Salman Abu Sitta on BDS for the Right of Return – Why? – Sydney October 9, Redfern Town Hall

Salman Abu Sitta on BDS for the Right of Return – Why? – Sydney October 9, Redfern Town Hall

A presentation by the renowned Palestinian writer, scholar and commentator, Dr Abu Sitta in Sydney whose work has meticulously documented the Palestinian Nakba.

What: BDS for the Right of Return – Why?
When: Wednesday October 9, 6.45pm-8pm
Where: Redfern Town Hall.

GET TICKETS NOW HERE
Full price – $10
Concession – $7

Dr Abu Sitta is an author, scholar and commentator.  He has meticulously documented the Palestinian Nakba (catastrophe).  No-one can speak more authoritatively than he on that momentous event’s impact on the Palestinian people, nor on how to remedy the more than 70 years of the dispossession of their lands and the loss of their rights to self-determination and freedom.

Salman Abu Sitta was born in Palestine in 1937, not far from Beersheba.  As a schoolboy when Israel was established in 1948, he was forced, with his family, to move from home to the Gaza Strip.  He was educated in Palestine, Cairo and (at university) in London. Abu Sitta is a former member of the Palestinian National Council, the general coordinator of the Right of Return Congress. Abu Sitta is also the founder and President of the Palestine Land Society, London, dedicated to the documentation of Palestine’s land and people. Website www.plands.org.

He is the author of six books on Palestine including the compendium Atlas of Palestine 1917- 1966, English and Arabic editions, the Atlas of the Return Journey in Arabic, English and Hebrew and over 300 papers and articles on the Palestinian refugees, the Right of Return, history of al Nakba and human rights.

His most well known book is the “Mapping my Return: A Palestinian Memoir” which had strong reviews internationally. Dr Abu Sitta is active in many academic, legal and human rights groups.

Don’t Buy HP – National Week of Action 28: August – 4 September 2019 – see events here

Don’t Buy HP – National Week of Action 28: August – 4 September 2019 – see events here

Wednesday 28 August – Wednesday 4 September is our first national week of action to encourage consumers face-to-face not to buy HP products (laptops, scanners, printers and ink) while HP technology underpins Israeli occupation and apartheid. All are welcome to help out leafleting shoppers and passers by.

Events confirmed so far include:

Friday 30 August in Melbourne, 1-5pm in Bourke St Mall, outside the GPO
Friday 30 August in Adelaide, 6-7:30pm outside JB Hi-Fi in Rundle Mall
Saturday 31 August in Sydney, 1-3pm outside JB Hi-Fi, 37 George St, Parramatta
Saturday 31 August in Melbourne, 1-5pm in Bourke St Mall, outside the GPO
Tuesday 3 September in Adelaide, 12-1:30pm outside JB Hi-Fi in Rundle Mall
Wednesday 4 September in Sydney, 11am-1pm outside Officeworks, 1 Ross St (corner Parramatta Rd), Glebe – opposite Sydney University

For more information, including for leaflets to organise your own event, email contact@bdsaustralia.net.au

Professor Richard Falk speaks at NSW Parliament on ‘A future for Palestine – BDS, international law and beyond’

Professor Richard Falk speaks at NSW Parliament on ‘A future for Palestine – BDS, international law and beyond’

Hear Professor Richard Falk speaking in Sydney on July 4, 2019. Presented by BDS Australia and presented in conjunction with the NSW Parliamentary Friends of Palestine.
1) – Welcome and introductory comments by Sara Saleh and Hilmi Dabbagh
2) – Professor Falk’s presentation introduced by Professor Stuart Rees 
3) – Professor Falk and Professor Stuart Rees In Conversation
Media release: International legal scholar Professor Richard Falk in Sydney next week speaking on A Future For Palestine amid fake ‘controversy’

Media release: International legal scholar Professor Richard Falk in Sydney next week speaking on A Future For Palestine amid fake ‘controversy’

27 June 2019: 

Eminent American-Jewish international legal scholar Emeritus Professor Richard Falk, will be in Sydney next week. Professor Falk is a tireless advocate for the universal application of international human rights law as the basis for a sustainable peace between Israel and Palestine. He was United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Palestinian Territories Occupied since 1967 from 2008 to 2014.

