Cry Freedom against Apartheid in Israel

“We are the black people of the middle east” — Arab youth in film “Sling Shot Hip Hop”

“if you don’t leash that mad dog, it will bite everyone” – Omar Baghouti, founding member of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel.

Palestinians have resisted occupation since the United Nations mandated the state of Israel in 1948.

In Australia this resistance went largely unheeded. That is, until Saturday December 27, 2008, when US-Israel launched an attack on helpless Palestinians in Gaza.

Still there are apologists for Israel throughout mainstream political parties and the media in Australia.

Mass Murdoch is at it again – sprouting Israeli propaganda
Strong Israeli bias, so prevalent in The Australian newspaper, is exemplified in this op-ed piece Green foolish to liken Israel and apartheid .

The article deals with the Sydney Marrickville Council’s support for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israeli apartheid (BDS for short).

The piece abounds with the usual historical lies and adding that there are no parallels between Israel and Afrikaans apartheid in South Africa (1929-1994).

I recognise the parallels because I have lived most of my life in an apartheid state – Queensland. Aboriginal people are treated differently to white Australians like myself. For example, police who kill aboriginal people are always exonerated e.g. Snr Sgt Hurley.

Apartheid is an Afrikaans word ‘apartheid’ meaning ‘apartness’ or ‘separateness’.

Israel was set up in historic Palestine which shares an ancient culture with its neighbours. Arab Jews had lived for many years as part of this culture until the arrival of Zionism.

Israel has created racial segregation using incarceration, a wall, labour exploitation to name some. This is similar to ‘apartheid’ introduced in 1929 in South Africa.

For example, Israel exploits the labour of the Palestinian people in the same way ‘apartheid’ exploited black South African workers.

Israel imports and exploits labour from countries e.g.Sudan. So did Afrikaans apartheid.

Israel goes on military adventures in places like Gaza, bombing and killing civilians.

The Afrikaans in South Africa had ‘pass laws’ that restricted entry to white areas by black south africans. Israel restricts the passage of people with check points and the apartheid wall.  Many people in Gaza (set up as an open air prison after the ’48 war) have never been able to visit their brothers, sisters, cousins on the West Bank (occupation set up after the ’67 war).

The Afrikaans government of South Africa sent troops to fight wars against national liberation struggles in the Frontline States states like Angola, Namibia, Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe. Since its inception in 1948 Israel has fought wars against Arab states in Palestine, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Syria, Iraq

Israel’s ‘democracy’ is designed to displace Palestinians from their villages and towns. During al Nakbar (the terror) in 1948 Israeli terrorist militias (Stern and Haganah) drove Palestinians from their villages.  From 1929-1994 Afrikaans apartheid drove Black South Africans from their homelands and placed people into Bantustans.

It is little wonder that if you go to Gaza the chants of the people are for “Freedom!”

This call to throw out the Zionist elite is little different to the chants of “Freedom!” in Iraq. Freedom from occupation and military intervention. Nor is it dissimilar to the calls made for “Freedom!” in Soweto in South Africa. Or for that matter in Bahrain, Egypt, Syria, and Yemen.

Unity has come to the Arab Street – and this is something that will overcome Israeli apartheid in the same way black South Africans overcame Afrikaans Apartheid.

One of the founders of Israel, David Ben-Gurion, set out to create a situation like that which existed in Afrikaans apartheid, where Israelis are the elite, the owners and the rulers, and the Palestinians are the workers. Yet he cloaked his aims in social democracy setting up kibbutz to welcome people from all over the world to visit UN mandated occupation of Palestine.

David Ben-Gurion wanted Arabs to do all kinds of work, easy and hard, skilled and unskilled, while Israelis became landlords of Palestine and other Arab territories e.g Sharm elSheikh, a sort Gold Coast haven for Tel Aviv businessmen.

Most recently Palestinians in Gaza have been under an Israeli siege since 2007. The siege has restricted access to food, water, medicine and other necessities and is causing serious problems for the people in the coastal enclave. See Egyptian activists to break Gaza siege

So this week there is a recognition of  the need to struggle against Israeli apartheid and a number of activities have been planned for Brisbane.

