The strange justice of William Schabas and the UNHRC

The strange justice of William Schabas and the UNHRC

August 26, 2014 | Gabrielle Debinski

Many people, both within Israel and around the world, were unsurprised when the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) announced that it was launching a formal investigation into “possible war crimes” committed by Israel during Operation Protective Edge, which was launched on July 8 in response to incessant rocket fire from Hamas in the Gaza Strip into Israeli cities.

It did so in a resolution passed on July 23 which never mentions Hamas but declares Israel guilty, stating that the council “condemns in the strongest terms the widespread, systematic and gross violations of international human rights and fundamental freedoms arising from the Israeli military operations” in the occupied territories…

Media Week - Black Schabas; Harsh realities

Media Week – Black Schabas; Harsh realities

August 22, 2014 | Allon Lee

On ABC Radio National “Breakfast” (Aug. 15) host Fran Kelly missed an opportunity to address Hamas’ conduct whilst interviewing William Schabas, the UN Human Rights Council’s controversial appointee to head an investigation into alleged war crimes during the Gaza war.

Gaza fighting resumes

Gaza fighting resumes, what happens now?

August 22, 2014

With Gaza fighting resuming on Tuesday when Hamas fired rockets after 8 days of agreed ceasefires, this Update is devoted to where matters might go from here.

First up is Israeli journalist Shmuel Rosner, who outlines 4 different scenarios about how this round of conflict might proceed and end. Among them are a ceasefire without negotiations, resumption of negotiations and a ceasefire, a renewed campaign of Israeli bombing and other military pressure and an escalation by Israel into a large-scale ground attack.

Rally for Peace: Statements by Vic. Premier Denis Napthine and others

August 15, 2014

Further our previous blog featuring the statement of Victorian Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews, this post includes further statements made by parliamentarians at the Rally for Peace in Melbourne on Sunday August 10…

AIJAC response to the Canberra Declaration on Gaza

AIJAC response to the Canberra Declaration on Gaza

August 15, 2014 | AIJAC

71 current and five former members of Australian Federal and State parliaments, mostly Labor and Greens, but also Malcolm Fraser and some independents, have signed what they call the “Canberra Declaration on Gaza” (the Declaration), calling on “all Australian politicians to condemn the ongoing Israeli military bombardment and invasion of Gaza.”

A link to the Declaration is here. The Declaration reflects a one-sided and misguided view of the current conflict in Gaza, and of the Israeli/Palestinian situation in general. This document explains why.

Fairfax doubles down on poorly informed and tendentious commentaries

Fairfax doubles down on poorly informed and tendentious commentaries

August 15, 2014 | Ahron Shapiro

Peter George was the ABC’s first Middle East correspondent, dating back to the 1980s. Yet by the looks of an op-ed that he wrote and was prominently published on August 6 in Fairfax’ flagship papers – The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Canberra Times, he is still living in the past – refusing to acknowledge the numerous concessions and policy risks Israel has taken since the 1993 Oslo Agreement towards reaching a peace agreement with the Palestinians, including under current Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, nor the shift in Israeli views since then, with clear public majorities and all major political parties supporting a two-state resolution.

Instead, George literally rewrites history in his op-ed, bizarrely seeming to blame Netanyahu for the security fence and unfairly portraying him as an impediment to Palestinian statehood.

Victorian Opposition Leader speaks up for Israel

Victorian Opposition Leader speaks up for Israel

August 13, 2014 | AIJAC

Victorian Labor Party leader and state opposition leader provided the following statement in support of Israel’s right to self-defence and security to the Melbourne Rally for Peace held on August 10 on the steps of the State Parliament…

Hamas' goals in Gaza

Hamas’ goals in Gaza

August 13, 2014

With a 72-hour ceasefire currently holding and intensive talks to find a more lasting way to end the current Gaza conflict occurring in Cairo, (differing reports about whether the talks are making progress or not are here and here) this Update looks at Hamas and what it wants, especially in the longer term.

Colin Rubenstein's remarks at rally for peace and Israeli security in Melbourne on Aug. 10

Colin Rubenstein’s remarks at rally for peace and Israeli security in Melbourne on Aug. 10

August 13, 2014 | Colin Rubenstein

The text of the remarks made by AIJAC Executive Director Dr. Colin Rubenstein, AM, at the “Rally for Peace” held on the steps of the Victorian Parliament in Melbourne on August 10:

Problems with Gaza casualty numbers gaining recognition

Problems with Gaza casualty numbers gaining recognition

August 12, 2014 | Or Avi Guy

In his article in The Australian Andre Oboler, CEO of the Online Hate Prevention Institute (OHPI), suggested that the world is beginning to understand that Hamas appears to be deliberately manipulating the number of civilian casualties in Gaza in order to win propaganda points. 

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