Council defeats attempt to overturn Israel boycott

Fiona Byrne.
Saturday, March 19, 2011

It was ironic, but only supporters of Palestine were clapping after a majority of Marrickville councillors decided on March 15 in favour of hiring a venue to a newly-formed local Jewish group that is hosting an Australian Rules Peace Team with connections to Israel.

Independent councillor Victor Macri, who had put the motion, did not look at all happy.

The council meeting chambers was packed with supporters of the council’s stand on the global Boycott, Divestment Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel. A smaller number of anti-BDS campaigners were also present, including some sporting pro-Israel paraphernalia.

Members of the Inner West Jewish Community and Friends Peace Alliance (a group formed to campaign against the council’s BDS decision) tried to argue that if the council allowed the booking, it would be contravening its own BDS decision. But this did not wash with the councillors or on the director of community services Gary Moore who was explicitly asked.

Father Dave Smith of the Holy Trinity Church, a supporter of council's BDS stand, made an impassioned speech. He said: “When peace comes to the Middle East, with Jews and Palestinians living together, let us remember that Marrickville council took an early stand, not the political leaders who will take credit.”

This promoted howls of indignation from Rosana Tyler, the Liberal candidate for Marrickville, a representative of the Australian Jewish News, and someone holding an Israeli flag among others.

Given the proximity of the state election, and Labor’s attacks on the Greens for promoting the BDS, several councillors noted the politicised nature of the motion. They also pointed out that normal procedure for the hire of council facilities simply involves making a booking through the administration.

Janet Kossy, secretary of the new Jewish group, put the line that it was “unfortunate” that the issue had “got caught up in the heat of the state election”. Yet it was Kossy, who had led the attack on Fiona Byrne, the Greens candidate for the seat of Marrickville, at a candidates' meeting several weeks ago claiming that council's support for the BDS campaign meant that it was anti-Israel.

However, Byrne said to The Drum on January 13, "The BDS is not an anti-Israel resolution. It is about identifying institutions that directly support the occupation of Palestine, and choosing not to do business with them.”


Honestly people. How did Council get to this decision?
I've been reading up everything in an attempt to get a picture on the process and due diligence that must have been done, but nothing has come to light.
How did something as (lets face it) huge as boycotting a whole nation get motioned and passed within one 3 hour Council meeting?
Presumably there was a lot of community consultation, communication, research and lead in time for the voting Councillors to become informed about the issues and completely understand the BDS ... but I can't for the life of me, find any reference to that in the media reports nor the Council minutes.

I've got to assume that our Council, representing the local electorate, all understood what the BDS Movement actually is prior to voting it in December as they have signed us all up as members of a 'global movement'.

I'm just a local person, not an academic or activist, so all I can do is read as much as I can find to try to understand. E.g. this BDS article talks about a one state solution and the 'de-legitimisation' of israel. I know we are all very idealistic, but what does this actually mean?? What would happen over there if the state of Israel was "de-legitimised"? Who would be in control and what would the society be like? Would there still be the "good" things they allow e.g. legal rights for homosexuals etc.

I'm not taking sides either way, but I can't see how the BDS goals will help peace between Israelis and Palestinians. I wonder how many alternative programs were considered before Council settled on the BDS as the Marrickville response to the Israel-Palestine conflict.

. The guidelines for the official Global BDS site state," All such events and projects that bring Palestinians and/or Arabs and Israelis together, unless framed within the explicit context of opposition to occupation and other forms of Israeli oppression of the Palestinians, are strong candidates for boycott."

The "how to BDS" booklet (p26) on the Australians for Palestine website suggests that the Peres Peace Centre is one such organisation that should be banned for bringing people together. It is wonderful that the councillors seem to be moving away from the official BDS guidelines, and joining with the Peres Centre who believe in creating social and economic networks for a better future. Unfortunately a successful economic boycott will make many of the economic ventures necessary for building a future Palestinian state unviable .

A move towards the Peace team is a move towards dialogue. It is councils role to create dialogue not import foreign conflicts. Council appear to have made a move, now they just need to acknowledge they have moved.

"The BDS is not an anti-Israel resolution. It is about identifying institutions that directly support the occupation of Palestine, and choosing not to do business with them.”

Not correct. The leaders of BDS themselves state that the ultimate aim is the destruction of the State of Israel via the formation of one bi-national state.

The BDS is therefore precisely anti-Israel. They do not want to see the creation of an independent Palestinian state, next to Israel...they want to see Israel disappear from the map.

As a result of Israeli medical breakthroughs millions of lives including 150 Palestinian children who have undergone heart surgery at the Wolfson Medical Centre in Tel-Aviv have been saved.

How many innocent lives are you prepared to sacrifice in your support of the boycott against Israel.

Grappling with the pro-zionist advocates can be exhausting. Just need to keep on pounding home the success story of S. Africa apartheid sanctions. They worked. S. Africa is not perfect, but at least it is majority ruled. I hope the same for a unified Palestine. Good luck and congratulations, the struggle is long from over. (miguel)

Byrne: ""..The BDS is not an anti-Israel resolution. It is about identifying institutions that directly support the occupation of Palestine, and choosing not to do business with them...”"

This BDS is a farrago of lies and racism and calculated or duped support for terror, concocted by the same kind of maniacs who killed Australian vacationers in Bali with terror bombs a few short years ago .

Once again Fiona Byrne is stating untruths, once again Byrne is playing her games.
The local population are the people Byrne needs to take notice of, not the other Greens in Council.
6 more days and one issue will be solved, then we can all get on with the BDS debate and have it removed ASAP, or you never know it may happen this week.

It seems an obvious about face for the Council. They clearly have no stomach for actually implementing the policy as they can now see that it will show them up to be opposed to a peaceful solution in the Middle East. Further equivocation from Fiona Byrne, as she is now stating she won't push the BDS if elected to the state parliament. Well why not? Good enough for Marrickville, but not for NSW? Good enough to vote for, but not to initiate herself? The Greens seem to be belatedly recognizing that this policy is backward, and for them divisive, and won't stand up to the additional scrutiny it will receive at higher levels of government.

Its time some others took a closer look at the substance of the BDS, and looked for a different way to promote a peaceful solution for the region.

I find it tragic, that a l;arge segment of the Australian community, whose concerns encapsulate such things as Global warming and all matters concerning the envrironment both here and abroad, should be disenfranchised because of the Green Party's foray into into 'selective' Foreign Policy. There is so much going on the World today, which must concerns us all and in particular, future generations. We are presently confronted with universal poverty and genovide, on a scale never before experienced and all we hear from a local Sydney Council, with serving members of the Green Party is its endeavours to indulge its anti-Israel stance. Is this, to capture the ethnic vote for a prospective candidate for the State Legislature? The Party is demonstrating its total lack of political maturity in failing to disseminate what it represents. Does it even have a policy other than to 'strangle' Israel?

