Marrickville BDS Resolution Under Attack

The Marrickville Council vote on BDS will be next Tuesday 19th – please read the below information, then contact the people and media in the list – help Palestinians to convince the Council that the people are with them and that decency, human rights and justice should prevail by upholding the existing support for Boycotts, Divestments and Sanctions of Israel.

ACTION ALERT: First Australian City Council BDS Victory Under Attack: Please Send Letters of Support

In December, 2010, the local council of Marrickville, which is a Sister City to Bethlehem, decided as part of its ethical investment and purchasing strategy, to endorse the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel until that country complies with international humanitarian law.

More information: http://coalitionforpalestine.org/bds/local-government/marrickvillebds : http://coalitionforpalestine.org/2011/04/14/marrickville-boycotts-update/
Links to media coverage: http://coalitionforpalestine.org/bds/media-links
Australians for Palestine

Below is the Marrickville Council resolution:

That:

1. In particular recognition of its sister city relationship with Bethlehem and the strong support for this relationship from local progressive faith communities and other community members, Marrickville Council support the principles of the BDS global campaign and report back on any links the Council has with organisations or companies that support or profit from the Israeli military occupation of Palestine with a view to the Council divesting from such links and imposing a boycott on any future such links or goods purchases.

2. Marrickville Council boycott all goods made in Israel and any sporting, institutional academic, government or institutional cultural exchanges.

3. Marrickville Council write to the local State and Federal ministers (Carmel Tebbutt and Anthony Albanese) informing them of Council’s position and seeking their support at the State and Federal level for the global BDS movement.

First Australian City Council BDS Victory Under Attack – Please write a letter of support!
by Anna Baltzer on Thursday, 14 April 2011 at 15:00

Opponents of Marrickville’s historic BDS resolution are claiming it will cost taxpayers millions and must be overturned. The pressure is on. Please write a letter of support bcc’ing the councillors’ email address listed here. To see an example, I have included my letter to them below…

CONTACT DETAILS OF MARRICKVILLE COUNCILLORS

Deputy Mayor Clr Sam Iskandar (ALP) 9558 7927 0408 210 618 siskandar@marrickville.nsw.gov.au

Clr Victor Macri (Independent) 9569 2865 0408 219 260 vmacri@marrickville.nsw.gov.au

Clr Max Phillips (Greens) 0419 444 916 mphillips@marrickville.nsw.gov.au

Mayor Clr Fiona Byrne (The Greens) 0401 719 120 fbyrne@marrickville.nsw.gov.au

Clr Cathy Peters (Greens) 0419 444 974 cpeters@marrickville.nsw.gov.au

Clr Laura Wright (ALP) 9560 8707 0419 444 560 lwright@marrickville.nsw.gov.au

Clr Morris Hanna (Independent) 9569 1447 0417 660 997 mhanna@marrickville.nsw.gov.au

Clr Peter Olive (The Greens) 9559 8901 0401 719 148 polive@marrickville.nsw.gov.au

Clr Mary O’Sullivan (ALP) 9559 8980 0419 444 889 mosullivan@marrickville.nsw.gov.au

Clr Marika Kontellis (The Greens) 9590 3898 0409 076 708 mkontellis@marrickville.nsw.gov.au

Clr Dimitrios Thanos (Independent) 9569 0199 0414 403 173 dthanos@bigpond.net.au

Clr Emanuel Tsardoulias (ALP) 0432 684 120 etsardoulias@marrickville.nsw.gov.au

The meeting will be held on
6:30pm, Tuesday 19 April 2011
at Marrickville Council, 2 Fisher Street, Petersham (Level 3 of the Administrative Centre)

ADDRESSES FOR YOUR EMAILS TO THE MEDIA:

Sydney Morning Herald letters@smh.com.au
Inner West Courier editor@innerwestcourier.com.au
The Australian letters@theaustralian.com.au
The Daily Telegraph (Sydney)
Go to this page and scroll to the bottom to find the form for your letter:
http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/opinion/your-say

Dear Councillor,

I urge you to continue the Marrickville boycott against Israel until it complies with international law. The recent report implying that taking a stand against human rights violations by Israel would mean losing millions is ill-conceived for several reasons:

1. The companies mentioned are not primary targets of BDS and need not be a focus for Marrickville. As in the BDS movement against Apartheid South Africa, specific companies and products can be chosen to boycott/divest from. It is largely a symbolic act to send a message of disapproval to Israel.

