Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council


YOU ARE IN: Home Page > Topics > Lebanon

Shatter Zones

Shatter Zones Author: Michael J. Totten Categories: Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Yemen    

The chattering class has spent months bickering about whether or not the United States should sign on to a nuclear deal with Iran. Hardly anyone aside from the Saudis, however, seems to recognise that the Iranian government's ultimate goal is regional hegemony and that its nuclear weapons program is simply a means to that end.

Bob Carr - a not so slick operator

Bob Carr - a not so slick operator Author: Ahron Shapiro Categories: Australasia, Israel, Lebanon, Op-eds, United Nations    

In his recently released diary and memoir, former foreign minister Bob Carr described his effort to change Australia's vote pattern on the UN General Assembly resolution "Lebanese Oil Slick" in late November 2012, and how he met resistance from then-prime minister Julia Gillard. Controversially, Carr even released private text messages between himself and Gillard on the subject.

Print edition
Bob Carr's "slick" manipulation of the facts

Bob Carr's "slick" manipulation of the facts Author: Ahron Shapiro Categories: Lebanon, United Nations, Updates    

During an interview with Radio National's Fran Kelly on April 10, former Foreign Finister Bob Carr raised a previously unreported story involving a vote in the UN General Assembly involving Israel. Carr used the story in an attempt to bolster his claim that then-Prime Minister Julia Gillard had been influenced by Australia's pro-Israel lobbyists to stymie any criticism of Israel.

A fairer interpretation of the evidence and facts of the case, however, creates a different picture - one of a rogue foreign minister being reined in for attempting to unilaterally downgrade Australia's relationship with Israel, without any policy consultation, justification or coordination with his prime minister.

Biblio File: Hezbollah’s global reach

Biblio File: Hezbollah’s global reach Author: Paul Monk Categories: Lebanon, Terrorism    

One is left with the impression, by the close of Levitt's book, that the counter-terrorism struggle against Hezbollah is being won. He writes, "All told, more than twenty terror attacks by Hezbollah or Qods Force operatives were thwarted over the fifteen month period between May 2011 and July 2012; by another count, nine plots were uncovered over the first nine months of 2012." But the evidence in the book should lead us to two conclusions: that it has taken a concerted, large-scale and largely undercover international effort to thwart all these attacks and that Hezbollah remains as committed as ever to its violent jihadist agenda.

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.

ABC, terrorists aren't soldiers

ABC, terrorists aren't soldiers Author: Ahron Shapiro Categories: Israel, Lebanon, Palestinians, Terrorism, Updates    

In a special year-end edition of ABC's Correspondents Report, host Elizabeth Jackson took her staff on the air with her for a "behind the scenes" look at the program and gave them a chance to discuss some of their favourite segments of the past year.

During the segment, Jackson recalled the most memorable report she heard in her seven years with the show. To her credit, it was a 2006 report by David Hardaker detailing a 1979 Palestinian terror attack on an Israeli family. Unfortunately, by erroneously describing the terrorist infiltrators as "soldiers", Jackson left listeners needlessly confused.

Essay: Winging It

Essay: Winging It Author: Jeni Willenzik Categories: International Security, Lebanon, Terrorism    

During a meeting of the European Union (EU) Foreign Affairs Council on July 22, a consensus was reached among the 28 foreign ministers representing each of the EU's member states. After months of discussion, it was agreed to ban Hezbollah's military wing. In doing so they joined Australia, Canada, the United States and Israel, among other states, in condemning Hezbollah as a terrorist organisation.

The move is likely considered a significant political achievement by Washington and Jerusalem, both of whom have long urged the EU to act to curtail Hezbollah's history of fundraising, garnering support and perpetrating violence in Europe.

However, like Australia, Europe chose only to implement a partial ban on Hezbollah, despite claims made by both Hezbollah's top leadership and counter-terrorism experts that no distinct factions exist within the greater unified organisation.

The EU's Partial Hezbollah Ban

The EU's Partial Hezbollah Ban Categories: Europe, Lebanon, Terrorism, Updates    

On Monday, the European Union agreed, after months of debate and negotiation, to ban the "military wing" of the Lebanese terror group Hezbollah (Australia, of course, similarly bans only Hezbollah's "External Security Organisation"). This Update focuses on the background and implications of this decision - as well as the wisdom of banning only the "military wing", rather than the whole organisation.

Media Week - Birds of a feather; Trigger-happy headliners; Down the memory hole

Media Week - Birds of a feather; Trigger-happy headliners; Down the memory hole Author: Allon Lee Categories: Israel, Lebanon, Media/ Academia, Middle East, Palestinians, Syria, Updates    

SBS TV's "Dateline" program (May 21) travelled to Greece to look at the worrying rise in the Neo-Nazi Golden Dawn movement which has used the economic crisis there to increase its Parliamentary representation through scapegoating Jews, foreigners, homosexuals and other rival political groupings.

Whilst it is clear that Golden Dawn mirrors its behaviour on the intimidatory tactics of fascism, Golden Dawn MP Ilias Panayotaros told Evan Williams that they take inspiration from Hezbollah, which has cannily attracted supporters over the years through the provision of social services.

As Panayotaros explained, "Golden Dawn wants to become and will become like the Hezbollah in Lebanon which in effect is a second government which helps even its poorest citizen and over time Golden Dawn will do more for our fellow citizens."

But that, of course, doesn't tell the full story. It's a pity that Williams did not follow up on the Hezbollah angle, and point out how it is not only a proscribed terrorist organisation in many countries but actually controls the Lebanese government.

The increasing perils of peacekeeping for Australia and others

The increasing perils of peacekeeping for Australia and others Author: Ahron Shapiro Categories: Australasia, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, United Nations, Updates    

The unrest in the Arab world commonly mislabelled as the "Arab Spring" has put a strain on United Nations and other peacekeeping forces in the region.

Peacekeeping troops - in which Australia currently and historically has played a role - have limited options for defence available to them according to their mandate, are intended to observe, liaise and act as a buffer between armies.

However, regional non-state actors filling a vacuum created from the weakened national authority in countries affected by the unrest have been increasingly taking advantage of the limitations of the peacekeepers by opportunistically using them as soft targets, bargaining chips and even human shields.

Hezbollah and the Syrian Civil War

Hezbollah and the Syrian Civil War Categories: Lebanon, Syria, Updates    

This Update deals with the aftermath of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah's very public announcement last week that Hezbollah was essentially completely dedicated to fighting "all out" on the side of the Assad regime in the Syrian civil war, following widespread reports that large numbers of Hezbollah fighters have been involved in the extended battle for the strategic Syrian town of Qusayr - plus what this means for Syria, Lebanon and the region.

Syria and Chemical Weapons/ Hezbollah in trouble?

