Ecosocialism 2024: Climate Action Not War

Conferences & public forums
Boorloo/Perth & Walyalup/Fremantle


10:00am Friday 28 June to 6:00pm Sunday 30 June


Boorloo Activist Centre
5 Aberdeen St
Boorloo/Perth WA 6000


Ecosocialism 2024: Fight Climate Change Not War Conference will bring together activists from across the Indo-Pacific to share experiences in building struggles. 

This year, the conference will take place at the Boorloo Activist Centre in Boorloo Perth from June 28–30. 

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Lelia Khaled, iconic Palestinian revolutionary activist, member of the national committee of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and a representative on the Palestine National Council.

Ammar Ali Jan, Pakistani historian, activist, youth leader and academic. He is general secretary of the Haqooq-e-Khalq Party and a member of the Council of Advisors of the Progressive International. 

Salim Vally, South African human rights activist, South Africa’s National Research Foundation’s Chair in Community, Worker and Adult Education, based at the University of Johannesburg.

Tabitha Spence, Doctoral Candidate in Anthropology at the American University (DC) where she works on the intersection of imperialism, militarism and climate change, focusing on the political, environmental and ideological impact of United States military bases across the world.

Aaron Pedrosa, Secretary-General of Sanlakas, a nationwide, multisectoral coalition of grassroots and sectoral organisations in The Philippines fighting for genuine democracy. He is concurrently a member of the Partido Lakas ng Masa (Party of the Labouring Masses, PLM) Advisory Council, representing Sanlakas.

Danaletchumi (Dana) Langaswaran, a Malaysian socialist and labour rights activist.
Jess Spear, Global Ecosocialist Network and RISE, based in Dublin, Ireland.

More speakers to be announced. 

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Zionist organisations and right-wing media are campaigning to silence Leila Khaled from addressing events here and overseas. The Australian Labor government has said Khaled would be denied a visa and now there is a push to prevent her from addressing the conference by video link.

In response, the conference organisers have been collecting messages of support from prominent Australian and international figures. You can view these messages below:

Statements and messages of support for Leila Khaled’s right to speak in Australia:

Nasser Mashni, President, Australia Palestine Advocacy Network:

The Australia Palestine Advocacy Network stands in support of Palestinian refugee activist, Leila Khaled’s, participation in the Ecosocialism 2024 Conference in Perth in June this year.

In the context of the plausible genocide in Gaza, it is essential to hear the voices of important historical figures. Khaled was the face of the Palestinian rebellion in the 1960s when she led the hijacking of two aircraft to protest the withholding of Palestinian rights to self-determination.

There is well-organised opposition to Khaled being allowed to speak on the grounds that she had been responsible for acts of violence even though those acts occurred more than 50 years ago.

Israel has inflicted far greater suffering daily in Gaza and, weekly, in the West Bank since then, let alone its annihilation of Gaza during the past five months. Israel’s record of disproportionate violence against Palestinians dwarfs any damage done by young Leila Khaled’s protest in the 1960s.

There is a further inconsistency. Israel, to whom Australia is a great friend, has had as its Prime Ministers (Shamir and Begin) leaders of Jewish terrorist gangs, the Stern Gang and Irgun, which slaughtered thousands of young men and women, leading to the Nakba, the ethnic cleansing of Palestine.

Requests to deny Khaled a visa reflects rank hypocrisy. No passengers or crew died during either of the hijacks in which Khaled was involved. On the other hand, Doron Almog, who has been accused of war crimes resulting from his time as General Officer Commanding of the Israeli military’s Southern Command, was issued an Australian visa to enable him to undertake a speaking tour in Australia to raise funds for the United Israel Appeal. Almog is alleged to have been involved in the murder of Palestinian civilians, including three boys and a pregnant woman, and the razing of 59 homes in Rafah and narrowly evaded arrest in the UK for his crimes.