2. Much of the boycott wouldn’t cost a cent, including cultural and sports boycott. Australia has a proud history of using the sports boycott to help topple Apartheid South Africa.

The report seemingly argues that Marrickville should not uphold principles of human rights and international law because it’s too expensive to do so. What a cruel assertion. As I said, it need not be expensive, and furthermore, to *not* uphold these principles comes at a very dear cost to the Palestinian people. Please, do not be deterred from your courageous stance by this ill-conceived report.

Best,

Anna

Marrickville Council is now under attack from the NSW State Government with Barry O’Farrell threatening an overthrow. Australia’s democracy takes another backward step, thanks to a concerted smear and tactical campaign against it by a coalition of rightwing Christian and Jewish zionists.

In a letter to Greens Mayor Fiona Byrne, Mr O’Farrell threatened to use his powers under the Local Government Act to move against the Sydney council if it did not comply.

In the letter, the premier gave the council a 28-day deadline.

Ms Byrne may lose her job if she doesn’t back down.

Someone leaked a Marrickville council report to the gutter press which is being interpreted as though it were Council policy, but it isn’t. No targets for boycott have been decided upon. BDS is a creative tactic, and people can choose their targets to suit – the aim being to highlight the target’s collaboration with and potentiation of the illegal Israeli Occupation and apartheid.

More information has come to light about who was involved in the nefarious pushpolls prior to the NSW State elections:

The Inner West Jewish Community and Friends Peace Alliance yesterday published the results of a controversial survey conducted in March on residents’ attitudes to the boycott.

Almost two-thirds of residents said they disagreed, to varying degrees, with the boycott, while about 30 per cent supported it.

The group did not identify itself in the survey and several residents complained to the council. The Greens labelled it a ”push poll” and council staff directed the survey company to properly identify on whose behalf the poll was being conducted.

The Agenda on MarrickvilleThe old blogs of the group have been removed, but from a screenshot of the cached page and a post from March 3 we find:

The Inner West Jewish Community and Friends Peace Alliance is a local grassroots group which formed as a response to the December 14 2010 resolution by Marrickville Council to boycott Israel. Local members of Newtown Synagogue and the Inner West Chavurah, as well as other local Jewish and Israeli people and concerned friends, have met and set up networks to discuss the issues and coordinate ways of seeking to have the resolution overturned.

….

We want the local community, the political parties and the broader Australian community to become aware that a local government boycott of Israel is not an acceptable strategy for seeking Middle East peace and justice. We think it is extremely important to ensure that this first local government attempting to implement the boycott will be convinced by their constituents and by intelligent public opinion to reconsider and recast their boycott decision. The March state election is giving candidates and voters the opportunity to consider what an Israel boycott means, and to ask questions such as whether local or state governments should be deciding foreign policy.

….

‘We have plans for some carefully targeted media coverage and advertising in relation to the election. These strategies are expensive, but we believe they will be successful. We have been fortunate to have ongoing help and advice from very capable professionals. Also, we have among our own numbers people who are deeply involved in the Jewish community, and we are in frequent communication with Vic Alhadeff and Yair Miller from the Jewish Board of Deputies as well as Peter Wertheim from the Executive Council of Australian Jewry.

We need to raise approximately $12,000 in the next two-three weeks to carry out the activities that we believe will make a decisive difference. All the professional work that is being done for the campaign has been donated pro bono, but there are unavoidable advertising and research costs we will need to pay.’

If you would like to contribute to the success of this campaign, please donate what you can. Please also pass this information on quietly to like-minded friends.

Clearly, the op was to be on the quiet. And this piece shows that it was BDS, not the Greens, which were the main target of the Coalition “of the delegitimisers of the delegitimisers” (CoDDs). Fred Nile must be smirking now. Are the CoDDs playing Australian pollies like skittles?

Why should people be able to buy our political process to enable more persecution of Palestinian people? For Israel, Palestinian people are cattle to be herded and penned arbitrarily, their homes demolished, their lands stolen, their rights denied. This is systematic collective punishment and apartheid and decent Australians need to ignore the pleas of folks who support such horrendous behaviour. With absolute unconscious irony, the group’s petition takes the same approach as used at the rorting of the Berkeley divestment motion – that BDS will ‘divide’ the community. These are the folks who support the illegal apartheid wall which constitutes an Israeli land grab as well as caging Israel’s hapless indigenous people while the ziocolonials steal more and more of what remains of the swiss cheese that is the West Bank.

