The following email was sent today to signatories of Independent Australian Jewish Voices:
The war in Gaza may be over, but the devastated Strip remains in dire shape. Our recent Gaza media statement generated global attention and highlighted the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, joining worldwide condemnation of Israeli aggression. Full media coverage of the statement can be found here.
During the Gaza crisis, IAJV co-founders Peter Slezak and Antony Loewenstein spoke at leading anti-war rallies in Melbourne and Sydney respectively, lending dissenting Jewish voices to the calls for peace. Peter’s speech can be read here and Antony’s speech is here.
We have been helping to prepare for the visit of leading Israeli/American peace activist, Dr Jeff Halper, who embarks this week on a national tour of speaking engagements and media interviews to highlight the plight of Gaza and explain the Israeli political situation. A full list of his events are on our website.
His visit is sponsored by a number of organisations, including Australians for Palestine and Coalition for Justice and Peace in Palestine. Dr Halper, who visited Gaza late last year on a humanitarian mission, is an eloquent Jewish spokesman whose voice demands to be heard in the Middle East debate; considered, calm and powerful. He has appeared on the Radio National Breakfast program and ABC Radio PM.
Halper’s tour has already been hit with controversy, with the Australian Jewish News revoking a decision to run an advertisement simply outlining his Sydney events and Emanuel synagogue in Sydney cancelling its scheduled talk with him. A talk at the same time has been rescheduled at a nearby venue. For the latest information, check the front page of IAJV.
To further expand the Australian discussion over Israel/Palestine, we can announce the launch on our website of an opinion and letters section, to be edited by leading Australian author Sara Dowse. This is a space for contributors to discuss issues related to Israel/Palestine and Zionism. A variety of views are welcomed and will be considered. Articles should be no longer than 800 words and letters should not exceed 250 words. All submissions should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
In other news, we are currently participating in discussions, alongside leading Palestinian groups, with senior government ministers and other members of Federal Parliament.
Finally, please find below a small selection of recent news articles and analysis that provide an insight into the realities of the Middle East.
Richard Falk: Israel’s War Crimes
Charles Freeman fails the loyalty test
Poll: Hamas more popular after Gaza offensive
UK aid convoy crosses into Gaza
Must Jews always see themselves as victims?
Israel annexing East Jerusalem, says EU
World takes dim view of Lieberman in FM post
Independent Australian Jewish Voices