This motion from the Greens does two things of note. It calls for a ceasefire, but it totally ignores Hamas. It is reckless, misleading and one-sided. What would the best way to a ceasefire be? It would be for Hamas to surrender its arms, its infrastructure, its military capabilities and its terrorist capabilities; for Hamas leaders and terrorists to surrender and face the justice they should face; and for Hamas to release the 240 hostages it still holds.
Senator BIRMINGHAM (South Australia—Leader of the Opposition in the Senate) (16:22): Today, 7 November, marks precisely one month since the 7 October attacks by Hamas, one month since the horrors of Hamas’s attacks upon innocents—innocent lives lost on that deadly day and, of course, tragic innocent lives lost in the time since. There should be no forgetting the horrors that occurred on 7 October: the targeting, deliberately, of civilians by Hamas—babies, children and the elderly—and the barbaric nature of those attacks, with the beheadings, rapes and torture that was undertaken. We should, today, one month on, mourn all of the innocent lives lost—those taken by Hamas through those attacks of 7 October and those lives that have been lost in the subsequent war, a war where Hamas has acted in the most cowardly of ways, hiding behind civilians and civilian infrastructure and therefore ensuring the greater loss of innocent lives.
Hamas rocket launchers have been found in mosques, in scout halls and next to kindergartens or schools or UN offices. This is the brutality and the barbarity that the world confronts: an organisation not just intent on attacking and taking the lives of those whose existence they oppose—Israeli people and Jews—but happy to put the people they pretend to represent in harm’s way—namely, Palestinian residents within Gaza.
We should remember those still held hostage, 240 innocent people who have been living a hellish existence and whose families continue to be put through hell. Of course, we should remember all impacted by the dislocation of peoples, especially within Gaza, the humanitarian situation and the challenges that that presents for so many and the loss of life that creates, along with those dislocated in other parts of Israel. As in all wars, the loss of innocent lives is a tragedy, be they Palestinian lives, Israeli lives or any other lives. Everyone would wish to live in a world without war, but, sadly, we have to live in the real world—one where you have to deal with its horrors, not simply wish them away. Hamas is one of those horrors that Israel must deal with and that the world must deal with.
This motion from the Greens does two things of note. It calls for a ceasefire, but it totally ignores Hamas. It is reckless, misleading and one-sided. What would the best way to a ceasefire be? It would be for Hamas to surrender its arms, its infrastructure, its military capabilities and its terrorist capabilities; for Hamas leaders and terrorists to surrender and face the justice they should face; and for Hamas to release the 240 hostages it still holds. These would be the best ways to a ceasefire, not simply a call for some type of ceasefire that would enable Hamas to rearm, regroup and reorganise and, in doing so, perpetuate the likelihood of more terrorist attacks or more brutal attacks like those we saw on 7 October.
None of this is easy, and it requires strong, thoughtful and considered approaches. Ideally, it requires the type of bipartisanship that this chamber exercised following 7 October and that I want to see us continue to exercise: strength in our condemnation of Hamas, strength in our desire to see Palestinians and Israelis given the opportunity to live in peace. (Time expired)