Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council

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Dear Jason
US Special Envoy Jason Greenblatt meets Israeli PM Netanyahu

Dear Jason Author: David Horovitz Categories: Israel, Palestinians, United States    

Dear Mr. Greenblatt, I wish you only success as you set out on your bid to pave a path to progress on the Israeli-Palestinian front...

But since this has not hitherto been your primary preoccupation, and since you are the first official dispatched here by the new President for the purpose of peacemaking, allow me to offer some insights, from the perspective of an Israeli who has unhappily watched well-intentioned efforts at peacemaking fail time and again over the years.

Print edition
Reports: Netanyahu has secretly been advancing regional peace plan

Reports: Netanyahu has secretly been advancing regional peace plan Author: Ahron Shapiro Categories: Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Palestinians, Updates    

Since taking office in 2009, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has often been criticised in the media for supposedly not doing enough to promote peace with the Palestinians and ultimately being responsible for the lack of progress in the peace process.

However, in recent days, new reports in the US foreign policy magazine, The American Interest, and Israel's left-leaning Ha'aretz daily have emerged detailing backchannel negotiations and discreet peace initiatives that Netanyahu and his emissaries have been making with - not only the Palestinians - but Egypt and a number of Arab states.


Egypt's Propaganda Problem
The predictable result of widespread antisemitic propaganda in Egypt

Egypt's Propaganda Problem Author: Haisam Hassanein Categories: Antisemitism, Egypt, Israel    

According to a recent report in the British Telegraph, Israel withdrew its ambassador from Cairo quietly some time ago due to security concerns. Over the many years of exchanging diplomatic missions, while Egyptian diplomatic missions have always enjoyed their stays in Tel Aviv, security concerns have regularly curtailed the Israeli diplomatic missions' movement in Cairo.

Noted and Quoted - March 2017 Categories: Australasia, Media/ Academia    

The media's fixation on Australian business people's Jewish background is alive and well.

In the Australian (Feb. 10), Graham Richardson critiqued PM Malcolm Turnbull's speech that called Bill Shorten a hypocrite for attacking his wealth whilst he himself meets with "Dick Pratt and Solly Lew and Lindsay Fox and all the other billionaires... in Melbourne".

According to Richardson, "the Labor Party in Victoria has had a longstanding and extremely close relationship with the Melbourne Jewish community. That community is extremely wealthy and counts among its membership a great many billionaires."

Fox is not Jewish but apparently only wealthy Jews interest Richardson.

Biblio File: Theft and Genocide Author: Jeremy Jones Categories: Europe, Holocaust/ War Crimes    

Children hear stories, children live stories. In two memoirs, both effectively presented, moving and powerful, readers are invited into the childhood, and later the lives, of children affected by genocide and state-sponsored terror.

Behind the News - March 2017
Yahya Sinwar (right) with his predecessor Ismail Haniyeh

Behind the News - March 2017 Categories: Egypt, Iran, Islamic Extremism, Israel, Palestinians, Syria, Terrorism    

On Feb. 17, Hamas elected Yahya Sinwar, a former Israeli prisoner who was released in the Gilad Shalit deal, as its new leader in Gaza.

While largely unknown to the outside world due to his preference to shun the media, Sinwar, a senior member of Hamas' military wing, is considered one of the most powerful men in Gaza, serving as the link between the organisation's political and military wings.

Beyond the photo-opportunities: The concrete results of Netanyahu’s visit to Australia.

Beyond the photo-opportunities: The concrete results of Netanyahu’s visit to Australia. Author: Shmuel Levin Categories: Australasia, Israel, Updates    

As the dust begins to settle on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's visit to Australia, it is worth taking stock of the specifics of what exactly was accomplished during this short four-day trip. While much has been written elsewhere about the visit and the broader Australia-Israel relationship, a number of specific concrete projects were also realised.

Essay: Moving beyond the slogan

Essay: Moving beyond the slogan Author: Alan Baker Categories: Israel, Palestinians    

The phrase "two-state solution" is repeated daily by international leaders and organisations. It has become the catch-phrase for anyone advocating resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian dispute.

However, the phrase is repeated without a full awareness of its history or of the practical aspects of its implementation in the realities of the Israeli-Palestinian dispute.

