For Immediate Release
On 25 July, several well-meaning but misinformed federal politicians issued a statement in regards to the current Hamas–Israel hostilities.
Dr. Danny Lamm, President of the Zionist Federation of Australia, said, “However well-intentioned these politicians are, their statement reveals a significant misunderstanding of both the immediate situation and the wider context.”
“If carried out,” Dr. Lamm continued, “the recommendations by these politicians would not bring about peace, but reward Hamas for its genocidal intentions and encourage further murderous violence.”
“While we all want peace,” he concluded, “these politicians would have us witness more war.”
The politicians that signed this statement show an unfortunate lack of awareness about the current military situation and the intentions of each side. Palestinian civilian deaths have mostly occurred as a result of the Hamas war crime of perfidy, which is to fight from amidst civilians and protected objects. According to the Fourth Geneva Convention, this crime removes immunity from attack for those objects. There is ample video evidence of Hamas using schools, homes, places of worship and other protected objects for military purposes. Israel goes to great lengths to avoid civilian casualties in every attack, including aborting attacks on valid military targets due to the presence of civilians.
While, tragically, Israeli actions have caused civilian deaths, responsibility for these deaths lies in the hands of Hamas, which not only purposefully endangers its own civilians, but forces Israel to choose between its own civilians dying or preventive action against Hamas.
The wider context is that Hamas is not seeking peace with Israel, but the destruction of it. Its founding charter, the statements by its leadership and its actions prove this unavoidable, tragic truth.
The Zionist Federation of Australia urges the international community, including Australia, not to reward Hamas for its launching of this war or its war crimes during it.