In the aftermath of the acts of terror perpetrated by Hamas on October 7, 2023, when more Jewish people were murdered than on any other single day since the Holocaust, emotions of outrage, anguish, and concern have dominated hearts, minds, and headlines. As a result of the actions of Hamas, the region is now engulfed in a war that is costing Palestinian and Israeli lives every day.
As events continue to unfold, the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies continues to mobilize to support and protect our community. On this portal is information about the conflict, access to emotional and other support, opportunities to take action and many other resources to meet the needs of our community.
On October 7 the internationally proscribed Islamist terror organisation Hamas perpetrated the most horrific attack on Jews since the Holocaust, massacring over 1,200 people in southern Israel in the most barbaric manner imaginable: torturing families, mutilating children and adults, raping hundreds of Jewish girls and women of all ages, setting fire to people and desecrating bodies after the orgy of killing. Over 4,000 people were wounded and over 240 people: Israeli Jews, Israeli Muslims and Israeli Christians, guest workers and visitors, aged from 9 months to over 80 years, were abducted to Gaza. At the time of writing those people are still being held hostage there.
Israel is fighting this war against Hamas primarily to free those hostages and bring them home, but also to remove the threat outlined by Hamas deputy foreign minister Ghazi Hamad on October 24, that Hamas will repeat October 7 “again and again until Israel is ‘annihilated”.
Similarly Israel is fighting to eliminate the threat posed by other Iranian proxy armies including Islamic Jihad from Gaza and Hezbollah from Lebanon, who have long attacked its people, currently rocketing the country and sending terrorists in to perpetrate further massacres in the style of Hamas.
Israel and most Western governments regard this war as parallel to the wars against ISIS, Al Qaeda, Boko Haram and other Islamist terror organisations.
Hamas, which is an acronym of its official name, the Islamic Resistance Movement, is an Islamist Jihadist terror organisation founded in 1987 in the Gaza Strip by Sheik Ahmed Yassin. Its ideological roots lie in the Muslim Brotherhood, itself founded in Egypt in 1928. During the Second World War period the Muslim Brotherhood, along with the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin Al-Husseini, were in a close alliance with Adolf Hitler and the Nazis. They had Hitler’s autobiography Mein Kampf translated into Arabic, changing the title to My Jihad and the rabidly antisemitic Nazi newspaper Der Sturmer adapted to suit the Arab world. The agreement was that the Muslim Brotherhood would carry out in the Middle East the work of the Nazis: exterminating every Jew. This is still the aim of Hamas.
Hamas, whose philosophy and methodology combine those of the Nazis and ISIS, is similarly a threat to all people and societies. Its radical Islamist ideology rejects and punishes by death ‘unbelievers’, gay people, trans people and political opponents and allows none of the liberal Western values. The horrific attacks perpetrated by Hamas on October 7 align with those of Al Qaeda in the US on 9/11, London on 7/7 and Paris (Charlie Hebdo) in 2015; of Jama Islamiya in Bali in 2002; the Boko Haram kidnappings of Christian schoolgirls in Nigeria in 2014; and all the actions of ISIS. Australians remember well the image of the Australian boy in Rakka holding up a severed head – his father a member of Islamic State.
War is abhorrent, but the war currently being fought against Hamas by Israel is recognised by the US, Australia, the UK, India and most countries of Europe as one of the wars which simply has to be fought and won, just as the wars against the Nazis and ISIS were.
Hear about Hamas in their own words and in the words of Arab journalists, academics and other commentators.
View: Instagram content covering history and many key issues
Watch: ‘For Critical Thinkers’ series: 3-7 min clips covering all the issues from ancient times until today
Watch: Unpacked History of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
Watch: Unpacked Who is Hamas
Watch: Unpacked Hamas’ control over Gaza
Watch: MEMRI See what Arab leaders say to their own audiences, with English subtitles
Upping your Israel IQ Toolkit.
Book: “The Arab-Israeli Conflict: A timeless struggle” by Professor Leanne Piggott, an impeccably balanced and documented textbook.
7 October Statement
19 October Statement on Hamas and Islamic Jihad
20 October Statement responding to the NSW Teachers Federation
22 October Statement condemning the Mayor of Wollongong
30 November Statement responding to Greens MP Jenny Leong
1 December Statement supporting the strengthening of the Crimes Act
For people overseas who need emergency consular assistance, it’s available 24 hours a day by calling the Consular Emergency Centre (CEC) in Canberra on 1300 555 135 within Australia, or +61 2 6261 3305 from anywhere in the world.
To contact the Israeli Embassy in Canberra for consular assistance, call (02) 6215 4510
IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY, CALL 000
Report antisemitic incidents or hate speech to the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies here.
Report antisemitic incidents to CSG here.
Click here to subscribe to the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies newsletter to be kept updated about current work and upcoming events.
Gather 20+ people and learn together in a 90-minute workshop which covers guiding principles to help you understand and talk about Israel and its war against Hamas. Email us for information and bookings.
The Australian [email protected]
Australian Financial Review https://www.afr.com/contact-us/letters-to-the-editor
The Canberra Times https://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/send-a-letter-to-the-editor/
Daily Mail Australia (via UK site) https://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/contactus/article-3701148/Make-Formal-Complaint.html
The Guardian Australia [email protected]
Illawarra Mercury (Wollongong) https://www.illawarramercury.com.au/comment/send-a-letter-to-the-editor/
Plus 61J [email protected]
The Saturday Paper [email protected]
Sydney Morning Herald [email protected]
Sydney Morning Herald To submit an opinion piece email [email protected]
TV, Radio and online
These are trusted organisations running appeals related to the current war. Click on each one to be directed to their donation page.
1. JCA Never Again Response Appeal
2. Magen David Adom (Israeli Red Cross equivalent)
3. UIA Israel at War Emergency Appeal
4. ZDVO Beit Halochem Australia
5. WIZO Emergency Appeal
6. JNF Emergency Appeal for the Gaza border communities
7. Project Rozana Emergency Relief Appeal
Email us here so we can be in touch with you.
You or your organisation might like to write a statement of support. You can find some examples in the section on this portal “Who is standing with us.”
If you are a member of the Jewish community feeling distressed or anxious about the ongoing war or local antisemitism, you can access free counselling. Click on the icons below to be directed to either JewishCare or Jewish House:
The Forum of Australian Services to Survivors of Torture and Trauma (FASSTT) has launched Witness to War, a free and confidential multilingual telephone hotline for people in Australia affected by overseas conflicts. You can access the Witness to War program HERE.
Harassment and bullying reporting portal HERE
Campus Security: 9385 6666
Urgent 24/7 counselling: 02 8905 0307
Harassment and bullying reporting: 1800 793 457
Campus security: 9351 3333
Urgent 24/7 counselling: 1300 474 065
University of Wollongong
Campus security: 4221 4900 or 0407 287 750 or [email protected]
24-hour student wellbeing: 1300 036 149 or text 0488 884 164
Harassment and bullying reporting: 02 9514 1048 or [email protected]
Campus security: 1800 249 559
UTS counselling: 02 9514 1177
Wellbeing support: Care MQ Network (online portal) or 1800 2273 67 or (02) 9850 7497
Campus security: 02 9850 9999
Report antisemitic bullying at school here, or call (02) 9360 1600
JewishCare guide for parents on how to talk with children about the war.
For support from psychologists and social workers for Jewish students at non-Jewish day schools, call JewishCare during business hours on 1300 133 600
Israel News for Kids on YouTube.
Toolkit for High School Students from Mosaic Israel