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.”
Oppose apartheid? Support justice for Palestinians? Don’t fund your retirement on the dispossession of Palestinians. Ask your superfund if they invest in companies linked to illegal Israeli settlements.
Send your super fund a letter and ask the question and bring it to their attention. A couple of minutes of your time may contribute towards the ultimate cessation of these crimes.
Can one member influence how a massive super fund invests its money? The answer is yes, because often investing in such corporations actually breaches the funds own rules. All you need to do is to bring it to their attention and hold them to their own policies. If you jump onto your super fund’s website, you’ll notice a section that refers to their investment policy; often with the term “responsible investing”. This refers to their investment decision criteria focusing on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors. Any investment and contribution to such corporations contradicts their publicly promoted ideals.
Send your super fund a letter and ask the question and bring it to their attention. A couple of minutes of your time may contribute towards the ultimate cessation of these crimes.
More info on our Superannuation divestment campaign: https://bdsaustralia.net.au/campaigns/superannuation-funds-divestment-campaign/ https://bdsaustralia.net.au/check-your-superfund/
The state of Israel continues to deny the right of self-determination to Palestinians and continues to dispossess them of their land. We aim to rectify this injustice in ways that will allow both Palestinians and Israelis to live in peace, security and equality, exercising self-determination as described by the United Nations Charter.
Recognise that the state of Israel’s ongoing occupation of the Palestinian territories and the expropriation of Palestinian land, water, airspace, and resources is illegal and must be opposed.
Recognise that the September 2022 Report of the United Nations Special Rapporteur found that “the occupation is not merely belligerent ,but is settlercolonial in nature and that Israel has prevented the realisation of Palestinian people’s right to self-determination, violating each component of that right, wilfully pursuing the “de-Palestinianisation” of the occupied territory.”
Support freedom and statehood for the Palestinian people.
Recognise that our ability to resolve the climate crisis is made more difficult by the ongoing violent conflict in the region and peace and stability are required for regional and equitable solutions to the climate crisis.
Call on all parties to comply with international law, relevant United Nations (UN) resolutions, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Geneva Conventions, the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights, and the International Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid.
Recognise that the state of Israel, as the sole State power exercising control over all Palestinians, has the primary obligation to comply with such laws.
Recognise that Israel’s ongoing colonisation of Palestinian land is rendering a two- state solution unachievable.
Reject and condemn all forms of violence, especially against civilians, whether perpetrated by a state, organisations or individuals, while recognising the right of the Palestinian people to resist Israeli occupation in accordance with international law.
Oppose all forms of racism, religious or cultural intolerance and discrimination, in Australia and internationally
Demand the protection of human rights in the Palestinian territories and Israel
Recognise that the state of Israel is practising the crime of apartheid against Palestinians as noted by prominent human rights organisations – including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, as well as Palestinian and Israeli groups including al-Haq, Yesh Din and B’Tselem.
Recognise the Right of Return of Palestinian refugees and their descendants to their place of origin through a just and acceptable solution based on UN Resolution 194, or compensation for those who choose not to return. Additionally, support the establishment of international mechanisms guided by international law to facilitate this outcome.
Recognise that the rise of right-wing extremism in Israel is contributing to the intensification of repression, violence and a further worsening of the humanitarian situation for Palestinians.
In accordance with the Australian Greens Resolution on Boycotts, Divestments & Targeted Sanctions, support the tactics of boycotts, divestments and targeted sanctions that are strategic and human rights aligned on: a) Government representatives, institutions and state-affiliated entities of the state of Israel and the Israeli military and/or; b) Corporations, entities and organisations that profit from or are complicit in the violation of Palestinian human rights
Affirm that criticism of Israeli government policies and actions is not antisemitic, and therefore oppose the adoption and enforcement of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism which conflates criticism of the state of Israel with antisemitism. Recognise the rise of hateful and violent racism and bigotry including antisemitism and Islamophobia in Australia and commit to the development of thorough anti-racism policies.
Support and promote an open, human rights-aligned public debate about the state of Israel’s policies toward, and treatment of, Palestinian people.
Recognise the particular impact on children living under military occupation and exposed to conflict, in terms of their physical, psychosocial and social development needs.
Recognise that the state of Israel’s policy of conscription has involved young people in conflict and occupation which is counter to the goals of peace. Goals The Australian Greens will work for:
The end of the occupation of the Palestinian territories and the removal of the Separation Wall.
The removal of Israeli settlers and Israeli security and military forces from all the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, including the land and sea blockade of Gaza.
The equitable allocation of all natural resources, including water.
Full equality before the law for every person, irrespective of ethnicity, religion, language, race, gender identity, class, disability, sexuality, or other social status.
The Australian government to join the international community in recognising the statehood of Palestinians and maintain the position of not recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
The support of progressive political and civil society movements within the state of Israel and in the Palestinian Territories
The Australian Government to recognise and uphold the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court in relation to investigations into the actions of members of the government of the state of Israel, the Israeli Defence Force, Palestinian Authorities and armed groups to ensure individuals found to be responsible for crimes under international law are brought to justice. Additionally, the Australian Government to use all diplomatic and peaceful means to ensure all parties to any such investigation cooperate and comply fully with all requests, requirements and rulings of the Court.
The Australian Government to support initiatives in the United Nations, including the International Court of Justice, to hold the state of Israel, Palestinian Authorities and armed groups accountable for crimes under international law and other serious human rights violations; including but not limited to the expansion of illegal settlements, targeting of civilians, treatment of civilian populations within their jurisdictions and treatment of enemy combatants under their control.
Australia to promote human rights of Palestinians in its diplomatic relationships with those directly or indirectly involved in the conflict.
The involvement of progressive women’s organisations in establishing and building peace, in line with the principles set out in UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security.