You claim that they want to destroy Israel by having 2 nations, Palestine and Israel, living as neighbors.

So, that would include the RECOGNITION of Israel. How is that equal to having it "disappear from the map"?

All this tells me is that the people who are anti-BDS are against the idea of two states as neighbors, effectively anti-peace.

Plus the fact that your views are completely illogical, as I've demonstrated, tells me that the anti-BDS people are just crazy religious nuts.

....why it exists!

They fail to even acknowledge horrendous actions by the Israeli state including:
* ongoing theft of Palestinian land to build "settlements" - ie Jewish-only enclaves that slice what is left of Palestine into smaller and smaller pieces and make the idea of an independent Palestine as part of a two-state solution virtually impossible
* the virtual imprisonment and ongoing starvation of the people of Gaza, who had the temerity to democratically elect a government (Hamas) that Israel and the West opposes. Thousands have been killed in attacks on Gaza while the population as a whole is starved and denied basic medical supplies and so on.
* The apartheid policies of the Israeli state that condemn the Arab population to second-calss citizenship, to separate roads, to daily checkpoint harassment, that builds a wall through Palestine (taking even more land)....

Supporters of Israel are worried about BDS because it is having an effect in isolating Israel, which relies enormously on Western support (including being the world's biggest recipient of military aid from the US).

Pro-human rights Jewish and Israeli voices have spoken passionately in favour of BDS - check out Antony Loewenstein, Norman Finklestein, Anna Baltzer, Jews for Peace and more.

History will look back on those who led the BDS as as champions for human rights - and on those who sought to justify and defend Israel's actions as much the same as the defenders of Apartheid South Africa.

to Anonymous on Mon, 21/03/2011 - 4:33am, who claims "The leaders of BDS themselves state that the ultimate aim is the destruction of the State of Israel via the formation of one bi-national state."

I challenge you to cite a single statement from anyone on the Palestinian Boycott National Committee (the parent organisation of the BDS Movement) about this sinister ulterior motive of BDS. I know for a fact that you won't be able to. This is pure Israeli hasbara (propaganda).

The BDS Movement has three unchanging goals, from the 2005 Palestinian civil society call for BDS:

These non-violent punitive measures should be maintained until Israel meets its obligation to recognize the Palestinian people's inalienable right to self-determination and fully complies with the precepts of international law by:
1. Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall;
2. Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and
3. Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.

full statement here:

BDS is a right-based movement, rather than one that seeks a one- or two-sate outcome. BDS goals can be met by either a single bi-national state or two states of Israel and Palestine, and that even includes the 3rd goal of the right of return of the Palestinian refugees (their right of return is enshrined in international humanitarian law, but a satisfactory settlement may include, rather than literal return to Israel, instead: compensation for stolen land/looted property and a payment for them returning to a Palestinian state rather than Israel proper).

It's precisely because BDS isn't based on a political outcome that Israeli is worried: BDS reminds people of the civil rights struggle in the US in the 1950s and 60s and the BDS campaign that helped end Apartheid in South Africa. Now BDS is again being used to end Apartheid, this time by Israel.

People like Anonymous above misrepresent the personal opinions of some in the BDS Movement, and pretend that their opinions are actually part of BDS intentions. Some BDS'ers advocate for one-state, and some advocate for two, but these opinions are independent of the BDS Movement.

My own thinking is an example: I support BDS and up until maybe a year ago I was firmly in support of a two-state solution. Two things changed my mind: 1. Wikileaks cables of Netanyahu disclosing his idea of a Palestinian "state": basically he wanted to impose Gaza-like conditions on the West Bank and call that a Palestinian state, with Israel controlling all of the Palestinian state's sea- and air-space, borders, and even the Jordan Valley. Netanyahu states [supposed moderate] Tzipi Livni agreed with him. Israel's idea of a Palestinian state is little different the Ariel Sharon's bantustans 2. Al Jazeera's "Palestine Papers" demonstrate that no matter how many concessions the Palestinian team made the Israel team always refused and wanted more.
Otherwise I just observed the ongoing settlement building and came to the conclusion that Israel is completely determined that a Palestinian state never come into existence. So, why fight for something Israel doesn't want, has the power to prevent and because of the US veto in the Security Council can avoid any consequences? I won't, but now think a single state with equal rights for all is the best outcome. We did away with segregation in the US, White Australia, Aryan Nazi Germany, and Apartheid South Africa: there's no reason there shouldn't be equality for all the people in Israel and Palestine.

I'm so proud of Marrickville Council and the supporters of boycotts, divestments and sanctions. As with the removal of the apartheid South African regime, the end of Israeli Occupation, land theft and inequality as well as recognition of the right of Palestinians to return to their land is brought closer by principled solidarity throughout the world with the call of Palestinian civil society.

One question for those whining about Israel being delegitmised: What's wrong with democracy, with everyone between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean having equal rights, an equal vote, regardless of whether they are Jewish or not?

"...the ultimate aim is the destruction of the State of Israel via the formation of one bi-national state."

Or maybe all the Zionists will be raptured up with their Christian Zionist friends. A win-win. ;)

You sound like a copy of Anthony loewenstein, get a new record player your lines are so out of date!
I love reading this site, it shows how far some people can go in what they write and think its even true.

How simple it is to call everyone that Does not agree with the BDS a Zionist, so very funny.
Then when the Greens and lefties can not make a change with the word Zionist, there next most commond word is Racist. That makes most people in Australia RACIST.

We will need to build a wall around the Council-Byrne soon, just so we people of the local area can be protected from the Stupid stuff (nice way of saying it) being flung around.

There are a great many Israelis and Jews who support an independent Palestinian state, oppose new settlements and would like nothing better than to live next to a thriving, democratic Arab state in peace. That doesn't mean they agree with a BDS, which is a rather cunning attempt to do nothing short of eradicate Israel.

Many Australian's disagreed vehemently with the government of John Howard and even felt ashamed by some of the actions of his government, but we didn't call for the outright destruction of the country. We now mostly acknowledge the earlier inhabitants of this country, but still haven't decided to throw ourselves into the sea, or let someone else do it.

Criticize Israel? Sure. Protest against Bibi? Yep, stuff him - and Lieberman too. Work towards a peaceful settlement with Palestinians? The sooner the better. BDS? No way. If its goals were to be achieved, history may well look back on those who supported the BDS as it does on those who collaborated with the Nazis during the holocaust. Unfortunately these lessons aren't taught in some parts of the world and in others they seem to have been completely forgotten.

"Grappling with the pro-zionist advocates can be exhausting"

Maybe that's because many pro-Israelis are fighting for the lives of their family, people and culture, unlike some who have just jumped on what seemed like a leftist cause celebre without having bothered to do any homework beyond glancing at the facile (and often fascist) slogans. The superficial - and false - comparisons with South Africa and even Nazi Germany, are designed to make it easy for the dimwitted to latch onto, but anyone who has the time and inclination to think for themselves won't be fooled.

