Australia – general public

You are a wonderful Council. Other Councils should follow your lead.
Don’t give in to pressure to overturn your decision to support the BDS campaign!
 Western Australia
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Marrickville council BDS support

Wednesday, 12 January 2011 12:04 AM

Hi Cathy,
I’m writing to you to thank you for your support of the BDS in the Marrickville council area. I have been a resident of Stanmore since 2005, and I have been following the reception to your proposal in the media. You have raised my awareness of these issues.
I have found it very hard to read reports from some websites which in one paragraph describe Israel as a shining example of democratic, secular government in the middle east, yet in the next condemn you and your fellow councilors as “anti-semitic” and “totalitarian”. In my opinion the sentiments of some of these vocal opponents do not accurately represent your constituency.
What you have done requires great courage. I am proud to live in an area in which our elected representatives can make such decisions – I wish more elected politicians at the state and federal level demonstrated the same gusto. To me this is an excellent example of how democracy at the grass-roots level can actually have an impact globally.

Regards,
Peter

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My name is Owen and I am an undergraduate student at La Trobe University in Melbourne. I support the Marrickville council’s courageous stand and hope that it encourages other local government to do the same. Keep it up!

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I support the council in the courageous decision to boycott occupation. As a Jew, as a citizen of Australia, and as a human rights advocate I applaud the efforts to put pressure on Israel to adhere to international law and bargain in good faith.
Please keep up the campaign. The struggle against injustice will be a hard fought battle, but the Palestinians are as entitled to freedom as any other and the ongoing theft of land & the oppressive illegal occupation must cease.
Victoria

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Dear Marrickville Council, my heart warms as I read of your courage in the face of a scurrilous campaign to undermine your decisions regarding Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions. When it is extended to purchase of goods, services, cultural and sporting events it will certainly provide pause for thought in the community and eventual justice for a people under occupation, the Palestinians.
I have been to Bethlehem briefly on my way to Hebron where in 2007, I served with Christian Peacemaker Teams. CPT provides a watching brief of the actions of the Israeli Defence Force, those of settlers and others to report to the world outside the abuses that take place on a daily basis on men, women and children in the occupied territories.
Please do not waver in your commitment to fairness and justice and eventual peace in Israel/Palestine.
Valerie , Qld

**********Jan 21, 2011

My esteemed Marrickville Councillors,

I have read this morning that there’s been some public criticism of your stance on Israel BDS.

I am a resident of Marrickville, and I am very proud what you are doing. I have also, as it happens, been to the West Bank, and seen the oppressive, inhumane, frightening, and unnecessary conditions that the Israeli occupation imposes on ordinary Palestinians every single day. And that’t not even Gaza.

So stick with it. History will be on your side: Israel is not so different to Apartheid South Africa.

State and Federal politicians avoid this issue like the plague, obviously because all they are obsessed with their careers and all matters of moral principle have gone out the window. So when they try to tell local Councillors that you should leave international matters well alone, they just sound like embarrassed hypocrites.

(name removed for privacy)

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thanks and appreciation

Sent: Thursday, 13 January 2011 5:37 PM

 

Dear Marrickville Councillors,
I’m a trainee lawyer, recently a graduate of the University of Sydney, I’m also of Palestinian heritage, I live in Baulkham Hills.
I just wanted to send you a short thank you for supporting the international BDS movement. Your role will in due time be noted in history as one of the first local councils in the world to be part of this important movement for justice and change.

You make me proud to be a resident of Sydney!
Kind Regards,

**********

The Editor

Sydney Morning Herald

December 21st, 2010

Re: Israeli Boycott

I would like to record my strong support for the courageous decision by Marrickville Council to join the global boycott of Israel (‘Suburb joins Israeli boycott’, SMH, December 21st).

It is encouraging to hear a growing number of political voices accurately reflecting community concerns by speaking out against the criminal behaviour being perpetrated against the Palestinian people by the Zionist extremists, who presently control the government of Israel.

Sadly, the ‘rank hypocrisy’ tag used by Vic Alhadeff, of the Jewish Board of Deputies, would be better applied to national governments in the west, including our own, who unconditionally endorse Israel’s behaviour, no matter how obscene & shameful it may be & notwithstanding public opinion.

Nevertheless, as the Wikileaks experience has taught us, our governments routinely act contrary to public opinion, the public interest & even the law, until such time as they are caught-out or it is no longer in their interests to do so.

The actions of Marrickville Council can only encourage members of the public to become more voiciferus on this issue which, in turn, will ultimately lead to a change in thinking at a national level.

WALLAGOOT   NSW   2550

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Sent: Sunday, 17 April 2011 7:06 PM

Dear Councillors,
I wish to support your principled stance against the apartheid regime
in Israel and its occupied territories. This apartheid regime is far
worse than South Africa where the developed world had little
difficulty imposing sanctions.

Gideon Polya in ‘BODY COUNT’ Global avoidable mortality since 1950,
puts the EXCESS mortality (all causes) in Israeli occupied
territories around 300,000(page 100) that is nearly 10% of the
current population of the occupied territories. Approximately 60% of
those avoidable deaths were infants <5 yo. This excess mortality can
only be described as slow genocide.

