Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council

Messages of support for Australia from Israel

YOU ARE IN: Home Page > Topics > Australasia

ustralia has been shaken today by the deadly siege in Sydney, when an Iranian born gunman "Sheik" Mon Haron Monis inspired by ISIS and with a long criminal record, burst into the Lindt café and held 17 people hostage. The siege ended at 2.45am after police stormed the café. The gunman was killed in the shoot out, as well as two hostages - Tori Johnson, 34 and Katrina Dawson, 38. Tori was the café manager, and according to reports he died trying to wrestle the gun off Monis which enabled some hostages to escape, while Katrina, a barrister with three children, was killed sheltering her pregnant friend. Their acts of bravery will be remembered, and today our thoughts and prayers are with the mourners as well as the six injured.

Australia has received condolences from around the world, including from Israelis, who deeply understand the pain and tragedy of terrorist attacks.

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sent a condolence letter to Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbot, it stated:

"On behalf of the people of Israel, please accept my heartfelt condolences following yesterday's brutal terrorist attack in Sydney.

Israel and Australia face the same scourge of ruthless Islamist terrorism which knows no geographic bounds and targets innocent civilians indiscriminately. Now more than ever the international community must join hands and work together to defeat these evil forces, which threaten the security of all civilized nations.

Kindly convey our deepest condolences to the families of the victims.  Our thoughts and prayers are with you and the people of Australia in this difficult time."

During the siege Israel was in contact with Australian authorities.  According to Haaretz Israel's Defence Minister Moshe Ya'alon told Israel Radio, "We do, of course, maintain excellent relations with the Australians and are willing to assist with anything they need, We can also help from afar," adding, " We are in touch with them."

The Israeli Embassy in Australia also conveyed its support tweeting, "Our thoughts + prays r w the innocent ppl held hostage in Sydney #Australia #Israel", and in a statement added that Israel and Australia stood "together" in the face of terror.

Australia's Ambassador to Israel Dave Sharma provided regular updates on his twitter feed on the Sydney siege, and thanked the Israeli Prime Minister and others who conveyed their support to Australia, including this tweet to Israeli Labor MKs, "Welcome messages of support and concern re #sydneysiege from MKs Buji Herzog, Omer Bar-Lev. Thanks - it means a lot."

Another Israeli political party, Yisrael Beitenu also tweeted Ambassador Sharma, stating, "@AusAmbIsrael Our thoughts are with the Australian people at this time"

Jewish community organisations around the world also sent messages of support to Australia, with AIJAC's partner the American Jewish Committee (AJC) tweeting, "@AJCGlobal: Our thoughts and prayers are with our friends in Australia amid ongoing hostage situation in Sydney" and "#Australia is a warm friend of AJC. They are in our hearts now as they fight against terror in #Sydney #MartinPlace."

AIJAC also received private messages expressing their concern about the Sydney seige from colleagues around the world including AJC's Executive Director David Harris, Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies Dr. Emanuele Ottolengi and author Dr. Qanta Ahmed.

Australian Jewish organisations have also expressed their condolences, and you can read AIJAC's statement on our website, as well as Jeremy Jones' article in today's Jerusalem Post.

Sharyn Mittelman

Most recent items in: Australasia