Author: Bruce K

MEDIA RELEASE: Netanyahu wins as Palestinians lose hope and boycotts, divestment and sanctions become more urgent

11 April 2019

Benjamin Netanyahu is now heading towards his fifth term as Israel’s Prime Minister, built on a coalition of far right and extremist politicians.

In what has proven a winning strategy, Netanyahu’s last minute pre-election statements promising to annex illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank and thus prevent any possibility of a separate, viable Palestinian state, have garnered him the support he needed.

“This outcome means that Israel will continue to become a more extreme apartheid state than it is now,” says Hilmi Dabbagh, Convenor of BDS Australia.

“All the cards in this game are stacked in Israel’s favour. Not only has Netanyahu won again, he has Trump’s backing in every way to claim Jerusalem, the Golan Heights and now even the illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

“Israeli Likud Party politicians have long maintained that all of greater Palestine would become Israeli territory and there would never be a Palestinian state west of the Jordan River. It’s in Likud’s charter. This has been downplayed, but is no secret, and shows that the diplomatic world has turned a blind-eye, maintaining a pretence to permit this very outcome of formally annexing the West Bank. Netanyahu’s election promise means they no longer feel the need to mask their contempt for a Palestinian state. Clearly now there’s no plan or even rhetoric for any kind of two-state solution on the part of Israel.

“We in BDS Australia know the only way out of this dreadful situation is for the international community – as it did in South Africa a generation ago – to institute boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel and the international companies and organisations which support this regime.

“International support for BDS against Israel was called for by a huge coalition of Palestinian civil society organisations in 2006. We in BDS Australia are part of the international BDS movement guided by Palestinians’ calls for peaceful, non-violent action to force Israel to abide by international law and to respect human rights.

“Netanyahu’s election win simply means we in BDS Australia, with our global counterparts, will institute BDS campaigns against Israeli apartheid all the more vigorously.”


For further information:
Bruce Knobloch – Campaign organiser
0425 282 450 |

Statement on the latest bombing of Gaza: Israel must end the 11-year blockade of Gaza

Palestinians have a right to resist the Israeli occupation, including the illegal and brutal 11-year blockade of Gaza. The living situation for the 2 million Palestinians in Gaza is terrible and getting worse.

We stand in solidarity with the Great March of Return protestors who every Friday assemble at the fence and demand equal human rights with the Israelis on the other side. These young people refuse to be trapped in the open air prison created by the Israeli government and abetted by the Egyptian dictatorship. They refuse to be refugees forever.

Rocket attacks against civilians are illegal and ineffective. There is no military solution for Palestinians. Israel – backed by massive funding from the USA – has overwhelming conventional dominance. Israeli civilians – like Palestinian civilians – must never be targeted. Despite this legal prohibition, civilians in Gaza have repeatedly been attacked by the Israeli army, with about 1,500 killed in Israel’s 7-week bombardment of Gaza in 2014.

The refusal of Palestinians to meekly play the part of the conquered, by protesting for equality and dignity, whether in Gaza, the West Bank or increasingly within Israel, is inevitable. Palestinians have never accepted the cruel deal imposed on them in 1947-48. They have always resisted the occupation and the stunting of their lives and those of their children.

Our solidarity through peaceful, targeted, determined BDS campaigning is removing the cloak of legitimacy that once allowed the Israeli state to promote the myth that Palestinians did not exist and that Israel was a normal society. Social media allows Palestinians at home and throughout the diaspora to speak for themselves and demand the right to return home.

With Israeli elections just weeks away it suits Netanyahu to be seen as a strongman. But whichever chauvinist wins the election the situation for Palestinians will remain desperate and international solidarity remains vital.

We urge people to join Land Day rallies on this Saturday 30 March to commemorate the first anniversary of the beginning of the Great March of Return actions in Gaza.

Sydney: 1 PM, First Fleet Park, Circular Quay

Melbourne: 1 PM, State Library of Victoria

BDS Australia national committee

In many languages these SBS viewers have one message: “We love Eurovision, but we love human rights more.” #BoycottEurovision2019

Diverse members of the Australian community send a message to SBS, Australia’s Special Broadcasting Service, to support the Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS) Australia call to cancel this year’s Eurovision broadcast from Israel. In many languages these SBS viewers have one message: “We love Eurovision, but we love human rights more.”

In every Eurovision country campaigners are working in solidarity with the struggle of Palestinian people for their equal human rights and the upholding of international law. They are calling on organisations like SBS that broadcast and promote the song contest to end their participation because this year Eurovision is not ‘bringing people together.’


News report and video of our actions at Eurovision ‘Australia Decides’ on 9 February 2019

Justice for Palestine Brisbane and BDS Australia held a protest event to meet with the fans going in to Eurovision ‘Australia Decides’ to explain why we are calling for a boycott, that “we love Eurovision, but we love human rights more.”

And below is some video footage of a boycott supporter unfurling a banner inside the event at the Gold Coast Convention Centre.

MEDIA RELEASE: Eurovision 2019 ‘Australia Decides’ Israel boycott and protest action on Saturday 9 February, Gold Coast Convention Centre

Australian artists are calling on SBS, Sony Music Australia, and all ten contestants in Saturday’s ‘Australia Decides’ Eurovision Song Contest event to hear the voices of Palestinians, including Palestinian musicians, who are calling for a boycott of Eurovision 2019 in Tel Aviv in Israel.

Significantly last year’s SBS Eurovision judge, hip hop artist L-FRESH The LION, supports the boycott call, as does renowned Australian actor Colin Friels, both quoted below.

“Israel’s 50 year brutal occupation of East Jerusalem and the West Bank, its 11-year illegal blockade and bombings of the two million people trapped in Gaza, its refusal to allow Palestinian refugees to return home, along with the 65 laws that discriminate against the Palestinian minority in Israel make it astonishing that Eurovision should be used to normalise and promote Israel, and that SBS and Australian musicians are playing along without comment,” says BDS Australia campaign spokesperson and Brisbane musician Phil Monsour.

“International boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) played an important role in helping end apartheid in South Africa and the same will be true of ending apartheid in Palestine/Israel,” says Monsour.

A protest action in support of the boycott has been called by Justice for Palestine Brisbane and BDS Australia outside the Gold Coast Convention Centre from 3:30 PM AEST this Saturday 9 February.

“I stand with the people of Palestine. As an artist and musician, I don’t see how Eurovision can achieve its goal of bringing the world together through music by having its 2019 competition in Israel, while Israel continues to violently occupy Palestine. In respecting Palestinian’s call for a cultural boycott of Israel, I encourage my peers to do the same. We all have a part to play. We cannot remain silent or be complicit in the suffering of Palestinian people.”
L-FRESH The LION, hip hop artist and 2018 SBS Eurovision judge

Actor Colin Friels remarks, ”Given the siege of Gaza and the slaughter of Palestinians, the televising of the Eurovision Song Contest must not be allowed to ‘artwash’ Israeli brutalities. I strongly support the boycott of this event and urge others to do the same.”

Writer, actor and multidisciplinary artist Candy Bowers says, “Palestinian artists and musicians are asking for our solidarity, recognising our own relative privilege, to join the boycott of Israel until they win justice and equality. Israeli policy has been about erasing Palestinian culture and ignoring Palestinian voices. I hear their voices and urge others artists in Australia to hear them too. Art and entertainment should never ignore human rights.”

“Eurovision in Israel seems like a typical colonial diversionary tactic: play loud so that no one hears the gurgling of those being slain.” – contemporary Aboriginal artist Blak Douglas

PHONE: Phil Monsour on +61 400 912 550
EMAIL: BDS Australia at


Contact the ‘Australia Decides’ SBS Eurovision artists: Don’t celebrate Israeli Apartheid

SBS Australia and Blink TV have now announced the 10 contestants for the Eurovision – ‘Australia Decides’ – Gold Coast 2019 event happening on February 8 and 9.

We have written to each contestant (see our letter below to Kate Miller-Heidke), but we really need your help to let these musicians know that Palestinians are calling on them to #BoycottEurovision2019 in Israel.

All the artists are on Facebook, 9 have Instagram, and most use Twitter.

Contact details for all of the performers are below. Here’s how to do it best:
1/. If you’re a fan, let them know you love what they do
2/. Be super polite: we want to inform and convince them. Remember, they may not really understand the situation for Palestinians or how they can help, so again, be super polite!
3/. Use your own words, but there are many places to get information, including many links on this page
4/. Tell them about the role international artists played in piling on the pressure with boycotts to end apartheid in South Africa – some of them may not know anything about this
5/. Remind them that Eurovision will happen again in 2020, so sitting out this year for Palestinians’ human rights is not so hard
6/. Ask for a reply
7/. Share what you’re doing on social media so others will also contact them
8/. Use the hashtags #Eurovision2019 #BoycottEurovision2019 #FreePalestine #BoycottIsrael

Alfie Arcuri


Courtney Act

Tania Doko

Electric Fields

Ella Hooper


Kate Miller-Heidke


Mark Vincent

Letter to Kate Miller-Heidke 201812

Boycotting Eurovision: Why Aren’t Progressives Doing More For Palestine?