The Australian Government to increase support for NGOs promoting peace with justice for all Palestinians and Israelis.
The Australian Government to work for UN-supervised removal of all weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons, from all states in the region.
In independent Australian foreign policy in relation to South West Asia and North Africa region, based on principles of peace, disarmament, ecology, self determination and human rights. As preliminary steps to the achievement of the goals, the Australian Greens call for:
The immediate and unconditional withdrawal of the Israeli military from all Palestinian cities, towns, refugee camps, surrounding areas and transport routes, allowing freedom of movement of Palestinians.
The immediate release of Palestinian political prisoners and all Palestinian child prisoners held in Israeli detention.
The end of dispossession and destruction of Palestinian homes by the authorities of the state of Israel and Israeli settlers.
Palestinian control of their borders with Jordan and Egypt.
The immediate freezing of all Israeli settlement activity in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, including expansion, and the simultaneous commencement of the repatriation of the Israeli settlers from the Palestinian territories.
The immediate dismantling of the separation wall.
The deployment of an international peacekeeping force endorsed by the United Nations to monitor the implementation of the above preliminaries by the parties; ensure that civilian populations are not exposed to the risk of hostile attack; and provide assistance to re-establish infrastructure.
An immediate end to refusal of, or hindrance to, medical aid to Palestinians and an end to the destruction of Palestinian infrastructure, agriculture and homes by authorities of the state of Israel and Israeli settlers
International support to establish a joint healing process, based upon the principles of a truth and reconciliation commission.
Australian, international and Israeli assistance programs in the Palestinian territories which together are sufficient to repair and rebuild Palestinian infrastructure, institutions, agriculture and the environment, and democratic civil society.
UN-endorsed measures, such as targeted sanctions, as needed and in conformity with Australian Greens policies.
An end to Australian taxation deductions for donations to states, institutions and organisations engaged in violations of international humanitarian law and human rights in Israel and Palestine, including settlement activity.
Given the continuing disregard by the state of Israel of calls to halt settlement expansion in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, the Australian Greens:
Call upon the Australian and State governments to halt military and security trade and cooperation with the state of Israel.
Reiterate our call for the immediate freezing of all Israeli settlement activity in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
Call for the removal of existing Israeli settlers and Israeli security and military forces from the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
That the Australian Greens: • Acknowledge Australia’s history of cultural, consumer, sporting and labour movement boycotts as a legitimate, non- violent political expression in support of national liberation, health, human rights and environmental causes. • Support the application of targeted sanctions, boycotts and divestments by the Australian Government when they are strategic and human rights-aligned and one or more of the following criteria are met: • The grave repression of the human rights or democratic freedoms of a population by a government • The proliferation of weapons of mass destruction • Internal or international armed conflict • Genocide, ethnic cleansing, crimes against humanity or the perpetration of war crimes • State-sponsored mass violence • In the event of a military coup These criteria should serve to assist the deliberations of the Australian Greens and of the Australian Greens Party Room when considering calling for the application of targeted sanctions, boycotts or divestments against: • Government or state officials • State entities • State-affiliated or state-funded entities and/or; • Corporations, entities and organisations that profit from or are complicit in the violation of human rights. The Australian Greens reaffirm its support for the following calls made by the Australian Greens Party Room Foreign Affairs spokesperson for the following boycotts, divestments and targeted sanctions: • Targeted sanctions, boycotts and divestments on Myanmar’s military junta, government representatives, institutions and state-affiliated corporations for the 2021 February coup and treatment of the Rohingya population • Targeted sanctions, boycotts and divestments on Iranian government officials and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, government representatives, institutions and state-affiliated corporations including financial asset freezing and visa bans on key officials, the IRGC and morality police • Targeted sanctions, boycotts and divestments on Russian government representatives, institutions and state-affiliated corporations including boycott of the Russian oil and gas purchases.
The declaration by Amnesty International that Israel is committing the crime of apartheid, in its treatment of Palestinians, must lead to enforcement action by the international community, BDS Australia said today. The AI report, which echoes previous findings by Human Rights Watch, as well as two Israeli human rights monitoring groups, B’Tselem and Yesh Din, should end any dispute about the nature of Israel’s crimes against humanity, the group added – the only topic for discussion now should be how to bring them to an end.
“Australia must stop denying, minimising or excusing Israel’s criminal actions, and instead join with others in the international community in calling for an end to the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, dating from 1967; the scrapping of the racist Nation State law of 2018 and the dozens of laws and regulations that discriminate against non-Jews, and for Palestinians to be facilitated in exercising their lawful right of return to the homes from which they were driven out at the inception of the State of Israel in 1948”, said Jake Lynch, patron of BDS Australia and Associate Professor in the Department of Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Sydney.
“We now have a comprehensive, evidence-based report, running to over 200 pages, from the world’s most respected human rights monitoring group, a Nobel Peace laureate in its own right, setting out exactly how Israel is in breach of the International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid. The oppression of Palestinians continues only with the collusion of international actors including Australia, which promotes trade including the sale of deadly weapons with Israel, as well as offering diplomatic protection from the consequences of its crimes. This must cease”, said 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.
“Palestinians welcome this report, on top of those from Human Rights Watch and others, as long-overdue recognition of the reality we are living with every day.
Apartheid for us means constant violent attacks both by ‘soldiers’ of the Israeli occupation force and by armed racist thugs from the settler movement, driving us out of our homes and ancestral lands, denying our rights to freedom of movement and assembly. This is our struggle, but it is also a crime against humanity and a scar on the world’s conscience. The world now must take action to bring accountability, isolate apartheid and hasten its end”, said Hiba Farrar, BDS Australia committee member and Palestinian lawyer.
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.