Denying Khaled’s visa is yet another example of anti-Palestinian racism and the suppression of the Palestinian story; we must stand up against racist pressure to silence Palestinian voices.

Bashir Sawalha, President, United Australian Palestinian Workers:

United Australian Palestinian Workers condemns the Australian government's refusal to grant Leila Khaled a visa for the Ecosocialism 2024 Conference in Perth.  It is an outrage and a direct attack on free speech and human rights.

Khaled is a fearless advocate for justice, recognized worldwide for her tireless work in defending human rights. The government's decision, particularly in the face of ongoing atrocities in Gaza, is an egregious injustice.

Palestinian activists like Khaled face immense obstacles in getting their voices heard on the global stage. It is absolutely essential that she be allowed to speak out on behalf of her people, who are enduring unspeakable suffering and oppression.

We vehemently condemn the Australian government's cowardly decision to silence Palestinian voices. Khaled's past resistance efforts should not overshadow her ongoing dedication to peace and justice.

It is utterly hypocritical for the government to deny her a visa while welcoming individuals with far bloodier histories. Allowing Khaled to speak at the conference would demonstrate Australia's commitment to freedom of expression and human rights. Anything less is a betrayal of our principles and a barrier to achieving true peace and justice in the region.

Dr Stuart Rees AM, Professor Emeritus, University of Sydney:

I write in support of the invitation to the Palestinian activist  refugee Leila Khaled to speak at a significant Ecosocialism 2024 Conference in Perth in June this year.

I am aware of the well-organised, predictable opposition to Ms Khaled being allowed to speak let alone be present in Australia, on the grounds that she had been responsible for acts of violence to protest her people's rights to self-determination. Those acts occurred over 50 years ago, Leila Khaled is now 79 yet is to be censored by commentators with little or no experience of the people whose lives this significant woman represents, in refugee camps, in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and at a time when Palestinians are being slaughtered and starved to death by Israeli forces.

So, Australian officialdom wants to stop this Palestinian from speaking at a well organised conference in free speech Australia? Really?

There is one other major issue which should surely encourage   consistency in the way Leila's application to come to Australia is treated.

I have just examined and published Israel's record as a Terrorist state, beginning in 1948 with the slaughter by terrorist gangs, such as Stern and Irgun, of thousands of young men and women, a death and destruction campaign which has continued for decades. The leaders of those terrorist gangs became Prime Ministers of Israel - Yitzhak Shamir and Menachem Begin.

The violence perpetrated by their regimes and by subsequent Israeli governments dwarfs the violence which the young Leila Khaled in the 1960s conducted for the freedom of her people.

In respect of history plus cherished values of freedom of speech and as a principled stand against those who, once again want to stifle a Palestinian story,  I would welcome the chance to hear Leila Khaled in Australia and trust that she will be welcomed here, the invitation to her proudly restored.

Jake Lynch, journalist, academic and writer:

Leila Khaled has engaged in the struggle of an oppressed people for peace with justice. We should be listening to her insights as Australians wake up to the extent of complicity by our own government in genocide, ethnic cleansing and apartheid. Indeed, it's the least we can do as we, the Australian people, seek a better way to engage at this most difficult time.

Jews Against the Occupation '48:

The denial of a visa to Leila Khaled, Palestinian leader, representative on the Palestine National Council and former resistance fighter, by the Albanese-Wong government was entirely predictable but no less reprehensible for that. She is invited as Keynote Speaker to the Ecosocialism 24 conference in Perth in June. The context for her presentation will be the search for better ways to live on this planet and share its resources in the face of climate emergency.

The chorus of protest from the pro-Israel claque and the usual suspects in the right-wing media at the possibility that Ms Khaled might share her views and experiences with Australians was equally predictable. This denial is one more attack on free speech and human rights in Australia. It is another attack on the right of Palestinians to tell their story.

