Thousands of people have gathered in city streets Australia-wide for separate events calling for a ceasefire in Gaza and the release of Israeli hostages.
The events were the latest in a string of demonstrations since the beginning of the latest Israel-Gaza conflict on October 7.
Rally in support of Palestine in Melbourne:
In Melbourne, tens of thousands of people gathered outside the State Library of Victoria for a pro-Palestinian rally, before moving through the city towards Parliament.
The crowds gathered with chants and calls to end the siege in Gaza. Victoria Police reported that 45,000 people were in attendance.
The protest in Victoria also saw Greeks present. The Greek Herald took photos as they marched proudly waving the Greek and Palestinian flags to show their support.
Rally in support of Israel in Sydney:
In Sydney, about 1,000 people held a ‘Send The Home’ vigil for Israeli hostages at Moore Park. Genocide scholar Dr Panayiotis Diamadis was in attendance at the rally at the invitation of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies.
At the vigil, Dr Diamadis was asked to a yellow ribbon to a blue Magen David in honour of the hundreds of men, women and children of all ages, citizens of some 40 countries, kidnapped from their homes and workplaces in southern Israel by Hamas.
“This tiny act of solidarity was my duty as a human being, as an Orthodox Christian member of a people who endured such genocidal assaults, as a genocide scholar,” Dr Diamadis said.
“Pinning a yellow ribbon to a blue Magen David was a most solemn moment for me. It impacted me in a similar way to my first visit to Yad Vashem in 2010.
“Through my mind passed Sir Samuel Cohen, who in the 1910s served as Honorary-Consul of Greece and stood up for the Indigenous Hellenes then enduring genocide.
“I thought of Dr Panayiotis Vezeridis, a physician in the Hellenic regional centre of Veroia, who hid two Jewish families during the Nazi Occupation because it was the right thing to do, as he later told Yad Vashem researchers.”
Standing beside Dr Diamadis was Hermiz Shahen, President of the Assyrian National Council of Australia. He was introduced by the Vice-President of the Hindu Council of Australia as ‘standing with you (the Jewish community) for decades against racism, his community having survived the Ottoman genocides which Hitler used as his blueprint for the Holocaust.’
Dr Diamadis was introduced as having ‘stood shoulder to shoulder with the Jewish community in the fight to recognise the genocides of the 20th century and spread the message of Never Again to schools, civil society and government.’
“As I stood on stage, I hope the thousands of Jewish and other Australians spread out before me felt that they were not alone in this fight. This was the reason I stood up – in the face of genocidal terror, we are all human beings, you are not alone,” Dr Diamadis said.
“This was the message from the Assyrian, Hindu, Iraqi, Chinese, Ethiopian, and Ukrainian representatives who also stood up for humanity. For the rights of the more than 240 men, women and children in captivity in Gaza to be sent home to their families.”
Source: ABC News.