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Statement on Australia’s abstention in UN vote on Israel-Gaza resolution

Oct 28, 2023 | AIJAC staff

Image: Shutterstock
Image: Shutterstock

Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) Executive Director Dr Colin Rubenstein today said he was pleased that Australia did not support an unsatisfactory UN General Assembly resolution on Gaza on October 27.

He also acknowledged Australia had supported a positive Canadian amendment, which included a condemnation of the October 7 terrorist attacks by Hamas and demanded the release of the 220 abducted hostages, which unfortunately was unsuccessful.

However, Dr Rubenstein also added that “given the strong bipartisan support in Australia after the October 7 terrorist attacks by Hamas, while Australia’s abstention was a step in the right direction, this was an occasion where it would have been preferable for Australia to have voted an outright ‘no’ on the final UN resolution. This would have been consistent with the stances of our friends and allies – Israel and the United States.

“A truce and subsequent ceasefire would allow Hamas the opportunity to re-group and to re-arm, preventing Israel from dismantling Hamas’ evil military and political infrastructures.

“Make no mistake, Hamas is a terrorist organisation – as Australian law agrees – and its role in the attacks should have been condemned by the world. It is absurd that the UN was not even able to demand the release of all the hostages.

“The UN resolution effectively gives Hamas a free pass on the horrific atrocities it perpetrated on October 7 and that is totally unacceptable. Sadly, the result of this UN vote was predictable, as the world body has a contemptible history of bias and moral bankruptcy when it comes to Israel.

“The war in Gaza is underway because Israel has to urgently remove Hamas’ ability to wage war against Israelis and also give Palestinians living under its tyrannical rule in Gaza a chance at a better future. Hamas’ use of Palestinian civilians as human shields is unequivocally a war crime.

“We have empathy for the Palestinian civilians suffering in the war brought about by Hamas. But the only possible way to improve the situation for both Palestinians and Israelis is to dismantle Hamas’ military and political domination of Gaza and its capacity to inflict terror against Israel and its civilians,” Dr Rubenstein concluded.

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