Ramzi Elsayed, president of the Islamic Council of Victoria:
* Because they just can’t contain their rage, their anger. Â Muslims have never been angrier,Â in fact they are “seething with anger, tension and hatred as never before, and that’s the danger in Australia.”
Muslims furious at Gaza ‘bias’
AUSTRALIAN Muslims are “seething with anger” at what they perceive as the Australian Government’s one-sided treatment of last month’s Israeli incursion into Gaza, a Melbourne leader said yesterday.
Ramzi Elsayed, president of the Islamic Council of Victoria, said he had never seen the community so hurt or aggrieved, especially after acting Prime Minister Julia Gillard said Israel was responding to Hamas aggression after Hamas broke the ceasefire.
“It’s as though they think one Jewish life is worth 100 Palestinians,” he said. “Enough’s enough. It’s time to call the facts as they are. Israel broke the ceasefire on 4 November.”
* Its the Pal’s who go by this measure: they want Israel to release 1000 prisoners for Gilat Shalit.If Hamas demands to free 1000 terrorists incarcerated in Israeli jails for one Israeli soldier â€” Gilad Shalit â€” then they themselves set the “worth rate” that the life of one Israel equals to one thousand Gazans.
Responding to a Jewish threat to sever ties with Australia’s Muslims if the president of its peak body did not withdraw a comparison between Gaza and the Holocaust, Mr Elsayed said a cooling-off period was inevitable anyway.
“There’s going to be some open wounds which will take time to heal. Tension and hatred has built as never before in the Middle East, and that’s the danger in Australia.”
Mr Elsayed said the Victorian council would not have made the Holocaust comparison because they understood Jewish sensitivities, referring instead to the “massacre” of Palestinians.
* There never was a “massacre” – but Hamas wiped out Fatah to the tune of 180. How come this Muslim spokesman doesn’t even mention that?
YesterdayÂ The AgeÂ reported a row between the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils and the Executive Council of Australian Jewry â€” the main bodies for each faith â€” over the refusal of AFIC chairman Ikebal Patel to recant his claim that the former victims of the Holocaust were perpetrating “much worse atrocities” in Gaza.
Robert Goot, president of the Jewish council, said the Jewish community would not be able to work with AFIC if the remarks were not withdrawn.
Mr Patel said he would be happy to meet Mr Goot any time. He agreed with Mr Elsayed that Muslims had never been angrier, even during the war in Lebanon in 2006, because Hamas had not been able to resist as Hezbollah did.
He said the Australian Government should have tried to encourage both parties to cease hostilities, and then to hold talks.
Mr Goot said the Government’s response had been appropriate and principled, calling on both sides to stop fighting and try to resolve the issue. “It’s all very well to say people should sit down and talk, but Hamas won’t talk to Israel because it doesn’t recognise it and is dedicated to its annihilation. There’s no one to talk to.”
The Jewish Anti-Defamation Commission yesterday strongly condemned the “disgraceful statements” by Mr Patel and the controversial former Mufti of Australia, Taj al-Din al-Hilali, that “what we are seeing (in Gaza) is another Holocaust”.
ADC vice-chairman Alain Grossbard said the statements were entirely false and showed “an immoral willingness to engage in the sort of Holocaust denial that is so repugnant to all Australians”.
He said it was of great concern that Mr Patel claimed his views represented the mainstream Muslim view.