What a petty, gloating little piece by Pip Hinman, and how desperately wrong. What actually happened at the meeting was that the unfortunate Greens were once again humiliated by their hangers on, and Crs Hanna and Macri, not as far as I know "Zionists" took the mickey out of them. I feel very sorry for Fiona Byrne who must be learning the hard way what happens if you get the militant Palestine lobby monkey on your back. This small handful of desperados will believe anything about Israel if it allows them to get a whiff of their glory days as anti-apartheid activists back. The sooner the Greens get back to doing something useful about the environment, and get the Socialist alliance of their backs, the sooner I'll get back to voting for them.

This is great news, well done Merrickville councillors on taking a stand for justice and human rights and against oppression and apartheid. It is acts like these that will pave the way for a just resolution where human rights for all and international law are upheld. Just like those who fought apartheid South Africa were honoured, so will you be.

Is this an activist awards night spiel? Where's the substance behind all this self congratulation and name calling? Sounds a bit like Marrickville Council's own hollow "cultural diversity" spin, I imagine delivered in a Darth Vader-esque deep monotone - and with a most peculiar "eccent".

The "Apartheid" epithet is the armchair Jihadist's substitute for doing any reasoning for themselves. Incapable, or just too lazy?

The BDS movement is absolute hypocrisy! Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East and Israeli Arabs have more rights than those living in Palestine! Human rights abuses abound in almost every other Arab nation (or have you not noticed the news?) and you boycott Israel?? How truly ignorant your council must be to support divesting in a nation that has the highest number of start-companies per capita in the world. I suggest you refrain from using your mobile, computer and almost any innovative medical equipment you have as it more than likely was invented or developed in Israel!

Shame on all of you here who support the BDS. When your state is surrounded by nations bent on your destruction and it is the law for you to be drafted into the army in order to survive continuous terrorist threats, people strapping themselves with explosives, then MAYBE you can have an glimpse at what Israel has faced since 1948! I sympathise with the Palestinians but until such time as the PA and Hamas acknowledge the Jewish State, then the BDS is nothing but demonisation and anti-semitism!!!!

Apparently, not enough to make a difference. Look who got elected.

The University of Johannesburg (UJ) has effectively severed ties with Israel’s Ben-Gurion University (BGU) - another step forward for the global BDS movement. All the more significant oming in the country that had to defeat another apartheid regime. Israel is imposing apartheid on Palestine, a land that has been stolen by European colonial settlers. This is as fundamentally racist as was the South African apartheid regime, a fact that many brave Jewish people have made.

For decades, most American Jews have believed there were far greater threats from the fringe right than the fringe left in this country. While this view may have been reasonable in the past, it is certainly not so today. The fringe right still exists— the neo—Nazis in Northwest Idaho, Matthew Hale, and David Duke, and the remnants of the KKK. But the views of the fringe right have been marginalized by their repudiation by virtually all mainstream elements on the political right.

The fringe left, on the other hand, has evolved into a broader left, and become more mainstream. The political perspective of this new left is vehemently anti—Israel, and the power and reach of this movement represent a real threat to Israel, and by extension to Jews who support Israel.

What is the Left?

The left does not mean the Democratic Party in Congress. When pro—Israel resolutions come before the Congress, due in part to the extraordinary efforts of AIPAC [America Israel Public Affairs Committee], a very high percentage of both Democrats and Republicans vote a solidly pro—Israel agenda. There are some small differences between the parties, however, especially in the House. In particular, the support for Israel among African American Congressmen, all Democrats, has dropped in recent years. However, the defeat in the 2002 cycle of Cynthia McKinney, and Earl Hilliard, two members who were hostile to Israel, and the election to their seats of Denise Majettte and Arthur Davis, has put two highly visible, very pro—Israel African Americans into the Congress.

In the Senate, you have a different situation. Senators run statewide — which tends to move them towards the center in competitive states. Add to this the fact that many Senators have national political ambitions, and almost all Senators wind up having mainstream views on the Middle East. The mainstream view in Congress is to be a supporter of Israel. This is due in part, as I said already, to effective lobbying, but also to the widely held view that Israel is an embattled democracy, living in a neighborhood full of authoritarian, thuggish anti—American regimes, that Israel shares the western values this country holds dear, and is engaged in the same fight against Islamic terrorists as this country.

These views are also mainstream for most Americans, which is why support for Israel routinely runs three to five times the support level for the Palestinians in every public opinion survey that is taken. In the House, the tendency to use the redistricting process after every census for incumbent protection, has led to the creation of a very large number of safe seats, and very few competitive ones (perhaps 10—15% of the total). This has given incumbents the ability to be less mainstream in their views on this issue and others. The growth in the Arab and Muslim population in America, and the creation of more districts with high percentages of African American voters, are both elements that could create more House members sympathetic to the Palestinian cause, since both African Americans, as a group, and Arabs and Muslims, to a much larger extent, are less sympathetic to Israel than the general population. In any case, it would be hard to point to any individual member of Congress today and say that he or she hates Israel.

The left in this country includes large numbers of academics, journalists, human rights activists, environmental and animal rights activists, entertainers, and some church groups, women's groups, racial advocacy groups and unions. There are also liberals who are members of these same groups. I distinguish between leftists and liberals by one key test: how they feel about the country in which they live. If you tend to regard America as a primarily flawed, evil, unjust, racist country (or at least when Republicans are running it), and most importantly, believe that the US is the primary threat to world peace internationally, then you are a leftist, and not a liberal. Of course, many leftists are perfectly happy to be living here, amidst all their complaints about the country, and regrettably all too few Hollywood artists carried through with their threat to leave the country after the 2000 election.

This does not mean, however, that many liberals, while generally pro—Israel, have been on the right side of many foreign policy debates. From the cold war to both of the Iraq wars, many, though certainly not all liberals, have been on the anti—war side of the foreign policy debate. But liberals, as distinguished from leftists, do not think America is a bad country. Most liberals think America is an improvable country, if only we made the tax system more progressive, spent more money on social services, and worked more through multilateral organizations abroad. Liberals tend to support overseas military missions when our effort supports a human rights concern, and much less so if the military engagement is claimed to be in support of a strategic objective. Liberals, by and large, supported American military involvement in the wars in Bosnia, Kosovo, and Haiti, and now Liberia, while opposing the two wars with Iraq.

