Fayyad and the problem of Palestinian leadership

Fayyad and the problem of Palestinian leadership

May 9, 2013

Today’s Update deals with the aftermath of a candid interview recently “allegedly” given to the New York Times by Salam Fayyad – the Palestinian Authority PM who resigned last month but is still in office in an interim role – and especially what it says about the problematic state and policies of the Palestinian leadership. The nature of this problem is partly highlighted by the word “allegedly” in the previous sentence, because Fayyad is now denying having given the interview at all, calling the whole story a ” forgery that carries political dimensions with the goal of causing damage and fomenting strife.”

Iran: Sanctions and the Risk of Breakout

Iran: Sanctions and the Risk of Breakout

May 4, 2013

This Update features two important articles on the state of play regarding the Iranian nuclear standoff – one looking at the effectiveness of current sanctions and another examining Iran’s calculations, and especially what considerations might lead Teheran to stage a nuclear breakout. It also contains an important article on the growing and increasingly controversial role being played by the small country of Qatar in various Middle East conflicts and issues.

Stop the presses - No Arab League breakthough

Stop the presses – No Arab League breakthough

May 3, 2013 | Ahron Shapiro

Contrary to recent headlines, the Arab League as a collective body did not substantially “sweeten” its 2002 Peace Initiative (API) for Israel on Monday.

Nonetheless, there is some reason to see this diplomatic movement, while relatively minor, as a small, positive step.

Pro-BDS Facebook page descends into bigot versus bigot hate-fest

Pro-BDS Facebook page descends into bigot versus bigot hate-fest

May 3, 2013 | Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz

Earlier this week, AIJAC reported the vile anti-Jewish hate-speech that appeared on the Facebok event page for an anti-Israel rally opposing the opening of a Max Brenner outlet at the University of NSW…

Consequently, the dynamic on the page was transformed … it seems that the page has been overrun by semi-literate keyboard warriors with axes to grind…

Media Week - So near

Media Week – So near, and yet so far; Justified fears; Shalom Salam; Justice done; Conspiracy-land; Howe’s that

May 2, 2013 | Allon Lee

On Fairfax‘s “Daily Life” site (April 23) Ruby Hamad, who has previously penned some ill-informed and one-sided pieces on Israel, presented a sober account of the escalating restrictions imposed by Hamas on Gazans.

Unfortunately her explanation for Gaza’s economic difficulties was entirely predictable…

The millionaires of Gaza

The millionaires of Gaza

May 2, 2013 | Sharyn Mittelman

While many Gazans struggle with poverty like many people across the Middle East, one may be surprised to find that there is another side to Gaza’s economy – a booming property development industry supported by the smuggling trade that is estimated to have made a thousand millionaires in the last five years. In fact, property prices for luxury villas and apartments in elite Gaza areas like El Remal are reportedly on par with London and New York. 

This certainly came as a surprise to television presenter Seyi Rhodes, who filmed the documentary “Unreported World: Gaza’s property ladder” which aired on the UK’s Channel 4 on April 26.

'Sue me Jew' part 2: hate-speech off campus and online?

‘Sue me Jew’ part 2: hate-speech off campus and online?

May 1, 2013 | Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz

On Monday, AIJAC reported on the first two days of vicious anti-Jewish hate-speech on the Facebook page for an anti-Israel rally held this afternoon at the University of New South Wales (‘UNSW’) to protest the opening of a Max Brenner chocolate shop…

Thankfully, the event saw little identifiable antisemitism — although those present were likely ‘on their best behaviour’ due to the significant media presence. Nevertheless, the real story remains the Facebook page. Below is a continuation of yesterday’s account…

'Sue me Jew': horrific hate-speech by Australian students on anti-Israel Facebook page

‘Sue me Jew’: horrific hate-speech by Australian students on anti-Israel Facebook page

April 29, 2013 | Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz

Student activism in NSW seems to be taking a dark turn.

For those who follow this blog, it would not be especially surprising to hear that the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions against Israel (‘BDS’) movement is steeped in antisemitism. …

In recent days, students at the University of New South Wales (‘UNSW’) have seen perhaps the most publicly explicit example of this phenomenon to rear its ugly head on Australian shores. A bizarre collective of Muslim students, students from the extreme left, prominent Muslim community leader Rebecca Kay, and “Jihad Sheila” Raisah Douglas, have come together…

Syria and Chemical Weapons/ Hezbollah in trouble?

Syria and Chemical Weapons/ Hezbollah in trouble?

April 26, 2013

With Israeli military intelligence concluding that Syria has been using chemical weapons against rebels – joining more equivocal claims by Britain and France – and now US intelligence sources largely agreeing, there are growing calls for the US to rethink its low-key policy on Syria – given that US President Obama last year said such use would be a “red line” which would change the American “calculus.” This update contains discussion of the possibility and its implications.

Five extreme reactions to the Boston Bombings

Five extreme reactions to the Boston Bombings

April 25, 2013 | Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz

The confusion after the bombing of the Boston Marathon last week saw a number of reactions that were ‘colourful’ to say the least. Australians will be familiar with radio broadcaster Alan Jones’ claim that the perpetrators were most likely “left-wing radical students”, as well as Bob Ellis’ rather bizarre speculation that “it seems to me likely that this was not al-Qaeda or a lone madman … but more likely, much more likely, the NRA.”

The most shocking reactions, however, did not come from Australians. Be it an unnerving sense of vindication or an incomprehensible conspiracy theory, AIJAC has compiled five of the most ‘out-there’ responses to the awful carnage that took place.

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