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Biblio File: Days of Future Past
Back in the confident days when Kibbutzniks were seen as leaders of the country

Biblio File: Days of Future Past Author: Liam Hoare Categories: Israel    

Of all the aspects and institutions of kibbutz life, the children's house is one that in particular continues to fascinate. The idea of collective child-rearing was to some extent born out of necessity. Not only did it conserve resources in an era of scarcity (both before and after Israel's founding) but also, at times, the children's house was the only building made of concrete in an environment of tents and wooden huts...

Iranian Protests

Iranian Protests Categories: Iran, Middle East, Updates    

This Update looks at the implications of current Iranian protests.

We lead with Iranian-American Ray Takeyh's article "The Islamic Republic of Iran is doomed" in Politico Magazine.

Iran Doubling Down on its Militia Model
A Fatehin unit of the Iranian Basij (Volunteer) Force drilling a Special Patrol Insertion/Extraction (SPIE) operation

Iran Doubling Down on its Militia Model Author: Farzin Nadimi Categories: Iran    

Fatehin is a little-known, semi-volunteer Basij special unit from the IRGC's Muhammad-Rasul-Allah Corps. Although it is closely associated with the Quds Force's advise-and-assist mission in Syria, it is mainly tasked with infantry fighting.

Print edition
Asia Watch: Laws and their limits
President Widodo: Invoking the national creed as a counter to strong Islamist undercurrents

Asia Watch: Laws and their limits Author: Michael Shannon Categories: Asia    

Indonesian President Joko Widodo's protracted struggle with Islamist groups bent on opposing him in all things is set to continue as the 2019 presidential elections approach. Legislative and judicial changes indicate a pushback against the illiberal forces that have harassed ethnic and religious minorities... But doubts remain as to whether these changes will be enough to counter deeper cultural currents.

Terror and Response in Sinai
Egyptian troops secure worshippers outside Al Rawdah mosque during the first Friday prayers after the attack in Bir Al-Abed

Terror and Response in Sinai Author: Yoram Schweitzer and Ofir Winter Categories: Egypt, Islamic Extremism, Terrorism    

The November 24, 2017 attack on al-Rawda Mosque in Bir al-Abed in the northern part of the Sinai Peninsula, apparently by Wilayat Sinai, a proxy of the Islamic State (ISIS) in Egypt, was the most deadly terrorist attack Egypt has ever known... Beyond the unusual scope of casualties, it was also unusual in its target: Salafi jihadist Sunnis massacring Sunni worshippers of the Sufi branch of Islam.

App
AIR New Zealand: NZ urged to follow US lead
NZ PM Jacinda Ardern: Critical of US move

AIR New Zealand: NZ urged to follow US lead Author: Miriam Bell Categories: Australasia, Israel    

The [Jerusalem] announcement has been greeted with enthusiasm from Israel and the Jewish diaspora, but by opposition and protest in many other quarters. In New Zealand, both official and public response followed a similar pattern.

On ABC Radio, AIJAC's Jamie Hyams explains recent foreign policy announcements by President Trump affecting Israeli-Palestinian issues

On ABC Radio, AIJAC's Jamie Hyams explains recent foreign policy announcements by President Trump affecting Israeli-Palestinian issues Categories: Israel, Palestinians, United States    

Listen to AIJAC senior policy analyst Jamie Hyams on ABC Radio "PM" today (Jan.3)  explaining the background to recent annoucements by US President Donald Trump on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, including recognising Jerusalem as Israel's capital and a threat to cut aid to the Palestinian Authority....

Behind the News - January 2018

Behind the News - January 2018 Categories: Iran, Israel, Palestinians, Syria    

An alleged Israeli strike on an Iranian base near the Syrian city of al-Qiswa on Dec. 1 resulted in the deaths of 12 Iranian personnel, according to Arabic media.

A second strike on Dec. 4 targeted a military research facility in the Jamraya area known to be producing weapons for the Assad regime.

Israel, as a rule, does not confirm or deny such attacks, but Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu warned in a video clip released two days prior to the strike that Israel will not tolerate an Iranian presence in Syria.

Deconstruction Zone: Living amidst "Days of Rage"

Deconstruction Zone: Living amidst "Days of Rage" Author: Yarden Frankl Categories: Israel, Palestinians    

The New York Times Jerusalem bureau chief... went out looking for tension and hatred and despair. I have no doubt that he found it and that the people he selected to interview really believe that the city is on the brink.

Yet his description is not what I find every day. I find a city where a remarkable number of its inhabitants are content and go about their daily life with no hatred or violence or "days of rage."

Essay: The Missiles of November

Essay: The Missiles of November Author: Uzi Rubin Categories: Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen    

Since the 2011 outbreak of what some still call with macabre humour the "Arab Spring", a bloody civil war has raged in Yemen, a war that has cost the lives of 10,000 civilians to date. This civil war is perhaps the least reported of all the upheavals to have engulfed the Arab world in the past six years

Rome and Jerusalem
A uniquely welcoming dialogue in Rome

Rome and Jerusalem Author: Jeremy Jones Categories: Interfaith Dialogue    

"Rome and Jerusalem", for many readers, will evoke the groundbreaking work by Moses Hess published in 1862, which greatly influenced left-wing thinking on the re-establishment of a Jewish State in the land of Israel.

