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JUSTICE FOR PALESTINE BRISBANE
PALESTINE BDS ACTIVISTS CRASH BEATTIE HILTON LUNCH FOR SUPPORTING APARTHEID ISRAEL
Peter Beattie was branded a hypocrite today (29/7/2016) by Palestine solidarity activists who pointed out that speaking at an Australia Israel Chamber of Commerce event was implicit support for the apartheid state, a stance in direct contrast to Beattie’s arrest 40-odd years ago opposing South African apartheid. The Australia Israel Chamber of Commerce is the peak body for promoting trade between Australia and Israel, a prime target for the 11 year strong boycott, divestment, sanctions (BDS) campaign initiated by Palestinian civil society. Beattie, now Chairman of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation, was slated to talk about the games planning and expected benefit to the Queensland economy but was instead asked, in the words of the famous song, “Which side are you on?”
“Beattie has no excuse for not being aware of the situation in Israel” stated Justice for Palestine member Elizabeth Jones. “Desmond Tutu himself, the veteran South African anti-apartheid campaigner has spoken of the parallels between the treatment of Palestinians and the treatment of blacks in apartheid South Africa”. “Palestinians called for action on the BDS campaign eleven years ago, it’s about time people like Mr Beattie got on board, especially since he has used his actions opposing South African apartheid as political capital over the past decades”. “All the Palestinians want is respect of their rights in compliance with international law, this after an occupation going on 70 years!”
Activists occupied the Hilton’s Victoria Ballroom from around midday holding banners and a Palestinian flag in distress, chanting, singing, and asking questions. Mr Beattie initially engaged with questions but then the diners went back to eating lunch even when confronted with the nature of Israeli apartheid, the ongoing genocide, and the UN prediction that Gaza will be uninhabitable by 2020. After about 30 minutes police arrived and asked the activists to leave. Justice for Palestine members assured Mr Beattie and the Australia Israel Chamber of Commerce that their support for Palestine and BDS was strong and would be ongoing.
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