Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) is a Palestinian-led movement for freedom, justice and equality. BDS upholds the simple principle that Palestinians are entitled to the same rights as the rest of humanity.
[Introduction to Samah Sabawi's piece by Ofer Neiman]
There are good things to be said about Professor Naomi Chazan, a scholar of contemporary Africa and a former member of the Israeli Knesset (on behalf of the center-left Meretz party). When an extreme right-wing and US funded Israeli student group like "Im Tirtzu" runs a venomous campaign against her, smearing her (in the Israeli public eye) as "Naomi Goldstone-Chazan", it is safe to assume she has been getting some things right.
At a small ceremony on 7 June in Marrickville, a Sydney suburb, local mayor Fiona Byrne was presented with a letter of support from the South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
“I want to pay my respects to you and your fellow councillors in Marrickville for taking a stand to isolate the Israeli state,” Tutu wrote. “We in South Africa, who both suffered apartheid and defeated it, have the moral right and responsibility to name and shame institutionalized separation, exclusion and domination by one ethnic group over others.
On April 19, the same day that Marrickville Council met to reconsider its vote in support of the Palestinian-initiated boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign for Palestinian human rights and against Israel, the Socialist Party of Australia issued a statement opposing the BDS campaign.
The statement, posted on the web site of Stephen Jolly, one of two Socialist Party councillors elected to the Yarra City Council in Melbourne, said “The “Socialist Party has been asked by a number of groups and individuals if our Councillors ... would consider supporting the campaign”.
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 Australians for Palestine team arrived in Sydney on Monday to give support to Marrickville BDS and the Marrickville councillors. It was, we felt, an historic occasion for BDS in Australia. On Tuesday evening, the Marrickville Council Chambers was packed to the rafters with crowds of people outside wanting to hear the vote on BDS after months of savage attacks on the councillors who had supported its adoption last December.