BDS

With the escalation of the war on Gaza in the past week, now is the time for the Greens to urgently reconsider backing the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign (BDS). This campaign aims to bring international pressure on Israel until it stops human rights abuses against Palestinians. BDS has grown rapidly in Australia in recent years, though mainstream politics has barely noted its progress. Even the Greens, generally far more sympathetic to the suffering of the Palestinian people, have now completely abandoned BDS.
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. 

The 'scoop' behind two pro-Palestine activists facing court in Perth, Australia. Miranda Wood and Alex Bainbridge were charged with trespass for singing modified Christmas carols in December 2011.

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.
A month after a Japanese distributor decided to stop carrying Ahava cosmetic products because of the company’s fraudulent practices and its profiteering from Israel's occupation, a major Norwegian retail chain announced it would also stop sales of Ahava products. Ahava products are made in the illegal West Bank settlement of Mitzpe Shalem, with resources taken from the Dead Sea in the West Bank. The cosmetics line profits that settlement and the settlement of Kalia, both of which are co-owners of Ahava.
Below is an extract of a letter Archbishop Desmond Tutu sent to the student leaders at UC Berkeley in March 2010 regarding Berkeley’s decision to divest from Israel. * * * I am writing to tell you that, despite what detractors may allege, you are doing the right thing. You are doing the moral thing. You are doing that which is incumbent on you as humans who believe that all people have dignity and rights, and that all those being denied their dignity and rights deserve the solidarity of their fellow human beings.
The statement below was published by the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions Working Group (South Africa) on March 23. It’s abridged from www.pacbi.org . * * * Today, setting a worldwide precedent in the academic boycott of Israel, the University of Johannesburg (UJ) has effectively severed ties with Israel’s Ben-Gurion University (BGU). This was after UJ’s Senate rejected a last ditch motion by pro-Israeli lobbyists to have two separate bilateral agreements — one with a Palestinian University and another with an Israeli University.
Folk music legend Pete Seeger has come out in support of the growing Palestinian movement for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel and in support of justice for Palestinians and a route to peace in the Middle East. Seeger, 92, took part in last November’s online virtual rally “With Earth and Each Other”, sponsored by the Arava Institute, an Israeli environmental organisation, and by the Friends of the Arava Institute.
More than 100 Palestine solidarity activists gathered in Melbourne over October 29-31 for Australia's first national BDS conference. Palestinian civil society groups called for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel five years ago. The BDS campaign demands an end to the Israeli occupation of Palestine, the dismantlement of the separation wall in the West Bank, equal rights for Palestinian citizens of Israel, and the right of return for Palestinian refugees.
The movement for Australian union action against Israel is gaining strength after the apartheid state’s latest murderous attack on the unarmed aid flotilla to Gaza. The South Coast Labour Council (SCLC) and the New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory branches of the Australian Services Union have joined the Construction Forestry Mining Energy Union in committing to the international boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign against the aggressive Israeli state. Australian unions and peak bodies have also called on members to attend the many protest actions.
Sydney-based journalist and author Antony Loewenstein is an outspoken critic of Israeli policies and author of the best-selling 2006 book My Israel Question. He is the co-founder of advocacy group Independent Australian Jewish Voices and is a board member of Macquarie University’s Centre for Middle East and North African Studies. Articles and commentary by Loewenstein can be found at Antonyloewenstein.com.
Palestinian civil society has called on Elton John to respect their call to boycott Israel and cancel his June 17 concert in Tel Aviv. If he does so, he'll be joining artists Santana and Gil-Scott Heron, who recently cancelled planned concerts in Israel. This video suggests six reasons why Elton should join the BDS (boycott, divestment, sanctions) movement. For more info, please visit: www.bdsmovement.net Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel

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