Monthly Archives: August 2006


Meeting was held on Thursday 19 October 2006, at 12 NOON AT THE JAGARA HALL MUSGRAVE PARK to organise the ongoing campaign for Justice for Aboriginees in Brisbane and Queensland Discussion of the next RALLY AND MARCH (18th November 2006 … Continue reading

Benefit Dinner and Concert raises over $12,000 for relief to Lebanon and Palestine


Last night (26 Aug 2006) in Brisbane there was a benefit dinner and concert held to raise money for relief efforts for the Lebanese and Palestinian people after the July/August 2006 war. The function was organised by Brisbane’s Fair Go for Palestine and the local Al-Nisa Muslim Women’s Youth Group.

Sheikh Ahmad Abu Ghazaleh from the Kuraby Mosque sang Arabic songs and described how he, a Palestinian, has recently been prevented three times from visiting his homeland by Israeli military.benefit-gig.jpg

Brisbane artist Phil Monsour (pictured) sang accompanied by film depicting the Israeli military bombardment of Lebanon and Palestine and the war in Iraq.

The benefit was strongly supported by the local Muslim community. About 240 people attended in a small hall in South Brisbane.

At my table was a Lebanese man who had driven down from Toowoomba and a group of young men from South Africa who now live in Brisbane. The young men had heard about the dinner through the Kuraby Mosque. We all had an political discussion over excellent lebanese food about the recent events in the middle east.
One young man said that he thought Iran must have given a lot of money to Hizballah for rebuilding villages. Someone else later suggested that countries in the region like Iran want others to resist Israel and US agression in the region (e.g. to do the fighting for them). It has been left to a coalition of lebanese political groups (of which Hizballah is an important part) to rebuild villages, towns and Beirut.

Many others wished to attend the dinner but could not because of the size of the hall.

The function raised over $10,000 to be given to Union Aid Abroad (APHEDA) for relief in Palestine and Lebanon. An auction was also held during the night to raise funds.

Speakers at the function were Halim Rane (Fair Go for Palestine), Qld Senators Andrew Bartlett (Australian Democrats) and Claire Moore (ALP). The two senators opened the benefit. At the outset, Claire Moore, eager to get started, called Andrew Bartlett to the stage. Senator Bartlett obediently took up his position on stage. His first comment into the microphone was “I do not always do what the ALP asks me

For more information or to give donations contact Nora on 0422 349 786 or or

Rally and March for Justice for Aboriginal people


Sam Watson is the Senate candidate for the Socialist Alliance in the 2007 Senate election.

He is the chairperson of regular community meetings and rallies in support of aboriginal democratic rights.

During 2006/2007 these are some of the activities conducted by the community for Justice and Democratic Rights.


During the 2006 Queensland State Election campaign there was a rally in Queens Park [between George Street and North Quay behind the old Treasury Building] on Friday, 1st September 2006 starting at 1 pm.

The rally was followed by a march at about 3 pm that went across Victoria Street Bridge down Melbourne Street to Manning Street and up to Jagara Hall in Musgrave Park. Jagara Hall is behind Brisbane State High School.

An organising community meeting to prepare for the rally and march (to make posters banners etc) was held at Jagara Hall on Wednesday, 30 September at 12 noon

No to racism and police violence
Stop black deaths in custody

Rally at Queens Park
(between George Street and North Quay)
1pm Friday, 1st September 2006
March at 3pm to Musgrave Park

Vote ŒŒŒ1 for Sam Watson
[Socialist Alliance]
for Brisbane Central
Contact Sam on 0401 227 443


Anti-war co-ordinating committee formed

white-balloons-free-palestine-free-lebanon-rally-12-aug-2006-004.jpgThis is to let you know that last week (16 Aug 2006) a resolution was passed unanimously to form an Anti-War Coordinating Committee recognising the need to better coordinate activities in the peace movement. See previous notice.

Thirteen (13) people from 11 different organisations decided to organise a broader meeting on Wednesday, 30 Aug 2006 with a view to better coordination and cooperation.

The details of the next Anti-War Coordinating Meeting meeting are:

Date: Wednesday, 30 August 2006,

Time: 6:30 pm — 8:30pm,

Place: Level 2 Room A,
Council of Unions Building
16 Peel Street, South Brisbane

(Please note the change of venue, AHIMSA house was unavailable on that night).

Please let others you think may be interested know about the meeting.

Ray 0402 236 903 or Ian 07 3398 5215

Boycott the war machine!

mazen-spot-the-difference.jpgEconomic Sanctions against Israel

Israel has imposed military blockades on both Palestine and Lebanon. These blockades prevent aid, food, water, medicines, and electricity getting to the people most affected by Israeli attacks.

In response, various people and groups have proposed economic sanctions on Israel.

I support any proposal that will stop Israeli war crimes and get the Israeli military out of Palestine and Lebanon.

I wish to address this proposal for people’s economic sanctions against Israel. Although I do not think that sanctions ended apartheid in South Africa they did help raise consciousness in the West about what the apartheid regime was doing to black South Africans and their supporters. Yet economic apartheid still exists for the working class in South Africa.

Many Israeli goods are produced by Palestinian workers and workers from other parts of the world. At the same time as Israel steps up its war economy, many in Israel will profit from this economy as Palestinian and Lebanese people grow poorer. The poor people will require aid to rebuild their lives. How can an economic sanctions campaign against Israel be made more effective and to cripple its war economy? Will a refusal to buy Israeli goods on shelves in supermarkets directly attack the Israeli war economy?

Aren’t the British, American and European arms manufacturers helping this war economy along and making huge profits in the process. For example, in July/August 2006 giant airbuses are flying in laser guided bombs from the US through Britain to kill villagers in Lebanon. Some of these arms manufacturers and providers of weapons have subsidiaries here in Australia.

Firms like Raytheon, Boeing and Dupont are but a few. There are also financial services companies and banks that provide funds and services to the US/Israel war machine. There are powerful Israeli lobby groups in Australia which obtain large tax concessions to provide funds to the state of Israel. Mark Leibler, a prominent tax advisor to the rich, has the ear of the Australian Treasurer on these and other matters. Also there are joint US/Australian bases in Australia at places like Pine Gap and Nurrunga which provide communication and military information from satellites directly to the US/Israeli war machine. These US bases should be shut down.

Boycotts against all these firms and agencies involving the withdrawal of labour have to be organised. Workers and their unions must declare these firms and agencies “black”.

Currently Union Aid abroad, APHEDA, provides assistance to Palestinian and Lebanese people. These projects should be supported by workers. Coordination and cooperation with union organisations such as these is necessary to assist the people who are struggling against the Israeli military.


Ian Curr
12 Aug 2006


6:30 pm — 8:30pm
Wednesday, 16 August 2006
Ahimsa House
(see map by clicking on AHIMSA House)
26 Horan Street
, West End Qld 4101

The meeting will be held in the library on the second floor.

There have been several meetings and white-balloons-free-palestine-free-lebanon-rally-12-aug-2006-004.jpgdemonstrations organised by various groups since the bombing and invasion of Lebanon on 13 July 2006.

Some people have been discussing the need for better coordination and organisation of these

Please come to the meeting organised below if you
wish to assist in this aim.

Boycott US/Israeli War Machine!

If you are unable to attend the meeting and wish to leave a comment please do so in the space provided below.

Contact: Ray 0402 236 903 or Ian 07 3398 5215

Rally against War on Lebanon and Palestine

Stop the war on Lebanon and Palestine
Israel out NOW!

12 noon, Saturday 12 August, 2006

Rally Queens Park,
Corner of George and
Elizabeth Sts, Brisbane

March through cityyoung-women-for-freedom-in-lebanon-and-palestine.jpg

Various speakers from Lebanese, Palestinian and community organisations, including:

Phil Monsour, Lebanese-Australian musician
Nora Amath,
Fair Go for Palestine
Greg Jenks, Anglican priest & Friends of Sabeel
Anas Abdalla, Palestinian activist
Sam Watson, Murri leader + Socialist Alliance

Supported by Queensland Palestinian Solidarity Committee, Fair Go for Palestine, Rally for Peace and Nuclear Disarmament, Stop the War Collective, Palestinian and Jewish Unity, Socialist Alliance, Socialist Alternative, Resistance.

