In the aftermath of the NSW election, The Australian and right-wing politicians have mounted a witch-hunt against the NSW Greens over their support for the campaign of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against apartheid Israel.

Greens Senator-elect Lee Rhiannon has come in for particular abuse for rightly saying that The Greens should have defended the policy more strongly during the election campaign. Support for BDS was adopted as NSW Greens policy in December, but when Marrickville Greens candidate Fiona Byrne was attacked over it during the campaign she backtracked over her support for it.

Shamefully, both federal leader Bob Brown and Victorian Greens leader Greg Barber have distanced themselves from Lee and the policy.

BDS is not an “extreme” or “radical” policy. Israel is a state that systematically defies international law. It has occupied Palestinian territories in defiance of the UN Security Council for over 40 years, expanding illegal settlements. The International Court of Justice condemned Israel’s apartheid wall in the West Bank as “illegal” in 2004. A UN investigation of the 2009 Gaza war condemned Israel for “grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention” in targeting civilians, and its lethal raid on the humanitarian aid ship, Mavi Marmara, last year was condemned by the UN Human Rights Commissioner.

We need to stand by Lee Rhiannon and those in the NSW Greens who are backing the global movement against Israel’s injustices against the Palestinians.

Australians for Palestine are requesting emails be sent to Greens leader Bob Brown to show support for the NSW Greens stand over BDS at senator.bob.brown [at] aph.gov.au

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