The Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria has released a message, ‘Unity in the Face of Conflict: Supporting Jewish and Palestinian Communities in Victoria, calling for unity in the light of anguish felt here in Australia caused by this conflict in the Gaza strip. As we continue to witness unfolding events, we must remain resolute in upholding the values of multiculturalism, inclusivity, and social cohesion.
The recent tragic events in the Israeli-Hamas conflict have shaken all of us and incensed fear and anxiety in both the Jewish and Palestinian communities in Victoria.
It’s imperative that we unequivocally denounce all forms of violence. This attack from terrorist organisation Hamas, has led to suffering and the loss of innocent civilian lives on both sides and wide-scale devastation.
During times like these, it’s crucial that we stand united in support of the communities affected by these events, demonstrating empathy, compassion, and mutual respect. We must always remember that our local Jewish and Palestinian communities bear no responsibility for the actions of foreign governments and extremist groups.
As we continue to witness unfolding events, we must remain resolute in upholding the values of multiculturalism, inclusivity, and social cohesion.
In Victoria, we not only celebrate multiculturalism, we work tirelessly to ensure that basic human rights and respect are at the core of our efforts.
While we respect the democratic right to protest, we must also condemn unacceptable behaviour, such as the offensive chants of ‘f*** the Jews’ we saw at the Opera House this week. This is unAustralian. Antisemitism, Islamophobia, and all forms of vilification have no place in our community, and it’s our duty to speak out against them.
Our political leaders have the responsibility to call out violence and injustice wherever it takes place.
We should all unequivocally condemn violence in all its forms, offer support to our Jewish and Palestinian communities, and hope for a ceasefire and a peaceful resolution in the Middle East. Victoria is a place where we celebrate diversity, promote inclusion, and encourage dialogue, no matter the conflicts occurring beyond our borders.
Our commitment to these principles should be viewed through a human rights lens, emphasising that every human being deserves a life of safety and freedom.
Having had the privilege of visiting Israel and Palestine, I have personally witnessed the complexities and challenges that persist in the region. Hope is an essential element for lasting peace and stability.
A two-state solution, recognising the legitimate aspirations of both Israelis and Palestinians, is an essential step toward peace. The lives of Palestinians and Israelis must improve as part of a comprehensive resolution to this longstanding conflict.
Mohamed Elrafihi, ECCV CEO