Peaceful Palestine protest

Local residents travelled to Federal MP Lisa Chester’s office in Bendigo on Wednesday to protest the war in Palestine.

A group of Mount Alexander residents met their Bendigo neighbours at MP Lisa Chesters’ office on Wednesday in a peaceful protest against the war in Palestine. 

Christine McCue, a Castlemaine resident and protest organiser, wants people to keep putting pressure on the Australian government to intervene.

“We need our federal representative to push for a ceasefire and to push for America to stop providing weapons,” Christine said.

“The rules of war have been broken, not allowing food, shelter or medical attention, and our government needs to take concrete steps in the future to make sure there is accountability for the genocide that if being committed,” she said.

Lina, a proud Muslim woman from Jordan, is visiting her son, daughter-in-law and two grandsons in Bendigo. 

“We have been suffering for more than 75 years,” Lina said.

“My family had to leave Bethlehem after the war in ’67. My mother had six children. My father had just finished building our house and we had to evacuate and couldn’t go back.

“Palestine is a country for all people and religions and we are suffering.

“I can’t image there’s a religion where God would want people to kill each other. In the Koran we have respect for all religions. The message of God is to not judge others but correct yourself.”

Lina’s daughter-in-law, Stephanie, said the situation in Palestine was not about culture or religion, it was about Zionism and colonialism. 

“We have a big family in Gaza, many who have been killed. It is difficult to get any news with the closure of the telecommunication and no electricity,” Stephanie said.

“I am so grateful that my Aunty (mother-in-law) is not in the Middle East and alone, that she can be with family, and we can grieve together.

“The only thing I am finding hopeful at the moment, is people coming together in a peaceful and respectful way,” she said. 

The Mail contacted Lisa Chesters who said Australia was committed to working with partners toward a just and enduring peace in the form of a two-state solution, where Israelis and Palestinians could live securely within internationally recognised borders.

“Overnight the Australian, Canadian and New Zealand Prime Ministers released a joint statement,” MP Chesters said.

“It states Australia, Canada and New Zealand mourn every Israeli and Palestinian innocent life that has been lost in this conflict and expresses our condolences to all families and communities affected by the violence.

“It also states that we support Palestinians’ right to self-determination. We oppose the forcible displacement of Palestinians from Gaza, the re-occupation of Gaza, any reduction in territory, and any use of siege or blockade.”

Castlemaine Mail
Your source of independent local news in the Mount Alexander Shire.