Support for Israel and Japan

March 15, 2011 Agencies
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The Australian Jewish community has offered condolences to Japanese affected by the Tsunami/Earthquake and the Israelis over the Itamar attack.


The Executive Council of Australian Jewry wrote to Japanese Ambassador to Australia Shigekazu Sato:


Dr Danny Lamm

On behalf of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, the elected peak national body of the Australian Jewish community, I extend our heartfelt condolences to the people and government of Japan for the grave loss of life, injuries and catastrophic damage to property caused by Friday’s massive earthquake off the east coast of northern Japan and the tsunami which devastated coastal areas within minutes afterwards.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of those who have been killed and the thousands who are still missing, to the tens of thousands of people who have been forced to leave their homes and are living in emergency shelters, and also to those who have had to be evacuated following the explosions on Friday and again today at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

We pray especially for the speedy rescue of people who are still trapped in buildings that have been damaged or are otherwise cut off from help, and whose lives are further endangered by the threat of aftershocks.

We fully support and endorse the initiative of the Australian government in making available trained emergency workers to help the government of Japan to deal with the crisis.  We are closely monitoring the situation and the Australian Jewish community remains ready, with other Australians, to make a contribution to assist in the recovery effort.

and to Israel’s Ambassador to Australia, Yuval Rotem, President Dr Danny Lamm wrote:

Murder of members of the Fogel family in Itamar

On behalf of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, the elected peak national body of the Australian Jewish community, I extend our heartfelt condolences to the people and government of Israel and to the surviving members of the Fogel family for the grievous loss of Ruth and Udi Fogel, aged 35 and 36, respectively, and their three children, three-month-old Hadas, four year old Elad, and eleven year old Yoav, who were all stabbed to death at home last Friday while they slept in their beds.

A Palestinian terrorist group, a faction of Fatah’s al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, has claimed responsibility for attack.  Yet the savagery and barbarity of these murders beggars description, even for those of us who are familiar with the grisly record of Palestinian terrorism.

Our community was gratified that Australia’s Foreign Minister, Kevin Rudd, promptly issued a strong statement of condemnation of the murders on behalf of the Australian government. We have written to the Foreign Minister to thank him for doing so, and a copy of our letter is attached.

This incident highlights the true nature of Palestinian terrorism that Israelis have always faced, and the need for Israel to take strong measures to protect its citizens, wherever they may live, against hatred and violence.






4 Responses to “Support for Israel and Japan”
  1. David Singer says:

    Stewart Mills

    You seem to have omitted all mention of the Hebron massacre in 1929.

    Let me refresh for you what happened:

    “On August 15, 1929, when Jews again marked the holiday Tisha B’av by sitting, and also chanted “the Wall is ours,” the Arabs began yet another in a series of bloody massacres. The massacres in several cities culminated in unspeakable atrocities at Hebron.

    It began in Jerusalem. “Itbach Al Yahood! Itbach Al Yahood!” “Slaughter the Jews. Slaughter the Jews”. With knives and clubs, the mob attacked every Jew in sight, burned Torah scrolls, and yanked supplication notes to God from the cracks in the [Western] Wall and set them aflame.

    Attacks spread throughout the land over the following days. Jews were stabbed, shot, beaten down with rocks, maimed, and killed in various Jewish towns and suburbs. The chaos continued for days. With thousands of dagger- and club-wielding Arabs swarming throughout the city hunting Jews, wire services transmitted headlines such as “Thousands of Peasants Invaded Jerusalem and Raided all Parts of the City.”

    Martial law was declared. Armored cars were brought in from Baghdad. British airplanes swept in to machine-gun Arab marauders. Violence continued to spread throughout Palestine. Jews fought back and retaliated with bricks and bars and whatever they could find. Then, on August 23 and 24, 1929, Hebron became a bloody nightmare.

    House to house, Arab mobs went, bursting into every room looking for hiding Jews. Religious books and scrolls were burned or torn to shreds. The defenseless Jews were variously beheaded, castrated, their breasts and fingers sliced off, and in some cases their eyes plucked from their sockets. Infant or adult, man or woman — it mattered not. The carnage went on for hours, with the Arab policemen standing down — or joining in. Blood ran in streamlets down the narrow stone staircases outside the buildings. House to house, room by room, the savagery was repeated.

    One young boy, Yosef Lazarovski, later wrote of the horror: “I remember a brown-skinned Arab with a large mustache breaking through the door. He had a large knife and an axe that he swung through the doorjambs until he broke through. [He was] full of fury, screaming, ‘Allah Akbar!’ and ‘Itbach al Yahood!’ … My grandfather tried to hold my hand, then [he tried] to push me aside [and hide me], screaming, Shema Yisrael [the most solemn Jewish prayer] … and then I remember another Arab … with an axe that he brought down on my grandfather’s neck.”

