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Analysis and Comment (28)

Not looking good: exiled Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal. Not looking good: exiled Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal. EPA/Mohammed Saber

The Hamas government in Gaza has always been a tragic mess

Writing about conflict is always difficult because of the romantic Western need for good guys and bad guys. That makes it difficult to make sense of things when everyone’s hands are dirty. Writing for…
Israeli forces have recommenced military operations after an abortive ceasefire. Israeli forces have recommenced military operations after an abortive ceasefire. EPA/Abir Sultan

Israel’s message to Palestinians and the world: the rockets stop – or we won’t

The rationale for Israel’s war with Hamas has a shelf life. The higher the death toll of innocent civilians rises, the less Israel’s friends will be able to claim that the ends justify the means. The Israeli…
Occupation is brutalising Israelis as much as it is Palestinians. Occupation is brutalising Israelis as much as it is Palestinians. EPA/Jim Hollander

As a Sakharov laureate and a mother, I call on the EU to help save Palestinians – and Israel

Times are very rough for both Israeli and Palestinian families. The death toll in Gaza currently stands at around 620, 74 of whom are children. The death toll in Israel stands at 30, two of whom were civilians…
The fresh outbreak of violence between Israel and Hamas has not emerged out of a vacuum, and may yet worsen. The fresh outbreak of violence between Israel and Hamas has not emerged out of a vacuum, and may yet worsen. EPA/Atef Safadi

Here we go again – Israel and Hamas resume their war

The prospect of another Israeli-Gazan conflict is upon us with the beginning of Israeli ground operations in Gaza. There have been suggestions that the Israeli action will be limited to the destruction…
“We have been instructed by the political echelon to hit Hamas hard.” “We have been instructed by the political echelon to hit Hamas hard.” EPA/Mohammed Saber

As Gaza erupts, the big change from a decade ago is to the wider region

The scorch marks and angry graffiti seemed familiar. The rubbish underfoot in the dust on the hard summer ground did, too. The calm suggested that something had changed. That impression grew. The officer…
Day of catastrophe: but little is being done to heal the wounds. Day of catastrophe: but little is being done to heal the wounds. EPA/Abed Al Hashlamoun

Nakba day in Palestine – past catastrophe, future conflict?

This year Nakba Day marks 66 years since the displacement of Palestinians prior to the establishment of the state of Israel. The passing of an-Nakbah (literally, “the Catastrophe”) arrives amidst failed…
PLO representative Azzam Al Ahmad with Hamas prime minister Sheikh Ismael Haneiya and Ahmad Nahar. PLO representative Azzam Al Ahmad with Hamas prime minister Sheikh Ismael Haneiya and Ahmad Nahar. EPA/Mohammed Saber

Fatah reconciliation with Hamas necessary for Middle East peace

At a ceremony in Gaza on Wednesday, representatives of the two main rival Palestinian political factions, Fatah and Hamas, signed a reconciliation agreement. Predictably, the news was met with stern criticism…
You’ve come a long way, baby: David Cameron signs Shimon Peres’s visitors book. You’ve come a long way, baby: David Cameron signs Shimon Peres’s visitors book. EPA/Dan Balitly

Tory attitudes to Israel have a tangled history

Addressing the Israeli Knesset recently, David Cameron proclaimed himself “a British prime minister whose belief in Israel is unbreakable, and whose commitment to Israel’s security will always be rock…
Keep calm and Cameron: PMs in the Knesset. Keep calm and Cameron: PMs in the Knesset. EPA/Jim Hollander

Cameron’s Israel trip trumped by regional insecurities

David Cameron’s long-planned visit to Israel was overshadowed in the UK by Ed Miliband’s Europe speech but Cameron did have an opportunity to address the Knesset. Cameron made a strong plea for Israel…
Brutal interrogations of Palestinian children by Israeli forces have the apparent aim of obtaining a confession that the child engaged in stone-throwing. Brutal interrogations of Palestinian children by Israeli forces have the apparent aim of obtaining a confession that the child engaged in stone-throwing. EPA/Mohammar Awad

Does Israel’s interrogation of Palestinian boys violate human rights?

