The UN effectively gives up on Syria

The UN effectively gives up on Syria

December 9, 2013 | Or Avi Guy

Ever get the feeling that, after years of paralysis and stalemate, the international community have given up on resolving the crisis in Syria? The UN General Assembly (UNGA) 68th session has just wrapped up while UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has announced that a Peace Conference for Syria will take place in Geneva in January, so this is an opportune time to assess the international community’s role in promoting a return to peace in that troubled country.

Australia's state broadcasters obscure reality of Israeli Bedouin plan

Australia’s state broadcasters obscure reality of Israeli Bedouin plan

December 6, 2013 | Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz

The Australian media has been covering protests this week in Israel against a new plan to improve the conditions of the Bedouin Arabs living in the Negev desert in Israel’s south–although from some of the reports, you would never know that this was the aim of the plan. For example, on the ABC’s AM program…

Israel's Security Challenges for 2014/ Nuclear Precedents

Israel’s Security Challenges for 2014/ Nuclear Precedents

December 6, 2013

This Update features two topics – a new assessment from Israeli intelligence on the Jewish state’s security situation at the start of World War II, and two articles dealing with the history of nuclear proliferation and non-proliferation in various countries – a topic highly relevant in the wake of the interim Iran/Geneva nuclear deal.

Implementation issues with interim Iran nuclear deal

Implementation issues with interim Iran nuclear deal

December 5, 2013

This Update deals with some new revelations about potential delays and other problems with implementing the Geneva interim agreement with Iran reached the Sunday before last – with a US spokesperson acknowledging last week that the agreement is not yet in effect for either party and will not be until further negotiations on technical aspects of it are completed. These technical talks are scheduled to begin next week.  Interestingly, Elliot Abrams of the Council on Foreign Relations raised this possibility – that the deal was not yet a finalised, binding agreement –  in the aftermath of the Geneva breakthrough.

Amnesty International’s Gaza electricity libel

Amnesty International’s Gaza electricity libel

December 4, 2013 | Ahron Shapiro

In a follow up to Sharyn Mittelman’s November 22 report on Gaza’s self-inflicted fuel shortage, we look at NGO Amnesty International’s press release on the situation from Sunday, a remarkable document so far removed from factual accuracy that it can best be described as a work of fiction. 

Salafist terror spreads to the West Bank

Salafist terror spreads to the West Bank

November 29, 2013 | Ahron Shapiro

The deaths of three Palestinian terror suspects who had opened fire on Israeli troops sent to arrest them near Hebron on Tuesday was unfortunately not an altogether rare occurrence.

The decline in successful terror attacks in Israel and the West Bank in recent years has been widely attributed to the effectiveness of Israel’s intelligence and security forces in capturing terrorists before they have a chance of executing deadly attacks. Occasionally, the suspects choose to attempt to kill the soldiers who come to arrest them, with unfortunate but predictable results.

However, the details of these suspects and several of their associates who had been arrested earlier without incident, was very unusual, as analysts noted this marked the first time Salafist Palestinians in the West Bank, allied ideologically with al-Qaeda, have been caught red-handed planning terror attacks.

Hamas in difficulties/ Saudi Arabia and the Iran nuclear deal

Hamas in difficulties/ Saudi Arabia and the Iran nuclear deal

November 29, 2013

This Update features two pieces on Hamas’ increasingly difficult situation in Gaza. It also includes an analysis, following up on the last Update, on the Saudi Arabian reaction to the interim nuclear deal signed with Iran last weekend.

First up is Israeli counter-terror specialist Ely Karmon on Hamas’ increasingly isolated situation internationally and domestic difficulties within their Gaza fiefdom. He notes that the fall of the Muslim Brotherhood regime in Egypt and the subsequent all-out efforts of the Egyptian army to close down smuggling into Gaza from Sinai have not only left Hamas in shock but also affected Hamas’ internal regime in Gaza.

Is the EU inadvertently encouraging Israeli settlements?

Is the EU inadvertently encouraging Israeli settlements?

November 27, 2013 | Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz

As Australia shifts its UN vote on Israeli settlements to one more befitting of its longstanding support for a negotiated two-state solution, the EU appears to be going in the opposite direction. In addition to undermining the EU’s support for peace talks, this may even be inadvertently encouraging Israel to purposefully send Israeli citizens and businesses into the West Bank…

A Good Deal on Iran's Nukes? The Iranians certainly think so

A Good Deal on Iran’s Nukes? The Iranians certainly think so

November 26, 2013 | Or Avi Guy

When the delegates of the P5+1 convened in Geneva to finalise an interim agreement with Iran they were supposed to have one goal in mind – to stop Iran’s nuclear program. 

So is the new interim deal a step towards “a future in which we can verify that Iran’s nuclear program is peaceful and that it cannot build a nuclear weapon” as US President Obama put it?

The Iranians certainly don’t seem to think so.

Evaluating the Interim Nuclear Deal with Iran

Evaluating the Interim Nuclear Deal with Iran

November 26, 2013

This Update is devoted to analysis of the detail and implications of the interim nuclear deal reached by the P5+1 states (US, UK, France, Russia, China and Germany) and Iran in Geneva on Sunday. (The actual agreement text is here, a White House “fact sheet” on the details is here, and some reporting about the agreement’s provision is here.) Israeli leaders, meanwhile, have been lining up to make it clear that they are not happy with the deal.

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