House debates

Tuesday, 17 October 2023



4:52 pm

Photo of Henry PikeHenry Pike (Bowman, Liberal National Party) Share this | Hansard source

The attacks on Israel by Hamas in recent days have shocked the world. It is the sort of barbarity that we had hoped was consigned to history, but sadly we have been reminded of what is still possible by those corrupted by political, racial and religious hatred. Israel stands as a beacon of democracy and freedom in the Middle East, and Australia stands as a true friend and supporter of the state of Israel in its moment of need.

We must remember Australia's pivotal role in the creation of the state of Israel. It was in 1947 and Australia was the first nation to vote in the UN for the partition resolution that led to the creation of Israel as a nation. And of course we must remember the important impact of Australia's Jewish population, the impact they've had in our country and our society, starting with the arrival of Jewish people to Australia as part of the First Fleet.

I want to express my steadfast support of Israel and unequivocally condemn Hamas and its allies for these appalling acts of terrorism. The terrorist actions of Hamas have no justification, no legitimacy and must be universally condemned. There is never any justification for terrorism. There is never any justification for massacring people enjoying a music festival, or kidnapping elderly women, children and entire families that are now being held as hostages. Those who have tried to justify these horrendous acts, or even celebrate them, over recent days should stand condemned by this house and by every Australian. Australians are horrified by this terror but unified in our support for Israel's efforts to defend itself and its people against such atrocities. These hostages must be recovered. Hamas's capacity to make war upon Israel must be completely extinguished. Israel must restore its ability to defend its citizens. We must stand with them as they work to restore peace to the region.

In doing so, we must call out extremist ideology within our own communities, those who sit in the comfort and freedom of our cities while fomenting religious and ethnic hatred. Those scenes that we saw and that have been talked about in this debate have no place in Australia. They don't represent us. They don't represent our values. They don't represent our commitment to and friendship with the people of Israel. The Australian people stand united with Israel as they work to overcome this existential threat.


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