But, sputters Israel defender, we’re a lovely and free nation

How many Zionist lobbyists does it take to defend apartheid?

Don’t answer that (hint: one).

The ongoing saga of Sydney council Marrackville supporting BDS is slammed by defender of the occupation Anthony Orkin.

What’s funny reading this delusion is how it could have been written decades ago. Occupation doesn’t exist. Israel’s growing descent into fascism is simply “democracy”. Palestinians commit terrorism.

Please keep writing these pieces; it’s certainly helping our cause:

Driving through some of the potholed Marrickville streets this week and seeing unrepaired vandalism of public property was a stark reminder of the tasks which confront Local Councils.

In addition to dealing with the needs of locals, the majority of Marrickville Councillors have determined that they will dive headlong into complex Middle East issues, in the process contravening Australian foreign policy and undermining all those who are working to promote a better future for Israelis, Palestinians and others.

The resolution they passed on December 14 calls for a blanket boycott on produce and services from Israel and virtually all contacts with any and all Israelis. None of the 559 other Local Councils in Australia have passed such a ridiculous resolution.

Greens Councillor Cathy Peters moved the unprecedented resolution which was supported by Mayor and Greens candidate for the State seat of Marrickville, Fiona Byrne as well as three other Greens, four ALP members and one Independent.

It defies logic that Marrickville Councillors would add foreign affairs to their list of responsibilities. It is worrying for local residents, however, that the Mayor believes this resolution “is well within Council’s jurisdiction”. It is also clearly outside their area of expertise.

Will the Mayor and the nine other Councillors now refrain from using their computers and phones? After all, the current Google-search algorithm was written by an Israeli, the Intel chip was designed in Israel and voicemail and instant messaging are Israeli inventions. The Councillors are being hypocrites every time they use this technology.

Boycotting Israel would hurt Palestinian livelihoods and devastate the Palestinian economy which is intricately linked to the Israeli economy. This resolution reflects the extreme ideology of its supporters in that it seeks to punish and demonise the sole democracy in the Middle East rather than help any of the victims of the decades old conflict.

This resolution is detrimental to the quest for peace. There are many co-operative projects between the Israelis and Palestinians in areas such as water recycling, sport and culture. There are many exchanges whereby Israelis and Palestinian engage in dialogue and exchange views about peace and their respective aspirations. For Palestinian statehood to have a chance, this co-operation must be increased. Yet according to Marrickville, such exchanges should stop, since they violate the boycott they have endorsed.

Israel is the only country in the Middle East with racial, gender, sexual and religious equality enshrined in law. It is the only democracy in the region with a full range of civil rights, such as freedom of speech and freedom of assembly.

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

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