Home Ed: 35: August/2010

Ed: 35: August/2010

Essay: The Turning of Turkey

Essay: The Turning of Turkey

Since its decisive re-election in 2007, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Justice and Development Party (AKP) has been re-aligning the country's foreign policy. Under Erdogan's governance, Turkey has been moving away from its 20th century Western orientation and towards an alliance with Iran, Syria and their proxies. But with the upcoming 2011 elections, hope remains for a retreat from these policies and re-alignment with the West, especially if the US and the EU move quickly to demonstrate to the Turkish people what the costs of such a permanent change of alignment would be.

Media Microscope: Age Old Problem

The Age newspaper has, at times, been noticeably skewed against Israel. Recently, there seemed to have been some signs of improvement, but sadly, over the last month, it has regressed. For example, some time ago, it was common that phrases in stories by Fairfax correspondent Jason Koutsoukis would appear in the Age with an anti-Israel slant not present in the same report in the Sydney Morning Herald. Now the same is happening with reports sourced internationally.

Editorial: Reaffirming Bipartisanship

Once again, the Australian Jewish community is fortunate enough to have the choice between two prime ministerial candidates who strongly defend Israel's right to exist in peace and security. Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Opposition Leader Tony Abbott continue the tradition of Australia's bipartisan support for Israel

The Last Word: Time to join the Task Force

After more than a decade of activity, the ITF still generates energy, enthusiasm and creativity. It serves as a facilitator of co-operation and the exchange of ideas designed to bring about "best practise" in combating the malevolent ideas which lay at the basis of Nazism and acts as a counterweight to those who seek to deny, diminish and misrepresent the nature, and abuse the memory, of the Shoah.

Scribblings: Going Green?

There does seem to be one prediction on which most election analysts agree - the Australian Greens are likely to wind up controlling the balance of power in the Senate. This will be worrying to many in the Australian Jewish community because not only does the Greens party's membership base seem, on past form, susceptible to radical anti-Zionism, but some of the party's official policies look strongly concerning - to say the least.

Europa Europa: Terrorists before Citizens

Under cross-examination, Hamza declared that Jews control the British Foreign Office, the media and the money supply in Britain and the US. In sentencing Hamza, the trial judge said he had "helped to create an atmosphere in which to kill has become regarded by some as not only a legitimate course but a moral and religious duty in pursuit of perceived justice." Hamza is due for parole next year.

Election Face-off

Despite the obvious concern that accompanies any change of government - particularly one that had ruled for 11 years - by and large the changeover to the Australian Labor Party saw a continuity of bipartisanship on a raft of Israel and Jewish communal issues. The sudden change of the prime ministership from Kevin Rudd to Julia Gillard in late-June does not dramatically change this calculus and may even strengthen it, with the latter's long standing commitment to the Jewish State and the Australian Jewish community not in question. Indeed, Gillard reaffirmed her support for Israel upon assuming the leadership...

The Reset Button

All of a sudden we have seen a different type of meeting between Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu and Obama. And a major effort on the part of the President, for the first time since his election, to be nice to the Israeli people by giving an interview to an Israeli journalist. They have reached the conclusion that keeping a distance from Israel, picking unnecessary fights with Israel, was not going to advance the peace process. They have reached the conclusion that by distancing themselves from Bibi, from Israel, they are not getting anything in return from the Arab world. And therefore, the change.

The Conversion Factor

Current Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and, indeed, the vast majority of Israelis, agree with Sharon's original view that the partly Jewish immigration of the 1990s, which has since then demonstrated its patriotism, learned Hebrew, and contributed crucially to the economy's development, should be made Jewish under religious law with minimum hassle. Moreover, Netanyahu is particularly sensitive to the qualms of American Jewry, with whom he has been close for decades and whose strategic value to Israel is well known.