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AIJAC's submission to the Federal Parliamentary Inquiry into Freedom of Speech and article 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act Categories: Australasia, Monographs/ Submissions    

AIJAC's submission to the Australian Federal Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights Inquiry into Freedom of Speech in Australia - including into the operation of Part IIA of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth) (RDA) (including ss. 18C and 18D) and the complaints-handling procedures of the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) - has now been published by the Parliamentary Committee

Israel and its conflicts with the Arab world: A Brief Guide for the Perplexed

Israel and its conflicts with the Arab world: A Brief Guide for the Perplexed Categories: Israel, Middle East, Palestinians, Reference    

Events in the Middle East continue to fill the front pages of newspapers and arouse heated debate around the world. Of all topics keeping the Middle East in the news, however, no sub-issue generates as much emotion, debate, and ire as the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

AIJAC's "Brief Guide for the Perplexed" offers a digestable guide to key events that have shaped the conflict and the complex situation that exists today.

Factsheet: Myths and Facts about the growth of Israel’s West Bank settlements

Factsheet: Myths and Facts about the growth of Israel’s West Bank settlements Categories: Israel, Reference, Updates    

A frequently repeated talking point on the Middle East is that Israeli building in settlements in the West Bank is supposedly taking up more and more land and making Palestinian statehood unviable...

These sorts of claims are based on a series of fundamental misunderstandings about the nature, scope and rate of Israeli building in West Bank settlements... This “fact sheet” presents some basic evidence to allow the discussion of Israeli settlements to take place on a factual and informed basis.

Submission on Freedom of Speech (Repeal of S.18C) Bill 2014 Categories: Australasia, Immigration/ Multiculturalism, Media Releases, Monographs/ Submissions    

This document constitutes the submission by the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) to Attorney-General George Brandis regarding proposed amendments to the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (RDA)...

AIJAC maintains that the provisions of Part IIA of the RDA have worked effectively for nearly 20 years, and that there is not a compelling reason for repeal or wholesale reform. 

Video: Ehud Yaari on the Middle East

Video: Ehud Yaari on the Middle East Categories: Egypt, Israel, Middle East, Multimedia, Palestinians, Syria, Updates    

Ehud Yaari is a renowned veteran Israeli journalist, arguably Israel's most authoritative and influential foreign affairs analyst. He is a Middle East commentator for Israel's Channel 2 news, has written eight books on the Israeli-Arab conflict and has won top prizes for journalism in Israel.

He addressed AIJAC supporters in Melbourne on the regional turmoil surrounding Israel – including Syria, al-Qaeda, Egypt and the Palestinians – on February 23, 2014.

Video: Dr. Matthew Levitt on Hezbollah's global reach

Video: Dr. Matthew Levitt on Hezbollah's global reach Categories: Iran, Lebanon, Multimedia, Terrorism, Updates    

Dr. Matthew Levitt is Director of The Washington Institute for Near East Policy's Stein Program on Counterterrorism and Intelligence; and a former analyst and adviser on counterterrorism to the US Department of the Treasury, the State Department and the FBI.

He addressed AIJAC supporters in Melbourne on Hezbollah's global reach and the Iranian threat on December 9, 2013.

Video: Ehud Yaari Q & A

Video: Ehud Yaari Q & A Categories: Iran, Israel, Multimedia    

Ehud Yaari, addressed an Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) luncheon in Melbourne on Monday 14 January 2013. This is the Q & A session following his main address on Israeli and Middle East issues.

Video: Ehud Yaari on Israel and the Middle East

Video: Ehud Yaari on Israel and the Middle East Categories: Egypt, Iran, Israel, Multimedia, Palestinians, Syria    

Ehud Yaari addressed an AIJAC luncheon on Monday 14 January 2013 on the following topics:

  • Australia and Israel, including Woodside's successful bid for developing Israel's gas reserves
  • Israel's elections
  • Egypt and challenges for the region
  • Syria
  • Israel, the Palestinians and the Two-State outcome
  • Iran's march towards nuclear weapons capability and American and Israeli strategy

John Howard comments on Israel, the Middle East

John Howard comments on Israel, the Middle East Categories: Australasia, Events, Israel, Speeches    

The former Prime Minister John Howard spoke at a dinner in Sydney conferring upon him AIJAC's Distinguished Leadership Award, attended by 280 supporters on November 29.

He was introduced by AIJAC National Chairman Mark Leibler at the function MC'ed by AIJAC's NSW Chairman Barry Smorgon, received his award from Frank Lowy and a vote of thanks from AIJAC Executive Director Dr Colin Rubenstein.

Dr. P R Kumaraswamy talks on the history of India-Israel relations [audio]

Dr. P R Kumaraswamy talks on the history of India-Israel relations [audio] Categories: India, Israel, Multimedia, Updates    

Dr. P R Kumaraswamy talks about the history of India-Israel relations, as part of an AIJAC Breakfast lecture held in Melbourne on July 16.

