Home Ed: 33: December/2008

Ed: 33: December/2008

Editorial: UN Ideals vs. Realities

While a laudable goal, the UN system is too often dysfunctional for temporary Security Council membership to be an end in and of itself. Instead, reforming the UN and its institutions should be the animating factor underlying Australia's campaign and, if successful, its tenure.

Obama’s Options

When it comes to the Arab-Israeli conflict, a strategy of "engagement without illusions" will most likely drive the Obama Administration. Prospects of diplomatic success are worth trying, but at a minimum, engagement would attempt to reverse the slide toward radicalisation.

How to Put the Squeeze on Iran

If Barack Obama is to persuade Iran to negotiate away its illegal nuclear weapons program, he will first need to generate more leverage than what the Bush Administration is leaving him with.

Durban Renewal

The United Nations' Review Conference for the 2001 "World Conference Against Racism" is shaping up to be as unworthy of its name as was its predecessor. The 2001 conference (Durban I) was hosted by South Africa in Durban and its legacy as a hate fest of antisemitism and anti-Israel thuggery has blighted the city's reputation.

Game On

In what reflects a widespread assessment that Netanyahu is likely to head the next government, a rainbow coalition of newly converted allies has been gradually gathering around him.

Keyed Up In Wellington

Given the consistency of the pre-election polls, the results of the New Zealand election on Nov. 8 would have come as a shock to few Kiwis - John Key's National party handily defeated the Labour party, led by Helen Clark, the prime minister for the past (almost) 9 years.

Scribblings: The Talking Cure

US President-elect Barack Obama is going to change US policy toward Iran and end the Bush Administration approach of refusing to directly engage Teheran diplomatically, right? Actually, things are not nearly so cut and dried as this conventional wisdom holds.

Asia Watch: Signing On

Indonesia continues to play an intriguing role in Israeli-Palestinian matters, issuing the time-honoured declarations of support for Palestinian self-determination and condemnations of Israeli conduct, while at the same time developing further unofficial links with the Jewish state.

The Last Word: Analysing Australian Antisemitism

The raw data on anti-Jewish assaults, vandalism and harassment in Australia makes for sobering reading. In the 12 month period concluding on September 30, 2008, Jewish communal institutions in Australia received a total of 652 reports of incidents which unambiguously fall under the definition of "Racist Violence"