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Asia Watch: Heavy hands

President Rodrigo Duterte has vowed to flush out the notorious Abu Sayyaf and allied groups from the thick jungles of Mindanao and the southern islands, but his roughneck authoritarian approach to all problems tends to derail any worthy initiatives.

AIJAC in Webinar Land

With crisis often comes innovation and opportunity. Thus, the coronavirus pandemic has seen a flourishing of webinars from Jewish communal organisations, with AIJAC in the vanguard.

Asia Watch: In the balance

The coronavirus pandemic is adding an extra layer of hardship to impoverished southern Thailand, already struggling to contain the disproportionate growth of infections, yet the lockdown has brought about a rare cessation of hostilities

COVID-19 and the Fate of Indonesian Democracy

While no government should be blamed for a pandemic, how they respond to it is fair game. And what we have seen from the Indonesian Government’s initial response has been inept, poorly communicated, indecisive, lacking transparency, and based on short-term economic calculations, not science.

Asia Watch: Stress Test

Given their proximity to the initial epicentre China, South East Asian nations reside in the first line of vulnerability... In the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia, the apparent lack of preparedness portends an unfolding disaster.

Asia Watch: They said it

Reflexive hostility towards Israel and sympathy for the Palestinians has been institutionalised into the foreign policies of Malaysia and, in a different way, Indonesia for several decades... There was a certain predictability in the response to the release of the Trump Administration’s peace plan for the Middle East.

Asia Watch: State of play

A new decade has brought some familiar problems. Efforts to contain and eliminate Islamist terror in Southeast Asia face the perennial challenge of vast, porous borders and now the prospect of hardened fighters returning home from the Middle East. 

Asia Watch: Forgotten but not gone

If the Thai military has reason to hope that steadily declining violence will render the bilateral negotiations irrelevant, BRN has an equally powerful incentive to remind its adversaries that it retains a military capability. 

Asia Watch: Tightening the net

The region’s thousands of islands and dense, mountainous jungles present acute security challenges. After beginning coordinated air and sea patrols in 2017 and agreeing to enhanced intelligence sharing last year, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines will launch joint ground exercises in August

Asia Watch: The other side of the coin

Faced with intractable antagonism in much of the Middle East and cooling relations with many European Union countries, Israel has found a largely pragmatic Asia presenting new opportunities and huge new markets.