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Press Release – 24 September 2007

State Zionist Council argues Israel’s case at Deakin University debate

SZCV President Dr Danny Lamm represented Israel’s case, debating the topic “The Israel- Palestine Conflict: Causes and Consequences” against Michael Shaik, Public Advocate for Australians for Palestine on Thursday evening September 20.

About 150 people attended the debate hosted by Deakin University’s Citizenship and Globalisation Research Priority Area at the Burwood Highway campus.

Both speakers were allowed a 20 minute presentation followed by questions from the floor and a final summation.

Dr Lamm’s presentation began with the main argument that the core cause of the conflict is the Palestinian’s leadership total rejection of Israel and the land for peace deals which Israel has consistently embraced since its very independence. His arguments were well-prepared and strongly backed up with clear evidence from the Fatah and Hamas’ own declarations of principles, as well as an analysis of their symbols and emblems representing violence over the whole of Israel. Indiscriminate Palestinian terror of Israeli citizens has been the brutal and overriding consequence.

Yet harrowing past events was not the potency of Dr Lamm’s arguments. Rather his positive reminder that for the past 60 years, Israel has held an outstretched hand to negotiation and ultimately peace, resonated with the audience, and provided a take home message for many attendees who are uninformed or badly informed of the complexities of this conflict.

In contrast, Michael Shaik’s arguments were empty, repetitive and selective. Sadly, he embraced Palestinian victimhood and did not once utter the word ‘accountability’. Shaik did not offer any solutions to the conflict, nor did he make mention of any future possible Palestinian concessions. In neglecting discussion about hope or the future for Palestinians, he ultimately failed in his arguments and failed his cause.

Immediate feedback from a variety of sources has been the solid, skilful and genuine manner in which Dr Lamm presented Israel’s case and the ensuing points of argument.

Community members who attended showed their support at the debate posing provoking and thoughtful questions.
For more information contact:
SZCV President Dr Danny Lamm 0408-408-929
SZCV Executive Director, Ginette Searle 9272-5544