Media Week - Behind the Times; The plagues of Egypt

Media Week – Behind the Times; The plagues of Egypt

August 30, 2013 | Allon Lee

A news brief in the Sydney Morning Herald and Age (Aug. 22) reporting that a Palestinian man in the Jenin refugee camp was killed by Israeli soldiers who “faced protesters” as they tried to arrest an Islamic Jihad member suspected of planning terrorist attacks lacked context and balance.

Another ABC fact-checking fail: Gaza and Breast Cancer

Another ABC fact-checking fail: Gaza and Breast Cancer

August 30, 2013 | Ahron Shapiro

Why does the ABC continue to improperly fact-check its stories about the Gaza Strip?

In her report for Newsline, “Charities raising breast cancer awareness in Gaza”, the ABC‘s reporter/producer Rania Zaydan abandoned her critical faculties, offering up a story riddled with inaccuracies and baseless anti-Israel innuendo.

A strike on Syria? And if so

A strike on Syria? And if so, what sort and with what consequences?

August 30, 2013

This update deals with the apparent likelihood that the US will soon lead some form of military strikes against the Syrian regime in the wake of what appears to be a large-scale, confirmed chemical weapon attack at East Ghouta and other Damascus suburbs, and increasing reports that intelligence has confirmed that the Syrian regime was responsible (Good reports on the ugly details of that attack come from the New York Times and Der Speigel, while reports on the intelligence are here, here, here and here.) With US President Obama saying he still hasn’t made up his mind what to do, it focuses on the form such an attack might or should take, and the consequences of the various options reportedly being considered.

Syria burns as the UN turns its gaze to Israel

Syria burns as the UN turns its gaze to Israel

August 28, 2013 | Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz

As everyone digests the harrowing reports of nerve gas being used by the Syrian regime against its own people, and the US boosts its military posturing, one story that has seemingly been pushed to the side is the increasing irrelevance of the United Nations. … After more than two years of dithering as Syria burns, the Security Council has patently failed in its mission to maintain international peace and security…

At the same time, UN activity has been continuing unabated over on Syria’s south-western border. Earlier this month, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon addressed a model UN forum in Jerusalem. During his address, he reportedly made a rare admission of the unfair treatment which Israel receives…

The Egypt Policy Dilemma

The Egypt Policy Dilemma

August 23, 2013

This Update discusses the major policy dilemmas posed for Western leaders – and especially the US – by the situation in Egypt in the wake of the bloody crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood and its supporters by the military government there over the past week and a half.

First up is Harvard University’s Chuck Freilich, formerly deputy national-security adviser in Israel, who says that Egypt today places US policymakers where they least like to be – caught in a conflict between US values and US interests.

AIJAC letter responds to inaccurate article on Israeli settlements

August 17, 2013

A letter in Melbourne’s Herald Sun by AIJAC Executive Director Dr Colin Rubenstein responds to an important inaccuracy regarding Israeli settlements in the West Bank…

Two AIJAC letters responding to factually inaccurate reporting on Israeli settlements

Two AIJAC letters responding to factually inaccurate reporting on Israeli settlements

August 16, 2013

Two letters from AIJAC staff members were published today responding to erroneous headlines and reporting in Australian newspapers regarding Israeli settlements in the West Bank….

Media Week - Hand wringing over Iran; Tom after Tom

Media Week – Hand wringing over Iran; Tom after Tom

August 16, 2013 | Allon Lee

Iran’s new president, Hassan Rouhani, is a good guy the West can do business with according to an Age editorial (Aug 9).

Whilst it admitted that Rouhani was vetted by “Iran’s overlords”, that “he is not signalling capitulation on the issue that triggered sanctions – a uranium enrichment program that raises the spectre of Iran acquiring nuclear weapons”, the paper still places its faith in his ability to make a deal because “he wants to resume talks ‘with seriousness and without wasting time'”.

However, as Rouhani himself noted in 2004 when he was Iran’s main nuclear negotiator, time wasting with a smile is his forte – “While we were talking with the Europeans in Tehran, we were installing equipment in parts of the nuclear conversion facility in Isfahan. By creating a calm environment, we were able to complete the work there.”

An Al-Qaeda Resurgence? / Iraq Deteriorates

An Al-Qaeda Resurgence? / Iraq Deteriorates

August 9, 2013

This Update discusses the apparent resurgence of al-Qaeda after 22 US diplomatic missions across the Middle East were forced to close due to intelligence of a serious al-Qaeda plot allegedly originating in Yemen and ordered by al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri. It goes on to discuss the deteriorating situation in Iraq – in part due to al-Qaeda’s increasing efforts there….

Media Week - Dense & density

Media Week – Dense & density, Background checks please; Cycle of stupidity

August 8, 2013 | Allon Lee

ABC “Radio National” host Phillip Adams (July 23) introduced an interview with Dr. Mona El Farra, who works for the Red Crescent in Gaza, with the fallacious claim that “the Gaza Strip…[is] the most populated strip of land in the world. Yes, the most populated strip of land on Earth!”

In fact, it’s not even close to being the most densely populated area of land in the world.

According to the CIA World Fact Book (2008), there are 4,603 people per square kilometre in Gaza. This is positively roomy compared to Calcutta (24,718), Paris (20,246), Athens (20,235), Singapore (6,816) or even nearby Tel Aviv (7,524) and Jerusalem (6,045).

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