Ian Curr
26 March 2011

Israel Apartheid Week

Mon March 28 – Uni of Qld

Film screening: Sling Shot Hip Hop
Uni of Queensland
Monday March 28
Start times: 1pm and 3pm
Innes Room, 4th floor
UQ Union Complex (building 21)

Slingshot Hip Hop is an 80 minute high energy political documentary about Palestinian Hip Hop. It explores the genesis of hip hop in Palestine and gives voice to the politically charged conditions that the young Palestinian rappers and their fellow Palestinians engage with every day. Focusing on both groups and individuals, film maker, Jackie Reem Salloum takes her viewers on a journey that explores poverty, racism, colonialism, occupation and apartheid, as well as women’s rights, national identity and nationhood. Read more about the documentary:

Tues March 29 – Griffith Uni, (Mt Gravatt)

Film screening: Sling Shot Hip Hop
12pm, M10_1.30. Free entry

Slingshot Hip Hop is an 80 minute high energy political documentary about Palestinian Hip Hop. It explores the genesis of hip hop in Palestine and gives voice to the politically charged conditions that the young Palestinian rappers and their fellow Palestinians engage with every day. Focusing on both groups and individuals, film maker, Jackie Reem Salloum takes her viewers on a journey that explores poverty, racism, colonialism, occupation and apartheid, as well as women’s rights, national identity and nationhood. Read more about the documentary:

Wed March 30 – Griffith Uni, (Nathan)

Film screening: Sling Shot Hip Hop
12pm, NT2_0.03. Free entry

Slingshot Hip Hop is an 80 minute high energy political documentary about Palestinian Hip Hop. It explores the genesis of hip hop in Palestine and gives voice to the politically charged conditions that the young Palestinian rappers and their fellow Palestinians engage with every day. Focusing on both groups and individuals, film maker, Jackie Reem Salloum takes her viewers on… a journey that explores poverty, racism, colonialism, occupation and apartheid, as well as women’s rights, national identity and nationhood. Read more about the documentary: .

Thursday March 31

A Michael Weatherhead documentary

Return to Gaza

Return to Gaza provides deep personal insight from Fetah Sabawi, a Palestinian-Australian who travelled to Gaza in the hopes of founding a music school for refugees just prior to the ill-fated Palestinian elections in 2006. The film provides a revealing insight into the daily lives of Palestinians amongst the huge walls, check-points and constant military presence.  This screening will feature a discussion with director, Michael Weatherhead and Samah Sabawi – Australian-Palestinian writer, co-author of Journey to Peace in Palestine and a former executive director of the National Council on Canada Arab Relations.

Brisbane premiere screening:
Thursday March 31.
7pm, Schonell Cinema, University of Queensland
[UQ Map at]

Tickets: $10/$5 concession

Documentary preview:


Book early! Email: Phone: 0400 720 757

Sat April 2 – QUT (Kelvin Grove)

Teach in: Apartheid Is real
Solidarity with Palestine: building the campaign against apartheid Israel
1-5pm, Building Z2, Musk Avenue (near the corner of Kelvin Grove Rd)
There will be a break with afternoon tea provided.


Samah Sabawi: Australian-Palestinian writer: co-author of Journey to Peace in Palestine and a former executive director of the National Council on Canada Arab Relations.
Bob Anderson: Indigenous elder and participant in the anti-apartheid campaign against South Africa
Phil Monsour: founder of Australian Artists Against Apartheid and organiser of Brisbane Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions campaign against Israel

After Israeli Apartheid Week:

Artists Against Apartheid concert

Mardie Lumsden and the Rising Sea
Phil Monsour band
Ofa Fanaika (from Chocolate Strings)
Spoken word performances & more
MCs: Eliza & Thomas from 4ZZZ’s Paradigm Shift

Saturday April 16, 7pm
at the Globe Theatre, 220 Brunswick St
Fortitude Valley

Tickets: $10/5 concession ($25 solidarity price)

For more information, contact Justice for Palestine
Phone: 0400 720 757

6 thoughts on “Cry Freedom against Apartheid in Israel

  1. Randwick Council motion says:

    Councillors at Randwick passed the following motion 9 votes to 3. [Editor’s Note – there was a recission motion put by the Greens yet support for BDS is NSW Greens policy. The Greens councillors at Randwick are Councillor Hughes, West Ward; Councillor Matson, Mayor; Councillor Woodsmith, North Ward. The following is taken from ORDINARY COUNCIL MEETING TUESDAY 22 MARCH 2011 Randwick Council

    RESOLUTION: (Smith/Procopiadis) that Council:

    1. Acknowledge that Australian Foreign Policy is the responsibility of the Commonwealth Government and not Local Government.

    2. Note that Marrickville Council has adopted a policy of boycotting all goods made in Israel and any sporting, academic institutions, government or institutional cultural exchanges.