One can not generalize about all liberal political leaders, however. Scoop Jackson, President Harry Truman, President Lyndon Johnson, and President John F. Kennedy were all liberals, and so today is Dick Gephardt, and to some extent Joe Lieberman. All of these men, however, supported assertive foreign policies, not much different from today's neoconservatives. So, among liberals, and certainly within the Democratic Party, there is debate and there are differing views on foreign policy. Among leftists, however, there is a lockstep view of America's role in the world. You can not be a 'card carrying' leftist today, and find any reason to support American military efforts abroad, whether it be to save Kosovo from the Serbs, or to liberate Iraq, or destroy the Taliban in Afghanistan. Certainly, some leftists defend American involvement in World War II, since we were fighting right wing fascists. But even here, many on the left argue that most of the heavy lifting in this war was performed by the Soviet Union, our communist allies.

Does the Left Hate Israel?

Opposition to the recent American invasion of Iraq is not a defining characteristic of a leftist. You could be opposed to the war, without being a leftist. However, some, perhaps many, of those who opposed the war are leftists, by the definition I provided above. While I was a supporter of the war effort, there were legitimate reasons to be opposed to going to war, that do not in any way raise a question of someone's patriotism.

However, when a demonstrator carries a sign in an anti-war rally saying Stop AmeriKKKan Imperialism, or America and Israel are the Real Axis of Evil, that I think is different, and reflects not a reasoned consideration of the Iraq question, but a worldview that is anti—American, hence leftist, and guarantees opposition to the war effort. Only one other country other than the US was ever named in a sign carried by a demonstrator at the marches or rallies I saw, and that of course was Israel and always negatively.

I happened to witness several anti-war demonstrations. There were always many printed signs attacking Israel, signs in other words produced by groups that participated in anti-war demonstrations, and thought it was entirely consistent to be both against the war with Iraq and anti-Israel. Think about this issue this way: was there a single pro-war rally in the country in which there was an anti-Israel sign? I don't remember seeing one or hearing about one. During the period leading up to the war and in the months since, has there been any supporter of the war on any talk show or newscast, or in any op—ed, gratuitously attacking Israel?

What is it about Israel that brings forth this ill will from the left? Why this exceptionalism about Israel? Alan Dershowitz once wrote an article describing a visitor from another galaxy who comes to earth, and spends several weeks visiting major American colleges and universities. At the end of his tour, the visitor would learn that of all the nations of the world other than the one he was visiting, only one is subject to a divestment effort for a university's endowment, only one is viciously described in literature regularly distributed to students on campus, and in essays and editorials in college papers and magazines, and only one is discussed in classes across the humanities curriculum with relentless rebuke and scorn. And this country is not, say Sudan or Nigeria, where millions have died in vicious civil wars perpetrated for the most part by Muslims against Christians, or other countries in Africa that still practice slavery, or Saudi Arabia, where women have no rights, and those who try to practice a religion other than Islam are arrested or expelled, or the Palestinian territories, in which homosexuals or those suspected of being homosexual, are tortured or mutilated in the same way as captured Israelis. It is not in fact, any of the dozens of other unsavory places on the planet that provide little or no freedom for their citizens and ruthlessly exploit their country's workers and resources for the benefit of the ruling few. This much maligned country of course is Israel.

The treatment of America itself on the college campus is pretty bad. When a Columbia University professor calls for a million Mogadishus (in other words, the death of many millions of Americans), that is beyond even what we normally get from the academic left — rationalizing and explaining the root causes of the 9/11 attacks (American policies of course), or defending suicide bombings in Israel as acts of resistance and national liberation.

But there are differences between the anger towards Israel and that directed against America. The level of anger directed against America seems to depend to some extent, among some critics at least, on the party controlling the White House and Congress. Leftists hated America less when Clinton was president than they do now. Some leftists seem so agitated by President Bush, they have become unhinged from any ability to see the world except in conspiratorial, and apocalyptic terms. With Israel, the party in power makes little difference in terms of the attitudes towards it in academia, or for others on the left. A left of center Israeli government may make Israel easier to defend for some Jews, but does not change the nature of the historical crime that was committed in establishing the Zionist state for most leftists.

Why Does the Left hate Israel?

I believe there are several reasons:

1. It is an easy way to express one's hatred for America.

2. Israel is viewed as an outpost of colonialism , and an active practitioner of it.

3. Israel is a western nation, and hence can be judged by the left. Israel is not protected by cultural relativism, as the Arabs are.

4. Leftist Christian churches can escape any lingering guilt about the Holocaust, by turning Israel into a villain. Some leftist churches hate Israel because they think this will help protect their members in the holy land— in other words they feel threatened.

5. Ferocious Muslim hatred of Israel and the Jews reinforces the natural cowardice of many on the left who go along with the Muslims to stay out of their line of fire.

6. Jewish leftists are prominent in the anti-Israel movement. This opens the floodgates for everybody else.

7. Israel is attacked because the secular left is appalled by the influence of religious settlers and their biblical connections to the land of Israel, and by the support for Israel by evangelical Christians, and Christian Zionists.

Hatred of America

The most basic reason as suggested already is that those who hate America, also hate those whom America supports, of which Israel is exhibit A. For Al Qaeda, there is the great Satan, America, and the little Satan, Israel. Since 9/11, Al Qaeda has made the focus of its hatred for the great Satan, the great Satan's support for the little Satan. In Europe there are a much larger number of hardcore leftists than we have in the United States. Score one for America, I think. Two percent of the population vote for the Green Party here, 10% or more do so in European countries. While many think the Greens are primarily an environmental movement, the party platform in every country in which they are a factor, including the US, is replete with harsh attacks on Israel. In many European countries, the Greens are part of a left of center governing coalition, which helps explain why there is so little sympathy for Israel in Europe.

Why do the Greens hate Israel? The Greens hate the Western consumer society in which they live, they hate corporations and capitalism, and they hate globalization. America is the great Satan for the Greens — the killer of Kyoto, the maker of genetically modified foods, the exporter of McDonald's, Disney, Hollywood trash and Starbucks. So the Greens are leftist by definition. And economic leftists have an anti-American world view which tends to make them reflexively pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel. This hatred of America, which spills over into anti-Israel venom, is, as mentioned earlier, also quite common on the college campuses in America.


Along with the hatred for America, comes a world view about what America and its Western allies represent. In short, the western capitalist societies are believed to be colonialists. While the European empires disbanded half a century ago in most cases, the left believes that colonialism is still evident in the economic relations of the western countries with the third world— in the exploitation of their economies. Globalization has become the catchphrase to describe how the west gets rich off of the backs of the poor countries and their people. Hence, a critical slogan of the anti-war effort in Iraq was No War for Oil. Why do western nations go to war? To steal the resources of the Third World One might wonder about what resources we were fighting for in Afghanistan, but consistency has never been a requirement for a leftist world view.

Israel in the mind of the left is a colonialist creation. The Zionists were given a country to settle where other people already lived. Then the western nations tried to expunge their guilt for the Holocaust (which most leftists will tell you was a bad thing, though hardly unique in the long history of western colonialist genocide) by agreeing to partition Palestine and formally create one Jewish majority state and one Arab majority state.

