House debates

Tuesday, 17 October 2023

Statements by Members


1:48 pm

Photo of Karen AndrewsKaren Andrews (McPherson, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I was honoured to join Rabbi Adi Cohen and the congregants of Temple Shalom on the Gold Coast last Friday evening to celebrate the Sabbath with them after what has been an absolutely distressing week for our Jewish-Australian community. The news and the images that are coming out of Israel are absolutely shocking. The acts of Hamas can only be described as evil, and there can be absolutely no excuses made for these crimes. In November 2021, as the Minister for Home Affairs, I declared Hezbollah a terrorist organisation under Australian law. A few months later, in March 2022, I did the same for the entirety of Hamas. They were the right decisions at the time that they were made, and the events of the last week and a half have reinforced to me that they continue to be the right decisions. Australia's success as a multicultural country depends on every Australian, regardless of ethnic background, religious belief and cultural identity, feeling welcome and respected in the country, to feel absolutely safe in their community. Now more than ever Jewish Australians should feel safe to be part of the community where they live and should be embraced at this time of great pain and sorrow. To Rabbi Adi, Temple Shalom and the wider Gold Coast Jewish community, we stand by you and all Jewish Australians at this dark time, and we keep you in our thoughts.