Syria and Chemical Weapons/ Hezbollah in trouble? Categories: Lebanon, Syria, Updates    

With Israeli military intelligence concluding that Syria has been using chemical weapons against rebels - joining more equivocal claims by Britain and France - and now US intelligence sources largely agreeing, there are growing calls for the US to rethink its low-key policy on Syria - given that US President Obama last year said such use would be a "red line" which would change the American "calculus." This update contains discussion of the possibility and its implications.

Lebanon - ready to explode?

Lebanon - ready to explode? Author: Michael Totten Categories: Lebanon, Syria    

Lebanon always looks and feels like it's ready to erupt into armed conflict, but today it's more ready than usual. The Syrian civil war next door weighs heavily on this place. Sunnis and Alawites are fighting round after round with no end in sight in the city of Tripoli, and now the northern Bekaa Valley, between Mount Lebanon and the Syrian border, is likewise gearing up to explode.

Ban Hezbollah in all its guises or forever be victim to its terror

Ban Hezbollah in all its guises or forever be victim to its terror Author: Colin Rubenstein Categories: Australasia, International Security, Lebanon, Op-eds, Terrorism    

FOLLOWING revelations that an Australian passport holder is a terror suspect in the July 18, 2012, Burgas bus bombing in Bulgaria that killed six people, it is high time all countries, including Australia, banned Hezbollah in its entirety.

Bulgarian Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov said in an update on the investigation into the bombing, "There is data showing the financing and connection between Hezbollah and the two suspects . . . What can be established as a well-grounded assumption is that the two persons whose real identity has been determined belonged to the military wing of Hezbollah."

ABC interviews offer informed perspectives on Syria weapons strike

ABC interviews offer informed perspectives on Syria weapons strike Author: Ahron Shapiro Categories: Lebanon, Syria, Terrorism, Updates    

In the aftermath of reports of an Israeli attack on a Syrian weapons convoy, ABC Radio carried two interviews on Friday worthy of special notice.

On Radio National's Breakfast program, Fran Kelly spoke with Israeli Channel 2's esteemed journalist and analyst Ehud Yaari, who of course recently visited Australia and spoke at an AIJAC function, video available here

Hours later, on The World Today, Simon Santow interviewed former CIA operative Robert Baer.

Australia’s Woodside Petroleum goes to Israel

Australia’s Woodside Petroleum goes to Israel Author: Sharyn Mittelman Categories: Australasia, Israel, Lebanon, Turkey, Updates    

Australia's biggest oil and gas firm, Woodside Petroleum has announced it is buying a 30 percent share, valued up to $2.5 billion, in Israel's Leviathan natural gas field.

Israel, a nation once thought to be devoid of natural resources in recent years has found vast amounts of natural gas deep under its Mediterranean waters.  The gas finding may not only make Israel energy self-sufficient for decades but also a world leader in energy exports - including possibly to Europe and Asia.

The Woodside deal also highlights the changing political and economic ramifications of the new gas fields in the East Mediterranean.

Print edition
Europe and the New Antisemitism/ Lebanon heading for a Civil War?

Europe and the New Antisemitism/ Lebanon heading for a Civil War? Categories: Anti-Zionism, Antisemitism, Europe, Lebanon, Updates    

This Update contains two pieces from leading intellectuals dealing with the rise of "new" forms of antisemitism - forms where anti-Zionism is mixed with antisemitic beliefs and tropes - with a special focus on Europe. In addition, it includes a piece re-considering conventional wisdom on where Lebanon is heading in the wake of the assassination of intelligence chief Wissam al-Hassan two weeks ago.

If Assad falls...

If Assad falls... Author: Michael Totten Categories: Iran, Lebanon, Middle East, Syria    

Short of regime change in Teheran, the overthrow of Assad is the worst thing that can happen to the Iranian government and to Hezbollah. Iran will lose its only ally in the Arab world, and Hezbollah will lose one of only two patrons and its entire overground logistics network. Scud missiles and other enormous weapons can't exactly be mailed to Hezbollah from Iran through the Beirut international airport.

Pew Survey of Middle East reveals complex and sometimes conflicted feelings about democracy

Pew Survey of Middle East reveals complex and sometimes conflicted feelings about democracy Author: Andrea Nadel Categories: Afghanistan/ Pakistan, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Middle East, Tunisia, Turkey, Updates    

The Pew Research Centre's Global Attitudes Project has just released the results of surveys it conducted throughout the Middle East in the wake of the "Arab Spring." The surveys reveal some interesting insights about attitudes in the Middle East in the wake of the recent uprisings, including how Middle Easterners weigh democracy, Islamism, economic strength and political stability in their own societies.

The Syrian Civil War comes to Lebanon

The Syrian Civil War comes to Lebanon Author: Benedetta Berti Categories: Lebanon, Syria    

Recent weeks have seen violent clashes around Tripoli, Lebanon's second largest city located in the north of the country, between Alawite supporters of the Syrian regime and Sunni backers of the anti-Assad opposition forces. To many observers, this violent escalation came as a surprise, in light of the widespread assumption that Lebanon had so far been immune to the "Arab Spring." In fact, the opposite is the case: the regional turmoil has been felt keenly within Lebanon. The events in Syria have had a major impact on Lebanon, primarily because of the tight economic, political, and geostrategic relations that historically have linked the two countries.

In support of Assad, Hezbollah threatens war with Israel

In support of Assad, Hezbollah threatens war with Israel Author: Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz Categories: Lebanon, Palestinians, Syria, Updates    

While they come from opposing Muslim factions, Palestinian Sunni group Hamas and Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah have much in common: they are both designated terror organisations in most Western countries, Australia included; they both hold extremist and violent ideologies; they both fought wars with Israel in the second half of the last decade; and they have both received significant backing from Iran and Syria. That said, they seem to be diverging on that last point. With the ongoing violence in Syria, the last Hamas operative from the Damascus-based political bureau seems to have fled for Gaza, however it seems that Hezbollah is unwilling to follow suit and remains resolutely behind the ruling Assad regime...

Hamas and Hezbollah in Flux/ Sanctioning Iran's Central Bank

Hamas and Hezbollah in Flux/ Sanctioning Iran's Central Bank Categories: Iran, Lebanon, Palestinians, Terrorism, Updates    

This Update features two pieces on how Damascus-dependent terrorist organisations Hamas and Hezbollah have coped with the possible loss of President Bashar al-Assad as a key ally in the wake of the recent unrest in Syria.

First up is veteran Israeli Arab Affairs analyst Pinhas Inbari, who looks at Hamas' situation in the wake of the uncertain future in Syria and also Egypt. He notes that the leadership of Hamas is quite happy to be moving its alliance from Damascus to a Cairo dominated by their Muslim Brotherhood allies, as looks likely to eventuate.

