Embassy official briefs Sydney Community

June 6, 2010 by Henry Benjamin
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Dor Shapira, spokesperson for Israel’s embassy in Canberra has briefed members of Sydney’s Jewish community on the Gaza Flotilla Incident.It was standing room only at Shalom College in the grounds of the University of New South Wales to hear what the diplomat had to say…

Dor Shapira

Schapira told the mainly student audience that the last couple of weeks has produced the most difficult time experienced by the embassy “in recent years”.

He told the 150-strong audience that the Gaza Flotilla Incident was a situation which Israel never “desired or intended”. He said that the primamry goal of the activists aboard the Marmara was “never to provide humanitarian aid for the people of Gaza”…rather to “manipulate international opinion and to inflame tension with Israel.”

Shapira said the flotilla and the humanitarian aid were not the issue. He said: “There is a about a wider war that began a few years ago…a war to deligitimise Israel. The current phase started with Operation Cast Lead followed by the Goldstone Report.. and now the Gaza Flotilla incident. A new menace has emerged. Its main objective is to undermine the legitimacy of Israel as a political entity and as a nation. This approach is sponsored by the astonishing marriage of radical elements of the progressive and liberal Left with Islamic fundamentalists whose doctrine is the pure opposite. For the first time in modern history, radical Islamists and left-wing activists are  succeeding in the demonising of Israel and no-one is questions their actions.”

The groups, according to Shapira are fuelled by political opportunism He said the the groups urge others to establish commissions and produce reports that accuse Israel of war crimes. He accused Human Rights Watch of “getting into bed with the the same Human Rights violators they pretend to work against. Shapira said “They lead others to sanction Israeli companies and products and boycott academics and cultural relationships with Israel.”

Ron Weiser

Shapira accused the activists of ignoring human rights in Saudi Arabia, gay rights in Iran and ignoring events in Darfur.

He said: “Israel and the Disapora no longer has the luxury of doing nothing.” He added: “When confronted by such adverse circumstances, we must band together and spek out against the accusations. We must speak for Israel in public forms and in letters to the media”

The diplomat told the audience that Israel was constantly seeking peace with her neighbours. He aid that Israel allows “open criticism of its government’s actions and although not perfect, promotes the rights of the minority groups within its borders.

Schapira turned his focus to the Internet and said “We are losing the campaign on the Internet on Twitter, Facebooks and blogs in general.” He added: “We need a voice out there than can get to a generation that does not read newspapers…but get their facts from questionable sources.”

He asked the audience to spend five minutes a day to present a voice for Israel.

The action meeting continued with group sessions which dealt with subjects including “Confrontation on the Campus”, “Letters to the Editor” and “Online Defence”

Those participating included Ron Weiser, Melanie Koss, Glen Falkenstein, Arsen Ostrovsky, Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz and Danny Rod.

Packed house All Photos: Henry Benjamin


One Response to “Embassy official briefs Sydney Community”
  1. Lynne Newington says:

    I wasn’t aware there was a Jewish Affairs Council, not that I should be expected to.
    I’m so glad you had a public gathering to explain the Flottilla episode.
    An avid reader who researches for validity, I felt I was inadequate trying to point out the facts to those making public comments and not knowing what they were talking about out of ignorance or are predjudiced.
    May I suggest you monitor what some are saying through reputable websites to bring an understanding of current Jewish issues, I could assist you on that.
    I would appreciate it as I dislike uninformed people who no doubt just read what is on the surface and would benefit from the facts of different articles when they come in.

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