After 1967, the left's job became easier in attacking Israel, since Israel became a very juicy target. By absorbing millions of Palestinians in the west bank and Gaza, Israel became an occupier. By creating settlements, Israel showed the left its desire to permanently dominate the Palestinians. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Eastern European satellite nations gained their freedom. So for the left, Israel has become the most glaring example of a western society oppressing indigenous peoples.

Now of course the left never became too agitated over the Soviet Union and their system of satellite nations. After all, the economic philosophy of communism had a lot of appeal for many on the left, even after many decades of proof that neither the Soviet Union, nor China, nor any other communist countries had created economic or political systems that had much to so with any noble visions about workers paradises that leftist philosophers might have gleaned from the writing of Karl Marx. Today's economic explosion in China has, of course, come through the Communist party's capitulation to capitalism. But the left did not criticize China's now permanent occupation and annexation of Tibet, nor the movement of many Chinese into Tibet to create a Chinese majority there, nor the Soviets' movement of hundreds of thousands of Russians into the Baltic nations of Latvia, Lithuania, or Estonia after World War II, so as to diminish the percentage of the native stock in those countries. Jewish settlers are perhaps 10% of the population of the West Bank.

So no one could seriously suggest that the settlements were an attempt to create a Jewish majority in the area. Instead, stories are circulated about nefarious Israeli plans to move the Palestinian population out of these areas, and make them Arab free, in other words— ethnic cleansing, one of the left's favorite charges.

The charge that Israel has plans to move the Palestinians out is almost amusing, since it is the reverse that is true: the Palestinians demand and the left wholeheartedly endorses the call for making the west bank Judenrein [all Jewish settlers out], yet also demands that Israel accept the Palestinian right of return, and absorb 4 million displaced Palestinians, 95% of whom are descendants of original refugees, and have never set foot within pre—67 Israel. One might ask how these people are returning to anything that is theirs or that they know, but why complicate things?

Moral Relativism

There is another perhaps more important reason why Israel is singled out. Objective observers might look at Israeli society, and while noting all its obvious problems, would also recognize its vigorous free press, its system of justice, its democratic form of government, its willingness to absorb immigrants of different skin color and national origin to create a new society, its great tolerance for diversity, the role of women in society. Such observers might conclude that Israel compares quite favorably to the authoritarian nations surrounding it. But Israel will always be judged by a different standard from its neighbors. The reason for this is that Israel is not only viewed as a western creation, but a western nation, and its neighbors are not.

With the West, anything short of perfection is intolerable, because for the left perfection is the goal. With the third world countries, the left expects nothing (and for the most part gets nothing). When Hutus used machetes to slaughter Tutsis in Rwanda in 1993 — almost a million in four months — the left reserved its criticism for western nations for their inability or unwillingness to intervene. But as regards the ethnic slaughter, the left's attitude was more or less paternalistic: what do you expect of these natives? I do not remember reading any criticism of the Hutus, or their culture, or their practicing majority rule in such an unsavory way. Of course, had the West militarily intervened, the left would have criticized the countries that sent troops for attacks that killed innocent civilians.

The reason for this hypocrisy I think is the triumph in the academy, and among many in the journalistic profession and the intelligentsia of many western nations, of the noxious notion of moral and especially cultural relativism. This is especially true as regards the left's attitudes towards the behavior of non-western third world people. This is the triumph of the late Edward Said, the distinguished man of letters, and Professor at Columbia University. Said was a professor, but also the photographed rock thrower on the Israeli Lebanese border (thereby presumably perfecting the body and the mind). Said of course was also the man who fabricated his entire personal history, claiming for half a century to be a dispossessed Palestinian, when in fact he was a member of a wealthy Egyptian family, and neither he nor his family suffered any expulsion from Palestine. But why mess up a good story that combines the personal with a historical narrative that one is fabricating in both cases? Of course Columbia University took no action against Professor Said for either his violent act, or his fraudulent history.

Said wrote a watershed book, Orientalism, arguing that the west could not judge the Eastern world, because it did not understand it, and never could. This is the diversity of separation. We can't judge what we don't know, and more importantly can never know. Hence, no universal standard of justice or judgment can ever apply. What may be judged bad or inferior here (say religious intolerance) might be an important feature to hold together a different kind of society, where the role of religion in society is different from ours, and transcends the very notion of nation state.

But Said of course went further. He not only wished to defend the Third World from attacks from the West that many of these third world states were intolerant, bad societies. He attacked the West for its intellectual imperialism, for daring to believe that western philosophy and religion could provide a framework for judging other societies and for our trying to make the rest of the world in our image, which of course we believe is superior: a cultural arrogance. The West he argued, judges the rest of the world inferior for not measuring up. So Western attempts to criticize Arab countries for their intolerance of non—Muslims is a form of colonialism. It is not hard to understand how this kind of argument would have massive appeal among the refugees of the sixties now dominating the faculties of most American colleges and universities.

Christian Holocaust Guilt

There is also a religious dimension to the left's hatred of Israel. Some of this I think represents the attitude prevalent in Christian churches to show sympathy for the perceived underdog: in this case the Palestinians. This support for the underdog is a big part of the leftist ideology — the teenage rock throwers combating the Apache helicopters and tanks of the occupying army. But I think there is something deeper, and less savory to the preference of the Christian left for the Palestinians over Israel. The Jews, in the view of the Christian left, have been waving the bloody sheet of the Holocaust for over 50 years. And the Christian left is tired of hearing about it.

They think that Israel has gotten a free pass for too long, because the Holocaust prevents Israel's critics from attacking it, for fear of being labeled as anti—Semites with no historical memory. For years, the criticism of Israel in Germany, in particular, has been more muted than in other parts of Europe, for this very reason. But in the last year, even this sensitivity evaporated. This Christian coldness to Israel is a factor in the liberal or high churches in America — the Presbyterians, Episcopalians, Lutherans, Quakers, and all the other mainstays of the National Council of Churches, the good friends of Fidel Castro, and the group that pressured the Clinton administration to send Elian Gonzalez back to Cuba. Absolution for failure to intervene to prevent the Holocaust, or for complicity in its having occurred, can be wiped away by accusing Israel (the Jewish surrogate) of all kinds of high crimes and by using the same language of the Holocaust: ethnic cleansing, genocide, brutal occupation, starvation, human rights violations, to describe Israeli behavior today.

There is also one other factor for the problem of the Christian churches with Israel, and that is fear. The number of Christians in the holy land has been declining, and at an accelerating rate, since Muslims assumed more control over Lebanon, and the Palestinians assumed control over much of the West Bank after Oslo. The Christian churches in the Palestinian territories and Jerusalem have little to fear from Israel, and much to fear from the Arabs. Just as European governments have become more pro—Palestinian as their Arab population has grown, so Christian churches have become more pro—Palestinian to try to appease the Arabs who control the future of the Christian churches in the Holy Land.