    Not a single victim was simply killed. Each was mutilated and tortured in accordance with their identities, the specific information provided by local Arabs. The Jewish man who lent money to Arabs was sliced open and the IOUs burned in his body. The Jewish baker’s head was tied to the stove and then baked. A Jewish scholar who had studied Koranic philosophy for years was seized, his cranium cut open, and his brain extracted. Another man was nailed to a door. Some sixty-seven Jews were brutally murdered.

    London dispatched special investigative commissions which determined that under the sharia status quo, Jews were not permitted to sit. Jews were even blamed for provoking the massacres by deliberately sitting.”

    Ah yes -of course it was the Jews’ fault. It is always the Jews’ fault. For that the punishment is death.

    Mahmoud Abbas uses the same justification in 2011 to excuse the Itamar massacre having reportedly told the Jerusalem Post that the international community must know that settlers are targeting villages, mosques, houses and olive trees every day – and was then quoted as saying:

    “The international community and Israeli society need to know about these crimes because this is a crime and that is a crime too,”

    There you have it – Jewish blood for sitting at the Kotel in Jerusalem – Jewish blood for vandalised olive trees.

    I can provide you with many other examples of Jewish civilians being deliberately murdered by rampaging Arab hordes.

    Do you really believe that the deliberate and wanton murder of innocent civilians can ever be justified? I include in that the murders perpetrated by Baruch Goldstein even though it is alleged he was mentally deranged at the time. Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin telephoned PLO leader Yasser Arafat, and described the attack as a “loathsome, criminal act of murder”.

    Abbas didn’t even have the human decency to ring Netanyahu and condemn the Fogel family massacre as a loathsome criminal act – no matter who perpetrated it..

    You seem to have the same difficulty – why?

  2. Danny Lamm says:

    In reply to Stewart Mills:

    1. There is no equivalence, moral or otherwise, between the premeditated stabbing murder of 5 members of a family sleeping in their beds at home, and the inadvertent deaths of civilians during combat between the IDF and heavily armed Hamas and other fighters. When Israeli civilians are killed by Palestinian terror groups it is BECAUSE those civilians are the intended targets – in violation of all the laws and customs of war. When unarmed Palestinian civilians have been killed by the IDF it is DESPITE the fact that they were NOT the targets. For Stewart Mills to draw an equivalence between the IDF and the Itamar murderer, and/or Palestinian terrorism generally, is moral relativism at its most mendacious. There is no ethical basis to his argument.

    2. Civilian deaths among the Palestinians routinely are the subject of an investigation and inquiry by IDF lawyers and these have resulted in the laying of criminal charges where there is evidence of violation of Israeli law or the international law of war.

    3. In his roll-call of Palestinian children who have tragically been killed in the conflict, Stewart Mills omits to mention 5-year-old Hanin Abu Khoussa and her 12-year-old cousin, Sabah Abu Khoussa who were killed in December 2008 in Beit Lahiya village in northern Gaza by a rocket fired by Hamas at a civilian target in Israel which fell short of its mark. Their deaths received hardly any media coverage and of course they have not been feted by Palestinians as “martyrs”. Three other young Palestinians were wounded.

    4. The deaths of any civilians on either side of the conflict are indeed tragic, and the ECAJ and other Jewish organisations have repeatedly issued statements to that effect whether the victims have been Israelis or Palestinians. Sadly, this view is seldom reciprocated. The Arabs in Gaza handed out sweets and rejoiced at the slaughter in Itamar. We have seen this kind of public exultation at the shedding of Jewish blood many times before: Arab hands being dipped in the blood of the Israeli victims they have butchered and held up to a cheering mob; the Palestinian Authority-controlled media, mosques and educational materials telling their children that it is the greatest glory and a religious duty to kill Jews; the Palestinian Authority naming squares and streets after such genocidal murders in order to honour their deeds.

    5. This is not merely terrorism. This is a depraved death cult — one adopted by the direct heirs to the Arabs of inter-war Palestine who allied themselves wholeheartedly with the Nazi beast and formed Hitler’s Middle East legion. And their present-day descendants use the very same Nazi motifs and tactics of psychopathic dehumanisation of the Jews to incite their murder.

    6. The reason people slit the throats of children as they sleep is not because Jews are building houses. Massacres of Jews by Arabs have been taking place in the land of Israel since the 1920s. And that’s because the ‘settlement’ to which the Arabs react by mass murder is, as it always has been, the presence of Jews in any part of the land they currently occupy in the Middle East, including their own country

    7. “The occupation” is not the central problem. The problem is the continuing unwillingness of a large number of Palestinians to accept Israel’s very existence. Stewart Mills seems to have forgotten how and why Israel came to be in possession of “the territory beyond the 1949 armistice lines” in the first place. Do I really need to remind him of the numerous acts of aggression of the Arab States against Israel that initiated the 1967 war? Of the massing of 100,000 Egyptian troops at Israel’s border? Of Nasser’s eviction of the UN peace-keeping force from the Sinai? Of the Egyptian naval blockade of the Straits of Tiran and Israel’s southern port of Eilat? Of the blood-curdling rhetoric of leaders throughout the Arab world calling for the destruction of Israel and its Jews? Exactly as they tried to do when their armies invaded the country in 1948 and swallowed up most of the territory that the UN had earmarked for a Palestinian state? Is Stewart Mills really so naïve as to think that the eliminationist mentality behind the ceaseless attacks and threats against Israel has died?