Ms Khaled is now nearly 80 years of age. The plane hijackings which she committed with her comrades are now long behind her. They caused no death and just one injury. Compare this with the current genocidal onslaught on Gaza. Who are the terrorists?

Ms Khaled has no regrets for the militant action that brought her to the attention of the world, but these many years later, she now works in different ways adapted to the current context and times. She holds fast to the cause of the liberation of her homeland, Palestine.

She is labelled a ‘terrorist’ by those who would deny her right to speak. But the term ‘terrorist’ has been emptied of meaning. Its original meaning was killing of civilians to terrorise a particular population into submission. The term is routinely used as a verbal club to block any honest consideration of the issues behind a conflict. It is used to ban organisations opposed to current vested interests. Aren't Israel and the US terrorist states? Isn't Australia complicit in such state terrorism?

Australians should have the opportunity to meet and hear this remarkable woman and hear her reflections on her experiences and actions and the current situation in Palestine. She is no security risk to Australians and she should be allowed entry to this country. Denial of a visa to this Palestinian leader is an attack on our values and freedom of thought and speech and a barrier to peace in Palestine/Israel.

Jepke Goudsmit, co-director Kinetic Energy Theatre Company:

By international law an occupied people have the right to resist their occupier, including by military means. Such resisters would be called freedom fighters.

Israel and its backers around the world call Palestinian armed resistance terrorism while sweeping their own state terror under the carpet. Leila Khaled is a freedom fighter, standing up for the rights of her people, the Palestinian people, standing up to the decades-long extreme oppression of her people by the apartheid state of Israel — an oppression that has been met by silence and impunity for most of those years. This state terror has only grown worse, and has now escalated into full-on annihilation and genocide.

The now elderly Leila Khaled has been invited to speak at the Ecosocialism conference in Perth, to be held in June this year. Her perspective on the crisis enfolding in the Middle-East now, and the environmental impacts of ongoing war, would be important for our balanced understanding of the conflict, and for our understanding of the detrimental effects perpetual war has on climate change.

For Australia to refuse an entry visa to her shows Australia’s unwillingness to look at the true history of Palestine and at its complicity in the current apocalyptic war on Gaza.

Jonathan Sriranganathan (Greens candidate for Mayor of Brisbane):

I believe that the Australian government should allow Leila Khaled into the country. I think it is disgraceful that the Australian government is being so hypocritical and inconsistent in terms of how it polices who is allowed into the country. We should be supporting freedom fighters, we should be speaking up against injustice. We should be giving a platform to people who are challenging apartheid and the Israeli genocidal regime. So let’s let these people in and give them a platform to share their stories.

Greg Barns (barrister and writer):

Denying Leila Khaled a visa on the basis of anti-terrorism laws is an abuse of power. Those laws apply to current threats. (Post on X (formerly Twitter)

Jill Hickson and John Reynolds, Producers of the film Palestine Under Siege:

Is Leila Khaled a terrorist? "Whenever I hear this question, I ask another question… who planted terrorism in my area? Some people came and took our land, forced us to leave, forced us to live in camps. Is that not terrorism? Resisting this terrorism is called Struggle." 

These are Leila Khaled's words. Leila is a freedom fighter and should be given the opportunity to visit Australia and tell the Australian people about the long struggle of the Palestinian people for justice and freedom.

Nick Riemer, academic and activist, and president of the Sydney University NTEU branch:

Leila Khaled must not be prevented from speaking in Australia. It is farcical in the extreme that Israeli war criminals like Doron Almog are free to fundraise in Australia for the ongoing Zionist colonisation of Palestine, but activists promoting the emancipation of Palestine and an end to Israeli apartheid are being blocked at every turn. Khaled's message is vital. It must be heard.

Suzanne Berliner Weiss, activist, author of Holocaust to Resistance: My Journey:

I am proud to add my name to the supporters of Leila Khaled, a world-renowned leader of Palestinian resistance. It will be an honour for us all to hear her testimony.

