Eretz Israel is our unforgettable historic homeland...The Jews who will it shall achieve their State...And whatever we attempt there for our own benefit will redound mightily and beneficially to the good of all mankind. (Theodor Herzl, DerJudenstaat, 1896)

We offer peace and amity to all the neighbouring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation for the common good of all. The State of Israel is ready to contribute its full share to the peaceful progress and development of the Middle East.
(From Proclamation of the State of Israel, 5 Iyar 5708; 14 May 1948)

With a liberal democratic political system operating under the rule of law, a flourishing market economy producing technological innovation to the benefit of the wider world, and a population as educated and cultured as anywhere in Europe or North America, Israel is a normal Western country with a right to be treated as such in the community of nations.... For the global jihad, Israel may be the first objective. But it will not be the last. (Friends of Israel Initiative)

Friday, 21 January 2011

Sydney’s Israel-Boycotting Council Gets Rubbished

As I mentioned last month, the Council of Marrickville, in Sydney’s inner suburbs, voted to support a motion introduced by Green Party Councillor Cathy Peters (pictured) – who’s reputedly of Jewish origin, incidentally  – committing Marrickville to support the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against valiant, democratic Israel. Ensuring this disgraceful outcome were the votes of five Green, four Labor, and three Independent councillors.

Fiona Byrne (also pictured, below right), the present mayor of Marrickville, and aspiring state legislator (she’s the Green Party candidate for Marrickville) boasts that among those who have sent statements in support of the Council’s move is Michael Pearson, Emeritus Professor of History at the University of New South Wales.  Uh huh.  Big deal.

But she’s also admitted that the move has attracted opposition – from such people as state Deputy Premier Carmel Tebbutt, who believes Marrickville Council should confine itself to local issues, as well as from Federal MP Anthony Albanese, co-founder and foundation secretary of the Parliamentary Friends of Palestine Group.

This is what Mr Albanese thinks of the Council’s venture into the world of BDS:

‘As part of Leonard Cohen’s successful world comeback tour in 2009 he included a concert at Ramat Gan stadium near Tel Aviv in his itinerary.
For that he was condemned by some activists for promoting a cultural exchange in Israel. Never mind the fact that proceeds from this concert were directed to the “Fund for Reconciliation, Tolerance and Peace”.
Groups which directly benefitted included the “Parents Circle”, made up of both Palestinian and Israeli parents who have lost children in the Middle East conflict with the aim of promoting peace and reconciliation.
Cohen described the concert as “representing a triumph over the inclination of the heart to despair, revenge and hatred”.
The decision of the Greens Party controlled Marrickville Council to “boycott all goods made in Israel and any sporting, academic, government or cultural exchanges”, is unfortunate and misguided at best.
The Council goes even further and suggests that any organisation or company with links to Israel should be boycotted also. It is not clear how much ratepayer funds will be expended on this research.
It is doubtful how fair dinkum the Greens Party Councillors are, given that the resolution carried a month ago included a third point, that they would write to local Parliamentary representatives “seeking their support at the State and Federal level” and the Greens Party Mayor has not actually got around to sending the correspondence.
It’s not as if there are no policy challenges or local issues facing the Greens Party Mayor of Marrickville. The Council is in the process of laying off staff, the Mayor voted to close down Marrickville West Public School’s child care centre which provides vital support to disadvantaged families and the Greens have opposed a series of modest affordable housing proposals.
This ill thought out attempt to challenge the State of Israel through a single Local Council in the inner west of Sydney is clumsy and counterproductive.
I believe that engagement between peoples promotes understanding and tolerance and is worthwhile whether it be between national leaders or student exchanges....
Any lasting resolution to the Middle East conflict cannot be at the expense of either Palestinians or Israelis. Surely contact and engagement between Palestinians and Israelis is a precondition for a peaceful settlement.
If simplistic slogans were enough to resolve this issue it would have become an historical footnote of the last century.
Australians are making a contribution to global tolerance by the way that we have developed as a multicultural society. The inner west of Sydney is a microcosm of what is desirable in the international community – a place where neighbours live in harmony regardless of religion or race.
As it stands all those who attended the recent concerts of Leonard Cohen are in violation of the decree from the Marrickville Mayor made on their behalf – lucky Cohen didn’t try to perform at the Enmore Theatre!’ (
By contrast, Fiona Byrne blusters thus:

