Words on Israel

March 26, 2019 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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Australian and world Jewish major organisations have penned their feelings following injuries by Israelis sustained by a rocket from Gaza and Australia’s voting against UNHCR resolutions claiming Israel committed war crimes.

Israeli security forces inspect the scene of a house that was hit by a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip in Moshav Mishmeret, central Israel, on March 25, 2019. Credit: Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90

The World Jewish Congress strongly condemned the missile attack from Gaza that struck northern Tel Aviv on Monday, wounding seven people.

“It is absolutely intolerable that militants in the Gaza Strip are taking a free hand to callously escalate violence against Israel, completely unprovoked and in violation of international norms. The World Jewish Congress holds Hamas responsible for every attack that emanates from its territory, and strongly underscores that Israel reserves the full right to defend itself and its citizens against all aggression,” World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder said.

“Our thoughts are with the victims of this attack, who miraculously survived despite a direct hit on their home. It is inconceivable that the residents and citizens of Israel should have to live in fear for their lives and property. Hamas is a terrorist organization that exploits the lives of innocent civilians in its boundless quest to terrify Israelis and destroy the State of Israel. It is high time that the international community recognize Hamas for what it is and condemn it in the strongest terms possible,” Lauder said.

The Executive Council of Australian Jewry: “We understand that at least six people, including two babies have suffered burns and shrapnel injuries, and that at least one home was totally destroyed in the attack. In a tragic and oft-overlooked aspect of such acts of war, four pet dogs also died from the impact of the rocket.

The firing of rockets at civilian populations is a war crime. Not only is it designed to terrorise and cause maximum loss of civilian life in Israel, the rockets are often deliberately fired from densely populated civilian areas in Gaza, to provide cover from Israeli return fire. This also is a war crime that endangers the very people Palestinian militants claim to be protecting, and turns civilian infrastructure into legitimate military targets.

We wish the people of Israel strength in this difficult time and pray for the speedy recovery of the injured in body and mind.

It appears that these attacks are timed to distract international attention from the growing uprising against Hamas’s tyrannical rule in Gaza, which is being brutally repressed by Palestinian security forces using methods including live fire and torture. We call on both government and non-governmental actors to condemn the rocket attacks without equivocation and to pay due attention to events in Gaza, which have for the most part escaped the focus of international media and activists who claim to champion Palestinian human rights.

We also wish to commend the Australian Government for voting against all anti-Israel resolutions tabled under the UN Human Rights Council’s notorious Agenda Item 7, which is the only agenda item devoted to condemning a specific country. The Australian government is also to be commended for voting against the adoption by the UN Human Rights Council of a report falsely accusing Israel of committing war crimes in Gaza. We are pleased that a growing number of European and South American nations are now following the leadership and moral clarity of Australia by opposing these egregious resolutions both in word and in deeds

The Zionist Federation of Australia (ZFA) expressed its gratitude to Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne for Australia’s strong rejection ofbiased anti-Israel resolutions at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) last Friday.

The UNHRC ultimately passed five resolutions condemning Israel. Australia was the only nation which voted against all five texts – neither the US nor Israel sit on the UNHRC. Notably, for the first time, all the European UNHRC member states took a joint decisionto votee against “Item 7” – the permanent agenda item which singles out Israel. Japan and Brazil also voted against this resolution for the first time. Unfortunately, the resolution passed 26 for and 16 against.

President of the ZFA, Jeremy Leibler stated that “It’s no surprise but neverthelessdisappointing that these biased and one sided resolutions were passed at the UNHRC. Once again, Australia has shown clear moral leadership on the world stage, voting against these resolutions and against UNHRC standing agenda item seven – a recurring Israel-bashing item which the UNHRC tables each time it meets, that itself signals the inherent bias of this organisation”.

“It is unacceptable that Israel continues to be the target of the UNHRC’s rancour,simultaneously ignoring the gross violations of human rights perpetrated by Syria, Hamasand the Palestinian authority,” Mr Leibler added.

“Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Foreign Minister Marise Payne have shown principled leadership with Australia’s strong stance at the UNHRC last Friday. Australia has long been regarded as a sensible voice in foreign affairs and a long-time friend and partner of Israel. Wehope that Australia’s leadership on this issue will encourage the UNHRC to focus its energies on the many human rights abuses occurring around the world,” Mr Leibler said.

Mr Leibler noted that “the UNHRC”s obsessive focus on Israel occurred in the same week that 7 Israelis were injured as a result of rockets being fired indiscriminately into central Israel. Our hearts go out to the families and loved ones of those injured in this terrifying attack not far from Tel Aviv”.

Richard Balkin, President, Zionist Council of NSW: “The Zionist Council of New South Wales is deeply disturbed by news from central Israel this morning, where a rocket fired by terrorists from Gaza destroyed a home in the Kfar Saba region, injuring seven people, including two infants!

Our thoughts first and foremost are with those injured, especially the children, as we pray for their full and speedy recoveries. We also reaffirm our total and unwavering solidarity with the people of Israel during this difficult time, as our brothers and sisters come under attack from Gaza. No one should tolerate such abhorrent circumstances!

This attack was a blatant and egregious act of terror, full stop. All those who truly care about peace, must condemn this unequivocally, immediately and without reservation. It is time the international community held Hamas to account!”

Executive director of The Australia/Israel and Jewish Affairs Council Dr Colin Rubenstein added: “Once again the world can see Hamas’ cynical, misguided and malevolent priorities.

Instead of listening to the message from the unprecedented recent protests that have erupted in Gaza from Palestinians who are fed up with Hamas’ 12 long years of corrupt, violent and oppressive misrule, Hamas has decided to fire rockets at central Israel, risking a military response that can only bring further misery to the long suffering people in Gaza.

Israel has an indisputable right to protect its citizens against the violent terrorist organisation that rules the Gaza strip and uses that territory to commit the double war crime of launching rockets from the heart of Palestinian civilian communities into the heart of Israeli civilian communities. Australia and all other nations of good will should both support that right, while acknowledging  and searching  for new ways to address the core reason for the ongoing violence constantly emanating from Gaza – Hamas’ determination to use the enclave as a launching pad for constant attacks on Israel.”


One Response to “Words on Israel”
  1. Geoffrey Zygier says:

    Below is what appeared on the ABC news website earlier today:

    “Results for israel
    Sort by:Relevance|Most recent
    Israel attacks targets in Gaza following signing of Golan Heights proclamation
    Duration: 3 minutes 15 seconds3m 15s
    Donald Trump signed a presidential proclamation recognising Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, at the same time the Israeli Air Force attacked targets in Gaza.
    8hours ago/RADIO”

    Our community bodies must protest against this blatantly one-sided reportage.

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