We are disappointed that his views have been characterised as controversial and that, baselessly, he has been labelled ‘antisemitic’ by some pro-Israel commentators, such as in last week’s edition of Australian Jewish News (AJN). Disappointingly the editor of the AJN has so far refused to publish Professor Falk’s point-by-point refutation of the allegations made in AJN, so we publish it here.

We read with alarm that an application has been made to the Minister for Immigration, David Coleman MP, to revoke Professor Falk’s visa. This week we wrote to Minister Coleman, as well as to Senator Keneally as shadow minister, seeking their reassurance that Professor Falk will have no difficulty entering Australia on 2 July.

In reply to Jewish News, Professor Falk asks what is controversial about his view that sustainable peace between Israelis and Palestinians ‘depends on respect for Palestinians’ rights and an end to Israeli violations of international law.’ As UN Special Rapporteur he was accused of being ‘antisemitic’ or a ‘self hating Jew.’ Yes, he criticised states ‘from the perspective of international law and morality’, but has never criticised the ethnicity or religious identity of any people. Yes he has written about the ‘collective punishment’ of the civilian population of Gaza ‘which is unconditionally prohibited by an occupying power in Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention.’ That writing ‘was intended as a wakeup call to encourage a more humane and legally appropriate approach to the civilian population of Gaza.’

Barrister and author Greg Barns issued this statement supporting Professor Falk’s visit:

‘In a liberal democracy freedom of speech and ideas must include the ability to present divergent views and opinions on issues.  The conduct of Israel and the treatment of the Palestinians is no exception to that core value. Yet too often in Australia critics of Israel and those who, like Richard Falk bring their expertise to the issue and reveal uncomfortable truths, are harassed and bullied by elements of the pro Israel lobby.  This preparedness to shut down criticism of Israel should have no place in a nation that purports to defend freedom of speech and freedom of thought.’

Stuart Rees OAM, Professor Emeritus, Univ. of Sydney and founder of the Sydney Peace Prize notes:

‘Zealous supporters of Israel’s policies towards Palestinians display an appalling cruelty and total indifference to the rules of international law. In response to such cruelty, Professor Richard Falk, a highly distinguished jurist and political scientist, has spent a lifetime working to promote peace with justice to benefit Israelis as well as Palestinians. Despite being vilified for his efforts, he continues to advocate respect for universal human rights and will not be stifled or intimidated by bullies. The Australian BDS movement is privileged to welcome Professor Falk to Sydney. He will address one of the world’s most pressing humanitarian issues, a future for Palestine. ‘

Event details:

A Future For Palestine, with Professor Richard Falk – presentation, then in conversation with Professor Stuart Rees OAM
Parliament of NSW, Theatrette, Macquarie St, Sydney
Thursday 4 July, 2019, 6-8pm

Booking details: HERE

Other enquiries: contact@bdsaustralia.net.au

Professor Richard Falk’s point-by-point response to Australian Jewish News (June 20, 2019) article “Furore Over Falk Visit”

Professor Richard Falk’s point-by-point response to Australian Jewish News (June 20, 2019) article “Furore Over Falk Visit”

EDITOR: Disappointingly the editor of Australian Jewish News has so far refused to publish Professor Falk’s point-by-point refutation of the allegations made in AJN last week, so we publish it here:

The article starts by reporting ‘concerns’ over my visit to Australia in response to speaking invitations in Sydney this July to address Israel/Palestine relations. At the outset I should say that my true position has always been to identify the conditions for peace between the two peoples. What has made my views controversial in the more militant pro-Israeli circles is my contention that a sustainable peace as distinct from a ceasefire depends on respect for Palestinian rights and an end to Israeli violations of international law. In my reports to the UN for the six years I served in this unpaid UN post, I attempted to do this in an objective, fact-based manner sensitive to the application of international legal norms. When I began my term as Special Rapporteur I made a formal appeal to extend my mandate to cover Palestinian violations of international human rights law, but this effort was rejected by the Human Rights Council after considerable debate by governmental representatives.

