Home Ed: 33: August/2008

Ed: 33: August/2008

The Last Word: Warm Days in Java

As I accepted my invitation to participate in the 2nd World Peace Forum in Jakarta this June, I had in mind a comment made by a participant in the 2006 World Peace Forum, that the environment had been "hostile to Jews, even antisemitic".

Editorial: Iranian Nuclear Myths and Realities

If Iran's nuclear weapons ambitions weren't clear enough before, last month's sit-down in Geneva is instructive: the Iranian delegation rejected a comprehensive package of incentives offered by the US, UK, France, Germany, Russia and China, all of whom had representatives there.

Scribblings: Mixed Messages on Iran

In my view, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd got his policy message on Iran pretty much right the other day in remarks to Greg Sheridan in the Australian (July 19). He endorsed diplomacy as "a critical means by which to secure an outcome" but he also, according to Sheridan, appeared to agree with the American position of refusing to take a military option off the table as a last resort.

Deconstruction Zone: True Colours

Israel and Hezbollah revealed their true colours last month. On July 16 they carried out a macabre exchange - bodies for Israel; live prisoners and bodies for Hezbollah.

Europa Europa: Sarkozy’s “Club Med”

When Nicolas Sarkozy launched his ambitious vision for a Union of the Mediterranean, he spoke of creating an "arc of prosperity" stretching from Morocco to Turkey (while also, incidentally, solving the Arab-Israeli conflict).

Ballistic Blowout

Iran's missile and WMD progress have raised existential fears in Israel which have been mostly absent since 1973. Hanging over this tense situation is the question of Israel's capability of intercepting a missile attack from Iran.

Truce and Consequences

The ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas is a testament to the success of Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip according to Nimrod Barkan, head of the Israeli Foreign Ministry's Centre for Policy Research.

Lessons and Learning

As thousands followed the coffins of IDF soldiers Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev, whose bodies arrived in Israel two years after the outbreak of the Second Lebanon War, a sense of sobriety, introspection and catharsis descended on the Jewish state.

Discourse of Change

The West should understand that the democrats in the Middle East aren't necessarily pro-West or pro-Israel. However, they are willing to ask important questions... These include asking, if Israel and the Arab world basically started in the same place, how is Israel's GDP so much higher than that of the Arab world?

Essay: At the Core

It is obvious that conflict involving Israel is not the longest, or the bloodiest, or the most widespread of the region's conflicts. In large part, these many conflicts are symptoms of the same malaise: The absence of a Middle Eastern order, to replace the old Islamic and European empires.