Australian academic faces Israeli lawfare attack from the Shurat HaDin

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)
Time: 2pm
Location: Queen’s Square, Junction of King, Phillip and Macquarie Streets, Sydney (St James Station)


Professor Peter Slezak speaks at the press conference:

Related Links

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

Amanda Palmer, Please Respect the Boycott

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 the oppression of the Palestinian people. There is a profound ethical obligation to refuse to play in Israel, and even though the financial rewards might be considerable, we sincerely hope you choose to respect the boycott.

Recently, the esteemed Professor of Physics, Stephen Hawking, chose to support the boycott of apartheid Israel publicly. He joins Desmond Tutu, Roger Waters, Alice Walker, Ahmed Kathrada, Naomi Klein, Judith Butler, John Berger and many others who agree that Israel’s system of oppression cannot be brought to an end without ending international complicity and intensifying global solidarity, particularly through boycott. On the growing list of artists who have joined the boycott are Faithless, Leftfield, Gorillaz, Klaxons, Massive Attack, Gil Scott Heron, Santana, Pete Seeger, Pixies, Tindersticks, Elvis Costello, Three Little Birds, Cassandra Wilson and Cat Power. They understand it takes a boycott to work for justice, and that “dialogue” or performing in Israel while also speaking out against it has failed.

Music cannot “build bridges” between Israel and the millions of Palestinians whom it oppresses. Bridges can be built through boycott, as was the case in South Africa, with the ultimate result being that the rights of all people are respected.

The purpose of the boycott is to exert pressure on Israel to respect the rights of Palestinians, by ending its occupation and blockade of the West Bank and Gaza Strip; recognising the rights of Palestinian refugees who are prevented from returning to their homes just because they are not Jewish; and abolishing institutionalised discrimination including more than 50 laws [1] preventing equal rights for Palestinian citizens of Israel.

This boycott builds on a historical tradition of popular resistance around the world: from within Palestine itself, to the Montgomery bus boycott in Alabama, to the struggle against apartheid in South Africa. Historically, boycotts have been proven to work to end injustice.

Roger Waters wrote:

Where governments refuse to act people must, with whatever peaceful means are at their disposal. For me this means declaring an intention to stand in solidarity, not only with the people of Palestine but also with the many thousands of Israelis who disagree with their government’s policies, by joining the campaign of Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions against Israel. This is [however] a plea to my colleagues in the music industry, and also to artists in other disciplines, to join this cultural boycott. Artists were right to refuse to play in South Africa’s Sun City resort until apartheid fell and white people and black people enjoyed equal rights. And we are right to refuse to play in Israel.[2]

Desmond Tutu has this view:

I have been to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, and I have witnessed the racially segregated roads and housing that reminded me so much of the conditions we experienced in South Africa under the racist system of Apartheid.[3]

“International Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions against the Apartheid regime, combined with the mass struggle inside South Africa, led to our victory … Just as we said during apartheid that it was inappropriate for international artists to perform in South Africa in a society founded on discriminatory laws and racial exclusivity, so it would be wrong … to perform in Israel“.[4]

Today, due to the boycott call and its international magnitude, it is impossible for any international artist to play in Israel in a political vacuum. If you ignore the boycott, your performance will be interpreted and used by the state of Israel and its supporters as an endorsement of, and propaganda for, Israel’s regime, whether you want it to be or not.

Billions of dollars are lavished on Israel annually by western states, particularly the United States, the UK and Germany. Taxpayers in those countries are in effect subsidising Israel’s violations of international law at a time when their own social programs are undergoing severe cuts, unemployment is rising, and the environment is being devastated.

Please join in the effort to end western complicity in Israel’s violations of international law and respect the grassroots Palestinian-led call for cultural boycott.[5] Your solidarity with the boycott would not only support Palestinians’ non-violent struggle for rights, but would also give hope to others around the world working for social justice against perpetual war.


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.