Understanding the attack on the British Embassy in Teheran

Understanding the attack on the British Embassy in Teheran Author: Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz Categories: Europe, Iran, Lebanon, United Kingdom, Updates    

Following increasing threats of sanctions over the Iranian nuclear program, as was being progressively reported in the Guardian's liveblog, the UK embassy in Iran was stormed last night (Australia time) by a group of supposed "students". The British government has unequivocally held the Iranian regime responsible.

Even though France has been the strongest European champion of the new round of sanctions, as British journalist Christopher de Bellaigue noted in a 2008 article, the British hold a special place in Iranian paranoia...

The Special Tribunal for Lebanon should broaden its focus

The Special Tribunal for Lebanon should broaden its focus Author: Michael Immerman Categories: International Security, Iran, Lebanon, Middle East, Syria, Terrorism, United Nations, Updates    

In the latest development from the ongoing saga surrounding the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri, the UN will be holding off on the prosecution of the suspected assassins for the time being.

As reported, legal proceedings against Mustafa Badreddine, Salam Ayyash, Hussein Anaissi and Assad Sabra, Hezbollah members considered responsible for the assassination of Hariri, will not proceed in absentia.

Rather, the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, the UN-backed body tasked with prosecuting and resolving this matter, will wait for Lebanese authorities to arrest the four suspects.

The Shalit prisoner swap agreement - The Arab reaction

The Shalit prisoner swap agreement - The Arab reaction Author: Or Avi-Guy Categories: Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestinians, Syria, Terrorism, Updates    

Many reactions in the Palestinian street and media to the release of prisoners in exchange for the release of abducted Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit reveal a worrying and disturbing narrative of glorification of the returning terrorists and support for their heinous crimes and violent ways. Calls for future abductions of Israeli soldiers as bargaining chips for future prisoner releases were also common.

AIJAC UPDATE - The political and moral costs of the failure to sanction Syria

AIJAC UPDATE - The political and moral costs of the failure to sanction Syria Author: Tzvi Fleischer Categories: Europe, Iran, Islamic Extremism, Israel, Lebanon, Middle East, Palestinians, Syria, Turkey, United Nations, Updates    

Today's Update looks at Syria, Iran and Turkey against the backdrop of the veto by China and Russia of sanctions by the UN Security Council against the Assad regime in Damascus for its ongoing violent crackdown against anti-government protesters. The resolution was supported by nine members but, significantly, Lebanon, which occupies a temporary seat on the Security Council, abstained from the vote, as did South Africa, India and Brazil. After the vote the EU indicated it intended passing its own sanctions against Syria. Meanwhile Turkey's PM Recep Erdogan continues to use the Syria issue and relentlessly attacks Israel for his own regional ambitions. We offer a number of articles that reveal the changing dynamics in the Middle East that are are not receiving sufficient attention in Australia and elsewhere.

Cosmopolitan Lebanon Dances Back

Cosmopolitan Lebanon Dances Back Author: Tzvi Fleischer Categories: Lebanon, Updates    

While Lebanon is under the control of a Hezbollah-dominated government, and it is hard to know when or how the stranglehold of this extremist terrorist group will end, it is worth remembering that the cosmopolitan, modernising Lebanon is still in there and not defeated yet.

A reminder of this is this "flash mob" orchestration of a spontaneous dance number at Beirut airport....


Puppetry of the Predictable

Puppetry of the Predictable Author: Allon Lee Categories: Antisemitism, Egypt, Israel, Lebanon, Palestinians, Saudi Arabia, Updates    

An Egyptian religious TV channel has broadcast a mock trial of former leader Hosni Mubarak, who appears as a puppet, and is accused by child prosecutors, of being, essentially, a puppet of Israel.

The clip on al Hekma TV, includes a number of anti-Israel slurs that feed into the recurring motif of Israel and Jews as spoilers and poisoners of Egyptian society.


Weakened Hezbollah Shifts Blame Towards Israel

Weakened Hezbollah Shifts Blame Towards Israel Author: Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz Categories: International Security, Lebanon, NGOs, Syria, Updates    

Last week marked the fifth anniversary of the Second Lebanon war, fought between Israel and Lebanese terror group Hezbollah. Since the conflict concluded, Hezbollah has been systematically consolidating power in Lebanon and amassing arms for the next round of violence. However, there has not been a shot fired from Southern Lebanon into Israel for which Hezbollah has taken credit. This is in stark contrast to the situation before the incursion, when Hezbollah would periodically fire rockets and mortars into Israeli territory in order to raise tensions.

To mark the anniversary, Israeli academics Abraham Bell and Gerald Steinberg have written a piece in Ynet about a study that they are conducting on different NGO responses to the 2006 conflict, which has some rather disconcerting findings...

Sectarian Explosion beginning in Syria?

Sectarian Explosion beginning in Syria? Author: Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz Categories: Lebanon, Palestinians, Syria, Turkey, Updates    

The situation in Syria took an even graver turn yesterday. As the ruling Assad regime continues to brutalise dissenting citizens, some Syrians appear to be lashing out at the regime's minority Alawite sect. In retaliation, several Allawites went on a rampage of their own. Nada Bakri reports in The New York Times:

On Sunday, residents of Homs, Syria's second-largest city, discovered the bodies of three Alawites mutilated and dumped in a deserted area, according to Omar Idlibi of the Local Coordination Committees, a group that helps organize and document protests. All three were armed government loyalists, he said...

AIJAC UPDATE - How the 2011 flotilla flopped/The controversial "anti-boycott" law

AIJAC UPDATE - How the 2011 flotilla flopped/The controversial "anti-boycott" law Categories: Anti-Zionism, Antisemitism, Islamic Extremism, Israel, Lebanon, Palestinians, Syria, Turkey, United Nations, Updates    

AIJAC's latest email Update looks at why and how the 2011 Gaza flotilla gambit fizzled out. In contrast to 2010's headline-grabbing political stunt that acted as a Trojan Horse for the Turkish Islamist IHH charity resulting in needless deaths and injuries, this was no replay.

Print edition
Textbook antisemitism for Arab children

Textbook antisemitism for Arab children Author: Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz Categories: America, Antisemitism, Holocaust/ War Crimes, Jordan, Lebanon, Middle East, Palestinians, Saudi Arabia    

Hannah Rosenthal, the US State Department's Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat anti-Semitism, has just completed a visit to Lebanon, Jordan and Saudi Arabia in a bid to reduce the antisemitic content of their education syllabuses. As she told JTA, the State Department has found the textbooks produced in these countries to be replete with extremely offensive material regarding Jews, as well as Christians and women. The antisemitic subject matter included references to Jews as the "spawn of monkeys and pigs", as well as material from The Protocols of The Elders of Zion...

