Protest at deportation of Palestinians
Story and photo
by Miriam Tramer
Jewish, Arab and other Australians joined forces in a protest picket against the Israeli deportation of 415 Palestinians into Israeli-occupied southern Lebanon.
More than 50 people gathered outside the Israeli consulate in Sydney before Christmas. The picket was sponsored by Women in Black (a group of Jewish, Arab and other Australian women for Palestinian rights), the Palestine Human Rights Campaign, Jewish Women for an Independent Palestinian State and Haver-Ashaab (Australian Jews for Peace and Justice for Palestinians and Israelis).
The groups said that the deportations were in defiance of the Geneva Conventions and international law and called on the Australian government to exert pressure on Israel to allow the deportees to return to their homes.
Israeli consular officials were clearly worried by this unwelcome publicity and checked with the police to see if a permit to hold the picket had been granted. They sent a message to the demonstrators via the police to say they would not see a delegation and would call the police if anyone sought to enter the consulate. Since no request to send a delegation had been made by the organisers, it was evident that officials were touchy indeed!
A picket is at present being held outside the consulate at 37 York Street, Sydney, every Wednesday from 12.30 to 1.30 p.m. Further action is being planned. For further information phone (02) 810 4035.