I would like to start by thanking the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies for providing me with the opportunity to speak here in solidarity with the Jewish community and the people of Israel.
Let me please begin by telling you that I am very much personally upset by the events in Israel and Gaza in the past few weeks. I, like all members of my community, am distressed by the loss of innocent lives during this recent flare up of violence. The escalation of hostilities, the deliberate firing of weapons into civ ilian areas, and widespread fear and destruction has sent shockwaves through the global community. The announcement of a ceasefire is a welcome reprieve for all of us. I pray that it will continue.