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Analysis and Comment (40)

How to report impartially in the face of horrors like Gaza? How to report impartially in the face of horrors like Gaza? EPA

You can’t keep emotions out of the Israel-Palestine issue, so don’t try

While an open-ended ceasefire agreement is currently holding between Israel and the Palestinian factions, it is clear that the rule of international law has failed in Gaza. The international community…
Mosques, houses, people, Israel’s reputation destroyed. Hamas military capability intact. Mosques, houses, people, Israel’s reputation destroyed. Hamas military capability intact. EPA/Mohammed Saber

Problems ahead for Israel after Pyrrhic victory in Gaza

With a tenuous five-day ceasefire now underway, the pause in the Gaza War allows each side to consider its position. The Israeli Embassy in London reported on August 11 that: All known tunnels, 32 in total…
‘When God and his Angels slept’. ‘When God and his Angels slept’. EPA/Yonhap

Gaza has New Atheists split over which religion is more wrong

The New Atheists are once again provoking controversy, this time with their comments on Gaza which has prompted divisions among those better known for presenting a united front against religion. Over the…
The United Nations Security Council’s primary responsibility is maintaining international peace and security – a task aided by the veto power. The United Nations Security Council’s primary responsibility is maintaining international peace and security – a task aided by the veto power. Francois Proulx/Flickr

Don’t be too quick to condemn the UN Security Council power of veto

Recent events in Gaza and Ukraine and the ongoing gridlock in Syria have dominated newspapers and airwaves – and debate in the United Nations Security Council. Despite UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon…
With the Palestinian peace camp among the casualties of the bombardment of Gaza, what does Israel expect to emerge from the ruins? With the Palestinian peace camp among the casualties of the bombardment of Gaza, what does Israel expect to emerge from the ruins? AAP/Newzulu/Eloise Bollack

The world’s most tragic, long-running farce: the Gaza conflict

If we apply Karl Marx’s dictum that “history repeats itself, first as tragedy, then as farce”, then the Gaza Strip is one of the longest-running tragicomic productions in the world today. It is not hard…
Injured child in Gaza before last week’s ceasefire: Israel is a State Party to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Injured child in Gaza before last week’s ceasefire: Israel is a State Party to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. EPA/Stringer

Beyond the ceasefire: securing safety for Palestinian children

Amidst the cycle of fighting and ceasefire between the Israeli military and Hamas the safety of children remains severely threatened. Young Israelis are vulnerable to the trauma of frequent air raids that…
Anti-Semitism never takes long to surface, ranging from the desecration of Jewish graves and memory to violent attacks on people. Anti-Semitism never takes long to surface, ranging from the desecration of Jewish graves and memory to violent attacks on people. AAP/NZN/Alastair Bull

Gaza war lets the anti-Semitic genie out of its Australian bottle

The Israel-Hamas war in Gaza has triggered a dramatic rise in global anti-Semitism. This has significantly undermined the collective well-being of the Jewish people. While the intensity of anti-Semitism…
Israel advocacy campaigns, seen recently in the context of the conflict in Gaza, are typically fought in Australia on two fronts: Jewish community mobilisation and media engagement. Israel advocacy campaigns, seen recently in the context of the conflict in Gaza, are typically fought in Australia on two fronts: Jewish community mobilisation and media engagement. AAP/Nikki Short

Zionist advocates in Australia keep faith with Israel – for now

Jewish communal and Zionist organisations in Australia have taken the unusual step of staging mock air-raid sirens to show solidarity with Israel amid its ongoing conflict with Hamas and to build support…
Bombardment of the Gaza Strip is having devastating effects. Bombardment of the Gaza Strip is having devastating effects. Mohammed Saber/EPA

The Israeli assault on Gaza: a public health perspective

It is three weeks since the current Israeli offensive against Gaza began on July 8. But it is now eight years since Israel began its blockade of Gaza. Since then unemployment has risen, public infrastructure…
A strike on the UN school in Jabalia killed at least 17 people. A strike on the UN school in Jabalia killed at least 17 people. Epa/Mohamed Saber

