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Update – 17 October 2007

Dear Advocates,

One issue that I am constantly keeping an eye on is that of Israel’s abducted soldiers. Inrecent days, the Israeli media has been reporting on two developments:

1. The exchange of the body of an Israeli citizen whose body may have been swept up to Lebanon after he drowned and was handed over to Hezbollah in exchange for one Hezbollah guerrilla and the bodies of two others. (to read more, click here and here)
2. The issue of Germany releasing two Iranian prisoners serving a life sentence for the 1992 murder of Iranian Kurdish dissident leader Sadiq Sarafkindi and three of his
associates. (to read more, click here and here)

Both issues have opened up major discussion about the fate of three of Israel’s missing soldiers. Firstly, of the fate of Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev, abducted last year in a
cross-border raid by Hezbollah, and secondly of Ron Arad, whose plane was shot down over Lebanon exactly 21 years ago from yesterday – 16 October 1986. (I wrote about Ron’s plight in a blog entry last year, click here to read more.) It has been reported that Hassan Nasrallah, leader of Hezbollah, has said that this limited exchange could pave the way for negotiations regarding the fate of Goldwasser and Regev. To read more, click here. Naturally, Israeli officials are sceptical, and have said they must analyse his speech first and foremost.

Our local papers have finally picked up on the issue as well today. Ed Loughlin’s offering from The Age, entitled Israeli prisoner swap raises hope as usual adds his own spin claiming that “the Lebanese man returned alive in yesterday’s exchange was described in most Israeli media reports as a Hezbollah guerrilla.” Why is it so hard for O’Loughlin to simply call a spade a spade?

The Australian also had a story on the issue, Hezbollah hands over note from Israeli pilot missing for two decades, although at this the Israelis have reported that Information from
Hezbollah did not reveal Ron Arad’s fate

In other news, this article is a few weeks old, but still very interesting for those that have not already read it. It appeared in the Spectator and was entitled ‘We came so close to world war three that day’ by James Forsyth and Douglas Davis. It talks about the incident on 6 September 2007 between Syria and Israel, and why all parties have been virtually silent on the issue. Please click here to view an interesting video about the strike.

Finally, this is from the website Beyond Images. It is entitled ‘Jerusalem and Israel’s security fence: Comparison with world cities’ and it gives a little bit of perspective on the function of the security fence.

Please keep Israel’s abducted soldiers in your thoughts and continue to advocate for their release in letters to the media. Remember – we were all born to be free.

Best wishes,

Emily Chrapot
State Zionist Council of Victoria
9272 5507