GREENS Senator-elect Lee Rhiannon has helped push through a policy to prevent trade between Australia and Israel, and stop Israeli sportspeople and performers coming to Australia.
At its state conference last weekend – held in the run-up to the NSW election in March – the NSW Greens passed a proposal by consensus for Australians and the Australian Government to “boycott Israeli goods, trading and military arrangements, and sporting, cultural and academic events as a contribution to the struggle to end Israel’s occupation and colonisation of Palestinian territory, the siege of Gaza and imprisonment of 1.5 million people and Israel’s institution of a system of apartheid”.
Rhiannon, who will take her place in the Senate in July next year, added: “The BDS [boycott, divestment and sanction] opposition to all forms of racism, including anti-Semitism, reflects the principles of the Greens. The campaign is motivated by the universal principles of freedom, justice and equal rights,” Rhiannon said.
The new policy, though, has set her at odds with the federal Greens. A similar proposal was put forward at the Greens’ most recent national conference, but was rejected.
Even though the NSW Greens BDS policy is likely to have a limited effect on the party’s day-to-day operations, particularly at a federal level, it has upset the Israeli Government.