The right to criticize the policies of another country are at stake
Today an Israeli based law centre, Shurat HaDin, filed a case in the Federal Court of Australia, against Professor Jake Lynch from the University of Sydney’s Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies. They claim that he has supported policies which are racist and discriminatory by his specific endorsement of an academic boycott of Israeli institutions and individuals representing them. Jake Lynch has refused collaboration with Hebrew University because of its support of the illegal occupation of Palestine and close connections with the Israeli armament industry.
This lawfare attack against academic freedom and freedom of speech has been condemned by over 2000 Australian and international human rights advocates from some 60 countries, who have all signed a pledge supporting Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel because of its well documented and clear violations of international and humanitarian law, and offering to be co-defendants in any legal action taken against Lynch.
Shurat HaDin has taken many similar actions internationally against groups who support the BDS movement. Professor Stuart Rees comments, “It seems that this firm, Shurat HaDin works in the civil courts as a proxy for the Israeli government and security forces, seeking to shut down any criticism of the state of Israel and its ongoing human rights abuses and violations of international law.”
In August, Shurat HaDin lodged a complaint in the Human Rights Commission against Jake Lynch’s refusal to sponsor an Israeli academic from the Hebrew University, now they want to silence this highly regarded academic, by taking their complaint to the Federal Court. This challenges the right to take non violent action in support international human rights law and the rights of the dispossessed Palestinians. Australians for BDS condemns racism in all forms, and specifically anti-Semitism.
“Israel’s occupation and ethnic cleansing machinery continue unabated but the moral force that used to drive that process is fast eroding and, as out of touch as the Abbott government and anti-BDS activists in Australia may be, there is an undeniable shift in the balance of moral power. International civil society is holding Israel to account in a way no government has ever been able to do”.
Press release by Randa Abdel Fattah, Australian Palestinian lawyer and writer.
Press conference with Professor Stuart Rees and Professor Peter Slezak
Date: WED Oct 30th (today)
Location: Queen’s Square, Junction of King, Phillip and Macquarie Streets, Sydney (St James Station)
Professor Peter Slezak speaks at the press conference:
Academics to fight Federal Court action claiming support for BDS racist
Two Thousand Defendants For Human Rights
Israeli lawyers group Shurat HaDin unmasked as Mossad proxy
Defending The Right To Dissent
Defend free speech and human rights and support the BDS
The Israeli government’s official ‘lawfare’ contractor
tabloid burnt offerings
grovel to my dictates
shock horror twerking scandal!
if you could ask Elvis,
would he not say
my heaving gyrations
transcend colour, sex,
class and race?
in this rotting pop corn age
my attention-seeking militates.
tread those egg shells lightly
i throw down each day,
my name writ smooth and broadcast,
to remain in orbit, you must obey.
i have no allies,
only competitors in crimes
fickle backslappers -
fans are not fans who disagree,
my privilege is to make decrees,
blogged, statused and tweeted.
form inverted Vs,
witless adoration fuels
that dance i made my own?
there’s nothing new under the sun
that has not been borrowed or
stolen in show biz
from non-white cultures,
just ask Elvis -
from above i may watch,
so twerk your tail feather
and coyly brush your crotch.
yet this sympathetic magic
can never transmute you to me -
are exploiter and exploited,
voyeur and object,
entertainer and entertained
on the same branch of the tree?
trust me, this industry enslaves us all,
i need you more than you need me,
get busy, buy my song,
pity me, and dance my dance.
Jinjirrie, October 2013.
Focus on elite individuals and their manufactured victimhood serves as a bait and switch – instead of challenging the structure of capitalist patriarchy, we are baited to participate voyeuristically in the divide and rule show enabled by the ruling elite and their oppressive structures, especially the media. There’s something to be said for the Australian tradition of tall poppy lopping.
It benefits the ruling capitalist patriarchy if women are seen to be attacking other women, if folks are absorbed with their own gripes and not on the structures of oppression. The ‘meritocracy’ divides, rules, disempowers and kneecaps the coordinated class struggle.
Dear Amanda Palmer,
We appreciate your engagement with the cultural boycott in your statement on your blog , and would like to clarify to you that while your kickstarter house party does not fall within the ambit of the Palestinian-led boycott, because of its private nature and the absence of institutional backing, the gig at which you plan to play at the Barby would cross the boycott picket line.
To use a fact-finding tour with the Israeli organisation, Breaking the Silence “to see the areas they’re talking about”, as a kind of whitewashing of a contravention of the boycott is unacceptable.
We would hope you instead do make the effort, as did Jello Biafra , to view the results of Israel’s oppression of Palestinians, and then decide against breaching the boycott by playing at a public venue in Israel.
