Ed: 40: November/2015
You may think, that almost 90 years ago, rumours of threats to Al-Aqsa and the Dome of the Rock due to evil "Zionist" plots to rebuild the Jewish Temple there would have been dismissed as ridiculous. After all, the Zionists of the 1920s were mostly secular, lacking both the motivation and the means, not to mention the power, to pursue such a project. But facts mattered as little back then as they matter now.
Sunday, October 18, wasn't just a day of baseball playoffs and football games. It was "Adoption Day," when all parties to the Iran nuclear deal must have begun preparing to implement its terms. And while the Obama Administration took another opportunity to pat itself on the back for its achievement, Iran has offered the international community a clear signal of what it thinks about its obligations under the deal, as well as its strategic intentions.
Abdolhossein Vahaji, Iran's Ambassador to Australia, told Fairfax's David Wroe (Sept. 12) his country supports the regime of Syria's Bashar al-Assad because without him "the situation is going to be worse...who is going to take over?...ISIS is going to take over."
Wroe sensibly noted, "the regime has killed far more civilians than Islamic State has in the four-year civil war, which has claimed about 250,000 lives."
Karsh challenges the received wisdom... among Western commentators and leaders that the agonies of the Middle East are traceable to the rough handling of the region by the Western powers - first European colonialists, then American cold warriors.
A side result of the horrors perpetrated by IS is the whitewashing of the crimes of totalitarian regimes and other terrorist groups, who have brutally murdered thousands around the world even before IS was created, and continue to do so today.
The moment came and went in seconds. Yet, the chance encounter between Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and his Israeli counterpart Binyamin Netanyahu in a corridor at the United Nations building in New York generated a torrent of chatter.
Najib explained that he had bumped into Netanyahu at a doorway at the UN headquarters, and that the handshake was impromptu. He was forced to decry "slander" after a picture of the smiling prime ministers was circulated online, but his explanation of the unplanned incident did little to quell his critics at home...
Oxfam, Christian Aid, Save the Children, War on Want... the clue, mostly, is in the names. These organisations, dedicated to relieving global poverty and human suffering, are sitting on the side of the angels and doing heaven's work. Or are they?
By now, it has become clear that our young Palestinian men and women have learned a lot from the Islamic State (ISIS) terror group.
This new "intifada" that some Palestinians are now waging against Israel should be seen in the context of the wider jihad that is being waged by the Islamic State, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Boko Haram and al-Qaeda against the "infidels, Zionists, apostates, Crusaders" and against non-extremist Muslims.
The upsurge in Palestinian terror and Israeli countermeasures received mixed media coverage.
Fairfax correspondent Ruth Pollard (Oct. 18) held both Israelis and Palestinians guilty of incitement, but largely downplayed Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas' responsibility.
On Sept. 21, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met with Russia's President Vladimir Putin, a meeting that focused on staying out of each other's way in Syria. According to statements by both leaders, it seems the meeting went well. Netanyahu emphasised Israel's main concerns in Syria, namely arms shipments to Hezbollah and Iran opening a new front against Israel in southern Syria. Putin gave his own analysis of the situation, stressing that the Assad regime is weak. Both sides agreed on forming a joint committee to coordinate their military activities in Syria.