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Australian Government double standard over Israel

MEDIA RELEASE Australian Government demonstrates double standards over Israel FOREIGN minister Bob Carr recently expelled Syrian diplomats because of human rights abuses in their country. Yet the Israeli defence force and Israeli settlers shoot, abduct, detain and torture Palestinians in the occupied territories on a daily basis. The Israeli government destroys Palestinian homes on the West Bank. On 21 May 2012 an Australian citizen, Khalil Hamdan, received a call from his sister Weam in Nablus. “My sister was distraught because 25- 30 Israeli soldiers broke into her small two bedroom unit at 3am in the Camp No.1 refugee camp in Nablus, Palestine,” Mr Hamdan said. “She is the wife of Ridha Khalid and the mother of five children aged 5 to 18 years. Ridha is employed by United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in Nablus.” “The soldiers smashed the door down and took Ridha away for no reason and took him to Huwarra prison outside of Nablus. After they took him away, they asked my sister, Weam, to get out of the unit with her children. “They proceeded to destroy everything in their unit: furniture, electrical appliances including the children’s computer; the children’s school books. “Naturally all the children were traumatised and they were mindful of their imminent school examinations.” The soldiers took the food from the pantry, freezer and refrigerator and spread it all over the furniture and floor. They removed all the pictures from wall and smashed them. Weam is aged fifty years. “She is a good woman and cared for her aged parents and her two handicapped brothers since she was a young teenager. She is a good wife, caring mother and kind to her friends and has never been in any trouble. “Weam was born in the Refugee camp. The destruction of the contents of her unit was completely unjust. Her frugal savings and furniture were gone in 2.1/2 hours.” Weam’s husband Ridha distributes aid throughout the West Bank. The Australian Government will contribute $90M to UNRWA over the next three years. Ridha has been taken before and tortured. In 2001 he spent 18 months in detention without charge. His 17 year old son was shot dead and Ridha has been the victim of an Israeli rocket attack. He now is on hunger strike in Huwarra prison near Nablus. Weam is concerned for the future of her husband and their family. I, Khalil Hamdan, call on the Foreign Minister to seek the immediate release of Ridha and compensation for loss of property and savings taken from Weam’s unit. I want an independent medical examination of Ridha. “The Australian government is obliged to act because: 1. I’m an Australian citizen and my family has been attacked. 2. My brother-in-law works for United Nations Relief and Works Agency. The Australian government provides funds to UNRWA. 3. The Australian government is signatory to international agreements that outlaw the abduction and torture of civilians. 4. My sister’s property has been damaged and money stolen. 5. The Australian Government has acted to prevent human rights abuses across the border in Syria but not in the occupied territories. Khalil Hamdan, his mother, father and siblings were driven out of their village in Jaffa in 1948. They fled to Nablus where Weam was born in 1962. “As a result of the 6-day war in 1967 I was made a refugee for a second time and sought a new life in Australia” Mr Hamdan said.” “I want an end to the occupation and the right to return to my village. I am one of 5 million Palestinian refugees and their descendants. We all want justice.” I, Khalil Hamdan, can be contacted at 0438 194 342 Continue reading

WorkLife Forum: trade unions in 21st century


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Iraqi people hit by targeted killing

The US military and their political supporters in the Australian government and defence forces are claiming that it is the surge in troop numbers that has ‘pacified’ the country.

The evidence suggests otherwise.

A spate of targeted killings inside Iraq by dirty ops sections of the US military is designed to silence the resistance to the US occupation.

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‘Direct Action’ emerges from the Past

A Short history of ‘Direct Action’

1973 edition of SWP's Direct Action What a strange period of the Left we are living through.

The latest Left paper, Direct Action, claims that it is ‘for socialism in the 21st century’, I am not sure what that is supposed to mean but I doubt that it is true.

As each new crisis in capitalism arrives, we witness the Left running in the opposite direction, more fractured, distant and irrelevant, with each new grouplet wasting scare resources on new publications, new websites, and new centres, each with miniscule differences in ideology, sometimes visible only to the warring factions.

One of each [one newspaper, one website, even one room] would suffice with our dwindling numbers and energy.Now, out of failure has emerged, like a phoenix from the ashes, a new ‘Direct Action’ taking a template from past praxis! Continue reading


A Diary of Resistance – behind the news

This gallery contains 5 photos.