As for the specific allegations in the article, let me respond as best I can from a remote location far from my office. First of all, I have never ‘endorsed’ conspiracy theories, the allegation undoubtedly referring to my very limited writing about the 9/11 attacks on the United States. It is true that I wrote a favorable foreword to David Ray Griffin’s first book on the subject, A New Pearl Harbor, but it is also true that the book raises 17 questions that were at the time unanswered in the official account of the attacks, and deserved to be answered convincingly to put doubts to rest. It should be appreciated that Griffin, a close friend, is a distinguished professor of religious philosophy who is a founder of ‘process theology’ along with his academic colleague John Cobb. In subsequent commentary on my blog and in journalistic pieces I repeated in various ways that valid suspicions remain about the official version of the 9/11 attacks, but I have never supported conspiracy theories that offer alternative versions as to what happened. To plead for a removal of suspicion is not to allege ‘conspiracy,’ although when such suspicions are not removed, further doubts naturally emerge, but in the spirit of skepticism not an instance of conspiracy thinking.

It is true, especially while serving in an unpaid position in the UN as Special Rapporteur, I was accused of being ‘anti-Semitic’ or a ‘self-hating Jew’ guilty of spreading anti-Jewish ‘tropes,’ but these accusations came from similar sources as this defamatory article. Although frequently a critic of the behavior of states, especially from the perspective of international law and morality, I have never directed my criticism at the ethnicity or religious identity of any people, including of course, Jews. In this vein I have been critical of Israel for its state policies as I have been of many other governments, including my own. I have consistently affirmed my Jewish identity, and it is a nasty slur to suggest otherwise or to merge my criticisms of Israel with anti-Semitic attitudes. Those that do so never examine the reasonableness of arguments contending that Israel is guilty of serious violations of international humanitarian law.

The article in the Australia Jewish News also refers to my contention that Israel subjugates the Palestinian people in a manner that violates the International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid. This conclusion emerged in the course of a jointly authored contract academic study commissioned by the UN Economic and Social Council for West Asia (ESCWA). The study reached this conclusion on the basis of available evidence, but makes no claim of being legally authoritative. It was removed from the ESCWA website on instructions from the UN Secretary General after representatives of Israel and the United States demanded the repudiation of the report, and threatened dire consequences if this was not done. It is notable that the head of ESCWA at the time, Rima Khalaf, resigned in principle rather than follow the SG’s instruction. It seems relevant to note that the Report was never ‘repudiated’ by the UN and in fact received the endorsement of member governments of ESCWA.

Three additional allegations warrant a brief explanation. First, a 2007 article called ‘Slouching Toward a Holocaust in Palestine’ was a journalistic statement of concern about Israel’s practices toward the civilian population of Gaza, with particular reference to reliance on tactics that seemed fairly described as ‘collective punishment,’ which is unconditionally prohibited by an occupying power in Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention covering ‘belligerent occupation,’ and a mainstay of international humanitarian law. The piece made an admittedly provocative reference to collective punishment of German Jews in Hitler’s Germany. It was meant to be a shocking reference, a wakeup call that sought to encourage a more humane and legally appropriate approach to the civilian population of Gaza, long denied basic rights. It was not meant as a comparison of Nazi and Israeli orientations, but I admit that it could be so interpreted, and was for that reason, perhaps, an inappropriate way to express my position.