It’s a great question posed by our BDS Australia committee member Nick Riemer in New Matilda today – Boycotting Eurovision: Why Aren’t Progressives Doing More For Palestine?

“Disapproval of the actions of Israel and sympathy for Palestinians in public opinion is high. But, as every Palestine campaigner here knows, translating agreement into action can often be an uphill battle.”

It really helps if you:
1/ Sign our Boycott Eurovision 2019 SBS petition
2/ Make a donation of any size to support our work
3/ Like our Facebook page
4/ Share these^ links.
5/ Do all of the above!

Media release: BDS Australia launches Boycott Eurovision 2019 campaign

10 September 2018

MEDIA RELEASE: BDS Australia launches Boycott Eurovision 2019 Campaign with 2018 SBS judge L-FRESH The LION* saying no to Eurovision in Israel.

Australian artists are at the top of the list of more than 140 international artists who are calling for a boycott of Eurovision 2019 if it goes ahead in Israel next May. The letter was published on Friday:

Inspired by conscientious artists who shunned Sun City in apartheid South Africa in the 1980s, Palestinian artists and cultural organisations have called for nonviolent pressure in the form of boycotts on Israel until it complies with its obligations under international law.

Prominent Australians who have signed the international statement so far include Crowded House’s Nick Seymour, former JJJ host and writer Helen Razer, this year’s Eurovision judge, hip hop artist L-FRESH The LION, writer, director and multidisciplinary artist Candy Bowers, and Sydney-based contemporary Aboriginal artist, Blak Douglas.

“Israel’s long record of ongoing discrimination and its decades long breaches of international law and human rights means it’s entirely inappropriate for next year’s song contest to go ahead in Israel,” said Samah Sabawi, award-winning Australian playwright and spokesperson for the Australian campaign to boycott Eurovision 2019.

“Palestinian artists are calling on musicians and other artists to do the right thing and put human rights ahead of fame, royalties or advertising dollars,” Ms Sabawi said. “More than 130 civilian protesters were just shot dead by Israeli snipers earlier this year in Gaza. How can the world ignore this ongoing lawlessness for a song contest?”

By entrenching its occupation of Palestinian land and adopting the Jewish Nation-State Law, Israel has declared itself an apartheid state. Palestinian citizens inside Israel are now denied equal rights, millions of refugees and their descendants are not permitted to return, and Palestinians under Israeli occupation in Gaza and the West Bank continue to be subjected to measures that violate their basic human rights. These include siege, bombardment, house demolition and arbitrary detentions. By holding Eurovision 2019 in Israel, international broadcasters and artists will be complicit in whitewashing these violations.

“Israel takes its propaganda cues straight out of apartheid South Africa’s playbook. Art is used explicitly to deflect criticism of its human rights violations,” said Ms Sabawi.

“We urge SBS not to participate or broadcast Eurovision 2019 if it is in Israel. We love SBS and we love Eurovision, but surely human rights are more valuable than a song contest? Surely international law is more important than advertising dollars?” she said.

BDS Australia has launched an online petition calling on SBS not to participate in Eurovision 2019.

The petition is at

Prominent international musicians who have refused to perform in Israel so far include: Shakira, Lorde, Lauryn Hill, Chuck D, Massive Attack, Rogers Waters, Patti Smith, Annie Lennox, Faithless, Brian Eno, The Pixies, Thurston Moore, Elvis Costello and Cat Power.


Contact BDS Australia at 0425282450 and

*Statement from L-FRESH The LION:

“I stand with the people of Palestine. As an artist and musician, I don’t see how Eurovision can achieve its goal of bringing the world together through music by having its 2019 competition in Israel, while Israel continues to violently occupy Palestine. In respecting Palestinian’s call for a cultural boycott of Israel, I encourage my peers to do the same. We all have a part to play. We cannot remain silent or be complicit in the suffering of Palestinian people.”

BDS Aust Eurovision launch MR 20180910

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