Open Letter

Please consider signing our open letter – email us your name, suburb or town, state (and country if outside Ausralia).

Our email address is marrickvillebds@y7mail.com

View the Open letter or read it below…

Open Letter to Marrickville Council in support of the worldwide movement for
Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) of products and services linked with Israel.

We the undersigned strongly support the conscientious decision of all organisations and individuals who have endorsed the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.

Despite annual UN resolutions calling on Israel to adhere to international law and end its 44-year military occupation of Palestinian lands, still not a single government has acted to impose sanctions on Israel for its violations.

As governments, including our own Australian government, have failed to hold Israel accountable, it is up to people of conscience in civil society worldwide to heed Palestinian calls for protection and justice.

The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement is a non-violent movement that can assist to bring peace and justice to Israelis and Palestinians. It utilises non-violent strategies, with the aim of persuading the Israeli Government to comply with its obligations under international law by:

  • ending its illegal occupation and colonisation of Arab lands and illegal construction of the Wall;
  • recognizing that the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel are entitled to full equality;
  • meeting its legal obligations towards the 7.1 million Palestinian refugees.

Israel violates more UN resolutions than any other country in the history of the UN, including Iraq & Iran put together. It has enacted a long list of laws which discriminate against its own Arab-Palestinian citizens. Israel deprives Palestinians in the Occupied Territories access to adequate land, water, housing, health care, education and work, and restricts their freedom of movement.

The Australian government has, on our behalf, declared sanctions against fourteen different countries. The question is not whether Israel should be singled out for punitive actions – the question is, why is Israel not being held to the same standards as other countries?

Israel’s right to exist is not being challenged – what is being challenged is Israel’s right to exist as an apartheid state. The boycott initiative shows respect for Israel by holding it to the same standards as other western democracies.

It is time to end the occupation of Palestine and bring peace and justice to the people of Israel and Palestine. The BDS movement is playing a crucial role in raising awareness about Israel’s violations of international law.

Internationally and nationally, churches and church leaders, unions, academics, public intellectuals, media personalities and others are supporting the BDS campaign. In July 2010, the National Council of Churches in Australia asked its members and the public “to consider a boycott of goods produced by Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.” A number of Australian unions, including unions representing teachers and workers in the electrical trades, construction, maritime, hospitality and education industries, are supporting the BDS campaign.

Marrickville Municipal Council, as the first local council in Australia to publicly endorse BDS, has taken a courageous step. This decision was endorsed by Councillors across the political spectrum.

While Australian and other world leaders remain reluctant to speak out against Israel’s human rights abuses, the responsibility devolves to individuals and our local leadership. We thank these leaders for having the courage and integrity to speak out in the face of a well-organized campaign of intimidation.

We urge you to consider supporting the BDS movement as an individual, or by advocating that the political party, union, church or community group you belong to, or the local council where you live, adopts a Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions policy towards the Israeli Government or makes BDS part of their broader ethical investment and purchasing strategy.

More information about the BDS campaign can be obtained at – www.bdsmovement.net

Yours sincerely,

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35 thoughts on “Open Letter

  1. Thanks to Marrickville council for signing on to this very important campaign. My full support, as a Palestine support activist, and as a resident in the Marrickville council district.

    • I think it’s great that Marrickville Council has taken this step to support the people of Palestine in this way. I wish all local councils would do the same and really make an impact on what is happening in Palestine.

  2. I are writing to express my support of the Greens and Marrickville Council’s position on the BDS campaign.
    It is most important – as it was with the boycott campaigns against apartheid in South Africa – that there is international pressure brought to bear on Israel to change its policy and practise regarding the many disenfranchised Palestinians within and beyond its borders.

  3. A great and noble initiative set up to marrickville council. keep up the good work, you have my full support.

  4. It makes me proud to be a resident of Marrickville!

    After so many shameful acts by our State and Federal governments, it is wonderful to see acts of integrity taking place at a local government level.

    Well done Councillors for speaking out on behalf of the poor and oppressed. May God strengthen you to hold fast to the cause of justice and peace.

  5. Will our PM please take note and realise that she works for the Australian taxpayer and not the Israeli cheer sqaud. As we type Gaza is again being violently attacked by the Israeli occupying military. why no word of condemnation from the Gillard government?

