Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council

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Biblio File: Revisionism revisited
Jabotinsky clashed with mainstream Zionists on two key grounds

Biblio File: Revisionism revisited Author: Paul Monk Categories: Europe, Israel    

Heller's book on Jabotinsky and the Eastern European roots of Revisionist Zionism is a vital contribution. The miracle is that he has given us a wonderfully well researched, finely nuanced and deeply informative history, rather than an ideological polemic.

Deconstruction Zone: Why Israel Saved A Syrian Village
Israel’s Druze: Notably loyal to the Jewish state

Deconstruction Zone: Why Israel Saved A Syrian Village Author: Evelyn Gordon Categories: Israel, Syria    

For the third time in the last two years, Israel threatened military action to stop an attack by extremist Syrian rebels on the Syrian Druze village of Khader. It did so despite the fact that Syrian Druze have sided with the Assad regime in that war, meaning they're aligned with Israel's arch-enemies, Iran and Hezbollah; despite the fact that Khader itself has been the source of several anti-Israel terror attacks; and despite the fact that such intervention risks entangling Israel in Syria's civil war...

Stranger than Fiction - December 2017
Dean Issacharoff: Unable to incriminate himself

Stranger than Fiction - December 2017 Categories: Israel, NGOs, Palestinians    

"Breaking the Silence" is an Israeli NGO that campaigns against Israeli military policies in the West Bank by circulating often damning testimonies from soldiers and former soldiers about alleged human rights abuses of Palestinians...

Print edition
Asia Watch: Theory and practice
Zamihan Mat Zin: Exemplar of creeping official Islamisation in Malaysia

Asia Watch: Theory and practice Author: Michael Shannon Categories: Asia    

Under Prime Minister Najib Razak, the Malaysian government has long touted the merits of a cohesive and inclusive multi-religious society in the Muslim-majority nation...

But a string of racial and religious incidents has brought concerns of rising Islamic conservatism to prominence, as the government plays on identity issues to widen not only its advantage ahead of the coming election season but also the divide between Muslims and non-Muslims.

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Sadat's Visit - after 40 years
Anwar Sadat’s historic address to the Knesset in 1977

Sadat's Visit - after 40 years Author: Efraim Karsh Categories: Egypt, Israel    

Forty years ago this month, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat landed at Ben-Gurion Airport for a two-day visit in Jerusalem at the official invitation of Prime Minister Menachem Begin. The entire world held its breath.

Osama bin Laden's secret diary
Within these walls: Revealing documents from Osama bin Laden’s Pakistan compound are now being released

Osama bin Laden's secret diary Author: Clifford May Categories: Iran, Islamic Extremism, Middle East    

On May 2, 2011, a US Navy SEAL team made a brief stop in Abbottabad, Pakistan where they terminated Osama bin Laden's life and then moved on to their second mission: collecting as much information as possible from within the al-Qaeda leader's compound.

They carried off computers, memoranda, photos, audio files, even a 228-page handwritten diary - "the single largest collection of senior terrorist materials ever," a Pentagon briefer told reporters five days later.

Europa Europa: Domestic Unease
Simon Schama, Simon Sebag-Montefiore and Howard Jacobson: Intellectual luminaries alarmed at the tone of debate on Israel and Zionism

Europa Europa: Domestic Unease Author: Douglas Davis Categories: Anti-Zionism, Antisemitism, United Kingdom    

I have always felt a profound debt of gratitude to Britain. It did not roll out the red carpet but, rather impassively, it offered me a refuge and the opportunity to lead a normal life of anonymity, which is the blessing of a big city.

No more. Like many other Jews, I no longer feel at ease in Britain.

The Last Word: Un-credible

The Last Word: Un-credible Author: Jeremy Jones Categories: Australasia    

At an Australian Union of Students conference some decades ago, Ali Kazak, claiming to represent Yasser Arafat's Palestine Liberation Organisation, was standing behind a table piled with leaflets and booklets.

He started giving a presentation on the PLO, in which he made terrorists and hate mongers sound like Jedi warriors, when I asked if he would share with us the PLO Covenant and writings of its leaders.

Partition - the Legacy of November 29, 1947

Partition - the Legacy of November 29, 1947 Author: Mitchell Bard Categories: Middle East, United Nations    

The Jews of Palestine were not satisfied with the small territory allotted to them by the Commission, nor were they happy that Jerusalem was severed from the Jewish State; nevertheless, they welcomed the compromise. The Arabs rejected UNSCOP's recommendations.