Dr. Kumaraswamy is a Professor with the Centre for West Asian Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, India. He has studied Israel since 1982 and is the author of India's Israel Policy, published by Columbia University Press in 2010.

Report on Antisemitism in Australia, November 2011 Author: Jeremy Jones Categories: Antisemitism, Australasia, Documents, Far Right, Immigration/ Multiculturalism, Islamic Extremism, Monographs/ Submissions, Reference    

It is a reality, if a regrettable one, that within the population of Australia there are individuals who are antisemitic. There are, also within our society, organisations which have as their primary purpose combating what they perceive to be the nefarious activities of Jews. There are some organisations which have agendas beyond, but which include, antisemitism. There are others which will employ antisemitism if and when they believe it will further their agendas.

PA President Abbas addresses the UN General Assembly

PA President Abbas addresses the UN General Assembly Categories: Israel, Palestinians, Speeches, United Nations    

The Question Palestine is intricately linked with the United Nations via the resolutions adopted by its various organs and agencies and via the essential and lauded role of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East - UNRWA - which embodies the international responsibility towards the plight of Palestine refugees, who are the victims of Al-Nakba (Catastrophe) that occurred in 1948. We aspire for and seek a greater and more effective role for the United Nations in working to achieve a just and comprehensive peace in our region that ensures the inalienable, legitimate national rights of the Palestinian people as defined by the resolutions of international legitimacy of the United Nations.

US President Obama's speech to the UN General Assembly

US President Obama's speech to the UN General Assembly Categories: International Security, Middle East, Speeches, United Nations, United States    

Mr. President, Mr. Secretary-General, fellow delegates, ladies and gentlemen: I would like to talk to you about a subject that is at the heart of the United Nations - the pursuit of peace in an imperfect world.

War and conflict have been with us since the beginning of civilization. But in the first part of the 20th century, the advance of modern weaponry led to death on a staggering scale. It was this killing that compelled the founders of this body to build an institution that was focused not just on ending one war, but on averting others; a union of sovereign states that would seek to prevent conflict, while also addressing its causes.


Israeli PM Netanyahu speaks to the UN General Assembly

Israeli PM Netanyahu speaks to the UN General Assembly Categories: Israel, Middle East, Speeches, United Nations    

Ladies and gentlemen, Israel has extended its hand in peace from the moment it was established 63 years ago. On behalf of Israel and the Jewish people, I extend that hand again today. I extend it to the people of Egypt and Jordan, with renewed friendship for neighbors with whom we have made peace. I extend it to the people of Turkey, with respect and good will. I extend it to the people of Libya and Tunisia, with admiration for those trying to build a democratic future. I extend it to the other peoples of North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, with whom we want to forge a new beginning. I extend it to the people of Syria, Lebanon and Iran, with awe at the courage of those fighting brutal repression.

But most especially, I extend my hand to the Palestinian people, with whom we seek a just and lasting peace.


Factsheet: The Palestinian Unilateral Declaration of Independence bid at the UN

Factsheet: The Palestinian Unilateral Declaration of Independence bid at the UN Categories: Israel, Palestinians, Reference, United Nations    


It will not establish a Palestinian state under international law

  • It is expected that the UN resolution will be blocked in the Security Council by US veto, and will pass in the General Assembly where it is non-binding.  The General Assembly cannot by itself establish or recognise a state, it can only admit new members after being nominated by the Security Council.
  • The General Assembly has already recommended the creation of a Palestinian State previously and the resolutions have not created a Palestinian state.
  • the Palestinians do not meet the traditional test for statehood – particularly the test of effective government – premature and unilateral recognition of an “unripe” Palestinian state could have a prejudicial effect on other regional conflicts. 
  • While it is arguable that the West Bank, or Gaza could meet requirements for statehood, the resolution being sought does not meet requirements for statehood as it seeks recognition of a united and independent Palestinian state on Gaza, West Bank and east Jerusalem.

Factsheet: The Gaza Flotilla

Factsheet: The Gaza Flotilla Categories: Israel, Palestinians, Reference    

Israel considers itself to be in a state of war with Hamas-ruled Gaza; Being at war with Hamas, Israel is within its rights to enforce a maritime blockade on Gaza in order to prevent Hamas from obtaining weapons and other materiel that would aid its war effort

Symposium: Perceptions of the Middle East and the Gaza War - Australia Author: Colin Rubenstein Categories: Australasia, Iraq, Israel, Media/ Academia, Middle East, Monographs/ Submissions    

The reaction of Australia's government, media, and elite, and public opinion to Israel's December 2008-January 2009 military operations against Hamas in Gaza was mixed. At the government level, both the Labor government as well as the Liberal opposition voiced strong, consistent, and principled support for Israel's right to defend itself.

Antisemitism in Australia - 2007/08 Author: Jeremy Jones Categories: Antisemitism, Australasia, Reference    

During the twelve months ending September 30, 2008, 652 reports were recorded of "racist violence" against Jewish Australians. These incidents included physical assault, vandalism, threatening telephone calls, hate mail, graffiti, leaflets, posters and abusive emails. This exceeded by 2% the previous highest total, recorded in the year ending September 30, 2007. It was more than twice the previous average annual total.

