Ed: 41: May/2016
Having played a major role in sustaining the present Egyptian regime against political and economic challenges, the Saudis were now in a position to finalise the restoration of their sovereignty over the islands, control of which they had ceded to Egypt back in 1949 in the context of the latter's better ability to utilise them in the struggle with Israel - which has by now become irrelevant. Their legal case was apparently unassailable, and it was thus more a matter of when rather than whether they would actually assert their claim.
This came as no surprise to Israel.
The Age editorialised (March 28), following Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif's visit to Australia in mid-March, that Australia and Iran "do not, and will not in the near future, see eye to eye on matters of human rights."
The paper attacked Zarif's "hypocrisy about human rights" calling it "breathtaking" that he had said on ABC TV Iran did not like "some aspects of the way Australia treats Iranians, who have been basically lied to by human smugglers." The paper said for Iran "to chastise this nation, when thousands of its own people have fled persecution, is rich indeed."
While I support Israel because I see huge benefits for my Arab compatriots in emulating Israel and in adopting its human rights and democratic values and its enterprising spirit, you support Arabs while knowing that you and your community will get less than nothing in return.
Since you are educated (I assume that you are educated since you took a bold stand that most people in your faith community disapprove of) then you know that Jews like you were ethnically cleansed from all Arab countries. You also know that when Jews like you faced the Holocaust, no country in the world provided them a safe haven.
While the Islamic State territory in Syria and Iraq is receding, IS-linked entities still pose a deadly threat not only in Europe but also Southeast Asia, with hotbeds of activity in the southern Philippines and Indonesia's Central Sulawesi region.
Al Jazeera is in trouble. After two decades in which it enjoyed unconstrained rule over the Arab media and presented a threat to plenty of Arab regimes - mostly the moderate, pro-Western ones - the Qatari television channel finds itself in difficulties.
On 29 November 1947 over two-thirds of the United Nations membership voted in favour of General Assembly Resolution 181 proposing a partition of Palestine: 56% of the mandate territory was assigned to a Jewish state and 43% to an Arab state, with Jerusalem under international administration. The Jews in Palestine danced for joy in the streets all night. The following day, eight Jews were murdered in three Palestinian Arab attacks. The Arab war to prevent the implementation of the UN resolution had begun.
The Australian media generally presents the United Nations as an organisation staffed by good people, doing good work for the less fortunate.
However, through long and bitter experience, supporters of Israel feel somewhat more ambivalent towards the UN, seeing it as pathologically obsessed with excoriating Israel as inhumane tormentors of Palestinian paragons of victimhood.
For while Europeans are quick to differentiate between terrorists who strike within their borders and "militants" who strike in Israel, Israelis understand the fundamental nature of terrorism: whether it occurs in Europe or in Israel, it is essentially designed to visit indiscriminate death and destruction on the degenerate infidel, liberal and democratic.
While the attacks in Brussels are a tragic reminder of the ambitions of ISIS, we have yet to understand the inner workings of its ideology. Just days prior to the tragedy, Belgian authorities raided the home of Algerian Mohamed Belkaid, who was linked to the Paris attacks. Among the items they found were a Kalashnikov, an ISIS flag and a book on Salafism.
Shortly after the Jerusalem bus terror explosion attack on April 18, a number of Palestinian factions rushed to issue statements applauding the "heroic operation" and urging Palestinians to pursue the path of armed struggle against Israel.
The Palestinian jubilation over the terror attack, the first of its kind since the suicide bombings during the Second Intifada more than a decade ago, is yet another reminder of the growing radicalisation among Palestinians.