Is Iran really not at war with the West?

Is Iran really not at war with the West? Author: Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz Categories: America, International Security, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Updates    

Since the bulk of US forces in Iraq have been withdrawn, the country has been seeing an increasingly worrying spike in violence. What is especially concerning is the alleged source of this renewed upsurge in the conflict. As reported in The Washington Post last week:

BAGHDAD - Three U.S. soldiers were killed this week in a rocket attack at a U.S. base near the Iranian border, the military said Thursday, bringing June's death toll to 15 and marking the bloodiest month for U.S. troops in Iraq in two years....

Hezbollah and the Hariri Tribunal

Hezbollah and the Hariri Tribunal Categories: Lebanon, Syria, Updates    

This Update focuses on the impact of the unsealing of four indictments for Hezbollah members late last week by the UN's Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL), investigating the 2005 murder for former Lebanese PM Rafiq Hariri.

We lead with an analysis and backgrounder by Prof. William Harris, a distinguished specialist on Syria and Lebanon based in New Zealand. Harris goes through the detailed history of the tribunal process and recent Lebanese politics up until the important turning point reached last week. Harris argues that the "STL is the only serious route to ridding Lebanon of a culture of impunity and paving the way for real pluralist politics free of terror and murder" but also elucidates some reasons for optimism that it can still be effective, despite Hezbollah's opposition and control over the Government.

UN-backed Tribunal indicts Hezbollah members for 2005 Hariri murder Author: Geoffrey Levin Categories: Lebanon, Middle East, Syria, Terrorism, Updates    

The Special Tribunal for Lebanon, a United Nations-backed court investigating the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri, has issued indictments against four members of Hezbollah, the Lebanese Daily Star reports.

The indictments and arrest warrants have been delivered to the Lebanese cabinet - which has been Hezbollah-dominated since early this month. Some officials have tried to downplay the news. Interior Minister Marwan Charbel said that the announcement was not very important, as it is "just an indictment, and not a final verdict." Yet the results of this tribunal may have profound effects on Lebanon, as many have claimed the conviction of Hezbollah in the trial would be "explosive" for the small and politically unstable nation.


UN Tribunal Judge - Bashar Al-Assad ordered murder of Rafiq Hariri

UN Tribunal Judge - Bashar Al-Assad ordered murder of Rafiq Hariri Author: Tzvi Fleischer Categories: Lebanon, Syria, United Nations, Updates    

A new revelation has just added to the intense scrutiny already aimed at the repressive Assad regime in Syria in the wake of its bloody efforts to suppress a popular revolt over the past 3 months.

Detlev Mehlis, a German judge who previously headed a UN enquiry into the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, has gone farther than even before in fingering the Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, as directly responsible for the murder.

Speaking on German radio:

Detlev Mehlis said Syrian President Bashar Assad "ordered Hariri killed" because he feared the premier was cooperating with France and the US in order to overturn the Syrian regime and disarm Hezbollah.

Iran involved in crushing demonstrations in Syria Author: Sharyn Mittelman Categories: Iran, Israel, Lebanon, Syria, Updates    

Haaretz is reporting that they have information from a senior Israeli source that Iran's Revolutionary Guard and Al-Quds force troops are operating throughout Syria to suppress anti-regime demonstrations and that Iran's Revolutionary Guard also helped organise the violent demonstrations attempting to breach the Israeli border on "Nakba" and "Naksa" Day, that is, May 15 and June 6.

Turkey's Election outcome/Lebanon's Hezbollah-dominated government

Turkey's Election outcome/Lebanon's Hezbollah-dominated government Categories: Lebanon, Turkey, Updates    

This Update focuses on the outcome of the Turkish election on Sunday, while also offering expert comments on the new Hezbollah-dominated Lebanese cabinet.

First up is Soner Cagaptay, an analyst focussing on Turkey at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Cagaptay highlights some of the problems with the past 8 years of rule in Turkey by the Islamist-leaning AKP party of PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan, especially its legal persecution of journalists and media outlets critical of the government, and other illiberal means to suppress political opposition. But he is optimistic that the failure of the ruling party to gain enough seats to change the constitution or pass major legislation unassisted may mean it will compromise with the reformed and increasingly liberal opposition CHP party.

Editorial: The Winds of Change Author: Colin Rubenstein Categories: Israel, Lebanon, Middle East    

The winds of change appear to be blowing once again in the Middle East. Will the historical events in Tunisia be a defining moment for Arab states in finally moving away from tyrannical rule and towards the path of democratisation? Or will Lebanon, where Iran’s terrorist clients Hezbollah are seeking to call the shots, be the template for the region’s future?

The Israeli Way of War Author: Michael Totten Categories: Israel, Lebanon, Palestinians    

The dry forest on the Israeli-Lebanese border provided shade but little relief. Rain had not fallen for months, and the blistering season-long heat wave that would later set parts of northern Israel on fire was currently burning down forests in Russia.

Egypt in Turmoil/ Hezbollah gets its way Author: AIJAC staff Categories: Egypt, Lebanon, Middle East, Updates    

Today's Update deals with the fallout from the extraordinary three days of protest in Egypt, following the example of Tunisia. It also has some analysis of Hezbollah's apparent success in getting its preferred candidate, businessman Najib Mikati, in position to become Lebanon's next PM.

Mr. Ahmadinejad goes to Lebanon Author: Avi Issacharoff & Amos Harel Categories: Iran, Lebanon    

Despite the celebrations, the emotional speeches and the tens of thousands of people who came to see Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the southern Lebanon town of Bint Jbail on Oct. 14, it is far from clear whether his visit helped or hurt his Hezbollah proxy.

Print edition

Israel's Endangered Deterrence Author: Bren Carlill Categories: Israel, Lebanon, Palestinians, Terrorism    

There are few journalists specialising in strategic and security affairs more experienced than Ron Ben Yishai. After fighting as a paratrooper in the Six Day War, Ben Yishai turned to journalism full time. Since then he has covered, from the battlefield, the Yom Kippur War, the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, the first and second Lebanon wars, the Soviet war in Afghanistan, the NATO operation in Kosovo, the Russian-Chechen violence in 2000 and more. He has been wounded three times while covering various battlefields from the front line.

Hezbollah and last week's Lebanon border incident Categories: Israel, Lebanon, Updates    

This Update contains some selections from the large quantity of analysis that has been written about the situation in Lebanon in the wake of the fatal border clash between Israeli and Lebanese army forces last week. In particular, there is speculation that Hezbollah's increasing role in Lebanon, as well as expectations its leaders could be named as suspects in the 2005 murder of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, might have helped precipitate the episode.

