News alert: ACT government considering divesting from companies operating in the illegal Israeli settlements

News alert: ACT government considering divesting from companies operating in the illegal Israeli settlements

The ACT territory government moved a hugely significant motion in February 2024 which may result in the government divesting from a number of companies which are profiting from operating in the illegal Israeli settlements.

Mr Andrew Braddock (Greens) moved a motion in the ACT parliament on February 7,2024 titled – HUMAN RIGHTS INCOMPLIANT COMPANIES—DIVESTMENTS which sought to assess the ACT’s investments in nine companies which are operating in the illegal Israel settlements and on the UN Human Rights, list with view to testing these investments against the government’s 2023 Responsible Investment Policy and its ESG controversy assessment process.

The motion was amended resulting in the final motion see link below) which included this clause:

calls on the ACT Government, following advice from the Investment Advisory Board regarding the current policy settings, to report back to the Assembly by the end of August 2024 on divestments that have or may be undertaken, to ensure that company ESG controversy exclusions fully consider companies involved in, or profiting from, any human rights violations, including the illegal occupation of the Palestinian Territories.

https://www.parliament.act.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/2392419/MoP111P2.pdf (starting from page 1671)

Australian arms companies and Israel’s human rights violations

Australian arms companies and Israel’s human rights violations

AUSTRALIAN ARMS COMPANIES AND ISRAEL’S WAR CRIMES

Many Australian companies supply weapons components for arms and military hardware used by Israel against Palestinians. According to international law, it is illegal to knowingly allow weapons to go to a country or entity perpetrating war crimes. Australia has approved 322 defence exports to Israel over the past six years (2017-2022), according to new figures released by DFAT.

In November legal action was taken in Australia by Palestinian human rights organisations Al-Haq, Al Mezan Center for Human Rights and the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) in conjunction with the Australian Centre for International Justice to obtain information on Australia’s arms exports to Israel since October 7, 2023.

TAKE ACTION: END ARMS TO ISRAEL and STOP ELBIT

F-35 jet fighter aircraft

Australia is part of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter global supply chain which supplies parts and components to Israel’s F-35 jets which are enabling Israel’s war crimes in Gaza.

More than 70 Australian companies have been awarded contracts for the development, production and sustainment of the F-35, valued at AU$3 billion.

Key components for this aircraft are manufactured in Australia – including uplock actuators and weapons adaptors – both enabling bombs to be released by these jets onto Palestinian civilians in Gaza since October 7.

Rosebank Engineering in Melbourne produces uplock actuators which are essential for the operation of the weapons bay doors, and Ferra Engineering in Brisbane is the exclusive manufacturer of the weapons adaptors for the F-35 jets. These components are crucial for the release of munitions from these jet fighters.

READ MORE HERE

BDS Victory  – PUMA forced to drop sponsorship of Israeli Football Association

BDS Victory – PUMA forced to drop sponsorship of Israeli Football Association

The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI), a founding part of the BDS movement, welcomes the news that PUMA won’t be renewing its contract with the Israel Football Association (IFA).

PUMA has been the target of a worldwide BDS campaign since 2018 over its support for Israeli apartheid oppressing millions of Palestinians. The IFA governs and advocates to maintain teams in illegal Israeli settlements on stolen Palestinian land.

Leaked internal messages revealed that PUMA was under tremendous pressure to drop the contract.

As Israel carries out its unfolding genocide against 2.3 million Palestinians in occupied and besieged Gaza, killing over 18,000, including dozens of footballers, the boycott pressure was only increasing.

The years of relentless, global BDS pressure on PUMA and the damage to its image should be a lesson to all companies supporting Israeli apartheid, that complicity has consequences. It is also a lesson to the deeply complicit, Western-dominated FIFA, which continues to shield Israel from accountability despite the settlement teams violating its own statutes.

We thank the hundreds of grassroots solidarity groups, athletes and teams across the world who supported the call from 215 Palestinian teams to boycott PUMA.

This boycott win is a bittersweet victory as Israel’s ethnic cleansing of Palestinians continues. But it gives us hope and determination to hold all genocide enablers and apartheid supporters accountable until all Palestinians can live in freedom, justice and equality.

More information on the BDSAustralia Puma campaign here.

Gaza genocide – national BDS calls and actions – Nov 2023

Gaza genocide – national BDS calls and actions – Nov 2023

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:

  1. Escalating boycott and divestment campaigns against strategic complicit targets
  2. Calling for an international arms embargo against Israel
  3. 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.

Outcomes

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).

Boycott Zim Shipping resolution – Port Botany rally Nov 11, 2023

Boycott Zim Shipping resolution – Port Botany rally Nov 11, 2023

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.

Endorsed by:

Palestine Justice Movement Sydney
Australian Unionists for Palestine
MUA Sydney Branch

BDS VICTORY – RMIT DUMPS ELBIT

BDS VICTORY – RMIT DUMPS ELBIT

MEDIA RELEASE

7 November 2023 – for immediate release

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.”