Ed: 42: January/2017
The genesis of the KGB's developing ties with Palestinian terror organisations can be traced back to the end of the 1960s. The Soviet spy agency had code names for the different factions making up the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO): Fatah, the main movement led by Yasser Arafat, was dubbed "Kabinet" (cabinet); the PFLP received the name "Khutor" (which means a small village or a farm in Russian); the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) was named "Shkola" (a school in Russian).
Duterte has expressed sympathy with the historic grievances of minority Muslims in Mindanao and would prefer talks to war with armed Islamist groups. But groups that have aligned with international Islamist franchises, whether al-Qaeda or Islamic State, can expect less sympathy.
On December 12, 2016, the first two F-35A jet fighters (dubbed "Adir," a word meaning "mighty" or "awesome" in Hebrew) landed in Israel. This is a major milestone in the long process of accepting the aircraft into Israel Air Force service, a process that began in 2008, when Israel first applied for the planes.
Terrorism took a new twist in Israel last month with a number of the many bushfires that devastated areas of the country, including Haifa, allegedly having been started deliberately as terrorist acts - while Hamas and other Palestinian and Arab groups and individuals celebrated the effects online. At least 12 people were arrested by Israeli police on charges of starting fires during the emergency.
Critics of Israel love to exploit Jewish fears and anxieties. The most extreme resort to Holocaust inversion, boycotts, blacklists, and other singling-out methods reminiscent of Europe's antisemitic past. US Secretary of State John Kerry likes to wave around the threat of Israel's demographic extinction.
A cluster of houses on a hilltop 70 metres under this peak has become a civic battlefield involving, besides the 40 families it houses, politicians, judges, activists and diplomats who sprawl from Jerusalem and Ramallah to Brussels and New York.
Named Amona, the community's distinction is not in its location - it is but one of more than 200 settlements where more than 350,000 Israelis live beyond Israel's former boundary with Jordan - not including Jerusalem, where an additional 200,000 live beyond the pre-1967 armistice lines.
Anyone who wants to understand why the conflict between the Zionist movement and the Palestinian Arabs has been going on for over 100 years won't find the answer in learned discussions of the question as to whether a quarter, a third or half of the Arabs were expelled during the 1948 War of Independence.
Fatah, challenged by Hamas on the one hand and Israeli settlement expansion on the other, was badly in need of a boost as it headed into its seventh congress, which ran from November 29 through December 4 in Ramallah.
But with the close of the conference and the announcement of the names of those elected to the Fatah Central Committee, it became crystal clear that the movement is stagnating rather than reviving itself.
During November and December, members of the Australian Jewish community engaged in robust debate in the mainstream media over the pros and cons of Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act.
In the Spectator Australia (Nov. 12) Australian Jewish News publisher Robert Magid argued that "for anti-Semitism and section 18C, it is an impotent tool." ...
In fact, 18C has been successfully used in a number of cases to stop the systematic distribution of antisemitic literature that denigrated all Jews as a corrupting influence in Australia.
Despite some sensationalist headlines, there is no data to support the claim that antisemitism in Australia is "sharply increasing" or even "on the rise".
But, while Australia is a tolerant, multicultural society, it is folly to ignore the reality that there are numerous antisemitic groups and individuals working vigorously to harm what they perceive to be Jewish interests.