Australia’s Muslim prime minister has warned that Palestinians are being “collectively punished” as Israel launches large-scale reprisals against Hamas.
Industry and Science Minister Ed Husic spoke about the Gaza crisis in an interview with Pat Karvelas on ABC Radio National on Thursday, saying some Australians might find his comments “uncomfortable”.
He repeatedly condemned the actions of the Hamas terrorist group, which carried out a brutal massacre of Israelis on October 7 and reignited the long-running conflict, but said Palestinians in Australia felt their lives were ” considered to be less than”.
“Israel has described what happened on October 7 as the Israeli equivalent of September 11,” the Labor minister said.
“The number of Palestinians who have been killed so far (since) equals the number of people who lost their lives on 9/11. We don’t see any public monuments in Australia lit up in red, black, white and green.
“There will be some people who are very uncomfortable with me making this remark, but it goes to the heart of what Palestinians and those who care for them in Australia think; that is, Palestinian lives are considered less than ‘.
Industry and Science Minister Ed Husic spoke about the Gaza crisis in an interview with Pat Karvelas on ABC RN on Thursday, saying some Australians may find his comments “uncomfortable”.
Ed Husic is the MP for swathes of western Sydney, including Rooty Hill, Doonside, parts of Blacktown and Mount Druitt. He was praised for his frank assessment of the crisis
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Mr Husic described the situation in Gaza as a “humanitarian crisis” in which up to 1,000 children were among the victims.
“Houses, schools, medical centers destroyed. No food, fuel, medicine or water (in Gaza). It is not surprising that some say this is collective punishment,” he said.
Mr Husic was asked to confirm whether he too believed that Palestinians were being punished for Hamas’ crimes.
“I am very convinced that the Palestinians are being collectively punished here for the barbarity of Hamas,” he said.
“We leave intergenerational scars. The rest of us will move on with our lives, but the people of the Middle East will carry these scars.
“There must be a more strategic and precise way to hold Hamas accountable, without affecting innocent Palestinian families. »
He repeatedly condemned the actions of the Hamas terrorist group, which carried out a brutal massacre of Israelis on October 7 and reignited an ongoing conflict, but said Palestinians in Australia felt their lives were “considered as less than »
The Labor Party has condemned Hamas and has repeatedly stated that Israel has the right to defend itself. An amended motion presented by the Greens in the House of Representatives earlier this week to accuse Israel of war crimes was quickly rejected.
Mr Husic is one of a handful of Labor politicians who have broken the party line since the latest bloodbath.
He condemned the language used by Israeli figures – who he said have described Palestinians as “human animals” and referred to “collateral damage” – and urged all politicians to think about how they speak of the conflict.
“For people in decision-making positions, the language they use not only impacts broader communities, but also shapes how decisions are made,” he said.
“We must avoid political grandstanding… Parliamentarians must be on the front line, demonstrating through their actions that if we believe in social cohesion, we must do our best to maintain it.”
Mr. Husic said he supported Israel’s right to defend itself, but also highlighted the tragic loss of life reported in Gaza.
A recent strike on a hospital in Gaza left more than 500 people dead. Hundreds of civilians, children, elderly and sick people were among the victims.
Australia’s Muslim prime minister has highlighted the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Gaza as Israel launches large-scale retaliation against Hamas’ brutal October 7 attacks.
Neither side will claim responsibility for the attack. Israel warned hospitals to evacuate this week ahead of the strikes, but says a Hamas-affiliated terrorist group missed firing a missile that hit the hospital.
Mr. Husic said the Israeli government has a responsibility to ensure that any retaliatory attack makes significant efforts to protect civilian life.
“Governments are different from terrorist organizations,” he said. “There is more expectation that there will be protection of innocent lives.
“Governments have the resources to ensure the protection of human lives.”