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Update – 10 April 2008

Dear Advocates,

Today I bring you the sad news of the murder of two Israeli citizens, Oleg Lipson and Lev Cerniak, by Palestinian gunmen who raided the Nahal Oz fuel terminal. The Israel-Gaza terminal is used to transfer food, fuel and medical supplies to the Gaza Strip.

In a letter of complaint to the United Nations, Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, Danny Gillerman stated that “in the past 24 hours alone, more than 127 trucks, carrying medical equipment, diapers and basic food products were transferred from Israel to the Palestinian population in Gaza, via these crossing points, while at the same time more than 50 rockets and mortars were fired at Israel, in addition to the murder of the two Israelis at the fuel terminal”.

One Israeli official stated, “This is a cynical attack… on the one hand, Hamas complains of the blockade on Gaza, and on the other hand it is responsible for the attack on the fuel terminal, which provides gas and fuel to the residents of the Strip”.

Defence Minister Ehud Barak holds Hamas responsible for the attack saying, “Hamas is the official ruler of Gaza, and, as far as Israel is concerned, must be held accountable for the firing and terror attacks that come from Gaza.” Meanwhile, a Foreign Ministry spokesman has stated, “Israel will determine how to defend itself and will act against the terrorist organisations, their commanders and operators. At the same time, Israel will continue with its efforts to prevent a humanitarian crisis in Gaza.”

That being said, if Israel chooses to respond but cutting off electrical supplies, it will be interesting to see just how our local media reacts, considering the enormous coverage it got the last time this occurred. It could be just my own cynicism, but I suspect that if this is reported in the news, there will be very little mention of the Nahal Oz attack.

On his way out Fairfax reporter Ed O’Loughlin filed a horrendous piece yesterday, entitled ‘Israel muzzles the voice of peace’, where he chose to focus on the closure of an illegal radio station. The radio station was set up to promote peace and reconciliation but it has been running without a permit. Israel’s closure of the station (which does not come without precedence – they have shut down other illegal stations because they were causing interference to communications at Ben Gurion Airport) is regarded by O’Loughlin as Israel trying to put a gag on peace. As one blogger has put it: “O’Loughlin has for years steered well clear of mentioning how… Hamas and the Fatah controlled Palestinian Authority conduct themselves when it comes to seeking peace and reconciliation. They can both broadcast programme after programme incorporating a constant stream of hateful and invective racist incitement against Jews and you will not hear a single peep out of him.”

With this sort of reporting, I shudder to think what news will come out of Israel in our local media tomorrow.

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Best wishes,


Emily Chrapot
Research Officer
State Zionist Council of Victoria
9272 5507