Friday, July 27, 2012

Victory for Australia's boycott campaign as charges of blockading chocolate store dropped

Dear friends,
please find below my lastest article which has been published by Electronic Intifada. 

The article discusses the terrific pro-Palestine and free speech court victory in Melbourne last week which saw Melbourne Magistrate, Simon Garnett, throw out of court  charges of trepassing and besetting against 16 pro-Palestine solidarity activists  who were arrested in July 2011 at a peaceful BDS action outside of Max Brenner Chocolate Bar in the QV centre in central Melbourne.

Last night, protestors returned to QV to celebrate the decision and to continue the BDS campaigning.  The atmosphere was celebratory, despite the cold and wet weather.   The Herald Sun ran a brief report on last nights action here.

Please feel free to share the EI report with your networks and on social media.

in solidarity, Kim


Victory for Australia’s boycott campaign as charges of blockading chocolate store dropped

27 July 2012

Sixteen Palestine solidarity activists arrested during a pro-boycott demonstration have been cleared of the charges of “trespassing” and “besetting” by an Australian court. The 23 July ruling has been hailed as a “landmark victory” for freedom of expression and for the campaign to defend the rights of Palestinians (“‘Landmark victory’ for Max Brenner protests,” ABC News, 23 July 2012).
The 57-page decision by Magistrate Simon Garnett brought an end to a year-long struggle by the protesters.

The activists were among 19 people arrested on 1 July 2011, at a peaceful demonstration outside the Max Brenner chocolate shop in Queen Victoria Square, which is located within the Queen Victoria shopping precinct in central Melbourne. The protest was organized by the Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid and sought to highlight the complicity of the company Max Brenner Chocolate and its parent company, the Strauss Group, in Israel’s occupation and apartheid policies. The action was the fourth protest against the company since December 2010.

The Strauss Group is one of Israel’s largest food and beverage companies. On its website, the Strauss Group has highlighted its support for the Israeli military, providing care packages, books, games and sports and recreational equipment for soldiers. In particular, Strauss has boasted of its support for the Golani and Givati brigades, who have a long record of human rights abuses against Palestinians and in Lebanon.

Both brigades were heavily involved in Operation Cast Lead, Israel’s 2008-09 assault on the Gaza Strip, which resulted in the killing of approximately 1,400 Palestinians, including approximately 350 children. Strauss initially removed information about its support for the two brigades from its English language website but information about the company’s support for both brigades remained on their Hebrew language site for some time before it too was removed.

The 16 activists were charged with offenses under the Summary Offences Act (1966). All of the activists were alleged to have “wilfully and without lawful authority beset premises” and to have engaged in “wilful trespass,” while a small number of those arrested were also accused of a number of other charges, including “hindering,” “resisting” and “assault.”

Video evidence contradicts police testimony

The police’s case against the activists was contested over 17 days beginning on 1 May this year. Evidence was given by 26 police officers and four civilians, including the manager of Max Brenner and the manager of the Queen Victoria shopping center and two other staff members.

Almost five hours of video footage of the demonstration and arrests, shot by protesters, police and closed-circuit security cameras, were viewed by the court. However, in numerous instances, the sworn statements and evidence given by police officers was in stark contrast to the video evidence shown.

Witnesses for the police case were subject to intense cross-examination by lawyers defending the 16 activists — in particular about the discussions which took place between police and QV management prior to the demonstration last year. At the end of the hearing, the lawyers acting for the protesters submitted a “no-case” to answer, asking Garnett to dismiss all charges.

Garnett upheld the no-case submissions in all 16 cases relating to the main charges. A number of the other charges are still being contested.

Lawful right”

In his ruling, Garnett stated that Queen Victoria Square was a public space and that protesters had a lawful right to be there and thus were not engaged in “wilful trespass.” Garnett ruled that because the shopping center had a contract with Melbourne City Council which requires it to keep the square and laneways located within the shopping precinct open to the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week, management “did not have the legal authority to apply conditions on members of the public who wished to enter QV or the laneways.”

Garnett also ruled that “the conduct of the protesters did not promote violence,” and there was no evidence to suggest that the protesters had any criminal intent. According to Garnett, “the protesters had a lawful right to enter QV Square without restriction. They had a lawful right to conduct the political demonstration.”

In dismissing the “besetting” charge (obstructing or impeding the right to leave a premise), Garnett noted, “In my opinion, it cannot be said that it was the actions of the protesters that caused any obstruction, hindering or impediment to members of the public from entering Max Brenner’s, if they chose to do so.”

Instead, he said it was “the establishment of the police lines” at the front of Max Brenner’s which extend across the square and nearby laneways “that caused the obstruction, hindrance and impediment to members of the public.” Garnett found there was no evidence that the protestors had any “hostile intent.” The protestors had engaged peacefully with the public who had been passing by or who were sitting in the Chocolate Bar.

While Garnett ruled that the Victorian Police did not act illegally in arresting the activists, he noted that some of the police actions had been heavy-handed and that “unreasonable force” had been used in some arrests. Video footage of the arrests viewed by the court had shown that one of the arrested protestors was put in a chokehold and lost consciousness, while several other protestors were dragged by their feet across the square and one of the arrested protestors had been put in a headlock.


Robert Stary, a lawyer representing a number of the activists, told journalists that the protesters had been “completely exonerated” by the ruling.
The judge ruled that there was nothing unlawful engaged in in the activity of the protesters; there was no breach of the peace, they were not involved in any other conduct in the protest itself that would constitute a disturbance [and] in a public place; they had the right to express themselves in that manner,” he said.