[1] http://adalah.org/eng/Israeli-Discriminatory-Law-Database
[2] http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/mar/11/cultural-boycott-west-bank-wall
[3] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/desmond-tutu/divesting-from-injustice_b_534994.html
[4] http://www.timeslive.co.za/local/article727749.ece/Tutu-urges-Cape-Town-Opera-to-call-off-Israel-tour
[5] http://www.pacbi.org/etemplate.php?id=1047


To Salif Keita from Friends in South Africa


“The temptation in our situation is to speak in muffled tones about an issue such as the right of the people of Palestine…we can fall into the trap of washing our hands of difficulties that others faces. Yet we would be less than human if we did so. It behoves all South Africans, themselves erstwhile beneficiaries of generous international support, to stand up and be counted among those contributing actively to the cause of freedom and justice…we know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.”Nelson Mandela, December 4 1997

BDS South Africa
You may not know me, nor of my work or the organization that I am part of (and am writing on behalf of), BDS South Africa (www.bdssouthafrica.com). However, I (together with millions of South Africans and Africans), of course, know of you. We know of you through your contribution to making this world a better place through, for example, the work of the Salif Keita Global Foundation, being one of our continent’s best ambassadors, and of course, for sharing your “golden” music with so many. It is with this admiration and affinity that we write to you.

With that, kindly receive the warm greetings of BDS South Africa, a South African Palestine solidarity and human rights organization advancing the international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel campaign in South Africa. We are writing to you with much concern, concern that you are scheduled to perform in Israel. But, we also write to you with hope, hope that you will heed the call from your fellow artists, Malians who have approached you, French activists, and, most importantly, the Palestinians (with their principled and progressive Israeli allies) who have all called on you in the last few weeks to respect the boycott of Israel, cancel your trip and, in essence, not to support racism and Apartheid. We respectfully offer some background to our position:


“I never tire of speaking about the very deep distress in my visits to the Holy Land; they remind me so much of what happened to us black people in South Africa. I have seen the humiliation of the Palestinians at checkpoints and roadblocks, suffering like we did when young white police officers prevented us from moving about. My heart aches…Palestinians have chosen, like we did, the nonviolent tools of boycott, divestment and sanctions.” Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Separate roads[1], separate buses[2], having a law that allows one ethnic group automatic citizenship but prevents another group (millions of whom are refugees in neighboring countries) citizenship and access to their previous homes are just some of the ways in which Israel discriminates against Palestinians [3]. We will not go through the details of the legislation, practices and acts of racism and apartheid that Israel is enforcing against the Palestinians, those are well documented by Amnesty International [4], Human Rights Watch[5] and, in fact, our own South African government, in 2009, commissioned our official state research body, the South African Human Sciences Research Council to answer the question whether Israel is guilty of practicing apartheid. The HSRC, in its subsequent 300-page report found Israel to be guilty of the crime of Apartheid as well as colonialism. That report can be found here: http://www.hsrc.ac.za/en/media-briefs/democracy-goverance-and-service-delivery/report-israel-practicing-apartheid-in-palestinian-territories

This position, that Israel practices Apartheid and racism against the indigenous Palestinians, was then confirmed by the Russell Tribunal on Palestine, which sat in Cape Town in November 2011[6]. In March 2012 the United Nations Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination made similar findings[7]. Earlier this year, the United Nations Human Rights Council (UN HRC), an official structure of the UN, released a scathing report in Geneva, Switzerland, on the state of human rights in Israel, reporting that there is “institutionalised discrimination” in the occupied Palestinian territory.

