BDS Alert: Join the global days of action 28, 29, 30 January 2022

BDS Alert: Join the global days of action 28, 29, 30 January 2022

The BDS Palestine National Committee and the Palestinian Stop the Wall campaign are calling for global mobilization in solidarity with the Palestinian people in their steadfast resistance against Israel’s forced displacement in Jerusalem’s neighborhoods of Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan, in Al-Naqab, the Jordan Valley, the southern Hebron Hills and beyond. 

These Global Days of Action are in response to the call by the Bedouin-Palestinian community of Al-Naqab for international solidarity to support their struggle against Israel’s ongoing Nakba.

The last week has seen a dramatic escalation in the intensity and brutality of Israel’s relentless policy of expulsion that still threatens to expel thousands of Indigenous Palestinians more from their homes and lands. As Human Rights Watch and other international human rights organizations have said, this wave of forced displacement is yet another manifestation of Israel’s system of apartheid against all Palestinians. Apartheid is a crime against humanity in international law.

We call for intensifying our efforts to end international complicity by states, corporations and institutions in Israel’s policies of apartheid, settler colonialism and military occupation. In other words, we call for meaningful solidarity with the Palestinian struggle against Israeli attempts to dehumanize them and to criminalize their popular resistance to cultural erasure and the ongoing dispossession and displacement. 

Let’s demand effective accountability for complicity in war crimes now.

Take the lead from Palestinians in Al-Naqab as they organize another mass protest this Sunday. 

Be inspired by the sumud (steadfastness) of the Palestinian community in Sheikh Jarrah, and by the words of Mahmoud Salhiya: “We’d rather die in our land with dignity than surrender.” They embody the determined resilience of the entire Palestinian people, including Palestinians besieged in the Gaza Strip since 2007.

Palestinian women, men and youth continue to rise up for their rights, whether in their homeland or in exile, where they’ve lived as refugees ethnically cleansed from their homeland in the 1948 Nakba and denied their inherent and UN-stipulated right of return. 

ACTIONS

On 28, 29, 30 January – the Global Days of Action to #EndEthnicCleansing, let’s:

  • Sign the Statement
  • Organize/join protests, vigils and rallies. 
  • Pressure our Federal and State government to take action, including lawful and targeted sanctions and military-security trade bans, and call out those who are complicit with apartheid Israel. – join our #StopElbit campaign to tell the Victorian state government and the Australian federal government to abandon any association with Israeli arms manufacturer and distributer, Elbit Systems and Elbit Systems Australia.
  • Strengthen and build BDS campaigns against the JNFHyundai Heavy IndustriesG4S/Allied UniversalNSO (Pegasus)HP, and others to hold corporations enabling Israeli apartheid accountable for their complicity.
  • BDS Australia’s Don’t Buy HP campaign page is HERE  –  Take Action today against HP’s complicity with Israeli oppression.
  • Build support for the UN to investigate and end Israeli apartheid, as was done with South African apartheid.
  • Join us and the social media storm on Facebook Instagram and Twitter and use hashtags #EndEthnicCleansing and #UnitedAgainstApartheid as well as #SaveSheikhJarrah, #SaveAlNaqab, #UNInvestigateApartheid. 

A landslide of support for Sydney Festival boycott                          Jan 18, 2022

A landslide of support for Sydney Festival boycott Jan 18, 2022

Photo credit: Aman Kapoor

The Sydney Festival boycott over funding from Israel is now Australia’s largest and most successful boycott campaign since the anti-apartheid movement against South African apartheid and the Green bans of the 1970s, according to BDS Australia.

More than 40% of the Festival performances have been disrupted with some 100 artists, companies and arts workers withdrawing in solidarity with this community and artist-led initiative opposing Israeli art-washing of war crimes against the Palestinian people.
BDS Australia is especially heartened by the strong solidarity and support given to this boycott by so many First Nations artists who so well understand the experience of colonisation and dispossession.

“The actions of so many artists, companies and arts workers in supporting the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions in light of Israel’s apartheid policies and ongoing human rights abuses against Palestinians, clearly shows the solidarity and intersectional nature of this struggle,” says BDS Australia patron, Associate Professor Jake Lynch of Sydney University’s Department of Peace and Conflict Studies.

“More than 10,000 people have signed the BDS Australia petition and written to the Sydney Festival Board. 1,000 artists and arts workers have publicly expressed their support for those who have withdrawn in protest from the Festival, and many Australian Jewish organisations and individuals have publicly stated their support for the boycott – this is a landslide of support for justice for Palestinians,” says BDS Australia convenor and Palestinian refugee, Hilmi Dabbagh.

“The tide is turning and no amount of spin from the Israel lobby and Zionist supporters in Australia can stop it. Desperate calls for anti-BDS legislation and claims of antisemitism from those organisations which support Israel’s colonialist and apartheid policies are falling on deaf ears and rightly so,” according to Dr Peter Slezak, Deputy Convenor of BDS Australia who is the son of holocaust survivors.

