The following statement was released by the NSW Greens yesterday:
Israel: Greens NSW back international Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions
Greens NSW State Council has agreed to back a series of military, trade and services boycotts of Israel and to support the growing international BDS (Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions) movement.
Greens NSW Senator-elect Lee Rhiannon said, “Delegates from our Greens local groups across NSW unanimously endorsed this comprehensive proposal as a way to support Palestinian self-determination and to help bring peace to the people of Israel and Palestine.
“We are hopeful that the Greens’ backing of the BDS movement will win more Australian support for this important cause.
“The Greens have decided to support the BDS campaign, which builds on the US civil rights movement and international campaign against apartheid South Africa.
“The BDS opposition to all forms of racism, including anti-semitism, reflects the principles of the Greens. The campaign is motivated by the universal principles of freedom, justice and equal rights.
“Members I have spoken to about the Greens proposal are troubled by Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land and the oppression of Palestinian people, and they want to take firm but peaceful action.
“The broad-based support the BDS movement is achieving fits in with the Greens style of campaigning.
“We hope to build a broad-based campaign in Australia similar to what has been achieved overseas.
“Prominent figures including Nobel peace laureates Desmond Tutu and Máiread Maguire, and Richard Falk, an American Jew and the UN’s special rapporteur on the Palestinian territories, have added their voice to the international campaign.
“In Palestine over 170 political parties, unions, mass movements and NGOs endorse the movement, which is led by a coalition of civil society organisations.
“In Israel citizens have lobbied Cape Town Opera House not to perform in Tel-Aviv. They have also approached Tel-Aviv International Art Film Festival participants not to attend or contribute their films.
“Earlier this year 150 American theatre and film professionals, many of them of the Jewish faith, signed a statement of support for counterparts in Israel who boycotted performances in the illegal Jewish settlement of Ariel. About 50 Israeli actors had refused to perform in the Ariel Cultural Centre.
“Within Jewish Israeli society there are increasing calls for a cutting of ties with higher education institutions complicit in the occupation of Palestinian territories.
“Ben-Gurion University academic, Neve Gordon, has called for massive international pressure on Israel. He argues that this is the only way to guarantee that the next generation of Israelis and Palestinians do not grow up in an apartheid regime.
“Unions in Belgium, Spain, France, Norway, England and Australia are also backing the BDS campaign.
“Greens members were galvanised by Israel’s war of aggression on Gaza, its attack on the peaceful Gaza bound flotilla, and its ongoing failure to recognise the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes, as stipulated in UN resolution 194.
“The proposal passed by the Greens NSW State Council gives voice and action to those concerns,” Ms Rhiannon said.
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Proposal passed by consensus at December Greens NSW State Conference.
That the Greens NSW call upon all Australians and the Australian government to boycott Israeli goods, trading and military arrangements, and sporting, cultural and academic events as a contribution to the struggle to end Israel’s occupation and colonisation of Palestinian territory, the siege of Gaza and imprisonment of 1.5 million people, and Israel’s institution of a system of apartheid, by endorsing the following actions:
1. condemning Israel’s apartheid and occupation policies;
2. censuring Israel’s violations of the human rights of Palestinians and its failure to abide by international law;
3. halting any military cooperation or trade with Israel;
4. refraining from participation in any form of sporting event, academic and cultural cooperation, collaboration or joint projects with Israeli institutions or teams except those that publicly oppose Israel’s apartheid and occupation policies;
5. advocating a comprehensive boycott of Israeli institutions at national and international levels, including suspension of all forms of funding and subsidies to these institutions; and
6. supporting and promoting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel.