The Australia Palestine Advocacy Network (APAN) said it hoped the “cold, hard polling data” showing a clear majority of Australians wanted an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, would move the Australian Government to action in a way that “appeals to common humanity had not.”
The comment came as a YouGov poll, undertaken across a representative cross-section of Australians between November 2 and 6, revealed 53% of all respondents supported a government call for an immediate ceasefire, compared to just 26% who did not want an immediate ceasefire.
APAN President Nasser Mashni said the results demonstrated a lag between public sentiment and the Australian Government’s current position.
“This shows the government is completely out of touch with the wishes of the Australian community,”
Mr Mashni said.
“So far, the government’s statements have been modest, calling for ‘restraint’ and ‘humanitarian pauses,’ which to the community sound like asking for a pause to Israeli attacks and war crimes so Palestinians can fill their bellies, before the attacks and war crimes resume.
“I hope this cold, hard polling data will move the government in ways that a month of desperate appeals to our collective humanity, and back-to-back rallies of thousands upon thousands of people across this continent, haven’t.”
The poll also indicated that the call for a ceasefire could be a vote-winner for Labor, with 23% of respondents more likely to consider voting Labor at the next election if the government called for a ceasefire. Only 11% of respondents indicated they would be less likely to vote for Labor in this instance.
Many more Australians (46%, compared to 33%) indicated that Israel’s blockade, which prevented adequate water, fuel, food, electricity and medical supplies from reaching the 2.3 million people trapped in the tiny enclave, and the relentless Israeli attacks resulting in the deaths of more than 10,000 people, including more than 4,000 children, were not reasonable acts of self-defence.
“What this poll says to me, and should say to the Australian Government, is that this issue is a test of whether the government shares the community’s principles and believes in upholding international law,”
“It’s confounding for all those Australians who believe in the sanctity of life and the principle of justice, that even with the death toll in Gaza topping 10,000 people this week – most of those people children and women – our government has not been moved to act with greater urgency or decisiveness.
“If the government has been waiting for a sign here at home that it’s time to act urgently and with moral conviction to protect the lives of two million innocents, this is it.”
YouGov is a founding member of the Australian Polling Council and complies with its Code of Conduct designed to promote transparency in public opinion polling. Information about this poll including sampling, and full question wording, is available here.