Secondly, the posting of an anti-Semitic cartoon. Unlike the article, this was a complete mistake that was the result of an accidental oversight on my part. As implied in the article, the cartoon has nothing to do with Israel. It was concerned with the American opportunistic influence exerted over the International Criminal Court in The Hague, illustrated by its actions against Gaddafi in conjunction with the NATO operation in Libya in 2013. As I have explained many times, when posted I never noticed its anti-Semitic character because the image of the Jew was so small on the Google image page as to seem indecipherable and irrelevant. When this was brought to my attention the cartoon was immediately removed from the blog, and if the text of the post is read it makes no reference whatsoever to Jews or mentions Israel. The bad faith of critics such as the author of this derogatory article was demonstrated by completely ignoring my explanations, and even more so by widely disseminating a greatly enlarged version of the cartoon that tries to convey the impression that it was impossible for me not to have known of its anti-Semitic content when I posted the cartoon.

Thirdly, my comments at the time in reaction to the official coverage of the Boston Marathon terrorist event, which attracted some prominent criticism. Let me say that my point was simple and banal, and made by many others without evoking such angry reactions. I suggested that American foreign policy in the Middle East, with particular reference to Israel, was bound to have reverberations, including inducing extremists and disturbed persons to engage violently. I think this is a fact, borne out by experience of such sociopathic behavior. I denounced the terrorist violence of the Boston Marathon bombing at the time and never suggested that the U.S. change its policies in response. In this sense, my comments were torn from context to create effects never intended by me.

Finally, the article refers to several high-profile public officials, including the UN Secretary General at the time, who repeated such allegations, criticizing my views and behavior. As far as I know all of these allegations followed upon letter writing campaigns that repeated the insults, distortions, and defamatory remarks of this article, often organized by UN Watch, an NGO operating out of Geneva known for such tactics as ways of discrediting anyone voicing serious criticisms of Israeli state policy. When I inquired about the SG’s remarks to his chief assistant, he sheepishly acknowledged that ‘we didn’t do due diligence,’ which is UN-speak for admitting that my piece on which the denunciation was based was never read.

My professional life was mainly devoted to scholarship and teaching, the core of which was as a faculty member at Princeton University where I spent forty years as a professor of international law. I repeat in conclusion what I expressed at the outset. My entire career has been devoted to work for peace with justice at home and abroad, including in many settings apart from Israel/Palestine. To suggest otherwise is a clear example of character assassination.

Richard Falk
San Foca, Italy
June 22, 2019

Letter to Xavier Rudd: Put Palestinians’ human rights first – Don’t play in Israel!

Letter to Xavier Rudd: Put Palestinians’ human rights first – Don’t play in Israel!

 

3 June 2019

Dear Xavier

We are Australians, some of Palestinian background, some Jewish, and all for universal and equal human rights, who support the Palestinian call for artists, sportspeople, and others to boycott Israel until indigenous Palestinians win back their equal human rights, rights denied them since 1948 when the new Israeli state used military force and terror to expel 700,000 Palestinians, and have denied them the right to return or redress ever since.

We see that you intend to perform two concerts in Binyamina in Israel in July. We ask you to reconsider this in the light of the increasingly well-known and well-supported boycott that began in 2005. A very long list of artists have done the right thing by Palestinian people, and given your well-established progressive credentials and lyrics, especially with regard to indigenous people worldwide, we strongly hope that you will do the same and place yourself on the right side of history and not perform in Israel.

The Israeli state has ignored repeated calls to adhere to international legal and human rights norms, steadfastly refusing to end its illegal 52-year occupation of the West Bank and its 11-year blockade of two million civilians in Gaza.

Prominent international musicians/acts who have endorsed the call from Palestinian civil society to boycott or who have cancelled concerts because of the boycott call include Stevie Wonder, Annie Lennox, Roger Waters, Wolf Alice, Tom Morello, Elvis Costello, Lauryn Hill, Brian Eno, Massive Attack, Faithless, Sinead O’Connor, Souad Massi and Lorde. There are many others.

Prominent Australians who supported the recent campaign to boycott Eurovision 2019 in Tel Aviv include musician Nick Seymour, comedian Tom Ballard, musician L-FRESH The LION, actor Colin Friels, artist and performer Candy Bowers, commentator Helen Razer, former face of SBS Mary Kostakidis, and contemporary Aboriginal artist Blak Douglas.

