Ethnic cleansing in Palestine

Ethnic cleansing in Palestine

September 15, 2011 | Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz

According to a report by Oren Dorell in USA Today, the Palestinian emissary to the US has told a press conference that no Jews would be permitted to live in the planned Palestinian state.

“After the experience of the last 44 years of military occupation and all the conflict and friction, I think it would be in the best interest of the two people to be separated,” Maen Areikat, the PLO ambassador, said during a meeting with reporters sponsored by The Christian Science Monitor.

The territory to which Areikat refers would include places like the ancient city of Hebron. As Jeffrey Goldberg notes, Hebron is not just any city, but is the second holiest site in the Jewish faith…

Parliament discusses BDS and Durban III

Parliament discusses BDS and Durban III

September 15, 2011 | Sharyn Mittelman

For the third time in three months, on September 13, the Senate debated the Boycott, Divestments and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel. In a fiery debate, the Coalition criticised the Greens for failing to condemn BDS in Parliament.

Senator Ron Boswell, (Queensland, Nationals), moved that Senate:

a) Condemns the intensification of the Global Boycott, Divestments and Sanctions campaign being conducted against Max Brenner chocolate cafes;

b) Rejects this tactic as a way of promoting Palestinian rights; and

c) Agrees with the New South Wales Greens MP Mr Jeremy Buckingham’s assertion ‘that the tone and the public perception of the Max Brenner protests may be counterproductive to the cause of peace and human rights in the Middle East’.

(Blog post continues)

Durban III – UK to withdraw

September 15, 2011 | Sharyn Mittelman

The Jewish Chronicle reported on September 14, that the UK will not participate in upcoming UN sponsored Durban III anti-racism conference to be held on September 22 because it did not want to engage in an event with antisemitic association. The Durban conferences are known to have been hijacked by antisemitism and anti-zionism. British Prime Minister David Cameron stated that the Durban conferences saw “open displays” of “deplorable anti- Semitism,” and said it would be “wrong” to engage in such events.

The UK is now the tenth UN member state to have pulled out of Duban III, and it joins the company of Israel, Germany, the US, Canada, Italy, Austria, Australia, the Czech Republic and the Netherlands who have already withdrawn from the Durban conference.

(Blog post continues)

What is really behind Israel’s worsening relations with Egypt and Turkey?

What is really behind Israel’s worsening relations with Egypt and Turkey?

September 15, 2011 | Tzvi Fleischer

There is no question that Israel’s strategic environment at the moment is looking grimmer than it has in a while. Its long-standing good relations, at times something close to an alliance, with Turkey appear to be history. Meanwhile, following the Cairo embassy attack last Friday, it became clearer than ever that the cold peace that has prevailed between Israel and Egypt for more than 30 years – a core component of Israel’s security planning – is at serious risk…

There is a tendency to assume among many editorialists and pundits that this deterioration must have occurred because Israel has supposedly been intransigent, particularly in terms of offering insufficient concessions to the Palestinians.

Noted American journalist Jeffrey Goldberg has pointed out that this automatic, conventional analysis actually has it backwards.

Egypt and the Attack on Israel's Embassy

Egypt and the Attack on Israel’s Embassy

September 14, 2011

As readers are probably aware, there was a serious attack on Israel’s embassy in Cairo on Friday by an Egyptian mob, which saw the Embassy ransacked, several staff members trapped inside for hours before they were rescued and, eventually, all staff evacuated from the country except for the Deputy Ambassador. (Blogger “Elder of Ziyon” collected some very salient on the spot reporting about what actually happened at the embassy – including how Egyptian authorities refused to stop the crowd’s attack, while protecting the Saudi Embassy on the next block, and how both the mob and soldiers reportedly targeted journalists for violent attack.) Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s statement on the attack is here.

This Update looks at the wider implications of the attack for both Israeli-Egyptian relations and the outcome of the Egyptian revolution.

Turkey reaches new level of hypocrisy

Turkey reaches new level of hypocrisy

September 13, 2011 | Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz

Following the release of the UN “Palmer Report”, which vindicated Israel’s blockade of Gaza, Turkey has not only rejected the findings of the Report and maintained that Israel’s blockade is illegal, but the Turkish government has been engaging in extremely provocative posturing regarding its stance towards Gaza, even threatening what could be construed as an act of war against Israel.

For starters, there was the threat that Turkish Prime Minister Reccep Tayyip Erdogan was to visit Gaza from Egypt on his upcoming trip around the Arab countries in North Africa whose regimes have recently fallen. This embrace of Hamas terrorists has just been revoked, but would have been a snub to the US, Israel and the Palestinian Authority if it had gone ahead. That said, Reuters has reported that Turkey is now threatening to send Turkish warships with any future flotilla to Gaza, in order to “protect them from Israel”…

A nuclear Iran – Is it too late?

September 13, 2011 | Sharyn Mittelman

With the world focussed on other issues, Iran is continuing to both illegally enrich uranium and rapidly building up the infrastructure to do so even more quickly and efficiently.

It is clear that Iran is already well along on its course towards developing nuclear weapons for military purposes – and it is appearing inceasingly unlikely that anyone will stop it.

A nuclear Iran is also an immense danger to the Middle East. As former British PM Tony Blair, Peace Envoy for the Middle East, recently stated: ‘If Iran were to acquire nuclear weapons capability it would destabilise the region very, very badly.”

Blair said that while Al Qaeda poses a significant threat to people across the world, he believes the bigger evil is Iran, which “support groups that are engaged with terrorism and the forces of reaction”.

Blair said that he believes regime change in Iran is necessary and there needs to be military intervention if it acquires nuclear weapons capability.

Media Week – Five star hotel, one star article; Gymnast for Palestine; Palestinian UN-truths exposed

September 12, 2011 | Allon Lee

The Age (27/8) ran a profile by Guardian Middle East correspondent Harriet Sherwood of Gaza’s only five-star hotel. Adopting the usual kid gloves on Hamas but iron fist for Israel approach the Guardian excels at, Sherwood blamed the blockade for the hotel’s lack of guests: “At times there have been long delays in getting imported supplies through the tightly controlled crossing from Israel into Gaza”.

The blockade was co-enforced by Egypt on its shared border with Gaza until recently but the article ran in Britain last month at a time when Egypt had supposedly lifted the blockade. Failure to mention either of these facts, suggests alarming ignorance, partisan bias or both.

A Slogan without Reality for an Argument without Merit

A Slogan without Reality for an Argument without Merit

September 12, 2011 | Tzvi Fleischer

The Canberra Times today published this letter which I wrote in response to a particularly ill-informed piece by former Australian Ambassador Peter Rodgers arguing for an Australian ‘yes” vote on the Palestinian bid to have the existence of a Palestinian state unilaterally recognised at the UN…

I think the letter does a reasonable job of answering his main argument, which is based on the historically absurd assumption that Israel is refusing to recognise Palestinian aspirations for statehood. But I did want to say a little more about the point I make in the second paragraph about the supposed Zionist slogan quoted by Rodgers “A land without people for a people without a land.”

Ahmadinejad commemorates 9/11

Ahmadinejad commemorates 9/11

September 12, 2011 | Tzvi Fleischer

While the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks were being commemorated around the globe, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad chose to participate in the remembrances in his inimitable and subtle way – that is, by re-iterating his belief that it was all a US plot to have an excuse to kill Muslims.

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