BDS campaign

More than 700 creative professionals living in the Britain — including writers, visual artists, actors, musicians and many others — have signed up to a pledge to boycott collaboration with Israeli state-funded projects. The announcement marks a significant step for the British cultural boycott campaign. There have been many open letters and other statements of support for Palestine from British artists, but the pledge brings together a huge number of creatives in one coordinated effort.
A Jewish academic will walk from Sydney to Canberra in September to promote the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign (BDS) against Israel for its continuing subjugation of the Palestinians. Marcelo Svirsky is a lecturer in politics at the University of Wollongong and an Australian-Israeli Palestine activist. He is the author of several academic works on Israel-Palestine, activism and colonialism, and is an active member of the National Tertiary Education Union.
Israel uses cinema to shore up its carefully manufactured international image as an enlightened “beacon of democracy in the Middle East” – a world away from the fanaticism of the settlements, the separation wall, the checkpoints, and the siege and butchery of Gaza. Film festivals like the Israeli Film Festival are an attempt to culture-wash Israel’s crimes against the Palestinian people. The goal is for the international public to see Israel as a civilised country committed to peaceful, artistic pursuits – not as the warmongering power oppressing an entire people, that it really is.
The article below is based on a speech given at a Socialist Alliance forum on July 20 in Sydney after the thousands-strong rally against Israel's assault on Gaza. *** I have been an activist for justice in Israel-Palestine for 25 years. My parents were refugees from Hitler and I have drawn from them a strong humanist ethic. I have visited Israel-Palestine many times and worked along side fellow Jews and Palestinians and international activists in actions to alert the world to the situation of the Palestinians.
"We are here today,” Professor Stuart Rees told a media conference at Queens Square on October 30, “to express our outrage that a so-called independent law centre from Israel could attempt to stamp out freedom of speech in Australia.” "We call on the mainstream media to take an objective stand on the issue of Palestinian human rights.” The gathering concerned the move by Shurat HaDin, an Israeli-based law centre, to file a case in the Federal Court against Professor Jake Lynch of the University of Sydney's Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies.
About 50 people joined a rally at Sydney University on August 28 to show solidarity with academics Jake Lynch and Stuart Rees, who have been threatened with legal action over their strong backing for the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign against apartheid Israel. Lynch, Rees and the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies (CPACS) at Sydney university are facing a legal suit by Shurat HaDin, an Israeli Law Centre.
The Israeli Law Centre, Shurat HaDin, has filed a complaint under the Racial Discrimination Act with the Australian Human Rights Commission against the Sydney Peace Foundation’s Stuart Rees and Sydney University's Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies’ Jake Lynch. The complaint claims Rees and Lynch are supporting racist and discriminatory policies through their support for the international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against the Israeli government. It is the first time Australia’s anti-racism laws have been used against people involved in the BDS campaign.
“The anti-Semite Stephen Hawking can’t even wipe his own ass." “Someone should release the hand brake when he’s on a hill." “He should die already." These were just some of the comments left on Facebook after the most famous cosmologist in the world, Stephen Hawking, announced he was respecting the academic boycott of Israel.
I received a knock on the door on April 16 from two members of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, better known as ASIO. The two told me they would like to have a conversation. When I asked what they wanted to speak about, they told me they were doing their job — protecting “national security” — and had a few questions about my involvement in political campaigns in Sydney. Apparently the latest threat to “national security” is “political violence” in the activist community.
Palestine Action Group Sydney released this statement on May 2. *** Supporters of Palestine have responded to a May 2 report in the Australian that asserted that Max Brenner Israel has no direct shares in Max Brenner Australia as irrelevant to the solidarity campaign for justice in Palestine. Palestine solidarity activists are bemused that the Australian has given front page coverage to this “scoop”. The YouTube video of the rally in question, which took place on September 21 last year, has also just been released.
The international boycott campaign against the world’s third largest defence company is about to arrive in Australia and the first battleground may be at RMIT University in Melbourne. Palestine solidarity activists have focused a boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign on the Max Brenner chocolate store chain, a subsidiary of the Strauss Group, which supplies and supports the Israeli army. This year however, cross-campus activist based group Students for Palestine has decided on a new target. Meet BAE Systems — short for British Aerospace Engineering.
“Not joining the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement doesn’t mean that you’re not taking a stand,” Associate Professor Jake Lynch told a meeting at the University of Sydney on March 14. “By continuing institutional links to Israeli high education, universities here risk unwittingly becoming indirectly complicit in violations of international laws and abuses of human rights.”
More than 150 people protested at Parramatta town hall on November 15, calling for a boycott of Max Brenner chocolate shops and an end to Israel's recent attacks on Gaza. The rally was part of the worldwide campaign for boycott, divestments and sanctions (BDS) against Israel. Max Brenner's parent company, the Israeli Strauss Group, donates care packages of chocolates to Israeli commandos of the Golani and Givati brigades. 
Activists in Melbourne have won a big victory for the right to political protest after the charges against the Max Brenner 16 were dismissed on July 23. The court trial lasted for 17 days in May. The 16 Palestine solidarity activists had been arrested and charged over a protest outside the Max Brenner chocolate shop in QV Square, Melbourne in July last year. The protest was part of the campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel and the occupation of Palestine.
The trial of 16 activists arrested at a Palestine solidarity protest outside a Max Brenner chocolate store in Melbourne's QV shopping centre in July last year finished on May 25. Throughout the trial a megaphone has been sitting beside the magistrate as evidence. Freedom of political expression and the right to protest have been on trial in this court case. The court case began on May 1 and lasted almost a month. The defence counsel and the prosecution finalised their submissions on May 24 and 25.
Green Left columnist Carlos Sands rants, raves, and is literally moved to tears by the arguments of defenders of Israel in his second outing on Green Left TV. And as 19 Palestine solidarity activists face court in Melbourne, he has some choice words for Max Brenner and the Murdoch media.

Pages

Subscribe to BDS campaign