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Public meeting: Palestine today & the BDS campaign explained

Justice for Palestine public meeting:

Palestine today & the BDS campaign explained

Come along to this meeting to hear updates about the situation in Palestine and the background to the campaign for boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against apartheid Israel.

Find out about:
◆ The history of the Israeli occupation of Arab lands and the impact of the Apartheid wall in continuing the theft and colonisation of Palestinian land.
◆ The situation for Palestinian citizens of Israel where apartheid laws limit Palestinian rights to political participation, land, housing, education, diversity of culture, language and religion and due process.
◆ The struggle for the right of return for Palestinian refugees. There are 5 million Palestinian refugees throughout the world – the highest number of refugees from any single country. Many generations of people have been forced to live their entire lives in refugee camps since the brutal expulsion of 750,000 Palestinian people from their homes and land in 1948.

Wednesday September 14, 6:30pm
TLC Building (2nd floor)
16 Peel St, South Brisbane

Phone: 0400 720 757, 0401 586 923.
Email: contact@justiceforpalestinebrisbane.org
www.justiceforpalestinebrisbane.org

JfP meeting sept 14.jpg
JfP meeting sept 14.jpg

One response to “Public meeting: Palestine today & the BDS campaign explained

  1. Decision on BDS action deferred till after National Symposium

    Twenty-one people attended this public meeting organised by Justice for Palestine at the TLC in Brisbane.

    After presentations described below and some discussion there was a motion put to begin planning a BDS action for 29 October 2011. This motion was lost (11-5). Campaign tactics will be further discussed at a National Symposium in Melbourne on Saturday, 24 September 2011 after a report from the RAFEEF ZIADAH, Palestinian Boycott National Committee secretariat member.

    In the debate there was discussion of recent BDS protest at Max Brenner and the ‘Face-off’ with right wings groups (whether they were fascist or not). See article by Jeff Sparrow on the Drum.

    Also there was mention of the Marrickville Council decision to rescind its action on BDS — it was argued that this was a failure because of lack of mobilising grass roots support for the council’s action.

    Paralells with the strike at the university of Qld in 1971 against the Sprinbok Tour were drawn – it was argued that BDS does not have the organisation to bring the level of mass support that the boycott campaign against South African Apartheid had.

    Topics covered by speakers at tonight’s meeting were:
    1) Recent history of the situation in Palestine, particularly in Gaza and the West Bank. This was an excellent summary but would have liked to hear more about the occupied territories (but we all leave some things out don’t we?). There was no mention of the importance of the Golan Heights, part of Syria, occupied by Israel during the six-day war. The Golan is a rocky plateau of great strategic importance. It is/was a big money spinner for Israel with its tourism and Kibbutz. Its occupation gives Israel control of the plateau in the north and the Sea of Galilee and Yarmuk River in the south.
    The Apartheid wall was discussed. However the ruling by the International Court in the Hague making the wall illegal was not mentioned. Nor were the courageous actions of the villagers of Bil’in in forcing the Israeli government to re-route the Apartheid wall away from their village lands. Five lives were lost in this non-violent resistance struggle. Can this campaign continue despite the loss of lives for relatively small gains of land? Mention was made of Palestinians losing their lives in Israel during the IDF bombing of Lebanon in 2006 because they were excluded from air raid shelters.

    2) The lack of democratic rights in Palestine. Palestinian citizens of Israel do not have the same rights as Israelis. They are discriminated against in housing, jobs, right of access to their land and rights of assembly, and legal rights. Palestinian citizens make up 20% of the population of Israel, yet 70% of the people in Israeli jails are Palestinian (just like Australian Aboriginal people, sic]

    3) The right of return for Palestinian refugees. Some maps showing the exodus of Palestinians to neighbouring countries after Al Nakba in 1948 – most went to Jordan. A second exodus occurred after the six day war when the West Bank (of the Jordan River) was occupied.
    Mention was made of the march of thousands during the Commemoration of the Nakba this year (2011). Refugees marched from Lebanon, Syria and Jordan into Palestine. Lives were lost.

    It is interesting that there was no discussion of ‘orientalism’ as explained by Edward Said – the refusal by Israel and its partners (US, Australia, Britain) to permit Palestinians to negotiate on their own behalf – that is the refusal to permit self determination. Orientalism says that only European solutions exist in Arab (Oriental) politics. For example, it says that only Western elites who possess the intellectual and cultural sophistication necessary to solve Arab problems (UN resolutions on Palestine, sic), the Arabs are not capable. Equally Arabs elites who adopt European cultural and political superiority are orientalist.

    4) BDS campaign tactics. The international nature of the campaign was stressed. There was brief rundown of the campaign so far in Brisbane. Two Israeli firms have been targeted in Brisbane — ‘Seacrets’ and ‘Max Brenner’. Seacrets steals minerals from the Dead Sea for cosmetics and is staffed in Brisbane by Israeli citizens (including IDF personnel and ex-IDF members). Max Brenner is part of an Israeli-owned International food distribution company, the Strauss group which supports specific Israeli army units involved in the massacre of Palestinians.

    [See also notes in article at https://workersbushtelegraph.com.au/2011/09/02/public-meeting-palestine-today-the-bds-campaign-explained/ ]

    Also on Friday, 23 September 2011 Just Peace is organising Public lecture ‘Moving towards a democracy in Israel/Palestine’

    Ian Curr
    15 September 2011

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