Lebanon Border Incident/ The Arab League and Direct Israeli-Palestinian talks Categories: Israel, Lebanon, Palestinians, Updates    

As readers are probably aware, there was a significant clash between Israeli forces and the Lebanese Army yesterday, which left a total of five people dead. This Update deals with both this incident, as well as the prospects for renewed direct Israeli-Palestinian talks in the wake of last week's decision by the Arab League to approve such talks.


Lebanon, Hezbollah and UNIFIL Categories: International Security, Lebanon, Updates    

Following the revelation earlier this month by Israel security forces of specific details about Hezbollah military infrastructure in Southern Lebanon, Hezbollah has initiated some confrontations between its supporters and the UN's UNIFIL peacekeepers in southern Lebanon. These seemed to be designed to limit UNIFIL's ability to uncover Hezbollah violations of UN resolutions. This Update looks at what appears to be happening in southern Lebanon.

The Islamist revolution will be televised Author: Avi Jorisch Categories: Islamic Extremism, Lebanon, Media/ Academia    

Even though I'd watched thousands of hours, the rhetoric that I saw on al-Manar really shocked me. They say what they mean and they mean what they say. They call for an Islamic republic. They call for the killing of coalition troops, including Australians, in Iraq and Afghanistan on a daily basis. They call for the destruction of the State of Israel, throwing all the Jews into the sea.

Lebanon's Election Result Author: AIJAC staff Categories: Lebanon, Updates    

This Updates features analysis of the weekend Lebanese election resuts, which saw the government pro-western governing coalition improve its position moderately vis-a-vis the Hezbollah-led opposition, contrary to the predictions of many.

Elections in Lebanon and Iran Author: AIJAC staff Categories: Iran, Lebanon, Updates    

Today's Update looks at the upcoming elections in Lebanon, scheduled for June 7, and Iran, scheduled for June 12. Our first piece comes from journalist Michael Totten, a frequent visitor to Lebanon, who says that his sources are telling him that a victory by Hezbollah and its allies looks like a distinct possibility.

Essay: The Rebound Author: Zachary Abuza Categories: Asia, Egypt, Islamic Extremism, Lebanon, Terrorism    

Jemaah Islamiah has for more than 15 years fought to transform Indonesia into an Islamist state. In recent years, its terrorist campaign has suffered setbacks. As Jemaah Islamiah regroups, it builds upon the experience of Middle East terrorist groups.

Scribblings: Inventing International Law Author: Tzvi Fleischer Categories: International Security, Islamic Extremism, Israel, Lebanon, Palestinians, Terrorism    

In terms of the legal argument, the Geneva Conventions are not a suicide pact. They do set forth the fundamental ideal that both sides of a conflict should distinguish both their own and enemy combatants from civilians, but are also very clear that when civilian facilities are used for military purposes they become legitimate military targets.

Yes, We Can Author: Frederick W. Kagan, Max Boot & Kimberly Kagan Categories: Afghanistan/ Pakistan, Iraq, Islamic Extremism, Lebanon, Middle East, Terrorism    

Fears of impending disaster are hard to sustain, however, if you actually spend some time in Afghanistan, as we did recently at the invitation of General David Petraeus, chief of US Central Command. We spent eight days travelling from the snow-capped peaks of Kunar province near the border with Pakistan in the east to the wind-blown deserts of Farah province in the west near the border with Iran.

Asia Watch: Witness Protection Author: Michael Shannon Categories: Asia, Iraq, Islamic Extremism, Lebanon, Middle East    

What was a small news item back in November blew-up in a big way at the height of the Israeli military offensive in Gaza. The Indonesian internet was abuzz for several weeks as Islamist-oriented websites like, and attacked Muhammadiyah for its supposed ties with Israel.

Print edition

A Year of Turmoil Author: Allon Lee Categories: Iran, Iraq, Israel, Lebanon, Middle East, Palestinians, Syria    

Israeli analyst and journalist Ehud Ya'ari is known not only for his encyclopaedic knowledge of everything going on across the whole Middle East, but for his extraordinary personal contacts throughout the region extending even into the ranks of many of Israel's most bitter enemies.

Essay: India's Forgotten Jihadist Categories: Asia, India, Islamic Extremism, Lebanon, Terrorism    

Until his death in 1979, Mawdudi was the critical link between the various theatres of transnational activism, between the Muslim Brotherhood and the Iranian Revolution, between Kashmir and Western Europe. Mawdudi's thinking was South Asian in origin and character, as was the international Islamist movement he inspired – a movement whose flowering we are still watching today.

Europa Europa: Of Church, Mosque and State Author: Douglas Davis Categories: Europe, Islamic Extremism, Lebanon    

The fact that Islamic courts are now functioning in Britain with full judicial authority should not have come as such a surprise. No less than the Archbishop of Canterbury - the highest-ranking member of the Anglican Church - had publicly conceded earlier this year that the establishment of Sharia law in Britain "seems unavoidable".


The JI Files Author: Allon Lee Categories: Asia, Islamic Extremism, Lebanon, Terrorism    

In the six years since Jemaah Islamiah (JI) carried out the deadly October 12 bombing of a Bali nightclub that claimed 202 lives, Indonesia has made great strides in tackling terror. But according to some of the world's top terrorism experts, the job will remain incomplete until Indonesia proscribes JI as an official terror group.

Scribblings: A Trip to Poll-land Author: Tzvi Fleischer Categories: Israel, Lebanon, Palestinians, Syria    

It is often asserted by pundits that both Israeli and Palestinian public opinion supports a two-state resolution. Therefore, it is claimed, it must be only the inability of the leaders of the two sides to overcome their own ambition, stubbornness and political limitations that is preventing Israeli-Palestinian peace.

Cast out terror TV Author: Colin Rubenstein Categories: Antisemitism, Australasia, Lebanon, Media/ Academia, Op-eds, Syria, Terrorism    

HEZBOLLAH'S terrorist television station is once again being beamed into Australia. Al-Manar, translated as "the beacon", has been called more accurately a beacon of hatred and violence. It is to be hoped that the Rudd Government and the Australian Communications and Media Authority are doing everything in their power to block the station.

Is It Over? Author: Max Boot Categories: Iraq, Islamic Extremism, Lebanon, Middle East, Terrorism    

The thinning of its ranks and the loss of central direction have had an obvious impact on al-Qaeda's operational effectiveness. A new study from Simon Fraser University ... finds that since 2001, there has been a net decline of 40% in casualties from terrorism around the world.

