What Palestinians think they have achieved from passage of the UN "Non-member state" resolution

What Palestinians think they have achieved from passage of the UN “Non-member state” resolution

December 3, 2012 | Ahron Shapiro

Western countries that abstained or voted for the United Nations General Assembly resolution on Thursday upgrading the Palestinian representation in the UN to that of a non-member state have depicted their decision as a vote in favour of a negotiated peace between Israel and the Palestinians and a two-state solution.

However, Palestinian officials have been telling their own people that the vote was a substantive step towards forced Israeli capitulation, not compromise. Significantly, Palestinian officials say they intend to argue that their increased recognition of statehood automatically entitles them to massive political dividends, including a presumption of final borders.

Tel Aviv bus bomb terror suspect - a case of "family reunification terrorism"

Tel Aviv bus bomb terror suspect – a case of “family reunification terrorism”

November 29, 2012 | Sharyn Mittelman

Israel has now arrested suspects responsible for the Tel Aviv bus bomb attack on November 21 that injured 28 people, three seriously.

One suspect is an Israeli-Arab formerly from the West Bank who obtained Israeli citizenship on reunification grounds.  Therefore, this latest terrorist attack has again put the spotlight on how family reunification laws can be exploited by terrorists to gain entry into Israel to commit their crimes.

UN vote on PA upgrade to "non-member state" status

UN vote on PA upgrade to “non-member state” status

November 29, 2012

The Palestinians introduced a much-anticipated resolution giving “Palestine” a status of “non-member state” at the UN General Assembly on Monday.  A vote is expected today, New York time, which is Friday here, and the Australian Government’s decision to abstain has been much in the news given that Prime Minister Julia Gilliard was reportedly forced by cabinet and caucus colleagues to abandon her own preference to vote “no”. This Update is devoted to analysis of the significance and likely effect of the resolution – which is widely expected to pass easily.

More Hamas incitement to genocide

More Hamas incitement to genocide

November 29, 2012 | Sharyn Mittelman

The Hamas Charter of 1988 calls for the destruction of Israel, and includes rampant antisemitism and genocidal incitement. However, Hamas’ use of genocidal rhetoric is not confined to its Charter and continues today. For example, Palestinian Media Watch reported that during the latest Israel-Gaza conflict, Hamas’ al-Aqsa TV station aired calls to kills Jews, such as “Killing Jews is worship that draws us close to Allah”.

Remember Syria?

Remember Syria?

November 22, 2012 | Ahron Shapiro

From the moment Israel’s Operation Pillar of Defence began last week, news of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s bloody suppression of the rebellion against his rule was pushed down the news page, and in some cases knocked out of the paper entirely.

This, in spite of the fact that more Syrians than Palestinians were killed over the same period and that the death toll in Assad’s crackdown is approaching 40,000 – many times more than the total number of Palestinians killed during fighting with Israel in decades of conflict.

Did the current round of violence start because of the death of a 13-year-old boy on November 8?

Did the current round of violence start because of the death of a 13-year-old boy on November 8?

November 22, 2012 | Or Avi Guy

In the first few days of the current escalation in Southern Israel and Gaza (which hopefully may now be coming to an end) most of the media reported that the violence escalated after a Kornet anti-tank missile was launched at an Israeli military jeep on November 10, injuring four soldiers. The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) took responsibility for the attack. Shortly afterwards, a barrage of dozens of rockets aimed at Israeli cities and towns was launched from Gaza.

Perhaps the 10 days that have passed since that incident has blurred the memory of some reporters. Some media reports are now framed around the assumption that this whole thing began on the 14 with the strike on Jabari. And even more bizarrely, other reporter and commentators are stating or implying that it was the death of 13-year-old Hamid Younis Abu Dika on Nov. 8 near Khan Younis that sparked the current round of violence.

Gaza: How we got here and how it might end

Gaza: How we got here and how it might end

November 21, 2012

This Update offers more top-flight analysis of how the Gaza conflict got to this point – with more than 1150 rocket hits on Israel since Wednesday (on top of the 150 in the few days before that) and over 1400 Israeli strikes on terror targets in Gaza – and what the end of the conflict might look like. (Report now say a deal on a ceasefire being negotiated in Cairo might be close to completion, with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton now in the region to try to assist in a ceasefire deal.) Good constant updates on what is going on militarily are being provided by the IDF’s website.

Human rights NGOs

Human rights NGOs, and their half-hearted, belated, and weasel-worded condemnations of rocket attacks

November 21, 2012 | Or Avi Guy

Human rights organisations are supposed to advance a universal approach, according to which every person in entitled to certain rights and liberties, based simply on his or her humanity. The most basic of these rights is the right to life. Yet time after time those very same organisations prove that some humans – those from groups they personally identify or sympathise with – have more rights than others. Most recently, this double-standard was evident in the response by various human rights organisations to the ongoing rocket and mortar attacks from Gaza on Israeli cities and towns. In between ‘code red’ sirens, you could almost hear the silence of human rights organisations.

Rockets from civilian areas: Hamas and Islamic Jihad are fooling no one

Rockets from civilian areas: Hamas and Islamic Jihad are fooling no one

November 21, 2012 | Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz

The most unfortunate consequence of any war is that innocent people are invariably caught in the crossfire. The current conflict in Gaza is no exception, as can be seen by the tragic deaths of members of the Dallu family on Sunday from what appears to have been an erroneous airstrike on the part of the Israelis. The IDF were trying to target Hamas commander Yihya Abayo and, for reasons still unclear, hit the nearby Dallu household instead. The incident is currently under investigation.

Nevertheless, there is overwhelming evidence that the human toll that the war is taking is being exacerbated substantially by the tactics that Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (‘PIJ’), and other Gaza militant groups are employing…

Propaganda

Propaganda, lies and the Gaza conflict

November 19, 2012 | Sharyn Mittelman

The conflict between Israel and Hamas is also being played out in the media including social media, with Hamas and anti-Israel activists attempting to demonise Israel with false accusations.

The latest fabrication exposed concerns the tragic death of four-year-old Mahmoud Sadallah from Gaza – whose picture made international headlines when his body was cradled by the Egyptian Prime Minister. News agencies including CNN wrongly reported that the child was killed by Israeli missile fire. However, it has now been revealed that he was killed by a Palestinian rocket fired from within Gaza that did not reach Israeli territory.

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