Would you have countenanced a tour of the apartheid South African bantustans with a white organisation and still played Sun City? We encourage you to listen to Palestinian voices who ask artists to respect the boycott and to realise that voices from the community of the Israeli oppressors do not represent Palestinians, and indeed often serve to silence and obscure the Palestinian message using deceptive words of ‘peace’ and ‘co-existence’. Palestinian people, in contrast, are asking you to co-resist with them in solidarity by respecting their boycott call.
As the PACBI (the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel) has explained:
‘we simply ask that they do the sensible thing and stay away from Israel until they are knowledgeable enough about the “situation.” Artists are not being asked by one or two local individuals to boycott Israel, which could be dismissed as uninformed or unrepresentative of the common interest. In the Palestinian case, artists are being asked to respect the cultural boycott of Israel and its complicit institutions by a majority of Palestinian civil society, over 170 organizations from across the political and social spectrum, and especially by a great majority of Palestinian artists and cultural figures. If the Palestinian near-consensus is not sufficient to convince them, then they can at least refrain from performing, accepting prizes, or exhibiting art in Israel until they have visited the occupied Palestinian territory and spoken with exiled Palestinian refugees’.
Some artists who played and then became aware of Israel’s oppression and the legitimacy of the boycott, like Macy Gray , Roger Waters  and Denise Jannah , later regretted their performances and would not have played had they known then what they later discovered.
Please refrain from playing at the Barby, please don’t breach the Palestinian-led boycott, divestment and sanctions call and do make the effort also to find out more for yourself about Israel’s occupation, settler colonialism and apartheid.
DPAI (Don’t Play Apartheid Israel)
We are a group, of over 1300 members, representing many nations around the globe, who believe that it is essential for musicians & other artists to heed the call of the PACBI, and join in the boycott of Israel. This is essential in order to work towards justice for the Palestinian people under occupation, and also in refugee camps and in the diaspora throughout the world.
 Jello Biafra cancels his Tel Aviv gig http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/nora/jello-biafra-cancels-his-tel-aviv-gig
 Artists Violating Cultural Boycott of Israel: Moral Inconsistency and Logical Incoherence http://pacbi.org/etemplate.php?id=1582
 Macy Gray Regrets Feb Concert in Tel Aviv Israel
 BDS Roundup: Alice Walker, Roger Waters call on Alicia Keys to cancel Tel Aviv show
 Denise Jannah Expresses Support for BDS
Open Letter to Amanda Palmer: There is a profound ethical obligation to refuse to play in Israel http://refrainplayingisrael.blogspot.com.au/2013/09/open-letter-to-amanda-palmer-there-is.html
Dear Amanda Palmer, We recently became aware that you plan to breach the call by Palestinian Civil Society to boycott Israel. You announced on your website you plan to perform in Tel Aviv on October 23 at the Barby. We respectfully ask you, as a musician of conscience, not to close your mind to . . . → Read More if you dare: Amanda Palmer, Please Respect the Boycott
The Fall Don’t expect me to care about your empire its sacrifices, its bloody flag that hides money men from scrutiny your capitalism, your patriarchy your imbalances, your hatred for trees, your intrepid ‘pioneers’, your usurpers, your love for hard-footed soil-squandering sheep, cattle and goats, always the goats, eroding, as you do, you and . . . → Read More if you dare: On Empire, Settler Colonialism and the Environment
Of Stoats and Boats So here’s the day of voting depression where Murdoch bigans pervert the election, democratic choice stolen by stoats Minime Canutes can’t stop the boats but piss on the people to rise the tide of ignorance, racism and bigotry inside this greedy country that doesn’t want to share and still bleats . . . → Read More if you dare: Election Day 2013 – Of Privilege, Boats and Dinosaurs
Boycott the Red Sea Jazz FestivalInspirational singer and composer Sonia Montez advocates for boycott of apartheid Israel: “When Mexico bleeds, and no one listens, who suffers. Would you play in a festival in Mexico that was supported by corrupt officials, the ones who feed into the violence epidemic sweeping Mexico? Do you not know . . . → Read More if you dare: Musician Sonia Montez Speaks Out in Support of the Cultural Boycott of Israel
Besieged Gaza, Occupied Palestine Dear Sir Tom We are a group of Palestinian musicians, academics and students from the besieged Gaza Strip in Palestine. Despite Israel’s blockade of our land, air and sea borders we have continued to enjoy the soul, vibrancy and passion of your songs. Israel has deprived us of our homes, . . . → Read More if you dare: To Tom Jones from Gaza : Sing for Freedom and Justice, Not Apartheid and Ethnic Cleansing