Ed: 43: March/2018
The title of the conference, "An End to Antisemitism!", was in and of itself a topic of much discussion. French philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy asserted that the only part of it he agreed with was the exclamation mark, while others even questioned this, proffering a question mark as an alternative.
Here's some good news from Jerusalem - according to a poll taken by Hebrew University, 60% of Palestinian residents of the city think that Palestinians should vote in municipal elections. Only 13% said they shouldn't.
Why is this a big deal?
The scorecard for those actively involved in the events over the skies of Israel and Syria on Saturday, Feb. 10, looks something like this: Israel lost an F-16 fighter jet and an aura of complete invincibility over Syrian skies.
Iran lost a drone, the drone's command and control centre, and some of its military assets in Syria...
A new Israeli report (February 2018) reveals a dramatic trend of expanding nuclear capabilities among Arab countries over the next few years... Dozens of nuclear reactors are in various stages of planning in the UAE, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Algeria, Tunisia and even Sudan (led by the wanted war criminal, Omar al-Bashir).
Israeli police have formally submitted their recommendation to the Attorney-General (AG) that Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu be charged with bribery, fraud and breach of trust in two cases.
Netanyahu denies all charges and is determined to remain in office. He appears under no immediate pressure from his coalition partners to resign, at least until there is a decision by the AG about whether to indict, which will take months.
Saturday mornings in the Jordan Valley are usually as tranquil as the fishponds that dot the river floodplains, but dawn on February 10 was different. A pilotless drone emerged from the north and glided several kilometres along the river before sparking an unprecedented Israeli-Iranian confrontation.
The cold war between Israel and Iran is heating up. At the same time, the countdown to either "fix or nix" the Iranian nuclear deal is ticking down, with an urgent deadline looming on May 12. These two aspects of the Iranian problem are linked.
The Iranian nuclear deal has "fatal flaws" and Australia should join other Western countries aligning with ongoing US efforts to fix them and strengthen the agreement ahead of a May 12 deadline.
This was the central message delivered in briefings by visiting Middle East scholar Dr. Jonathan Schanzer, Vice President of Research at the Washington-based policy institute Foundation for Defence of Democracies, to lawmakers, diplomats, journalists and community leaders in a multi-city tour of Australia in mid-February.