MEDIA RELEASE 3 MARCH, 2010
Today is the national launch of a prominent new Australian initiative that rejects Israel’s automatic right of return for Jews across the world.
Following a recent similar project in the US, 35 distinguished Australian Jews have signed a petition that indicates growing dissent from Zionist policies and dispossession of Palestinian land.
The ongoing occupation of Palestine, the siege on Gaza, the botched Mossad hit in Dubai and violence against Palestinians is encouraging a sea-change in global Jewish opinion towards the state of Israel.
Some of the key signatories include world-renowned ethicist Peter Singer, actor Miriam Margolyes, legendary feminist campaigner Eva Cox, La Trobe University’s Dennis Altman, Monash University’s Andrew Benjamin, Sydney University’s David Goodman and John Docker, legal scholar GJ Lindell, best-selling author and journalist Antony Loewenstein, writers Susan Varga and Sara Dowse, ANU’s Ned Curthoys and many others.
This statement is a direct challenge to the Rudd government’s closeness to Israel and plea for a more balanced approach to the Middle East question.
Petition Against the Right of Return to Israel on Behalf of Australian Jews
We are Jews from Australia, who, like Jewish people throughout the world, have an automatic right to Israeli citizenship under Israel’s “law of return.” While this law may seem intended to enable a Jewish homeland, we submit that it is in fact a form of racist privilege that abets the colonial oppression of the Palestinians.
Today there are more than seven million Palestinian refugees around the world. Israel denies their right to return to their homes and land—a right recognized and undisputed by UN Resolution 194, the Geneva Convention, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Meanwhile, we are invited to live on that same land simply because we are Jewish, thereby potentially taking the place of Palestinians who would dearly love to return to their ancestral lands.
We renounce this “right” to “return” offered to us by Israeli law. It is not right that we may “return” to a state that is not ours while Palestinians are excluded and continuously dispossessed.
Professor Peter Singer – Princeton University
Miriam Margolyes (OBE) – renowned actor
Eva Cox (AO) – National Chair of the Women’s Electoral Lobby.
Professor Dennis Altman – Professor of Politics, La Trobe University
Professor Andrew Benjamin – Monash University
Sara Dowse – writer
GJ Lindell – Adjunct Professor of Law, University of Adelaide
Susan Varga – writer
Antony Loewenstein – writer, journalist, author of My Israel Question
Professor David SG Goodman – Professor of Chinese Politics, University of Sydney
Professor John Docker – Sydney University
Jean McClean – advisor to Vice-Chancellor at Victoria University on East-Timor
Dr Peter Slezak – University of New South Wales
Dr Tony Balint – Blue Horizon Clinic
Dr Ron Witton – University of Wollongong
Dr Ned Curthoys – Australian National University
Dr Rick Kuhn – Australian National University
Dr. Tamas Pataki
Russell Bancroft – Manager Industrial Relations, Government Branch
Nicole Erlich – PhD candidate, University of Queensland