More than 1700 public servants condemn Labor for ‘complicity in Palestinian genocide’

June 1, 2024
Protesting at Port Botany against Israel-owned Zim shipping on May 25. Photo: Zebedee Parkes

Public sector workers from around the country launched an open letter on May 30 calling on federal Labor to cease all military exports to Israel, in accordance international law.

In their appeal, addressed to the Prime Minister and all MPs, they write: “Aside from the dishonour of assisting what the Commissioner General of UNRWA [United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East] has termed “a war on children”, Australia may now be “violating international law and complicit in criminal warfare”.

“Tens of thousands of Palestinian civilians have been massacred with parts manufactured in Australia, and with Australian intelligence support. The bombs killing and maiming a population that is nearly 80% refugees and nearly 50% children are dropped by F-35 warplanes with parts exclusively manufactured in Australia,” the letter states.

More than 1700 public sector workers had signed on at the time of writing.

All local, state, or federal employees are encouraged to sign

The letter is endorsed by several organisations, including Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Australia, Australia Palestine Advocacy Network, Black Peoples Union, Unionists for Palestine and Palestine Justice Movement Sydney.

On May 31 at 7pm, some public servants received a warning email from the Department of the Premier and Cabinet.

It said it understood that “many people hold strong views on this matter” however “core public sector values require us to be impartial”.

Further, it said: “The reputations and authority of our public institutions cannot be used for political advocacy, lest trust in Government is put at risk”.

[Signatories receiving push back or facing disciplinary action can seek advice from your state-based Legal Aid or your local community legal centre. If you are a union member, contact them for advice.]

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