Humanitarian Crisis and Conflicts in Syria and Iraq

9th September 2015

The Executive Council of Australian Jewry has welcomed the announcement today by the Australian government that Australia will resettle an additional 12,000 refugees who are fleeing the conflict in Syria and Iraq.

“We agree with the government’s decision to give priority to those most in need of protection, including women, children and families of persecuted minorities, who have sought refuge from the conflict in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey”, said ECAJ President, Robert Goot. “We also commend the government for committing $44 million to the provision of humanitarian support to more than 240,000 Syrian and Iraqi people who have been forced to flee their homes or seek refuge in neighbouring countries”.

The ECAJ also gave its support to the government’s decision to extend Australia’s air strikes against Islamic State into Syria, marking the next phase of Australia’s contribution to the international coalition effort to disrupt, degrade and ultimately defeat Islamic State.

“It is not enough simply to address the results of the ongoing atrocities being carried out by Islamic State and many other groups in Syria and Iraq”, Robert Goot said. “It is also necessary, in concert with other nations, for there to be a forcible military response against those groups themselves, as this seems to be the only way available for the moment to pressure the perpetrators against continuing their atrocities. In addition, we would hope that behind the scenes strong diplomatic pressure is being applied to the Syrian regime, whose shocking crimes against its own people – including the deliberate use of chemical weapons and barrel bombs against civilians – have been at the very heart of the problem. The Syrian regime and its backers – Hezbollah, Iran and Russia – have much to answer for”.

Peter Wertheim AM | Executive Director
phone: 02 8353 8500 | m: 0408 160 904 | fax 02 9361 5888
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