GAZA GENOCIDE – NATIONAL BDS CALLS AND ACTIONS – NOV 2023
BDS actions on the UN International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People
After 7 weeks of Israel’s hideous war crimes against Palestinians in Gaza we have witnessed the utter failure of governments and the UN to bring this carnage to an end. A humanitarian pause rather than a complete ceasefire and withdrawal of all Israeli forces from Gaza, is yet another betrayal of humanity and justice for Palestinians.
Given the extremely urgent need to stop the genocide, the BDS movement recommends the following forms of advocacy and mobilization:
Escalating boycott and divestment campaigns against strategic complicit targets
Calling for an international arms embargo against Israel
Challenging/disrupting business-as-usual in states, institutions, and spaces
Join our Social media storm on Wednesday Nov 29, the UN International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, – calling on politicians and govt to apply a military embargo and stop all weapons trade with Israel.
TWITTER/ X: @BDS_Australia INSTAGRAM: bdsinaustralia & bdsyouth_australia FACEBOOK: BDS Australia
Protest at HP head-offices in all states of Australia – calling out HPs complicity in supplying tech for Israeli to maintain its apartheid and persecution of Palestinians. Send us an email if you are keen to participate in or lead a protest in your area: [email protected]
Join protests and rallies and take action to #BlockTheBoats to keep up the pressure on politicians and complicit companies to end their support of Israel. Follow Trade Unionists for Palestine, Palestine Justice Movement Sydney, Free Palestine Melbourne, Justice for Palestine Meanjin, and BDS Australia for updates on this campaign.
We need to escalate global mobilizations to stop the ongoing genocide.
1. There must be an ongoing ceasefire and provision for UN protection for Palestinians everywhere and an end to the unlawful occupation and dispossession and colonisation throughout
2. Forcible transfer of Palestinians within Gaza and out of Gaza must be stopped.
3. There must be targeted and lawful sanctions on Israel, most importantly a comprehensive military-security embargo.
4. Israel must be expelled or suspended from international forums (UNGA, FIFA, International Olympic Committee, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and others, as was done to apartheid South Africa.
5. The ICC must urgently issue arrest warrants for Israeli leaders involved in genocide, in order to help stop it and pursue universal justice by swiftly investigating all Israeli war crimes and crimes against humanity, including apartheid and genocide.
6. Political, military and other leaders of states that have enabled or failed to stop Israel’s #GazaGenocide, should be held legally accountable through, among others, strategic lawsuits in domestic courts or third states’ courts (under universal jurisdiction).
This Resolution was resoundingly passed at the November 11, Port Botany protest in Sydney.
For generations, Palestinians have been crushed by apartheid Israel and have courageously resisted. Now they are undergoing a genocidal assault in Gaza. We will not stand by in silence. Palestinians have called for us to support the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign to challenge Israel’s power. We commit to answering that call.
The ZIM shipping line is a major supporter of Israel and of the Israeli Defence Forces. ZIM ships regularly visit Port Botany.
As working people, union members and community supporters we stand against war, apartheid and colonisation wherever it occurs. There can be no pride in genocide, either in Palestine or here in Australia. Here, that means standing against ZIM.
Today we have come in numbers to show the strength and determination of our movement. We are many, and we are powerful.
We resolve to be here again as soon as we know a ZIM ship has docked. We commit to following the proud tradition of action for justice, peace and equality taken by workers around the world against the bloody forces of war, colonisation and racism, and we undertake to do everything to make that action as strong and powerful as possible.
We will fight to win our demands – no ZIM ships in Port Botany while Israel is carrying out a genocide!
Long live Palestine.
Palestine Justice Movement Sydney Australian Unionists for Palestine MUA Sydney Branch
ACTIVISTS CLAIM VICTORY AS RMIT ENDS ELBIT PARTNERSHIP Activists are celebrating the announcement by RMIT that it has ceased its research partnership with Israel’s largest weapons manufacturer Elbit Systems, which develops, tests, and provides weapons and drones to the Israeli military for use against Palestinians.
This victory comes just over a year after RMIT was targeted by BDS Australia due to its advertised partnership with Elbit Systems in the development of AI systems. In 2022, Palestine’s largest academic and tertiary union (PFUUPE), representing over 6,000 academics and staff, wrote to RMIT and urged it to suspend all collaboration with Elbit Systems. Subsequently staff and students held on-campus protests and speak-outs. RMIT did not respond to any of these representations nor to the large online petition with 2000+ signatures calling for an end to all ties with Elbit Systems.