The ad hoc committee of the UN General Assembly rejected the Arab demand for a unitary Arab state. The majority recommendation for partition was viewed as a more just solution and subsequently adopted by a vote of 33 to 13 with ten abstentions on November 29, 1947.

A Saudi-Israeli "affair"?

A Saudi-Israeli "affair"? Author: Sharyn Mittelman Categories: Gulf states, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Updates    

Is Saudi Arabia having an affair with Israel? For some time there have been reports of warming relations taking place behind closed doors, including sharing intelligence on their mutual enemy Iran and a rumoured secret visit to Israel by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman this year.

Is Palestinian reconciliation serious this time?
Hamas' Sinwar and Fatah's Dahlan: Key factors in the deal

Is Palestinian reconciliation serious this time? Author: Michael Herzog Categories: Palestinians    

On 1 November, the Hamas movement began the process of handing over the three Gaza border crossings to the Palestinian Authority (PA), as part of the September reconciliation agreement signed between them under Egyptian auspices. This agreement looks far more serious than the numerous ones that have been signed in the past...

Scribblings: Did the Balfour Declaration help create a Palestinian political identity?
Uncomfortable truths on Palestinian television

Scribblings: Did the Balfour Declaration help create a Palestinian political identity? Author: Tzvi Fleischer Categories: Israel, Palestinians    

It is impossible to know exactly what would have happened without Balfour, [but] there was a very good chance that no unified territorial entity of "Palestine" would have arisen. Instead the existing historical division of the area into different administrative units would likely have continued, albeit with different borders and overseers.

Back to Beersheba
Among the many watching the proceedings at Beersheba: NZ Governor-General Reddy, PM Turnbull and Israeli PM Netanyahu

Back to Beersheba Author: Ahron Shapiro Categories: Australasia, Israel    

Even before departing Australia for the landmark historic commemoration at Beersheba, the excitement was palpable. Flights to Israel, connecting through Asia, were heavily booked. One could not be unmoved by the unusual sight of row upon row of Australians flocking from city and countryside alike, packing the aircraft...

Crisis in Lebanon
Lebanese PM Hariri with Saudi King Salman in Riyadh

Crisis in Lebanon Author: Amotz Asa-El Categories: Lebanon, Middle East, Saudi Arabia    

Just what transpired when the 47-year-old Hariri arrived in Riyadh is unclear, but circumstantial evidence suggests the resignation was not his idea and its text was written by someone else.

Print edition
Danby vs the ABC

Danby vs the ABC Author: Allon Lee Categories: Australasia, Jordan, Media/ Academia, Op-eds, Palestinians    

You'd think that, with its $1 billion budget, the ABC could handle a little criticism. Not so, as Melbourne Ports ALP MP Michael Danby recently discovered.

In late September, Danby had the temerity to use his electoral allowance to run two advertisements in the Australian Jewish News questioning the reporting priorities of ABC Middle East correspondent Sophie McNeill.

How to Understand John Lyons’ “memoir” Balcony Over Jerusalem

How to Understand John Lyons’ “memoir” Balcony Over Jerusalem Author: Ahron Shapiro Categories: Australasia, Israel, Media/ Academia, Palestinians, Updates    

The recently published book by John Lyons, Balcony Over Jerusalem: A Middle East Memoir (co-written with Lyons’ wife, Sylvie Le Clezio) is being billed as a “memoir” of Lyons’ six years as Middle East correspondent for the Australian newspaper, from 2009 until January 2015...

However, on anything to do with Israel and the Palestinians, it becomes very unlike a memoir. Lyons’ book goes far beyond simple reporting and reminiscences and instead sets out to make arguments and judgments that nearly uniformly are devoted to criticising Israel, its Jewish citizenry and the country’s national character.

The real legacy of the controversial Balfour Declaration

The real legacy of the controversial Balfour Declaration Author: Gareth Narunsky Categories: Israel, Middle East, Op-eds, Palestinians, United Kingdom    

Last week marked the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, the famous letter in which the British government declared that "it viewed with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people"...

Unfortunately, there is a lot of misunderstanding about the declaration and the context in which it was issued.

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