    • Not only does Julia Guillard ignore Palestinians (& attempts at total destructiion of Palestine by Zionists & its supporters) but also violations against Afghanistan & its people. The least Guillard could do is to (1) openly condemn Zionist aggression against Palestine and its people and (2) order the return of Australian armed forces from Afghanistan. This inaction places much shame on Australia.

  6. This amazing step forward to bring about awareness of the atrocities committed by the Israeli government and bring about the neglected human rights of the Palestine people by Marrickville council brings a smile to my face and hope in my heart for a better tomorrow for all. A single step taken by Marrickville council may just be the first step in a nationwide movement.
    Thank you and congratulations on a historic move.

  7. Last night I watched “Big Ideas” – Kerry O’Brien interview with Peter Beinart “Failure of the US Jewish Establishment” (Melbourne Writers’ Festival 2010) – concerning the predicted? demise of Zionism. Co-incidently I receive email (cjpp) inviting me to protestat against Israel’s oppression of Palestinian people via boycot initiated by Marickville Council.
    I personally don’t purchase any items associated with Israel as my personal protest against Israel’s abhorrent treatment of Palestinians. I’m pleased that Marrickville Council is supporting my silent one-woman activity. Thank you.

  8. Congratulations Marrickville Council for your courage in the face of the snide campaign supporting Israel’s illegal & brutal occupation of Palestinian land.
    BDS is an inspiration of rational justice in Australia politics.

  9. Thanks for Marrickville councel to help Palestinian, I am from Punchbowl support Marrickville councel I would like to say USA worry about the petrol not the people, look at Lebya because they have petrol they send they ships to the mediterranean sea how many years the Palestinan suffering no one cares.

    • Many thanks to Marrickville Council for the courageous and humane step of being the first Council in Australia to endorse BDS against Israel. It would not be necessary to take this action if there were were any other way to highlight the unjust 44 year occupation by the Israeli Defence Force of the West Bank and Gaza.

  10. I wholeheartedly support Marrickville Councils’s Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) action against Israel’s oppression of the Palestinian people. Whilst I’m not a resident of Marrickville I am nonetheless a fervent supporter and resolute about exposing the minds of people accross the wider Sydney community and beyond to a consciencousness of the wrongs of inhuman treatment, political and human rights biases that damage Palestinian lives that our nation’s leader’s support and we should all be ashamed…

  11. Congratulations to Marrickville Council for being the first Council in Australia to endorse BDS against Israel. The genocidal 44 year occupation by the Israeli Defence Force of the West Bank and Gaza has flaunted every UN resolution.

  12. A very courageous and principled move by Marrickville Council. Sure that the Israel Lobby and their hangers-on in the media will go all out to vilify you but nothing is free – especially standing up to bullies. Well done and don’t let the bastards grind you down!

  13. How insecure!
    The cheer squad for the Israel feel threatened by residents of a small city council choosing to practice their right in checking the label before buying.This at a time when colonial Israel continues stealing land and building settlements partly fuded by our taxes.
    Imagin a different lobby c group practicing such harassment . Unbelievable.
    I wish other city councils take thier blinkers off.
    Well done Marricville

    • (In response to Sefian Nasser)
      “Promises & Betrayals” is a very good documentary to watch – distributed by Marcom Products P/L., PO Box 4535, Eight Mile Plains, Qld. 4113 http://www.marcon.com.au.
      It reveals much about “Israel” emerging as “God’s Promise” – “God” being British & Zionist forces & their lust for oil!!?? It compares plight of poor Jews (scapegoats) in Middle Europe to plight of indigenous Palestinians in Palestine & reveals the subsequent lie that “Israel” was set up as refuge/homeland for Holocaust survivors/victims of persecution?
      Reality: “Israel” was set up as strategic positioning in Middle East (for the oil!). So what will happen when oil is no longer “flavour of the month”?? So we need to quickly find an alternative! No consolation for horrendous crimes of violence & displacement of Palestinians since Zionists first set their greedy little minds on the “black gold”! Also note – most of doco commentators are Jewish – so this is a positive!
      Sefian! Perhaps “Cheer Squad for Israel” need to be educated about the flimsy origins of present day “Israel” & the questiionable, shakey truth of “God’s Promise” & finally to accept “God’s Promise” as a Jewish legend!!
      PS: I check “Made in ….” labels to avoid purchase of “Israeli” products! And in respect & acknowledgement of indigenous Palestinians, I don’t accept occupied Palestine as “Israel”!

