Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council

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Media Microscope - Nuclear Knockout Author: Allon Lee Categories: Australasia, Iran, Media/ Academia    

Whatever the merits of the P5+1 agreement on Iran's nuclear program, its significance was not lost on the local media.

ANU Professor Amin Saikal told ABC Radio Melbourne 774 "Mornings" host Jon Faine (July 15) that Iranian objections to military site inspections are reasonable to prevent "military secrets [becoming] widely known, particularly" because Israel "has kept threatening Iran with military attacks."

Faine responded, "does Iran drop the rhetoric of wiping Israel off the face of the map?"

Incredibly, Saikal said, "I think they have dropped that rhetoric... particularly since the rise of Hassan Rouhani to power."

Shatter Zones

Shatter Zones Author: Michael J. Totten Categories: Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Yemen    

The chattering class has spent months bickering about whether or not the United States should sign on to a nuclear deal with Iran. Hardly anyone aside from the Saudis, however, seems to recognise that the Iranian government's ultimate goal is regional hegemony and that its nuclear weapons program is simply a means to that end.

Iran Deal Empowers Hamas
Meshaal: Surprise invitation to Riyadh

Iran Deal Empowers Hamas Author: Khaled Abu Toameh Categories: Iran, Palestinians, Saudi Arabia    

Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist movement that has vowed to destroy Israel, is emerging as one of the biggest beneficiaries of the nuclear deal reached in mid-July between Iran and the world powers.

Emboldened by the deal, Hamas is now seeking to reap the fruits by tightening its grip on the Gaza Strip with the help of Iran. This, of course, is bad news for Hamas' rivals in the Palestinian arena, namely the Palestinian Authority (PA), as well as all those who still believe in the peace process between Israelis and Palestinians.

Print edition

Asia Watch: Fear and Loathing Author: Michael Shannon Categories: Asia    

Such is the mesmerising effect of atrocities perpetrated by ISIS that any act committed in its name appears only to be the tip of the iceberg. Far from its epicentre in Syria and Iraq, the spate of ‘lone-wolf' attacks means that Islamic groups and individuals expressing any identification with ISIS understandably fall under suspicion.

Deconstruction Zone: Human Wrongs Council Author: David Harris Categories: Israel, United Nations    

The 47-member UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on July 3 voted to assail Israel because of the Hamas-triggered war in mid-2014. That's right, assail Israel, not Hamas.

But then again, this is the inaptly named UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC). When it comes to Israel, these things are so routine they barely raise an eyebrow in the international community.
Hard as it may be to believe, tiny, democratic Israel has been the target of more country-specific resolutions at the UNHRC than all other nations combined.

The Last Word: Reclaiming Cohesion
Is this the face of "community cohesion"?

The Last Word: Reclaiming Cohesion Author: Jeremy Jones Categories: Australasia, Immigration/ Multiculturalism    

A mid-July contrast: In a number of cities and towns across Australia, small gatherings rallied to a call to "Reclaim Australia", and were generally confronted by counter-protesters calling for bigots to, well, go back to where they came from. Meanwhile, at the Parramatta campus of the University of Western Sydney (UWS), hundreds of academics, researchers, bureaucrats, politicians and others conferred on Advancing Community Cohesion.

Biblio File: Bullies, Dissemblers and Slanderers

Biblio File: Bullies, Dissemblers and Slanderers Author: Jeremy Jones Categories: Anti-Zionism, Media/ Academia    

Fast forward to 2015, where the most vocal of those in the forefront of anti-Israel activity brand themselves as supporters of boycotts of, divestment from, and sanctions on, Israel (BDS). 

While there may well be some individuals misled into believing peace, justice or some other worthy aspiration is served through joining the anti-Israel bully chorus, it is not difficult to show how this is, to say the least, delusory.

Essay: Washington's Iran Lobby

Essay: Washington's Iran Lobby Author: Sohrab Ahmari Categories:

The metamorphosis of Iran, in elite American opinion, from terrorist state into US partner is a long-brewing triumph for a certain set of ideas about the Islamic Republic and its relation to the nation it has called the "Great Satan" since its birth... Its basic purpose has always been to sell the Iranian regime as moderate, amenable to reason, even decent and democratic, relative to its neighbours. 

Israel and the Iran Deal
Netanyahu: Solid backing in Israel for Iran stance

Israel and the Iran Deal Author: Amotz Asa-El Categories: Iran, Israel    

By sheer coincidence, the deal to constrain Iran's nuclear program was signed during the three weeks in which Jews commemorate what began with the breaching of ancient Jerusalem's walls and ended with the torching of its Temple.

Though opinions in Israel vary concerning Iran's immediate threat to the Jewish state, the deal signed in Vienna in July left many Israelis feeling that diplomatic walls have been breached abroad. Yet political walls may soon be mended at home.

A Great Deal - For Iran

A Great Deal - For Iran Author: Elliott Abrams Categories: International Security, Iran    

It has taken decades to build the structure of international sanctions against Iran, and now we are entirely abandoning it. To believe that these sanctions can or will "snap back" - 60 pages' worth of listed firms, entities, companies, ports, ships, banks, individuals, and on and on - if Iran engages in some violation is foolish. 

Editorial: Empowering A Rogue Author: Colin Rubenstein Categories: International Security, Iran    

The Iranian nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), struck in mid-July by the P5+1, led by US President Barack Obama, poses a grave danger to peace and stability in the Middle East and beyond on two different levels. It not only fails to stop Iran's drive for nuclear weapons capability, it also actually strengthens Teheran in its efforts to destablise neighbouring states, its support for terrorism and its determination to achieve regional hegemony.