Anyone who watched the ABC Four Corners episode Stone Cold Justice last night could not help but be moved by its vivid portrayal of the plight of many Palestinian boys at the hands of the Israeli army…
Sharon: a divisive legacy. Sharon: a divisive legacy. PA Archive

Sharon, Thatcher, Mandela and the simplistic media postmortem

Israel is mourning one of its political and military giants. With help from Tony Blair and Joe Biden – but accompanied by a markedly less impressive roll call of world leaders than travelled to South Africa…
Ariel Sharon, right, with Menachem Begin. Ariel Sharon, right, with Menachem Begin. Israeli GPO

Ariel Sharon dies at 85 after decades as polarising presence

To his critics he will forever be the “Butcher of Beirut”, the master of Israel’s disastrous invasion of Lebanon in 1982 and the man responsible for the horrendous massacre of hundreds of Palestinians…
Land under threat: Palestinian shepherds in the Jordan valley. Land under threat: Palestinian shepherds in the Jordan valley. AP Photo/Oded Balilty

Latest Israel-Palestine talks likely to falter over land swap

When US secretary of state John Kerry returned to the Middle East last week, it was with the assurance from senior officials that “nobody has an intention of sticking a finger in Kerry’s eye” on the issue…
Positive moves: The Elders at Chatham House last week (l-r: Maati Ahtisaari, Lakhdar Brahimi and Jimmy Carter. Positive moves: The Elders at Chatham House last week (l-r: Maati Ahtisaari, Lakhdar Brahimi and Jimmy Carter. Jeff Moore/The Elders

Elders bring backing for Kerry’s peacemaking efforts

When US Secretary of State John Kerry announced that talks about talks to revive peace negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians would begin soon in Washington, veteran commentators greeted the…
Shut out: EU states have been banned from any investment in Israeli settlements. Shut out: EU states have been banned from any investment in Israeli settlements. Helga Tawil Souri via Creative Commons

EU ban on Israeli settlements could be a game changer

After years of declarations, warnings and internal bickering, the European Union has finally done it. On Friday, Brussels is expected to announce that future agreements between the EU (or any of its member…
Barrier to peace: Israeli settlements occupy 40% of the land area of the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Barrier to peace: Israeli settlements occupy 40% of the land area of the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Creative Commons

US is the real obstacle to peace between Israel and Palestine

United States secretary of state John Kerry is in the Middle East this week. Among other tasks, he is attempting to revive Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations. Undoubtedly, Israel’s recent approval…
A Palestinian farmer and Israeli soldier clash in an olive grove. Can academics in other countries affect this situation by boycotting one side or the other? A Palestinian farmer and Israeli soldier clash in an olive grove. Can academics in other countries affect this situation by boycotting one side or the other? AAP/Abed Al Hashlamoun

Academics and activism: Stephen Hawking and the Israel boycott

The news that famous physicist Stephen Hawking has decided to join the academic boycott of Israel has attracted some heated commentary. Hawking pulled out of attending an Israeli conference in June, explaining…
Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu may now deal with centrist parties rather than right wing parties. Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu may now deal with centrist parties rather than right wing parties. EPA/Darren Northside

Israeli elections: the doomsday merchants proven wrong

The dust is settling after the election in Israel, and the efforts to establish a stable coalition are well underway. Prior to the election, concerns were raised in the global media and the blogosphere…
Benjamin Netanyahu will remain Israel’s prime minister, but the rise of centrist parties have made his choices for coalition partners far more difficult. Benjamin Netanyahu will remain Israel’s prime minister, but the rise of centrist parties have made his choices for coalition partners far more difficult. EPA/Oliver Weiken

Israeli elections: the return of the centre

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s bruising victory in Israel’s election was costly. The hawkish atmosphere over electing members of the 19th Knesset saw the highest voter turnout since 1999 and some…
Opposition leader Tzivi Lipni and Prime Minister Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu face off in the impending Israeli election. Opposition leader Tzivi Lipni and Prime Minister Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu face off in the impending Israeli election. EPA/Abir Sultan

Israeli elections: no matter who wins, the Palestinians lose

In all the language used to discuss the Israel-Palestine situation, “dilemma” is surely the most redundant. A dilemma implies that there are two equal alternatives to opt for and that one must be foregone…
Boycotting the Hebrew University of Jerusalem is not Anti-Semitic; it’s a recognition of violations of international law. Boycotting the Hebrew University of Jerusalem is not Anti-Semitic; it’s a recognition of violations of international law. Flickr/delayed gratification

Establishing the facts about the boycott of Israeli academic institutions

The last weeks of 2012 saw a great amount of criticism levelled at the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at Sydney University and its director Jake Lynch following their boycott of an exchange program…