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Update – 12 March 2008

Dear Advocates,

Today’s Australian features an article, an editorial, an opinion piece, numerous letters and even a paid advertisement in relation to a bipartisan motion in Federal Parliament congratulating Israel on 60 years of statehood that is going to be passed today.

The most contentious of all is of course the paid advertisement which appeared on page 7 of the paper. Signed by a number of academics, individuals and groups such as Australian Friends of Palestine, and also groups such as the Socialist Alliance, the advertisement states that “Israel has poisoned our (the West’s) relations with the whole of the Arab and Muslim world. Rather than celebrating the creation of the State of Israel we should be recognising the people of Palestine, those who were dispossessed, those whole lived and died as refugees, those who continue to live and die and suffer at the hands of the State of Israel”.

 The editorial, entitled Bipartisan support for the State of Israel: An enduring beacon of democracy in a troubled region, states that ‘The Australian shares the government’s goodwill towards Israel and supports all efforts for a two-state solution that includes self-determination for Palestine and brings lasting. The editorial states that those that paid for the advertisement are entitled to their views, but continues that ‘the group expresses what is now fashionable thought in academe… unfortunately, it offers nothing to further the cause of peace or properly recognise the tragic circumstances that underpinned the creation of the state of Israel in the first place.’

 Also featured as a counter to the article is an excellent response by Zionist Federation of Australia president Philip Chester entitled ‘Israel’s far-flung friend’.

 Please also read an article entitled ‘Labor split over Israel support’ and the Letters that have already featured today in relation to this issue.

 If you would like to respond to anything in The Australian, including if you have a positive response to the Editorial and/or to Philip’s article, you can email, or fax 02 9288 3077 by 12pm today.

 On another matter, the State Zionist Council of Victoria is asking community members to show their solidarity with Israel this week at our two Israel solidarity events.

 The first is a solidarity tefillah for Israel – terrorist attacks on Yeshiva Merkaz Harav. To mark the end of the shiva period, the community is invited to a commemoration of prayer and solidarity for the eight murdered students, their families and the Israeli people suffering under threat of terror. The tefillah will take place on Thursday 13 March 2008 at Caulfield Hebrew Congregation from 6:30pm-7:15pm.

 Our community’s solidarity with Israel continues with special guest speaker Amotz Asa-El (Senior Israeli Commentator; former Executive News and Business Editor of the Jerusalem Post; Fellow at the Shalem Centre) on the topic “What’s Next for Israel?” on Sunday March 16 at 8pm at Beth Weizmann Community Centre.

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 Best wishes,


Emily Chrapot
Research Officer
State Zionist Council of Victoria
9272 5507