/ 10 July 2024

Some special conflict resolution


The Squiz 

As the war in Gaza rages on, Sydney lawyer/business leader Jillian Segal has been appointed Australia’s first-ever Special Envoy to Combat Antisemitism to address the prejudice that Jewish people are facing at home. Segal has been appointed for 3 years, and PM Anthony Albanese says it’s an important part of “ongoing efforts to promote social cohesion”, also confirming a special envoy on Islamophobia will soon be named to combat discrimination “in all its forms”. Segal says she’s “privileged” to have been appointed to the role because “antisemitism is an age-old hatred” that lies dormant during good times, but in times of crisis “it awakens.”

Why is this a thing?

Since the 7 October Hamas attack in Israel and the resulting war in Gaza, there’s been a 700% rise in reports of antisemitic incidents. That includes kids afraid to wear Jewish school uniforms, Jewish businesses being boycotted, and the vandalisation of the Australian War Memorial – all of which Albanese says is “not acceptable, ever”. The Coalition welcomed Segal’s appointment and also called for stronger action – including a judicial inquiry into antisemitism on university campuses. But Jewish groups are divided… The Executive Council of Australian Jewry – of which Segal is a former president – said she will bring “deep knowledge of the issues and immense energy to the role”. But the Jewish Council of Australia labelled Segal an “Israel lobbyist” and says the creation of the position goes against a “united approach” to addressing the issue.

And while we’re talking about it, bring me up to speed with the conflict… 

There’s still no end in sight with tens of thousands of people in Gaza on the move once again as the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) continues to issue new evacuation orders, which the United Nations says have displaced about 1.9 million people. The IDF says the orders are necessary to protect civilians in areas where Hamas is attempting to re-establish itself, but reports say civilians are still dying as refugee camps and schools are being attacked by Israel. The conflict is also forcing residents to flee along the northern Israel/Lebanon border, where the IDF and Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah continue to trade thousands of rocket/missile strikes. As a result, Israel says it’s considering an invasion of Lebanon to “restore security” that could lead to a full-scale war. So, there’s a lot going on…

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