Occupying forces are responsible for the population under their
occupation. Israel has segregated the palestinian people behind a
concrete wall, confiscated land designated for the palestinian people
and then controlled/terrorised the population with supersonic
military aeroplanes, random bombings of vital infrastruture (water,
electricity), extra judical assassinations using helicopter gunships
and border sanctions to deprive palestinians of basic necessities.
Since the year 2000 Isreali forces have killed 4,000 palestinians, of
which, half were children.

This apartheid is both illegal and brutally cruel. The use of
military weapons on the most dense population on the planet is
mindbogling. Yet the ‘west’ continually blames the victims (the
palestinian people).

Someone must take a stand. I support you, please withstand the
pressure that will be bought to bear.
History will support and cheer you.

With Kind Regards
Dr. Simon MBBS, FANZCA, Dip RACOG
Bendigo, Victoria

On 17/04/2011, at 14:49,

Dear Cathy,

I have heard that you are the councillor who proposed the Marrickville
Council sanction Boycott Divestment and Sanctions against Israel.  May I
tell you how much I admire you and the Council for the stand they took
in adopting this  I am sorry that our State and Federal political
leaders didn’t appreciate your courage and prescience. You should have
been congratulated for your insight, not criticised. As a long time
member of the Greens I am particularly disappointed that Bob Brown
didn’t support you.  I am very glad that my daughter and her family live
in Marrickville with a Council with is leading the way to support human
rights.

Now you are faced with the decision of whether to rescind your support
of BDS.

I know from experience what the situation is in Palestine because I
spent two months there last year. I took part in 15 protests against the
wall and settlements and the military occupation, often ran from tear
gas and other missiles; I never saw a Palestinian throw a stone or a
rocket, but can totally understand why they do so after 44 years of
occupation.

One only has to look at the facts to see how distorted the reporting of
incidents can be.  Every day there are massive abuses of human rights.
There is no comparison between the resources of the occupier Israel and
those who live in the Occupied Territories of the West Bank and Gaza.
The sanctions of BDS are the only way that Israel will ever stop their
brutal and unjust confiscation of land, demolition of houses,
imprisonment of young people, denial of freedom of movement…one has to
be there just to appreciate how insidious the situation is.

Just as the implementation of sanctions helped to change apartheid
situation in South Africa, it will change the attitude and actions of
Israel.  You might be interested to know that Marrickville Council is
not alone in supporting BDS.  In the last few weeks:

*   University of Johannesburg becomes first to implement academic
boycott of an Israeli university
*   Norway boycotts pro-Israeli speakers
*   London company drops bids from Israeli company for one billion
pound “Waste Treatment Infrastructure”
*   Greek parties support campaigns to boycott settlement goods
*   London School of Economics boycotts Israeli drinking water company
(Eden Springs)
*   John Lewis, a leading British retailer announces withdrawing all
Israeli Dead Sea cosmetics (Ahava products) from all stores as such
products are manufactured in illegal Israeli settlements
*   Students Against Israeli Apartheid at the University of Toronto and
York University launch campus divestment campaign
*   Norwegian electricians call for boycott, arms trade ban
*   The student association of Edinburgh University in Scotland voted
overwhelmingly to support a boycott of Israeli goods and services
*   Dutch opposition boycotts parliamentary delegation to Israel
*   Folk singer legend Peter Seeger endorses boycott of Israel
and many more.  Marrickville is to be congratulated for being on the
leading edge of sanctions against Israel until it complies with
international law and stops the 44 year military occupation of
Palestine.

Good luck to you and the Council with your decisions.

Yours sincerely,

Palm Beach NSW 2108

Sent: Sunday, 17 April 2011 5:39 PM

Please accept my congratulations on your courageous decision to Boycott the Apartheid Israeli State and the produce from their illiegal presence and settlements in the West Bank.
I hope you entered politics in order to make a difference to the everyday lives of your neighbours and friends. Now you have gone Global.Please do not bow to pressure from the pro israeli lobby .They will use every trick to disuade you  from your decision to be the change in the world in the world you would like to see. As an Irishman i know how occupation ethnic cleansing and genocide( the famine) are weapons used by the oppressor. Please stand your ground.

The Moyle District Council in Ireland ( the smallest council )has twinned with the Municipality of Gaza and the Israeli Ambassador is already trying to get the decision recinded.The smallest district council in ireland. is now a major threat to isreali security in the middle east? This is what we all face but it is nothing compared to what the people of Gaza the West Bank and the Jordan Valley face daily.

Thank You for all you have done  and continue to do in the cause of humanity.What you do to the least of us you do to me!

FRA.

Sent: Sunday, 17 April 2011 5:35 PM

I support Marrickville’s council decision to boycott Israeli products.

I am disgusted by the media’s savage campaign on this decision by emphasizing  how ‘expensive’ this decision is. Even if the quoted figures were true, let’s not forget that blood diamonds are cheap, so are non-free range eggs and slave labour.

