Ed: 42: April/2017
The Israeli economy may have seen one bigger deal in its 69-year history, but Intel Corporation's takeover last month of Jerusalem-based Mobileye will go down as a landmark whose technological, economic and international significance transcends its financial size.
At the start of March, the report of the Federal Parliamentary Inquiry into Freedom of Speech - recommending changes to the process for handling 18C cases but offering no consensus on the changing the wording of 18C and 18D - seemed to mark the end of the campaign to gut Australia's race hatred laws in the name of free speech.
On the surface, the wars in Syria and Iraq are continuing at full intensity. The fight between Iraqi government forces and Islamic State in western Mosul is proving a slow, hard slog...
But while the tactical contests are continuing, the general direction of events in both the war against Islamic State and the fight between Assad and the rebels is now clear.
The results of Jakarta's first round of gubernatorial elections might be confusing to many casual observers of Indonesian politics - the Christian and ethnically Chinese governor, Bauska Tjahaja Purnama, known as Ahok, came first. This happened even though Ahok has been, during recent months, in the eye of a storm that saw him facing a high-profile criminal trial - accused of breaking blasphemy laws by insulting the Quran, in a country dominated by a Muslim majority.
Although we were not told that this was the purpose of the assignment, I had little choice but to ridicule a book, by a widely published author, which was almost laughable in its argumentation and ridiculous in its conclusion.
The author was Richard Falk, a man who, from all reports, has actually been on a downhill trajectory from that low intellectual point.
The civil war in Syria entered its seventh year on March 15.
After six years that UN human rights chief Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein described to the UN Human Rights Council as "the worst man-made disaster since World War II," encouraging news came from Astana, Kazakhstan, in mid-March.
An obscure UN body has managed to do something many would have thought impossible - it has produced an anti-Israel document so extreme that even the UN itself rejected it.
Dear Mr. Greenblatt, I wish you only success as you set out on your bid to pave a path to progress on the Israeli-Palestinian front...
But since this has not hitherto been your primary preoccupation, and since you are the first official dispatched here by the new President for the purpose of peacemaking, allow me to offer some insights, from the perspective of an Israeli who has unhappily watched well-intentioned efforts at peacemaking fail time and again over the years.
Changing Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (RDA) makes no sense. The Parliamentary Inquiry into this provision, to which AIJAC provided a comprehensive submission and then, by invitation, extensive oral evidence, did not conclude that changing 18C was the best course.
Having reached the six-year anniversary, the death toll is now counted by the hundreds of thousands with a refugee crisis tallied in the millions. The catastrophe in Syria remains a dark stain on the soul of humanity that challenges previously held norms and assumptions.