Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council

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AIJAC's Israel 70th Anniversary statement

AIJAC's Israel 70th Anniversary statement Categories: Israel    

The 70th anniversary of Israel's independence is a time to celebrate the incredible achievements of the Jewish State in such a short period, and also to reflect on the challenges ahead.

Having survived its troubled genesis, being invaded from all sides, much subsequent violence and diplomatic adversity, and, until recently, a lack of natural resources, Israel nonetheless thrives and prospers.

After the US-UK-French attack in Syria
The USS Monterey guided missile-cruiser fires a Tomahawk missile in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations against Syria over its use of chemical weapons, April 14, 2018

After the US-UK-French attack in Syria Categories: Middle East, Syria, Updates    

As reader are undoubtedly aware, on Saturday, 105 missiles were fired by American, British and French military units at Syrian chemical weapons research and storage sites, in punishment for the latest Assad regime chemical weapons attack in Douma on April 7, which killed at least 75 people. This Update looks at the significance of that attack for the future situation in Syria.

More on the Gaza "March of Return"
Palestinian men wave their national flags as smoke billows from tyres burned by Gazans at the Israel-Gaza border during a protest, east of Gaza City in the Gaza Strip, on April 6, 2018

More on the Gaza "March of Return" Categories: Hamas, Israel, Palestinians, Updates    

This Update follows up on the previous one in analysing the ongoing violence along the borders of Gaza - orchestrated under the rubric of the so-called "Great March of Return" - which began on March 30, had a second major flare-up last Friday, and is expected to continue until mid-May.

Print edition
An ABC platform for a well-known antisemitic crank
Stephen Sizer

An ABC platform for a well-known antisemitic crank Author: Oved Lobel Categories: Antisemitism, Australasia, Media/ Academia, Updates    

With special sensitivity and acumen, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation decided to kick off the Passover and Easter holidays, a time historically associated with anti-Jewish blood libels, by inviting the almost comically antisemitic Reverend Stephen Sizer, former Vicar of Christ Church, Virginia Water, Surrey, onto its Radio National “Breakfast” program on March 30 – Good Friday –  to discuss Christian Zionism and Israel. His attitude towards Christian Zionism, as with anything relating to Israel, is rather negative. “In its extreme form, Christian Zionism… is very little different to ISIS or Al-Qaeda in terms of what it’s prepared to support,” he said in an interview with Iranian Press TV in 2014.

Fatah looks beyond Mahmoud Abbas
New Fatah Vice-Chairman Mohammed al-Aloul

Fatah looks beyond Mahmoud Abbas Author: Yoni Ben Menachem Categories: Fatah, Palestinians    

Abbas is starting to realise that he may have to leave his position due to his state of health, and he wants to influence the choice of his successor while he still has the strength to do so.

Behind the News - April 2018
A car ramming near Mevo Dotan in which two IDF soldiers were murdered

Behind the News - April 2018 Categories: Iran, Israel, Middle East, Palestinians, Syria    

On March 18, a 32 year old father of four was stabbed to death in Jerusalem's old city by a Palestinian, who was subsequently shot dead by Israeli police. On March 16, two IDF soldiers were murdered in a vehicular attack near Mevo Dotan in the northern West Bank. The driver was arrested.
On March 18, IDF forces blocked and neutralised a Hamas terror tunnel which extended from Rafah, inside the Gaza strip, into Israeli territory (the sixth since operation Protective Edge in 2014).

Noted and Quoted - April 2018
Bob Carr: Comparison of Palestine and Tibet exasperates him

Noted and Quoted - April 2018 Categories: Australasia, Media/ Academia    

A profile of Bob Carr by the Australian Financial Review's Geoff Winestock included a vacuous explanation from the former foreign minister on why he is a vocal critic of Israel and yet is quiet on China's occupation of Tibet.

"I goad him by asking then why he is happy to attack Israel for its expansion of settlements in the West Bank but never mentions Tibet. He says Tibet is recognised as part of China but not even Israel itself claims ownership of the West Bank. ‘So I am critical of settlement expansion and want to see a Palestinian state with security guarantees for Israel.' The comparison of Palestine and Tibet exasperates him.

Asia Watch: Call and Response
Abu Dar: New Emir of Islamic State in South East Asia

Asia Watch: Call and Response Author: Michael Shannon Categories: Asia, Islamic Extremism    

Some five months after Philippine troops flushed out Islamic State-aligned militants in the southern city of Marawi, recent military-militant clashes show the Islamic State's local affiliates have regrouped and spread since last year's siege, still gaining recruits and threatening once again to become a rallying point for jihadists across the region. But the persistent regional threat has spurred ASEAN countries towards greater security cooperation.

