Turkey and the Syrian Civil War

Turkey and the Syrian Civil War

October 17, 2012

This Update focuses on analysis of the growing tension between Turkey and Syria, in the wake of a series of confrontational incidents, including Turkish shelling of Syrian territory in response to a Syrian shell which struck Turkey, an earlier incident involving Syrian fire on a Turkish warplane, and most recently, Turkey forcing down a civilian  plane claimed to be illegally smuggling Russian arms to Syria.

Study weighs economic cost of a nuclear Iran

Study weighs economic cost of a nuclear Iran

October 16, 2012 | Ahron Shapiro

Many analysts have expressed concern about the potential costs, economic and otherwise, of a military strike to stop Iran’s nuclear program – and rightly so. However, it is also important to take into account the heavy economic costs associated with inaction that would allow Iran to achieve nuclear capabilities.

Antisemitism in France still trending upward

Antisemitism in France still trending upward

October 16, 2012 | Sharyn Mittelman

The last two months have seen a wave of disturbing antisemitic attacks in France, including a grenade exploding in a kosher store. French antisemitism is even sweeping the ‘Twitter-sphere’, where this week’s top trending words on French language tweets was the hashtag #unbonjuif, which in English means “a good Jew”. This led thousands of Twitter users to enter what the French daily Le Monde called “a competition of anti-Semitic jokes.”  Meanwhile, DNA from the grenade attack led French police to conduct raids across France which uncovered a dangerous terror network of home grown radical Islamists with bomb making material and weapons that were planning their next attack.

Iran and the Huawei controversy

Huawei: US Congress, Canada backs Australian government claims that Chinese company is a security risk

October 15, 2012 | Sharyn Mittelman

In March this year the Australian government decided to block Chinese telecommunications company Huawei from bidding on the National Broadband Network (NBN) due to security risks.  Recently Canada stated its intention to exclude Huawei from helping it build a secure Canadian government communications network, due to security risks. Now a report by the US Congress on Huawei released on October 8 appears to support Australia and Canada’s security concerns.

10th Anniversary of the Bali Bombings

10th Anniversary of the Bali Bombings

October 12, 2012 | Sharyn Mittelman

Today marks ten years since the ‘Bali Bombings’, which tragically killed 202 people, including 88 Australians and 38 Indonesians, and injured more than 240.

For many Australians, the memory of the Bali bombings are now part of our collective national consciousness, an acute awareness of the evil of terrorism in its ability to destroy innocent lives indiscriminately – both those who were murdered without reason and those who have been grieving for their loved ones ever since.

The 1947 UN Partition Plan mis-remembered by the UN

The UN’s forgotten policy of resettling Palestinian Refugees

October 12, 2012 | Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz

The issue of Palestinian refugees is arguably the single largest impediment to peace between Israelis and Palestinians. None of the other ‘final status issues’ — borders, security, and sovereignty over Jerusalem — seem to leave such a gulf between the positions of the two parties that a compromise is difficult to imagine. Yet, as new research demonstrates, the refugee situation could have been solved very early on.

The solution to the borders issue is relatively clear: Israel will hold on to the major population blocs in the West Bank in exchange for equivalent land from Israel proper. Similarly, current security cooperation between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (‘PA’) has already gone most of the way towards resolving this issue. Jerusalem is a little more contentious, however there are several proposals that could be adopted…

Israel goes to polls on January 22

Israel goes to polls on January 22

October 12, 2012

As readers will probably be aware, Israeli PM Binyamin Netanyahu announced earlier this week that he will seek early elections, and later announced that he is requesting a poll take place on January 22. His speech, calling for the election, and citing an inability “at this time to pass a responsible budget”, is here. This Update looks at the reasons for this move and previews the election campaign.

Dr. Tal Becker's Australian media

Dr. Tal Becker’s Australian media

October 5, 2012 | Anthony Orkin

Australian-born Israeli peace negotiator Dr. Tal Becker received extensive media coverage on his recent visit to Australia.

Here are links to some recordings from his interviews and events.

Egypt's changing landscape

Egypt’s changing landscape

October 5, 2012

Egypt is back in the spotlight in this Update, which covers some important new developments in Cairo, the Sinai, and beyond that deserve closer attention. In Egypt after his US visit and speech at the United Nations last month, President Mohamed Morsi held his first interview with state-run media – a soft-hitting, pandering piece which many Egyptians said reminded them eerily of the way Egyptian media once presented Hosni Mubarak. Yet all is not well in Cairo, as the Muslim Brotherhood continues to reshape the country in its image. This week, for example, as Egypt’s new Constitution nears completion, many Egyptian women are up in arms over an erosion of women’s rights in the current draft. Meanwhile, a top advisor to Morsi has reiterated a call for revising Egypt’s Peace Treaty with Israel to allow for the removal of UN peacekeeping forces from the Sinai buffer zone with Israel – and fill the vacuum with Egyptian troops.

Can we force Iran to abandon its nuclear plans?

Can we force Iran to abandon its nuclear plans?

October 2, 2012 | Ahron Shapiro

Where must we draw the line on Iran’s dangerous and illegal nuclear weapons program? At what point should the strongest measures, including military strikes, be implemented in order to derail it?

This is the question at the heart of a subtle yet significant disparity in diplomatic language regarding the Iranian nuclear threat, as the possibility increases that ongoing economic sanctions may be insufficient to cause Iran to abandon its goal of nuclear arms capability.

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