Throughout 2023, two Melbourne activists, Shane McCartin and Mark Bradbeer, took the campaign to RMIT’s doorstep and for 8 and a half months picketed each week outside the campus. They were joined by members of Free Palestine Melbourne and Students for Palestine (Victoria) distributing information about the use of Elbit technologies in war crimes against Palestinian civilians and calling for an end to RMIT’s complicity with these crimes.
“At first, many students and staff we spoke to knew nothing about Elbit Systems or its relationship with RMIT,” said Mark Bradbeer. “It was slow work but our support grew steadily as people learned of the partnership.”
The campaign received a boost in July when high profile journalist and author Antony Loewenstein denounced the RMIT-Elbit partnership,
“If you partner, as a state or a university, with a company like Elbit, you have blood on your hands because the record of Elbit in Israel-Palestine, on the US-Mexican border and elsewhere is so damned clear”, said Lowenstein. “So RMIT needs to answer very serious questions about it, and actually feel pressure about that – a lot of pressure.”
On 19 October 80 activists associated with Students for Palestine (Victoria) marched on the RMIT campus denouncing the university for its complicity in ongoing Israeli atrocities in the Gaza Strip.
In response to this protest, RMIT released a statement that it no longer has any partnerships with Elbit Systems or Elbit Systems of Australia. When clarification was sought, RMIT confirmed that their planned partnership with Elbit Systems was terminated, and that they have no relationship with the company or any of its subsidiaries.
“This is a significant victory for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement in Australia,” said Hilmi Dabbagh, from BDS Australia, which partnered with Free Palestine Melbourne throughout the campaign. “Australian universities have been put on notice that they will be targeted if they partner with any Israeli company or institution complicit in human rights abuses and attacks on Palestinians.”
There is no doubt that many global companies, as part of the global structure of the economy (racial capitalism), are complicit in the genocidal war waged by Israel today against 2.3 million Palestinians in Gaza, and some of these companies are involved in apartheid Israel’s economy to varying degrees. All peaceful popular efforts, including boycott and divestment, to hold these entities accountable for their support of Israel’s crimes against Palestinians are justified and called for.
In our work in the BDS movement, we rely on the operational principle of targeted and strategic boycotts, which means focusing on a specific number of the most complicit targets, where we have a better chance of success, to maximize our impact, rather than non-targeted boycotts. For example, the movement has called for boycotts and divestment against HP, PUMA,Elbit, among others, due to their proven involvement in apartheid and complicity in Israel’s violations of Palestinian human rights.
Some companies, like Carrefour, have doubled down on their complicity by donating thousands of personal packages to the Israeli occupation army, thus directly supporting its commission of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Gaza. Other companies, including McDonalds, Domino’s Pizza, Pizza Hut, and Papa Johns have also made generous donations to Israel’s genocidal army. They all deserve to be boycotted and divested from, regardless of the claim that their branches in various countries are wholly or partially owned by local businesses.
The parent company is complicit for allowing its Israel branch to support an ongoing military aggression that leading scholars of genocide have described as a “textbook case of genocide.”
We encourage continued pressure on entities that support apartheid Israel and its genocidal war against our people in Gaza.
And don’t forget to #checkyour super Ask your superfund if they invest in companies linked to illegal Israeli settlements. We’ve made it easy for you to do here.
Tilda Swinton among 2000+ artists calling for Gaza ceasefire
They accuse governments of “aiding and abetting” Israel’s “war crimes” in Gaza
Palestinians face “collective punishment on an unimaginable scale”
Governments should “end their military and political support for Israel’s actions”
Renowned actors Tilda Swinton, Charles Dance, Steve Coogan, Miriam Margolyes, Peter Mullan, Maxine Peake and Khalid Abdalla are among more than two thousand people from across the arts who have signed a letter saying that: “Our governments are not only tolerating war crimes but aiding and abetting them.”
The artists, including Robert del Naja and playwrights Tanika Gupta and Abbie Spallen, condemn “every act of violence against civilians and every infringement of international law whoever perpetrates them”.