Deconstruction Zone: Does Israel Cause Antisemitism?

Deconstruction Zone: Does Israel Cause Antisemitism? Author: Alan Dershowitz Categories: Anti-Zionism, Antisemitism, Israel, Palestinians    

In a recent letter to the New York Times, the current Earl of Balfour, Roderick Balfour, argued that it is Israel's fault that there is "growing anti-Semitism around the world." Balfour, who is a descendant of Arthur Balfour, the British Foreign Secretary who wrote the Balfour Declaration a hundred years ago, wrote the following: "the increasing inability of Israel to address [the condition of Palestinians], coupled with the expansion into Arab territory of the Jewish settlements, are major factors in growing anti-Semitism around the world."

Asia Watch: Looking East? Author: Michael Shannon Categories: Asia, Islamic Extremism    

The self-proclaimed "caliph" of the Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, is... apparently searching for new territory and new recruits.

The Far East is certainly on his radar and one incubator might be the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao in the Philippines, specifically Basilan and other islands of the Sulu Archipelago...

Media Microscope: Unrecognisable Author: Allon Lee Categories: Australasia, Media/ Academia    

Israeli PM Binyamin Netanyahu's visit to Australia became a soapbox for some former senior Labor figures to call for Australian recognition of a State of Palestine...

The anti-recognition case, however, was made in editorials and op-eds based on reasoned debate and not declarative statements.

A Guide to Moving the US Embassy

A Guide to Moving the US Embassy Author: Einat Wilf Categories: Israel, United States    

To the President of the United States, attached please find a short four-step how-to guide for moving the American Embassy in Israel from its present location in Tel Aviv, Israel's cultural and economic capital, to Jerusalem, Israel's political capital.

Print edition
Trump and the Two-State Resolution

Trump and the Two-State Resolution Author: Jonathan S. Tobin Categories: Israel, Palestinians, United States    

Those who expected Donald Trump to effect genuine change in Washington still might be waiting for him to take action on some issues, but when it comes to altering existing Middle East policy, the President has not disappointed. With his refusal to specifically endorse a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the President has seemingly discarded the idea that has been the bedrock principle of US Middle East diplomacy for the past generation.

Netanyahu down-under: The view from Israel’s press

Netanyahu down-under: The view from Israel’s press Author: Shmuel Levin Categories: Israel, Updates    

As noted by Jerusalem Post journalist Herb Keinon, Israel often devotes much of its diplomatic energy towards its European critics, relative to that afforded towards good friends like Australia. As such, the recent visit by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Australia, a strong friend of Israel, gave the media a chance to focus on a change to this modus operandi.

The Last Word: Under the same sun
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin with his distinguished Indonesian guests

The Last Word: Under the same sun Author: Jeremy Jones Categories: Asia, Interfaith Dialogue, Israel    

Book-ended by beautiful Jewish and Muslim religious chants and a presentation on the wisdom of the late Abdurrahman Wahid (Gus Dur), the participants had a unique opportunity for open, honest, informed and passionate exchange of wisdom, opinions and knowledge.

This remarkable session was towards the conclusion of a day which had began with nine Indonesian Muslim religious leaders on AIJAC's Rambam program meeting with Israel's President, Reuven Rivlin.

The PA Succession Struggle
Fatah Deputy Chairman Mahmoud al-Aloul

The PA Succession Struggle Author: Yoni Ben Menachem Categories: Fatah, Palestinians    

Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas made new appointments to the Fatah leadership on February 15, 2017, and also named a deputy Chairman of the movement. He did not, however, solve the problem of the Palestinian succession struggle for the chairmanship.

Know Thine Enemy
Violent Muslim extremists draw upon some elements of Islam, but also 20th Century totalitarianism

Know Thine Enemy Author: Eran Lerman Categories: Islamic Extremism, Middle East    

With President Trump's administration now busily dismantling much of what his predecessor left behind, it is more important than ever to proceed from a clear identification of adversary forces. "Know thine enemy" is an ancient strategic precept that has been largely been forgotten in recent years. The fuzzy concepts of the Obama era have now given rise to the contrarian tendency towards an outspoken determination to defeat radical Islam.