Terrorist attack in south Tel Aviv

Terrorist attack in south Tel Aviv

August 29, 2011 | Sharyn Mittelman

Early Monday morning eight people were injured in south Tel Aviv, when a 20 year old from Nablus in the West Bank, hijacked a taxi and rammed it into a police road block protecting a Tel Aviv nightclub.  He then exited the vehicle and stabbed additional people screaming “Allah Akbar” [god is great]. The suspect was tackled to the ground by Border Police officers and taken into custody.

Tel Aviv District Commander Aharon Eksol said the attack was “definitely an act of terror”. Israel Radio reported that the attack was coordinated to target a large youth party being held in the nightclub.

A good news story from Erez Crossing

August 29, 2011 | Or Avi Guy

From the Hebrew-language Israeli press comes this rare good news story, showing that the relations between Israeli soldiers and Palestinian civilians is more complex that it often appears from the daily news-reports, which focuses on violence and confrontation.

The Dangers of Palestinian UDI

August 29, 2011

This Update deals with some new writing exploring the problems and pitfalls associated with the Palestinian intention to unilaterally seek UN recognition of a sovereign Palestinian state – sometimes termed a “Unilateral Declaratation of Independence” or UDI – next month.

We lead with a short primer on the whole issue compiled by Uriel Heilman of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Heilman has a useful summary of the various legal rules relevant to the effort, including what the UN General Assembly can and cannot do for the Palestinians. He also has a brief but helpful examination of the many uncertainties that will follow the UN effort and the various ways it could lead to violence or make peace more difficult.

Daniel Pipes and Efraim Inbar on Sky News

Daniel Pipes and Efraim Inbar on Sky News

August 28, 2011

Peter Van Onselen discussed the situation in Libya with Professor Efraim Inbar and Dr Daniel Pipes on Australian Agenda.

Bringing Gaddafi to justice may be a trial for NATO

Bringing Gaddafi to justice may be a trial for NATO

August 26, 2011 | Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz

If the hiding place of recently deposed Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi is found, there is always the question of where, how and even if he will be brought to trial. Lawyer/activist Geoffrey Robertson has written an op-ed in today’s Sydney Morning Herald, calling for Gaddafi to be handed-over to the International Criminal Court (ICC) rather than summarily executed or given a farcical show-trial a la Saddam Hussein. Robertson argues that only an ICC trial would truly expose Gaddafi as the monster that he is.

There must be no repeat of the Bush administration’s error of allowing Saddam to be speedily executed for a minor offence while his greatest atrocities, such as the 1988 chemical attack at Halabja, which killed 7000 civilians, went uninvestigated and unprosecuted…

[Post continues]

Palestinians postpone elections – again!

August 25, 2011 | Sharyn Mittelman

This week the Palestinian Authority (PA) cancelled local government elections for the fourth time. This lack of democracy is a clear sign that the Palestinians are not ready for statehood.

Elections were scheduled for January 2009 but did not occur, then they were supposed to be held in July 2010, but were cancelled by the PA “for the sake of public interest.” In February, elections were scheduled for July 2011 and then were cancelled “until better conditions are available” and rescheduled for October 22. This week PA President Mahmoud Abbas issued a decree postponing them again – “indefinitely”.

Double standards – Dead Kurds don’t count

August 25, 2011 | Or Avi Guy

Media and NGOs have always been quick to condemn Israel, yet are often silent about real and much more extensive human rights abuses in other countries.

Therefore it should come as no surprise that news that the Turkish military had killed approximately 100 Kurdish people, while wounded more than 80, and done so across an international border was barely reported in the media.

And this is a moderate?

August 24, 2011 | Jamie Hyams

Sari Nusseibeh’s “A Jewish rethink” (AFR, 19 August) is gravely disappointing from someone regarded as a pragmatic Palestinian moderate genuinely interested in peaceful co-existence with Israel.

It is understandable that he endorses J Street founder Jeremy Ben-Ami’s call for the US to impose a solution, although he fails to mention that the proposal he sets out – a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders with land swaps and a shared capital in Jerusalem – has three times been offered or accepted by Israel and on each occasion rejected by the Palestinians…

Who does Iran think it is fooling?

Who does Iran think it is fooling?

August 24, 2011 | Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz

The Iranian Government appears to either have an extremely warped sense of humour or is simply living on a different planet from the rest of us. This was displayed yet again today when the Iranian Foreign Ministry made the following statement, as reported by Bloomberg:

“Iran congratulates the Muslim people of Libya for the latest developments that arose from their months-long resistance and stand as another symbol of the popular movements in the region… The popular uprising in Libya shows once more that meeting people’s rightful demands and respect for their opinions are undeniable necessities.”

Of course, the most significant factor separating the Iranian rulers from Gaddafi’s regime…

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The good oil Saikal

The good oil Saikal

August 24, 2011 | Allon Lee

Some analysts just cannot help themselves.

Take ANU Professor Amin Saikal who has articles in today’s Age, the Australian Financial Review and on ABC’s Unleashed website playing an old favourite love song – Libya’s Colonel Gaddafi (or insert Middle East dictator’s name here) remained in power for so long because the West supported him for his oil.

Well, analysts like Saikal who peddle a predictable line in blaming the West for all the Middle East’s ills should note that Libyan rebels are unhappy, not with Western states but China, Russia and Brazil for abstaining from voting for the UN Security Council Resolution authorising NATO’s use of force to impose a no-fly zone in Libya.

Please don’t bother seeking out any references to China, Russia and Brazil in Saikal’s pieces; they aren’t even mentioned.

 

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