BDS in Adelaide in 2017

5 May 2017

This year we are widening our BDS focus particularly into the area of Divestment. Australia is a shareholding nation and all shareholders have the power to steer clear of unethical investments that funnel money back to Israel.

 AFOPA's Adelaide activists send their solidarity message to the Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons who began a mass hunger strike in April 2017. #PalHunger #DignityStrike [Photo: AFOPA M.Cassar]

AFOPA's Adelaide activists send their solidarity message to the Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons who began a mass hunger strike in April 2017. #PalHunger #DignityStrike [Photo: AFOPA M.Cassar]

 Every year the Israeli government and its embassy in Australia attempts to whitewash their crimes by sending cultural ambassadors to Australia. They also inadvertently provide us with a great opportunity to promote the cultural boycott of Israel as we did at the Jerusalem Quartet and Vertigo Dance Company’s performances in 2016.  So far in 2017 we have protested the presence of the L-E-V dance troupe during the Adelaide Festival. It is interesting to note that this company travelled all the way from Israel for two performances and that despite heavy promotion neither show sold out.

 The AFOPA activists with their new placards in Rundle Mall, Adelaide, highlighting the Israeli diamond industry and its complicity with human rights abuses. Australia is chair of the 2017 Kimberley Process meetings this year.

The AFOPA activists with their new placards in Rundle Mall, Adelaide, highlighting the Israeli diamond industry and its complicity with human rights abuses. Australia is chair of the 2017 Kimberley Process meetings this year.

Our range of boycott targets is also expanding with campaigns planned against the presence of a Max Brenner store in the centre of Adelaide, joint campaigns with Sean Clinton of Limerick, Ireland exposing the Israeli blood diamond industry,  supporting hunger-striking Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli gaols and supporting the RFDS-Elbit campaign in NSW.

Co-convenor of AFOPA’s BDS group, Dr David Faber, has spent considerable time over the last year preparing for attempts by Zionists in Israel and Australia to steal part of our ANZAC history. The centenary of the Charge of the Light Horse Brigade will be commemorated on 31 October 2017 and David as a historian and AFOPA as a political organisation will be vigorously countering the Zionist claim that young Australian soldiers died on that battlefield to help set up the apartheid state of Israel.

2017 will also be the year of close collaborations with our pro-Palestinian friends interstate with a national BDS conference planned for 28-29 July in Sydney. All welcome.

As always AFOPA’s BDS protest group remain committed to their peaceful weekly actions in Rundle Mall educating the people of Adelaide about the boycott. We are rapidly approaching Week 340 of these protests and encourage all supporters of Palestine to look at how you can individually or collectively boycott Israel or divest from Israeli companies and the companies that support Israel. The smallest of actions, for example telling a shopkeeper that you won’t buy Israeli products, can be very powerful.

Margaret Cassar