Ed: 43: January/2018
Of all the aspects and institutions of kibbutz life, the children's house is one that in particular continues to fascinate. The idea of collective child-rearing was to some extent born out of necessity. Not only did it conserve resources in an era of scarcity (both before and after Israel's founding) but also, at times, the children's house was the only building made of concrete in an environment of tents and wooden huts...
Seven years after it was ignited by an unassuming street vendor in Tunis, the consequent chain reaction of political downfalls, civil wars, and geopolitical tremors has yet to come to an end... the conflicts across the Arab world have become a major destabilising force across the international system, while producing the century's bloodiest war.
Fatehin is a little-known, semi-volunteer Basij special unit from the IRGC's Muhammad-Rasul-Allah Corps. Although it is closely associated with the Quds Force's advise-and-assist mission in Syria, it is mainly tasked with infantry fighting.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo's protracted struggle with Islamist groups bent on opposing him in all things is set to continue as the 2019 presidential elections approach. Legislative and judicial changes indicate a pushback against the illiberal forces that have harassed ethnic and religious minorities... But doubts remain as to whether these changes will be enough to counter deeper cultural currents.
The November 24, 2017 attack on al-Rawda Mosque in Bir al-Abed in the northern part of the Sinai Peninsula, apparently by Wilayat Sinai, a proxy of the Islamic State (ISIS) in Egypt, was the most deadly terrorist attack Egypt has ever known... Beyond the unusual scope of casualties, it was also unusual in its target: Salafi jihadist Sunnis massacring Sunni worshippers of the Sufi branch of Islam.
Although President Trump's Jerusalem announcement was frequently met in the mainstream media with a version of "Chicken Little", rational analyses were not completely missing in action.
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop did not answer Fran Kelly's question of whether it made peace harder to achieve, instead reiterating the need for both sides to negotiate a peace deal.
The [Jerusalem] announcement has been greeted with enthusiasm from Israel and the Jewish diaspora, but by opposition and protest in many other quarters. In New Zealand, both official and public response followed a similar pattern.
The New York Times Jerusalem bureau chief... went out looking for tension and hatred and despair. I have no doubt that he found it and that the people he selected to interview really believe that the city is on the brink.
Yet his description is not what I find every day. I find a city where a remarkable number of its inhabitants are content and go about their daily life with no hatred or violence or "days of rage."
An alleged Israeli strike on an Iranian base near the Syrian city of al-Qiswa on Dec. 1 resulted in the deaths of 12 Iranian personnel, according to Arabic media.
A second strike on Dec. 4 targeted a military research facility in the Jamraya area known to be producing weapons for the Assad regime.
Israel, as a rule, does not confirm or deny such attacks, but Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu warned in a video clip released two days prior to the strike that Israel will not tolerate an Iranian presence in Syria.