Al-Qaeda Today/ Syria's Nuclear Secrets Author: AIJAC staff Categories: Afghanistan/ Pakistan, Iraq, Islamic Extremism, Lebanon, Middle East, Multimedia, Syria, Terrorism, Updates    

Today's Update features two new pieces detailing expert debates about the current status and capabilities of al-Qaeda. First up, Peter Bergen discusses the controversy between analysts who argue that the organisation has become largely localised and leaderless and those who argue that the central organisation in northern Pakistan is getting stronger.

Hezbollah and Lebanon Author: AIJAC staff Categories: Afghanistan/ Pakistan, Lebanon, Syria, Updates    

Today's Update focuses on Lebanon, and the progress of growing Syrian and Hezbollah dominance of that country, especially in the wake of a recent government decision which effectively makes Hezbollah and its "resistance" against Israel an official arm of the Lebanese government.

Lessons and Learning Author: Amotz Asa-El Categories: Iraq, Israel, Lebanon, Middle East, Syria    

As thousands followed the coffins of IDF soldiers Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev, whose bodies arrived in Israel two years after the outbreak of the Second Lebanon War, a sense of sobriety, introspection and catharsis descended on the Jewish state.

Print edition

Discourse of Change Author: Nir Boms Categories: Islamic Extremism, Lebanon, Middle East    

The West should understand that the democrats in the Middle East aren't necessarily pro-West or pro-Israel. However, they are willing to ask important questions... These include asking, if Israel and the Arab world basically started in the same place, how is Israel's GDP so much higher than that of the Arab world?

Israel debates Hezbollah Prisoner Deal Author: AIJAC staff Categories: Afghanistan/ Pakistan, Israel, Lebanon, Syria, Terrorism, Updates    

Israelis are intensely debating at the moment the pros and cons of prisoner swap overnight with Hezbollah, which includes Israel trading five Lebanese prisoners, including the notorious child-killer Samir Kuntar, in exchange for the bodies of two Israeli soldiers, Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev, abducted in the raid which sparked the 2006 war.


Future Tense in Beirut Author: Yehonathan Tommer Categories: Israel, Lebanon, Syria, Terrorism    

The Doha Agreement restored a tense quiet to Lebanon, pulling its rival ethnic communities back from the brink of an unwanted civil war. But, in the longer term, it represented a major step forward in Hezbollah's creeping efforts to assert hegemony over the country.

Al-Qaeda in Iraq "at its weakest" Author: AIJAC staff Categories: Iraq, Islamic Extremism, Lebanon, Middle East, Terrorism, Updates    

According to the latest US reports and statistics, last week Iraq saw the lowest casualty figures, civilian and military, for four years. According to US military sources, part of the explanation is that al-Qaeda in Iraq is at its "weakest", especially in the wake of the recent military operations which cleared al-Qaeda out of Mosul, its last major stronghold in Iraq.

Essay: Radical Evolution Author: Daveed Gartenstein-Ross & Kyle Dabruzzi Categories: Islamic Extremism, Lebanon, Terrorism    

Government officials, scholars, and analysts continue to debate the extent to which al-Qaeda's central leadership remains relevant to today's battle against terrorism. After US forces eliminated the group's safe haven in Afghanistan in late 2001, many argued that al-Qaeda had transformed into a decentralised organisation with little vertical hierarchy

Live by the sword... Author: Eyal Zisser Categories: Lebanon, Syria, Terrorism    

On late Tuesday evening, February 12, 2008, Imad Mugniyah, the head of the military wing of the Lebanese Hezbollah organisation, was killed in a car-bomb attack in Damascus. Mugniyah's body was taken to Beirut, where he was buried two days later in an impressive ceremony organised by Hezbollah.

Europa Europa: Ethnic Cleansers Author: Douglas Davis Categories: Europe, Islamic Extremism, Lebanon    

If politicians are unable to think beyond the next election, it is not surprising that even their best intentions often produce unintended consequences. And, more often than not, those consequences serve only to exacerbate the problem.

Print edition

Political Crisis in Lebanon/ The case for "Jihadism" Author: AIJAC staff Categories: Afghanistan/ Pakistan, Islamic Extremism, Lebanon, Multimedia, Syria, Terrorism, Updates    

As readers may be aware, Lebanon has had no president since last week. The term of the last president, pro-Syrian Emile Lahoud, ended on Nov. 23. However, no successor has been elected because of a stand-off between the pro-Syrian opposition, led by Hezbollah, and the anti-Syrian government, led by PM Fouad Sinora and Saad Hariri, son of assassinated former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri.


Lebanon's Government by Murder Author: David Schenker Categories: Lebanon, Multimedia, Syria    

Forty Lebanese members of parliament belonging to the pro-Western, anti-Syrian March 14 majority bloc currently reside in Tower 3 at Beiruts Phoenicia Intercontinental Hotel... But the lawmakers are not guests; they are prisoners.

The Last Word: The Pen and the Saud Author: Jeremy Jones Categories: Antisemitism, Australasia, Islamic Extremism, Lebanon, Media/ Academia    

On a recent visit to Lakemba, I popped in to one of the larger Islamic bookstores and enquired about texts outlining and explaining different schools of Islamic jurisprudence. The bookseller was keen to help, showing me what he had for sale, and explaining that some books were much cheaper than others because of state subsidies for Islamic texts.

Scribblings: Yvonne's New Job Author: Tzvi Fleischer Categories: Iraq, Islamic Extremism, Lebanon, Media/ Academia, Middle East    

Readers may recall the visit to Australia in 2004 of Yvonne Ridley, the British journalist who was captured by the Taliban, converted to Islam, and began defending Islamist terrorism and terrorists, including the leader of the Beslan school massacre, al-Qaeda bombings of weddings in Jordanian hotels, and the late Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq.

Hezbollah and Lebanon Updates Author: AIJAC staff Categories: Lebanon, Syria, Terrorism    

This Update features three pieces on the state of Hezbollah efforts within Lebanon to prepare militarily for another round of conflict with Israel, and politically, to gain control of the Lebanese government.

Print edition App

Canary in a Coal Mine Author: Allon Lee Categories: Islamic Extremism, Lebanon    

There is something of the 1960s slogan '?the personal is the political' in Ayaan Hirsi Ali'?s life story - a remarkable life that has formed the basis of her candid views on Islam, Muslims and the West.

Editorial: Lessons Learned Author: Colin Rubenstein Categories: Israel, Lebanon, Palestinians, Syria, Terrorism    

The Winograd Committee's Interim Report, assessing Israel's performance in the first days of last year's Hezbollah-Israel conflict, has strongly criticised Israel's prime minister, defence minister and former military chief of staff for setting impossible-to-achieve objectives and for moving without adequate planning.