“The latest United Nations reports show the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians is intensifying, with record numbers evicted and buildings being demolished every day in East Jerusalem, in the Naqab and elsewhere by the occupying Israeli authorities. The Israeli state is openly colluding with gangs of armed thugs from the settler movement to speed up the seizure and theft of Palestinian land”, says Hiba Farra, BDS Australia committee member and Palestinian lawyer.

Further information:

BDS Australia – Israel government sponsorship of the Sydney Festival
BDS Australia petition to Board members

Artists Against Apartheid – Drop Israeli Regime Partnership

A Jewish Response to the Sydney Festival Boycott
Settler Violence = State Violence – B’Tselem Nov 2021

Israeli Government sponsorship of the Sydney Festival 2022

Israeli Government sponsorship of the Sydney Festival 2022

Photo/Graceenee
"The Writing is on the Wall: Annexation Past and Present", an exhibit that examines the plight of the Palestinian people, focusing on the wall built in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.
Photo/Graceenee

TAKE ACTION

Tell Sydney Festival 2022 not to take money from apartheid Israel

Sign the petition here

BDS Australia has written to the Sydney Festival and to the Sydney Dance Company regarding their acceptance of sponsorship by the Israeli government. We are calling for this sponsorship to be rejected because of Israel’s ongoing crimes against Palestinians and its use of sponsorships like this to attempt to artwash these crimes.

TAKE ACTION AND WRITE TO THE SYDNEY FESTIVAL JOINING OUR CALL FOR THEM TO REJECT ISRAELI GOVERNMENT SPONSORSHIP
SEND AN EMAIL – [email protected]
or sign the petition

UPDATE:

BDSA meeting with Chair and Executive Director of Sydney Festival

Dec 18, 2021 — 

As a result of BDS Australia’s recent letter and request to meet with the Sydney Festival due to their acceptance of sponsorship from the Israeli Embassy for one of the forthcoming festival performances, a BDS Australia representatives met with the Chair of the Sydney Festival, David Kirk MBE and Chris Tooher, Executive Director, Sydney Festival on Friday Dec 17th. 

We presented information on the grave human rights violations and ongoing breaches of international law by Israel in relation to Palestinians and gave an overview of BDS and the PACBI (cultural and academic) guidelines.

We called on the Festival to review its sponsorship deal with Israel and to take a public and ethical stand in support of Palestinian rights. 

In response, the Festival representatives explained that as a result of the concerns which had been raised with them not only from BDSA but also other Palestinian advocacy organisations and artists, they were seriously re-evaluating their processes for seeking sponsorships for festival performances . They expressed concern that this issue had caused a number of artists contracted to perform at this Festival, to threaten to withdraw from and boycott the 2022 Festival. 

We asked that they use the human rights framework of the UN Global Compact when re-evaluating their processes. We also explained that BDS was not antisemitic. 

They acknowledged our concerns and expressed their intention to review their approach to sponsorships which will be taken up in their next board meeting shortly



Letter from BDS Australia Dec 2, 2021

Letter to: Olivia Ansell
Director
Sydney Festival

cc: Lizzi Nicoll
Deputy Executive Director
Sydney Dance Company

We write to express our deep concern at the 2022 Festival of Sydney’s acceptance of sponsorship from the Israeli government via the Israeli Embassy, Canberra as a Star Partner and as a sponsor of the Sydney Dance Company’s festival event, Decadance.

The signatories to this letter are members of Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Australia which supports the 2005 call by 170 Palestinian civil society organisations for BDS as a peaceful and non-violent means to pressure the State of Israel to end the illegal military occupation and colonisation of Palestinian territories in the West Bank and East Jerusalem from 1967; to end the crippling blockade of Gaza which has been in operation since 2006; and to allow the internationally recognized Right of Return to Palestinian refugees to the land and homes from which Israel forcibly expelled them in 1948; and to ensure equal rights for all Palestinians living in Israel according to international law and human rights conventions.

Arts, culture, and politics cannot be separated. Israel funds cultural events and ambassadors to ‘art-wash’ the human rights violations it perpetrates against the Palestinians by presenting itself as a normal ‘democracy’ and one which can be accepted internationally, despite its ongoing grave violations of human rights and international law. This is a conscious policy of the Israeli government. Nissim Ben-Shitrit, former Deputy Director General at the Israeli Foreign Affairs Ministry has said: “We regard culture as a hasbara [propaganda] tool of the highest order, and I do not differentiate between hasbara and culture”.

Israel has progressively taken large tracts of land which are internationally recognized as Palestinian land – dispossessing successive generations from their rights and maintaining a brutal military occupation which imprisons thousands of civilians including children and condones the unlawful and frequent killing of civilians. It has maintained a blockade of Gaza which has destroyed the local economy and denied freedom of movement to millions of people. It has engaged in largescale attacks against civilians in Gaza, killing and maiming tens of thousands in the last 13 years. It practices apartheid against Palestinians in Israel and throughout the Occupied Territories and is subject to countless UN resolutions condemning these violations of international law which are documented by many international, Israeli and Palestinian human rights organisations.

The apartheid nature of the state of Israel has been recently documented by Israel’s most prominent human rights organisation, B’tselem and also Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International.

