Canberra & Region Quakers

Letter to the Australian Parliament: Plea for a Common Humanity


“Please see the below document, titled, ‘Plea for a Common Humanity’.

Emeritus Professor Stuart Rees AM is an Australian academic, human rights activist, author and founder of the Sydney Peace Foundation. He, in collaboration with other high profile individuals, has written a ‘Plea for a Common Humanity’ calling for our Prime Minister to take decisive action to prevent further harm to the people of Gaza.

IPAN has agreed to add its name to support this ‘Plea’  which will be presented at Parliament House on Thursday 28th March at 9.30 am (during Parliamentary Sitting week)

In addition IPAN requests the support of our individual members to also sign on in support of this. (email address will not be made public)

Please send your name and email address (email address will not be made public) to me, Peter Harpas, before Friday 22nd March, I will then ensure the emails are forwarded on to Stuart Rees.”

To the Australian Parliament: Plea for a Common Humanity

In Gaza and the West Bank, we demand that Israeli slaughter, starvation, wasting of children, injuries to thousands, detention and torture of hundreds and destruction of hospitals must end. So too must Australian complicity in genocidal acts as identified by the International Court of Justice.

Silence and inaction over death and devastation in Gaza represents abandonment of the principles of a common humanity, and indifference to shared responsibility for the interdependence of all peoples and all living things on planet earth.

We plead with the Australian government and with all Federal politicians to cease favouring the benefits of siding with Israel against the supposed political costs of daring to take seriously the human rights of all Palestinians. Our leaders should instead start thinking about principles of a common humanity.

While women and children are being slaughtered and starved to death, we witness the cowardly politics of the government’s decisions to pause humanitarian funding to UNRWA, its refusal to support South Africa before the ICJ, its failure to respond to the ICJ’s genocide ruling, and its turning a blind eye to Australian arms sales to Israel. Our government fears to condemn the policies of a state intent on the brutal elimination of a whole people.

Australian governments have joined the United States’ war against terror. Israel’s carnage in Gaza is not as its leaders claim against Hamas but against all the Palestinian people. It is state terror, collective punishment and probable genocide. In defiance of the ruling of the ICJ, Australia has no right to support this Israeli policy.

Respect for a common humanity means that Australia vigorously advocates the attainment of the human rights of all Palestinians, a goal which also means the dismantling of any racist, apartheid Israeli regime. An implication of that goal is that adherence to principles of a common humanity will benefit all Israelis. Justice for Palestine means security for Israel. Pleas for a common humanity include urgent, practical objectives:

  • Reinstatement of funding for UNRWA
  • Implementation of the rulings of the ICJ
  • Demands for a permanent ceasefire and an end to the siege of Gaza
  • Expulsion of the Israeli Ambassador to Australia, recall of Australia’s Ambassador to Israel
  • Ending any Australian military support for Israel
  • Developing plans for peace with justice in which Palestinians from all walks take a lead.
  • No more unilateral solutions imposed by the US or Israel
  • Support for a multinational UN force to ensure peace and security in Gaza &the West Bank
  • Support for a UN led emergency humanitarian program to address the immediate medical, food and housing needs of Gazans.
Download the PDF version of the above letter by Clicking Here.
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