Paul 0410 629 088; Ray 0402 236 903; Halim 0422 349 785


Petition for Palestine

petition-to-member-for-brisbane-arch-bevis-to-stop-israeli-attacks-on-lebanon.jpgTo the Honourable the Speaker and Members of the House of Representatives assembled in Parliament. This Petition of concerned citizens draws to the attention of the House the dire circumstances of the people of Palestine…
See petition in the link below:


Please fill out and get signatures from family and friends and send to:

Petitioner: F Waddington PO Box 303 Lutwyche 4030

Qaa Massacre


What to do about Israel’s War Crimes?

Driving through town on Saturday morning my wife tried to express her anger and outrage at the premeditated and serial war crimes being committed by Israel against the Palestinians and Lebanese: crimes against humanity, crimes against environment.

She owned up to feelings of wanting to do violence against the leaders of Israel, and was shocked that her anger was so deep that it could have tumbled over into to violent rage. I suspect that many of us watching the crimes being committed in Lebanon and Palestine – the last three weeks just being the culmination of decades of brutality and wanton destruction and cruelty by Israelis – are also enraged, and surprised by the depth and possibly violent aspects of our impotent rage? I guess this is not too surprising, albeit saddening, when confronted by crimes being committed by a whole nation, whose only response to any resistance to their continuing racist plunder of Palestine is murder, torture, incarceration and collective punishment.

But we have to channel this righteous emotion in other directions away from violence – for, we should not be ashamed to feel anger and outrage when witnessing such crimes, to feel less would be less human and humane. The question is what we do with our anger?

My response, when she asked me what I thought, and I’m also enraged and outraged, was to say that what I looked forward to was:

  • The leaders of Israel being charged with war crimes – using the same Nuremberg statues that were used to prosecute their ancestors’ German oppressors – and when found guilty imprisoned for the remainder of their lives.
  • That Israel should pay full cash compensation to the families of every person killed or wounded by Israel in Palestine during the last decade and more recently in Lebanon.
  • That Israel should be required to pay reparations for and contribute their own labour to the restoration of all the destroyed public and private property in Palestine and Lebanon; including terrestrial and marine ecosystems.
  • The funds for the compensation and reparations should be raised by a special tax on every Israeli family, as these are collective, national crimes.
  • Finally, as with Japan at the end of WWII, the constitution of Israel should be revised so as to prevent it ever again going to war, including the surrender of all its nuclear weapons capabilities.

This was a purely spontaneous response, as I had not previously thought about the details of how we are to bring an end to the ‘state barbarian’ that Israel have become. As, truly, this is a rogue nation steeped in the blood of its neighbour’s children.

I recognise that there are many decent women and men in Israel who have struggled for years against the horrors their country has been committing, and many of them have gone to gaol and many are vilified by their compatriots. It may be that these Israeli peace activists also see the need for the planners and perpetrators of aggression to be bought to justice, because they realise that unless the madmen who rule Israel are stopped, the whole idea of Israel – The Promised Land – will remain a corrupted nightmare.

I guess the chances of Israel’s leaders – past and present – ever being bought to justice is slim. But this does not mean that we should not call for their arraignment before an international tribunal. In the interim, there are some other things we can do.

  • Using and spreading the People’s Economic Sanctions is a way to apply economic pressure on Israel.
  • Calling on the Australian government and all other governments to use the UN General Assembly’s power – where the US, Israel and the UK are only three among 191 voting members – to pass a ‘Uniting for Peace’ resolution to force the UN Security Council to act against Israel; this could include establishing a War Crimes Tribunal.
    • Making contact with your local Member of Parliament and state Senators, and telling them you want the Australian government to take an official stand condemning Israel for war crimes.
      • Writing to the national and local newspapers expressing your outrage and horror at what Israel is doing to the people of Palestine and Lebanon.
        • Write to Israeli peace groups, such as Yesh Gvul ( to express support and solidarity, as they are coming under increasing pressure to abandon their struggle.
          • Using talk-back shows to express your outrage and call on the Australian government to condemn Israeli crimes.