We are very happy to organise a briefing for you and your team at any time and via any medium. We will connect you with Palestinians living in Australia so you can hear from them about the awful apartheid situation for Palestinians and why peaceful boycott, divestment and sanctions is the best way to advance the cause of Palestinians’ equal human rights, just as it was for indigenous South Africans in the apartheid era that ended with free elections and a new constitution in 1994, culminating in Nelson Mandela becoming president.

There are many more facts we could add to elaborate, but will keep it to these: Since May last year the Israel army has shot and killed more than 200 Palestinian refugees inside Gaza. Another 1700 young Gazans are facing amputation, mainly of their legs, due to Israeli sniper attacks, among the 7000 indigenous Palestinians shot by Israeli snipers in the last year as they protest to end the blockade and to not be refugees forever.

We look forward to your engagement with this life and death human rights issue and otherwise wish you very well with your summer northern hemisphere tour.

In good faith and in support of universal equal human rights,

BDS Australia

Media release: International legal scholar Professor Richard Falk in Sydney next week speaking on A Future For Palestine amid fake ‘controversy’

MEDIA RELEASE: BDS Australia condemns baseless attacks on pro-Palestine candidates

The Palestinian human rights advocacy organisation, Boycott Divestment and Sanctions Australia, condemns the baseless and unprincipled attacks on candidates who expressed their support for Palestine in the recent federal election.

In the lead-up to the election, the ALP’s Melissa Parke and The Greens’ Mehreen Faruqi  were among the candidates from both parties attacked in the pages of the Murdoch and Jewish community press for their support for the Palestinian cause and association with the call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS)[1] against Israel and the bodies that support its illegal occupation of Palestinian territory.

“The insinuation by the Executive Council of Australian Jewry that Melissa Parke’s statement regarding the actions of the IDF at a checkpoint was untrue showed a disgraceful contempt for the facts and led to her unnecessary withdrawal as a strong ALP candidate”, says Hilmi Dabbagh from BDS Australia.

“Melissa Parke’s claims turned out not just to be factual, but on the public record since 2003. The incident, for which the soldier in question was arrested, was reported by Reuters and appeared in The Age in June 2003.”

“The Israel lobby’s efforts to smear supporters of Palestine during this campaign were only too predictable. It is simply chilling that the co-director of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, Peter Wertheim, could claim that circumstances could “exonerate” the IDF soldier who made a Palestinian woman drink bleach at a checkpoint. Nothing “exonerates” such a barbaric action.”

“Melissa Parke, Senator Mehreen Faruqi and other candidates[2] who were attacked by the Israel lobby are to be congratulated for their uncompromising support for Palestinians, human rights and international law and their commitment to a just peace for everyone in Palestine-Israel, regardless of their background.”

“The Greens maintained their strong support for Palestinian rights and their refusal to be cowed by the Israel lobby’s pressure is to be commended. They have not yet, however, gone far enough. We encourage The Greens, along with the ALP and indeed all political parties, to fully embrace Palestinian civil society’s call for BDS.”

“In its refusal to take a principled and long-needed stand against Israel’s crimes against Palestinian people, the Australian government has positioned itself as a particularly blinkered and irrational obstacle to peace in the Middle East. BDS Australia urges all Australians committed to peace and justice and the political parties that represent them, to adopt BDS as a matter of urgency.”

[1] Further information:
BDS is an international grassroots campaign initiated by Palestinian civil society in 2005. In the face of the repeated failure of official negotiations to secure peace, the boycott movement emerged as a large-scale, civil-society response to Israel’s ongoing occupation of Palestinian land, and the ongoing violations of human rights and international law that accompany it. BDS supports equal human rights and adherence to international law, and is opposed to racism in all forms including Anti-Semitism.

