Victorian Labor Party leader and state opposition leader provided the following statement in support of Israel’s right to self-defence and security to the Melbourne Rally for Peace held on August 10 on the steps of the State Parliament:
MESSAGE FROM THE LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
I have stood at the crest of Sderot, I have looked across the border – out to Beit Hanoun and the cities in Gaza beyond it – and I have witnessed failure.
It’s sad. There are 1.8 million men, women and children in Gaza. They have a right to prosperity and peace. Their leaders, in Hamas, have a responsibility to deliver it.
They haven’t done that. They haven’t even tried. Because Hamas does not care about the progress of its people.
They have consigned them all to life in a factory of terror, because they hate their neighbours’ children more than they love their own.
Half a million Israelis live, learn and work in the shadow of this nightmare. Many more – for now – reside just beyond its lethal reach.
I abhor the loss of life on either side of the border, because all innocent lives are equal, especially in death.
But I know this. The war will end tomorrow, if Hamas stops attacking; and the Jewish State will end tomorrow, if Israel stops defending.
My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Israel. They just want to live an ordinary life, where their kids are safe and their future is certain.
My thoughts and prayers are with Jewish families in Australia, some of whom have faced discrimination of the type that is unthinkable and utterly intolerable.
And my thoughts and prayers are with the mothers and children of Gaza.
They have been betrayed by a generation of men who, in trying to destroy another country, have destroyed their own.
I condemn the actions of Hamas. I pity the loss of life. I pray for peace.
DANIEL ANDREWS, Leader of the Opposition, August 10, 2014