Is the daily abuse of human rights of Palestinians less significant than caged hens? Australians need to grow a brain and stop blindly following Murdoch’s own political agenda.

Rima
Software development consultant

16 April, 2011

Councillor Cathy Peters

Marrickville Council

Dear Ms Peters,

It is my belief that one of the greatest lessons that the Egyptian revolution has taught the people of the world is that democracy is a gift and that we should not take that gift for granted. Here in Australia we are blessed to live in a democratic society and one of the fundamental principles of that society is free speech. I am now exercising that right and writing to express my support for the decision made by the Marrickville Council in December, 2010, to support the Global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign and to encourage the council to continue to endorse that decision and not to back down in the light of the recent political and media campaign.

The Global BDS campaign was instituted by the Palestinian civil society in 2005 in response to the July 2004 advisory opinion by the International Court of Justice which found the separation wall between Israel and the West Bank to be ‘contrary to international law’. The BDS campaign seeks to focus world attention on Israel’s repeated refusals to adhere to numerous UN resolutions regarding the occupied territories, its destruction of Palestinian homes and farmlands, the on-going siege of Gaza, the entrenched discrimination against Palestinians both within Israel itself and the West Bank and the growth of illegal settlements in the West Bank, to name just a few of the violations Israel is responsible for. The BDS campaign relies on non-violent means in its goal to bring a just peace to Israel and Palestine and it has the support of many renowned and respected world figures, such as Desmond Tutu, Nelson Mandela and Jimmy Carter.

I applaud the principled stance the Marrickville Council has taken on behalf of the besieged Palestinian people –one which I know was initiated because of the sister city relationship between Marrickville and Bethlehem- and it is my strongest hope that the members of the council will continue to affirm that stance and demonstrate to the people of Palestine that they are not alone and the eyes of the world are on them.

Yours Sincerely, Christine

MULGRAVE, VIC, 3170.
Sunday, 17 April 2011 3:49 PM

Dear councillors

I write as a local resident, progressive activist and long time Greens
voter and elections volunteer

I hope you will all maintain your original in principle support for
the global BDS movement and find a minimal cost way to implement this
for Marrickville Council

I am disappointed to see the panic that seems to have overtaken some
Greens representatives since the NSW election, panic under pressure
from reactionary corporate media and Barry O’Farrell

I urge you to recognise that a vote of 35.55% for The Greens in
Marrickville is the highest vote for The Greens in any state or
federal election, and significantly higher than the vote that saw
Jamie Parker elected for Balmain

To wobble on the BDS issue now, after the fireworks, so to speak, will
not win you one more vote and will deflate your members and confuse
Greens voters, who will (rightly) see you as being unserious and
confused

Only 2 people mentioned BDS on the Stanmore booth where I handed out,
one person with a connection to Israel and another who misunderstood
the intent of the motion. I convinced the latter to vote Greens. About
half a dozen people said “I won’t vote for The Greens; I’m in
education” – presumably a reference to the dishonest campaign waged by
the Catholic bishops and the secretary of the Independent Education
Union

For the Inner Western Courier, the Murdoch media and the ALP to claim
you have no role to play in fighting injustice is the worst kind of
hypocrisy, because it is the complete refusal of these people to place
any pressure on the Israeli government or the corporations that profit
from the occupation of the West Bank that has made the BDS movement
necessary

The Greens are copping so much criticism because you are challenging
the complacent status quo and those vested interests are worried at
your progress, whether on tax policy, education funding, climate
policy and the universality of human rights. While I may agree that
there was insufficient preparation to face the right wing campaign
against the BDS, to back down now – as I believe some councillors are
considering – will damage The Greens’ reputation for principled
politics and will also encourage less principled behaviour and
personalities to push forward inside the party

Perhaps this is an Australian Democrats GST moment writ small

In solidarity
Bruce
Newtown

On 17/04/2011, at 12:54, “hayley bent” <haylestone2003@yahoo.co.uk<mailto:haylestone2003@yahoo.co.uk>> wrote:

Dear Clr Cathy Peters,
I am writing to you as an Australian resident to express my full support for the resolution the council of Marrickville has passed to support the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Apartheid Israel which is consistent with International law and Human Rights laws.  I am urging you not to vote to rescind this resolution at Tuesday meeting.

Having spent time in Palestine and Israel, in particular Bethlehem I have seen the sadness and helplessness felt by the Palestinian people.  It is unbelievable that the people in the West Bank have lived under military Occupation, subject to military Law for over 44 years now.  And then there is Gaza, under an illegal inhumane siege and also the third class non-Jewish citizens living in Israel proper.

Israel is far from a democratic country and deserves to be boycotted until is respect the human rights of Palestinians.
I fully support the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions campaign because I believe it is the only peaceful way we can assist the peace process in Palestine and Israel.  Clearly, after 44 years of Occupation, talks held by politicians in Palestine and Israel are not working.  We must ensure our money does fund the Israeli government and its supporters which have no respect for human rights laws, international laws and UN resolutions.
I cannot express in this email how much we support your stance on this important global but local issue.
I am hoping my council of Belmont will follow your lead.
Regards

Hayley
Cloverdale WA

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