The Balfour Declaration Centenary

The Balfour Declaration Centenary

November 2, 2017

November 2, this Thursday, marks exactly 100 years since Arthur Balfour, the British Foreign Minister at the time, issued his famous Declaration. The Balfour Declaration was a letter sent to Lord Rothschild, head of the Zionist Federation of Great Britain, stating that:

“His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.”

This Update looks at the background to and actual significance of that historic document, correcting some myths along the way.

Hamas-Fatah reconciliation talks - a Hezbollah Model?

Hamas-Fatah reconciliation talks – a Hezbollah Model?

October 11, 2017

With Fatah-Hamas negotiations over a unity government and other arrangements for Gaza starting in Cairo today, this Update looks at the issues being discussed, the likelihood of success, and in particular, whether Hamas is seeking what has been described as a ‘Hezbollah model”. This would be a situation, like Hezbollah’s in Lebanon, whereby the PA would run civilian services in Gaza, but Hamas would have all military power in the strip.

The Kurdistan referendum – the aftermath

The Kurdistan referendum – the aftermath

October 4, 2017 | Shmuel Levin

As discussed here on FreshAIR a few weeks ago, despite significant opposition, Iraq’s Kurds proceeded on 25 September with an independence referendum resulting in an overwhelming ‘yes’ vote of 93%. The referendum was opposed with near-unanimity from multiple countries, including most prominently, Turkey, Iraq, and Iran. Now these countries are threatening retaliation.

Diplomatic strategies for improving the Iran nuclear deal

Diplomatic strategies for improving the Iran nuclear deal

October 4, 2017

This Update deals with some new ideas about how the Trump Administration can formulate its diplomatic strategy with respect to the Iran nuclear deal – known as the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action). This issue is especially timely in view of the fact that Mr. Trump is legally required to report to Congress by Oct. 15 whether the deal is being implemented and meets US national security interests.

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Video: Israeli Labor’s Merav Michaeli on Palestinian recognition and BDS

September 20, 2017

Israeli Labor MK Merav Michaeli addresses questions on recognition of a Palestinian state and the BDS campaign against Israel. 

Settlement housing construction plummets to five-year low

Settlement housing construction plummets to five-year low

September 15, 2017 | Ahron Shapiro

In January, coinciding with the inauguration of US President Donald Trump, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s government advanced plans for thousands of new homes in Jewish neighbourhoods of east Jerusalem as well as the West Bank (the vast majority within settlement blocs.)

Yet since then – according to the latest figures released by Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics, actual housing starts have dropped to its lowest point in five years.

Strangely, the media has been silent about this disparity.

The crackdown on Palestinian freedom of speech – and why you probably haven’t heard about it

The crackdown on Palestinian freedom of speech – and why you probably haven’t heard about it

September 14, 2017 | Shmuel Levin

In the last few months, the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and Hamas in Gaza have been busy. In the West Bank, the Palestinian Authority has introduced a new “ban on websites”. Like all laws passed since 2007, the new Electronic Crimes Law was passed in July 2017 by presidential decree without consultations with Palestinian civil society or the public.

Israeli PM’s historic visit to Latin America

Israeli PM’s historic visit to Latin America

September 14, 2017 | Sharyn Mittelman

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrived in Argentina on Monday – the first visit by an Israeli leader to the region since Israel’s creation in 1948. Netanyahu is also visiting Colombia and Mexico before travelling to New York, where he will address the UN General Assembly. 

Audio: Game of Camps - Dr Eran Lerman on ABC Radio National

Audio: Game of Camps – Dr Eran Lerman on ABC Radio National

September 8, 2017

AIJAC guest Dr Eran Lerman appeared on ABC Radio National’s “Between the Lines” program with Tom Switzer on September 7.

Dr Lerman discusses what the changing dynamic of the regional balance of power means for Israel.

Israel and the UN: A new page?

Israel and the UN: A new page?

September 5, 2017 | Gareth Narunsky

In September 2016, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu stood at the podium of the United Nations General Assembly and declared that “Israel has a bright future at the UN”.

He also declared “the war against Israel at the UN is over” and that “a decade from now an Israeli prime minister will stand right here where I am standing and actually applaud the UN.” Given some of the events at the UN which have transpired since… the prediction that it may take a decade for things to change at the UN today appears to be on firmer ground than the claim that the war on Israel at the UN is over.

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