Attacks on UN schools in Gaza clearly breach international law

The shelling of Jabalia Elementary Girls' School in Gaza on July 30 by Israeli forces was a shocking example of modern military action. The shelling was the sixth time a United Nations school has been…
Urgent business: the UN Security Council discusses Gaza and the downing of flight MH17. Urgent business: the UN Security Council discusses Gaza and the downing of flight MH17. EPA/Jason Szenes

Hard Evidence: who uses veto in the UN Security Council most often – and for what?

On Thursday July 17, 298 people lost their lives when Flight MH17 was downed in eastern Ukraine. Almost immediately accusations were made that the aircraft had been shot down by pro-Russian separatists…
Hamas has built an elaborate network of tunnels but not civilian bomb shelters in Gaza. Hamas has built an elaborate network of tunnels but not civilian bomb shelters in Gaza. EPA/Jack Guez

Civilian deaths in Gaza conflict are not automatically a war crime

Inevitably, the United Nations Human Rights Council has expressed its condemnation of Israel and launched a war crimes inquiry. The vote on July 23 followed the usual political lines that have previously…
A right-wing protest demands military action in the build-up to Operation Protective Edge. A right-wing protest demands military action in the build-up to Operation Protective Edge. EPA

Israeli opponents of the Gaza campaign are swept aside by a wave of violent invective

Israel’s assault on Gaza has drawn international condemnation, sparked outraged protests around the world, and even roused talk of war crimes from the United Nations. But despite the onslaught of death…
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…
Tony Blair and Benjamin Netanyahu speak the same language when distancing themselves from the killing of civilians in military operations. Tony Blair and Benjamin Netanyahu speak the same language when distancing themselves from the killing of civilians in military operations. EPA/Haim Zach/Israeli government press office

MH17, Iraq, Gaza and the deadly verbal dance around killing people

Some years back, award-winning British journalist Robert Fisk wrote an article in which he stated the apparent tautology that “murder is murder”. Fisk was writing on Israel’s policy of “targeted killing…
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 world to 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…
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…
The conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza is far from over. The conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza is far from over. EPA/Ali Ali

Gaza ceasefire leaves unclear picture of the prospect for peace

Israeli air-raids on Gaza have stopped. Palestinian rockets are not being fired at Israel. The cease-fire seems to be holding. After seven days of war, and 157 Palestinian deaths (the great majority of…
Those who see fit have everything they need to measure opinion, conduct sentiment analyses and sway opinion this way or that. Those who see fit have everything they need to measure opinion, conduct sentiment analyses and sway opinion this way or that. Ali Ali/EPA

Israel, Palestine and the benefits of waging war through Twitter

Warfare, as we know, has gone digital, its volleys and counterattacks rattled out 140 characters at a time. Historically, nation states with superior military prowess have been in a position of influence…
Palestinians gather around what is left of a destroyed house after an Israeli air strike this week. Palestinians gather around what is left of a destroyed house after an Israeli air strike this week. EPA/Ali Ali

Israel, Gaza and the tragic justifications for war

Gaza, ostracised, enclosed and pummelled, is being levelled – again. Israel’s case against Hamas, expressed both via air strikes and a social media war, is one of self-defence. Article 51 of the United…
Gaza under Israeli Defense Forces fire as seen from the Israeli town of Sderot, which itself is the victim of rocket attacks from its Palestinian neighbour. Gaza under Israeli Defense Forces fire as seen from the Israeli town of Sderot, which itself is the victim of rocket attacks from its Palestinian neighbour. EPA/EDI Israel

#IDF v #Hamas: the new Gaza war in 140 characters or less

The hostilities between Israel and Hamas this week are just another sad exchange of munitions of no benefit for anyone, least of all the impoverished residents of Gaza. Rockets go one way, Hellfire missiles…