraw from the Durban III conference to be held on 22 September in New York. The previous two Durban “anti-racism” conferences are known to have been hijacked by antisemitism and anti-zionism, and as noted in a previous blog post, the document released for this conference make it clear that this one is unlikely to be an improvement.

New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully stated:

“We remain concerned that the commemoration of the 2001 Durban Declaration could re-open the offensive and anti-Semitic debates which undermined the original World Conference. For these reasons, we have decided not to participate”.

In addition, Poland is also attempting to distance itself form from Durban III, as it has been reported that Poland does not plan to send an official delegation to participate in Durban III.

(Blog post continues)

Palestinian state not necessarily open to Palestinian refugees

Palestinian state not necessarily open to Palestinian refugees

September 16, 2011 | Allon Lee

If a Palestinian state is not primarily for the benefit of the supposedly long-suffering Palestinian refugees, then what is the point of it? Nothing highlights the urgency of this question more clearly than the admission by a senior Palestinian diplomat that Palestinian refugees will not automatically become citizens of a new Palestinian state.

Flotilla Wanted

Flotilla Wanted

September 16, 2011 | Tzvi Fleischer

The Syrian situation continues to simmer along, although it seems to be slipping out of the headlines…..

A story that got almost no coverage but should have was the theme of the protests for last Friday – to call “for foreign protection” of Syrian civilians

This followed an appeal from the leading opposition groups for “the international community to send in human rights groups to monitor and help deter military attacks on civilians” in the increasingly bloody crackdown.

So my question is where are the human shields and flotillas?

Is Israel's Strategic Situation Worsening?

Is Israel’s Strategic Situation Worsening?

September 16, 2011

Much is being written about the worsening security outlook Israel currently faces – with Turkey, once an ally, now seemingly an irreconcilable opponent, (and Turkish PM Erdogan currently visiting various Arab states and engaging in sabre-rattling against Israel), and, as was highlighted in the last Update, the outlook vis-a-vis the peace treaty with Egypt looking pretty grim. This Update features three pieces focused on both analysing and explaining Israel’s apparently worsening strategic situation.

All you need to know about the Palestinian UN statehood campaign

All you need to know about the Palestinian UN statehood campaign

September 15, 2011 | Allon Lee

With September 20 the Palestinian Authority’s proposed date to seek United Nations recognition of a Palestinian state – also known as the “unilateral declaration of independence” (UDI) – we present selected quotes and links to a series of articles that explain everything a person might reasonably need to know about the issue.

Media Week - Undiplomatic posting; Missing link still not found; No conversion for this Paul; Seeing red over Greens' BDS support

Media Week – Undiplomatic posting; Missing link still not found; No conversion for this Paul; Seeing red over Greens’ BDS support

September 15, 2011 | Allon Lee

Perhaps one can dismiss the opinion in the Canberra Times (8/09) of Peter Rodgers, former Australian ambassador to Israel, that Israeli intransigence prevents a Palestinian state on the basis that his tenure ended there in 1997.

Perhaps Rodgers doesn’t know that Israel offered a statehood deal in 2000 so generous that former US/President Bill Clinton “couldn’t believe anyone would be foolish enough to let it go”, or Israeli PM Ehud Olmert’s even sweeter offer in 2008 was humbly declined by the same leadership now demanding UN recognition for a state previously rejected as unacceptable because of the need to grant Israel peace in exchange.

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