Rallies supporting Israel at both sides of the Tasman

August 10, 2014 by J-Wire Staff
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Successful rallies expressing support for and solidarity with Israel took place today in Auckland and Melbourne.


Over 2500 members of the Melbourne Jewish community gathered in from of the State Parliament building. Executive director of The Jewish Community Council of Victoria David Marlow told J-Wire the same message was shared by most of the speakers saying that if Hamas stops firing their rockets there will be instant peace and if Israel stops defending herself she faces destruction.

Speakers included Dr Danny Lamm president of the Zionist Federation of Australia and Sam Tatarka president of the Zionist Council of Victoria as well as Nina Bassatt, president of The Jewish Community Council of Victoria. Prominent state MP David Southwick joined federal MP Michael Danby on the podium as Did Senator Scott Ryan and Caulfield Synagogue’s Rabbi Ralph Genende.

“We have come today to show our solidarity for the only democracy in Middle East,” said Tatarka who was greeted with shouts of support from the crowd and the blowing of a shofar. “All we long for is to live free in our homeland. Australia understands freedom and democracy, so does Israel.”

Danny Lamm said: “We are here to let the world know we stand with Israel! That this war was not initiated by Israel and that Israel did everything it could to avoid this war. Since 2001 more than 15 000 rockets have been indiscriminately fired at Israel. Some crossed the border and some hit institutions in Gaza. Israel wants peace and has accepted every ceasefire proposal. Gaza has broken every ceasefire!”

Nina Bassat of the Jewish Community Council of Victoria was also a speaker and shared the same message as the other guests: “If Hamas stops firing their rockets there will be instant peace and if Israel stops defending herself she faces destruction.”

Executive director of The Australia/Israel and Jewish Affairs Council Dr Colin Rubenstein addressed the meeting saying: “It’s time for some moral clarity and some factual accuracy!Enough of the lies, the slander, the bias and the evil old fashioned ,and pernicious new, antisemitism.

Israel never wanted this conflict It doesn’t want to be in Gaza. It does not want to kill one Palestinian civilian, or risk the life of one of its soldiers. It wants peace in the Middle East – to live in peace alongside a Palestinian state that genuinely accepts its right to exist as a Jewish state within secure borders.

It has shown many times that it is prepared to make painful compromises to achieve this peace. However, it also knows that peace requires it to defend its civilians when they are attacked by incessant rockets and alarming terror tunnels.

It did not want this war, but war was forced upon it.

When Hamas commits the double war crime of firing indiscriminately at Israeli civilians while hiding among its own civilians, it must act, and it cannot be blamed for the inevitable deaths that follow.

Israel does more than any other country to avoid killing civilians.

It uses a variety of methods, including phone calls, texts, leaflets and the knock on the roof to warn civilians, even if that means it loses some military advantage. Hamas, by contrast, uses its civilians to protect its weapons. Its evil strategy in this war includes  knowingly incurring civilian deaths so they can be used against Israel in the international court of public opinion.

Part of this strategy is to exaggerate the percentage of civilians among the deaths from this war whereas reliable Israeli figures indicate nearly half the casualties are Hamas combatants.

We want peace, for Israel and for the long-suffering civilians of Gaza, but people must understand that the route to peace does not involve empowering the terrorists of Hamas by denying Israel’s right to effectively defend itself.

Hamas, which is fanatically committed to the destruction of Israel, is not interested in peace. It is not interested in a Palestinian state living in peace next to Israel. It does not even aspire to a Palestinian state instead of Israel.

What Hamas wants is what al-Qaeda wants and what ISIS wants – an Islamic Caliphate.

The only way to peace is for Hamas to be demilitarised, linking this to the rehabilitation and rebuilding of Gaza.

The people of Israel must be freed from the threat of Hamas, and the people of Gaza must be freed from the yoke of Hamas, and from  rulers that sees them as nothing more than cannon fodder.

Let’s all hope that the international community realises these simple truths, supports efforts to ensure  that the people of Israel, and the people of Gaza, don’t need to go through all this again, but rather are steered towards a road for genuine negotiations and real peace.”


The city’s Jewish youth communities were well represented.


Melbourne rally













Around 500 turned up in Auckland to identify with Israel.  Speakers at the rally held in the Queen Elizabeth Square in the city’s CBD included members of the Jewish, Maori and Christian communities.



Auckland rally



One Response to “Rallies supporting Israel at both sides of the Tasman”
  1. Everett Benson says:

    Interestingly, in her report on the Melbourne rally, The Age reporter claimed that only some 500 were present at it. I was there, and there were obviously a lot more than 500; I thought maybe as much as 4,000 but I am not expert at estimating crowds. But the depth of the crowd I could count, and in most places it was over 50 people deep. The length of it was far broader than that since it stretched along a street.

    Oddly enough, the reporter mentioned in a general fashion that there was some criticism of the media accounts of the Gaza conflict by various speakers at the rally, but she did not refer to the most extended and furious criticism of the media by Michael Danby, in which he specifically named Mike Carlton and Ruth Pollard of the reporter’s own Fairfax papers The Age/SMH, together with John Lyons of The Australian, nor did she say that these scathing comments drew some of the loudest and most general applause of the rally.

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