This is an alternative diary of the Iraq war compiled from a variety of media and other sources. It is compiled by Ray Bergmann who is active in various peace and social justice groups in Brisbane. Continue reading

Peace Convergence

Dear Friends

It is with great joy that we share the news from last month of the Pine Gap 4 acquittal. A true victory amongst our many glorious defeats! If you haven’t read or heard the news visit http://www.peaceconvergence.com/news/50
This is a significant win as it sets a precedent for how the act under which they were charged (Defence Special Undertakings Act) can be applied, effectively preventing its use against those who participate in peaceful nonviolent direct action at Pine Gap. Our congratulations to Donna, Adele, Jim and Brian.
The Pine Gap 4 are now inviting others to join them for further resistance at Pine Gap this April on ANZAC day. Visit http://www.cairnspeacebypeace.org for more details.
Shoalwater arrestees go to court this month. Court cases are scheduled for 20th and 27th March. Send messages of solidarity and support to info@peaceconvergence.com (we will pass them on). Read press release below.

This is an important time to be challenging our relationship with the United States having just marked the fifth year of war in Iraq. Recently President Bush vetoed legislation that would ban the CIA from using harsh interrogation methods such as waterboarding (a method that simulates drowning) to break suspected terrorists. The Chamorro people hold concerns that the US military buildup will accelerate the destruction of their culture – 17,000 US marines will be moving to Guam beginning in 2012. http://bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601109&refer=home&sid=adsKeN_fGEt0
an aerial view of futenma in okinawa
An aerial view of the Futenma U.S. Marine Base in Futenma City, Okinawa prefecture, Japan, taken on July 27, 2006. The Marines plan to move 17,000 personnel and dependents to Guam from Okinawa beginning in 2012, boosting the island’s population by 10 percent. House prices have risen 70 percent since 2003 on expectations of increased demand.

The Peace Convergence Team
What YOU can do!
Read Press Release:
21 people were arrested during the Peace Convergence at Shoalwater Bay in June 2007. These people were arrested for peaceful acts of civil disobedience against the Talisman Sabre war games held at Shaolwater Bay. A number of them will be appearing in the Yeppoon and Rockhampton Courts in the next two months. People will be travelling from as far as Melbourne to attend court.
These Court proceedings can be an opportunity to bring attention to the use of Shoalwater Bay for the Talisman Sabre war games.
It is also an opportunity for locals and those appearing in court to catch up and make contact for the Peace Convergence at Shoalwater Bay in 2009.
If you can attend any of the following court proceedings that would be great. If you can arrive a half hour before court to hold banners, leaflet, run a stall etc…it would be much appreciated.
March 20 – 10 am Court 1 Yeppoon Magistrates Court
Emma Brindal and Paul Hood from Brisbane
Commonwealth Trespass charge – Charged with entering the Shoalwater Bay Training Area at the Byfield gate. The prosecution states that they sat down and refused to move from the area.
Contact: Emma Brindal 0411 084 727
MARCH 27 – 9:30 am Court 1 Yeppoon Magistrates Court
June Norman from Brisbane, Rod Castle, Wayne Reed and Neels Jack from Malany in Queensland and Kerry Priest and Kirsty from Melbourne.
Commonwealth Trespass – The prosecution states that the above people entered the Shoalwater Bay Training Area and camped out inside the area for four days during the Talisman Sabre war games.
Contact: June Norman 33140306 / 0438 169 414

For the remaining court appearences a reminder will be sent out in April with court times and further details.

APRIL 24 – Yeppoon Magistrates Court
The Samuel Hill 5, Sarah Williams, Simon Reeves, Krystal Spencer and Simon Moyle from Melbourne.
Commonwealth Trespass – The prosecution states that the group entered the Shoalwater Bay Military Training Area, and walked openly down the middle of the Samuel Hill Airstrip inside the base.

Write to the US ambassador in Australia regarding the approval of the waterboarding technique. See sample letter below:

American Embassy
Moonah Place
Yarralumla, ACT 2600

Dear Ambassador McCallum,
On March 8, 2008 President Bush became the first US president to use the veto power to preserve the right to torture. We would be grateful if you could forward us details and specifications of the waterboarding torture technique so that we may offer the Australian public and media the opportunity to experience this first hand and to decide whether or not this contravenes the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.
As allies of the US we have a right to be guaranteed by the US government that no suspected or actual enemy combatant or suspected or actual terrorist faces “cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment” when captured by Australian military forces and delivered directly to US military custody or to US military custody via NATO forces. We are acutely aware of what happened at Abu Ghraib and the role that Fort Huachuca, Arizona, for example, plays in teaching degradation and torture techniques ( an excellent reference is: McCoy, Alfred W. A Question of Torture: CIA Interrogation From the Cold War to the War on Terror , Metropolitan Books, New York, 2006).
Yours sincerely
Don’t forget:

  • Shoalwater Arrestees in court April 24.
  • Hiroshima Day August 6 & Nagasaki Day August 9.
  • International Day of Peace September 21.
  • Asia Pacific Defence Security Exhibition in Adelaide this November 11-13.
  • Talisman Sabre July 6-26 2009

peace convergence