  14. Congratulations Marrickville Council. Boycotts diverstment and sanctions worked towards ending apartheid which John Howard as the deputy leader of the Liberal party at the time voted against. Neither John nor apartheid are around any more (thank goodness!) so lets hope injustice in Palestine follows the same path…and soon.

  15. Thank you to the council for taking such an important stand on this issue. The injustices in Palestine must stop now. Too many people have died. Too many are suffering.

  16. Good on the Marrickville Councillors who supported the BDS motion! What Israel is implementing in occupied Palestine today is apartheid. Lots of people like to applaud the end of apartheid in South Africa but I remember a time when it felt like only a few people of conscience were prepared to make a stand against that apartheid regime. South Africa’s liberation movements asked us to support a boycott campaign and we did, Today the Palestinians are asking the same. I applaud those (among them many Jewish people) with the conscience and the stomach to take up this call.

  17. ****** This has contributed to the restoration of my faith in common society – may the truth finally ring true…..I hope this builds momentum…..Aussie’s unite and show our support for those who have been tortured, starved, disrespected and jailed at the hands of the Israeli government, this is in no way a direct attack on the Israeli people but and statement to the Israeli government.

  18. Don’t back down! Don’t back down! I’ve just returned to Sydney after a year working in Palestine as a legal researcher and international legal advocacy officer in East Jerusalem. I saw the mechanics, operation and devastating impact of the occupation on Palestinian people and their lives. The occupation is brutal, harsh and humiliating and I believe Marrickville council should continue supporting the bds. I believe the bds is the only way to go!

  19. Congratulations, Marrickville Council! It’s a pity more elected officials don’t have your guts in taking a stand against Israeli apartheid. As dictatorships in the Middle East are being brought down by revolutions, I look forward to the end of the racist state of Israel, whose hatred of the outbreak of democracy in the region only further testifies to its hypocrisy.

  20. The 10 Marrickville Councillors (5 Greens, 4 Labor, 1 Independent) who voted in support of the BDS movement deserve community support for endorsing the principles of a broad, effective and non-violent international campaign aimed at ending the escalating and intolerable levels of persecution and discrimination suffered by the Palestinian people for far too long.

  21. Any Australian who supports Israel’s dictatorship, is a disgrace to Australia itself. If Australians will support Israel I will be ashamed to call myself Australian.

  22. Doris Haddad,
    I’m very much afraid that Australia has a Zionist Prime Minister..and yes, it’s a disgrace….much more than a disgrace and it only makes the Marrickville councillors all the more brave and principled in their actions.

  23. A great example for other Councils in Australia.I hope more citizens petition their own regional organisations to support the BDS Campaign

  24. Response to Marrickville Council vote in 19 April

    The BDS puts in the hands of ordinary people and their representatives the tools to demonstrate their opposition to Israel’s repression of Palestinian freedom by boycotting Israeli goods.

    In the case of councils like Marrickville BDS calls for an end to contracts with companies like Veolia that is involved in building settlements in occupied Palestine.

    The time for statements & resolutions is over.

    There are 68 resolutions in the United Nations calling for the end to the occupation of Palestine and for Israel to obey international law.

    These UN resolutions are ignored daily by Israel – it has done so for decades.

    Over the past few weeks, in Australia, Labor Party leaders (like Rudd) put pressure on ALP councillors in Marrickville to change their vote on BDS. Last night they were successful. Many people in Marrickville has a multicultural community and many (probably the majority) support Palestine. Nearly 40% of people across Sydney support the stance taken by Marrickville on BDS

    Conservatives (i.e. Liberal party) already opposed BDS.

    All the letters and statments by such leaders have come to nought.

    It is time to act – people need to boycott Israeli goods.

    Ian Curr
    20 April

  25. No, it’s not up to Marrickviell council to support BDS against Israel- our government should be doing it. As Gillard’s crew are too weak to stand up to the Zionist lobby group, it has become necessary for councils to take this action. Thanks to the unseemly manipulation by this lobby group Marrickville council has achieved worldwide acclaim. Just wish the self-serving people who backed down could be held to account.

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