Media statement: ALP resolution

Media statement: ALP resolution Categories: Australasia, Israel, Media Releases, Palestinians    

"While there are aspects in the Middle East resolution adopted at the ALP conference today that can be welcomed, its general tenor and threat to support unilateral recognition of a Palestinian State under a future Labor Government are disappointing. This approach is likely to undermine, rather than constructively encourage, progress toward a negotiated, durable two-state resolution that remains the bipartisan consensus in Australia", commented AIJAC's national chairman Mark Leibler and executive director Dr Colin Rubenstein.

Questions about Iran nuclear deal inspection measures Categories: America, International Security, Iran, Updates    

As the debate about the JCPOA - the deal between Iran and the P5+1 powers on Iran's nuclear program - continues, one key area of dispute on which discussion has centred is the effectiveness of the inspection mechanisms put in place to confirm Iranian compliance - especially as it relates to future allegations of Iranian clandestine nuclear work at an undeclared nuclear site.

Carr's offensive ANU speech

Carr's offensive ANU speech Author: Sharyn Mittelman Categories: Australasia, Updates    

Former foreign minister Bob Carr gave a speech at Australian National University (ANU) on July 14, co-hosted by the Centre for Arabic and Islamic Studies and two Palestinian advocacy groups, Australians for Justice and Peace in Palestine (AJPP) and Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP). In it, he made crude and untrue comments about the "Israel lobby", suggesting sinister undue influence by the Australian Jewish community. For example, Carr spoke in his speech of "the Israel lobby and its quite objectionable control over Australian policy."

Iranian deal's a setback for international nuclear non-proliferation

Iranian deal's a setback for international nuclear non-proliferation Author: Sharyn Mittelman Categories: Iran, Media/ Academia, Op-eds    

Discussing the Iranian nuclear deal on CNN with Wolf Blitzer on July 15, US National Security Adviser Susan Rice said, "We should expect that some portion of that money would go to the Iranian military and could potentially be used for the kinds of bad behaviour that we have seen in the region up until now."  Ms Rice added, "But the goal here, Wolf, was never, and was not designed to prevent them from engaging in bad behaviour in region. They're doing that today. The goal is to ensure that they don't have a nuclear weapon, and therefore, when they are engaging in that bad behaviour, are that much more dangerous."  However, many analysts believe that is a key problem with the deal - it intentionally ignored Iran's "bad behaviour" - its record of supporting global terrorism and its human rights abuses.


Print edition
Iran: a better deal needed
US President Obama and Vice President Biden

Iran: a better deal needed Author: Colin Rubenstein Categories: America, International Security, Iran, Middle East, Op-eds    

At the heart of the international effort to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons has been the knowledge and understanding that Iran is a dangerous, expansionist rogue country and a leading state sponsor of terrorism that must be prevented from obtaining even the capability to produce the world's most dangerous weapons.

Is there "no alternative" - other than war - to the recently announced Iran deal?

Is there "no alternative" - other than war - to the recently announced Iran deal? Categories: International Security, Iran, Updates    

US President Barack Obama gave a long media conference on Wednesday (Washington time) on the Iran nuclear deal announced Tuesday, in which he defended the deal, while admitting it had some shortcomings and would have some negative consequences, such as boosting Iranian support for Hezbollah and the Assad regime in Syria. His key point was this, "“There really are only two alternatives here. Either the issue of Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon is resolved diplomatically through a negotiation, or it’s resolved through force, through war" while insisting that no better deal than the one reached was achievable. This Update is devoted to some replies to that claim (which is also the key claim generally made by most advocates of the agreement.)

The Iran Nuclear Deal: The day after

The Iran Nuclear Deal: The day after Categories: International Security, Iran, Updates    

As readers are no doubt aware, after years of negotiations a final nuclear deal between Iran and the P5+1 powers (US, UK, Russia, China, France and Germany) was announced yesterday.  A White House summary of the key provisions of the deal is here, while the full 160-page agreement can be read here. This Update offers some analysis of the deal's provisions and its implications, as well as a piece on the Israeli perspective of the deal.

One year after Operation Protective Edge, Hamas is to blame for Gaza's delayed reconstruction
Hamas member carries a model rocket, December 2014

One year after Operation Protective Edge, Hamas is to blame for Gaza's delayed reconstruction Author: Miriam Smallman Categories: Israel, NGOs, Palestinians, Updates    

The one-year anniversary of Operation Protective Edge, Israel's war to stop Hamas' rockets, saw the Australian media run stories that paint a bleak picture of the current state of the Gaza Strip. The stories tend to disproportionately focus on Israel's blockade as the key reason for Gaza's plight, ignoring Palestinian divisions that have undermined the transfer of aid.

...However, this past March, officials from the EU's five largest countries - Germany, France, Italy, the UK, and Spain - criticised the Palestinian Authority for not doing more to expedite Gaza's reconstruction. "There is positive movement on the Israeli side in everything regarding Gaza," one EU diplomat said.

Only Iran benefits from this appalling gamble
Iranians celebrate the nuclear deal

Only Iran benefits from this appalling gamble Author: Colin Rubenstein Categories: America, Australasia, International Security, Iran, Middle East, Op-eds    

The PM's caution and Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop's warning that Iran needs to fulfil its commitments are fully justified. The test must be whether the agreement, with the US, UK, China, France, Russia and Germany, will, in fact, stop Iran acquiring nuclear weapons - not just slow this down - and it appears to fail that test.