Submission to Senate Committee Inquiry into Academic Freedom - 2008 Author: AIJAC staff Categories: Australasia, Media/ Academia, Monographs/ Submissions    

AIJAC's position in this matter is that academic freedom is a right that should be respected, and that the balance between the right of academic freedom and the duty to educate students - as well as maximise excellence in academic research grounded in analytical clarity and quality empirical evidence - is one that can be maintained.

Alexander Downer speech to American Jewish Committee upon receiving the Ramer Award for Excellence in Diplomacy, Washington D.C. Categories: Australasia, Europe, International Jewry, Israel, Speeches, United States    

The Australian and American Jewish communities have a lot in common. In both cases Jews have found in our countries the peace and tolerance which was denied them over the centuries in Europe and the Middle East: but they have not only found freedom and tolerance in Australia and America, they have contributed mightily to our two societies.

Annapolis: Joint Understanding of Negotiations - 2007

Annapolis: Joint Understanding of Negotiations - 2007 Categories: Documents, Israel, Palestinians, United States    

The representatives of the Government of the State of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), represented respectively by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and President Mahmoud Abbas, in his capacity as Chairman of the PLO Executive Committee and President of the Palestinian Authority, have convened in Annapolis, Maryland, under the auspices of President George W. Bush of the United States of America, and with the support of the participants of this international conference, having concluded the following Joint Understanding

UN Resolution 181 - 1947 Categories: Documents, Israel, Palestinians    

United Nations General Assembly Resolution 181 called for the partition of the British-ruled Palestine Mandate into a Jewish state and an Arab state. It was approved on November 29, 1947 with 33 votes in favor, 13 against, 10 abstentions and one absent.

British Mandate in Palestine - 1922 Categories: Documents, Israel, Palestinians    

The mandates for Palestine and Syria came into force simultaneously on September 29, 1922. In this document, the League of Nations recognized the "historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine" and the "grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country."

The Balfour Declaration - 1917 Categories: Documents, Israel    

During the First World War, British policy became gradually committed to the idea of establishing a Jewish home in Palestine (Eretz Yisrael). After discussions in the British Cabinet, and consultation with Zionist leaders, the decision was made known in the form of a letter by Arthur James Lord Balfour to Lord Rothschild. The letter represents the first political recognition of Zionist aims by a Great Power.

UN Security Council Resolution 1701 - 2006 Categories: Documents, Israel, Lebanon, Syria    

In the midst of a military confrontation between Israel and Hezbollah militia forces in Lebanon in July-August 2006 which brought about hundreds of deaths and injuries on both sides, the extensive damage to civilian infrastructure and massive internal displacement triggered by the 12 July abduction of two Israeli soldiers in a cross-border raid, the requirements for a ceasefire agreement were discussed by the UN General Assembly, which referred the issue to the Security Council. After lengthy discussion, a final draft for a Security Council resolution was adopted on August 11, 2006.

Australia's Israel Question: A matter for civilised debate or partisan? (2006) Author: Alan Goldberg Categories: Anti-Zionism, Australasia, Media/ Academia, Speeches    

The catalyst for this conversation was the publication of Antony Loewenstein's "My Israel Question". But what is that question? Loewenstein calls it "a plea for mutual respect and understanding". Yet his text does not consider mutuality in any way. He says his central concern is "a sustainable future for Israel and the Palestinians".

Sharon-Bush Exchange of Letters - 2004 Categories: Israel, Palestinians, United States    

Israel is committed to the peace process, and aspires to reach a mutual agreement on the basis of two states for two peoples, the State of Israel as the state of the Jewish people and a Palestinian state for the Palestinian people, as part of the realisation of President [George W.] Bush's vision.

SBS-TV and the Middle East Author: AIJAC staff Categories: Australasia, Iraq, Media/ Academia, Middle East, Monographs/ Submissions    

This report originates in the long-running concern of the Australian Jewish community that SBS exhibits an entrenched and strongly pronounced bias against Israel in its news, reportage and selection of documentary material and in the lack of responsiveness, indeed negativity, of SBS to reasoned and documented complaints. It examines the problem of bias in SBS news and current affairs coverage of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

International Law and the Arab-Israel Conflict Author: Julius Stone Categories: Israel, Palestinians, Reference    

The late Professor Julius Stone was recognised as one of the twentieth century's leading authorities on the Law of Nations. Israel and Palestine, which appeared in 1980, presented a detailed analysis of the central principles of international law governing the issues raised by the Arab-Israel conflict.

Wye River Memorandum - 1998 Categories: Documents, Israel, Palestinians    

The following are steps to facilitate implementation of the Interim Agreement on the West Bank and Gaza Strip of September 28, 1995 (the "Interim Agreement") and other related agreements including the Note for the Record of January 17, 1997 (hereinafter referred to as "the prior agreements")