By Nino Bucci and Emily Wind
Yesterday, all living former prime ministers of Australia (except Paul Keating) co-signed a statement regarding the Israel-Hamas war.
In response, the Australia Palestine Advocacy Network (APAN) has accused the prime ministers of allowing themselves to be used as a “tool” to “minimise Israel’s gross violations of international law for the past 75 years”.
A statement from the group reads:
The statement, drafted by the Zionist Federation of Australia, demonstrated explicit pro-Israel bias, failing to recognise Israeli responsibility for bombings that have already killed more than 8000 people in Gaza.
The joint letter says the prime ministers stand with all Jewish Australians and the Australian Palestinian community for the “suffering” being experienced. It also calls for humanitarian access to Gaza and reaffirms their support for a two-state solution.
APAN president Nasser Mashni said the statement rang “hollow”:
Their significant platform should have been used to echo calls by the United Nations for an immediate ceasefire.
How the former prime ministers could have the audacity to quote religious texts about peace while Israel is carpet bombing two million people in Gaza is gut-wrenching hypocrisy.
After posting a copy of the statement online yesterday, Malcolm Turnbull wrote:
I want to make it very clear. This statement was drafted exclusively by the former PMs and nobody else.
Tony Abbott praised Turnbull for his “great work” in drafting the joint letter, and said former treasurer Josh Frydenberg had approached all the former prime ministers for the statement.
You can read more on the letter below:
– with AAP