Beyond the case that is being made by human rights organisations, UN structures and other bodies, there is also a comparison that has been made by senior South Africans, former anti-apartheid activists and others that what the Palestinians are experiencing is akin to (and in some respects) far worse than what we black South Africans experienced in the 1980s under Apartheid. Hendrik Verwoerd, the architect of Apartheid (in South Africa), in 1961 already, was one of the first high-profile South Africans to have compared racial supremacy in Apartheid South Africa to that in Israel. Verwoed did not mince his words: “Israel, like South Africa, is an apartheid state”. However it was really Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu who, in 1987 and then again in 2002, began to make the serious case as to why Israel is guilty of practicing racism against the indigenous Palestinian people. Tutu, in a paper delivered at a conference of Palestinian Christians said: “I’ve been very deeply distressed in my visit to the Holy Land; it reminded me so much of what happened to us black people in South Africa. I have seen the humiliation of the Palestinians at [Israeli] checkpoints and roadblocks, suffering like us when young white police officers prevented us from moving about.”

Since then there have been several senior –and more appropriate, than Verword– South Africans, all veterans of our liberation struggle, who have compared Apartheid South Africa to current-day Israel, including: personal friend and fellow prisoner to Nelson Mandela, Ahmed Kathrada; Rivonia Trialist, Denis Goldberg; anti-apartheid icon, Kader Asmal; former South African Minister of Intelligence, Ronnie Kasrils; Current Minister of Higher Education, Blade Nzimande; and, Winnie Mandela. Most recently, the African National Congress (ANC) Chairperson, Baleka Mbete, at the ANC’s 2012 International Solidarity Conference, also shared this position. And, our own South African Deputy President, Kgalema Mothlante, has gone even further in stating that: “the current situation for Palestinians…[under Israel] is worse than conditions were for Blacks under the Apartheid regime”. The South African Government itself has on two separate occasions (statement 1[8], statement 2[9]) condemned Israeli practices that are reminiscent of “Apartheid”.


“The ANC abhors the recent Israeli state-sponsored xenophobic attacks and deportation of Africans and request that this matter should be escalated to the African Union”African National Congress, Resolution 35 (j), Mangaung, 2012

As was widely reported, in June last year Israeli anti-African protests turned into full-fledged race riots . The Israeli racism and xenophobia against Africans[10] is shared and even encouraged by Israeli politicians including the Israeli Prime Minster, Benjamin Netanyahu, who has said: “If we don’t stop their [African immigrants’] entry, the problem that currently stands at 60,000 could grow to 600,000, and that threatens our existence…and threatens the social fabric of society, our national security and our national identity”. Israel’s Minister of Interior, Eli Yishai, has said that African immigrants “think the country doesn’t belong to us, the white man!” And the Israeli parliamentarian, Miri Regev, has publicly compared Sudanese people to “a cancer”.

Late last year, Israeli officials initially denied but then in January this year admitted that Ethiopian women immigrating to Israel are coerced into taking long-term contraceptive shots[11]. Israeli activists together with human rights activists around the world condemned the practice as another form of racism, discrimination and xenophobia that Israel practices against Africans.


“The abhorrent and draconian control that Israel wields over the besieged Palestinians in Gaza, and the Palestinians in the occupied West Bank coupled with its denial of the rights of refugees to return to their homes in Israel, demands that fair minded people around the world support the Palestinians in their civil, nonviolent resistance. For me it means declaring my intention to stand in solidarity, not only with the people of Palestine, but also with the many thousands of Israelis who disagree with their governments racist and colonial policies, by joining a campaign of Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel, until it satisfies three basic human rights demanded in international law.”Roger Waters, Pink Floyd

Israeli racism, toward indigenous Palestinians and Africans, is not a question, or matter of opinion, it is a fact. The question, then, is how does one respond. What is to be done? How do peace-loving peoples of the world not be complicit in Israeli racism and, for some of us, how do we contribute to supporting the oppressed (and their allies from within the oppressive society)?