THE LETTER IN FULL
We are witnessing a crime and a catastrophe. Israel has reduced much of Gaza to rubble, and cut off the supply of water, power, food and medicine to 2.3 million Palestinians. In the words of the UN’s undersecretary for humanitarian affairs, ‘the spectre of death’ is hanging over the territory.
Gaza is already a society of refugees and the children of refugees. Now, in their hundreds of thousands, bombarded from air, sea and land, Palestinians whose grandparents were forced out of their homes at the barrel of a gun are again being told to flee – or face collective punishment on an unimaginable scale. Dispossessed of rights, described by Israel’s minister of defence as “human animals”, they have become people to whom almost anything can be done.
Our governments are not only tolerating war crimes but aiding and abetting them. There will come a time when they are held to account for their complicity. But for now, while condemning every act of violence against civilians and every infringement of international law whoever perpetrates them, our obligation is to do all we can to bring an end to the unprecedented cruelty being inflicted on Gaza.
We support the global movement against the destruction of Gaza and the mass displacement of the Palestinian people. We demand that our governments end their military and political support for Israel’s actions.
We call for an immediate ceasefire and the opening of Gaza’s crossings to allow humanitarian aid to enter unhindered.”
We mourn the loss of Palestinian and Israeli lives.
We call for peace with justice and an end to Israel’s occupation, apartheid and ongoing genocide;
We call on the Australian government to condemn Israeli war crimes, recognise Palestine and support the ICC investigation;
We call for immediate sanctions on Israel;
We call on Australian trade unions to impose boycotts against Israeli apartheid as they did to isolate apartheid in South Africa;
We call on all Australian organisations and entities that have investments or partnerships in Israeli companies which are complicit in Israel’s ongoing violations of international law and apartheid, to divest from such ties.
BDS Australia believes that this tragedy is wholly the result of the impunity given to Israel since 1948 by Western and other governments which have allowed Israel to constantly violate international law and impose its violent military occupation and colonisation throughout the occupied Palestinian Territories and the inhumane 16-year blockade of Gaza.
Palestinians have long called for justice in international law only to be progressively dispossessed and subject to an apartheid regime while Israel and its allies including Australia, maintained the lie of a 2-state solution.
The silence from the Australian government over Israel’s current indiscriminate bombing of Gaza, and the rapidly mounting civilian death toll and widespread destruction, continues this long and disgraceful record of double standards and gives Israel increased impunity and incentive to commit further war crimes.
This year has already seen more Palestinians killed, and more arrested and held without charge, than for three decades. The armed campaign of ethnic cleansing, led by settler militias that enjoy near-complete impunity, has intensified, with their leaders now sitting in the Israeli cabinet. The Hamas attack on Israel came in response to an incursion by these armed thugs supported by Israeli forces, into Jerusalem’s Al Aqsa Mosque, Islam’s third-holiest shrine, with the clear aim of forcing out Muslim worshippers. It also came after increased ethnic cleansing of Palestinian rural communities and major military incursions into the West Bank cities of Nablus and Jenin this year.
The building of Jewish-only illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank has reached a record level this year. The entire settlement-building programme is a war crime, in breach of the unambiguous prohibition in the Fourth Geneva Convention: “An occupying power must not move any part of its population into the territory it occupies”.
Key international, Palestinian and Israeli human rights reports have shown conclusively that Israel is committing the crimes of apartheid and persecution against Palestinians, both grave crimes against humanity in international law. Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, his government and the Opposition do not even acknowledge these findings, yet Australia as a signatory to international conventions, is obliged in law to take action to end these crimes.
Labor in 2022, went to the election with a national policy platform that committed it, once in office, to recognising Palestine as a state “as an important priority”. No progress has been made on even this modest demand.
This is significant in withholding Australia’s support for the investigation by the International Criminal Court into war crimes in the occupied Palestinian territories since June 2014, when indiscriminate Israeli bombardment killed over 2,000 civilians in Gaza.
As the preamble to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights says: “It is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law”.
Through its collusion in closing off legal, diplomatic and political pathways to justice, Australia has blood on its hands. The Palestinians have been driven, by Australia among other countries, to the last resort of rebellion against tyranny and oppression.
This website is maintained by BDS Australia, which is affiliated with the coalition of Palestinian organisations that leads and supports the BDS movement and by the Palestinian Campaign for Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI), a BNC member organisation.