Print edition App

Trouble along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border/ Holocaust Inversion Author: AIJAC staff Categories: Afghanistan/ Pakistan, Antisemitism, Iraq, Islamic Extremism, Lebanon, Terrorism    

As widely reported, a major renewal of fighting in Afghanistan is expected shortly. The Taliban, based across the border with Pakistan, are expected to make large scale incursions as soon as the mountain snows allow. This Update leads with two pieces on Pakistan's invidious role in encouraging this problem.

Moderates must not become apologists for radical Islam Author: Colin Rubenstein Categories: Australasia, Immigration/ Multiculturalism, International Jewry, Islamic Extremism, Lebanon, Op-eds    

THE Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) cancelled our planned participation in the program of Israeli professor Raphael Israeli after his controversial remarks about Muslim immigration and communities. Characterising Muslim communities as a threat or danger per se is a sentiment we reject and with which we do not wish to be associated.

Saying No to Jihad Author: Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury Categories: Antisemitism, Asia, Islamic Extremism, Lebanon    

People are punished for crime, for creating anarchy and for subjecting humanity to horrifying terror. But, could we ever believe that someone would be arrested, tortured and imprisoned for 17 long months just for being in favour of global peace, inter-faith dialogue and ending religious hatred?

The barriers to peace in Middle East Author: Colin Rubenstein Categories: Iran, Iraq, Islamic Extremism, Israel, Lebanon, Middle East, Op-eds, Palestinians, Syria    

The resurgence of internal Palestinian conflict in recent days sheds some light on the assertion advanced again by the report of the Iraq Study Group in Washington. This claim is that the Israeli/Palestinian question is the "core" of the problems radiating out of the Middle East. Everyone of goodwill wants Israeli-Palestinian peace as quickly as possible. However, the belief that it is the key to the region's problems is not only incorrect, it is counter productive.

The Legacy of Londonistan Author: Douglas Davis Categories: Europe, Islamic Extremism, Lebanon    

Five years ago, at the time of 9/11, British intelligence agents were identifying 250 "primary"? terrorist suspects a year in Britain. Two years later, the figure had doubled to 500. Last month, the head of MI5, Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller, said her intelligence agency was currently monitoring 1,600 suspects...

Governments, Australian Muslims, must work together to contain the threat from domestic Islamic extremists Categories: Antisemitism, Australasia, Immigration/ Multiculturalism, International Jewry, Islamic Extremism, Lebanon, Media Releases    

The Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) today called for a thorough and immediate review of legal and policy counter-measures in the wake of new revelations about the extent of extremist hate material and pro-terror propaganda in some Australian bookshops in Mosques and Islamic schools.

Print edition App

Scribblings: Papal Bull Categories: Iraq, Islamic Extremism, Lebanon, Middle East    

As many people, including moderate Muslims, have pointed out, the violent response by some Muslims to a quote used in remarks by Pope Benedict XVI, which was alleged to present Islam as violent and ?inhuman,? was more than a bit ironic. These responses were essentially variations on the theme, ?How dare you imply that Islam is a violent religion? I?ll kill you and any other Christian I can get my hands on!?

Editorial: A State of Flux Author: Colin Rubenstein Categories: Israel, Lebanon, Palestinians, Syria    

The always volatile politics of Israel have, in that curiously Israeli way, returned to their normal state - that is, a state of flux. The conduct and consequences of the war against Hezbollah have seen accusations hurled back and forth between the various political parties, pundits, and serving and retired military officers.

The problem of squaring a circle Author: Colin Rubenstein Categories: Israel, Lebanon, Op-eds, Palestinians    

Both Israel and Palestinian politics are currently in a state of flux. The conduct and consequences of the war against Hizbollah have seen a very intense debate in Israel. The future of the current ruling coalition, elected in May, is meanwhile very much up in the air. Meanwhile, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas announced a couple of weeks ago agreement on the imminent formation of a new Fatah-Hamas unity government. However, continuing disagreements over the government's platform have left him unable to bring it to fruition so far.

Hezbollah's new battle at home Author: Ted Lapkin Categories: Israel, Lebanon, Op-eds, Syria    

IF LOVE means never having to say you're sorry, that principle should apply with redoubled force when the emotion in question is hate. So when Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah publicly apologised for igniting the recent Lebanese conflict, his boasts of victory over Israel began to ring a tad hollow.

Yes, the Problem is "Islamic Fascism" Author: External author Categories: Iran, Islamic Extremism, Lebanon, Syria, Terrorism    

It took US President George W. Bush to tell the truth to Britain about the massive plot to blow US-bound airliners out of the sky. In his first comment on the apparently foiled attempt to explode airliners flying from Britain to the US, Bush put it simply: "This was a stark reminder that this nation is at war with Islamic fascists."

Print edition

How to stop another war Author: Tzvi Fleischer Categories: Israel, Lebanon, Middle East, Op-eds, Syria    

WITH the smoke still clearing from Lebanon and northern Israel, the crucial question is whether the post-war resolution will remove the sources of the violence. Otherwise, the world will witness a similar round of conflict in another few months or years, with all the suffering that will entail.


Al Jazeera comes to Australia Author: Colin Rubenstein Categories: Islamic Extremism, Lebanon, Media/ Academia, Middle East, Op-eds    

So will Al Jazeera give Australians a new perspective on the Middle East? Joining us now in Sydney to discuss this is Media analyst Dr Adel Iskander who is visiting from the American University in Washington to talk about his latest book, one of the first studies of Al Jazeera, "How the Arab News Network Scooped the World and Changed the Middle East". Also in Sydney, Dr Colin Rubinstein from the Australia-Israel Jewish Affairs Committee, who has been critical of Al Jazeera saying it maintains a consistent anti-Israeli bias in its broadcasts.

A good resolution, but can it be put into lasting effect? Author: Colin Rubenstein Categories: International Security, Iran, Israel, Lebanon, Op-eds, Syria    

THE principles enunciated in UN Security Council Resolution 1701 on Lebanon, passed on Friday, are a positive step towards a sustainable end to the bloody conflict between Israel and Hezbollah. The overarching problem, unfortunately, is that this resolution appears to lack adequate mechanisms to implement those principles.

Editorial: The Axis of Terror Acts Author: Colin Rubenstein Categories: Israel, Lebanon, Syria, Terrorism    

Israel has once again been dragged into a war it did not want and did not start. Just as was predicted in May's Australia/Israel Review editorial, Iran's rulers have apparently used their control over Hezbollah and influence over Hamas to create a crisis...

Hezbollah stands in way of peace Author: Colin Rubenstein Categories: Iran, Iraq, Islamic Extremism, Israel, Lebanon, Middle East, Op-eds, Syria    

When the Hezbollah-Israel war began in mid-July, many in the Arab world made some startling comments. "The operations of Israel in Gaza and Lebanon are in the interest of people of Arab countries and the international community," wrote the editor of the Kuwaiti Arab Times. Milder statements in the same vein - blaming Hezbollah for the violence - came from across the Arab world, including the governments of Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan.