[2] Josh Wilson and Susan Templeman (ALP), James Cruz, Emmet de Bhaldraithe, Jonathon Doig and Connor Parissis (The Greens)

Media release: International legal scholar Professor Richard Falk in Sydney next week speaking on A Future For Palestine amid fake ‘controversy’

BDS Australia statement on recent attacks on us and on supporters of Palestinians in federal politics

17 May 2019

In recent weeks, BDS Australia and its supporters, particularly in the Australian Greens and the ALP, have been the subject of concerted attacks in the pages of the Murdoch press and the Australian Jewish community media.

#BDS is an international grassroots campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions initiated by Palestinian civil society in 2005. In the face of the repeated failure of official negotiations to secure peace, the boycott movement emerged as a large-scale, civil-society response to Israel’s ongoing, murderous and illegal occupation of Palestinian territory, and the egregious war crimes and violations of human-rights and international law that accompany it.

Since March last year, as UN figures show, the Israeli military has killed no fewer than 271 Gazans and wounded around 30 000 others, mostly during peaceful protests. In that light, the claim that Israel is committed to peace demonstrates a cynical contempt for the truth.

Israel is an apartheid state. It is not a democracy, nor a model of anti-racism, religious tolerance, democratic freedom or indigenous rights, as its supporters ludicrously claim. The accuracy of apartheid as a characterisation of Israel’s practices towards Palestinians has often been confirmed internationally, including by experts in international law. Already in 2013, writing in The European Journal of International Law, John Dugard and John Phelan concluded that ‘Israeli practices in the occupied territory are not only reminiscent of – and, in some cases, worse than – apartheid as it existed in South Africa, but are in breach of the legal prohibition of apartheid.’ A 2017 report for the UN by Emeritus Professor Richard Falk, who will visit Australia in July, and Professor Virginia Tilley, also concluded that ‘Israel has established an apartheid regime that dominates the Palestinian people as a whole.’

People of conscience cannot remain silent while Israel pursues the ruination of Palestinian lives, the confinement of nearly two million people in the open prison of Gaza, the engulfing and de facto annexation of much of the West Bank by illegal settlements, the denial of dispossessed refugees’ right to return to their homes, and the treatment of its own Palestinian citizens as second-class citizens, now constitutionally ratified by last year’s Nation-State law.

Boycotts are a well-established international mechanism of political pressure. BDS aims to end apartheid in Palestine-Israel and secure a just peace for Palestinians and Israelis alike through pressure on those responsible for and complicit with Israeli apartheid, just like the boycott of South Africa did. Far from manifesting racism against Jewish people, as our opponents claim, BDS is an anti-racist campaign, unreservedly opposed to hatred and discrimination in all its forms, and embraced by, among others, many Jews in Israel and elsewhere. The conflation of BDS with anti-semitism is a deliberate tactic used by the Israeli state to slander BDS supporters and to maliciously misrepresent the movement and its aims.

The Greens are to be congratulated on the support they have expressed for Palestinian rights. They have not yet, however, gone far enough. The Greens, along with the ALP and indeed all political parties, must fully embrace Palestinian civil society’s call for BDS.

In its refusal to take a principled and long-needed stand against Israel’s crimes against Palestinian people, Australia has positioned itself as a particularly blinkered and irrational obstacle to peace in the Middle East. BDS Australia urges all Australians committed to peace and justice in the world, and the political parties that represent them, to adopt BDS as a matter of urgency.

Media release: International legal scholar Professor Richard Falk in Sydney next week speaking on A Future For Palestine amid fake ‘controversy’

MEDIA RELEASE: Prominent Australians join Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Australia’s calls for a boycott of this weekend’s SBS broadcast of Eurovision in Israel

MEDIA RELEASE 16 May 2019

Prominent Australians join Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Australia’s calls for a boycott of this weekend’s SBS broadcast of Eurovision in Israel

Palestinians have asked international viewers not to watch the event this year while the Israeli state continues to commit war crimes, break international law and deny Palestinians equal human rights.

Australia’s entrant, Kate Miller-Heidke has ignored sustained calls from throughout Australia and from rock legend, Roger Waters not to perform and ‘artwash’ human rights abuses by Israel.

