ZFA responds to politicians’ condemnation of Israel

July 29, 2014 by J-Wire Staff
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The Zionist Federation of Australia has reacted to a statement issued by Australian Federal and State politicians condemning Israel’s current action against Hamas.

Dr Danny Lamm

Dr Danny Lamm

Dr. Danny Lamm, President of the Zionist Federation of Australia, said, “However well-intentioned these politicians are, their statement reveals a significant misunderstanding of both the immediate situation and the wider context.”

“If carried out,” Dr. Lamm continued, “the recommendations by these politicians would not bring about peace, but reward Hamas for its genocidal intentions and encourage further murderous violence.”

“While we all want peace,” he concluded, “these politicians would have us witness more war.”

Background

The politicians that signed this statement show an unfortunate lack of awareness about the current military situation and the intentions of each side. Palestinian civilian deaths have mostly occurred as a result of the Hamas war crime of perfidy, which is to fight from amidst civilians and protected objects. According to the Fourth Geneva Convention, this crime removes immunity from attack for those objects. There is ample video evidence of Hamas using schools, homes, places of worship and other protected objects for military purposes. Israel goes to great lengths to avoid civilian casualties in every attack, including aborting attacks on valid military targets due to the presence of civilians.

While, tragically, Israeli actions have caused civilian deaths, responsibility for these deaths lies in the hands of Hamas, which not only purposefully endangers its own civilians, but forces Israel to choose between its own civilians dying or preventive action against Hamas.

The wider context is that Hamas is not seeking peace with Israel, but the destruction of it. Its founding charter, the statements by its leadership and its actions prove this unavoidable, tragic truth.

The Zionist Federation of Australia urges the international community, including Australia, not to reward Hamas for its launching of this war or its war crimes during it.

Dr Colin Rubenstein executive director of AIJAC added: “This misguided and misinformed statement  shows a callous disregard for the people who are the victims of the fighting in the Middle East. It is an exercise in self-aggrandisement masquerading as policy advocacy. It demonstrates lack of interest in or knowledge of the causes of the conflict in Gaza, of the lack of peace between Israel and the Palestinians, and of international law as it applies to this conflict. It does nothing to contribute to the cause of peace and is profoundly opposed to justice and morality. While the statement does condemn the Hamas rockets, its demonisation of Israel, which is defending itself in very difficult circumstances, seems to be the only real intent of the signatories. Hamas  is openly, cynically and callously operating militarily from civilian buildings and neighbourhoods  and encouraging its civilians to ignore Israel’s multiple warnings to evacuate. Israel’s precautionary efforts not only follow international law , but represent  groundbreaking measures to attempt to protect civilian which are virtually unprecedented in the history of warfare. 

As from http://www.melissaparke.com.au/latest-news/588-australian-parliamentarians-statement-calling-for-end-to-gaza-hostilities.html

25 July 2014

We the undersigned members of Australian federal and state parliaments, call on all Australian politicians to condemn the ongoing Israeli military bombardment and invasion of Gaza.

We call on Australian politicians to support an immediate cessation of hostilities and a ceasefire deal which includes an end to Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories and to the blockade of Gaza.

We call on all Australian politicians to also support the United Nations Human Rights Council’s decision to launch an independent inquiry into purported violations of international humanitarian and human rights laws in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem.

Over 1000* Palestinians in Gaza have been killed, since Israel started its military attack on Gaza three weeks ago. The United Nations says at least 75 percent of the dead are civilians, including an estimated 168 children. In the last two days, Palestinian children have been killed at a rate of one per hour.

The rockets fired from Gaza are not in any way justified and insofar as they threaten and harm civilians are illegal under international law. However, these imprecise rockets cannot be compared with the broad-scale bombing of Gaza by Israel which has one of the world’s largest military forces.

Collective punishment is not permitted under the Geneva conventions and is a war crime.