In 2005, inspired by the successful boycott and isolation of Apartheid South Africa, Palestinians — after having engaged for years in mass protests, popular uprisings, the armed struggle as well as a seemingly endless negotiation process — called on the international community to play a decisive role in their struggle for self-determination and an end to Israel’s Apartheid policies. Palestinians called on global civil society, artists and multi national corporations to impose a program of boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel. The Palestinians laid out three demands that Israel needs to respect for the boycott to be called-off. Firstly, an end to the illegal Israeli Occupation. Secondly, allowing Palestinian refugees to return to their homes. And, thirdly, for Israel to ensure full equality for Palestinian citizens living inside Israel. The three demands – all based in international law and numerous UN resolutions – ward off fears (or false-accusations) that the BDS campaign is a malicious, blunt and punitive one which is out to punish Israelis. Its not; the BDS campaign is a practical, non-violent, goal-orientated and focused campaign that is uncompromisingly entrenched in international law and human rights – also, one that is increasingly supported by (progressive) Israelis themselves!

Just some of the artists and intellectuals who have publicly lent their support and respected the boycott include: award-winning musician, Stevie Wonder; Jazz artist, Cassandra Wilson; Roger Waters of Pink Floyd; musician, Elvis Costello, author, Alice Walker; intellectual, Stephen Hawking and most recently, the film director, Mira Nair.

We hope that you too, will join this list of artists. We, as South Africans, expected this from the international community in the 1980s and the Palestinians now expect this from us – to support their boycott and not cross the picket line.


“While human beings are being wilfully denied not just their rights but their needs for their children and grandparents and themselves, I feel deeply that I should not be sending even tacit signals [to Israel] that this is either ‘normal’ or ‘ok’. It’s neither and I cannot support it.”Maxi Jazz of Faithless on why his band cancelled on Israel

We understand how difficult it would be for you to reject an opportunity to share your music with others. People like you are the reason other artists want to exist. Your music motivates beyond concert stages, penetrating into the intimate personal spaces of individual human lives and transforming them forever, the way only true art can. Unhappily, matters are not so simple in this context (just as how they were never simple during apartheid in South Africa). Art does not simply take place in a vacuum. The belief that cultural activities are “apolitical” (or that one is simply performing music, not getting involved in politics) is a myth. Performing in Israel will be a slap in the face of Palestinians but it will also be tacit support for the Israeli regime and its practices of apartheid.

One might wonder what purpose refusing to perform in Israel might serve? As a people whose parents and grandparents suffered under (and resisted) Apartheid in South Africa, our history is testament to the value and legitimacy that the international boycott had in bringing an end to the Apartheid regime in our country. When artists and sportspeople began refusing to perform in Apartheid South Africa, the world’s eyes turned to the injustices that were happening here. This then created a wave of pressure, which ultimately contributed to a free, democratic and non-racial South Africa. The same is not only possible for Palestine-Israel, but also inevitable. The question is: On which side of history does one want to be? Performing in Apartheid South Africa — in violation of what us oppressed black South Africans and our white allies asked for — during the 1980s was to be on the wrong side of history. Today, performing in Israel — in violation of what the oppressed Palestinians and their progress Israeli allies have asked for — is choosing to be on the wrong side of history. We hope that you will choose to be on the right side of history and not entertain Apartheid.


“The issue of a principled commitment to justice lies at the heart of responses to the suffering of the Palestinian people and it is the absence of such a commitment that enables many to turn a blind eye to it…. If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” – Archbishop Desmond Tutu

We have penned this letter a mere few days before your performance. Perhaps, we should have written earlier, however, we do trust that you have read the several letters already sent to you as well as engaged with those that have tried making contact with yourself and your management.

We hope to make this letter available to media that have contacted us as well as several of your South African and international fans who made inquiries with us, particularly with your performance in Johannesburg recently for our beloved Madiba. We hope that we will receive a response before then as we would love to communicate to your fans and others here in South Africa of your decision. We look forward to hearing from you, that is, hearing the good news that you will not be entertaining (Israeli) Apartheid.

