Australia’s Silence on Iran Is a Boon to Russia and China

The EU, the UK, and the U.S. have all recently imposed sanctions on the Islamic Republic for supplying Russia with drones to use against Ukraine. But Australia, despite its close diplomatic and security ties with all three, has declined to do so. Similarly, Canberra has condemned Tehran for its murderous attempts to curb dissent, but refrained from following its Western allies in imposing sanctions. Oved Lobel comments:

No coherent explanation has been given for why Australia consistently chooses to isolate itself from its allies when it comes to Iran, both rhetorically and practically. Yet whatever the rationale, it sends a very dangerous signal to China, whose rise and increasing belligerence constitutes a most serious long-term national-security concern.

China is part of a strategic alliance with Iran and Russia, helping keep both regimes afloat despite sanctions and, via proliferation agents, is “the most important overseas supplier of items and material for Iran’s missile program,” according to the U.S. State Department. Those same missiles China helps Iran build are now headed to Russia to help kill Ukrainians.

Australia has a moral and strategic imperative to join its allies in punishing Iran not only for its domestic crackdown, but for its material aid to Russia in killing Ukrainians, as well. This will not only provide practical help for Iranian protesters and Ukrainian civilians, but it will send a powerful message that Australia is willing to stand up for its principles and act in concert with like-minded countries. Conversely, an inability or unwillingness to take a stand on such a straightforward issue sends precisely the opposite message, whetting the appetite of an imperial power far more dangerous and far closer to home.


More about: Australia, China, Human Rights, Iran, Russia


Ordinary Gazans Are Turning against Hamas—and Its Western Sympathizers

In the past few days, difficult-to-confirm reports have emerged of unrest in the Gaza Strip, and of civilians throwing stones at Hamas operatives. A recent video from Al Jazeera showed a Gazan declaring that “God will bring Qatar and Turkey to account” for the suffering of Palestinians in the current war. Being an agent of the Qatari government, the journalist turned away, and then pushed the interviewee with his hand to prevent him from getting near the microphone. Yet this brief exchange contributes much to the ongoing debate about Palestinian support for Hamas, and belies the frequent assertion by experts that the Israeli campaign is only “further radicalizing” the population.

For some time, Joseph Braude has worked with a number of journalists and researchers to interview ordinary Gazans under circumstances where they don’t fear reprisals. He notes that the sorts of opinions they share are rarely heard in Western media, let alone on Al Jazeera or Iran-sponsored outlets:

[A] resident of Khan Younis describes how locals in a bakery spontaneously attacked a Hamas member who had come to buy bread. The incident, hardly imaginable before the present war, reflects a widespread feeling of “disgust,” he says, after Gazan aspirations for “a dignified life and to live in peace” were set back by the Hamas atrocities of October 7.

Fears have grown that this misery will needlessly be prolonged by Westerners who strive, in effect, to perpetuate Hamas rule, according to one Gazan woman. Addressing protesters who have taken to the streets to demand a ceasefire on behalf of Palestinians, she calls on them to make a choice: “Either support the Palestinian people or the Hamas regime that oppresses them.” If protesters harbor a humanitarian motive, she asks, “Why don’t we see them demonstrating against Hamas?”

“Hamas is the destruction of the Palestinian people. We’ve had enough. They need to be wiped out—because if they remain, the people will be wiped out.”

You can watch videos of some of the interviews by clicking the link below.

Read more at Free Press

More about: Gaza War 2023, Hamas, Palestinian public opinion