Press Release – 29 December 2008

Hamas chooses war over truce

“The Zionist Council of Victoria expresses its full support for Israel’s military action to defend the lives of Israeli citizens in southern Israel. This action has been made necessary by the continued indiscriminate bombardment of Israeli population centres over the past seven years, truce notwithstanding” said Dr Danny Lamm, President of the Council.

An extension to the six month so-called “truce” between Hamas and Israel was emphatically rejected by Hamas, despite Israel’s willingness to continue, and despite Egypt’s offer to broker its renewal. During the period of the truce, Hamas rearmed and continued to rain missiles on the surrounding population of more than a quarter of a million Israelis, instead of using the time to develop infrastructure and better the conditions of the people of Gaza.

In this context, Dr Lamm endorsed the words of the Egyptian foreign minister, Ahmed Aboul Gheit who censured Hamas saying that Egypt had repeatedly cautioned against continuing the situation and that if Hamas did not, then they should assume responsibility and not blame others.

Despite Hamas’ escalation of rocket attacks since the expiration of the so-called truce on December 19, Israel nevertheless opened crossings as recently as last Friday to allow humanitarian supplies to be provided.

The Zionist Council of Victoria regrets the loss of innocent lives and hopes that this confrontation will end quickly and that there will be a return to a search for a diplomatic solution.

For more information contact:
Ginette Searle, Executive Director, Zionist Council of Victoria 0412 251 343
Elly Shalev, Public Affairs Director, Zionist Council of Victoria 0400 313 197
The Zionist Council of Victoria leads and encourages Jewish and Zionist activity and expression within Victoria, to represent the Jewish community, to promote and communicate Israel’s interests within the broader Victorian community and to promote Victoria’s relationship with Israel. For more information, visit the Zionist Council of Victoria website www.zionismvictoria.org.au