[Latest News: Professor Frazer says he is not attending the Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce lunch … he will be in Canberra on this day.
Strangely, Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce website claims Frazer is a keynote speaker at the event advertised?
And what about the others listed to speak :- Prof. Frank Gannon, Director and CEO, QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute; Glenn Keys, Executive Director, Aspen Medical?]
On 21st October UQ Professor Ian Frazer, co-developer of the HPV vaccine, is advertised to participate in a “Medical Research Business lunch” with the Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce (AICC).
As a member of the scientific community dealing with human health Professor Frazer must be concerned about the health impacts that ongoing discrimination, occupation and war have on Palestinians living in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza.
Please join Justice for Palestine in a letter writing blitz to let Professor Frazer know that his participation in an AICC event falls foul of the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) campaign initiated by over 170 Palestinian civil society groups in 2005.
Please copy/paste and/or adapt the letter below and send it via any/all of the following ways.
* email: i.frazer[at]uq.edu.au
* snail mail:
Professor Ian Frazer
School of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences The University of Queensland
Brisbane QLD 4072 Australia
“Dear Professor Ian Frazer,
I am writing to you as a recognised member of the Australian and international scientific communities to respectfully ask you to withdraw from participating in the “Medical Research Business lunch” with the Australia Israel Chamber of Commerce (AICC) on the 21st October, 2015.
In 2005 over 170 Palestinian civil society groups initiated the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions campaign (BDS) that calls for people of conscience worldwide to “…launch broad boycotts, implement divestment initiatives, and to demand sanctions against Israel, until Palestinian rights are recognised in full compliance with international law.” (http://www.bdsmovement.net/bdsintro accessed 28/8/15).
The AICC, according to its own description, is a key player in trade relations between Australia and Israel. The AICC “…was established in the mid 1950’s… to promote the export of Israeli goods and services to Australia [and, since the 1970s], trade between the two countries has continued to grow and the range of items traded has dramatically expanded… [The AICC] vigorously promotes bilateral trade through inbound and outbound trade missions [with] fifteen of the top 25 companies in Australia… currently [being] members or sponsors of the AICC.” (http://www.aicc.org.au/pages.cfm?id=24 accessed 28/8/15).
As an academic intimately involved with questions of human health I am sure you can appreciate the devastating health consequences that Palestinians, living with ongoing discrimination, occupation and war, have to endure. The Palestinian death toll from Israel’s most recent attack on Gaza (July 2014, “Operation Protective Edge”) left over 2,000 Palestinians dead, a large number of whom were children.
Aside from death by war, daily healthcare is severely restricted for Palestinians who have their every move controlled by Israel. To access standard and specialist healthcare Palestinians are forced to navigate Israeli bureaucracy to get permits to enter and exit Palestinian territory; wait for hours at Israeli checkpoints; and bear the economic and psychological cost of occupation and all it entails. The requirement to leave Palestinian territories for healthcare comes because healthcare facilities and infrastructure is insufficient or lacking inside Palestinian territories. This being a result of the blockade (in Gaza), the Wall (in the West Bank) and other “security measures”. Unsurprisingly mental ill-health is a major problem. (See http://www.middleeasteye.net/in-depth/features/cancer-palestine-children-fight-disease-and-occupation-1373218687, http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/country-region/occupied-palestinian-territory, http://www.sciencediplomacy.org/perspective/2013/health-challenges-in-palestine, http://journal-neo.org/2015/08/18/dangerous-trends-in-palestinian-health-caused-by-occupation-unrwa/)
It is in this context that I am asking you to withdraw from participating in the AICC lunch on 21st October, 2015. This refusal would mean a refusal to participate in the normalisation of Israel’s continuing, brutal occupation, and it would be a powerful act in solidarity with Palestinians and the BDS campaign. Please join other “people of conscience”, academics included, who have refused to be complicit in Israel’s crimes. You can read more about them here http://pacbi.org/index.php
Thank you for your time,