Cowardice and Group Think

It is difficult to miss the virtual unanimity within the left on the subject of the Middle East. There is little visible political courage on the left to take contrary views to those held by most others in the movement. The left, much more than the right, seems to need group reinforcement. If there is aggressive anti—Israel sentiment from the chorus on the left, those who are not as passionate about the issue, find it easier to join the chorus, than stand aside. On the campuses, there is another problem: Muslim students are fiercely hostile to Israel. Confronted with this aggressive hostility to Israel, even many Jewish students recede, rather than confront it. So there is no effective counterweight.

It took a physical attack against a small group of Jewish students at San Francisco State University last year, and the action of a single professor who witnessed it and described what happened in a widely circulated email, to finally alert many in the Jewish community to how desperate things were getting for Jewish students at many colleges in the face of this anti-Israel venom. The hard core left on campus, both faculty and students, are happy to make common cause with Muslim students and show their solidarity, particularly since a new issue for the left, since 9/11 concerns protecting the civil rights of Muslims and Arabs in this country. Jewish students are also resented by other minority groups on campus because of their perceived hostility to affirmative action. Minority students have therefore become active enthusiasts of the Palestinian cause on many campuses— a solidarity action in the face of perceived common enemies.

There is a distinction between being pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel. Those who hate Israel prefer to say they are for Palestinian self—determination and freedom. This sounds better than claiming that you hate Israel. Of course, were Israel not to exist in the Middle East, the last thing the Palestinians would have is self-determination, and freedom. Why would the Palestinians have what does not exist in any of the other 21 Arab countries? But the left is happy to demand a free, democratic Palestine— all of it of course, not just the West Bank and Gaza, but Israel too, after a right of return brings 4 million refugees into Israel to create a majority Palestinian state.

Those who support the Palestinians are also reluctant to attack the methods the Palestinians choose to use to win their freedom. So while lip service may be paid to a perfunctory condemnation of certain suicide bombing attacks, there are always root causes— the occupation, and settlements, and discrimination. There can be no conduct by the favored group— in this case the Palestinians, that can be judged bad in its own right, for that might serve to muddy the waters on the moral valence between the two sides of the conflict. In some circles, the violence is even romanticized, just as Che Guevara and Ho Chi Minh were heroes to the left in the 60s.

Jews Who Hate Israel

The passion with which the left hates Israel is also related to the fact that the left contains many Jewish haters of Israel. When Noam Chomsky and Norman Finkelstein are the thought leaders of the movement to deny Israel's legitimacy, and moral standing, this gives cover to those who hate Israel for perhaps baser motives— raw anti-Semitism for instance. Israel's universities are full of professors who detest Israel and Zionism, such as Ilan Pappe, and major Israeli newspapers such as Haaretz employ Jewish pro-Palestinian writers such as Gideon Levy and Amira Hess. Many Jewish anti—Zionists in this country get their guidance from Israelis in various left wing groups, such as Jeff Halper, who are actively working to destroy the Jewish state.

For a long time, the left has argued that Jews need only fear the right — the fascists, the Christian crusaders, the neo-Nazi hate groups. Certainly there are lunatics on the right who are a danger not only to Jews but to a free society. But today I think there are many more Jew haters and Israel haters on the left than the right. It is wrong of course to generalize and equate anti-Israel views with anti-Semitism. One can be critical of Israel, and one can certainly be critical of specific Israeli policies, such as settlements, without being a Jew hater. On the issue of settlements, almost half the Israeli population thinks that many of them were a bad idea. But when Israel is singled out, as the left does, and held to account for things for which no other country is judged negatively, then something more is going on. Why is Israel the subject of 40% of all critical UN resolutions? Is Israel responsible for 40% of what is wrong in the world?

I have been to several of the left wing Israel hate fests. They are scary. There is real passion in the air. There is something about Israel that gets the juices going. Anti-Semitism is a part of it. There are a lot of people who are envious of Jews, on the left as well as the right. Patrick Buchanan thinks Jews have hijacked the conservative movement. But on the left, particularly in the academy and in journalism, I am certain there is professional envy of the many Jewish faces and what better way to get even, and get back for sometimes losing the competitive battle, than by picking on the Jewish state as a surrogate. Leftist Jews sometimes lead the assault against Israel in these venues, thereby giving the attacks, whatever their reason, greater moral authority. Few Jews will stand up for Israel in these environments, because of the great pressure on the left to conform to the group think in the institutions they control.

Hatred of Religion

Finally, there is the conflict between the religious beliefs the left associates with the state of Israel, and the secular humanistic values of the left. The anti-Zionists in Israel are foolish enough to believe that a secular democratic bi-national state of Palestine would afford them the same liberties they enjoy today. The leftists in Israel and abroad seek an end to nationality, and other antiquated creations, and the building of mankind. How exactly they would deal with jihadist Islam and aggressive Wahhabism, we don't know. The left has its own religion— it just doesn't require going to church. Reading the New York Times over coffee will do, except on high holy days, when you also must read the New York Review of Books, the Nation, and the collected works of Paul Krugman.

The left also despises Israel because it associates its policies in the territories with the behavior of religious Jews, the 'right wing zealots,' as they prefer to call them. Just as leftists hate the Republican Party in America, because they believe that it is controlled by corporations (bad) and Christian fundamentalists (very bad), the left believes that Israel's behavior is bad, because it is controlled by people who are 'irrational' religious believers.

All this talk by the settlers about the biblical ties to Judea and Samaria, is foreign to the ears of those who believe that everything in this world should be decided through reason, and can be negotiated by lawyers, and international organizations. It is ironic of course, that Israel's so-called religious zealots will likely be much less a factor in preventing a settlement to the Middle East conflict, than the religious exclusionists on the Arab side who have always detested, and wanted to expunge the presence of a non—Muslim state in their midst. But for the left, strong religious views in a Western country are those to be attacked, not those of third world people. For a Western county should know better than to allow itself to be controlled or influenced by religious people. There is a place for religion (a very private sphere for the few on the left who pay lip service to being a member of a church), and there is reason for everything else. The left basically detests religious people and religions of the west (particularly the Catholic church for its views on abortion), but is neutral about third world religions and believers, for which they are not able or willing to judge, but rather must protect against our cultural biases against them.

The support for Israel by Christian conservatives and evangelicals is also a source of great resentment by the left. While the fringe right may believe that the Jews control the world's banks, the left fears that Christian conservatives control the Republican Party, which right now controls the Presidency and but has lost its small majority in both houses of Congress. If Christian conservatives are on one side of an issue, the left has to be on the other side. The friends of your enemies are also your enemies. It is impossible for the left to accept that there can be any common ground between themselves and religious conservatives. Sadly, there are many Jews who have been unable to welcome the passionate support for Israel that comes from the Christian conservatives, because of their disagreements with them on social issues, which I daresay are much less important issues for Jews than the survival of the state of Israel.


