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Update – 18 June 2007

Dear Israel Advocates,

Today’s local print media is full of reports about the chaos in the Gaza Strip and Hamas’ full military rule of the area; President Mahmoud Abbas’ dissolution of the Palestinian government, outlawing Hamas and appointing Salam Fayyad as PA Prime Minister, Israel’s pre-emptive positioning on the Gaza Strip and a new front to the crisis with rockets being fired into Israel by Palestinian groups in Lebanon overnight.

The Australian’s coverage is most extensive. On the front page, Martin Chulov reports Israeli tanks ready for Gaza invasion then quotes official Israeli sources who all refute that Israel is planning on re-entering Gaza. Chulov’s reports further headline the World page with Hamas-free regime welcomed . However the most significant article is the brief report Militants vow to win BBC reporter’s freedom in which Hamas promises to secure the release of captured BBC journalist Alan Johnston “soon” by forcing the clan that is holding him to free him immediately; yet reminds readers that Hamas did not make any mention on the fate of Gilad Shalit, captured from the Israeli side of the border with Gaza last June, a year to the day next Monday.

With the 1 year anniversary soon approaching, and the beginning of an awareness week for Gilad, Udi Goldwasser and Eldad Regev today, please make these 3 young men the focus of your advocacy activities, whether it is letter-writing, emailing, etc. The awareness week will culminate in a rally at Melbourne’s GPO next Monday June 25 from 12.30 – 2pm – view rally details on the SZC website here and forward onto your family, friends and work colleagues in the city. You can further remind everyone you email about Gilad, Udi and Eldad’s plight by utilising the attached “1 year on” blue ribbon logo – attach it to your email signature as a simple and effective reminder of the 3.

The Australian rounds out its coverage with a powerful editorial The Horror of Hamas (scroll down to 2nd item) and an op-ed World must join battle with hate by Barry Rubin, director of the Global Research in International Affairs Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs journal. The online edition also includes a piece by AFP in its World news section Olmert hopes for peace with Fatah where Israeli PM Olmert has spoken of renewed plans for peace talks with the PA from New York.

Also of note was a compelling opinion piece in Friday’s Australian by foreign editor Greg Sheridan Hurtling into the darkness.

Reporting on Gaza and its effect on Israel is 1 article in the print edition of The Age. Ed O’Loughlin’s ‘Analysis’ US-backed Abbas risks being tagged ‘quisling’ does not relate any of the extreme violence which defines the context of the situation in Gaza and therefore totally misleads readers. Interestingly there is also a comprehensive AFP report on The Age online New Abbas cabinet outlaws Hamas that includes rocket attacks on northern Israel. In start contrast to The Australian’s report of Alan Johnston’s imminent release, The Herald Sun’s correspondents in Gaza City warn Throat slit threat for kidnapped BBC journalist on its online edition. “If we do not reach an agreement and the situation worsens for us, we will have to turn to God and have no choice but to slit the throat of the journalist,” a masked spokesman for the Army of Islam said in Gaza. 2 more articles, Israel plan to crush Gaza is not substantiated by Israeli officials, while Israel sends troops into Gaza describes Israeli troops in northern Gaza and the sealing of border crossings as preventative measures on Hamas now that the terrorist organization has total control of Gaza. Israel maintains it will not allow a humanitarian crisis to occur in Gaza and Infrastructure Minister Ben Eliezer has plans in place to deal with this.

Finally I would just like to bring to your attention a clip of Karnit Goldwasser, Udi Goldwasser’s wife talking about how her life and the lives of the Goldwasser, Shalit and Regev families have changed since the kidnappings last year. The presentation was given almost 8 months ago in the US and Karnit’s words remain heart-wrenching. Go to and click on ‘play’ under the heading ‘Karnit Goldwasser speaking at the GA’.

Hoping to see as many of you as possible at next Monday’s rally at the GPO.

Kind regards,

Elly Shalev
State Zionist Council of Victoria
Public Affairs Director
Direct tel: 03-9272 5519
Mobile 0400-313197
Fax: 03-9272 5540