31 July 2014, Media Release
Australian Education Union
AEU condemns Minister Pyne’s failure to express any concern for hundreds of innocent children killed in Gaza
The AEU has condemned Education Minister Christopher Pyne for failing to raise the humanitarian issue of schoolchildren being killed in Gaza during his current visit to Israel.
Mr Pyne was the keynote opening speaker at the Australia-Israel-UK Leadership Forum on Tuesday, failing to condemn the deaths, or to express any regret they had occurred.
AEU Federal President Angelo Gavrielatos said he was disturbed that Minister Pyne, the person in charge of the educational well-being of our nation’s children, had chosen to address this forum in Israel this week without a single reference to the deaths of hundreds of children and the wounding of thousands more in Gaza.
“The AEU condemns the firing of missiles, rockets and bombs by any party against civilian populations,” Mr Gavrielatos said.
“Recent indiscriminate attacks on Gaza have seen hundreds of children killed and schools destroyed. Approximately one-third of the more than 6,200 Palestinians injured are children.
“Schools should be safe sanctuaries and the international community should be putting pressure on both sides of the Gaza conflict to ensure that they are.
“Even Prime Minister Abbott has this morning – in response to news of more deaths in Gaza schools – called for an immediate ceasefire from both sides. Minister Pyne should have had the courage to do the same.
“The safety and wellbeing of children and their right to education is the fundamental business of all teachers and education workers.”
Media Contact: Ben Ruse 0437 971291