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.

War as an extension of politics Author: Ted Lapkin Categories: Iraq, Israel, Lebanon, Middle East, Op-eds, Syria    

General Patton once observed that you don't win wars by dying for your country; you win them by making the other poor bastard die for his. But Hezbollah has turned that pearl of military wisdom on its head. These jihadists are trying to defeat Israel, not by killing Jews, but by engineering a slaughter of the Lebanese populace.

Want Mideast Peace? Get the right ceasefire in Lebanon Author: Colin Rubenstein Categories: Iraq, Israel, Lebanon, Middle East, Op-eds, Syria    

On Wednesday, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said, "I genuinely believe the outcome of the present [conflict] and the emergence of a new order that will provide more stability, will help create the necessary environment that will allow me ... to create a new momentum between us and the Palestinians." He added, "We want to separate from the Palestinians. I'm ready to do it." The connection between the conflict in Lebanon and Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations may not seem obvious, but Olmert is right. So it is absolutely crucial that any ceasefire in Lebanon does more than simply halt the immediate bloodshed.

On the Border Author: Amotz Asa-El Categories: Israel, Lebanon, Syria    

As the IDF's counter-attacks against Hezbollah's outposts, personnel and materiel entered their third week, it was still difficult to predict how long the skirmishing would last and what its outcome would be.

Force-ful Action Author: External author Categories: International Security, Lebanon, Syria    

As diplomacy to halt the violence in Lebanon slowly gathers momentum, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has endorsed the idea of an international "stabilisation force" to keep the peace, seconding proposals previously put forward by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Bloodbath blurs war truths Author: Bren Carlill Categories: Iran, Israel, Lebanon, Multimedia, Op-eds, Palestinians, Syria    

Amidst the front-page photos of bleeding children, it?s difficult to find clarity regarding the conflict raging in Israel and Lebanon. We all know the spark that set the region alight ? an unprovoked Hizbollah kidnapping of Israeli soldiers under the cover of missiles fired at Israeli cities. This was preceded by a Hamas-led attack from Gaza, which also involved kidnapping and rockets fired. The depressing sight of dead and injured civilians has since helped blur the reasons behind the violence.

Print edition

Autonomy key to peace in Lebanon Author: Colin Rubenstein Categories: Iran, Israel, Lebanon, Middle East, Op-eds, Syria, Terrorism    

IN AN extraordinary statement, the editor of a Kuwaiti newspaper, the Arab Times, argued last week that ``the operations of Israel in Gaza and Lebanon are in the interest of people of Arab countries and the international community''. Milder statements in the same vein, blaming Hezbollah for the violence, have come from across the Arab world, including the governments of Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan.


The Best and the Brightest Author: External author Categories: Australasia, Islamic Extremism, Lebanon, Media/ Academia    

There's an old saying, It's not so much what is poured into the student, but what is planted that really counts. And, at both the University of Melbourne and the University of New South Wales, on-campus Islamic Societies have been diligently planting seeds of ethnic hatred and intolerance into the minds of young Muslim students.

Print edition App

Smoke Signals Author: Jeremy Jones Categories: Australasia, Europe, Islamic Extremism, Lebanon    

Night after night, we have witnessed shocking scenes of violence and wanton vandalism in French cities. Hundreds upon hundreds of vehicles set on fire, institutions such as libraries and gymnasiums attacked and destroyed, urban populations afraid to venture out into the streets.

Beyond Bali Author: External author Categories: Asia, Australasia, Islamic Extremism, Lebanon, Terrorism    

On September 27, Gareth Evans -? president of the respected International Crisis Group (ICG) and former Australian foreign minister -? gave a keynote address in Australia in which he proclaimed, "JI no longer poses a serious threat in Indonesia or elsewhere". Four days later, three suicide bombers walked into crowded restaurants in the Indonesian resort island of Bali and detonated their devices.

Fresh Air? Author: External author Categories: Australasia, Islamic Extremism, Lebanon    

"A breath of fresh air in the field of media and journalism for Muslims in Australia," is how Editor-in-Chief Sheikh Mohammed Omran described his new publication, Mecca News, when the first edition was released in August 2005. Omran is the controversial radical Muslim cleric who gained notoriety recently for suggesting that Islamic terrorists did not perpetrate the terrorist attacks on London and New York.

Scribblings: Bad Poetry Author: Tzvi Fleischer Categories: Australasia, Islamic Extremism, Lebanon, Palestinians    

Are the Palestinians going to seize the opportunity created by disengagement to advance toward their national goals by demonstrating that they are a responsible peace partner? If there are going to be further peace negotiations, the Palestinians are going to have to create a viable polity that features the rule of law and a government monopoly on force.

Blind Spot Author: External author Categories: Europe, Islamic Extremism, Lebanon    

The responses of senior British officials following the London bombings last week are highly revealing. They contain within them clues to a decades-long failure of political judgment. This failure allowed the forces which produced the bombing to grow and proliferate on British soil, freely, under the noses of the authorities.

Print edition

Native Sons Author: External author Categories: Europe, Islamic Extremism, Lebanon, Terrorism    

The July suicide bombings in London �� some or all of whose perpetrators were Muslims born and reared in Britain �� are likely to produce in the United Kingdom the same intellectual reflection on Muslim identity in Europe that is already underway in nearby countries. The French began this reflection in earnest ten years ago, after bomb-happy, lyc�©e-educated, French-born Islamic holy warriors terrorised France.

Party Games Author: External author Categories: Iran, Islamic Extremism, Lebanon, Multimedia, Syria, Terrorism    

Since the Lebanese branch of Hezbollah was created by Iran in 1982, it has metamorphosed from its early beginnings as a localised terrorist organisation into a significant armed presence in Lebanon that has demonstrated its ability to carry out terror attacks far beyond the borders of the Middle East. Today Hezbollah is the only armed force that controls a political party in Lebanon. For its supporters in Lebanon, Hezbollah is the sponsor of social welfare agencies that provide education, health care, employment, and other services. Hezbollah uses these institutions as a mechanism for indoctrination and a pool for recruiting new members.


Editorial: Endgame Iran & Crime and Punishment Author: Jeremy Jones Categories: Antisemitism, Australasia, Holocaust/ War Crimes, Iran, Iraq, Islamic Extremism, Lebanon, Middle East    

It has all the drama of a Melbourne Cup, but it is infinitely more important. The outcome of a horse race can be measured in dollars and cents. We are witnessing a contest between a simmering grassroots yearning for democracy in Iran and an obsessive pursuit of nuclear weapons by the junta of Islamic extremists who rule that nation.