Training for the Right To Movement marathon. Photo: Patrick Harrison. When people imagine Palestinian resistance to Israeli occupation, lacing up some trainers and hitting the pavement is not the first thing that comes to mind. But for some Palestinians, running is one creative and non-violent way to oppose Israeli injustices — rallying behind the banner of the Right to Movement organisation.
While Israel’s supporters in Australia have worked themselves up over stationary shop Typo selling a world globe naming the area inhabited by the state of Israel as “Palestine”, this year has already involved new injustices for those living in occupied Palestine. The “new normal” of extrajudicial killings, set during the escalation of violence in Occupied Palestine last October, remains firmly in place. Israeli occupying forces have also accelerated their policy of housing demolitions.
There has been plenty of heat this Palestinian winter in the campaign for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel. There have been some important victories, helped by the increased scrutiny of Israeli state violence since October. And equally, the hysteria from Israeli and Western political establishments over the “threat” posed by the BDS campaign has reached new levels.
Israel has detained at least 1200 children since October 1. As the latest upsurge in mass Palestinian resistance to Israel's occupation entered its third month, the world marked the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People on November 29.
Marda Permaculture Farm in the West Bank. Photo from mardafarm.com. Ownership of the land of Palestine is hotly contested, so it is little surprise that the Earth itself is often the first casualty of Israel's occupation.
Israeli military jeep broadcasting threat to gas residents, Aida refugee camp, Bethlehem, occupied West Bank, October 29. Still from video by Yazan Ikhlayel. Israel has introduced dramatic new restrictions on Palestinians living in the city of Hebron in response to recent violence and mass resistance in the occupied West Bank.
The campaign to win equal wages for young workers made a big gain last month, when the Fair Work Commission ruled that 20-year-old retail workers must be paid full wages. The ruling applies to workers with more than six months experience who are employed under the General Retail Industry Award and will be gradually implemented over the next financial year. It comes after a public campaign by the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association (SDA), which represents more than 200,000 retail workers.
In what the Sydney Morning Herald described as the "darkest night" in Sydney Football Club's history, active supporters of the A-League football (soccer) club ― known as "the Cove" ― staged a walkout during the February 8 match against Adelaide United in protest against heavy-handed security tactics.
The movement for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel has captured headlines around the world after actress Scarlett Johansson signed a promotion deal with Israeli company SodaStream. Johansson signed the deal to become SodaStream's first “global brand ambassador” on January 1. A Super Bowl halftime commercial starring the actress airing on February 2. However, the deal resulted in an instant furore due to the company's use of an Israeli occupied industrial settlement zone in Palestinian West Bank to make their home soda machines.
The Abbott government has sunk to a new diplomatic low, with Foreign Minister Julie Bishop suggesting Israeli settlements should not be considered illegal. Bishop made the comments during a visit to Israel. In a January 15 interview with the Times of Israel, she argued “the issue of settlements is absolutely and utterly fundamental to the negotiations that are under way and I think it’s appropriate that we give those negotiations every chance of succeeding”.