    3. Request SSROC to immediately remove Marrickville Council Staff from SSROC procurement tender panels that are considering tender submissions involving Israeli companies, products or services until Marrickville rescinds its current procurement policy, which is non-competitive.

    4. Councillors acknowledge their intention not to approve any SSROC procurement tenders that considered tender submissions involving Israeli companies, products or services where a Marrickville Council staff member sat on the procurement panel until such time as the policy is rescinded.

    5. Continue to practice full and open competition policy (competitive procurement) so as to deliver the best value for money to Randwick residents and ratepayers.

    6. Joins with the United Nations, the Australian Federal and State Governments and interfaith leaders in refusing to support the BDS campaign and in opposing all forms of religious discrimination and anti-Semitism.

    7. Write to the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC) asking it to investigate the effect the current Marrickville Council boycott on Israeli sporting, academic, government and cultural institutions has on Israeli citizens and people of Israeli heritage living, working or studying in Marrickville.

    8. Write to the NSW Greens candidates for Coogee, Heffron and Maroubra requesting to know whether they support the BDS campaign and whether, if elected, they will seek to lawfully influence Randwick City Council procurement policy.

    9. Write to the Mayor of Marrickville to express our disappointment in their decision, to indicate what a disappointment that this decision has been to our residents and to respectfully request that they rescind this decision.

  2. Everyone is welcome to attend this special forum, featuring a panel of seasoned activists who will analyse Israel’s escalation of apartheid policies and practices and explain how students in Australia can contribute to the growing movement building on campuses around the world to hold Israel to account for its human rights assaults on the Palestinian people.


    Sarah Irving, a freelance writer who work has appeared in Electronic Intifada, Guardian Online and New Internationalist. She was co-author (with Sharyn Lock) of Gaza: Beneath the Bombs (Pluto 2010).

    Samah Sabawi is a Palestinian, a former Executive Director for the National Council on Canada-Arab Relations, and is the newly appointed human rights advocate for Australians for Palestine.

    Phil Monsour is a State Councillor in the Queensland Teachers Union, as well as a musician and activist.

    Hosted by Australians for Palestine and Students for Palestine as part of Israeli Apartheid Week.

    Halal food and drink will be available.

    Phil Monsour will perform songs and music in support of Palestine

  3. My goodness, what a bunch of loony left hate filled idiots, who wouldn’t know the truth if it hit them in the face!!

    Your take on the Israel/Arab situation is so wrong that I wouldn’t know where to begin. Israel is the only democratic country in the region and the only one that affords its citizens freedom.

    I was directed here so that I could see what a bunch of nuts you are and words fail me

    “For the complete minutes of the Randwick Council 22 march 2011”
    WRONG…………’s the business agenda , not the minutes

    The loony left Greens tried to rescind their motion the day before the meeting, as they knew they had egg on their faces. They realised the ground swell against them..However they couldn’t

    The meeting was a joke. The Greens made complete and utter idiots of themselves.. so much so it has been widely reported in the UK and the US

    The behaviour of the Greens, and in particular that of the Mayor. Murray Matson was abominable, childlike and disrespectful to say the least. He was anything but dignified, was rude and insulting beyond words

    The constant mumbles and complaints from him were inexcusable , as were those of his fellow Greens .

    What was witnessed the other night in that Council chamber, was a disgrace and embarrassment to Australia

    The Randwick Greens should be thoroughly ashamed of their childlike, rude, insulting behaviour. Though that does appear to be the other qualification needed to be a Green. The first being the ability to lie, as has been shown by an ousted Green candidate

    Have the NSW Greens sunk so low, that they would sacrifice the high political standards of this great country of ours, to further their own ends.?

    Oh and at this point in time, both Woollahra and Waverly Councils will be following with a like motion. No doubt to be followed by the other Councils in the SSROC

  4. Ray Bergmann says:

    Media Disinformation: The Protest Movement in Syria
    Western Media Coverage of the Events in Daraa
    by Michel Chossudovsky
    Global Research, March 28, 2011

    What the AP and Guardian Reports fail to mention. 
    1. Seven policemen were killed according to the Lebanese and Israeli reports, which suggests that several of the demonstrators were not demonstrators but armed gunmen who were shooting at the police.

    2. The AP and Guardian reports do not mention the terrorist acts committed by several demonstrators including the torching of the courthouse and the Baath party headquarters as well as the attacks on the communications headquarters and the hospital. These occurrences are acknowledged by both the Israeli and Lebanese reports. 
    The two Western reports convey the impression that the demonstrators in Daraa were peaceful and non-violent as in Egypt. The fact that there were demonstrators with firearms involved in an armed attack on government buildings including acts of arson is not mentioned.   

