A direct challenge to the Australian Greens on Israel/Palestine

The following statement is written by Australian Jewish academic Ned Curthoys. I agree with its sentiments:

Antony and I had a dream last night in which the important resolution by the NSW Greens in December of last year in support of an economic and cultural boycott of the colonialist Zionist project in Israel/Palestine was quickly succeeded by a new policy by the Australian Greens. It was with some melancholy that I work up only to realise that the following resolution, which treats the Palestinian question in civil rights terms as an anti-racist struggle, is not yet their national policy.

”˜As reported in The Independent only days ago, a recent European Union missive to 25 EU Consuls General in Jerusalem, stressing its opposition to Jewish building in east Jerusalem, notes ominously that: “Israel has left Palestinian neighbourhoods ever more isolated” and “by legal and practical means, is actively pursuing its [illegal] annexation by systematically undermining the Palestinian presence in the city”.

The Australian Greens can no longer ignore or quietly tolerate what the rest of the global community now recognizes: that the state of Israel is busily engaged in colonising Palestinian lands in East Jerusalem and the West Bank and doing its utmost to diminish the Palestinian presence in areas it has designated for Jewish settlement. In an age of decolonisation and of the achievement of equality and civil rights for all peoples, this anachronistic attack on the human rights of the Palestinian people must be reversed.

The Greens recognize that the so-called peace-process has ended in failure due to the intransigent colonial avarice of the state of Israel and the unwillingness of the United States to back up its rhetoric condemnations of Jewish settlement with any meaningful policies, such as a reduction in its extraordinary levels of economic and military support for Israel, a support that is historically unprecedented.

The Greens recognise at this crucial historical juncture that we have been hindering, rather than helping the movement for justice for the Palestinians, by supporting a ”˜two-state solution’. We now recognize that no viable and contiguous Palestinian state can possibly emerge in the wake of Zionist colonisation of Palestinian lands, a fact eagerly noted by the state of Israel itself, which continues to rapidly undermine any future prospects for a Palestinian state based in East Jerusalem.

The Greens now believe that the liberation of the Palestinian people, and indeed, ultimately of all peoples of the region, is only foreseeable if the state of Israel has to face the threat of economic and cultural sanctions sanctions as well as arms embargoes. The Greens are now willing to consider all ethically motivated, non-violent forms of boycott activity that aim to encourage Israel to respect international law, particularly those forms of boycott activity focused on Israeli exports that originate in illegal settlements. In particular we support the February 2009 decision of the Belgian government to stop exporting weapons to Israel, and the selective targeting of companies such as Veolia and the Ahava cosmetics company which are seeking to profit from an illegal occupation.

We strongly support the right of artists and performers not to visit the state of Israel and thereby normalise its abhorrent treatment of the Palestinian people. Along with Ken Loach we strongly condemn the Melbourne International Film Festival for promoting the state of Israel as a cultural sponsor given its shocking human rights record.

The Australian Greens recognize that the Palestinian struggle for justice and freedom of opression takes many forms, but the civil and human rights of the Palestinian people can no longer be ignored which is why we now support forms of non-violent direct action in support of the Palestinian ”˜right to have rights’’.

Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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