Sophie's House of Cards

Sophie’s House of Cards

June 11, 2015 | Allon Lee

Government authorities around the world demolish illegally built dwellings all the time.

Only when it involves Palestinians in east Jerusalem does it become a major news event – according to the ABC’s new Middle East correspondent Sophie McNeill.

President Obama's recent statements on Israeli-Palestinian peace/ After Abbas

President Obama’s recent statements on Israeli-Palestinian peace/ After Abbas

June 5, 2015

US President Barack Obama has been talking quite a lot in recent weeks about his relationship with Israel and his aspirations for Israeli-Palestinian peace.  This includes an interview with American journalist Jeffrey Goldberg, an address to a Washington-area synagogue, and most recently, an interview with Israel’s Channel 2, the country’s leading TV station. This Update deals with some reactions to his statements on Israeli-Palestinian peace prospects in particular.

Greens Leader is right about potential Australia-Israel cooperation on water

Greens Leader is right about potential Australia-Israel cooperation on water

June 5, 2015 | Glen Falkenstein

“Israelis are at the forefront of innovative technologies around that (water saving). Why wouldn’t we be learning from some of the new technologies that the Israelis have developed? … If only Australia took a leaf out of their book.”

IMF report exposes Palestinian culture of entitlement

IMF report exposes Palestinian culture of entitlement, Gaza realities

May 29, 2015 | Ahron Shapiro

The International Monetary Fund’s latest report to the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee of foreign aid donors on the state of the economy in the West Bank and Gaza, released on May 18, is revealing on many levels.

While the report duly notes that the PA’s economy is complicated to some degree by the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, it determines that there is nothing preventing the PA government from building viable national governing institutions based on strong tax revenue levels – in fact, that of “an average upper middle income country”, no less – provided it follows IMF fiscal recommendations it has thus far failed to heed…

The Iranian worldview in a nuclear deal

The Iranian worldview in a nuclear deal

May 28, 2015

This Update features three articles which both provide information and raise questions about the Iranian worldview – and how this might inform efforts to negotiate and then police and maintain a nuclear deal, which Iran and the P5+1 countries (US, UK, France, Russia, China and Germany) are trying to finalise before a June 30 deadline.

The fall of Ramadi and Western policy/ The last words of a leading scholar of antisemitism

The fall of Ramadi and Western policy/ The last words of a leading scholar of antisemitism

May 22, 2015

This Update offers two highly-informed expert opinions on the fall of the strategic Iraqi town of Ramadi to ISIS forces last weekend, and in particular, what this dramatic development says about current US strategy for fighting ISIS and shoring up the Iraqi government.

Will the ABC and SBS ignore mounting allegations against Al Jazeera?

Will the ABC and SBS ignore mounting allegations against Al Jazeera?

May 15, 2015 | Ahron Shapiro

By suing his employer earlier this month for negligence and supporting blacklisted Islamists in Egypt, Al Jazeera journalist Mohamed Fahmy, has highlighted what AIJAC has been saying all along – that Al Jazeera, as a politicised tool of the Qatari monarchy, bears considerable responsibility for the misfortunes of their journalists in Egypt.

Israel's new government sworn in/ "Breaking the Silence"

Israel’s new government sworn in/ “Breaking the Silence”

May 15, 2015

This Update features pieces analysing aspects of Israel’s narrow new governing coalition and cabinet – sworn in overnight. It also includes an important comment on the recent “Breaking the Silence” NGO report on Gaza, which has received so much international publicity, including in Australia.

Sanctions relief and Iran's regional ambitions

Sanctions relief and Iran’s regional ambitions

May 14, 2015

In what seems a major breach of the sanctions on Iran, Mahan Airlines, which is associated with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, has reportedly received nine commercial airliners, via an Iraqi front company. (A good comment on what this says about the state of the sanctions comes from Jonathan Tobin.) Meanwhile, two heads of state from the Gulf Cooperation Council are apparently boycotting a summit called by US President Obama because they perceive that the US is not willing to do enough to counter Iranian regional aggression. This Update deals with both aspects of the road to an Iranian nuclear deal – the state and future of sanctions, and the likely effect of such a deal on Iran’s regional efforts to subvert neighbouring states and sponsor terror groups.

UN Gaza incident report lacks transparency

UN Gaza incident report lacks transparency, clarity

May 11, 2015 | Ahron Shapiro

On April 27, the United Nations released a summary of a report by a Board of Inquiry (BOI) into ten different incidents that occurred at UN facilities in the Gaza Strip during the 50-day Gaza War last year. There has been much superficial media coverage surrounding this report.

In this blog post, AIJAC looks deeper into the report, which for the first time officially confirms that Palestinian militants have been using UN schools for weapons storage, as command and control centres and even as rocket launch pads. On the other hand, other parts of the report dealing with damage, injuries and deaths incurred at UN shelters blame Israel for all incidents without backing such accusations up with publicly verifiable evidence or fully taking into account extenuating circumstances.

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