I am a survivor of the Jewish Holocaust carried out by the German Nazis. I was saved by the solidarity of many individuals and a whole community who protected Jews and others marked down for death. The world’s peoples did not know of the mass murder being committed, although their governments knew, were silent, and thus, complicit.

Another crime was initiated in 1947 with the Nakba, the catastrophe, when the Israeli government with military might, expelled over 750,000 indigenous Palestinians from their homeland.

This crime continues to this day in the name of the Jewish people — without their consent. 

The world’s peoples did not know the extent of the Palestinian misery but were rudely awakened in 1969 by the courageous Leila Khaled. She demanded freedom, dignity, equality, and peace for the oppressed Palestinians.

The world’s people were once again awakened on October 7 with the same demands to end the cruel occupation and daily bombardment of Gaza. Today, we all insist on an immediate enduring cease fire to the genocide.

Leila Khaled has dedicated her life to the resistance and for a free Palestine. It will be an honour to discuss with her and to work together on better ways to live in equality, dignity, and peace to save this planet.

Dr Rowan Cahill, historian:

The forced closure of the Green Left Facebook page and the hysteria and rightist outrage being manufactured and whipped up against the proposed visit by Leila Khaled, are reprehensible. Yet to be expected from racist elements and rightist militarist jocks who thrive like mushrooms in darkness and bullshit.

Dr. Hawzhin Azeez, Kurdish academic and activist, creator of The Middle Eastern Feminist:

It is yet another disgraceful act by the Australian government to prevent freedom of speech by denying the rights of Palestinian activist Leila Khaled to speak at the Ecosocialism 2024 conference in Perth this year.

Ms. Khaled poses no security threats and is a prominent and globally renowned human rights activist whose contributions are well recognised.

The Australian government must act immediately to over turn this decision even as the genocide in Gaza rages. Middle Eastern women activists and human rights activists are some of the most silenced voices on the international arena. It is essential that Ms. Khalid is given an opportunity to speak on behalf of her people who are literally in the clutches of an ongoing genocide. The Australian government has a moral obligation to grant Ms Khalid a visitation visa urgently.

Wendy Bacon, journalist/researcher and past Professor Journalism, University of Technology Sydney:

I am appalled that the Albanese government will not provide Leila Khaled with  a visa to talk at an Ecosocialism conference.This is an attack on free speech and human rights, not only on Ms Khaled herself but also on all those who want to learn from her experiences fighting for the environment and for justice for Palestinians. Ms Khaled is 80 years old with a proud record of activism. It is beyond contempt for a government that is providing support to the Israeli government that is slaughtering thousands of innocent people to justify its censorship by referring to two violent acts of resistance committed more than 50 years ago.

Sarah Hathway, Socialist Alliance Councillor, City of Greater Geelong:

It is disgraceful and completely undemocratic that the Albanese Labor government is refusing to grant a visa to Leila Khaled to speak in person at the Ecosocialism 2024 conference. It is more dangerous still that Zionists continue to pursue banning Leila from even speaking via video link. With this and the take down of the Green Left Facebook page, it is further evidence that the concepts of freedom of speech and basic democracy are applied very selectively in this country. Leila Khaled is 80 years old and has a long history of activism. Leila poses no risk by entering Australia beyond opposing the status quo, genocide complicit Labor Government and mainstream media.

Dr David Robie, editor, Asia Pacific Report:

It is outrageous the attempt to silence yet another respected champion of indigenous Palestinian self-determination on spurious claims over past violence. For the vast majority of people around the world for the last four months and longer (actually ever since the 1948 Nakba), we have seen the naked state terrorism of Israel. The oppressed people of Palestine have every right to defend themselves against genocide and ethnic cleansing. And we in Australia and New Zealand have every right to hear people such as Leila Khaled speak of their lived experience and humanity.

