The Hon. Anthony Albanese
Prime Minister of Australia
30th October 2023
Dear Mr Albanese
On behalf of B’nai B’rith Australia / New Zealand, I write to draw to your attention the deeply disturbing recent statement by the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Religious Affairs, as reported by Palestinian Media Watch, that extermination of Jews is an Islamic imperative. The statement can be seen at https://palwatch.org/page/34677 .
Not only does this statement echo the hateful policies of Nazi Germany which led to the Holocaust and the murder of 6 million Jewish people, but it clearly seeks to influence and inflame the views of Muslim people against Jews across the world, including Australia. Jewish communities are respectful of all peoples regardless of ethnicity or religious beliefs, and – I’m sure you will agree – we are entitled to similar respect from all other communities. Such incitement to hatred goes against not only community norms but also
the laws of our country.
B’nai B’rith asks you, in your position as a representative of the people who elected you to parliament, to speak out wherever possible against these and similar expressions of hatred and vilification which run counter to our way of life in Australia.
When extremist views, whether religion-based or otherwise, are transformed into terrorist action as illustrated by the recent Hamas attacks on Israeli citizens, such incitement to violence has no place in society, and must be called out and condemned. We ask for your unequivocal support in this.
In the wake of the atrocious terrorist attacks by Hamas against Israel on 7th October, we commend the bipartisan approach of the Australian Parliament in its support of Israel and its condemnation of Hamas as a terrorist organisation. We note that in October 2021 the Australian Government endorsed the IHRA definition of antisemitism; we urge all members of the Australian Parliament to condemn antisemitism in all its forms.
B’nai B’rith has advocated for global Jewry and championed the cause of human rights since 1843. With a presence around the world, we are the Global Voice of the Jewish Community. Visit www.bnaibrith.org.au.
James Altman, OAM
Senior Vice President, B’nai B’rith International
Past-President, B’nai B’rith Australia / New Zealand