15 January

War with Hamas

Yesterday marked 100 days since Hamas forces invaded Israel and carried out massacres, torture, rape and other depravities, and kidnapped hundreds of Israelis.

Over 100 remain in Hamas captivity.

Ride to Bring Them Home
Yesterday, around Australia and around the world, Jewish communities came together to mark this awful milestone. Bike rides, with riders wearing yellow ribbons, showed solidarity with Israel and its right and obligation to remove Hamas from power, and to bring home the hostages.

At the Melbourne event, ZFA CEO Alon Cassuto spoke to a crowd of hundreds. “The pain of 7 October”, he said, “has grown into a feeling of abandonment, of bewilderment, as we witness the world around us move on, or worse, turning on us, with antisemitic claims echoing in our streets, our media and, now, international courts.”

A similar ride was held in Sydney and, indeed, in cities around the world.

On Friday, an Israeli legal team defended Israel at the International Court of Justice, forced to do so by the appalling allegation of genocide brought by South Africa.

Melbourne-born Tal Becker, a senior legal adviser at the Israeli Foreign Ministry, opened Israel’s defence. If you have half an hour spare – and even if you don’t – watch Tal’s speech. It was absolutely brilliant, and a damning indictment of South Africa and the thousands of people who mindlessly support its case, not because there is any merit in the facts, but because it is Israel in the dock.

The hearing on Thursday and Friday was a preliminary hearing. The ICJ will determine if it believes there is any plausibility to South Africa’s claims. This determination will likely take a week. If it finds that there is, the ICJ will likely order Israel to immediately cease its operation.

The actual case will continued, but will take months or even years to conclude.

Countries are allowed to make ‘third party interventions’ in this case. Germany announced over the weekend that it would intervene on Israel’s side. In a statement released on Friday, the ZFA called on the Australian government to do the same.

In the statement, ZFA President Jeremy Leibler said, “The allegation that Israel is committing genocide is baseless and a blatant attempt to besmirch Israel’s reputation. While this, in and of itself, should be enough to see the Australian Government condemn South Africa, there is a more important issue at stake.”

Mr Leibler continued, “There is no genocide or attempted genocide occurring in Gaza. Anyone who says otherwise is either lying or ignorant.”

You can read the full statement here.

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