The Mosul Dam: Iraq’s forgotten crisis

The Mosul Dam: Iraq’s forgotten crisis

March 18, 2016 | Glen Falkenstein

In late February the US Embassy in Baghdad released a statement warning that the Mosul Dam is at a ‘a serious and unprecedented risk of catastrophic failure with little warning.’ The Embassy confirmed that such an event would represent an unprecedented humanitarian and strategic crisis for Iraq.

Russia pulling out of Syria?

Russia pulling out of Syria?

March 17, 2016

Russian President Putin announced on Tuesday that Russia is pulling out the “main part” of Russia’’s expeditionary force in Syria – but are keeping a key airbase and naval base. This Update is about the significance of the announced withdrawal, especially for Syria, and what was likely behind Putin’s decision to announce it now.

Israeli preparations to meet the Gaza tunnel threat

Israeli preparations to meet the Gaza tunnel threat

March 11, 2016

This Update features three pieces on the reported rapid rebuilding by Hamas of tunnels from Gaza into Israeli communities, and especially about Israeli preparations to meet that threat. These pieces are especially relevant following  yet another tunnel collapse in Gaza, the latest in a string of seven such collapses, and reports that rumours in Gaza that Israel has a method to collapse tunnels are causing Hamas activists to refuse to work in them.

Media Week - "Neutral" stance comes up Trumps/Biffo by Richo

Media Week – “Neutral” stance comes up Trumps/Biffo by Richo

March 10, 2016 | Allon Lee

American Palestinian commentator Ray Hanania told ABC News Radio (March 3) that American Muslims should back Republican presidential aspirant Donald Trump and ignore his call to ban Muslims from entering the country because “on the issue of negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians…he said he would be neutral.”

The PA and the current round of stabbing violence

March 10, 2016

This Update focuses on recent pieces relating the latest wave of Palestinian violence – which led to a day of particularly brutal violence on Tuesday, including five attacks with dozens wounded and an American tourist killed – and the role of the Palestinian Authority (PA), led by Mahmoud Abbas.

Politics Getting in the Way of Environmental Efforts and Progress for Peace

Politics Getting in the Way of Environmental Efforts and Progress for Peace

March 8, 2016 | Glen Falkenstein

The US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro, in an interview to the Times of Israel last week, highlighted the necessity of Israelis and Palestinians working together on pressing environmental issues, including solar energy, clean air and water, even if complete reconciliation isn’t around the corner.

Some Arab opinion leaders re-think their approach to Israel – but others cling to “anti-normalisation”

Some Arab opinion leaders re-think their approach to Israel – but others cling to “anti-normalisation”

March 6, 2016 | Or Avi Guy

The events of the so-called “Arab Spring”, the chaos that ensued and the wars raging in Syria and Iraq, have highlighted to the world some of the structural and deeply-embedded governance deficiencies in Arab countries, and the related problems of under-development. It appears that some voices within the Arab world itself, especially Sunni states, are changing their tune when it comes to Israel.

Did moderates win Iran's election?

Did moderates win Iran’s election?

March 3, 2016

The Iranian parliamentary election last Friday is being portrayed in many news stories as a win for the “moderates.” This article features some commentary that argues this is an overly-simplistic reading. It also includes a knowledgeable piece on Iran’s role in financing and arranging Palestinian terrorism.

Iran goes to the Polls

Iran goes to the Polls

February 25, 2016

Today’s Update features analysis and background on the Iranian parliamentary election occurring today.

Media Week – Labor’s travel travails

February 19, 2016 | Allon Lee

The Australian newspaper gave excellent coverage to critics of pro-Palestinian activists pushing the NSW ALP conference to ban party officials from travelling to Israel on sponsored trips, or impose conditions requiring they spend equal time in Palestinian areas.

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