Ed: 41: June/2016
Palestinian terror and the rejection of Israeli offers of a state were two key issues that the visiting mayor of Bethlehem Vera Baboun did not want to talk about when interviewed on ABC Radio.
On ABC Radio National "Religion" (May 11), Baboun complained that Bethlehem is separated from Jerusalem by a wall and is also subject to "many checkpoints". Host Andrew West said he travelled from Jerusalem to Bethlehem in 1999 which "took about 20 minutes. I'm not sure I could do that today, could I?"
Neither West nor Baboun pointed out the seminal difference.
Publicly, the Zionist Right was united by territorial maximalism. Yet Shindler demonstrates that, unlike the rest of the Right, Jabotinsky considered supporting the 1938 Peel Plan which called for partition of British Mandatory Palestine; though he eventually came down against it for practical rather than ideological reasons. Moreover, Jabotinsky strongly opposed - in principle - the transfer of part of the Arab population of the proposed Jewish state also suggested by the Peel Plan.
There is no shortage of opinions about the Philippines' President-elect, 71-year-old Rodrigo Duterte. A brash, foul-mouthed, misogynistic, fascistic strongman; a courageous, uncompromising, vengeful practitioner of rough "justice" that brought law and order to a city beset by criminal and political violence.
On May 5, the IDF discovered a Hamas tunnel stretching from southern Gaza into Israel and estimated to be 30 metres underground. The tunnel was the second discovered within a month. The Shin Bet internal security service has announced that it has obtained a large amount of valuable information about the Hamas tunnelling program, including the locations of tunnels, from two Hamas members caught after infiltrating into Israel
If it was true that you can judge a man by the company he keeps, Jeremy Corbyn would be an Israel-hating, antisemitic, Holocaust-denier. The newly elected leader of Britain's Labour Party would vehemently deny he is any of the above, but some of his best friends are one or more of these things.
As a boy, I spent many a Friday prayer in mosques hearing clerics wax lyrical about Jewish conspiracies and their intent to dominate the world and rid it of Islam. Descriptions of Jewish wealth, miserliness and hooked noses were commonplace. It just seemed normal and I didn't think twice about it until I started meeting Jews in high school, even being invited to my first bar mitzvah in Year 7.
Pro-Palestinian activist and writer Samah Sabawi's play "Tales of a City by the Sea," set in Gaza during the 2008/09 Hamas/Israel war, made waves with media reports that 1,300 students are studying it as part of their drama course in the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE).
Does the fact that the White House lied to the American people when it was selling the Iran nuclear deal to the media, Congress and the public matter? That's the question that a lot of the reactions to the astonishing New York Times Magazine profile of Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes by David Samuels (on May 8) haven't fully addressed.
Since New Zealand assumed its seat on the United Nations Security Council, Foreign Minister Murray McCully has raised eyebrows with some of his actions and statements regarding Israel.
He has regularly stated his desire to get Israel and the Palestinians back to the negotiating table. But, while doing so, he has repeatedly pointed to Israel's settlement activity as the key item threatening the viability of the two state solution. Conversely, he has generally refrained from giving any specific comment on Palestinian inctitement or recalcitrance.
Much ink is being spilled at the moment to mark the 100th anniversary of the Sykes-Picot agreement - the British-French deal, reached in the midst of the First World War, to, at war's end, divide up the Middle East possessions of the fading Ottoman Empire.
The intense interest in the agreement is perhaps understandable because of the current unstable situation in the Middle East - with central and important states like Iraq and Syria essentially ceasing to exist as political entities.