Today Perth’s small Jewish community and its supporters staged a rally in the cultural precinct of central Perth calling for the release of hostages. Not remarkable, and similar to those staged in other cities around Australia. There was a simple message:
Bring Them Home
Israel did not want this war. Israel did not start this war. But Israel has no choice. It is united behind the objectives of freeing captives and destroying Hamas. Regrettably this may come at a great cost, such is the tragedy of war.
The rally was addressed by Simon Millman MLA and Senator Dean Smith, both of whom provided outstanding moral clarity in their speeches. If you have a few minutes to listen to their words, it will be time well spent.
What is also unremarkable is that you will not encounter hatred, anger or vilification at the pro-Israel rallies. Simply solace and a focus on raising awareness at the horror of the attacks and kidnappings that took place three weeks ago.
Sadly, the same cannot be said for pro-Palestinian rallies. Yesterday in Perth several thousand people gathered in Perth City to protest against Israel.
One of my non-Jewish colleagues came across this rally. They described it as “intimidating”.
Yet, once again, at least two of the major television news channels reported this as a “peaceful protest”. It may have been non-violent in a physical sense, but the tone and messaging of this protest was sadly anything but peaceful. The allegations and terminology (ethnic cleansing, racism, aparthied, war crimes, collective punishment, from the river to the sea) can clearly be seen on display. An image is below, which with high resolution zoom evidences each of the above statements on the banners.
Above all is the allegation of genocide by Israel. A cruel irony given the Hamas campaign of genocide, stated in both their rampage and in their constitution.
Israel’s declaration of independence reads entirely the opposite: “Israel will foster the development of the country for the benefit of all its inhabitants; it will be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel; it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex; it will guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture; it will safeguard the Holy Places of all religions.”
Those who have been to Israel and know the truth will attest to Israel aspring to these words. Sometimes this is easier said than done in the face of existential terror, but nonetheless, Israel has a democraitc society that is multi-ethnic (only 75% of Israel is Jewish), with a justice system and free speech. Not so for its neighbours!
To the people of Perth with a good conscience, I appeal to you not to stand idily by. We cannot tolerate the media calling this demonstration peaceful, and we cannot ignore the hatespeech that these slogans displayed in the centre of our City represent.
Not one journalist has taken the opportunity to ask a simple question of these protestors; “do you accept Israel’s right to exist as a free and sovereign nation as the world’s only Jewish State”. When this question is asked, it gets avoided, skewed, reinterpreted or reversed with weasel words. It cannot be answered with a simple “yes” by the Palestinian movement and their advocates.
Ask one of the people at the Israel rally of their views towards coexistence. The answer is “yes”. We just have to find a partner for peace. All the security checks in Israel would be removed if there was no security threat to the Jewish population of Israel. Sadly, from the terrorists of Hamas and the Palestinian Authority, to their supporters and sympathisers around the world, they have yet to accept or tolerate the very existence of Israel.
From the despotic majority at the United Nations, to the unions of Australia and their political supporters, their call to “Free Palestine” is not an expression of political frustration. It is one that opposes the very concept that Israel should exercise its right to fight terror and free hostages.
Some can see past the moral fog to understand what is really going on here. Just read the placards on display in our city and on the cities of Australia and around the world. It is the primal hatred of Jews justly defending their homeland using the necessary force to obliterate terrorism from its border.
Some would even recognise that these slogans of the pro-Palestinian protestors are sanctioned and tolerated anti-Semitism, calls for the elimination of Israel, proudly on display in our streets.