    The protests took place in a small town of 75,500 inhabitants within 10 km of the Jordanian border [the AP report states that Daraa has 300,000, that is the population of the province not the city].

    The press reports do not address the important question.

    Who was behind the acts of violence in Daraa?

  5. Ray Bergmann says:
    Saturday, April 16, 2011

    Remembering Oded Pilavsky – 1932-2011

    In June 1967, the occupation regime in the Palestinian territories was only a few weeks old. Most citizens of Israel were still in the grip of nationalist euphoria at the military victory and admiration for the victorious army (including, it must be noted, also the author of these lines). But even in those days there were people – a small group, and at the time very isolated – who came out in protest at the newborn occupation and condemned it in graffiti written at night on the walls of Tel Aviv.

    “The Socialist Organization in Israel” was the official name by which they called themselves, those pioneers of the anti- occupation struggle, but the media – which often attacked and condemned them – usually called them “Matzpen” (“Compass”), the name of the paper which they published with considerable effort and sold on the streets (an act often involving a very real risk). .

    One of the most prominent among this group was Oded Pilavsky, whom I always saw in demonstrations against the occupation during all the years in which I participated in them – and who had participated in a wide variety of demonstrations and struggles, long before there was an occupation, long before I was born. Last week, his brave and generous.heart stopped beating

    From the article which he wrote about his life and his long and complicated political path, I chose to bring two excerpts, which are still highly relevant today.

    Taking possession of “the abandoned harvest”

    Kibbutz Mashavim (now “Mashavey Sadeh”) of which I was a member belonged to Hakibutz HaMeuhad (United Kibbutz Movement), and there was a strong Left Zionist atmosphere. At the celebration marking two years of the Kibbutz’s foundation we placed, at the corner of the hall where the celebration took place, a large wooden box inscribed with “Donations to support the Sailors’ Strike”. Representatives of two Bedouin tribes who lived nearby, Abu-Rgayyek and A-Sana, were also invited to take part in the celebration. They were given seat at the front of the hall, near the stage. (…)

    Soon after that, at the end of the planting season in 1950, the Israeli Army expelled several Bedouin tribes from the Tel-Arad region across the Jordanian border. And that was not an isolated case. At the Negev Heights, other Bedouin tribes were deported across the border with Egypt. I was called upon to take part in what was termed “Harvesting the abandoned fields” near Tel – Arad. My participation in that act affected me deeply and sharpened my perception of the Zionist practice of ethnic cleansing.

    That is how it was: The winter of 1950-1951 was exceptionally blessed with rain. The barley which the Bedouins had sown before their expulsion yielded a magnificent crop whose like is seen in this part of our country only once in a decade. It was the kibbutzniks, led by the army’s Negev command, who immediately took possession and started harvesting the flourishing high corn, fruit of the labor of the Bedouin Arabs who had been expelled from the country after sowing. A tent camp was established there, for several weeks, to provide housing and meals to those who industriously carried out this task.” Each Kibbutz was assigned a plot to be harvested. The barley grain was taken by trucks to the market. The proceeds distributed among the participating kibbutzim in proportion to their contribution t o the common effort of the stolen (“abandoned”). harvest.

    I was among the porters, taking up with great effort the full sacks of barley and transporting them from the fields to the camp and then onto the trucks to the market. Suddenly, in the middle of loading, the scales fell from my eyes and I finally started to comprehend what was happening there. A collectivist bunch imbued with Socialist ideals, equipped with the best of agricultural machinery purchased on credit from the Jewish Agency, was reaping- robbing the fruit of the labor of poor Arabs who had been expelled from their land and their country.(…)

    Who am I?

    Toward any anti-Semite, I am a Jew

    To adherents of Greater Israel, a Palestinian

    To white supremacists, I am black

    In face of rampant Israeli nationalism, I am a diaspora Jew

    To Jewish megalomania, a gentile

    For European Neo-Nazis, let me be an Arab, a Turk and a Kurd

    To Xenophobes, a migrant worker

    To women haters, a feminist

    In the presence of aristocrats, I am a commoner

    And with smug generals, a conscientious objector

    Oded Pilavsky, 2002

    Oded Pilavsky had no funeral. He chose to donate his body to science. Instead, his family and friends will hold a memorial evening on Wednesday, April 27, at 7:30 pm, at Beit Sokolov, 4 Kaplan Street, Tel Aviv.

    Posted by Adam Keller אדם קלר at 7:46 AM


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