Ed: 42: October/2017
A little-reported stabbing incident, coupled with a large dose of Palestinian Authority-generated fake news, has revealed pretty much everything you need to know about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Kepel is particularly knowledgeable about the history and process of radicalisation that takes place in his nation's heavily Muslim banlieues (the depressed housing projects ringing Paris and other major cities), and Terror in France is informed by decades of fieldwork in these volatile locales.
The likeliest explanation for Hamas' sudden shift is the change in its leadership. Earlier this year, the results of the group's secret internal elections were announced as Ismail Haniyeh, a former prime minister in the unity government of 2007, and Yahya Sinwar, a hardline leader of Hamas' military wing, became the number one and number two leaders of the faction. Both represent a shift in Hamas' centre of gravity from the exiled political class abroad back to the Gaza-based military leadership.
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson declared on Sept. 17 that Iran is in "technical compliance" with the 2015 nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). This assertion ignores multiple Iranian violations of the letter of the accord. It overlooks the lack of transparency in the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) reporting on Teheran's nuclear conduct. It sidesteps the agency's failure to receive access to military sites where nuclear weaponisation activities may have occurred.
Visiting Beirut-based British correspondent Robert Fisk was typically opinionated and ill-informed on Melbourne ABC Radio 774 "Conversation Hour" (Sept. 4).
According to Fisk, "when I go to Israel... I have the habit as most Westerners do who want to believe that Israel is a good state, of going to talk to Israelis who share my point of view. So I go and talk to leftist liberal Israelis... and I think ‘this is the Israel I believe in'... But when I take the bus from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and I talk to people on that bus about the Palestinians, it is not necessarily the Israel I want to believe in."
Wow, so Fisk damns a nation of eight million people based on a bus ride.
Syria is now an Iranian-Russian satellite whose existence as a state depends on the military presence of its patrons. Indeed, six years later, the Alawite regime is on life-support provided by Russia, Iran, Hezbollah and Iranian satellite proxies.
Thanks to years of diplomacy between Moscow and Jerusalem, constant dialogue has been maintained to prevent a situation where the Kremlin is surprised by an Israeli move. Israel truly values this relationship and acts to safeguard it, both in cases where Russia does not approve of Israeli moves and where Israel does not approve of Russia's actions and arms deals.
The United Nations Security Council voted to renew the UNIFIL peacekeeping mission in Lebanon for another year, one day before its mandate was set to expire. The UNIFIL force... is supposed to enforce UN Security Council Resolution 1701, which among things, bars all forces other than the Lebanese Army from southern Lebanon. However, Israel says UNIFIL has increasingly turned a blind eye to a massive Hezbollah presence in the area.
Amidst the army crackdown in Myanmar's Rakhine State that has seen about 300,000 of the Muslim minority Rohingyas flee to Bangladesh, there are signs that the conflict is set to steadily deepen as nationalist identities collide with ethnic and religious loyalties.
The good burghers of Europe have long assumed that the decline of the ISIS caliphate would diminish the terrorist threat they face. They know better now. ISIS is no longer encouraging activists to join its ranks in Iraq and Syria. Instead, it is advising them to wreak havoc in their home countries.