            In peace.
            Sean Foley

            HIROSHIMA DAY PEACE RALLY & MARCH (Brisbane)

            young-women-for-freedom-in-lebanon-and-palestine.jpgNO to WAR and MILITARISATION, NO to a NUCLEAR AUSTRALIA, YES to HUMAN RIGHTS in PEACE AND WAR

            Date: August 6 (Sun)
            Time: 2pm
            Location: QUEENS PARK, Cnr George and Elizabeth Streets, Brisbane

            petition-to-member-for-brisbane-arch-bevis-to-stop-israeli-attacks-on-lebanon.jpg Speakers: Andrew Dettmer – State Secretary, Aust Manufacturing Workers Union, Salam El-Merebi – Al Nisa – Aust Muslim Womens Youth Group, Dave Copeman – AIA Amnesty International Australia, Liz Shields – FOE Friends of the Earth Anti-nuclear, Daniele Viliunas – Qld Co-Ordinator MAPW Medical Assoc for Prevention of War, Kim Stewart – Peace Convergence.

            Un Agencies report on links between Israel’s war crimes in Gaza and Lebanon

            Statement on Gaza by United Nations Humanitarian Agencies working in the occupied Palestinian territory

            nve00002.png3 August 2006 – The United Nations humanitarian agencies working in the occupied Palestinian territory are deeply alarmed by the impact continuing violence is having on civilians and civilian infrastructure in Gaza, which has resulted in a sharp decline in the humanitarian situation facing 1.4 million people, more than half of them children. We are concerned that with international attention focusing on Lebanon, the tragedy in Gaza is being forgotten. We estimate that since 28 June, 175 Palestinians have been killed, including approximately 40 children and eight women, and over 620 injured in the Gaza Strip. One IDF soldier has been killed and 25 Israelis have been injured, including 11 Israelis injured by homemade rockets fired from the Gaza Strip. Palestinians have fired on average between 8-9 homemade rockets per day towards Israel (319 in total) and the Israeli military has fired on average 200-250 artillery shells per day into the Gaza Strip and conducted at least 220 aerial bombings. The latest IDF incursion in the area around the Gaza Airport overnight has left eight Palestinians dead, including a 12 year-old girl and 20 injured. UNRWA estimates that at least 475 people have fled their homes in the area and are now being sheltered in an UNRWA school in nearby Rafah.

            nve00001.pngUnder international humanitarian law, according to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, all parties to the conflict are obliged to protect civilians during hostilities. Parties must exercise precaution and respect the principle of proportionality in all military operations to prevent unnecessary suffering among the civilian population.

            The shelling of sites with alleged military significance that result invariably in the killing of civilians, among them an increasing number of children, cannot be justified. All parties are urged to bear in mind that international law demands accountability and that individual criminal responsibility may be engaged for violations of international humanitarian law.

            The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) reports an increasing number of displaced Palestinians as a result of the continuous shelling and violence in the Gaza Strip. UNRWA is currently sheltering 1,345 people from 289 families in four schools in the northern district of Jabalia. Almost all are refugees, fleeing the relentless shelling of the eastern edge of the neighboring town of Beit Hanoun and the area around the Al Nada housing estate in Beit Lahia. In addition to shelter UNRWA is providing the families with daily food parcels and medical care.

            According to The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) UN facilities as well as large tracts of agricultural land have been damaged during continuing IDF ground incursions. The United Nations office, including OCHA’s in Gaza was ransacked by Palestinian demonstrators on 30 July 2006. In addition, access and movement in and out of Gaza remain key concerns. While the Karni crossing has opened for humanitarian supplies and some commercial imports, it remains closed for exports. In addition, the Rafah crossing for passengers has remained closed, and the Erez crossing opens intermittently. These closures have significantly affected the ability of Gazans to obtain essential medical care not available in Gaza. OCHA reports that the Israeli security forces have instituted a new policy: telephoning Palestinian families to evacuate their homes before launching air strikes. This phenomenon is causing panic to entire Palestinian neighbourhoods. In addition, Palestinian households have been receiving just 6-8 hours of electric supply per day since the Israeli bombing of Gaza’s only electric power plant.

