Palestinian Authority incitement continues to fuel murder - and even children are a target: not newsworthy?

Palestinian Authority incitement continues to fuel murder – and even children are a target: not newsworthy?

January 21, 2016 | Or Avi Guy

The wave of attacks on Israeli civilians is sadly still ongoing. On Sunday Dafna Meir, a nurse and mum of six, was brutally stabbed to death outside her home in Otniel. On Monday, Michal Fruman was attacked and moderately wounded by a teen terrorist.

Neither of these attacks made the major papers in Australia. They have also largely failed to report the significant role that incitementis still playing in motivating these terrorist acts. The most recent terrorist to be elevated to ‘martyr’ status as part of this ongoing incitement is Nashat Melhem, who killed three people in Tel-Aviv.

Iran nuclear deal comes into effect – amid troubling Iranian behaviour

January 20, 2016

This Update deals with the aftermath of the announcement on the weekend by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that Iran had met its obligations under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the nuclear deal reached last July, and therefore the agreement was coming into force, including the lifting of most sanctions on Iran. (A good summary of what this means in practical terms is discussed in this short video, or in this article.) This Update especially focuses on the controversies over aspects of Iranian behaviour which have surrounded the implementation of the deal.

What 1961 can teach us about 2016

What 1961 can teach us about 2016

January 19, 2016 | Ahron Shapiro

It’s particularly worthwhile from time to time, in an effort to better understand the core issues in the conflict, to revisit key source materials and policy statements during the period after the 1948 War of Independence and before the Six Day War of 1967 – before the IDF controlled even a centimetre of land in the “occupied territories”.

Of these, then-Foreign Minister Golda Meir’s address to the Special Political Committee of the United Nations General Assembly on December 15, 1961 is surely a standout. Coming just 13 years after the creation of the state, Meir’s address serves as a crucial policy statement during this period in Israel’s early history.

Israel's changing place in the mideast region

Israel’s changing place in the mideast region

January 15, 2016

This Update features three recent pieces on Israel’s evolving place in the politics of the Middle East – a region which has changed dramatically since 2011, with large parts devolving into chaos and violence and others living in the shadow of following suit.>

Pot to Kettle: Iran’s hysterical and hypocritical condemnation of Saudi Arabia’s executions

Pot to Kettle: Iran’s hysterical and hypocritical condemnation of Saudi Arabia’s executions

January 14, 2016 | Or Avi Guy

On January 2, Saudi Arabia executed Shi’ite cleric Nimr al-Nimr, a prominent critic of the Saudi authorities who called for political reforms.

While executions are not a new policy or practice in Saudi Arabia, al-Nimr’s execution caused a regional and international backlash – and seems to be triggering a new escalation in the ongoing Cold War between the region’s Sunni states, led by Saudi Arabia, and Shi’ite Iran and its allies.

Escalating Iran-Saudi Arabia tensions

Escalating Iran-Saudi Arabia tensions

January 14, 2016

This Update features material on the sharp escalation in what was already a sort of Cold War between Iran and Saudi Arabia in the wake of the Saudi execution of Saudi Shiite religious leader Shaykh Nimr al-Nimr on Jan. 2. It follows up with some analysis of a related development overnight – the Iranian arrest, and then release, of 10 US Navy personnel after Teheran alleged that their two boats entered Iranian territorial waters.

The Iranian link in the North Korean nuclear test

The Iranian link in the North Korean nuclear test

January 13, 2016 | Sharyn Mittelman

Escalating tensions in East Asia, North Korea claimed to have tested a hydrogen bomb on January 6, its fourth nuclear test. 

Despite scepticism as to whether the nuclear test was actually a hydrogen bomb, the test reveals that North Korea has been advancing its nuclear weapons program quietly, while the world’s attention has been fixed on the nuclear program of another country – Iran. However, some analysts believe that Iran may also be benefitting from North Korea’s nuclear program given that the two countries have long had extensive cooperation on both nuclear development and missile research. 

Hamas and ISIS in Sinai

Hamas and ISIS in Sinai

December 18, 2015

This Update is devoted to new evidence of increasing cooperation between Hamas, the Islamist rulers of Gaza, and ISIS – especially in terms of their branch in Sinai fighting the Egyptian regime, calling itself their Sinai Province (“Wilayat Sinai”). It also looks at Israel’s challenges in confronting the growth of ISIS in Sinai.

The 2014 Gaza War: Top military leaders say Israel “met and in some respects exceeded the highest standards” in its military conduct

The 2014 Gaza War: Top military leaders say Israel “met and in some respects exceeded the highest standards” in its military conduct

December 18, 2015 | Or Avi Guy

The High Level Military Group (HLMG) report is a thorough assessment of the conduct of the Israel defence forces during the 2014 conflict with Gaza. Authored by military experts and professionals with in depth knowledge and experience in warfare and the Law of Armed Conflict (LOAC), it concluded that Israel met, and at times exceeded, its obligation under international Law of Armed Conflict.

Rudeness to Palestinians? It's about incitement

Rudeness to Palestinians? It’s about incitement

December 18, 2015 | Ahron Shapiro

As anyone who regularly reads AIJAC’s blogs would be aware, incitement and glorification of terrorism to Palestinian society – including and especially children – is unfortunately a way of life in the Palestinian Authority and Gaza (see here, here and here).

For the most part, this incitement is under-reported in Australian media, but it sparked a controversy in Australia this week – not because it exists and the obstacle it poses to preparing the Palestinian people for peace, but ironically because top Palestinian officials took offense when visiting senior Australian and UK government officials and politicians had the courage to raise the issue with them.

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