Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council

AIJAC Condemns Inflammatory Statement from the PMs Muslim Community Reference Group

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4 August 2006


AIJAC Executive Director Dr Colin Rubenstein expressed AIJAC’s rejection of the recent statement on the conflict between Israel and Hezbollah from the Prime Minister’s Muslim Community Reference Group.

Dr Rubenstein noted, "Israel has done everything possible to avoid civilian casualties, which it regrets, while its adversaries deliberately target Israeli civilians and use Lebanese civilians as human shields. There can be no moral equivalence between the perpetrators of terrorism and those seeking to combat it. Both in Australia and the Middle East, we need to support all those committed to reconciliation, tolerance, mutual respect and the rule of law.”

He said, "This very disappointing, wrong-headed and inflammatory statement undermines communal cohesion in Australia, especially in terms of its threat of 'hostilities' in Australia if the government maintains its current stance. This is a particular concern given this threat was made the day before it emerged that the Asian Muslim Youth Movement was threatening to suicide bomb Jewish interests in countries supportive of Israel. This is on top of misguided calls from various Muslim leaders to legitimise the terrorist group, Hezbollah."

For further information please contact Dr Colin Rubenstein on (03) 9681 6660 or 0418 339 721.

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