Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council

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The Decline of Wilayat Sinai
Wilayat Sinai: One of the most prominent and dangerous partners of ISIS

The Decline of Wilayat Sinai Author: Yoram Schweitzer Categories: Egypt, Islamic Extremism, Terrorism    

Wilayat Sinai, an organisation identified with Islamic State, has recently suffered a series of serious blows from the Egyptian Army. Most prominent among them was the air strike in early August 2016 that killed dozens of senior commanders, launched as part of a targeted campaign against terrorism in Egypt in general, and in Sinai in particular. The recent decline in the intensity of Wilayat Sinai's attacks against the Egyptian army, alongside a drop in its media activity and propaganda systems, may point to cumulative damage to the organisation and a decline in its strength.

Essay: Inside the Gilded Cage
Iranian Jews feel obliged to conspicuously declare their support for the regime

Essay: Inside the Gilded Cage Author: Annika Hernroth-Rothstein Categories: International Jewry, Iran    

The advantages the Jews experienced under the rule of the Shah - high socioeconomic status, strong ties to Israel and the United States - became liabilities in the age of the Ayatollahs. As in many other dark eras in Jewish history, the Jews were accused of stealing the country's treasures, and flyers were circulated throughout Teheran urging vengeance against them. There was mass confiscation of wealth along with rampant antisemitism and violence against the Jewish population, and as the streets filled up with hordes of people chanting "death to America" and "death to Israel", many Persian Jews fled to those very countries.

Some of the Jews who remained in Iran decided to embrace the revolution and the nation's new rulers...

Deconstruction Zone: Did the "colonial powers" create Israel? Author: Jonathan Adelman & Asaf Romirowsky Categories: Israel, Palestinians    

As the years between 1897 to 1948 have long faded into distant memory, a popular myth that Israel was created by global and colonial powers against the will of the region has gained traction in certain quarters.

Yet history shows that Israel was created overwhelmingly against the will of these major powers. When not opposing the creation of Israel, these powers were at best vaguely tolerant when it seemed inevitable.

Print edition
The Money and the Message
Israeli acting National Security Adviser Jacob Nagel and US Undersecretary of State Tom Shannon sign the MOU

The Money and the Message Author: David Makovsky Categories: America, Israel    

On September 14, the United States and Israel signed a ten-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) under which Washington will provide US$38 billion in military assistance over the fiscal years 2019-2028... enabling Israeli military planners to make even longer-term acquisitions and bolster their technological edge in a turbulent region...

The MOU is an important signal of American support for Israel's security in the years ahead - in fact, the United States has no comparable arrangement with any other country. The agreement is also a message to Israel's adversaries that Washington's support for its ally remains uniquely deep, despite recent policy disagreements.

The Cyber-War Era
Stuxnet caused havoc on Iranian nuclear centrifuges from 2008-2010

The Cyber-War Era Author: AIJAC Staff Categories: Australasia, International Security, Iran, Israel    

Last month's Melbourne International Film Festival featured Alex Gibney's documentary Zero Days, taking viewers deep into the world of cyber warfare through the story of Stuxnet - the infamous cyber weapon that was unleashed on the centrifuges at Iran's secret nuclear facility in late 2008. Reportedly designed by the US and Israel, Stuxnet appears to constitute the world's first cyber attack to inflict actual physical damage on an industrial system - the inadvertent unveiling of a "new tool in warfare" - though, as the film highlights, it is unlikely to be the last.

Scribblings: Article 49(6) and the Settlements
Claims of Israeli settlements’ illegality are not applied to comparable instances of “occupation” around the world

Scribblings: Article 49(6) and the Settlements Author: Tzvi Fleischer Categories: Anti-Zionism, Israel, Palestinians    

Those who argue that any Jewish settlement in the West Bank is illegal have what seems a rather counter-intuitive interpretation - that is, the Occupying Power must not allow, must somehow stop, any of its citizens from residing in the occupied land, even if they want to, even if they own property there, even if, were the territory not occupied, it would be perfectly normal and proper for them to do so. Is this what the parties who drafted it meant, rather than prohibiting forced deportations of unwanted citizens or minorities?

The Last Word: Politics as Unusual
Senator Hanson: Should not be met with “politics as usual”

The Last Word: Politics as Unusual Author: Jeremy Jones Categories: Australasia, Immigration/ Multiculturalism    

Senator Hanson did identify some real challenges we face in this country, such as the attraction of Australians to the ranks of Daesh (ISIS), issues of integration, employment, misogyny and sustainable urban development.

Yet there was nothing in her speech to indicate her concern was with these issues in a general sense - her focus was on Islam (which she portrayed as monolithic) and Muslims (who seem to be only acceptable, to her, if they completely dissociate from Islam).

After ISIS - a New ISIS

After ISIS - a New ISIS Author: Jacob Olidort Categories: Islamic Extremism, Terrorism    

In August, US President Barack Obama reassured the Pentagon that Islamic State will "inevitably be defeated". US Government officials, generals, and pundits have been debating what could happen when the group is defeated in Iraq and Syria and have been hard at work penning ISIS obituaries...

The Retreat of ISIS
ISIS faces attrition of its manpower and its command and control structures

The Retreat of ISIS Author: Col. Jacques Neriah Categories: Iraq, Islamic Extremism, Syria    

Two years ago, the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq's (ISIS) blitz assault across a swath of land as big as the United Kingdom led to the establishment of the self-proclaimed Caliphate and fragmented both Syria and Iraq. The recent defeats inflicted on Islamic radicals, however, have considerably shrunk the areas under ISIS control in both countries.

