Photo Credit: Courtesy of Karen Andrews
Then-MP Karen Andrews at the commemoration of the Battle of Beersheba that was won by the Australian Light Horse, Oct. 31, 2017.

The Australian government on Thursday decided to list the entire Hamas group as a terrorist organization, including its political wing. The military wing of Hamas was already listed as a terrorist group by Australia which now joins the UK, the US, and, naturally, Israel, in declaring the Islamist group’s political branch a terrorist group as well.

Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews, a member of the Center-Right faction of the Liberal Party, said what she’d seen of Hamas was “deeply disturbing,” and “there is no place in Australia for their hateful ideologies.”

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“It is vital that our laws target not only terrorist acts and terrorists, but also the organizations that plan, finance, and carry out these acts,” Andrews added.

The Israeli embassy in Australia issued a statement saying, “We applaud the Australian Government for their intention to list the entirety of Hamas a terrorist organization, joining Israel, the United States, The UK, and others in rightly acknowledging there is no separation between its military and political wings. Hamas is a brutal terrorist organization predicated on destabilizing the region and destroying Israel, and is funded by the Iranian terror regime.”

In addition to Hamas’ political wing, Australian PM Scott Morrison’s government also listed Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham, Hurras al-Din, the National Socialist Order, the Abu Sayyaf Group, al-Qa’ida, al-Qa’ida in the Lands of the Islamic Maghreb, and Jemaah Islamiyah as terrorist organizations under the Criminal Code.

So it’s mostly Islamist murderers, but also some Nazis. Altogether, not a bad day for the good people.

Minister Andrews said there is no higher priority for the Morrison Government than the protection of Australians: “The Morrison Government has zero-tolerance for violence, and will continue to focus on keeping Australians safe from terrorism and violent extremism,” she said. “The views of Hamas and the violent extremist groups listed today are deeply disturbing, and there is no place in Australia for their hateful ideologies. “It is vital that our laws target not only terrorist acts and terrorists, but also the organizations that plan, finance, and carry out these acts. Based on advice from the relevant Government agencies, I am satisfied these organizations meet the criteria to be listed as terrorist organizations under the Criminal Code.”

I looked around for some background on Andrews and Israel, and discovered this charming piece on her own website from 2017, commemorating the 1917 battle of Beersheba, that featured the famous charge of the Australian Light Horse, mounted troops with characteristics of both cavalry and mounted infantry, who served in the Second Boer War and World War I.

Andrews unveiled a plaque at the Mudgeeraba Light Horse Museum in Worongary, Australia, and spoke about the significance of this important battle in Australian history:

“More than 1,350 Australians lost their lives in the Middle East campaigns of the First World War and today’s service was a fitting way to remember their sacrifice,” Andrews said.

“About 800 Australians from the 4th and 12th Light Horse Regiments, with the support of British artillery, charged toward Beersheba under heavy fire. The enemy resistance soon collapsed and more than 700 Turkish soldiers were taken captive, Sadly 31 members of the Australian Light Horse were killed and 36 were wounded. The capture of Beersheba and the fall of several important posts outside the town over the following days opened the Turkish flank and enabled Allied forces to capture Gaza on November 7 and advance into Palestine.”

And a mere 31 years later, there was the State of Israel.

Say what you will, it’s nice to have friends.

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David writes news at JewishPress.com.