With hope,

Professor Farid Esack
Head of Religion Studies at the University of Johannesburg and Chair of BDS South Africa’s Management Board

Office 915 | 9th Floor | Khotso House | 62 Marshall Street | Johannesburg
PO Box 2318 | Houghton | 2041 | Johannesburg
T: +27 (0) 11 492 2414 | F: +27 (0) 86 650 4836
W: www.bdssouthafrica.com | E:
www.facebook.com/bdssouthafrica | www.twitter.com/bdssouthafrica

BDS South Africa is a registered Non-Profit Organization. NPO NUMBER: 084 306 NPO
BDS South Africa is a registered Public Benefit Organisation with Section 18A status. PBO NUMBER: 930 037 446

1. http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/08/12/israeli-bypass-roads-separate-but-unequal.html
2. http://mondoweiss.net/2013/03/palestinians-after-montgomery.html
3. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/24/opinion/not-all-israeli-citizens-are-equal.html?_r=1&
4. http://www.middleeastmonitor.com/articles/guest-writers/3825-the-multiple-strands-of-racism
5. http://www.hrw.org/news/2010/12/18/israelwest-bank-separate-and-unequal
6. http://www.russelltribunalonpalestine.com/en/sessions/south-africa/south-africa-session-%E2%80%94-full-findings/cape-town-session-summary-of-findings
7. http://electronicintifada.net/content/un-body-appalled-israels-racial-segregation-policies/11065
8. http://www.info.gov.za/speeches/2009/09112415151001.htm
9. http://www.dfa.gov.za/docs/2010/isra0422.html
10. http://www.davidsheen.com/racism/
11. http://mondoweiss.net/2013/01/contraceptive-injections-ethiopian.html

Eric Burdon, Please Don’t Cross the Picket Line – Boycott Israel

Eric Burdon at the 2008 Daffodil FestivalDear Eric Burdon,

It is with consternation we are aware you are booked to play Israel on August 1, 2013. We would like to inform you about the important means of resistance which has been chosen by Palestinian people to assist in their attainment of justice, rights and freedom after 65 years of oppression in the Palestinian homelands by Israel.

We are asking that you join the existing long list of performers of conscience and others [1] who respect the Palestinian-led global call to boycott until Israel

“meets its obligation to recognize the Palestinian people’s inalienable right to self-determination and fully complies with the precepts of international law by:

1. Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall
2. Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and
3. Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.”[2]

We understand you have spent time in the Negev, where at present under the vicious Prawer Plan, Israel is demolishing the homes of, and expelling more than 40,000 Indigenous Palestinian Bedouin people against their will in order to “judaize” the Bedouins’ homeland.[3] Surely you would support the boycott to protest this terrible act of ethnic cleansing.

You have been requested by Palestinians to stand against Israel’s apartheid regime, which has been described as worse than that perpetrated by South Africa by several noted South African anti-apartheidists.

Baleka Mbete, National Chairperson of the ANC, former Deputy President of the Republic of South Africa (2008-9) and former Speaker of the National Assembly at the 2012 African National Congress (ANC) International Solidarity Conference said that she has been to Palestine herself and that the Israeli regime is not only comparable but “far worse than Apartheid South Africa.” [4]

‘As a South African newspaper editor, Mondli Makhanya, put it in after a 2008 trip to the Middle East: “It seems to me that the Israelis would like the Palestinians to disappear. There was never anything like that in our case. The whites did not want the blacks to disappear.”‘[5]

Especially since your music forms part of rock and roll’s foundations, Eric, please don’t permit yourself and your important legacy to be appropriated in the service of Israel’s cynical propaganda to disguise the oppression and obliteration of Palestinian people. Join Mira Nair, internationally-acclaimed director of Salaam Bombay!, Monsoon Wedding and Mississippi Masala, who stated just last week:

‘I was just invited to Israel as a guest of honor at the Haifa International Film Festival with “The Reluctant Fundamentalist.” I will not be going to Israel at this time. I will go to Israel when the walls come down. I will go to Israel when occupation is gone. I will go to Israel when the state does not privilege one religion over another. I will go to Israel when Apartheid is over. I will go to Israel, soon. I stand with the [Palestinian Campaign] for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) and the larger Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) Movement.’ [6]

In order to set a principled example alongside many artists and academics who have cancelled their appearances after being made aware of the boycott [7], we hope you will be persuaded to support the boycott of apartheid Israel wholeheartedly, and at the least, cancel your performance, refuse to cross the picket line and compromise the struggle for freedom of Palestinian people.

