The most important lesson to learn from the Israeli court case which saw “fines” handed down to Justine Sachs and Nadia Abu-Shanab is just how important and effective the BDS campaign has become in fighting for Palestinian political and civil rights.
Justine and Nadia wrote a letter to New Zealand singer Lorde which asked her to withdraw from her Israeli concert in support of the BDS campaign. Lorde responded and shortly afterwards cancelled the concert.
It’s OK to laugh at the absurdity of the court case but much more important to realise just how powerful BDS has becomesensitive and worried the Israeli regime is to the international solidarity reflected in
The parallels with South Africa are striking. The international call to boycott South Africa’s apartheid regime was a significant factor in ending apartheid. The boycott isolated the white regime to the point that continued Western support – led by Thatcher’s UK and Reagan’s US – was no longer possible.
The Israel regime is terrified it faces the same international scenario where people to people solidarity across the globe defeats the Israeli Defence Force reign of terror against Palestinians; ends the occupation of the West Bank and the medieval siege of Gaza; ends the racist discrimination against Palestinian Israelis and allows for the return of Palestinian refugees forced from their homes when Israel was formed.
So, what should New Zealand activists do?
Simple. Get behind the BDS campaign and redouble our efforts to make it a reality in every area of life – trade, investment, academia, culture, politics etc.
We need to make life impossible for representatives of the regime and those who promote and defend it.
So what does this mean? Here are two ways we can all get stuck in now.
- We must end the unconscionable Vector investments in the Israeli war machine.
- We should get behind the boycott of Sodastream which is the most high-profile Israeli product sold in New Zealand
The second point gives another reason NOT to watch the cringeworthy “Married at first sight” on TV3 which is being sponsored by Sodastream. The sponsorship is timed to leverage large Christmas sales of Sodastream products. Our job is to use the high profile of Sodastream to build support for the struggle for Palestinian human rights and bring an end to Israeli apartheid.
Here is a letter which Palestine Solidarity Network Christchurch has written to the Chief Executive of Mediaworks (which own TV3). You may like to write your own.
Palestine Solidarity Network Christchurch
12 October 2018
Kia ora Michael,
Request to withdraw Sodastream sponsorship of “Married and First Sight”
We are requesting Mediaworks withdraw Sodastream sponsorship of “Married at first sight” currently showing on TV3.
Our request is made as part of the international BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) campaign which was launched in 2005 by Palestinian civil society groups to bring pressure to end Israeli apartheid. Israeli-made products such as Sodastream are one focus of the campaign.
International pressure was a key element in bringing an end to apartheid in South Africa and similar pressure can have the same effect in ending apartheid in the Middle East.
In August this year the Israeli parliament passed legislation which more formally established itself as an apartheid state with separate and unequal rights, enshrined in law, for citizens of Jewish origin and citizens of Palestinian origin.
Maintaining this apartheid state has always meant brutal suppression of Palestinian rights and we saw this in all its murderous reality on our television screens earlier this year.
Meanwhile house building on occupied Palestinian land continues apace in defiance of international law with another 1000 Jewish-only homes approved in August 2018.
Pressuring Israel to end its apartheid policies towards Palestinians, end its occupation of Palestinian land and allow for the return of refugees forced from their homes when Israel was formed is something all of us should support.
It is in this spirit we are requesting Mediaworks to support the Palestinian struggle for justice and human rights and we look forward to hearing from you shortly.
On behalf of the Palestine Solidarity Network Christchurch