Prominent Australians have made the following statements in support of the boycott:

Mary Kostakidis, the former face of SBS News:
“The daily brutality and dispossession faced by Palestinian people shames us all. While the world’s performers come together to compete in a celebration of song and dance we know that the brutality will continue. I applaud those who have refused to take part. Just as sanctions and the courage of people all over the world to stand up for justice brought an end to apartheid in South Africa, more & more of us must demand an end to this cruelty, respect for the rights of Palestinian people and peace with justice. This year, Eurovision is asking us to be blind. We are not blind and we cannot be complicit.”

Colin Friels, renowned actor:
”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.”

L-FRESH The LION, hip-hop artist and 2018 SBS Eurovision judge:
“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.”

Comedian and broadcaster Tom Ballard:
“As a former employee and as someone who likes important, diverse television, I love SBS. As a homosexual, I am required by law to love Eurovision. Both of these things are true. But I’m also compelled to love human rights. I’m compelled to join the call from Palestine to boycott Eurovision this year, to call for an end to the persecution and apartheid of Palestinians and to demand justice from the international community. Thank you for giving a shit and thank you for doing the right thing.”

Writer, actor and multidisciplinary artist Candy Bowers:
“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.”

Contemporary Aboriginal artist and 2019 Archibald Prize finalist Blak Douglas:
“I stand in solidarity with my Palestinian brothers and sisters just as I do with my First Nations’ peoples both here and abroad. For SBS management to endorse the Eurovision 2019 contest, they effectively deny the ensuing genocide upon the Palestinian citizens on their homeland in favour of ratings.”

Hilmi Dabbagh, the convenor of BDS Australia, said, “While it is a personal milestone for Kate Miller-Heidke to take her post-natal depression inspired song ‘Zero Gravity’ into the grand final of Eurovision, does she realise that Palestinians suffer some of the worst mental health outcomes in the world and easily the highest rate of mental illness in the Middle East due to the 71-year occupation of their lands?”

“We ask Kate Miller-Heidke to reflect on the impact of her visit on Palestinians and to accept the briefing BDS Australia offered her in December from Palestinians in Australia, and join us in campaigning for equal human rights,” Mr Dabbagh said.

CONTACT:
Bruce Knobloch
Campaign organiser at BDS Australia
0425282450 | contact@bdsaustralia.net.au
Follow us on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter

MEDIA ALERT: BOYCOTT EUROVISION 2019 PROTEST TOMORROW SATURDAY 11AM AT SBS

MEDIA ALERT: BOYCOTT EUROVISION 2019 PROTEST TOMORROW SATURDAY 11AM AT SBS

MEDIA ALERT: BOYCOTT EUROVISION 2019 PROTEST TOMORROW SATURDAY 11AM AT SBS

PURPOSE

Supporters of Palestinians’ equal human rights will be loudly telling SBS board and management how disappointed they are that Eurovision 2019 – happening in apartheid Israel in 3 weeks’ time – is being treated as business as usual by the broadcaster, despite a global call for a boycott from Palestinian artists that is supported by thousands of Australians and prominent musicians and artists, including L-FRESH The Lion (former SBS Eurovision judge), Nick Seymour (Crowded House), Blak Douglas (contemporary indigenous artist), Candy Bowers (artist/creator), Miriam Margoyles (actor) and Colin Friels (actor).

SPEAKERS + MESSAGES OF SUPPORT

* Palestine Action Group spokesperson
* BDS Australia spokesperson
* Independent candidate for Wentworth (campaigning for ethical foreign policy focusing on Palestine/Israel and West Papua/Indonesia)

Messages from:

* Mary Kostakidis (former face of SBS News)
* Helen Razer (outspoken journalist and opinion-maker)
* Tom Ballard (comedian and podcaster)

TIME: 11AM
PLACE: SBS, 14 Herbert St, Artarmon
CONTACT: Bruce Knobloch 0425282450