Update – 1 May 2007

Dear Advocates,

Last night in Israel the Winograd Report on the Second Lebanon War was released. The Inquiry Commission has stated that ‘it is our belief that the larger the event and the deeper the feeling of crisis – the greater the opportunity to change and improve matters which are essential for the security and the flourishing of state and society in Israel”. To read the Winograd Commission Partial Report please click here.

For a legal analysis please read the Ze’ev Segal article from Ha’aretz entitled ‘Legal Analysis: Rough Guide to the Winograd Report’. For another analysis, please click here to read the Debka File Analysis.

Despite the analysis, and subsequent calls for accountability, both Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defence Minister Amir Peretz have declared they will not resign. Please click here to read an article entitled ‘Despite Censure by War Probe, PM says Won’t Quit’.

Following the release of the report, members of Hezbollah have responded by claiming that Israel not only lost the war, but showed that she can be defeated. Click here for more. Other reports have shown that ‘Hezbollah Won Propaganda War’.

Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat has also weighed in on the debate, stating that the ‘Report May Hinder Peace Moves’. Erekat and others believe that the apparent weakness shown by the Israeli Government shows that Israel is not a legitimate peace partner.

Erakat’s comment defies logic and brings into question his own history of comments in relation to his party’s willingness to make peace, let alone the elected Hamas Government’s willingness. This was highlighted last week when a barrage of rockets rained down on Southern Israel on Yom Ha’atzmaut (Israel’s Independence Day) by Hamas. More than 28 Kassam rockets and 61 mortar shells were launched from the Gaza Strip into Israel. Hamas also declared that the “ceasefire” that had been in place since November was null and void. To read a statement by Ambassador Gillerman to the UN Security Council, please click here.

With the 40 year anniversary of the Six Day War fast approaching, I believe Israel is going to be getting a lot of negative press. The Palestinian narrative of the war has a very simple and effective message: ‘The Occupation’. Israel Advocates need to be able to answer this claim with clear and precise arguments. There are plenty of resources out there on the web, but one that has recently caught my eye is sixdaywar.co.uk. It was only made ‘live’ a few weeks ago and is already generating a lot of interest. I believe a lot more resources will be posted on the site in the coming weeks. If anyone else has any other interesting resources about the Six Day War, please let me know.

The State Zionist Council will be holding an Israel Advocacy Network Session on Monday 14 May at 8pm. The session will feature a high calibre speaker from Israel. I will have more details for you in my next session so please keep the date free.

As the Winograd reports states, ‘the past is the key for learning lessons for the future’.

Best Wishes,

Emily Chrapot
State Zionist Council of Victoria
9272 5507
www.szcvic.org