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Issue #1633      April 2, 2014

Australians speak out for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions

What you want to know but are afraid to ask

A forum on the Boycott Divestments and Sanctions (BDS) offers the public an open and informative discussion on peaceful non-violent resistance in Israel/Palestine. As the Australian media and politicians debate the effectiveness and legitimacy of the recent Biennale boycott, a cross-section of speakers from all areas of civil society offer their support to the global Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement – the Palestinian-led campaign for justice, equality and peace for all in Israel/Palestine.

Professor Jake Lynch, who is one of the key speakers, is currently defending a “lawfare” attack on him in the Federal Court by an Israeli based law firm, ShuratHaDin, for his support for the BDS.

“The case against me is a despicable attack on political freedom in Australia, and an attempt to stifle debate. When there is debate, and when people are properly informed, they are incredulous at what Israel gets away with. That is why the BDS movement is growing so rapidly around the world.”

Antony Loewenstein, independent journalist, says “BDS is a growing global movement in holding Israel to account for its daily crimes against the Palestinians. As an Australian Jew, I support BDS because it is based in international law and justice for the occupied Palestinians.”

Palestinian playwright Samah Sabawi explains, “We have called on the people of the world to boycott Israel until it ends its oppression and discrimination against the Palestinian people. Those who oppose our call and our demands for equality justice and freedom are clearly in favour of protecting Israel’s racist and flagrant violations of human rights.”

Australian freelance journalist, Mary Kostakidis comments “Sanctions are a legitimate non-violent protest against unacceptable government actions and policies. For years Israel has been violating international law with few repercussions because governments do not have the courage to stand up to powerful lobby groups.

“Recently Foreign Minister Julie Bishop read a statement in Parliament announcing Australian government sanctions against Russia. Governments impose sanctions when it suits their allies or their own national interest. More rarely, they do so on principle and after pressure mounting in their own community as we saw during the Apartheid era.

“We need to defend courageous, principled individuals and organisations that take the lead. The BDS is a growing international movement targeting Israeli government policy, a policy also unacceptable to many Israelis and Jewish people around the world.”

This BDS forum will raise public awareness of the effectiveness of the strategy and dispel the myths that have been spread about it, including the often heard claim that BDS is anti-Semitic.

The forum will include panel speakers, statements of support, and videos from Australian and international BDS supporters.

Panel speakers:

French activist, Olivia Zamour (CAPJPO-EuroPalestine)

Palestinian playwright and policy analyst, Samah Sabawi

Professor Jake Lynch from the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at Sydney University

Testimonies from:

Wendy Bacon, Antony Loewenstein, and Mary Kostakidis, journalists and writers

Warren Smith, MUA Assistant National Secretary

Omar Barghouti, writer and founding member of the BDS movement
(via video)

Phil Monsour, musician and activist (via video)


6.30-8pm (doors open at 6pm)

Footbridge Theatre,
Parramatta Road, Camperdown


All funds raised go to the Jake Lynch Fighting Fund


Next article – An alternative to indefinite detention of refugees

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