24 January 2024
The Australian Jewish Democratic Society believes that recent statements by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu rejecting the possibility of Palestinian sovereignty, effectively sets a path for Israel in which future conflict with Palestinians is inevitable.
On 20 January 2024 he said:
“In any future arrangement – settlement or no settlement – Israel needs security control over all territory west of the Jordan. This is a necessary condition and it collides with the idea of sovereignty.”
A statement from the office of the Israeli prime minister said:
“In his conversation with President Biden, Prime Minister Netanyahu reiterated his policy that after Hamas is destroyed Israel must retain security control over Gaza to ensure that Gaza will no longer pose a threat to Israel, a requirement that contradicts the demand for Palestinian sovereignty.”
Some leaders in the Australian Jewish community have been more concerned with appearances and words in Australia, than the future plans of the Israeli government. “Wong’s ‘Insulting’ Snub” screamed the front page of the Australian Jewish News of 19 January 2024.
But the real issues that should be concentrating the minds of diaspora Jewish communities, notwithstanding the Hamas atrocities of 7 October, are:
- How can the unfolding humanitarian crisis be addressed?
- How can the carnage that has killed over 25,000 Gazans be stopped?
- How can a ceasefire encompass the release of hostages and the resumption of negotiations to address the conflict and to resolve it?
To see the destruction of Hamas as the endpoint of this war is to ignore the history that has led to this phase of the conflict. For Israel to deny the aspirations of Palestinians and their right to self-determination will cause more suffering, grief, destruction and death endlessly repeated.