Mandy King and Fabio Cavadini, documentary filmmakers:

Renowned Palestinian refugee activist, Leila Khaled said recently, “Now we are calling for a democratic state, with the return of the Palestinian refugees. Then, we can altogether live in Palestine and decide what kind of state we need.” This kind of inclusive thinking is what’s so urgently needed now. So why is Australia refusing Leila Khaled’s participation in the Ecosocialism 2024 Conference in Perth in June this year?

Dr. Markela Panegyres, visual artist, academic and writer:

Leila Khaled must be granted a visa to enter Australia and speak at the Ecosocialism 2024 conference. Israel is committing genocide against Palestinians with the full complicity of Western nations, including Australia. The Albanese Labor government’s denial of a visa for Khaled provides cover for Israel's ongoing crimes against the Palestinian people since at least 1948, and is part of the systemic silencing of Palestinian voices of resistance. We can not stand by while our government and mainstream media attempts to normalise genocide and quash resistance. Let Khaled speak!

Professor John Tully, historian and writer:

The Australian government must resist pressure to deny a visa to the veteran Palestinian activist Leila Khaled. She is a member of the Palestinian National Council and has been able to enter other countries, including Sweden, the UK, and South Africa. She has even been permitted by the Israeli occupation authorities to enter the West Bank in the past.

So why the hue and cry now?

It is no coincidence that the campaign to deny Khaled a visa comes at a time when the Palestinian population of the Gaza enclave is suffering collective punishment amounting to genocide. Given the vast scale of the destruction, it is difficult to see how the enclave can be made habitable, and perhaps that is the aim of the Israeli government.

The Palestinian population cannot be conflated with Hamas, but that is precisely what Netanyahu’s far right coalition government is doing. Even Merav Ben-Ari, a supposed “liberal centrist” Knesset Member, said recently that “The children in Gaza have brought it [i.e. mass death and destruction] on themselves.”

With mass famine looming, the situation will only worsen unless governments such as Australia’s stand up to Benjamin Netanyahu’s far right coalition government. The Albanese government must demand an immediate ceasefire and restart the humanitarian aid programme halted at Benjamin Netanyahu’s behest.

Leila Khaled is herself a victim of the Nakba, forced into permanent exile in 1948 as a child along with 750,000 other Palestinians. In 1969, frustrated by the obstinate refusal of world governments to recognise the suffering of her people, young Leila participated in the hijacking of a TWA flight from Rome to Tel Aviv. She repeated this the following year in an attempted hijack of an El Al flight. No crew members or passengers were killed in either incident and she apologised for the distress caused.

Whatever one thinks of the tactic and of actions taken over half a century ago, these pale into utter insignificance beside the 76 years of oppression inflicted by the Israeli state and its backers on the Palestinian people. It is not anti-Semitism to demand an end to this endless cycle of violent injustice.

The closure of the Green Left Facebook page, for posting an interview with Leila Khaled, is an outrageous attack on freedom of speech and cannot be allowed to stand.

Leila Khaled’s voice must be heard.

Jeremy CA Smith, Associate Professor in Sociology, Federation University Australia:

I stand with others in opposition to moves to prevent Leila Khaled from addressing people in Australia about Israel’s long criminal war on Palestine and the Palestinians. Selectively targeting this brave heroine of Palestinian resistance to occupation, while admitting former IDF General Doron Almog (accused of war crimes) is another sign of the Labor government’s one-sided approach to the conflict claims of danger to inciting terrorism have been proved baseless and act as a cover for attacking freedom of speech at a time when sober debate on Israel’s invasion of Gaza is sorely needed. It is vital that people in this country have an opportunity to hear her voice and the Palestinian side of the carnage Israel is inflicting on Gaza now.