Hospitals, places of worship, and a centre for people with disabilities have been among the Israeli military’s targets.

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) is providing shelter to more than 102,788 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

The international community including Australia has a vital responsibility to put pressure on Israel to end its current military attack on Gaza and broker a solution of justice and peace.

*updated 27 July 2014

Signed by –

1. Maria Vamvakinou MP

2. Melissa Parke MP

3. Laurie Ferguson MP

4. Alan Griffin MP

5. Sharon Claydon MP

6. Adam Bandt MP

7. Barbara Perry MP

8. Andrew Giles MP

9. Paul Lynch MP

10. Jamie Parker MP

11. Lynda Voltz MLC

12. Shaoquett Moselmane MLC

13. David Shoebridge MLC

14. Dr Mehreen Faruqi MLC

15. Dr John Kaye MLC

16. Jeremy Buckingham MLC

17. Jan Barham MLC

18. Senator Claire Moore

19. Senator Nick Xenophon

20. Senator Christine Milne

21. Senator Lee Rhiannon

22. Senator Sarah Hanson-Young

23. Senator Larissa Waters

24. Senator Janet Rice

25. Senator Richard Di Natale

26. Senator Penny Wright

27. Senator Rachel Siewert

28. Senator Scott Ludlam

29. Senator Peter Whish-Wilson

30. Senator Sue Lines

31. Tammy Franks MLC

32. Graham Perrett MP

33. Senator Anne Urquhart

34. Terri Butler MP

35. Julie Owens MP

36. Lisa Chesters MP

37. Senator Gavin Marshall

38. Senator Anne McEwen

39. Senator Carol Brown

40. Senator Doug Cameron

41. Cassy O’Connor MP

 

Comments

3 Responses to “ZFA responds to politicians’ condemnation of Israel”
  1. Liat Nagar says:

    Arie Brand, if, as you say, most people understand the basic facts well enough, it’s more than obvious that they choose to ignore them. Just as you veer toward the likes of Gerald Kaufman, and recommend him to others in order to bolster your opinions and predilections, so do they.
    Context is important and shouldn’t be used and abused. It sits there for the proper attention of those who are searching for real truths and understanding.

  2. Arie Brand says:

    Lamm comes with the usual lame excuses about militants hiding among the civilian populastion. The Gaza strip has a surface area about one fifth the urban area of Sydney and is home to about 1.8 million people. So even if Hamas wanted to take itself off to some separate battlefield (that Israel could then bomb to its heart’s desire) in that overcrowded mouse trap that is virtually an impossibility.

    I wish that Dr.Lamm wouldn’t come up with the usual claptrap about “not understanding the wider context” etc. This conflict has been around for so long that most people understand the basic facts well enough.

    Lamm should emulate the example of British MP, Sir Gerald Kaufman, who was a Zionist before Lamm was born but has come to understand “the context” so well that he is now a prominent activist against Likud Israel. He can find his House of Common speeches on Youtube.

    • Come on Arie. While we all have been repeating the facts ad nauseum, the unconcerned, the distant, the non-involved just see the one-sided version that the media constantly trot out to prove how brutal the Israelis are against the oh-so-good and god-like the poor Hamas and their hostages are. They never show any of the other poor and dead at the hand of equal terrorists of the same ilk as Hamas all over the world. But then, the evil Jews are not there. Only in Gaza is there such a terrible loss of lives,- particularly the poor children who are dutifully trotted out by the media for the world to see and pity,- not anywhere else of course,- only in Gaza by Israelis.
      But if you have a problem with Likud, it is of no concern to anyone else. The only arbiters re who governs Israel are the Israelis and the current PM and Government have 87% support for the current campaign to continue.
      They are naturally sick and tired of having to repeat this exercise every few years while Hamas regroups and rearms with the support of their Western ‘useful idiots’. That support just prolongs the agony of the ordinary people, because terrorists the world over are immune to any other pressures.

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