SYDNEY, Australia (JTA) — An Australian Jewish group slammed Israel’s invasion of Gaza as "inhuman," "superfluous" and "abominable."
Independent Australian Jewish Voices, an offshoot of the British group founded in February 2007, said in a statement this week that while Israel has the right to self-defense, "this cannot be used as a pretext for the grossly disproportionate military assault on Gaza because it was Israel that violated the fragile truce on Nov. 4, 2008."
Among the 113 signatories to the statement are New South Wales Greens Party lawmaker Ian Cohen, and Moss Cass, a former minister in the Labor government of Gough Whitlam in the 1970s.
The statement claims that "the assault on the population of Gaza will only inflame hatred of Jews and of the State of Israel while doing nothing to protect the lives of Israelis. Above all, it will undermine the prospects of joining with peace-seeking Palestinians to negotiate a lasting, just solution to the conflict."
Jewish lawmaker Michael Danby blasted the dissenting Jews as a fringe group that "uses their ethnicity to enhance this, their latest anti-Israel outburst."
In a related development, two Australian academics of Jewish descent have launched the Committee for the Dismantling of Zionism.
John Docker and Ned Curthoys wrote in a Jan. 1 statement that Israel is a "genocidal settler colonial society that since its founding in 1948 continually seeks to destroy the foundations of life of the indigenous Palestinians."