Home Contact About Shules Eruv Minyanim Other
COSV Masthead
Noticeboard Beth Din Archives Add Event SubscribePrivacy Log in

In Melbourne Shabbat begins Fri 3 Apr 2020 06:52 PM and ends Sat 4 Apr 2020 07:50 PM

Speech at prayer / solidarity

כ"ד טבת ה' אלפים תשס"ט

Click for the text of the RCV President's speech

HE Yuval Rotem, Ambassador of Israel


I would like to acknowledge the organizers of this rally, and especially the council of Orthodox Synagogues of Victoria.

I want to recognise the role of Paul Korbl, Vice President of the council, and of course, my dear Friend, Dr Danny Lamm, President of the State Zionist Council of Victoria, who is always out there for Israel.

And of course, I appreciate seeing so many of you out today.

First, I want to welcome you back from Surfer's Paradise and other holiday spots around the Gold Coast. I pledge to factor in your holidays and vacations next time Israel is involved in an engagement of any kind.

Second, on a more serious note.

I am here to talk with you about a new Israeli experience, that no other people must go through.

I am here to talk to you about what 15 seconds can mean for an Israeli.


15 seconds is all the time that thousands of Israeli children have to run for their lives.

15 seconds to save your life from rockets, missiles and mortar attacks.

15 seconds would not be enough for you in this room to escape and reach shelter.

These 15 seconds of terror have been part of the daily lves of Israelis for the last eight years.

I am here to share with you my frustration.

Our story, and our suffering, has been totally overlooked by so many throughout the last eight years.

Yuval Rotem

I am here today to be a voice for one million people that are directly in the line of fire. 

Ladies and gentlemen,

What we have seen in the last three weeks should be a source of concern and anxiety to all

The cynicism and the evil that is practiced by Hamas cannot be ignored or go unaddressed.

Once again, we have seen a double standard employed against us. The obsessive narrative we have seen from so many walks of life has one key underlying assumption: that the Palestinians can be blamed for nothing in this conflict.

Even if Israel appears the stronger power, and they the underdogs, that doesn't make us wrong, nor does it make them right. Our cause remains a just one.

Distinguished guests,

I want to share with you one of the frustrations I have felt over the last few days.

I want to address the issue of the so-called ‘disproportionate response' to the firing of rockets and missiles at Israeli communities.

My comment to all those who make these allegations, is that none of them has ever offered me an alternative.

What is the right response that Israel is entitled to have against the thousands of missiles fired at us?

What is the proportionate response to an entity that backs its rocket attacks with daily radio messages calling for the destruction of Israel?

Where is the legitimacy for a government that murdered moderate Palestinians by the hundreds, in an attempt to extend its hold to the West Bank?

Why should anybody accept an organisation that is championed by Iran to carry out suicide bombings whenever peace negotiations make the slightest headway?

Why should anybody accept the promises of a group of extremists whose sole stated objective is the elimination of Israel?

I have not been given an answer.

So let me confuse those so-called progressives, and those who sympathize with Hamas, with some facts.

Hamas hides weapons and explosives in mosques. What kind of person uses a house of prayer to store weapons? The answer: Hamas terrorists. 

Hamas fires rockets from schoolyards. What kind of person uses a place where children gather as a battlefield?


The answer: Hamas terrorists.


Hamas uses ambulances to smuggle weapons, and have set up bases in Gaza's hospital. What kind of person uses injured civilians as human shields? The answer: Hamas terrorists.

These are crimes against humanity. They are the work of great evil, and they violate every principle of humanitarian international law.

I haven't seen one single head of church, I haven't read one single news report, and I haven't seen a single human rights organisation who have condemned the practices of Hamas. And of course you can't expect the United Nations to engage in anything but slanderous rhetoric.

So let me share with you one more frustration.

The United Nations Human Rights Council.

Do you know who runs this council?

An A-Team of human rights abusers, led by Saudi Arabia and Cuba. And they dare to single Israel out for condemnation.

So my question to all those nations, who keep wasting the money, the energy and the efforts of all those United Nations agencies, is this:

All the condemnations that have been issued against Israel, all the reports that have been tabled to undermine Israel, and all the commissions and special ad hoc committees that have been formed to bash Israel:

Have any of them changed the situation on the ground, even one inch, and improved the lives of Palestinians? Have they ever?

Ladies and gentlemen,

We acknowledge that not all our tactics in these campaigns are perfect. We know that we err from time to time. When we make mistakes, we are willing to apologise. We know and regret the loss of life. We know to acknowledge and sense suffering.

We do that because our culture and our values are part of the world that looks at children and sees hope, and future. But when Hamas sees children, they see them as targets and human shields.

This is why Golda Meir, Israel's former Prime Minister, said more than 40 years ago that peace is going to come only when they love their children more than they hate us.

Tonight I call upon those who criticize Israel, and tell them, you may continue to blame us, you may continue to condemn us and you may continue to undermine us with your words of hatred, but we go nowhere. We have a just cause to defend, and we are going to do it with no intention of faltering, wavering or turning away.

Tonight I call upon you, to remember to speak up, because we have not just the right to live, but also the right to defend ourselves.

Remember to speak up, because people deserve to know the truth.  Remember to speak up because Israel needs your help.

So every day, make it five minutes for Israel. Write a letter, send an e-mail, make telephone call to your politicians or the media or to your neighbor.

By speaking up, you provide us with a measure of hope, and a measure of encouragement, knowing that we not alone in this struggle. By doing so, you give us the hope to aspire for a better day.

With your help, we will triumph, as we have always done in our 61 years of statehood.

# reads: 549

Printable version

COSV chat

During the Ambassador's speech I had to stop myself from leaving the room. Very disappointed!!!!Please see Australian Friends of Gush katif & Shomron Inc which will be sent as a separate email!The questions which should be asked include why did it take the Israeli Govt 8 years to respond to the missile attacks? Answer:This was solely a political war for the sake of votes for Barak(Labor), Olmert/Livni (Kadima)...if it was a serious war then Hamas would have been completely destroyed. The Ambassador was apologetic for Israel's mistakes??? The mistakes included stopping the war too early and why apologise when we know that when a missile is launched Israel's attack has just a 30 metre differential from reaching the exact target. The Ambassador said to write letters....well when I demonstrated recently at the Israeli Embassy against the unlawful and violent expulsion of Jews from the legally purchased Peace House the Ambassador refused to accept my letter to be forwarded to PM Olmert. The Jewish News reported that the Ambassador when beginning his tenure pormised an "Open House" approach to the community re- Isralei Embassy yet I was refused entry when I wished to doven Shacharis and put on tefillin as witnessed by Jewish News reporter Sylvia Deutsch and Aust Federal Police. The Ambassador is just towing the line and as the meeting was an achdut meeting I spoke my concerns quietly to the Ambassador at the conclusion of the meeting rather than disrupt what apart form this speech was an excellent event and full marks to Dr Danny Lamm who has excelled himself in Jewish Leadership since the conflict organising the pro Israel Rally in Melbourne, St Kilda shule evening and leading the attack against The Age newspaper. Moshe Elkman CHAIRMAN Australian Friends of Gush Katif & Shomron Inc www.unitedtorahbloc.net

Posted by Moshe Elkman on 2009-01-21 07:04:58 GMT