Editorial: A Meeting of Minds

Editorial: A Meeting of Minds Author: Colin Rubenstein Categories: Australasia, Israel, Palestinians    

During her recent visit to Israel and the Palestinian Authority at the beginning of September, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop once again put her wisdom and diplomatic skill on display in navigating the diplomatic minefields of the simmering conflict, while at the same time deftly strengthening Australian-Israel ties.

AIJAC statement on the maiden speech of Pauline Hanson and other One Nation senators

AIJAC statement on the maiden speech of Pauline Hanson and other One Nation senators Author: AIJAC staff Categories: Australasia, Far Right, Media Releases, Updates    

The Australia/Israel and Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) today criticised the maiden speech of Senator Pauline Hanson, made Wednesday, in which she said Australia is "in danger of being swamped by Muslims, who bear a culture and ideology that is incompatible with our own", as well as statements by other members of her One Nation party.

Palestinian feminists contest issue of election discrimination & textbook stereotyping

Palestinian feminists contest issue of election discrimination & textbook stereotyping Categories: Events, Middle East, Palestinians, Updates    

Female activists in the Palestinian territories have had a lot to be concerned about over the past few weeks. First, several Palestinian electoral lists refused to publish the names and pictures of female candidates contesting the municipal election (originally scheduled for October 8), instead referring to these women as the ‘wife of' or ‘sister of' Palestinian men. Then, the release of new Palestinian textbooks to be taught in the first and second grade was met with outrage for its portrayal of women as witches and sorceresses.

Behind the News - September 2016
Muhammad el-Halabi: World Vision Gaza head and alleged Hamas operative

Behind the News - September 2016 Categories: Iran, Israel, Palestinians, Russia, Terrorism    

In the wake of the charges laid on August 4 by Israel against Muhammad el-Halabi, the head of the charity World Vision in Gaza, for allegedly diverting large amounts of aid to Hamas, Israel announced on August 9 that it had also arrested and charged a UN Development Program (UNDP) contractor, Waheed Borsh. It alleged Borsh was also diverting aid, including construction material, to Hamas and helping the terror group build a naval commando port...

AIR New Zealand: Controversy on Kiwi campuses
Prof. Scott Poynting: Odious comparison

AIR New Zealand: Controversy on Kiwi campuses Author: Miriam Bell Categories: Antisemitism, Australasia, Israel    

Last year a number of incidents occurred at several New Zealand universities which give cause for concern. One of these was an attempt - which failed - to block the visit, organised by the New Zealand branch of the Australasian Union of Jewish Students (AUJS NZ), of two former IDF soldiers to Victoria University...

But the most widely publicised of these incidents was what became known as the Scott Poynting affair.

Print edition
Settlement hype, not 'activity', reaches new high

Settlement hype, not 'activity', reaches new high Author: Ahron Shapiro Categories: Israel, Palestinians, Updates    

The significance of the issue of construction within Israeli settlements in the West Bank has long been overemphasised and exaggerated in international diplomacy, but White House and State Department criticism of Israel last week over construction in its West Bank settlements may just have set a new high-water mark for settlement hysteria.

Noted and Quoted - September 2016 Categories: Australasia, Media/ Academia    

Executive Council of Australian Jewry Public Affairs Director Alex Ryvchin ridiculed Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki's declaration that Palestinians will sue Britain for the 1917 Balfour Declaration supporting a Jewish national home in Palestine.

Ryvchin noted that the Declaration did not give Jews anything but "simply expressed... support for the idea that the Jews, a people indigenous to the land, should be able to return there to reconstitute their national home if they so desired."

In fact, it was "the League of Nations, the [UN's] predecessor" that recognised these principles as "binding international pronouncements... long before the Holocaust" thus "mak[ing a] nonsense" of the frequent claim by some pro-Palestinian advocates that Israel was created "to make others pay for their sins in relation to the destruction of European Jewry," Spectator Australia (Aug. 13).

Radioactive Terrorism - the next big threat?
Can emergency services ever be truly ready to meet the challenge of a radioactive attack?

Radioactive Terrorism - the next big threat? Author: Michael Eisenstadt and Omar Mukhlis Categories: International Security, Terrorism    

Concerns about nonconventional terrorism at the Rio Summer Olympics, and reports that persons involved in the November 2015 Islamic State (IS) attack in Paris had conducted video surveillance of a scientist employed at the Belgian Nuclear Research Centre, have revived fears that terrorist groups may be interested in building a "dirty bomb" using radioactive materials - also referred to as a radiological weapon or an explosive radiological dispersal device (RDD).

Asia Watch: Own goal
Malaysia concedes: Top level international football is unlikely to visit anytime soon

Asia Watch: Own goal Author: Michael Shannon Categories: Asia, Israel    

Malaysians avidly follow football... The ultimate dream is to host the FIFA World Cup. To make this outside possibility a little more likely, in 2013 Malaysia offered and was accepted to host the 2017 FIFA Congress that will determine the host nation of the 2026 World Cup.

As so often happens, politics trumped sport. That World Cup dream is now dust because of... Israel.

Explosion rocks Israeli satellite industry

Explosion rocks Israeli satellite industry Author: Rachel Kaye Categories: China, Events, Israel, Updates    

Israel's satellite industry is in crisis after a SpaceX rocket carrying an advanced Israeli communications satellite exploded on the launchpad at Cape Canaveral, Florida last Thursday 1 September. The accident and the subsequent loss of the Israeli-built satellite has been described as a "crushing blow" to Israel Aerospace Industries.