Ed: 42: May/2017
An SBS TV "World News" (March 30) report from Greg Dyett was marked by its lack of context.
Reporting on the March 29 Arab League summit in Jordan backing the 2002 Arab peace initiative, Dyett said it "calls for a complete Israeli withdrawal from Palestinian territories."
Viewers weren't told the plan demands that Israel accept it without negotiations, including effectively recognising a Palestinian right of return.
The United States has repeatedly been surprised by major developments in Asia, sometimes catastrophically so. Think Pearl Harbor... the victory of Mao Zedong's Communists in the Chinese civil war... the Korean War... Vietnam... or the rise of a Chinese superpower competitor from the depths of Maoist misery.
Michael R. Auslin's The End of the Asian Century seeks to prevent Americans from again being surprised by the disruptions that still might come in Asia.
I asked him if the painful concessions he mentioned included recognising that likelihood as part of a land adjustment of the pre-1967 war lines.
Rajoub answered by raising his voice and saying absolutely not, all settlements were "a malignant cancer." Whose fault is it that they exist, he demanded to know, adding that it was Israel's problem to solve, not his.
In the wake of the April 4 chemical weapons attack on the Syrian rebel held town of Khan Sheikhoun, the former head of chemical warfare in the 5th Division of the Syrian army, Brigadier-General Zaher al-Sakat, who in 2013 defected from the regime, has stated that the regime has large amounts of chemical weapons which remain undeclared.
On the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, the Palestinians have launched a campaign calling for an official British apology and compensation. This effort illustrates the ways in which honour, internationalisation, symbolism and playing on Western guilt shape the Palestinian culture of denial, which impedes progress towards either a stable Palestinian state or peace with Israel.
The extraordinary media coverage surrounding Israeli PM Binyamin Netanyahu's historic recent visit is well and truly over. Yet, even in a quiet month, the media found Israel and its relationship with the Palestinians a gift that keeps on giving.
On the level of the world powers, the US attack demonstrated Trump's willingness to employ military force independently for the purpose of upholding international norms and enforcing previous resolutions, even after Russia and China vetoed a resolution in the Security Council in this regard.
In reality, there is a high degree of misunderstanding about what freedom of speech means. All too often, people seem to think the principle only applies if they agree with what is being said - with anything else being re-defined as "hate speech".
This tendency has been further complicated by the growth of the internet and social media and all that they entail. While they provide more people with platforms to express their views, they have also led to an increased aversion to hearing differing points of view.
As Trump, Tillerson and Secretary of Defence James Mattis deal with other pressing problems, they're beginning to realise the implications of Obama's decision to decouple the nuclear question from other concerns about Iran's behaviour.
Israeli settlement activity was in the news in early April because the Trump Administration had been steadily defining its policy.
What has emerged is a good policy: sensible, flexible, and realistic...
Obama policy had made construction in the settlements a sore point for eight full years. This was one reason among many for the constant tension between the government of Israel and that of the United States during all of Mr. Obama's term in office.