In December 2017, these cities each hosted a significant event, both of which would have been unimaginable 75, let alone 150, years ago.

Not worth getting killed over

Not worth getting killed over Author: Ron Ben-Yishai Categories: Israel, Palestinians    

US President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital did not whip up quite the furore in the Arab and Muslim street envisioned by Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah and head of Hamas' political bureau Ismail Haniyeh.

The Arab street's reaction, in fact - as seen in a multitude of Muslim countries the world over - was relatively moderate and subdued...

Scribblings: Jerusalem exposes UN absurdities
The UN Security Council: Absurdities and illogic behind the “Extraordinary debate” on the recognition of Jerusalem

Scribblings: Jerusalem exposes UN absurdities Author: Tzvi Fleischer Categories: Israel, Palestinians, United Nations    

On Dec. 8, the UN Security Council convened an "extraordinary debate" to discuss the US Trump Administration's decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

This seems like an "extraordinary" thing to do. Why would the Security Council, whose primary role is overseeing the "maintenance of international peace and security" need to discuss the fact that one country recognised another country's capital?

A break with US policy?
The Knesset in west Jerusalem: The only way it can cease to be Israel’s capital is if the country is destroyed by war

A break with US policy? Author: Michael Totten Categories: Israel, United States    

Enough with the pearl-clutching already. US President Donald Trump's statement on Dec. 6 that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel is more bipartisan than anything he has ever said and likely ever will say as president.

The Dark Side of Arabic media
The Syrian Social Nationalist Party: Loyal support from Australian Arabic radio

The Dark Side of Arabic media Author: Ran Porat Categories: Australasia, Media/ Academia, Syria    

An examination of Arabic media in Australia over recent months has revealed that... antisemitic content and anti-Israel conspiracy theories are being actively promoted by various print and electronic media outlets operating in Arabic.

Particularly concerning is material that has been broadcast on the community based and partly government-funded radio station 3ZZZ in Melbourne...

Print edition
Israel's tunnel-busting breakthrough foils Hamas
A Hamas fighter inspects a bombed-out tunnel entrance in the Gaza Strip

Israel's tunnel-busting breakthrough foils Hamas Author: Amos Harel Categories: Hamas, Israel, Palestinians    

The Israeli army's discovery on Dec. 10 of a Hamas attack tunnel dug into Israeli territory in the Western Negev - the second such find in six weeks - reflects a shift in the military balance between Israel and Hamas.

The view from Jerusalem

The view from Jerusalem Author: Gerald Steinberg Categories: Israel, United States    

When US President Donald Trump issued his pronouncement on Jerusalem, traffic here came to a stop, stores were empty and we were all listening carefully. It's not because we needed the President of the United States to tell us where our capital city is located, but instead reflects the anticipation of righting a 70-year wrong...

Between the lines of Trump’s Jerusalem announcement

Between the lines of Trump’s Jerusalem announcement Author: Seth J. Frantzman Categories: Israel, Palestinians, United States    

On Dec. 6, in a 13 minute, 1,200 word speech, US President Donald Trump recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Although he promised a departure from failed policies of the past and sought to put his imprimatur on the peace process, much of the speech he gave was based on careful wording intended not to upset the status quo too much.

Editorial: Acknowledging the Facts

Editorial: Acknowledging the Facts Author: Colin Rubenstein Categories: Israel, Palestinians, United States    

Imagine if no other country would accept Canberra as the capital of Australia. We have our parliament, all government ministries, the High Court there, but to placate a neighbour with more international support, and a habit of issuing violent threats, no country will acknowledge that Canberra is the capital. Instead, they all locate their embassies in Melbourne, and insist the capital is there.

That, in a nutshell, is Israel's situation...

App
AIJAC guest Dr Matthew Levitt in the media

AIJAC guest Dr Matthew Levitt in the media Categories: Media/ Academia, Updates    

Dr Matthew Levitt, the Director of The Washington Institute's Stein Program on Counterterrorism and Intelligence, recently completed a successful visit to Australia and New Zealand as a guest of AIJAC.

In addition to briefing politicians, think tanks and law enforcement officials, Dr Levitt's busy schedule also included several media appearances, which can be streamed below.

After Islamic State's defeat, we can't abandon Syria to Russia and Iran
Putin and Assad's meeting at Russia's Hmeymim air base in Syria's Latakia Province last week

After Islamic State's defeat, we can't abandon Syria to Russia and Iran Author: Colin Rubenstein Categories: Iran, Middle East, Op-eds, Russia, Syria    

The so-called Islamic State is on the verge of defeat in both Syria and Iraq. With the sun about to set on this murderous organisation in both countries, the Americans and the Russians, both with boots on the ground, are engaged in complex and delicate multi-sided negotiations to redraw the map of Syria.