We ask that you seriously reconsider the Sydney Festival’s association with the State of Israel and stand with the Palestinian people and with international law by refusing to accept any sponsorships from or collaborations with Israel until such time as Palestine is free.

We ask that you share this letter with the Festival’s Board of Directors, and we look forward to your response.

We would appreciate the opportunity to meet with you and to discuss this matter further.

Yours sincerely,
BDS Australia on behalf of the following member organisations:

  • Australians for Palestine (AFP) VIC
  • Australian Friends of Palestine Association (AFOPA) SA
  • Australian Palestinian Professionals Association (APPA) NSW
  • Australian Students for BDS (ASBDS)
  • Coalition for Justice and Peace in Palestine (CJPP) NSW
  • Federation of Italian Migrant Workers and their Families (FILEF) NSW
  • Friends of Hebron (FOH) NSW
  • Friends of Palestine WA (FOPWA) WA
  • General Union of Palestinian Workers NSW
  • Justice for Palestine, Meanjin (Brisbane) (JFP) QLD
  • Palestine Israel Ecumenical Network (PIEN)
  • Women for Palestine
We’re making Puma’s CEO nervous. Join the Boycott Puma Day of Action, September 18

We’re making Puma’s CEO nervous. Join the Boycott Puma Day of Action, September 18

August 17, 2021 / By Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) 

As Palestinians continue to struggle against Israel’s illegal land grabs, and companies like Ben & Jerry’s pledge to end involvement in illegal Israeli settlements, it’s time for all of us to step up the pressure on Puma to end support for Israeli apartheid.

Puma is worried about the growing boycott campaign.

In a leaked internal memo, Puma said Israel’s escalation of violence against Palestinians in May led to an increase in inquiries from its “business partners and ambassadors” about its complicity in Israeli apartheid. Global advocacy organization SumOfUs asked to meet with Puma about its support for illegal Israeli settlements. Not only did Puma accept, but even the agitated CEO joined!

As Palestinians continue to struggle against Israel’s illegal land grabs, and companies like Ben & Jerry’s pledge to end involvement in illegal Israeli settlements, it’s time for all of us to step up the pressure on Puma.

Join the #BoycottPuma Global Day of Action, September 18

ACTIONS

  • SIGN THE PETITION to demand these sports clubs support Palestinian human rights and sever  their Puma sponsorships. 
  • CALL ON PUMA SPONSORED AUSTRALIAN TEAMS to #BootPuma by taking a photo while holding a #BoycottPuma sign, post it on social media with the caption: 

Until @Puma ends their complicity in Israeli Apartheid, I demand [INSERT @NAME OF CLUB] to #BoycottPuma and #PumaFam

  • REBRAND YOUR PUMA GEAR by writing “boycott” over the logo or tape over it, post a photo on social media with the caption:

I bought @Puma gear before I knew Puma supports illegal Israeli settlements on stolen Palestinian land. Until Puma ends their complicity in Israeli Apartheid, I’m supporting Palestinian teams calling to #BoycottPuma and I will #RebrandPuma. Goodbye #PumaFam!

  • BOYCOTT AS A TEAM by organising a Zoom meeting with your sports team, and take a screen capture of each team member holding a sign that reads #BoycottPuma, post it on social media with the caption: 

@Puma supports illegal Israeli settlement on stolen Palestinian land. Our team supports Palestine so we #BoycottPuma and #PumaFam


In Brisbane join the Boycott Puma Walk with BDS Australia member group
Justice for Palestine Meanjin – Brisbane

BDS Australia Boycott Puma information here

More information on the international #Boycott Puma Global Day of Action here including materials and toolkit

Australian government defense contracts with Israel exposed

Australian government defense contracts with Israel exposed

Australia’s defense contracts with Israel have been exposed in this article ‘Defence hides Australia’s weapon sales to Israel amid war crimes investigation into Palestine’ published by Michael West Media and written by Michelle Fahey.

The Defence Department approved 187 permits for military exports to Israel in the six years to March 31, according to figures released under Freedom of Information (FOI).

The figures prompted questions about the ethics of Australia approving the export of weapons, military technology and other military goods to Israel, given its large number of documented violations of international human rights law in Palestine over decades.

“It is horrifying to learn that Australia is approving so many export permits to Israel – one of the most heavily militarised states in the world, which has been subjecting the Palestinian people to a brutal military occupation for over five decades,” said Rawan Arraf, Executive Director, Australian Centre for International Justice. “It’s highly likely then, that Australian goods are being used in aiding and abetting war crimes and crimes against humanity. We have a right to know what is being exported and to demand that it ends.”

However, when asked for details of what Australia has approved for export to Israel, Defence made clear its priority is protecting the commercial interests of the defence industry over transparency and being accountable to the Australian public for its decisions. A Defence spokesperson said, “Defence does not comment on individual export applications, assessments, goods or customers in order to protect commercially sensitive information and opportunities for Australian companies.”

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE

BDS Australia joins the call for Australia to end all military ties with Israel and condemns the proposal by the government to a Free Trade Agreement with Israel.

JOIN THE CAMPAIGN TO END ALL MILITARY TIES WITH ISRAEL