In Sept 2016, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop visited Israel, where she met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Bishop invited Netanyahu to officially visit Australia in early 2017 saying that she wanted to “reaffirm our absolute enduring commitment to the state of Israel and our friendship” and that she believed that “the Australian public would warmly embrace you, welcome you”.
As Prime Minister, Netanyahu has been responsible for Israel’s illegal blockade of Gaza, as well as Israel’s ongoing brutal occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Golan Heights and increased Settlement building both which are against international law.
In 2014, Netanyahu ordered Israel’s 50 day murderous assault on Gaza, which resulted in the death of more than 2,250 Palestinians, including almost 1,500 civilians, one third of whom were children, along with 299 women. In addition, more than 11,230 Palestinians were injured, including 3,436 children and 3.540 women. Amongst those killed were 142 Palestinian families, who made up 742 of the fatalities.
During the murderous assault Netanyahu ordered more than 6,000 airstrikes and the firing of more than 50,000 tank and artillery shells on the imprisoned population of Gaza.
In July 2014, Netanyahu also confirmed that Israel had no intention of ending its illegal occupation and oppression of more than 4.5 million Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
While Julie Bishop and the Liberals, who supported Israel’s assault on Gaza and the US’s bloody wars in the Middle East, continue to carry out human rights abuses against refugees and asylum seekers and Australia’s Indigenous community, choose to welcome a fellow war criminal and human right abusers, we are calling on all people of conscience and supporters of human rights to give Benjamin Netanyahu the real welcome he deserves when he arrives in Australia.
Protest this visit of a war criminal to Australia, as well as the Turnbull and Liberal government’s continued support for Israel’s illegal occupation and war crimes against the Palestinian people.