The evidence I believe is clear today that Israel faces far greater threats from the left than the right. The left is reflexively anti-Israel and has established important beachheads in significant American institutions— academia, the media, and the old line Protestant 'high' churches, as well as in the very seats of government power in many Western European countries, and their intelligentsia. It is not surprising that Israel seems unable to get a fair shake from college professors, the BBC, Reuters, NPR, or liberal churches. Being anti-Israel has become part of their religion.

Singling out israel for boycotts and ignoring all the human rights violation in the Muslim world is anti Semitic, no matter if ur Jewish or not, and besides most Jews that are calling for israel boycotts are Jews that are completely assimilated and have no connection to the Jewish religion, they where just born to a Jewish mother, r u calling for boycotts against Syria for butchering their own people? Are u calling for boycotts against Libya?? Are u calling for boycotts against all the other brutal regimes? The answer is no u only condemn Israel because they are Jewish and u hate Israel, u should be ashamed of ourselves, and go get a life

"I challenge you to cite a single statement from anyone on the Palestinian Boycott National Committee (the parent organisation of the BDS Movement) about this sinister ulterior motive of BDS. I know for a fact that you won't be able to. This is pure Israeli hasbara (propaganda)."

BDS proponents often present their case to students in terms of peace and justice; however, this masks the real agenda of seeking to destroy Israel rather than simply improve the lives of Palestinians and help them achieve independence. The true aims of BDS become clearer when the views of the movement’s leaders are examined. As the examples below demonstrate, they oppose a two-state solution or any other resolution to the conflict that would recognize the right of the Jewish people to self-determination in their homeland.

“(The one state solution means) a unitary state, where, by definition, Jews will be a minority.”

-Omar Bargouti
Founder, Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel

“Ending the occupation doesn’t mean anything if it doesn’t mean upending the Jewish state itself…BDS does mean the end of the Jewish state. But can’t I see the value in reaching across the aisle, so to speak? The movement may be burgeoning but remains too small. Why shouldn’t we indulge in ad hoc partnerships to get things done? Richard Silverstein, Richard Goldstone, and many other self-proclaimed Zionists have done an immeasurably positive amount of work in skinning the Zionist cat (That’s a deliberate analogy. I don’t kid myself about how difficult it must be for a Jewish person to criticize the Zionist state), shouldn’t they be asked to join the BDS movement?

To be sure, I’m not dogmatically against cooperating with people whose views I find objectionable. If it came down to it, I’d be happy to work with the racist up the street to get the city to fix a neighborhood pothole.”

-Ahmed Moor,
Pro-BDS Author

“BDS represents three words that will help bring about the defeat of Zionist Israel and victory for Palestine.”

-Ronnie Kasrils

And if you want to keep it local here is a quote the public advocate of Australians for Palestine Alex Whisson

“Through its criminal actions of the past three weeks, Israel must surely have succeeded only in digging its own grave. And no decent-minded person will shed a tear at its funeral.”

"…throughout its blood-soaked sixty year history – then the obvious question hitherto unutterable in polite Western discourse raises its head; does Israel have a right to exist? The increasingly vociferous and unequivocal answer from tens of millions of people across the world is a decided: “No, of course it does not!"

Nearly every single zionist called for a 2 state solution Palestine and Israel living side my side.

BDS do not call for this. This is the issue anti-BDS people have. The leaders of BDS on many different occasions have called for a one state solution thus calling for the destruction of Israel.

Not one country boarding Israel is it legal for a Jew to own land. So if there is a one state solution and there will no longer be a Jewish majority, meaning the Jews will be pushed to the sea. This isn't Zionist propaganda this written explicitly in the Hamas (the democratically elected Palestinian government) and Hezbullah charters.

To justify my statement here is a comment this is a quote from the leader of Hezbullah Nassan Nasrallah “If they (Jews) all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide.”(Daily Star, Oct. 23, 2002])

Besides the fact that in the last 8 years this terror group has fired over 10 000 rockets at civilians in Israel the Hamas charter clearly states, “…The Day of Judgement will not come about until Muslims fight the Jews (killing the Jews)…”

Marrickville Council should stick to Marrickville matters and the Greens should stick to what they are supposed to represent, environmental matters. I suggest that neither of them knows very much about the complex situation in the Middle East or have sufficient inside information about the only truly democratic country in that region. Are they going to boycott China next. My vote will go back to the Greens when they come to their senses.

…most pepole in Marrickville back our elected council on BDS!

It's that lie told a million times. Israel is an apartheid state. It's democracy for Jews, apartheid for Palestinians (and "Israeli arabs").

And it's the only democracy in the middle east? Well surely now that Iraq has been invaded and controlled by the USA it's democratic now? Iraqis can buy (halal) McDonalds by now, surely? Isn't that what Democracy(TM) is about?

And what happens when the Arab people rise up to fight for democracy? They get rid of Israel's friends like Mubarak. Do you think these brave Arab people who are standing up to military dictatorships are going to support the Israeli colonial-aparthed state? I guess Mossad will try to find some hardline Islamists and try to stick them into the new government to head off the democracy movement.

Obviously the zionist activists are working overtime against BDS on the net, judging by the amount of spam posts they have put up here, they must be seriously worried. I think that shows what great work is being done. Keep it up, freedom lovers!

Fiona Byrne should be held up as an example to us all. Its the right of organisations to not deal with any country (nor businesses nor institutions associated with that country). She has shown a way forward for many other councils in Australia and has set an example for others to consider. It does indeed take courage to take a position in a country like Australia where the tall poppy sydnrome is endemic and whose governments have traditionally not given any real political support to the downtrodden abused Palestinians and has aligned itself strongly with the Zionist causes. Her courage should be recognised with an award.

To Fiona burn my deepest respect for the courage, integrity, vision & compassion to the greens to new pastures.

DOGMA, GENOCIDAL EMPIRE & expansion are used to defend the inhuman & the impossible.

There is a time when its time & that TIME is NOW.
@last people are waking up, apart from the few on this site who wrote under the influence of dogma we know now, that the war crimes perpetrated in Palestine are visible from the four corners of planet earth. People are connecting with the oppressed more than ever, its been too long by it is a shared experience, ASK RACHEL COREY?
Dogma is an itch we create ourselves, perhaps it is best to stop scratching & allow healing before its too late. Unjust & unnecessary is the oppression, suppression, repression of the Palestinian people who lived & died in Palestine.
Sedentary or nomadic , they R not form Peru, Egypt, Zürich or Helsinki, the rest is history or is it? perhaps, we should ask Mr Murdoch? second thought, NO.

