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Byron Shire
March 1, 2021

Divesting from apartheid state of Israel

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On Wednesday Byron Friends of Palestine held a stall on Jonson Street outside Fundies supporting the non-violent Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against the apartheid Israeli state.

Others were also there playing music, reading palms and selling jewellery but only we were singled out by Bob Higgins the compliance officer who ordered us to remove our stall, flags and placards immediately or a truck would come and impound everything.

He admitted complaints had been received but we replied that we had had many compliments from motorists and passers by. Why do complaints trump compliments?

We transferred to Australia Post property near the ANZ Bank and were left alone.

Palestine’s pleas to the world for justice are largely ignored by mainstream media and most governments, including Australia, actively support Israel.

However, BDS has notched up some significant victories. Veolia, for example, has pulled out of the Jerusalem light rail project and US churches have divested from Caterpillar and SodaStream.

The EU does not recognise Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, Gaza, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights which it captured in 1967 so it has passed new labelling legislation forcing Israel to identify products originating from these occupied territories.

Gareth W R Smith, Palestine Liberation Centre, Byron Bay

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  1. Gareth I don’t know where you get the definition of apartheid from but if you are trying to make the argument that Israel has a similar model to South Africa, you are either have a problem understanding basic facts, to lazy to do some genuine comparisons or just so blinded by your own narrow belief systems that you cannot even consider another position. South Africa came up with the term and some of the rules were:
    Declared blacks as second class, they could not vote, hold political office, were forced into certain locations, could not marry whites or use public toilets as well as other restrictions barring them from society.
    None of those restrictions apply to Arabs living in Israel.
    Accounting for about 20% of Israels population they Vote, are members of parliament, own property, run businesses and work in professions, doctors, lawyers and accountants, they are part of the judiciary, there is an arab on the supreme court. Israel has appointed an Arab ambassador. I could go on…..
    These are the facts, so Gareth I believe it may be time to change your language because your continual use of the Apartheid label is patently false.
    You must be getting confused with those who live in what you called the occupied territories under the authority of the PA or Hamas, who enjoy few of the freedoms, democratic rights, freedom of expression, freedom of religion or sexual orientation.
    I do not say that things are perfect in Israel and there are not huge problems to overcome. I also think it is disingenuous to continue to call Israel an apartheid system when any rigorous or honest assessment shows otherwise.

  2. “”People hat compare Israel to Apartheid don’t know what is Apartheid and they minimize he SA blackest suffering””
    “” If the SA Africans would have same rights as the Arabs in Israel that would not be anti apartheid movement “”
    “” Arabs in Israel enjoy freedom of movement form place to place,share the same hospitals and transportations— they are represented in parliament- enjoy the same rights in the juristically system, Arab are judges
    moreover an Arab judge tried the former Israeli president Katzav.””

    Said by Ms Kenneth Me shoe is a black South African Parliament member that experienced the Apartheid
    life and was exposed to the life in Israel:
    Refer to youtube watch?v=ykFVV9QdvZ
    “”You have one million Arabs living in Israel with the Jews, and they are not suffering like the Arabs who are actually controlled by Arabs elsewhere in the region””
    Said by Dr. Hamid the Chair for the Study of Islamic Radicalism at the Potomac Institute and formerly a member of the radical terrorist group Al-Gama’a
    Al-Islamiyya group in Egypt:
    —“”There Was Never A “Palestinian People””
    “”While the reality of the Jewish people is a known fact, the idea of the Palestinian people is something that was created recently for political reasons.””
    Said by Sheikh Abdul Hadi Palazzi, Head of the Muslim community in Italy:
    Refer to youtube watch?v=KHnmj74IEt8—–


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