Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council

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The Cyber-War Era
Stuxnet caused havoc on Iranian nuclear centrifuges from 2008-2010

The Cyber-War Era Author: AIJAC Staff Categories: Australasia, International Security, Iran, Israel    

Last month's Melbourne International Film Festival featured Alex Gibney's documentary Zero Days, taking viewers deep into the world of cyber warfare through the story of Stuxnet - the infamous cyber weapon that was unleashed on the centrifuges at Iran's secret nuclear facility in late 2008. Reportedly designed by the US and Israel, Stuxnet appears to constitute the world's first cyber attack to inflict actual physical damage on an industrial system - the inadvertent unveiling of a "new tool in warfare" - though, as the film highlights, it is unlikely to be the last.

Scribblings: Article 49(6) and the Settlements
Claims of Israeli settlements’ illegality are not applied to comparable instances of “occupation” around the world

Scribblings: Article 49(6) and the Settlements Author: Tzvi Fleischer Categories: Anti-Zionism, Israel, Palestinians    

Those who argue that any Jewish settlement in the West Bank is illegal have what seems a rather counter-intuitive interpretation - that is, the Occupying Power must not allow, must somehow stop, any of its citizens from residing in the occupied land, even if they want to, even if they own property there, even if, were the territory not occupied, it would be perfectly normal and proper for them to do so. Is this what the parties who drafted it meant, rather than prohibiting forced deportations of unwanted citizens or minorities?

The Last Word: Politics as Unusual
Senator Hanson: Should not be met with “politics as usual”

The Last Word: Politics as Unusual Author: Jeremy Jones Categories: Australasia, Immigration/ Multiculturalism    

Senator Hanson did identify some real challenges we face in this country, such as the attraction of Australians to the ranks of Daesh (ISIS), issues of integration, employment, misogyny and sustainable urban development.

Yet there was nothing in her speech to indicate her concern was with these issues in a general sense - her focus was on Islam (which she portrayed as monolithic) and Muslims (who seem to be only acceptable, to her, if they completely dissociate from Islam).

Print edition
The Retreat of ISIS
ISIS faces attrition of its manpower and its command and control structures

The Retreat of ISIS Author: Col. Jacques Neriah Categories: Iraq, Islamic Extremism, Syria    

Two years ago, the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq's (ISIS) blitz assault across a swath of land as big as the United Kingdom led to the establishment of the self-proclaimed Caliphate and fragmented both Syria and Iraq. The recent defeats inflicted on Islamic radicals, however, have considerably shrunk the areas under ISIS control in both countries.

Editorial: A Meeting of Minds

Editorial: A Meeting of Minds Author: Colin Rubenstein Categories: Australasia, Israel, Palestinians    

During her recent visit to Israel and the Palestinian Authority at the beginning of September, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop once again put her wisdom and diplomatic skill on display in navigating the diplomatic minefields of the simmering conflict, while at the same time deftly strengthening Australian-Israel ties.

AIJAC statement on the maiden speech of Pauline Hanson and other One Nation senators

AIJAC statement on the maiden speech of Pauline Hanson and other One Nation senators Author: AIJAC staff Categories: Australasia, Far Right, Media Releases, Updates    

The Australia/Israel and Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) today criticised the maiden speech of Senator Pauline Hanson, made Wednesday, in which she said Australia is "in danger of being swamped by Muslims, who bear a culture and ideology that is incompatible with our own", as well as statements by other members of her One Nation party.

Palestinian feminists contest issue of election discrimination & textbook stereotyping

Palestinian feminists contest issue of election discrimination & textbook stereotyping Categories: Events, Middle East, Palestinians, Updates    

Female activists in the Palestinian territories have had a lot to be concerned about over the past few weeks. First, several Palestinian electoral lists refused to publish the names and pictures of female candidates contesting the municipal election (originally scheduled for October 8), instead referring to these women as the ‘wife of' or ‘sister of' Palestinian men. Then, the release of new Palestinian textbooks to be taught in the first and second grade was met with outrage for its portrayal of women as witches and sorceresses.

Behind the News - September 2016
Muhammad el-Halabi: World Vision Gaza head and alleged Hamas operative

Behind the News - September 2016 Categories: Iran, Israel, Palestinians, Russia, Terrorism    

In the wake of the charges laid on August 4 by Israel against Muhammad el-Halabi, the head of the charity World Vision in Gaza, for allegedly diverting large amounts of aid to Hamas, Israel announced on August 9 that it had also arrested and charged a UN Development Program (UNDP) contractor, Waheed Borsh. It alleged Borsh was also diverting aid, including construction material, to Hamas and helping the terror group build a naval commando port...

AIR New Zealand: Controversy on Kiwi campuses
Prof. Scott Poynting: Odious comparison

AIR New Zealand: Controversy on Kiwi campuses Author: Miriam Bell Categories: Antisemitism, Australasia, Israel    

Last year a number of incidents occurred at several New Zealand universities which give cause for concern. One of these was an attempt - which failed - to block the visit, organised by the New Zealand branch of the Australasian Union of Jewish Students (AUJS NZ), of two former IDF soldiers to Victoria University...

But the most widely publicised of these incidents was what became known as the Scott Poynting affair.

Settlement hype, not 'activity', reaches new high

Settlement hype, not 'activity', reaches new high Author: Ahron Shapiro Categories: Israel, Palestinians, Updates    

The significance of the issue of construction within Israeli settlements in the West Bank has long been overemphasised and exaggerated in international diplomacy, but White House and State Department criticism of Israel last week over construction in its West Bank settlements may just have set a new high-water mark for settlement hysteria.

