Religious representatives have condemned Australian political leaders’ response to the violence in Israel and Gaza, accusing them of fomenting hatred against the local Muslim community.
In a statement, the Australian Muslim Advocacy Network (AMAN) criticized Prime Minister Anthony Albanese for his affirmation of Israel’s bombing campaign in the Gaza Strip.
“We support Israel and its right to protect itself,” the Prime Minister declared on ABC radio.
The channel said through its comments that Mr Albanese sided with the occupying power and showed no support for the Palestinians.
“Hundreds of Palestinian civilians also lost their lives,” they said.
“(It has) denied many grieving communities empathy or public support.”
Muslim leaders say Australia’s strong support for Israel puts their community at risk (photo, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese)
They also called out opposition Peter Dutton after he said the government should support Israeli retaliation without restraint, saying his position was extreme and “outside the bounds of international norms and the rule of law”.
“It also devalues the lives of Palestinians, putting them and everyone associated with them in danger in Palestine and Australia,” the group wrote.
Mr Dutton also called for the expulsion of non-citizens who preached anti-Semitic remarks during pro-Palestinian protests.
“People with this hatred in their minds and hearts, they have no place in our society,” he told 2GB.
Pro-Palestinian protesters gathered outside the Sydney Opera House on Monday (pictured), with opposition leader Peter Dutton calling for the expulsion of non-citizens found to have participated in preaching anti-Semitic speeches.
Monday’s rally, organized by Palestine Action Group Sydney, saw large numbers of pro-Palestinian activists gather at Town Hall in Sydney’s CBD before marching to the Opera House (pictured)
Such responses have sparked hate incidents against Australia’s Muslim community and have had detrimental effects on the health, wellbeing and safety of its members, AMAN wrote.
More than 1,200 Israelis were killed and more than 2,700 injured in a continuation of a 75-year-old conflict after the Hamas militant group breached the fence surrounding Gaza on Saturday.
More than 1,000 Palestinians are estimated to have died and more than 5,000 were injured in retaliatory airstrikes against Gaza.
Among those killed in Israel was Australian grandmother Galit Carbone, 66, who died at the hands of Hamas militants who attacked her village near the Gaza border.
With around 10,000 Australians residing in Israel and even more as tourists, repatriation flights will begin on Friday bringing stranded Australians home from Tel Aviv.
But the Muslim community said it would not help Australians stranded in Gaza after closed border crossings and ongoing Israeli airstrikes made travel to Tel Aviv impossible.
“The planned repatriation should include real support for those stranded in Gaza and the West Bank,” said Australian Federation of Islamic Councils president Rateb Jneid.
Australian Security Intelligence Organization director-general Mike Burgess said the domestic terrorism threat level remained “possible” but expressed concerns about pro-Palestinian protests expected to take place in Australian cities.
A woman breaks down in tears during a vigil organized by the Sydney Jewish community for Israeli victims on Wednesday (photo)
“I remain concerned about the potential for opportunistic violence with little or no warning,” he said Thursday.
Mr Burgess said ASIO was well placed to detect security threats such as politically motivated violence and would monitor the situation carefully. Prime Minister Chris Minns announced that any upcoming pro-Palestinian gatherings were “unauthorized” due to the anti-Semitic behavior demonstrated by demonstrators on Monday. gathering of the night.
Minns said organizers had already shown they were not peaceful by chanting “gas the Jews” and “f*** the Jews.”
Prime Minister Chris Minns apologized to the Jewish community on Wednesday for not giving them time to grieve (photo, vigil)
“The protest organizers have already proven that they are not peaceful,” he said Wednesday.
“Screaming racial epithets is not the definition of peaceful protest.
“The idea that they are going to commandeer the streets of Sydney is not going to happen, and I’m sure the New South Wales Police will make that clear this morning.”