May 26, 2011

#BDS: Lessons from Marrickville for BDS Activists

"On April 19th, the Marrickville Council in Sydney’s inner west, Australia, met to debate and eventually overturn its four months old motion supporting the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) Campaign against apartheid Israel. The experience of the Marrickville Council provides revealing insights into the state of the Palestine solidarity movement in Australia and important lessons for ongoing BDS campaigns locally and internationally.
The BDS motion initially passed in Marrickville reflected a genuine expression of support for the people of Palestine and was based on the experiences of a number of councillors who had recently visited the Occupied Territories, Israel and the Palestinian refugee camps in neighbouring countries. It also reflects many of the councillors’ sincere commitment to defending basic Palestinian human rights. Conversely, the strength and ferocity of the backlash reflected the decades old complicity of Australia’s political elite. Apartheid Israel is reportedly the most visited state by Australian politicians and trade groups such as the Australia – Israel Chamber of Commerce, which claims to be one of the most prestigious and active national business organisations in the country."
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