Justice for Palestine Brisbane released the statement below on August 29.
* * *
Brisbane supporters of the boycott, sanctions and divestment campaign (BDS) have pledged to intensify their campaign following a successful protest on August 27. Despite the rain, fifty protesters took to the streets to highlight the links between the Max Brenner chocolate store and the Israeli military occupation of Palestine.
Protest organisers from the Justice for Palestine group believe that the success of the protest was made apparent by the response it received from supporters of apartheid Israel.
Justice for Palestine activist, Kathy Newnam said: “The zionist politicians and Murdoch media have been in overdrive spreading lies and misinformation about the BDS campaign because as the campaign grows, more and more people are finding out the reality of apartheid Israel and the colonial occupation of Palestine.
“The opponents of BDS have to rely on lies because they cannot answer the demands of the BDS movement. They cannot justify apartheid and occupation so they resort to lies and slander.
“They claim that our movement is anti-Semitic, but not once in any single article or statement from [ALP foreign minister] Kevin Rudd, [ALP MP for Melbourne Ports] Michael Danby or any other zionist politician can they state one iota of evidence for this slander. They can't because there is no evidence, none whatsoever.
“Those that seek to slander the movement are doing so because they stand with apartheid. They defend colonial occupation. They support the ongoing dispossession of the Palestinian people and the refusal of the right for Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and their land.
“Last night’s media stunt by [federal Treasurer] Wayne Swan at the Max Brenner chocolate store is consistent with the Australian government’s long history of support for apartheid Israel. We have to remember that this is the same government that supported the massacre of over 1400 people in Gaza in 2008-2009.
“Swan would be well aware of the facts behind the BDS campaign against Max Brenner. The parent company of Max Brenner, the Strauss group emphasises the support it gives to the Israeli army.
“The Strauss group is proud that for more than 30 years it has supported the Golani reconnaissance platoon which is infamous for its involvement in the 2006 invasion of Lebanon and other atrocities, including the 2002 assault on the Jenin refugee camp.
“The Strauss group also proudly supports the Givati Brigade, which led the ground assault on Gaza in 2009, including ordering 100 people from the Samouni family into a building which was bombed shortly afterward.
“This is the reality of Israel’s atrocities against the Palestinian people that Wayne Swan, Kevin Rudd and the Murdoch media don’t want the people of Australia to know about. They use lies, slander and silencing tactics against the BDS campaign, but it won’t work. The BDS campaign continues to grow.
“No matter what barriers they try to put in the way of the BDS movement, the grassroots people’s power will demolish them.
“Saturday’s BDS protest faced hostility from a group of counter-protesters, which included a zionist politician from Logan, young Liberal students and members of a far-right, racist anti-Islam organisation.
“The counter-protesters gathered outside the Max Brenner store and used numerous megaphones to drown out the speeches of the BDS campaigners. This attempt to silence our protest only strengthened the resolve of participants to redouble our efforts to build the BDS campaign.
“We know that what we face here is nothing compared to the daily brutality and harassment faced by the Palestinian people. We know that we cannot allow anyone or anything to stop us from standing in solidarity with their struggle and their resistance.”