Senator RYAN (Victoria) (7.53 pm)—Several weeks ago we were informed that Israel had allegedly outrageously intervened to stop a so-called peace flo- tilla, with commandos launching themselves at a peaceful armada seeking nothing more than to take humanitarian aid to Gaza. Excuse me if I was a little cynical when I first heard the news, for despite days of a highly orchestrated media campaign to vilify Israel and her defence forces, the truth subsequently came out. These were not peace activists; they were agents of provocation, radicals seeking a violent confrontation as they broke the legal maritime blockade of Gaza. I did not realise that peace activists were so well armed, in this case, with knives, chains, firearms, molotov cocktails and pepper spray. By viciously attacking the soldiers, they quickly betrayed their true agenda with their anti-Semitic cries, as they did by their refusal to cooperate with the UN, Israeli or Egyptian authorities, who could have facilitated the entry of the humanitarian materials to Gaza. This was no peace flotilla; it was part of an orchestrated campaign to vilify the state of Israel for doing nothing more than would be expected of us in this place: to protect her own citizens.
The blockade of Gaza is well founded in law, but it is also well founded in the entirely legitimate need for a state and government to take reasonable action to protect its citizens—for Gaza under Hamas cannot be treated as if it or they were a reasonable neighbour, and in no way can it be considered a partner for peace. This blockade has been undertaken to prevent terrorist at- tacks on Israeli civilians, no matter their race or creed. For some reason, certain people, NGO’s and so called human rights organisations expect Israel to tolerate a much higher level of violence than in Manhattan, Melbourne or Manchester.
To those who do not understand what Hamas does to the innocent civilians of Israel, I urge you to go to Sderot. Look at the remains of the rockets that have been fired from Gaza into that neighbourhood by Hamas—intentionally fired from amongst civilians in Gaza so as to make detection and prevention more difficult. Visit the children’s playgrounds in Sderot that are made from reinforced concrete. Bomb shelters are painted as coloured snakes in lieu of a playground, as children need to be within seconds of safety as the sirens blare ‘code red’ as another rocket is launched. Speak to the mothers of the children to whom the word ‘red’ provokes fear because of these sirens and amongst whom mental illness—particularly anxiety, stress and depression-related disorders—are at un- precedented levels. Go and look at the schools which have concrete slabs above their roofs in an attempt to limit the carnage caused by terrorists firing rockets from only a kilometre away, to whom a school is noth- ing more than a target. This is the situation for Israeli towns along the border with Gaza.
And why is it that we do not hear of the brutal rule of Hamas and what its clear and stated agenda is? It cannot be through innocence; it can only be through ignorance. Hamas does not seek to hide its agenda, at least on its home turf. The truth is that Israel had allowed elections in Gaza. The corrupt Palestinian Authority lost to the terrorist organisation Hamas. The electoral attitude of Hamas can be best summed up as ‘One man, one vote, once,’ for elections are not regular. And pity those who might attempt to compete with them anyway, as thuggery and violence rule, rather than the ballot box.
Despite a lack of coverage of the reality of Hamas, we should be in no doubt as to what it is. It is a terrorist organisation, dedicated to the use of violence against innocent civilians to achieve its objective. In this case its objective is nothing less than the elimination of the Jewish state and of Jews in their homeland. Across Israel, Hamas has killed thousands, Jewish and Muslim alike. Shrapnel from terrorists does not discriminate. For this reason, Israel blockades the rogue state that is Gaza—but so does Egypt. Contrary to the perception created by some reports, this blockade does not pro- hibit the entry of food and medicines. It merely ensures that the materials going into Gaza are not diverted into the tools of violence and terror.
Thank you Senator Ryan. I pray that other politicians listened to the truth and present Australia as a supporter of Israel and its very right to exist. If not, perhaps Australia will follow the US (in its political correctness in considering the (cynical) building of a 13-storey mosque at Ground Zero) and consider allowing the stealth of Islamisation to overtake this democracy. Who is stupid? Those who believe Hamas, or those who believe that the only democracy in the Middle East has a right to exist and defend itself?
Posted by Deborah on 2010-06-21 13:17:24 GMT
Congratulations to Senator Ryan for stating truths concerning Israel"s position. These days it takes a brave person to buck the anti-Semitic tide of "Israel is at fault for everything." Also, if the "Australians for Palestine" want real accoutability, they should ask why the Israelis continue to deliver aprox. 10,000 tons of aid weekly to Gaza - even while rockets from Gaza fly into Israel. I"d like to know that also.
Posted by Roberta on 2010-06-18 02:39:12 GMT
Senator Ryan, congratulations, somebody who tells it as it is. The real facts. Thank you
Posted by Moses on 2010-06-17 13:40:11 GMT
Senator Ryan has made my day!An honorable man that deserves all the credit he can get. Couldn"t he be the leader of AUSTRALIANS FOR ISRAEL? He or someone else must rise up as a leader in the defense of what is right and true. If so, I"d be the first to join in.
Posted by Lori Low on 2010-06-17 12:42:01 GMT
Well said, Senator Ryan! Michael Danby has spoken up similarly but what about Mark Dreyfus ? With Israel being threatened by political, economic, academic and cultural boycotts, there are far too many bystanders,including Jewish ones.
Posted by Jack Leder on 2010-06-17 03:05:23 GMT
Thank you particularly for a first step in exposing groups like Australians for Palestine. At best they are ignorant, at worst bigoted.
Posted by maimon on 2010-06-17 01:00:04 GMT
Dear Senator Ryan, I congratulate you for speaking to the international peace flotilla issue two days ago. The truth needs to be told; the media hype needs to be peeled off and discarded. You have indeed contributed to that task. Thank you.
Posted by Ralph Zwier on 2010-06-16 23:08:25 GMT
Excellent speech by Senator Ryan who demonstrates a clear understanding of the situation in the M/E as it is and is willing to stand up and proclaim it. Wish there were more like him!
by Ronit on 2010-06-16 19:34:09 GMT