We are a group, of over 1000 members, representing many countries 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.

[1] http://www.bdsmovement.net/timeline
[2] http://www.bdsmovement.net/call
[3] http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/video-bedouins-resist-israeli-plan-expel-40000-and-judaize-their-land
[4] http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/israel-far-worse-apartheid-south-africa-says-anc-chair-pretoria-conference-backs
[5] http://www.thenational.ae/thenationalconversation/comment/israels-similarity-to-south-africas-apartheid-is-more-than-skin-deep#full
[6] http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/monsoon-wedding-director-mira-nair-boycotts-israel-film-festival
[7] http://www.pacbi.org/etemplate.php?id=2093


Australia’s Shameful Racism Against Refugees

Betty the PossumWhy do most Australians only stir in masses about endemic racism in Australian government policy when it comes to a head, as if victimisation of refugees arriving in boats is an anomaly instead of an institution? That Australian politicians can trigger the settler population so easily to reject refugees reveals suppressed self-hatred and alienation from the land. For settlers, the native ecosystem must be transformed, exploited, and converted to resemble the predating mother country, with monocultures of exotic introduced species termed ‘productive agriculture’ and Indigenous fauna and flora reframed as ‘pests’. Invading settlers in this sense are vectors for colonising plants and animals – for white colonists, refugees who bear competing species from regions regarded as ‘non-white’ are suspected, quarantined and feared. Thus, racist Australian colonials endeavour to delay refugees offshore, and now to expose them permanently to dangerous conditions in Papua New Guinea to colonise the jungle instead of diluting white supremacist Australia and jeopardising election results.

With an uprising of indignant, decent protest throughout Australia, is there hope?

Will the Human Rights Commission take action against this appalling advertisement, posted on the Rural Australians for Refugees site? The Australian government is apparently utilising social media to spread its divisive, opportunistic hate for asylum seekers.

How smooth is the regression to the sadism of Australia’s convict past, with disgraceful treatment of refugees on Manus Island exposed on SBS Dateline by a whistleblower:

“Words can’t describe,” Mr St George said. “I’ve never seen human beings so destitute, so helpless and so hopeless before.”

‘Mr St George alleged six men were sexually abused in the men-only tent section of the camp. Because there are no separate secure areas, he said, the victims were left in the same facilities as their attackers. “‘

Concurrently the racism behind the Northern Territory intervention, and embarrassing settler colonial collaborative sycophancy toward Israel and the US at the expense of Palestinians continues largely unchallenged. Each outrage which the fatal shore fetishises serves as a smokescreen for other repulsive human rights abuses. With inalienable individual rights sacrificed to white supremacist economic irrationalism, humans are treated by the political and financial elite as units of economic production. People are divided and exploited by racism and bigotry, made angry, powerless, weary and apathetic, distracted from questioning the rule of cruel, predatory elites who increasingly and disproportionately benefit from their global nightmare of neoliberal, patriarchal capitalist parasitism termed duplicitously as ‘progress’ and ‘civilisation’.

With the race to the bottom cheer-led by pernicious, opportunistic politicians, this gruesome explosion of racism by existing settler colonials, ex-refugees and their descendants in Australia at the moment makes one even more determined to stay on the property and pretend they don’t exist. One is tempted to identify merely as a visitor from another planet sent here to observe the ignominious downfall of the human species as its self-appointed greedy elite trample on humans considered undeserving, whilst contaminating the environment on which we all depend. .

No Pasaran

My favourite refugees arrive for dinner.
They’ve signed petitions. There’s hope.
El gobierno de Rudd habla con mala leche del diablo!
Abran las puertas hay lugar para mas gente!!
No tiene sentido de pelear y sancionar en Afghanistan,
Iran y Iraq y despues no recibir los ciudadanos de estos paises!!!
The garbanzos were delicious.

