Ed: 41: December/2016
The root of much anti-Zionism is antisemitism, not the other way around, and this is especially the case within the Muslim world, where it goes back to Muhammad himself and the denunciations of the Jews as such in the Quran. Moreover, antisemitism in Europe and in North America has been on the rise in troubling ways and it demands explanation, because it is out of all proportion to any empirical evidence or rational justification - as has always been true with this especially long-lasting and pernicious version of racism.
The Federal Court's dismissal of a racial vilification charge under Section 18C against three Queensland University of Technology students, and developments in the case against Australian cartoonist Bill Leak, reenergised the debate on the merits of the 20-year-old civil legislation - with PM Malcolm Turnbull announcing a parliamentary inquiry.
AIJAC National Chairman Mark Leibler argued in the Australian (Nov. 14) that the law's inclusion of the words "insult and offend" is not what is giving rise to controversial claims, as some keep claiming, but the behaviour of the Human Rights Commission headed up by Gillian Triggs.
ABC Jerusalem-based correspondent Sophie McNeill's online article (Nov. 14) focused on Israeli and Palestinian reaction to Trump's victory...
Amazingly, McNeill managed to only find Israelis welcoming Trump's win despite pre-election polling showing a majority of Israelis wanted Clinton to win - a point McNeill's report overlooked. An online ABC story during the campaign (Oct. 27) reporting on a pro-Trump rally in Jerusalem for dual American-Israeli citizens also ignored the majority pro-Clinton sentiment in Israel.
The Balfour Apology Campaign launched the first in a year-long series of global events at the House of Lords in London to decry the creation of Israel and to demand an "official apology from the British government for its past colonial crimes in Palestine." At the gathering, organised by the Palestine Return Centre and hosted by veteran Israel-hater Baroness Jenny Tonge, Israelis were compared to ISIS terrorists, Jews were blamed for the Holocaust, and Zionists were accused of not only inspiring the Holocaust but of holding the British parliament in its thrall.
Hamas in Gaza is facing an acute financial crisis as its overseas cash sources dry up. This is forcing the Islamist regime and its armed terrorist wing, the Izzadin Al-Qassam Brigades, to resort to increasingly desperate measures, such as using international aid organisations to funnel cash away from Gazan civilians.
With Ismail Haniyeh set to replace Khaled Mashaal as head of Hamas' political bureau in Qatar, reclusive Hamas official Imad al-Alami has reportedly been temporarily appointed to take over from Haniyeh in leading the terror group in Gaza.
Born in Gaza, al-Alami lived for several years in Teheran and then Damascus before returning to Gaza after the start of the Syrian Civil War.
The results of these elections do not necessarily indicate a complete overhaul of basic American policies on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Trump will perhaps declare his recognition of Jerusalem as the eternal capital of Israel, something his predecessors should have done a long time ago.
Aoun has long been a controversial figure in Lebanon. Once the country's most anti-Syrian political figure, since 2005 he has been aligned with the Assad regime and its principal ally in Lebanon, the Iranian-backed Shi'ite militia Hezbollah... While many welcome the potential end of political stagnation produced by the presidential vacuum, the key question is whether the agreement to elect Aoun also implies increased Iranian control.
Based on his record in office, Ahok remains the front-runner to win another term as Governor in elections next February, but his one liability is his identity - ethnic-Chinese and Christian.
The notion that an externally imposed solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is viable and ultimately in Israel's best interest is sheer folly. It proceeds from a set of wrong assumptions: that the failure to achieve a breakthrough is entirely Israel's fault ("the settlements," etc.); that a short sharp shock is all that would be needed to make Israel "come to its senses;" and that the only reason a solution has not yet been imposed is that Israel has been shielded from the consequences of its policies by powerful friends (mainly in the US).