Ladies and gentlemen, we gather in our thousands tonight.
We join millions around the world: people of good faith, people who stand with the state of Israel, people who speak out and push back against the barbarity that we’ve witnessed in Israel in recent days.
As I look out to the audience tonight, I see young people and old people, young girls in tears, emotion, but an absolute determination – a steadfast determination – to make sure that we stay together, that we stare down the barbarity, that we rise up, and we support those in their darkest hour.
As Australians, we value many attributes, and when we look at the story of Israel, it is a story of many trials and tribulations: of privation, subjugation, of entrapment, of massacre, of Holocaust.
In the terrorism that we’ve seen in recent days cannot be given moral equivalence with any other behaviour, other than that of terrorists and terrorism events that have taken place in recent history.
The most recent event, of course, that many Australians still have in their minds is 9/11, and the events that took place at the hand of a brutal body of people in ISIL.
Hamas has a moral equivalence with ISIL – not with Israel, not with the Jews, and not with people of good faith.
And we should always remind ourselves of that.
This is not a time for equivocation.
It’s not a time to look back.
And it’s certainly a time for all of us to stand up and to stand with the people who are facing their darkest hour.
To all of you today, I say thank you for your resolute nature.
What we know of the Jewish people is their determination, their ability to never give in, to always stick together.
And we will always stand with the people of Israel: as a country, as a people.
As a country, as a people, we cherish those of Jewish faith among us.
We’re here as Australians tonight, to send a very clear message to those millions around the world that we join with them in staring down these acts of depravity.
In making sure that over the coming days and weeks, there is no retreat.
There is no room for movement.
And the days and weeks ahead will be tough because, as we know, there will be detractors and there will be those who will pass comment about the response that Israel is preparing to mount this very day.
Those hostages need to be recovered.
We need to make sure that Hamas hears a very clear message:
That their acts of terrorism will never, ever be tolerated – and that we will never stand back from the responsibility that we have to stand together.
Thank you for being here tonight.
I thank the leaders within the community for their organisation of tonight’s event, for their advocacy, their constant advocacy, to all of us in positions of leadership.
It needs to continue and I am sure that it will.
God bless and thank you very much for the honour of being here you tonight.