The Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) has been made aware of the existence of a letter regarding the conflict in Israel and Palestine that has been signed by a number of rank-and-file RTBU members.
The RTBU is committed to the right to free speech in Australia, and the rights of all citizens to participate in a respectful public discourse on all matters.
We note however, that the letter in question does not represent the views of the RTBU, nor does it purport to, but rather is signed by a few of the union's members.
The RTBU is horrified by the events unfolding in Israel and Gaza. We have many members who are Jewish, and many who are Palestinian, and we are also deeply concerned about the impact this conflict is having on them.
It is understandable that people are feeling angry and frightened. As a society, however, it is essential that we avoid taking these feelings out on each other. To do so puts us all on a slippery slope. All Australians deserve to feel safe and loved in our community.
- condemns the terrorist actions of Hamas in its attacks on civilians and the taking of hostages;
- opposes Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories and supports the right of Palestinians to live without fear or discrimination;
- believes both sides of this conflict need to exercise restraint to avoid further loss of civilian lives; and
- calls for all Australians to stand together in our common humanity and our desire for peace and justice.
Australia's political leaders and media commentators must show level heads, and refrain from inflammatory language and rhetoric.
This is a time when we need to put differences aside and find strength in compassion for each other.