Open Letter to Kevin Rudd on the crisis in Lebanon and Gaza

Open letter to Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs

Thank you for your response to my phone call to Mr Rudd’s office this morning (27 July 2006).

If you wish to check again with Fleur of Mr Rudd’s electorate office, what I did say was that the shadow minister had spoken about the need for more embassy staff in Beirut but had not focused in those interviews on the terrible human rights abuses happening in Lebanon right now by the Israeli Defence Forces — a repeat of the abuses of the last invasion of Lebanon in 1982, on this occasion on a wider scale.

In a radio interview dated 24 JULY 2006 (11 days after Israel bombed the Beirut International Airport in Lebanon) that you forwarded to me, Mr Rudd said:

“We need to see a ceasefire which involves Hezbollah ceasing its rocket attacks on Israel, the return of Israeli troops that have been captured by Hezbollah and Israel itself ceasing all hostilities.”

Yet Mr Rudd did not seek an immediate ceasefire 11 days into the Israeli bombing causing so may lives to be lost.

What has Mr Rudd said of the return by Israel of the thousands of Lebanese and Palestinians held without trial in Israeli jails?

Mark Regev, Israeli Foreign Ministry Spokesman, stated on ABC Lateline (26 July 2006) that:

“I can say the following: we do not deliberately target civilian targets, whether they are Lebanese civilians or anyone’s civilians.”

A transparent lie after the ambulance and UN building attacks 2 days ago and the attacks on Lebanese civilians and Palestinians in Gaza over the past 14 days. Has Mr Rudd asked the Israeli government officials if it is official Israeli Defence Force policy to target Lebanese civilians? If not, why not?

Mr Rudd put the following spin on 14 days of massacre of Lebanese civilians by Israeli forces:

“A ceasefire is necessary. A ceasefire which involves Hezbollah ceasing its rocket attacks on Israel. A ceasefire which involves the return of Israeli troops. And on top of that a cessation of hostilities on the part of Israel itself.

What is Mr Rudd doing himself to get both Ms Rice and Mr Howard to call an immediate ceasefire? Has he threatened ALP withdrawal of bipartisan support for the US alliance? Has he called for the immediate withdrawal of Australian and American troops from Iraq under the treat of withdrawal of support for the US Alliance? Has he called for a withdrawal of ALP support for all US joint defence bases in Australia?

Why continue to support the US Alliance when so many lives have been lost through human rights abuses by the Americans and their ally, Israel, and so many more lives may be lost?

Ian Curr
Camp Hill QLD
27 July 2006

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