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An Australian Hezbollah terrorist? No great surprise

Revelations by Bulgarian investigators that one of the suspects in last July's terrorist bombing of a bus carrying an Israeli tour group near the airport in Burgas, Bulgaria last July was both a Hezbollah operative and an Australian national should unfortunately not come as any great surprise.

Those who have closely followed the operations of Iran's terror proxy in southeast Asia and Australasia in recent years know that its presence in the region is substantial, and that Australia is regularly listed as one of the countries in which Hezbollah operates.

Asia Watch: Sporting colours

Emerging from nearly two decades of military rule, Myanmar has been a largely closed country known mainly for its iconic figure of democratic resistance Aung San Su Kyyi. Recent visitors have been surprised to find that amidst the transition to democracy, one may encounter young men sporting large swastikas and other Nazi symbols on t-shirts and World War II-style motorcycle helmets on the streets of Yangon.

The Last Word: A very long-term Engagement

The American Jewish Committee is, by any standards, an outstanding organisation, and its May 2012 Annual Meeting and Global Forum provided testimony to this effect.

From debates on Iran featuring analysts who individually would command respect and attention due to their expertise; through sessions where a variety of serving Ministers for International Affairs shared understandings of contemporary challenges; to a hugely informative and educational debate on the strengths and weaknesses of President Obama and Mitt Romney - there was hardly a word spoken which was unnecessary or uninteresting.

A political storm over Israel in Malaysia

A political storm in Malaysia over controversial remarks by opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim's on Israel has not yet come to a close.

Back in January, a war of words erupted between Anwar and several top government officials, including his former mentor Dr. Mahathir Mohammed, regarding Malaysia's policy on Israel - a raw nerve among the country's Muslim-majority population...

Asia Watch: The Old Bogeyman

One of the most reliable indices of political heat in Malaysia is when the spectre of Jews or Israel is invoked to discredit domestic political enemies. That no instance seems too far-fetched is an interesting indicator of how Jews are perceived in a country with no Jewish population of its own - a fantasy notion of Jewish omnipotence, antisemitism or probably a combination of both.

Asia Watch: A Fork In The Road

Either the prime minister's suite or a prison cell awaits Malaysia's Anwar Ibrahim, depending on how events play out over the coming months.

Asia Watch: “Out, Damned Spot!”

It's a sad commentary on much of the Islamic world that anyone seen to have a connection, however tenuous, with Israel or Jews is tainted and obliged to furiously deny any such link. So it was when Anwar Ibrahim, de facto leader of Malaysia's People's Justice Party (PKR), felt compelled to refute a statement by former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohammad that only Israelis would vote for him if he were to compete for the prime minister's post.

The Uni Cycle

In February, Prime Minister John Howard's Muslim Advisory Group met for the first time for 2006, and it was not a happy event.