Jews, Christians, Muslims, atheists, many of us have fought & risked our lives for Israel,
I promise you one thing, we'll do the same for Palestine.
May I say with respect to those caught in dogma & allegiances, PLEASE HELP aboriginal people if you are in a connecting mood.
Prisoners of time & existential space their reason d'etre is being removed from them disconnected from all.
Orwellian methods R being applied to them, in a strange way the makers of the NORTHERN TERRITORY SOLUTION are the very mates of those who dropped the phosphorous flesh devouring baby potion, that killed hundreds of innocent children.
Than again in the words of Madlen allbright?, just collateral damage.

Nerve gas, electroshock, direct energy weapons, microwave attack were & are used in Sydney Australia against citizens in the sacredness of their homes and beds. If perceived as high profile, U get the carrot & the stick, leave the country and live comfortably, stay in the country live comfortably more importantly keep quiet an offer U cannot refuse if U do U get the full treatment.
Microwave weaponry developed and used in the US, Germany, The Soviet union, China & more discreetly in Sydney Australia.

Microwave weapons were used against the crowds in Iraq and elsewhere, is also used Tailor made for individuals in homes office, and even hospitals, far more accurate and efficient and discrete method of torture & assassination.
For a man, a head, a forehead, a face, eyes, heart or other organs take your pick can be targeted.
For a woman the same,when in good mood sometime they go for aesthetics.
Ten to fifteen, fifty cents coin size horrific burns on legs & thighs, & she will no longer wear a dress for many years, thanks to laser or microwave.
Laser & microwave can cross walls from all directions. The attacks can generate from an other flat, house, edifice or mobile vehicle, sources of energy can also be hijacked & used.
The line between the crimes of governments & the conventional criminal world as we know it, is fading by the day specially in the US the connection between DOD official army, mercenaries Black water & Hally Burton essentially killing agencies is extremely incestuous. Many highly place in DOD are now working for the slaughter industry. Intelligence, or I'd rather use the term info is moving from one side to the other.
DOD or the equivalent , the so called intelligence agencies often responsible of the most horrific atrocities. ALL have access to these weapons. they research them, develop them & use them & at times sell them.
Weapons to disrupt your senses, sometime, eyes sight, hearing, sense of smell & others. Pushed to the limits the sense can be catastrophically destroyed and it happened.

These METHODS are used until now against whistle blowers, ex-military ex-cop who looked in the mirror & said no more, hight profile witnesses, active citizens with certain gifts.

In due time, soon, they will be used, cross the board against ABSOLUTELY all dissent. Unless something bigger than a royal commission is initiated.

All new legislations methods of persuasions are quite, secret including, close door court cases (orchestrated), forced exiles is on the table and has been used, concentration camps are not good for business.

Disabling the activist, the union member, the teacher, the journalist, is part of the culture.

Simple, U get stuck in those four meter square in Jerusalem or elsewhere some other existential dogma, U all go through the frying pan, that I promise, they are feeling more & more comfortable.
its like Nazi Germany or Abu Graib the more you experiment the more you loose something, but in the words of Dylan you don't know it. a bit like the Australian man in a uniform having a blast dragging the corps of an Iraqi young man he killed nonchalantly.There is a point of no return where inevitability becomes certainty.
Without offending some among us who are spiritual evolutionary organisms, GOD is perhaps the greatest weapon of mass distraction. I understand the fear ten thousand years ago, it appears to me it is time we move on to a new state of consciousness.

Imperialism capitalism & cannibalism practiced on ABORIGINALS in this part of the world is a reflecting mirror of our primal follies, again & again, in Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Palestine Yemen, Africa, Latin America & many more.

Jerusalem, the Vatican, Mecca are not where we think they R, they ARE WHERE WE STAND in both senses of the word.

No Terror No Torture Just Truth.

congrats on eroding the green influence in NSW and federally with your culturally detached, elitist and extremists views about jews. bravo and good riddance

The Greens and Marrickville Council tried to turn the phrase on its head by thinking locally and acting globally, with predictable results. Despite the spin about "community concerns", councils are meant to have a local mandate only. taking sides in foreign sectarian conflicts only invites the conflict into our own community and alienates sections of it. Being convinced you have chosen the side of righteousness, or that the side is more popular with your constituents, is no excuse. The Greens have discovered there are plenty of people who disagree vehemently with their position on the BDS, and even more who believe it should never be a local council's business in any case.

Her award is second place in an election she shouldn't have lost. Its up to the Greens now to decide whether they actually want to win elections and enact real change in the local sphere, or slavishly follow an international activist agenda where, at best they can hope to have a symbolic effect, while remaining unelectable at higher levels of government.

Rather than respond to any of the obnoxious comments and even treatises posted here, I'll just endorse these congratulations, and encourage Fiona to stick to her principles and believe in the truth of them. Democracy is not quite what some people say it is, when racist lobby groups - that is Jewish State lobby groups - use any method of propaganda and death threats and simple old bullshit to make ignorant people vote for the party that favours them.

This comment is an argument to "think local, act parochial" which is an attitude that will never win us any significant progressive changes.

The federal government in this country is in alliance with Apartheid Israel and that makes BDS an issue for every Australian - do you support zionism, racism and occupation or do you oppose it?

Congratulations to Fiona Byrne and the Marrickville council for leading the way and supporting the BDS movement. I'm sure it is only a matter of time before their leading role is emulated by others and the occupation of Palestine will be ended.

I've never seen so many logical arguments in all of GLW! Reading through all this common sense makes me wish the ranting conspiracy theorists were right and the Zionists really did rule the world. At least we'd have considered debate, coherent discussions and perhaps even a dose of humour amid all this vitriol!

Thank's Pip for providing us with so much info on the poisonous campaign you support!

Muti, brilliant. What a shame that the Left of which I was once a proud member is now the most susceptible to the virus of Jew Hatred, or the willingness to unquestionably believe everything negative about Jews and Israel.

You clearly are no leftist now, are you? What sort of leftist would equate criticism of Israel with "the virus of Jew Hatred"? Clearly not a leftist or even just amenable to intelligent discussion.

"muti" writes a long (very long!) rant that amounts to, "awww, stop picking on us, the other kids started it and look at what they did why haven't they got punished" - in other words, any ruse to draw the discussion away from the vile ethnic cleansing being perpetrated by the state of Israel. This is getting pretty desperate. Israel's days must be numbered. Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad.

Professional polling in Marrickville showed that 76% of people in Mville did not want their council involved in foreign affairs. Unless of course you're one of those people who see a Zionist conspiracy lurking in every fact they don't like.

So, if I'm correct, the Marrick Council got their figurative and collective hands slapped for abuse of public trust and decided to protect their figurative and collective backsides and did not pass the BDS initiative, right? In the process, at least $40,000 of taxpayer money was wasted, right?

Are there grounds for a civil ... or perhaps criminal case of malfeasance? I've seen photos of Mayor Byrne. It appears that she suffers from myopia. Lets hope her hindsight has improved recently.