    8. “The occupation” came to an end in Gaza in 2005. There was no blockade in place at that time. Yet the withdrawal was met with an increase in Palestinian rocket and mortar attacks directed deliberately at Israeli civilians. The blockade was imposed in 2007 as a consequence of the increase in those attacks.

    9. Israel has made several offers to the Palestinians to end its military and civilian presence in the West Bank. These offers involved handing over more than 90% of that territory to the Palestinians plus land from within pre-1967 Israel to make up the difference. The offers have included having a Palestinian capital in the predominantly Arab areas of East Jerusalem, compensation for Arab property acquired in 1948 and a return of some of the surviving refugees (but not their descendants ad infinitum) to their former homes. What is remarkable is that Palestinian leaders, despite canvassing a number of possible compromises in informal discussions, have never made a formal offer of their own.

    10. It is utterly fatuous for Steart Mills to claim that my letter’s reference to “the true nature of Palestinian terrorism” is something which “demonises Palestinians”. Not unless he is suggesting that all Palestinians are terrorists. I make no such claim.

    11. Nor did my letter suggest, as alleged by Stewart Mills, that the Itamar murders typify “Palestinian resistance to occupation”. I said that the murders “highlight the true nature of Palestinian terrorism”. I have never suggested that all acts of “Palestinian resistance to occupation” constitute terrorism, although far too many of them do.

    12. Stewart Mills bemoans the fact that “What grabs the headlines and what feeds xenophobic propaganda are examples of violent resistance (and more so terrorist attacks)”. He just doesn’t seem to comprehend that that is the whole point of terrorism. It’s the terrorists themselves who seek to grab the headlines and to arouse people’s fears. The “xenophobia” against Palestinian terrorism is entirely self-created.

    13. If there is to be healing between Israelis and Palestinians, those Palestinians who believe that the Jews have no people-hood, no history, no right to be in the Holy land and no right to have a sovereign State there, will finally have to let go of these false and fundamentally racist convictions, as they should have done years ago.

  3. If Danny Lamm was a true friend of Israel he would stop using gross generalisations especially ones that demonise Palestinians. His comment that this “incident highlights the true nature of Palestinian terrorism that Israelis have always faced” typify a myopic view of the conflict.

    Every life lost, Palestinian and Israeli alike is tragic. We all may mourn for the senseless loss of life. But any suggestion that this one act typifies Palestinian resistance to occupation is nonsense. The vast majority of Palestinians throughout the history of British control, Jordanian, Egyptian and Israeli control have responded through nonviolence (eg boycotts, strikes, protests, lobbying international leaders).

    Detractors will try and reason Black September, aircraft hijacking, suicide bombing and rocket/mortar attacks is the norm of Palestinian resistance. However, this is not the case. What grabs the headlines and what feeds xenophobic propaganda are examples of violent resistance (and more so terrorist attacks). If there is to be healing between the people of Palestine and Israel we need to move on from such one-eyed statements.

    Questions need to be asked like – when will military law be ended in Palestine? 43 years is more than enough time for Israel to know that their presence is not wanted in territory beyond the 1949 armistice lines. Some on this site will have claimed the 9 deaths of the the Turkish citizens in last years Gaza Freedom Flotilla was the result of provocative action. What could be more provocative than building homes of foreign citizens on someone else’s territory and then using military force over decades to enforce this – through the use of methods including lethal force.

    How many Palestinian babies and children have been killed through Israeli state actions? Who mourned for the loss of life of Muhammad Mamun abu-Sara, aged 1 year of al-Issawiya village near Jerusalem, died at Hadasa hospital in Jerusalem from tear gas inhalation during daily IDF incursions into al-Issawiya from September 22-25 2010. Who mourned the death of Hamza Samar Muhanna abu-Maria, 7 months, of Beit Omar, Near Hebron, died of IDF tear gas inhalation May 7 2010 while in her home during a demonstration. What about Dima Said Ahmad al-Zahal, 5, of Beit Lahya, Gaza, died of wounds sustained Jan. 7 2009 during an IDF attack on Beit Lahya.

    How does Danny Lamm see peace and love can be sown when people’s homes are demolished, land is confiscated and settlers get away with murder (for example the gunshot killing of Ady Maher Qadous, 19 years of age on 27 January this year near Nablus)? If there is to be a two state solution, there needs to be two bona fide states.

    Let us not just pick and choose who we remember who has lost their lives in tragic circumstances. Let us all acknowledge the tragedy of all those who have lost their life before having an opportunity to potentially be a force for building good in the world rather than division.

  4. physics says:

    Why hasn’t the government of New Zealand condemned the attack? It’s flag is conspicuously absent from Wikipedia’s list of nations condemning the attack.

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