“This decision to institute the BDS in Marrickville is well within Council’s jurisdiction. Every day as an organisation we make decisions about who we will or will not do business with as we spend ratepayers’ money to provide community services,” she blusters.
“The BDS is not an anti-Israel resolution. It is about identifying institutions that directly support the occupation of Palestine, and choosing not to do business with them.
BDS is not a fringe movement. Its impact is growing as the Israeli government continues to contravene international law. Growing numbers of prominent Australian unions back the BDS ... as do most Palestinian Civil Societies, and a growing number of Jews and churches around the world....
At a hands-on level, Marrickville Council’s support of the BDS means taking a close look at and making ethical and informed choices about which businesses and institutions we engage with. The boycott of products and services has an immediate local impact, given that Council is a regular purchaser of goods and services on behalf of the community....
Many Australians remember how international boycotts and sanctions of South African goods in the 1980s helped to bring an end to apartheid. It is no accident that Archbishop Desmond Tutu is today one of the most outspoken critics of Israeli policies in Palestine and one of the principal advocates of the BDS movement....
Marrickville Council supporting the BDS is a practical measure for our local area to communicate this to any institution which supports the occupation of Palestine.”
Unfortunately, Ms Byrne seemed shy of appearing on Radio 2GB to discuss the Council’s decision. So the broadcast proceeded without her.

Have a listen – it’s a corker! The programme's host, a station employee who’s spent time in the region, a Jewish communal leader in Sydney and others all pour scorn on what one interviewee calls “The Mouse That Roared in Marrickville”.

(Hat tip: reader Shirlee)

There’s also a petition against the Council’s move:


  1. Daphne, sorry I must point out an error here. Only 1 Independant voted for the Motion, the other two Viv Macri & Morris Hanna were opposed

    Here's the letter I recieved from Vic Macri

    "As a councillor I was elcted to deal with local issues and am very disturbed when the green councillors feel they need to waste rate payers money on issues that should be at a federal level . It is a good example of what would happen if the greens ever came to power federally. in marrickville in 2004 marrickville won the bluett award for best council in nsw from then till now marrickville residents have experienced falling service standards and face a unsustainble future with rising costs of 8% per year with a rise in income of 2.8% per year havent these people got more immediate local issues to deal with.
    I hope this email shows you the battle i have representing the silent majority of the people of marrickville , if i can help you in any other way please let me know happy to talk to you my number is xxxxxxxxxx"

  2. Call me a cynic, but it seems to me that militant anti-Semitism is a prerequisite to climb up the ladder in the Greens Party hierarchy: a shining example of this was Lee Rhiannon, who stood shoulder to shoulder with the Sheik of the Lakemba mosque, on the steps of Sydney townhall, screeching anti-Semitic slogans during that sham that was the so-called "peace flotilla for Gaza". She sits now in the Senate where "The Greens" will hold the balance of power come July.

    I remind you that that Sheik (Hilali) quasily sanctioned the series of pack-rapes of Australian girls by muslim gangs in suggesting the girls had asked for it by "dressing the way they did, they were like meat to a cat".

    What will those green and labor councillors of Marrickville think of next to collect "Brownie" points? ... Yellow Star of David stickers to be worn by all Jewish people, full chador for females??

  3. Thanks for the clarification, Shirlee.
    Hope you're having a good trip, Rita.

  4. Thank you Daphne:)Paris is still wonderfull in this season of nearly-no-tourists. (I usually spend the Australian summer months here to escape the heat and humidity of Sydney).

    Although the majority of the (left) media in this country which gave us the Dryfuss affair is pretty anti-Semitic, and muslims from the Maghreb and sub-saharan Africa are hugely visible (see that u-tube you posted recently), some brave French voices who want to claim back their Republic from the fangs of the galopping Islamisation that is destroying Europe are increasing.

    Lets hope that this camel has not bolted.

  5. How lovely to be able to escape Sydney's humidity, Rita! It's a beautiful city - more instantly appealing than Melbourne - but that humidity always does me in (ensures that every day is a bad hair day!)
    I haven't been to Paris since 2004.

  6. Beware of the enemy within.
    Jews that attempt to make themselves known by anti-Israeli rants/actions. These 'I'm jewish but ..' types, such as Antony Loewenstein, try & gain the admiration of anti-semite groups wrapped in left-wing banners, regardless of the potential danger to the local Jewish community.
    These 'left-wing' groups (more like wannabe fascists) compile doctored information & with the backing of their token Jew, their hatred appears legitimate to the wider community.
    Then the freaks dine out on their lies & come out to play- Brendon O'Connell etc ...
    These destructive 'Jews' live in a fantasy of guest speaking & book launches in which they abuse their culture for self-glory amongst people who want to hate us ...

  7. I know and deplore the type, Sharky!
    Thanks for your comment.