Europa Europa: The final frontier

Europa Europa: The final frontier Author: Douglas Davis Categories: Israel, United Kingdom    

Israelis do not hanker for a return to the days of the British Mandate. Nor do they hide secret reservoirs of nostalgia for the sometimes-brutal British colonial police who once strutted about their streets. But they did react with undisguised pleasure to the decision by the UK Foreign Office last month that the future king, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, would this year make the first official visit to Israel by a senior member of the British royal family...

Pipes: Iranian regime "living on borrowed time"

Pipes: Iranian regime "living on borrowed time" Author: Sharyn Mittelman Categories: Middle East    

Dr. Pipes contends that part of the Iranian public's frustration with the regime is that they expected to see the benefits of the Iran nuclear deal, known officially as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), but that instead of improving the standard of living in Iran, the regime has spent millions in sanctions relief on fighting foreign conflicts in Syria, Yemen and Gaza.

The Last Word: Rules of Engagement
An Indonesian delegation inside Sydney’s Great Synagogue

The Last Word: Rules of Engagement Author: Jeremy Jones Categories: Antisemitism, Asia, Australasia, Interfaith Dialogue    

Having been asked by the Indonesian Foreign Ministry, via a local imam, to be the main speaker in the synagogue, I can report first hand on the thirst for knowledge on display.

None of the young Indonesians had ever met a Jewish person, nor even imagined being in a synagogue, let alone in a majestic, historic Jewish house of worship.

Australia should fund Palestinian welfare, but not "pay to slay"

Australia should fund Palestinian welfare, but not "pay to slay" Author: Sharyn Mittelman Categories: Australasia, Op-eds, Palestinians, Terrorism, United States    

A key obstacle to peace between Israelis and Palestinians is the institutionalised incitement to anti-Israel violence by the Palestinian Authority (PA)... Perhaps the worst aspect of this incitement, however, is the PA's "martyr" compensation scheme, which incentivises terrorism by providing lifetime monthly stipends to convicted terrorists and to the families of slain terrorists.

Print edition
Something is rotten in the Hamas terror kingdom
Possible suspect: Senior Hamas official Fathi Hamad

Something is rotten in the Hamas terror kingdom Author: Avi Issacharoff Categories: Hamas, Palestinians    

Once again, on March 15, an explosive device was detonated in the Gaza Strip. And once again it appears that Hamas was not responsible for the attempted terror attack. However, the spate of recent incidents in Gaza raises suspicions that something is particularly rotten in the "kingdom" of Hamas.

The aftermath of an assassination attempt

The aftermath of an assassination attempt Author: Jonathan Schanzer Categories: Hamas, Palestinians    

Palestinian Authority (PA) Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah emerged visibly shaken but unscathed after an assassination attempt on March 13 in the Gaza Strip. The soft-spoken former academic arrived in Gaza to open a sewage plant and attend some political meetings. He had barely crossed into northern Gaza when his convoy, which included Palestinian Intelligence Chief Majid Farraj, was rocked by two 33-pound bombs. Seven security guards were wounded and three cars were damaged in the attack.

Jihad in the Suburbs redux
Feiz Mohammad: One of a new generation of extremist preachers

Jihad in the Suburbs redux Author: Ran Porat Categories: Australasia, Islamic Extremism, Terrorism    

"This nation [Muslims] should know that it was [...] created to spread Allah's religion and lead the nations, and this could only be achieved by Jihad for the sake of Allah!"

These words were not said somewhere in the war ravaged Middle East by a supporter of ISIS or other extremist groups. They were not whispered in a dark room, hidden from public sight. This call for holy war, or jihad, was voiced loud and clear to a large crowd in a Sydney mosque just a few months ago.

Trying Times
Ahed Tamimi in one of her many confrontations with Israeli military personnel

Trying Times Author: Ahron Shapiro Categories: Israel, Palestinians    

Last December 15th, in the village of Nabi Saleh on the West Bank, then 16-year-old Palestinian Ahed Tamimi once again placed herself in front of a camera.

For years, Tamimi has been the subject of exploitative, incendiary videos on social media on her confrontations with Israeli soldiers recorded by her notorious extended family of virulent anti-Israel activists...

March Madness in Israel
Ultra-Orthodox Israelis voice their objection to the conscription law

March Madness in Israel Author: Amotz Asa-El Categories: Israel    

"An early election seems inevitable," Israel's most watched daily TV news bulletin reported on March 11. The political crisis that was gripping Israel at that time centred on ultra-Orthodox politicians threatening to bolt Benjamin Netanyahu's coalition unless the Conscription Law was amended so that more military-service deferments can be handed out to ultra-Orthodox men.