            nve00004.pngThe World Food Programme (WFP) reports that the shelling and violence is not only harming agriculture, but also contributing to a further reduction in people’s purchasing power, prompting increased dependency on food aid. The main staples for Palestinians – wheat flour and sugar – remain in short supply with prices 15 per cent and 33 per cent respectively higher than in January this year. The harvest is being disrupted by problems at the Ministry of Agriculture, where staff have not been paid since January, combined with considerable losses of land, assets and a lack of fertilizers. To support the nutrition of the most vulnerable non refugee population in Gaza during at this critical time, WFP is increasing the number of people it feeds from 160,000 people to 220,000 people monthly.

            nve00005.pngThe World Health Organization (WHO) reports that the targeting of Gaza’s vital infrastructures, particularly the destruction of the only domestic power plant, has triggered a chain reaction of lack of power, scarcity of fuel for generators and water shortage, thus causing a serious threat to people’s health and harming the functioning of the entire health system. Provisional measures to avert the crisis are being set up by the local institutions and the international community.

            The “Temporary International Mechanism” – among others – shall address emergency needs of the health sector, providing medical supplies, fuel, and allowances for health workers. Of further concern is the lack of access to health care in Egypt and Jordan due to Rafah border total and prolonged closure. WHO continues monitoring the situation to identify early warning signs of crisis in the health system and health status of the Palestinian people.

            The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is concerned about declining incomes in the farming and fishing sectors. With the recent imposition of severe fishing restrictions, boats are not leaving port, thus crippling the industry (as well as the income of some 35,000 people) and resulting in the absence of fish on the local market. Declining cash incomes and dwindling international aid is impairing the ability of producers to acquire seeds, fertilizer, spare parts for greenhouses, irrigation facilities and fishing boat maintenance. There is an acute emergency due to the lack of fuel to operate water wells. Many orchards and fruit trees could be lost for ever, while the shortage of vegetables may exacerbate nutritional imbalances.

            According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) some 838,000 Palestinian children living in Gaza are bearing the brunt of disproportionate shelling and attacks. Shortages and closures make it virtually impossible to deliver quality care, while simultaneously fueling the conditions for outbreaks of communicable disease, which hits children hardest.

            Of the approximately 40 Palestinian children killed in Gaza in since 28 June, almost a quarter were under 10 years old. Since the beginning of 2006, 69 children have died due to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, including one Israeli child. Given the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, UNICEF is stepping up its support in health, education, water and sanitation, psychosocial counseling, and recreational activities for adolescents and younger children.

            The United Nations Population Fund, (UNFPA) reports that the shelling and violence in Gaza has impaired the access of civilians, especially women, to life-saving services such as emergency obstetric care. UNFPA is deeply concerned about the recent nve00006.pngshelling that damaged health facilities and restricted access to reproductive health services, especially ante-natal and post-natal care. Further, access for health care providers to reach their place of work has been jeopardized, particularly in areas of heavy shelling and military closure. Since the beginning of the violence, UNFPA has continuously supported procurement of essential items for the delivery of health care, including disposables, supplies, drugs and equipment to the Ministry of Health, particularly those related to maternal and women’s health.

            The United Nations Development Fund for Women, (UNIFEM) is extremely alarmed over the situation in Gaza Strip. Ever since the beginning of the Israeli latest incursion over Gaza Strip which started at on 28 June 2006, Palestinians have been a target for the Israeli army’s multiple shelling and bombing which resulted in 175 people being killed of which at least eight are women. Being a vulnerable group, women have lost their own lives, their husbands, brothers, fathers and children’s lives and have been badly injured and traumatized; in addition to the destruction of people’s homes, sources of income and infrastructure. With the continuation of this situation, the devastation of women’s lives and their psychological wellbeing will become permanent and any efforts to redeem these effects will become futile. As a rapid response, UNIFEM has launched an emergency intervention program of outreach psychological counseling for women across Gaza with the help of the Gaza Community mental health program. The Fund will also launch another food security initiative for rural women to lend a helping hand in this hard economic situation

            These facts speak for themselves. Closures must be lifted, bearing in mind Israel’s legitimate security concerns. Gaza must be given back the capacity to export its goods. Both the Palestinian rocket attacks from Gaza and the disproportionate shelling by the IDF must stop. The United Nations stands firmly by its commitments to uphold the dignity of the Israelis and the Palestinians- and the right of both sides to live in peace and security.

