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Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions

September 13, 2012

The Australian Government strongly opposes the Boycott, Divestments and Sanctions (BDS) campaign.

This position has been placed on the public record on several occasions.

The Government does not support boycott movements that seek to ban exchanges with Israel, or policies that impede legitimate trade between states and unfairly target lawful Australian businesses.

Indeed, the Australian Labor Party fought a campaign in the state division of Marrickville on this very principle and won against the Greens party.

Such boycotts against Israel, in addition to harming Palestinian people economically, are unhelpful to the Middle East peace process.

A motion on BDS was moved in the Senate yesterday.

The Government supported the central tenet of this motion – that is, opposition to the BDS campaign.

However we were unable to support the text of the motion for two reasons.

First, the Government has a long established practice of not attempting to navigate complex foreign policy matters through Senate motions.

Second, the motion politicises this important issue through its criticism of individuals.

These matters do not in any way detract from our overall position – that we fiercely, unequivocally, strongly oppose BDS.

6 Comments
  1. September 13, 2012 4:07 pm

    Don’t agree, Bob. I think the way Marrickville Council went about things ensured the BDS defeat.

    You might find it useful to examine how the boycotts and sanctions against apartheid in South Africa emerged … and how Australia felt about them in the earliest days and the earliest forms and how the boycotts were extended.

    You might also consider how Archbishop Desmond Tutu expresses gratitude to Australia and Australians in this regard.

    People supporting BDS will not disappear. It is my hope that, like the anti-apartheid boycotts matured, so will the BDS until Israel governs for all its citizens within its borders as a secular state and reaches peace with Palestinians. The symbol of this will be the demolition of the ghetto-izing wall built with Queensland concrete and withdrawal by Israelis from the illegal West Bank settlements.

    • September 14, 2012 11:21 pm

      I completely agree with your comment, Miss Eagle.

    • September 17, 2012 12:23 pm

      Miss Eagle..I am curious about the Annexation wall concrete coming from Queensland??

      • September 19, 2012 3:05 pm

        In response to my inquiry, http://www.stopthewall.org/ replied:

        [Begin reply]
        I’m not sure what to tell you. I didn’t hear about Queensland concrete before, so I can’t really confirm or deny it. It will be interesting if it is insured.

        Do you think there is a way in Australia to use the law of “right to information” to track the company shipments or contracts? If we can do that, we can track the shipment and confirm or deny it.
        [End reply]

  2. September 14, 2012 10:06 am

    In effect, Mr Carr, you are saying the government’s overall position – is that it fiercely, unequivocally, strongly supports Israel’s impunity to violate international law and the human rights of the people of Palestine through its illegal occupation, illegal colonial settlement expansion, its illegal Apartheid wall and policies, its war crimes and crimes against humanity of Palestinian families.

    The Palestinians betrayed by the international community, like Australia which abandons its international law obligations, desperately and with dignity call for non-violent BDS to achieve their rights, and Australia opposes non-violent resistance. Ah the dirty pragmatism of realpolitik! Shame Australia.

    (Smacks of Australia’s pragmatic betrayal of East Timor under illegal Indonesian occupation. Shame!)

  3. Gay O'Connor permalink
    September 16, 2012 1:18 pm

    I have to agree with Miss Eagle. I can’t see how you can say that the boycott will harm Palestinians in the Occupied Territories. The boycott is aimed to prevent Israeli exploitation of the Palestinians who don’t get any recompense for the use by settlers of their land to produce the stuff under boycott. I can’t understand how governments can sit by and watch without comment the continuous diminution of the Palestinian land in the West Bank, and the continuous actions of the settlers which harm the Palestinian economy. This is one way to show support for the rights of the Palestinians – unless, of course, you agree with the occupation. And I can only assume that our government does.

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