Related Links

Where are the Arab voices in Aussie BDS debate?
Australian media on Palestine; ignore the Palestinians
Israel boycott council threatened with the sack
QSociety with petition link
Marrickville Council: Please Don’t Divide the Community
Reprimand Terrorist-Sympathisers at Marrickville Council, Australia (QSociety mob petition)
Australian City Faces Attacks for Supporting BDS
George Hasbaroid Negus blithering rubbish about BDS
Murdoch press finds humour in Jewish-free Sydney suburb
BDS for peace, security – the Australian’s 8 line lip service to Palestinian voices.
Australian media incapable of hearing Palestinians
MARRICKVILLE COUNCIL’S controversial boycott of Israel is on the verge of collapse after a Greens councillor withdrew his support yesterday. Any boycott will now rely on the support of Labor, which is in doubt.

Who’s After Andrew Wilkie?

Andrew Wilkie ‘regrets’ army bastardisation, renews claims of clubs’ smear campaign
AFP opens file on Andrew Wilkie death threats ‘Clubs and hotels on Monday launched a $20 million print, television and radio campaign against the proposed changes.’
Gillard promises to uphold commitment to Independent MP on pokie reform, defy clubs
MP Andrew Wilkie accused of Nazi outrage

Palestine / Israel Links

ISM confirms the death of Vittorio Arrigoni
Italian peace activist killed in Gaza
You Have The Right To Remain Occupied
Israeli security forces are detaining hundreds in Awarta– Why?
goodbye my friend
GoodBye Vittorio Arrigoni, killed in Gaza 15\4\2011
Turkey tells Israel: Gaza flotilla not up to us
FBI : Tupac Shakur was a victim of a Jewish terror group
Goldstone has not backed down in his criticisms of Israel or Hamas.
U.S. scuppered Israeli security firm’s South American plans : another example of the US stomping on Israel when it interfers with US interests.
Tarabin’s Nakba in the Negev
Despite what the rightwing shills for Israel say elsewhere on the Australian (still no comments published), Marrickville council says Israel boycott won’t cost ratepayers $4 million. I submit the below at the bottom of the former story (the Australian is publishing comments again, or is it just pro-Israel comments?):

Boycotts, divestments and sanctions are a principled means of achieving justice and rights for oppressed Palestinians, and they are legitimised by the fact that Palestinian civil society itself called for them, as attempts by governments to sanction Israel’s impunity and disregard for international law have failed due to the support it receives from other settler colonial states. As Martin Luther King said, ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere’. I salute the conscientious people of Marrickville and their councillors who are attempting to stand up to the outrageous bullying, death threats and so on from supporters of Israel’s oppression and apartheid. Boycotts, divestments and sanctions were largely responsible for the end of apartheid in South Africa. Australians rightly supported that movement too. Stand up against bullies, folks, otherwise they are only encouraged to continue their disgraceful behaviour.

Another beatup here.
Max Ajl deconstructs assumptions behind the ‘incorrigible and tenaciously ignorant Grant Smith/Idrees Ahmad’s video “US-Israel Trade: Espionage, Theft and Secrets..”‘
Remembering Juliano
Recognising Palestine? by Ali Abunimah

‘The PA’s push for recognition of a Palestinian state is the diplomatic counterpart to its much-touted “institution-building” and “economic development” efforts which are supposed to create the infrastructure for a future state.

But the institution-building program is nothing more than a mirage, boosted by public relations tricks and good press.

In fact, the main “institutions” the PA has built are the police-state and militia apparatuses used to repress political opposition to the PA and any form of resistance to Israeli occupation. Meanwhile the economy of the West Bank, and the PA itself, remain completely dependent on foreign aid.

UN recognition of a Palestinian make-believe state would be no more meaningful than this fantasy “institution-building”, and could push Palestinians even further away from real liberation and self-determination.

Rather than fetishising “statehood”, the BDS campaign focuses on rights and realities: it calls for an end to Israel’s occupation and colonisation of all Arab lands conquered in 1967; full equality for Palestinian citizens of Israel; and respect for and implementation of the rights of Palestinian refugees. These demands are all fully consistent with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and international law.

The PA has never endorsed this campaign, and in fact has sought to distract from and undermine it by calling only for a half-hearted boycott of Israeli settlement goods while actively promoting trade with Israel in violation of the BDS call.

Palestinians and their allies should not be distracted by this international theatre of the absurd, but should focus on building wider and deeper BDS campaigns to end Israeli apartheid everywhere that it exists, once and for all.”