            Proposal for Economic Sanctions against Israel

            Boycott Israel

            People’s Economic Sanctions


            Israel has just invaded Lebanon, again – the first time was in 1982. It has also killed close to 1,000 people, almost all civilians, during three weeks of bombing and shelling (see map). These attacks have occurred in all parts of Lebanon. Israel is now even more than before brutally oppressing the Palestinian people locked up in Gaza and the West Bank.


            To reinstitute a form of people power based on a principle used by powerful states to punish poor nonconformists – so called Rogue States: the People’s Economic Sanction. The means for isolating and refusing Israeli trade, services and selected goods.

            This will be a People’s Sanction, brought about by a refusal to economically engage with Israel. If groups want to enlarge this so as to include other types of sanction or boycotts (sports, cultural, academic whatever) they are free to do so, but the imperative is to act fast and to let all the media know that there is Peoples Economic Sanction being mounted.

            Things You Can Do

            Identify major Israeli made products and services available on your town/city/region and refuse to buy them. Make list of Israeli products and services and circulate them in your community – ask family and friends not to buy them. The number of products is too long to list, so use the Bar Code Country Code prefix below to identify Israeli products.

            The ISRAELI Country Code prefix number is 729. Look for this number and refuse to buy any product with this prefix number.

            See word file below for fulldetails of the proposal including a map of the Israeli bombing of Lebanon:


    shows the map of the widespread bombing of towns throughout Lebanon.

            A Just and Lasting Peace?

            Look Israel – a state without borders!

            The ALP policy on Palestine calls for a “just and lasting peace” in the Middle East.

            Which “just and lasting peace” policy is former ALP shadow Foreign Minister now leader of the opposition, Kevin Rudd, reciting when he wrote in this letter dated 27 July 2006:

            We need to see a ceasefire which involves Hezbollah ceasing its rocket attacks on Israel, the return of Israeli troops that have been captured by Hezbollah and Israel itself ceasing all hostilities.”

            Note that Rudd does not call for an immediate ceasefire nor does he condemn anywhere the killing of 600 Lebanese and Palestinian civilians from 13 to 31 July 2006 by Israeli military and thousands more either lost or injured.

            Which “just and lasting peace” is Kim Beazley referring to when he stated that:

            “Australian soldiers were sent to fight in Iraq. The Howard Government’s neglect and turning of a blind eye (in the AWB scandal) meant that we funded their enemies.

            What about Beazley showing concern for the Iraqi people who needed wheat to prevent starvation brought on by the ALP Government (1991-1996) sending Australian Naval ships to enforce brutal economic sanctions against Iraq. The sanctions were enforced by the ALP government since the 1991 gulf war to which the Hawke ALP government sent combat troops to support US invasion. Beazley was Defence Minister during part of that time. What future lies ahead of him?
            What of the “just and lasting peace” sought by ALP Prime Minister Bob Hawke who supported Israeli occupation of Arab lands in Palestine, Egypt, Syria, and Jordan before and after the ‘Yom Kippur’ war.

            What ‘just and lasting peace’ did Whitlam, Hawke, and Beazley wish when they allowed US bases in Australia to be used to support US and Israeli aggression in the middle east.

            In government, the ALP has allowed American personnel to feed information to the US (and therfore Israel) from Pine Gap and North-West Cape joint defence bases (See Whitlam Institute @

            What of the “just and lasting peace” called for by the ALP opposition whip, Michael Danby, when he tried to prevent Melbourne University Press publishing the book by Antony Lowenstein “My Israel Question” which challenges Israeli occupation of Palestine.

            Ever since the 1940s ALP governments blindly supported the ‘solutions’ of the US and Israel in the Middle East.

            If ALP policy is for a “just and lasting peace” in the Middle East based on Israeli occupation suported by the US, then the ALP has no right to govern — especially given statements made by its foreign policy spokesperson and recently elected leader.

            Ian Curr
            An Angry Australian, writing after the shelling of Southern Lebanon by the Israeli military.