Israel's new narrow coalition government

Israel’s new narrow coalition government

May 8, 2015

As readers are probably aware, on Wednesday night, incumbent Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu succeeded in forming a narrow, one-seat majority coalition, just beating a constitutional deadline by an hour or two, following his March election win. This Update explains the make-up of this new government, what deals were made to get it formed, and its implications both in terms of stability and Israel’s diplomatic stance.

Hamas and Gaza/ The Israeli Economic Miracle

Hamas and Gaza/ The Israeli Economic Miracle

May 7, 2015

This Update features two stories about the situation in Hamas-controlled Gaza and the dilemmas this poses for Israel. Plus, it also includes an article with some fascinating statistics exploring Israel’s near-miraculous economic transformation over the past 30 years.

Israel in the frontline in Nepal

Israel in the frontline in Nepal

May 1, 2015 | Anthony Orkin

In times of humanitarian crises anywhere in the world, Israel has developed a reputation of having unique expertise in offering much-needed assistance – particularly in terms of search and rescue and emergency medicine – more quickly than anyone else. This was exemplified by the fact that, as of Monday, Israel had sent more emergency personnel to earthquake-ravaged Nepal than any other country.

Israel and its Arab allies

Israel and its Arab allies

May 1, 2015 | Sharyn Mittelman

As the Middle East erupts in sectarian conflict between Sunni and Shia powers and terrorist groups threaten state borders and security, increasingly Israel’s Arab neighbours – and especially the younger generation – appear to be realising that Israel is not the biggest threat in the region and that it could even be seen as an ally.

Israeli coalition takes shape/ Iran's foreign policy goals

Israeli coalition takes shape/ Iran’s foreign policy goals

May 1, 2015

This Update leads with analysis of recent news from the negotiations to assemble a new government in Israel following the March 17 election. With the negotiations scheduled to finish by May 7, Washington Institute expert David Makovsky notes that a narrow centre-right coalition appears to be taking shape (Netanyahu has just signed agreements with two key coalition partners) – despite some rumours over recent weeks that a national unity government might be being considered and discussed. Makovsky corrects those who assume that this will mean right-wing policies on settlements and other issues related to the Palestinians, and identifies a number of other policies on which there are likely to be fissures within any such government.

Audio: Dr. Tzvi Fleischer on Iran and ISIS

April 29, 2015

Dr. Tzvi Fleischer spoke on April 28 with Michael Burd, host of “Nothing Left” on J-AIR radio (87.8 FM in Melbourne), on Iran and ISIS…

Israel at 67 - trailblazing into the future

Israel at 67 – trailblazing into the future

April 28, 2015 | Ahron Shapiro

One of the highlights of last week’s Israel’s Independence Day festivities was the official torch lighting ceremony at Jerusalem’s Mt Herzl. Honoured this year were people considered to be innovators and trailblazers in their respective fields.

A labour of enmity: HRW's distorted Jordan Valley report

A labour of enmity: HRW’s distorted Jordan Valley report

April 21, 2015 | Ahron Shapiro

On April 13, Human Rights Watch released a report accusing Israeli farms in the Jordan Valley of exploiting Palestinian children for labour.

It received widespread media reporting, including a one-sided, uncritical and detailed article in the Fairfax newspapers. Yet this story, and the stories written about it, suffer from an increasingly common syndrome affecting NGO reports about Israel – they are political documents where the language of human rights is used to further predetermined political goals, and neither reasonable standards of evidence, nor fairness, nor context are allowed to stand in the way of furthering these goals.

A Magnet for  the Malicious and a Podium for Prejudice

A Magnet for the Malicious and a Podium for Prejudice

April 20, 2015 | Jeremy Jones

A few years ago, I participated in an ABC Radio panel on the subject of courage in the face of adversity and the compulsion of some remarkable human beings to put concern for others above any interest for self-preservation.

One panellist introduced the Nazi regime’s attempts to murder every Jewish child, woman and man on the planet, and recounted a true story of a non-Jewish German who risked everything, and lost everything, in an attempt to save a Jewish person’s life.

Spin cycle

Spin cycle

April 17, 2015 | Allon Lee

The P5+1’s much questioned proposed deal with Iran over the latter’s nuclear program has seen almost as much spinning in the Australian media as in Iran’s thousands of centrifuges…

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