Noted and Quoted - September 2016 Categories: Australasia, Media/ Academia    

Executive Council of Australian Jewry Public Affairs Director Alex Ryvchin ridiculed Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki's declaration that Palestinians will sue Britain for the 1917 Balfour Declaration supporting a Jewish national home in Palestine.

Ryvchin noted that the Declaration did not give Jews anything but "simply expressed... support for the idea that the Jews, a people indigenous to the land, should be able to return there to reconstitute their national home if they so desired."

In fact, it was "the League of Nations, the [UN's] predecessor" that recognised these principles as "binding international pronouncements... long before the Holocaust" thus "mak[ing a] nonsense" of the frequent claim by some pro-Palestinian advocates that Israel was created "to make others pay for their sins in relation to the destruction of European Jewry," Spectator Australia (Aug. 13).

Radioactive Terrorism - the next big threat?
Can emergency services ever be truly ready to meet the challenge of a radioactive attack?

Radioactive Terrorism - the next big threat? Author: Michael Eisenstadt and Omar Mukhlis Categories: International Security, Terrorism    

Concerns about nonconventional terrorism at the Rio Summer Olympics, and reports that persons involved in the November 2015 Islamic State (IS) attack in Paris had conducted video surveillance of a scientist employed at the Belgian Nuclear Research Centre, have revived fears that terrorist groups may be interested in building a "dirty bomb" using radioactive materials - also referred to as a radiological weapon or an explosive radiological dispersal device (RDD).

Asia Watch: Own goal
Malaysia concedes: Top level international football is unlikely to visit anytime soon

Asia Watch: Own goal Author: Michael Shannon Categories: Asia, Israel    

Malaysians avidly follow football... The ultimate dream is to host the FIFA World Cup. To make this outside possibility a little more likely, in 2013 Malaysia offered and was accepted to host the 2017 FIFA Congress that will determine the host nation of the 2026 World Cup.

As so often happens, politics trumped sport. That World Cup dream is now dust because of... Israel.

Explosion rocks Israeli satellite industry

Explosion rocks Israeli satellite industry Author: Rachel Kaye Categories: China, Events, Israel, Updates    

Israel's satellite industry is in crisis after a SpaceX rocket carrying an advanced Israeli communications satellite exploded on the launchpad at Cape Canaveral, Florida last Thursday 1 September. The accident and the subsequent loss of the Israeli-built satellite has been described as a "crushing blow" to Israel Aerospace Industries.

Print edition
Essay: Bibi the Strategist?

Essay: Bibi the Strategist? Author: Lazar Berman Categories: Africa, Iran, Israel, Palestinians, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey    

In June, the Israeli journalist Amir Tibon wrote an article for Politico detailing Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's long-standing and bitter fights with Israel's defence leaders. Former IDF chiefs of staff and spymasters described Netanyahu as messianic, driven by personal calculations, and incapable of protecting Israel's interests. His former defence minister, Moshe Yaalon, said the Prime Minister's conduct had caused him to lose faith in Netanyahu, and ex- Shin Bet Chief Yuval Diskin said he "represents six years of constant failures."

Rabin's Transport Revolution comes of age

Rabin's Transport Revolution comes of age Author: Amotz Asa-El Categories: Israel    

Having first climbed up from Jaffa in 1892, the original railroad to Jerusalem runs south of the highway to Tel Aviv. A scenic feat of engineering, it respects the topography of the Judean Mountains, entering them from Beit Shemesh, the biblical Philistines' westernmost outpost, before climbing patiently along the slopes of the Sorek Creek, where the Bible says Samson once lived in a cave.

The new train will have no such patience.

Deconstruction Zone: Of Handshakes and Hate in Rio

Deconstruction Zone: Of Handshakes and Hate in Rio Author: David Rosenberg Categories: Antisemitism, Egypt, Israel, Middle East, Palestinians    

Israel can take some consolation from the official tut-tuts that followed Egyptian judoka Islam el-Shehaby's refusal to shake hands or ceremoniously bow to his Israeli opponent Or Sasson on August 12. 

Shehaby was reprimanded by the International Olympics Committee and Egyptian authorities sent him home. But the official and media response to the story only touched the surface of the incidents.

For the IOC, Shehaby's bad behaviour was "contrary to the rules of fair play and against the spirit of friendship embodied in the Olympic Values," but nothing more. For the media, the affair was another instance of Middle East tensions boiling over into the Olympics, like the Lebanese team refusing to let Israeli athletes board the same bus, and unconfirmed reports that Saudi judoka Joud Fahmy forfeited a match to avoid fighting an Israeli in the next round. 

Media Week - It's not all right; Church and Hate

Media Week - It's not all right; Church and Hate Author: Allon Lee Categories: Anti-Zionism, Antisemitism, Australasia, Islamic Extremism, Israel, Media/ Academia, Middle East, Palestinians, Terrorism    

On August 29, the Age, Canberra Times and Sydney Morning Herald websites ran a Washington Post report about the controversial Palestinian village of Susiya in Area C of the West Bank - that is the area under full Israeli control, with relatively few Palestinian residents.

The Israeli courts have ordered the village demolished, accepting arguments that it its residents are squatters and have illegally built there.

The report further stated that, "the Israeli government right now wants to formally annex Area C in the West Bank."

There is no Israeli government move or discussion to annex Area C.