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Update – 12 August 2009

Dear All,

Yesterday’s Age featured an Op-Ed by former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser entitled ‘The isolation of Hamas is impeding peace’. This piece is yet another installment in a series of misguided Op-Eds from the man who is now an unabashed apologist for the Hamas regime following this offering – ‘Israel’s actions foster extremism’. 

Sometimes, a piece of writing comes across my desk that is so erroneous and foolish that I am not even sure where or whether to start. There are too many gaffes in Fraser’s rant to cover them all but here are some:

Fraser asserts that “too many Israelis believe that Muslims generally will not accept the fact of Israel’s existence and that their objective is to establish a fundamental domination of the entire region, and thus the destruction of Israel”. The suggestion that this is some sort of abstract paranoia being exhibited on the Israelis behalf belies the existence of the Hamas charter.

“Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it”.

“There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavours.”

I do not know about Mr. Fraser in the comfortable confines of Australia but when a homicidal manic tells me that I will only exist until I am obliterated, I might tend to believe him.

Fraser then moves on to the nuclear issue. He declares that despite the fact that Israel has defence guarantees from the US, it has nevertheless pursued the establishment of its own substantial nuclear arsenal. According to Fraser Israel’s “actions promote proliferation and have clearly influenced Iran”. In other words, if Iran could just successful wipe those pesky Israelis off the map, the world would have nothing to worry about and we could all go back to singing “Kumbaya” and not worrying about a nuclear Iran.

But the pièce de résistance is what Fraser has to say about Hamas, the winners of a “legitimate democratic election in the West Bank and Gaza”. You see, the Israelis had the audacity to request that the organisation “forswear violence and recognise Israel’s rights before any talks could begin”. Apparently, according to Fraser, because Israel, the US and basically the whole Western world isolated Hamas, “violence – predictably – resumed and the whole region paid the price.” Unfortunately, Mr. Fraser, this is not like the never-ending debate about what came first, the chicken or the egg. Hamas has been violent since its inception and its forebear, the Muslim Brotherhood has been so since time immemorial. Attempts by Mr. Fraser and his buddies to paint Hamas as some sort of Boy Scout group when they are clearly nothing of the sort are becoming more than a little tiring.

No doubt many letters were written far more eloquently than this piece yesterday to refute Fraser’s outrageous claims, but the Age chose to print one letter, unsurprisingly in support of Fraser.

On the other-side of the same side of the spectrum, we have Fatah, who I mentioned my last update just held their first congress since 1989. One of the outcomes of the Congress was elections to the Central Committee. Please read Barry Rubin’s piece ‘Fatah Congress Election Results: Quite Different From What You Will Be Told’, as offers a lot of insight on all of the elected members and what it means for the peace process.

Please also see this Youtube clip, which shows Fatah leaders applauding loudly when two terrorists who committed the worst terror attack in Israel’s history, killing 37 Israelis, were referred to as “heroic Martyrs”.

Please click here to read about a different kind of peace, of the economic variety, which the Israeli Government is promoting in order to boost the Palestinian economy and click here to read about the way in which the Israelis are attempting to improve the quality of life in both the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Initiatives you probably will not read about in your local broadsheet. 

Best wishes,

Emily Chrapot
Israel Advocacy Analyst
Zionist Council of Victoria
9272 5507