Fair and Right way for Gaza
Tuesday, 6 January 2009
Minister for Foreign Affairs
PO Box 6022
House of Representatives
Canberra ACT 2600
Dear The Honourable Stephen Smith MP
We write to you, as the foreign affairs representative of Australians, to take a path which is fair and right in relation to the deplorable situation in Gaza.
As Israeli troops move into the densely populated cities of Gaza, many more will die and thousands more will be injured. Blaming home-made rockets, Israel has unleashed a disproportionate and brutal offensive.
Although the Rudd government supports the United Nation's call for a ceasefire, the statement "Australia recognises Israel's right to defend itself" of 5 January 2009 provides fuel for Israel to use more force. The Rudd government was voted in by voicing policies that are right and fair. This includes right and fair foreign policies.
Therefore, on behalf of the Federation of Australia Muslim Students and Youth (FAMSY) and the Australians we serve, we call upon the Australian government, to:
• Repeat its call for a ceasefire,
• Call upon Israel and Egypt to fully open its borders with Gaza to ensure the sustainability of life in Gaza,
• Increase the humanitarian support for the Palestinian people,
• Call upon Israel to genuinely implement its obligations towards the Palestinian people as defined under international law,
• Call upon all parties to re-engage in dialogue with each other,
• Actively involve itself with the international community to find avenues towards a peaceful and just resolution to the conflict, and
• Approve the Palestinians right in choosing their own government in a free elections
Last month, the Australian government switched its position to vote against Israel on two resolutions at the United Nations, ending the Howard government's unswerving alignment with the United States. This break with the past by the Rudd government is commended and signals a more balanced approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. However, right and fairness does not end there.
We hope to receive a favourable outcome from this letter in the near future.
National President of the Federation of Australian Muslim Students and Youth (FAMSY)
0421 717 846
PO Box 537, LAKEMBA NSW 2195