Younger Israeli Arabs see engagement

Younger Israeli Arabs see engagement, not hostility, as path to equality

November 2, 2012 | Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz

Earlier this year, I was standing at the top of a ridge in the Wadi Ara Valley in Israel, overlooking the Arab settlement of Arara. I was with representatives from Givat Haviva, an Israeli-Arab reconciliation organisation. In the town below, I was told, lived a man who represented a new trend within Israel’s Arab citizenry.

On reaching 18, some form of national service is mandatory for non-ultra-Orthodox Jews in Israel, but Arabs are exempt from the requirement. As a rule, members of the Druze and Bedoin communities voluntarily serve in the Israeli Defence Forces, however the vast majority of Israel’s Arab population refuses even non-military national service…


























Europe and the New Antisemitism/ Lebanon heading for a Civil War?

Europe and the New Antisemitism/ Lebanon heading for a Civil War?

November 2, 2012

This Update contains two pieces from leading intellectuals dealing with the rise of “new” forms of antisemitism – forms where anti-Zionism is mixed with antisemitic beliefs and tropes – with a special focus on Europe. In addition, it includes a piece re-considering conventional wisdom on where Lebanon is heading in the wake of the assassination of intelligence chief Wissam al-Hassan two weeks ago.

Haaretz issues clarification on controversial poll articles

Haaretz issues clarification on controversial poll articles

October 29, 2012 | Sharyn Mittelman

Last week AIJAC published a blog post, taking a critical look at Gideon Levy’s article in Haaretz which published a report on a very misleading poll with the original title “Survey: Most Israeli Jews would support apartheid regime in Israel”.

Haaretz has now published a clarification in the print edition of its newspaper in Hebrew regretting the title of Levy’s report. Further, in a new article Levy himself admits that the headline of the report was “misleading”, and apologises for an incorrect claim in his analysis of the poll, in his attempt to “fix a few mistakes”.

A misleading and flawed poll sparks "apartheid" claims

A misleading and flawed poll sparks “apartheid” claims

October 26, 2012 | Sharyn Mittelman

This week Gideon Levy of Haaretz published an article on the results of a very misleading and flawed poll with the title “Survey: Most Israeli Jews would support apartheid regime in Israel” on October 24.

As a result of the Haaretz publicity, false reports that Israeli Jews support apartheid, made damaging headlines around the world, including in Australia.

The headlines were concerning, but once people were able to access the polling data, it became clear that not only was the poll’s methodology questionable, but the analysis being presented of the poll data was both distorted and politically skewed.

Hamas and the latest rocket barrage

Hamas and the latest rocket barrage

October 26, 2012

Southern Israel suffered through an intense rocket barrage from Gaza earlier this week, with more than 80 rockets fired in a 24-hour period, before an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire took hold yesterday. Hamas has been itself taking credit for many of the rocket launches, a break with its behaviour over most of the past year. This Update explores why, and whether the visit to Gaza by the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Hamad al-Thani, the first by any Arab leader since Hamas took power there in 2007, had anything to do with it.

The truth about Israeli-Arabs and Israel's 'national priority areas'

The truth about Israeli-Arabs and Israel’s ‘national priority areas’

October 19, 2012 | Or Avi Guy

Earlier this week it was reported in the Age that visiting Israeli Human rights activist Hagai El-Ad, executive director of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) had, at a public meeting, expressed concerns that “the very idea of equality under the law for all citizens in Israel is increasingly under threat.” To back up this claim, El-Ad asserted, according to the article, that Arab citizens of Israel were discriminated against by the Israeli government when it drew the map of “national priority areas.” El-Ad’s description of civil rights in Israel, and in this case the rights of Arab citizens, is grossly misleading.

Iran Sanctions bite

Iran Sanctions bite, but will Teheran shift course?

October 19, 2012

There is growing evidence over recent weeks that the Iranian economy is in serious trouble, in no small part due to the international sanctions imposed because of Teheran’s illegal  nuclear program,  – with a major plunge in the value of the Rial, Iran’s currency, down at least 80% this year; signs some ordinary Iranians are starting to panic over the economic situation;  and even unrest from demonstrators angry about the economic situation, and currency dealers who have been the victim of a government crackdown designed to arrest the plunge. Even the International Atomic Energy Agency says the sanctions are starting to have a major effect on oil exports.

Media Week - Shalit - the Fairfax directors’ cut; Christians in Israel – the gospel truth; Headline misfire.

Media Week – Shalit – the Fairfax directors’ cut; Christians in Israel – the gospel truth; Headline misfire.

October 18, 2012 | Allon Lee

As a matter of course newspapers make changes to stories. Some of these can be spelling or cuts for length.

But a number of questionable alterations were made to a story from the New York Times’ Middle East correspondent Isabel Kershner that appeared in Fairfax papers noting Gilad Shalit’s first major interview.

Women suffering across the Middle East - except  in Israel

Women suffering across the Middle East – except in Israel

October 18, 2012 | Sharyn Mittelman

While women are suffering from extremism throughout the Middle East, Israel remains an exception where all women, regardless of race, religion or ethnicity, enjoy equality before the law, and despite some shortcomings, the most substantial social equality in the region, comparable to virtually any country in the world. Israel’s Declaration of Independence grants “all Israel’s inhabitants equality of social and political rights irrespective of religion, race or gender.”

This significant point is sadly often lost in the headlines about Israel. But one Israeli-Arab woman, Boshra Khalaila is trying to draw attention to this important issue, as she travels around the world as an advocate for Israel.

Australian anti-Israel activists must distance themselves from neo-Nazi sympathisers

Australian anti-Israel activists must distance themselves from neo-Nazi sympathisers

October 17, 2012 | Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz

A group supported by a cross-section of Australia’s anti-Israel movement has been revealed to be pedalling overt antisemitic propaganda.

On 1 October, Jewish Agency for Israel employee Avi Mayer stumbled across an alarming tweet by the Free Gaza Movement (‘FGM’), the principal organisers of the infamous ‘Free Gaza Flotilla’ in 2010, and several other flotillas to Gaza. The tweet said ‘Zionists operated the concentration camps and helped murder millions of innocent Jews’, and linked to…

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