Dr Roger Markwick, Honorary Professor of European History, University of Newcastle:

I am appalled but not surprised by the Australian government’s denial of a visa to Leila Khaled to speak at the Ecosocialism 2024 conference. It is one more example of the Albanese-Wong ALP government’s craven support of Israel, a fellow colonial-settler state intent on the genocidal elimination of the Palestinian people. Khaled’s voice in the current crisis would be a powerful reminder of the tenacity of the Palestinians’ rightful resistance to Zionist terror. To deny Australians the opportunity to hear her voice makes a mockery of Australia’s claim to be a bastion of liberal-democratic freedoms when it imposes no such constraints on alleged perpetrators of Israeli state terror, such as former IDF commander Doron Almog. And it makes a mockery of the Labour government’s pretence to champion universal peace, irrespective of ethnicity, nationality or religious creed. In the name of humanity, let Leila Khaled be heard!

Dr Reihana Mohideen,  University of Melbourne:

It’s outrageous that Leila Khaled, a living symbol of the Palestinian people's struggle against occupation and for a free Palestine, will be refused a visa to attend and speak at the Ecosocialism 2024 conference in Perth. 

Leila Khaled is a freedom fighter, not a terrorist. Leila Khaled is also a symbol of heroism for feminists in the Global South. Denying her a visa is also an affront to these feminist activists. 

The fact that Leila Khaled’s visa is being denied when a genocide is taking place against the Palestinian people, by Israel and backed by the United States, is another example of the Australian government’s complicity in this genocide. 

Meanwhile the Australian government invites the authoritarian, far-right, corrupt and elitist Philippines President Marcos Jnr to address the Australian parliament, a slap in the face for the Filipino people who are struggling against the extra-judicial killings and persecution of union, women, indigenous, environmental, human rights and other progressive activists in the Philippines. 

The message is clear. The Australian Labor government supports and welcomes human rights violators and those responsible for genocide. While Palestinian, freedom fighting feminists, are considered to be their enemy.

Lee Rhiannon, former Greens Senator:

Leila Khaled would be a valuable participant in the Ecosocialism 2024 Conference to held Perth later this year. The Australian government should grant her a visa and not be swayed by the Zionist lobby.

The push to deny Khaled a visa is a display of extreme hypocrisy. Israel’s record over more than seven decades of massacres, ethnic cleansing and home evictions is incomparable to Khaled’s participation in a 1960s protest for Palestinian self-determination. She was part of a hijacking team that took over two aircraft. No passengers or crew - no one -  died in either of these hijacks.

The governments bias is compounded by their decision to grant former Israeli army major-general, Doron Almog, a visa to visit Australia in March this year.  Almog is linked to serious and credible allegations of his involvement in war crimes in Gaza between 2001 and 2003. 

Even if Prime Minister Anthony Albanese can’t bring himself to align Australia with the 139 member nations of the United Nations (out of a total of 193) surely his government can be even handed when it comes to issuing visas. 

Lynda-June Coe, Wiradjuri & Badu Island woman, activist and educator:

As a sovereign Koori woman from these lands, our sister Leila is welcome here to speak and to empower us with her truth. Let her in!

Carolyn Veg Ienna, First Nations activist and performer (Gadi/Sydney):

As a first nations person I feel Leila Khaled should be able to speak here in the colony called Australia. The hypocrisy of a coloniser stopping an activist from speaking truth is astounding on this continent and Palestine. Let her in to speak, Zionism shouldn't be directing who we let speak.

Mark Gillespie, City of Sydney for Palestine:

I write as a member of the group City of Sydney for Palestine, one of several broad-based community groups that make up the Palestine Action Group which organises the protests in Sydney. Yesterday I marched alongside a Jewish Australian family who came up from Melbourne for the rally. Nachshon Amir, an ex-Israeli Defence Force officer with his brave wife and three daughters have campaigned with a similar group in Melbourne known as Free Palestine Melbourne.

Nachshon, who grew up in Israel, told me, never had he seen such a brutal and relentless attack on Palestinians on this scale as we are currently witnessing in Gaza. He explained the way programming and propaganda allows Israelis to grow up denying the humanity of Palestinians. His public support for dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians and the need for peace with justice and a reimagining of a future Palestine is inspirational.

