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Update – 5 November 2008

Dear Advocates, 

As I write this email, the world is waiting as the first results from the United States Presidential Election start coming through. I do not want to open a discussion about American politics, because despite talking constantly the last few weeks about which candidate may be better for Israel, we as Australians and Israel advocates do not have a say.

Yesterday marked 13 years since the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. As I sat thinking about one of Israel’s greatest leaders, who paid the ultimate price for his courageous and brave peace efforts, I thought about the fact that on this historic day for Israel, Americans were also on their way to making history. To this end, I found an interesting article, entitled ‘Dire fears for Obama in Rabin’s long shadow’ from Haaretz, which voices concerns for Obama’s safety saying, “pray that he will not be targeted because a racist has confused the pride of the United States with a shameful past.”

Sadly, there are also fears for Israeli leaders, with Infrastructure Minister Binyamin Ben Eliezer stating:
“The writing is on the wall again, and this time in bigger and clearer letters: the next political assassination is around the corner. Somewhere in Israel someone is already holding a loaded weapon, and there is someone giving that person spiritual inspiration and a sense of an ideological mission.” For more information, click here.

To read more about Yitzhak Rabin z”l go to: Israel Remembers Yitzhak Rabin: 1922-1995 from MFA. The State Zionist Council and Hamerkaz HaIsraeli will be holding a commemoration on Sunday 9 November 2008 at 7:30pm at Beth Weizmann Community Centre on the topic of “Rift and Rehabilitation”. For more information, click here. May his memory be blessed. 

Meanwhile, the Israelis and the Palestinians faced off in their first armed confrontation since the truce took effect in June. According to reports, the IDF entered Gaza to blow up a tunnel dug by Hamas for the purpose of kidnapping Israeli soldiers. Five Hamas gunmen have reportedly been killed. A military source has reported that terrorists blew up a house where the tunnel surface, an explosion which testified to a “large amount of explosives”. Please read, ‘Four Gaza gunmen reported dead in Israeli airstrike’ from Jpost. One can only hope that the violence does not escalate any further.

As I mentioned in my last update, Israelis are heading for the polls and the date has now been set for 10 February 2009. You can expect a lot of political wrangling between now and then! For a rundown on the elections please read ‘Elections in Israel – February 2009’ from MFA.

Finally, I would like to finish up with a great story out of Israel about an Israeli startup company that has developed a new technology allowing users to extract fresh water from the air. I could not explain it properly, even if I tried, so please read ‘Israeli startup EWA squeezes drinking water from thin air’ from MFA.

Best wishes,


Emily Chrapot
Research Officer
State Zionist Council of Victoria
9272 5507