Home Ed: 34: March/2009

Ed: 34: March/2009

Essay: The Great Rift

The Saudi-Iranian conflict, whose various aspects - geostrategic, religious, ethnic and economic - have been affecting the Middle East for the past 30 years, began with the Islamic Revolution in Iran, led by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

Asia Watch: Witness Protection

What was a small news item back in November blew-up in a big way at the height of the Israeli military offensive in Gaza. The Indonesian internet was abuzz for several weeks as Islamist-oriented websites like Hidayatullah.com, Arrahmah.com and Eramuslim.com attacked Muhammadiyah for its supposed ties with Israel.

Editorial: Election shaped by consensus

As the close result and large number of late-deciders demonstrated, there is a lack of clear ideological or policy distinctions between Israel's major parties. Moreover, a wide consensus has developed in Israeli politics and public opinion on the desirability of a two-state resolution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

Media Microscope: Wrong on the Right

The Feb. 12 Age and Herald editorials both wrongly claimed that Netanyahu rejects a two-state solution and the peace process, and portrayed Israel's election results as a blow for peace, implicitly absolving the Palestinians of any responsibility for the state of the peace process.

Scribblings: The Numbers Game

The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) have released semi-official casualty figures for the Gaza campaign, and found no more than one-third of those killed were civilians. This is contrary to numerous media reports based primarily on claims by Hamas and the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR).

AIR New Zealand: The battlelines of summer

In the public sphere, regular anti-Israel protests and demonstrations took place around the country. At one such protest in Wellington, Catholic priest Gerard Burn sprinkled red paint mixed with a drop of his own blood, on a memorial monument to Yitzhak Rabin.

The Wash-up

It may not have been on the scale of Truman's upset in 1948, but Tzipi Livni, leader of the centrist Kadima party, stunned the political system in Israel's February 10 general election. Livni, the outgoing foreign minister, emerged with more votes than anyone else after having trailed Likud leader Binyamin "Bibi" Netanyahu throughout the campaign, often by more than 10 percentage points.

What Israelis Know

Most Israelis believe that the Palestinians don't want to make a comprehensive peace with Israel in exchange for a Palestinian state. Hamas doesn't want it; the Palestinian Authority (PA) is both unwilling and unable to do it. Israel faces a hostile Iran, Syria, Hamas and Hezbollah...

Philadelphi story

A primary target of the Israeli operation against Hamas in December and January was weapons smuggling tunnels under the border between the Gaza Strip and the Egyptian Sinai. This border zone is known as the Philadelphi corridor.