Update – 5 September 2008

Dear Advocates, 

Following on from the controversy I mentioned last week concerning comments made by Australian Arabic Council Chairman Roland Jabbour, today’s Age features some choice comments from Australian Federation of Islamic Councils President Ikebal Patel. In this case, the original article upon which the comments are based has absolutely nothing to do with Israel but this doesn’t stop Mr. Patel from using his own absurd inversion of historical facts into his interesting spin on the situation.

The article, on page 8 of The Age entitled ‘Wounded soldier flown to Europe’ talks about the Special Forces Australian soldier that was critically injured in an ambush by the Taliban in Afghanistan this week, and how he has been flown to Germany for specialised treatment.

So far, no connection to Israel, right?

The Australian Federation of Islamic Councils issued a statement expressing sympathy for the wounded soldiers and showed concern about the developments in Afghanistan. But the pièce de résistance came here:

And he questioned the continuation of the war and linked the Taliban campaign to the situation in Israel and Palestine.
“There must be a better way to deal with terrorism than by means of war,” Mr Patel said. “We must address the many underlying causes of terrorism and violence, such as the 60-year-old injustices and suffering of Palestinian people at the hands of a brutal Israeli regime.”

There is no justification for terror, plain and simple but the President of the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils finds it necessary to connect the situation in Israel with Afghanistan?

There is certainly no connection between wounded Australian soldiers in the way that Patel puts it and the situation in Israel, so why, when addressing a global issue of terrorism and violence, does he seek to invent one?

Perhaps it’s simply to deflect from the issue at hand and to distort the truth about the unbroken 60-year-old plus period of attacks on Jews that have made it necessary for Israelis to defend themselves against Arab and Palestinian terror.

Top Israel advocate David Olesker was in Melbourne this week, and he spoke about ways to better advocate for Israel by reframing the situation. This appears to be exactly what Ikebal Patel has done, but on the flipside.

Please email me by clicking here if you would like to receive a link to David’s handouts and advocacy tips. His talk was fantastic and humorous and he provided his audience with great anecdotes and responses to various scenarios. 

I received an interesting bulletin from Palestinian Media Watch about a Palestinian television show that teaches children to view the world in a way in which the state of “Palestine” exists and replaces all of Israel. The educational program appeared on Fatah-controlled Palestinian Authority television; the same Fatah that is Israel’s partner for peace. How can the be peace, when a young generation of Palestinians are already being brought up on a diet of Farfour the Mouse and Nahoul the Bee through the program “Tomorrow’s Pioneers”, and are taught hate? And then, on the most basic of levels, instead of being taught about peace and harmony, and a future independent state of Palestine living side-by-side with the State of Israel, they are being taught about a Palestine instead of Israel. For more information, click here.

On another note, while the lull in fighting continues between Hamas and Israel, terrorist groups are taking advantage of this by continuing their military buildup and holding intensive training programs that include women and children. They teach “skills” such as detonating bombs, and place an emphasis on abducting soldiers. Children in summer camps have been quoted as saying that they practiced “fighting Jews and killing Jewish children” (note that it is “Jews” and not Israelis). To read more, click here. To see a clip about women in Gaza preparing to be suicide bombers, click here.

Best wishes,


Emily Chrapot
Research Officer
State Zionist Council of Victoria
9272 5507