Zionion Exclusive: Scorsese to Helm ‘Difficult’ Second Flotilla
Birth Certificate for a Palestinian State
Israel Grants Settlers Gun Licensing
Barghouti Urges Israel Boycott

“Equality never destroys people. It destroys a racist system,” he said.

“There is absolutely no comparison in the level of violence perpetrated by the perpetrator, the occupying power, and that of the resistance,” said Barghouti. “To end all violence, you must eliminate the roots of violence, which is occupation and apartheid.”

Goldstone Commission Members Affirm Study Findings

Responding on April 14 in the London Guardian, Commission members Hina Jilani, Christine Chinkin and Desmond Travers headlined, “Goldstone report: Statement issued by members of UN mission on Gaza war,” saying without mentioning Goldstone by name:

Recent articles and comments on the Commission’s work “have misrepresented facts in an attempt to delegitimize the findings of (its) report and to cast doubts on its credibility.”

The four-member Commission’s report “is now an official UN document and all actions taken pursuant to its findings and recommendations fall solely within the purview of the United Nations general assembly which, along with the human rights council, reviewed and endorsed it at the end of 2009.”

“Aspersions cast on the findings (however) cannot be left unchallenged.” Jilani, Chinkin and Travers dispute efforts to claim “any part of the mission’s report unsubstantiated, erroneous or inaccurate.”

Vittorio Arrigoni, ISM worker, Kidnapped in Gaza
My Abduction by the Israelis – Vittorio Arrigoni
Hamas worried about rise in support for religious sects

Libya Links

NATO Nations Commit to Ending Gadhafi Rule

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the world must increase its support for the Libyan opposition. Speaking to reporters alongside German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Clinton said Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi must go.

“We are also sharing the same goal which is to see the end of the Gadhafi regime in Libya and we are contributing in many ways to see that goal realized,” she said.

But Rasmussen again distanced himself from arming the Libyan rebels on Thursday, saying it was NATO’s mandate to also enforce the arms embargo on Libya. He said that while NATO members were committed to protecting civilians in Libya, ousting Gadhafi demanded a political track.

“I fully agree there is no military solution to the problems in Libya. What we need to ensure a long term sustainable solution is a political process that responds to the legitimate demands of the Libyan people,” he said.

Rasmussen did not respond directly to the question of whether NATO was advising Libyan rebels on military strategy. He said the alliance had contacts with the opposition but it was up to them to decide day-to-day strategy.

Australia Links

It’s budget time, and out come the furphies about the jobless

4 comments to Marrickville BDS Resolution Under Attack

  • Thanks Dean … those of us in the great southern land with our ears to the ground hear that BDS is unstoppable and even the mighty mainstream media monopolists will be swept away in its wake. Whatever happens, the log jam here is temporary, the river of freedom will wash away the oppressors’ lies in the end. The adversary, with its dollars, pro bonos and death threaters has now been calibrated off the richter scale for its fear of truth. Palestinian voices in Australia are waiting to be heard, and if Murdoch and Co. refuse to allow them access, there are other ways and places. What is certain is that the next time a BDS group here holds an event, folks will be primed for interest, thanks to Rupe’s minions. Salute to you back, Comrade 🙂

  • dean

    Watching this campaign with great hope from North Hegemon. It is my hope that Marrickville will continue its leadership role in support of the world wide BDS effort. We look up do you all down under for leadership and courage.

    Keep up the good work!

  • In January 2010, Green Left Weekly reported a death threat against Greens councillors posted on the Islamophobic “Australian Islamist Monitor” website.

    “This is insane I hate these people. I would like to have a 22 and pick them off one by one for target practice.

    “Better still a suicide bomber in their midst. In fact I might make a giant blow up of the photo and sell it to a shooting range.”

    A “smiley” emoticon follows the comment. Immediately after it, the same commenter, “Skipping Girl”, added: “God Bless Israel.”

    Despite its claims to be “anti-racist in all its forms” and to support freedom of speech when this does not lead to violence, the Australian Islamist Monitor site is rife with hysterical and sometimes violent comments about Muslim people.

    Some of its contributors have links to more extreme hate sites and have made openly racist comments in other forums.

    More than four months later, the threat remains at http://islammonitor.org/index.php/culture-practices/204/index.php? This hate site solicits donations via Mastercard, Paypal and Visa.

    H/T Sol Salbe.