Rafah massacre demonstrates urgent need to cut ties and sanction Israel
May 28, 2024

The Jewish Council of Australia renews our calls for the Albanese Government to use all possible diplomatic pressure to stop Israel committing the crime of genocide. 

Yesterday, an Israeli airstrike killed at least 45 people who were living in tents in the declared safe-zone of Rafah. The act is likely in breach of last week’s additional provisional orders of the International Court of Justice to immediately halt military operations in Rafah. This comes as the death toll from Israeli military actions in Gaza is increasing daily.

In light of these developments, and the worsening conditions imposed on Palestinians in Gaza, and the West Bank, the Jewish Council of Australia calls on the Government to immediately cut all military ties and place sanctions on Israel. 

The Albanese Government must also place travel bans on extremist settlers and those suspected of war crimes. These actions would be in line with Australia’s obligations as a signatory to the Genocide Convention.

Sarah Schwartz, Executive Officer, Jewish Council of Australia

After last week’s announcement of the potential issue of arrest warrants by the International Criminal Court for Israeli and Hamas leaders, the International Court of Justice's further additional provisional orders are yet another clear sign that the situation in Gaza has drastically deteriorated. Palestinians face death by Israeli assassinations, bombardment, forced famine, and deadly rampages by settlers in the West Bank. The images emerging today of Israel’s latest massacre in Rafah ought to force governments like ours to take concrete action.

Australia must pay heed to these arrest warrants and the additional provisional measures ordered by the International Court of Justice and ensure that we are not complicit in war crimes and the crime of genocide. In particular, Australia must end its role in supplying weapons parts to Israel, and throw its weight behind a global arms embargo.  

Dr Max Kaiser, Executive Officer, Jewish Council of Australia

With each passing day, it becomes clearer that Israel is a rogue state. We say this as part of a large and growing number of Jews – in Australia and around the world – who have been calling for a ceasefire for many months, and saying that Israel’s actions are completely incompatible with our Jewish values. Opposing this genocide is an expression of our Jewishness and an honouring of our ancestors who were themselves the victims of genocide and racist violence.

It is clear that Israel will not listen to the international community until there are consequences for its actions. The Australian Government has all the tools necessary at its disposal, including sanctions and travel bans on suspected war criminals, which it has deployed against Russia. All that is missing is the political will.

Media contact:

0493 970 412


Sign up to receive our newsletter and press releases

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.