Six of Australia’s former prime ministers — John Howard, Kevin Rudd, Julia Gillard, Tony Abbott, Malcolm Turnbull, and Scott Morrison — came together on Monday to release a statement condemning the actions of Hamas and expressing unwavering support for both Israel and Australia’s Jewish community.
Responding to the devastating attacks on Israeli families by Hamas on October 7, the joint statement expressed deep horror at the “cruel and murderous attack” that resulted in the death of 1,400 Israelis. The group described it as “the single largest massacre of Jewish people since the Holocaust,” likening the act’s cruelty and violence to that of ISIS.
The leaders voiced their concerns for the Australian Jewish community, saying that it has been “directly affected by the terrible crimes of Hamas, and not only has to endure the loss and suffering of their families in Israel but also witnesses the use of these events by some to spread ancient hatreds.”
Australian PMs: Nothing justifies hate against Jewish community
Emphasizing the universal value of respect, they stated, “No complaint or concern about international affairs justifies hate speech against any Australian or any Australian community.” They urged for unity in such challenging times, noting that allowing overseas conflict to create divisions among Australians would be detrimental.
Moreover, they extended a hand of support to the Australian Palestinian community amid the conflict. The leaders asserted that just as the Jewish community needs support, the Palestinian community “deserves our love and support” as they face the brutal consequences of the ongoing conflict.
PMs urge for the release of all hostages taken by Hamas
Calling for immediate action, they urged for the release of all hostages taken by Hamas and expressed their anguish at the violence impacting innocent Palestinian civilians, particularly children.
Highlighting the way forward, the prime ministers reiterated their endorsement of a two-state solution and the critical importance of peace. They concluded with a message of unity, urging people globally to “seek peace and pursue it.”
Jeremy Leibler, President of the Zionist Federation of Australia, lauded the unified message, stating, “The prime ministers’ words have resonated globally, showcasing Australia’s leadership based on moral principle.” He added that this bipartisan stance “demonstrates that condemnation of Hamas and support for Israel’s right to defend itself is beyond politics – it’s about basic morality and values.”