Former prime minister John Howard has addressed a Sydney synagogue, expressing shame over the recent treatment of the Jewish community.
In a heartfelt address in Bondi, Mr Howard spoke of his strong disapproval of the actions witnessed in Australia following Hamas’ attacks against Israel on October 7.
“As an Australia, I am ashamed at what your (Jewish) community has been subjected to over the past few weeks, and could I tell you that all decent Australians, that is the great majority of Australians, are equally ashamed of what has happened,” he told the congregation.
Citing further quotes from The Herald Sun, Mr Howard said the “latest outburst of concern and insecurity was triggered by a despicable act of evil” on October 7.
He added that no amount of “prevarication and mucking around with moral equivalence” can change the facts.
Concerns have been raised over the treatment of Australia Jews in recent weeks after Israeli troops launched its retaliatory bombs on Gaza in the wake of Hamas’ attacks.
Rallies have since been held across the country in support of Palestinians as tensions in the Middle East spark conflicting views.
Executive Council of Australian Jewry co-CEO Alex Ryvchin has addressed the media on several occasions, calling on the community to stand up against anti-Semitism which he says is “spreading throughout our society”.
“This is something that is affecting the entire Jewish community and society as a whole,” he told reporters on Wednesday.
“We need leadership. We need strength. We need the community to stand up, to stand united with the Jewish community at this time and to deplore this sort of exclusion and racism that is beginning to take hold.”
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Penny Wong confirmed sanctions on Hamas’ members had been put in place amid calls for the Albanese government to call for a ceasefire in the Israel-Palestinian conflict.
“The Australian Government has imposed counter-terrorism financing sanctions on eight persons and one entity in response to the acts of terrorism perpetrated by Hamas on October 7, 2023,” Ms Wong said in a statement on Saturday.
“These persons include Hamas members, operatives and financial facilitators, along with a currency exchange owned by one individual.
“Australia unequivocally condemns Hamas’ abhorrent acts of terror against Israel. These sanctions are targeted at those most culpable for terrorist acts.”
Read the full article here