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Fairfax, AFP: Iron Dome a DEFENCE system

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Fairfax, AFP: Iron Dome a Defence system

This letter was sent to the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age in response to an Agence France-Presse article and caption that were printed in the online versions of the Fairfax papers on 6 February.

Note: On 7 February, the original caption to the article was changed to “The Israeli military launches a missile from the Iron Dome missile system in the southern city of Beer Sheva on November 15, 2012”. The original caption read: “The Israeli military launch a missile from the Iron Dome missile system in the southern city of Beer Sheva into the Gaza Strip on November 15, 2012” (emphasis mine, to reflect the part that was removed).

Dear Editor,

We refer to your article that appeared online headlined “Israel deploys missile defence system near Syria,” on the Sydney Morning Herald website http://www.smh.com.au/world/israel-deploys-missile-defence-system-near-syria-20130206-2dxaf.html and on The Age website http://www.theage.com.au/world/israel-deploys-missile-defence-system-near-syria-20130206-2dxaf.html

The Iron Dome to which the article refers is a defensive surface to air missile system designed to intercept and destroy missiles fired into Israel by its hostile neighbours including Hamas in Gaza (saving many lives in the recent conflict) and Hezbollah in Lebanon which is a client of the Syrian regime led by Bashar Al Asad. It is NOT a missile system that fires missiles into Gaza or anywhere else.

Your picture depicts the Iron Dome in action as it intercepted missiles fired into Israel from the Gaza Strip and hence the caption which reads “The Israeli military launch a missile from the Iron Dome missile system in the southern city of Beer Sheva into the Gaza Strip on November 15, 2012” is inaccurate and misleading.

Furthermore the assertion in the body of the article that Iron Dome would allow Israel “to launch a quick strike on targets in its two northern neighbours” further misrepresents the entirely defensive nature of the system.

Without wishing to speak on behalf of the government of Israel, one might reasonably assume that given the current civil war raging in Syria and its impact on arms supplies to Hezbollah in Lebanon, Israel would have good reason to position defensive weapons in the northern part of the country which came under heavy missile fire in the conflict that occurred in 2006.

Co-signed,

Sam Tatarka, President, Zionist Council of Victoria ZCV Philip Chester, President, Zionist Federation of Australia Zionist Federation of Australia Richard Balkin, President, Zionist Council of NSW Zionist Council of New South Wales

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