Jinjirrie, July 2013
Paradise Parrot

Neoliberal Darwinism

grew up empty
on a farm not far from Namboring,
lack of diversity a wedge for perversity
his rhetoric leaves us all snoring.

Jinjirrie, July 2013

The Paradise Parrot vs Genesis 1:28

White boats transport extinction
in flat watercolours and oils
stuffed and caged native treasures
consigned to monocultural oblivion

Jinjirrie, July 2013

Recipes for Revolution

when will the obstinate muse
reclaim the rituals
deliver them on a plate to share
i’m cooking words to open sesame
this cavern of just desserts
where my mother and her mother smile

Jinjirrie, July 2013

Here’s a list of rallies for refugee rights happening nationally this weekend:

Melbourne Saturday 27 July, 1pm, State Library
Sydney: Sunday 28 July, 12pm, Sydney Town Hall
Sydney West: Sunday 28 July, 12pm, Mount Druitt Hub
Brisbane: Saturday 27 July, 1pm, King George Square
Perth:Saturday 27th July, 1pm, Murray Street Mall
Adelaide: Saturday 27 July, 1pm, Parliament House

Related Links

Four reasons why dumping Australia’s responsibilities onto PNG is unacceptable and the NSW Rabbinical Council’s disgusting edict is hypocritical and racist. The Rabbinical Council of Victoria however takes a more ethical view.

Asylum deal ‘madness’, says PNG opposition

The Nauru Riot: Staff Condemn Cruel and Degrading Conditions

Get busy acquiring your own economic productivity accessory and replacement unit. Here in Arsestralia, the government bribes people to breed unilaterally with hefty baby bonuses, to ensure increase in the number of locals, as opposed to taking in those scruffy undeserving refugees.

Protesting the empire’s troops in Australia

Rudd giving succour to white supremacists

As in other countries, the work of reconciliation in Sri Lanka

will undoubtedly require a long, painstaking and painful process of mutual reflection and community-based dialogues. However, it cannot be avoided if we want seriously to address the asylum seeker problem.

Australia can play an important role, here and elsewhere, in assisting with community capacity building and supporting the re-emergence of an independent civil society sector. Often, as in this case, the presence of a committed and highly skilled diaspora community is a key resource on which we can draw.

While the process is time-consuming and labour-intensive it is relatively inexpensive: estimates suggest that an effective reconciliation process in Sri Lanka – which Australia could support – would cost less than 1 per cent of that spent on our border protection activities.

Palestine/Israel Links

It’s unlikely these ‘threats’ against Eric Burdon came from BDS folks. Whilst deploring anyone who threatens performers, one has to be cynical about unsourced ‘threats’, Israeli media and hearsay.

La Ashton is deeply into labelling settlement goods. Not enough, Catherine, but a start.[FB]

SOAS Conference in October:

‘In its embrace of self-criticism, the conference will focus on the ways Palestinian leadership and elites have become embedded in the logic of settler colonialism, embraced neoliberal capitalism, and reproduced social and political accommodation of the Oslo process. However, it also aims to widen our lens, and examine the growing socialisation and reproduction of Oslo logics in Palestinian political and social life, and the ways in which Palestinian resistance against Oslo and Israel, and international solidarity with that resistance, has reproduced the very conditions it seeks to overturn. In particular, we hope to highlight the context and consequences of the re-orientation of the liberation struggle into a legal and rights-based approach; the political, geographical, and social separation of the Palestinian body politic in movement discourse and strategy; the proliferation of an unaccountable “political solution/vision market” and unchecked practices of solidarity; and growing alienation and distancing of Palestinians from others engaged in similar struggles against settler-colonialism.

With this conference, SOAS Palestine Society hopes to build on its long-standing commitment to critically rigorous movement thought and analysis in an emancipatory and committed space.”