Leila Khaled should not be silenced. Nachshon Amir’s views are in stark contrast to the advice from the Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ) and the Jewish Board of Deputies in NSW to the Ministers Wong, Dreyfus, Giles and Gallagher to deny Leila Khaled, the 79-year-old member of the long-standing Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a visa to attend a conference in Perth in June this year. Alex Ryvchin of the ECAJ and supported by mainstream Australian media is quick to brand her as a terrorist and deny her a right to speak her truth. This is because as a very young woman in 1969 she helped highjack a TWA flight from Rome to Tel Aviv.

When the plane landed in Damascus no one was killed or injured and the plane itself, though damaged, was later put back into service by the airline. She served jail time and was released after a prisoner exchange.

Leila has always claimed the right to resist the occupation and always maintained that no civilians should be harmed in the act of resisting, something borne out in her handling of the passengers on the TWA

airliner. She famously apologised to the passengers for the inconvenience caused. She now lives in Jordan and is regularly invited to conferences around the world. 

Now in her late 70’s she speaks hopefully of a better future for all the peoples in Palestine and Israel. In an interview last year, she was asked: how do you imagine a free Palestine? She stated: The key for liberation is the land and the return of refugees.

We want to establish a democracy where all have the same rights and duties. We want to do this with the people who are there – with Israelis. This is a humane and democratic solution, and it can be established. Alex Ryvchin, of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ), has warned the Government that such a woman who has been “convicted of hijacking a plane is a terrorist and should not be allowed to fly into our country”.

Alex states this without any hint of self- awareness of the terror currently reigning down on the people of Gaza and the fear that has spread across the West Bank. The scale of death and destruction is conveniently ignored. However, the world is not “eyeless in Gaza” anymore. We are aware that governments can become “terror states”.

Where do Australia’s interests lie? With important Jewish and Palestinian and Arab diasporic populations, we have a potentially powerful role to play of bringing people together. 

I call on all members of the Federal Parliament not to turn your faces away from the inhumanity we are witnessing. I say to Minister Katy Gallagher who said of Leila Khaled: “Anyone with this history will not be allowed into Australia” to rethink your position. Argue in Cabinet that we as a country stand for dialogue and understanding. This is the best way towards peace.

Violet Coco, environment activist, jailed for activism:

The bombs we are helping make are a danger to our community. The guns the police wear are a danger to our community. Leila is an asset to freedom everywhere. There is no justice without our global community. Leila’s experience in protesting, which is real direct democracy, needs to be shared, honoured and respected. We must have solidarity to stop this genocide, and letting Leila speak would help build these connections.

Sandra Reed:

Back in the early 1970s I was a flight attendant with the Bahrain based Gulf Aviation, soon to be known as Gulf Air.

The most memorable day during my flying career was meeting Leila Khaled. She was my passenger. We chatted on a short flight to Kuwait, she told me about her family displaced during the creation of the State of Israel. Life in a refugee camp. Her decision to work with the PLO, become a fighter and never give up the struggle of the Palestinian people.

I had been educated in Melbourne and was almost totally ignorant of the Palestinian side of the conflict with Israel. Leila Khaled showed me another side and cemented my belief in the rightness of the Palestinian cause. She is a truly amazing person. I have never forgotten that meeting.

And I remember her saying ‘One day I would like to visit Australia’. It is ridiculous that we still want to deny her entry into this country. Why do we remain so blindly and firmly behind Israel? It seems this government forgives their crimes, turns a blind eye to the suffering of the Palestinian people and is too cowardly to express any view not supporting the Zionists.

If this government wants to be truly open minded and tolerant it must allow Leila Khaled to visit and speak to us.  We will learn much from this brave, eloquent and knowledgeable person who has truly devoted her life to Palestine.


Send your statement of support for Leila Khaled’s right to speak to: 

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