Flotilla will not sail from Greece

Flotilla will not sail from Greece

July 3, 2011 | Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz

After Greek authorities ordered a directive on Friday that no ship aiming to sail for Gaza be permitted to leave from a Greek port, the captain of the US vessel The Audacity of Hope, deliberately named as an affront to US President Barack Obama, has been arrested – effectively preventing the ship from sailing out of Greece. As Scott Sayare reports in the New York Times:

A judge contended that the boat, The Audacity of Hope, was not carrying proper safety equipment and charged the captain, John Klusmire, with…

Israel jumps in Global Innovation Index

Israel jumps in Global Innovation Index

July 1, 2011 | Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz

Israel has jumped 9 places to number 14 in the 2011 Global Innovation Index (GII). Coming from a rank of 23 last year, Israel flew past Australia – which fell from 18 in 2010 to 21 in 2011 – into the top 15 most innovative countries in the world, blitzing the other Middle East and North Africa (MEA) countries, with number 27, Qatar, being the only other country from the region in the top 30.

The GII is a project led by…

A Trial for Gaddafi?

A Trial for Gaddafi?

July 1, 2011 | Tzvi Fleischer

Earlier this week, the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague issued an arrest warrant for embattled Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi and two close associates.

A number of commentators have noted that this could potentially be counterproductive to the goal of ending the war in Libya quickly…

I wrote something along similar lines in a column in the April edition of the Australia/Israel Review when Gaddafi was first referred to the ICC. In it, I also offered some thoughts on why potentially counter-productive actions like this one are taken…

 

To democracy or dictatorship? The US to engage the Muslim Brotherhood

To democracy or dictatorship? The US to engage the Muslim Brotherhood

July 1, 2011 | Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz

US Secretary of State announced last night that her administration plans to form some limited contact with the previously shunned Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. This report comes just two weeks after the Brotherhood became a legal party in Egypt – for the first time in 80 years. Reuters quoted Clinton explaining her rationale for this decision:

“We believe, given the changing political landscape in Egypt, that it is in the interests of the United States to engage with all parties that are…

Egypt's Islamists/ Signs Iran racing toward nukes

Egypt’s Islamists/ Signs Iran racing toward nukes

July 1, 2011

This Update leads with a long but important feature on how Islamist forces are increasingly dominating politically in Egypt, and especially how they are persecuting and overawing the country’s large Coptic Christian minority. The piece by Yamin el-Rashidi, published in the New York Review of Books, takes us inside the Coptic community and lets the reader perceive events in Egypt, including the apparent collaboration of the country’s military rulers in the persecution, as they see it. The piece also examines the strong belief by the Muslim Brotherhood and other “Salafis”, supported by other observers, that they will dominate the country after the coming election.

More blows to Palestinian unilateralism

June 30, 2011 | Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz

In a move against Palestinian unilateralism, the United States Senate passed a resolution yesterday that threatens to withdraw aid from the Palestinian Authority if they continue with their commitment to go to the UN and request statehood in September. The resolution also rejected any Palestinian government that would include Hamas, until the group, which is a designated terrorist organisation in the US, renounces violence and recognises Israel. JTA reports:

Led by Sens. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine), the resolution had 88 co-sponsors.

Media Week - Hales Navy

Media Week – Hales Navy, Dog of a Story, Shekels and Cents

June 30, 2011 | Jamie Hyams

Former NSW Greens MP Sylvia Hale wrote an article for the June 20 Sydney Morning Herald explaining her decision to participate in the flotilla which will shortly attempt to breach Israel’s blockade of Gaza…

Hale’s diatribe was responded to brilliantly in the June 22 Herald by advertising creative director Rowan Dean

Jordan to oppose PA statehood bid

June 30, 2011 | Arsen Ostrovsky

In an unexpected setback to President Abbas, the UAE-based al-Bayan newspaper has reported, that Jordan will oppose the Palestinian Authority’s bid for unilateral statehood at the United Nations, becoming the first Arab state to publicly rebuff President Abbas.

A senior official from the Hashemite kingdom said that Amman will vote against a Palestinian statehood bid at the UN, because if it succeeds:

“Jordan’s top national interests will be in danger…

What no-one knows about Fatah-Hamas unity

What no-one knows about Fatah-Hamas unity

June 30, 2011 | Tzvi Fleischer

Following up on Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz’s earlier post which noted that Fatah and Hamas have reportedly abandoned efforts to form a unity government until September, it important to point out that such discord was more or less predicted by most knowledgeable experts…

Moreover, as Y. Yehoshua of the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) recently pointed out in an important paper on the Fatah-Hamas deal, most of the details of agreement have never been made public, and remain completely unclear…

More Foxes Guarding Henhouses at the UN

June 30, 2011 | Tzvi Fleischer

The United Nations, in its infinite wisdom, has just allowed North Korea to become the chair of the U.N. Conference on Disarmament.

This UN decision follows the election last week of Iran as one of the Vice-Presidents of the upcoming session of the UN General Assembly (with Qatar as President). Meanwhile, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon controversially made a statement appearing to endorse an Iranian conference on “Terrorism” where not only were the US, Britain and Israel accused of fomenting terrorism, but  Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad reportedly alleged that Washington manufactured the Holocaust and the 9/11 attacks as pretexts to put down Muslims.

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