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Update – 2 May 2008

Dear Advocates,

Today’s Australian newspaper has a story entitled Israel links Holocaust to Iran threat from Martin Chulov. His article delves into the way Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) was marked in Israel, and how very real anti-Semitism still is today and how it is further compounded by the added threat of the possibility of a nuclear Iran. As President Shimon Peres put it … “[A] leader who destroyed masses with a weapon of mass destruction, combined. What would have been left of our world then?”

The article also mentions how Hamas television chose to mark the day, with the head of the Palestinian Centre for Strategic Research Anub Dabur saying, “The Israeli Holocaust – the whole thing was a joke, and part of the perfect show that [Zionist leader and future Israeli Prime Minister put on.” The “young energetic and able” were sent to Israel, while the handicapped were sent “so there would be a Holocaust”. Watch the video (by either clicking on the link or watching below the text of this email) and read Palestinian Media Watch’s report entitled ‘Hamas Holocaust perversion: Jews planned Holocaust to kill handicapped Jews.’

In addition to Hamas’ views on the Holocaust comes an admission by Hamas Leader Khaled Mash’al that their ‘proposal for Tahdiah (‘Calm’) is tactical’. He states ‘people should not assume that in the management of this conflict, we are moving from a phase of resistance and battles to a phase of calm. No. According to our concept of the management of this conflict, the tahdiah is a tactical means. It is a step within the resistance and is not detached from it. It is only natural for any resistance movement, which cares about the interests of its people, to bear in mind the general Palestinian condition. At times, it generates an escalation, and at times, it withdraws a little. It is a process of ebb and flow, going up and down. This is how you run a battle. Hamas is renowned for this.”

Peace can only be achieved with a partnership. For Israelis to enjoy a peaceful future, they must have a partner who recognises their existence and who renounces terror and moves along a path to peace. With this mode of thinking, Hamas is certainly not that partner.

CNN reported a few days ago on an Israeli air strike targeting a metal shop in Rafah. One person was killed – the deputy commander of the Islamic Jihad military wing. According to Palestinian sources he also served as a school headmaster at a United Nations Relief and Works Agency school.

This raises the very real question of the extent of infiltration by Palestinian terrorists into UN organisations in Gaza, how this effects its operation and the plausibility of statements that emanate from UN officials who might be relying on advice or information they receive from their own employees. This recalls a piece from Ed O’Loughlin in The Age in January when he quoted a senior UN official in order to debunk Israel’s claim that Hamas deliberately contrived a power crises to discredit it. 

Subsequently it became very clear that the UN official was misinformed and that Hamas was really “putting on a show for the world” – even working by candlelight with blinds drawn in broad daylight as seen in photographs subsequently distributed around the world.

My positive advocacy story of the day comes from an unlikely area.  I bring your attention to Avraham Grant, an Israeli who is the current coach of soccer team Chelsea. On Wednesday Grant’s team defeated archrival Liverpool in the semi finals of the European Champions League. Grant’s story, which you can read about here, took a further turn this week when elements in Israeli society criticised Grant for coaching his team on Yom HaShoah. But not only did Grant, the son of a Holocaust survivor, wear a black armband with a yellow Star of David on it  for a game that was broadcast all over the world, but he left his team to celebrate on their own when he flew over to Poland to participate in the March of the Living.

What Grant represents is how the second and third generation has prospered and succeeded since the Holocaust. Grant is representing the State of Israel on the international stage of sport. While he has received criticism in the soccer world, on the day when it mattered he opened up the eyes of all those watching the game. If even just for a brief moment, Grant made them think about the plight of the 6 million Jews that perished in the Holocaust.

I would like to draw your attention the Yom Hazikaron Commemoration for Israel’s Fallen Soldiers and Victims of Terror, which will take place on Tuesday 6 May 2008 at 7:45pm at Robert Blackwood Hall, Monash University – Clayton Campus. As we approach Israel’s 60th celebrations, we first stop to remember the sons and daughters who sacrificed their lives for the achievement of the country’s independence and her continue existence.

The doors will open at 7:00pm with Free Admission. The program is in English and Hebrew with translations. For pre-allocated seating (nominal charge) contact the SZC office on 9272 5544. Click here for the flyer.

Best wishes,


Emily Chrapot
Research Officer
State Zionist Council of Victoria
9272 5507