On November 29, inner west peace advocates gathered to give away fair trade chocolate crackles and sing freedom carols outside the Max Brenner chocolate outlet in Broadway, which is owned by the Israeli multinational, Strauss Group.
Their aim is to peacefully draw attention to the plight of Palestine and to expose companies like Max Brenner, which support Israel’s occupation of Palestine.
The singers then went into Broadway Shopping Centre, singing the songs outside shops selling Ahava cosmetics. This brand, based in the illegal Mizpe Shalem settlement, exploits the valuable mud from Dead Sea, using the illegal exclusion of Palestinians from most the West Bank to steal Palestinian resources.
Mall security evicted the carol singers from the shopping centre.
Bishara Costandi, a Palestinian living in Australia, commented “As a child, they [the Israelis] took our house — why am I not allowed to return home?”
“I want to let Australians know that things are very bleak in my home country and that while I am lucky enough to be in Australia, after 64 years, millions of Palestinians are still living in refugee camps unable to return to their homes.”
With carols specially written to draw attention to Israel’s ongoing military occupation of Palestine, the singers showed their concern about the myriad of laws that discriminate against Palestinian citizens of Israel as well as those whose homes are in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
They called on Israel to allow all refugees to return to their homes in accordance with international law, to end its military occupation of Palestinian territory, to end the illegal construction of the Wall and to recognise that the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel are entitled to full equality.
The carol singing was organised by two community groups, Sydney Jews Against the Occupation and the Coalition for Justice and Peace in Palestine.
Spokesperson for Jews Against the Occupation Sydney, Vivienne Porzsolt, said, “Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) are an effective, non-violent way the people of the world can put pressure on Israel to comply with international law and universal human rights. As long as Israel continues to flout these standards, it deserves, and can expect to be treated as a pariah among nations.”
Video: Freedom Carols for Palestine (Sydney) 01. Peter Boyle.
Video: Freedom Carols for Palestine (Sydney 2011) 02. Peter Boyle.
Video: Freedom Carols for Palestine (Sydney): 'Sing out for Justice'. Peter Boyle.