Stary noted that the ruling has “very, very wide ramifications,” particularly in relation to the right to engage in political and industrial protests in public spaces.

Firstly, police should not get involved in political protest or industrial disputes. They should not be criminalized,” said Stary. “People should be entitled to express their views, if they oppose the occupation of the Gaza Strip or the West Bank; they should be entitled to say so.”

Decision to arrest made before demonstration

The arrested activists noted in the immediate aftermath of their arrests in 2011 that the police attack on the peaceful action in Melbourne not only highlighted the increasing attacks on civil liberties and freedom of speech by the state government in Victoria, but that it also highlighted the increasing attempts to criminalize Palestine solidarity activism both in Australia and internationally.

This was borne out by evidence given by the Victorian police during a bail variation hearing on 27 July 2011. During the hearing, the Victorian Police confirmed that the decision to arrest activists was made before the demonstration and that this decision had been made after discussion with Zionist organizations, the Victorian government, QV Center management and the management of Max Brenner. The Victorian Police also confirmed that they had deliberately targeted activists who they believed to be leaders of the protest.

Reports in the Australian Jewish News also confirmed that in April 2011, the Jewish Community Council of Victoria had made representations to the Victorian police and had called on them “to stamp down harder on aggressive protesters” (“Police questioned as protests turn violent,” 15 April 2011) .

Similar calls for government and police crackdowns on activists urging boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel were made in June 2011 in the New South Wales state parliament (“Police called to action on BDS,” Australian Jewish News, 24 June 2011).

A month later, Vic Alhadeff, the chief executive of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies confirmed that the various calls for police and government crackdowns on BDS activism was part of “a nationally coordinated strategy” developed in conjunction with the Israeli foreign ministry (“BDS: to protest or not to protest?”, Australian Jewish News, 29 July 2011).

Smears in Murdoch media

Following the Melbourne court ruling, one of the arrested activists, Omar Hassan, told The Electronic Intifada that Garnett’s decision was a “triumph for free speech, in particular the right to campaign for Palestine.”
Hassan noted that the magistrate’s ruling “cut against the lies of the Murdoch press, that we were violent, anti-Semitic and fanatical.” He was referring to smears made against Palestine solidarity campaigners in media outlets owned by the tycoon Rupert Murdoch (“Prominent Australians fight anti-Semitism with hot chocolate,” The Australian, 28 July 2011).

In the three months following the arrests the Murdoch press ran at least 16 articles on the Melbourne protests and Palestine solidarity activism in Australia, the majority of which were negative. Palestine solidarity campaigners were regularly denounced as “anti-Semitic” and compared to Nazis (“The campaign against the Max Brenner protesters,” ABC, 22 August 2011).

Another protester, Louise O’Shea, told The Electronic Intifada that the dismissal of the charges against the demonstrators “shows that it is worth standing up for your rights against the police, government and corporations, as well as the pro-Israel lobby.”

O’Shea pointed out that while the proceedings against the peaceful demonstrators were “an attempt to intimidate us from taking a stance in support of Palestine, what we went through is nothing compared to what the people in Palestine experience and have to deal with every day.”

James Crafti, who was also one of the 16 defendants, told The Electronic Intifada that the court victory was significant because “Australia is one of an increasingly small number of countries who are still prepared to bend over backwards to support Israel and both major parties in Australia, at both state and federal levels, [and] have made it clear that they are prepared to use police force to repress people’s right to freedom of speech and to try and silence pro-Palestine solidarity campaigning.”

Crafti, who is Jewish, noted that “while we were arrested for daring to stand up for Palestinian human rights, the Israeli state continues to carry out war crimes and human rights abuses against the Palestinian people and are not held to account for their occupation and apartheid practices.”
The fact that Israel and the companies that support these practices are not the ones on trial, is an injustice itself,” he said. “When we start to see Israel on trial in the International Court of Justice and the companies that profit from Israel’s occupation [are] put on trial, that is when we will see real justice emerging.”

Kim Bullimore has lived and worked in the West Bank, is a member of the Melbourne Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid and was a co-organizer of the first national Australian BDS conference, which took place in 2010. She has a blog at

Monday, July 23, 2012

Charges against Australian Pro-Palestine solidarity activists arrested at peaceful BDS protest thrown out of court

Dear friends,

as some of you will be aware, there has been a concerted attack in the last few years on free speech and Palestine solidarity organising all over the world, including in Australia. In Australia, we saw the concerted campaign against the Marrickville Council adoption of a pro-Palestine, pro-BDS motion in 2010, with the campaign eventually resulting in the recinding of the motion. In Melbourne, 19 pro-Palestine/BDS activists were arrested on 1 July 2011 at a peaceful BDS rally of more than 120 people outside of Max Brenner Chocolate Shop.

Max Brenner is owned by the Strauss Group — one of Israel’s largest food and beverage companies. On its website, the Strauss Group emphasizes its support for the Israeli military, providing care packages, sports and recreational equipment, books and games for soldiers.

Strauss boasts support for the Golani and Givati Brigades, which were heavily involved in Israel’s military assault on the Gaza Strip in the Winter of 2008-09, which resulted in the killing of approximately 1,400 Palestinians, the majority civilians, including approximately 350 children. While Strauss has removed information about their support for the Golani and Givati brigades from their English language website, information about the company’s support for both brigades remains on their Hebrew site(for more information on the BDS protest and the arrests, see my earlier article published on Electronic Intifada here).

Today, Melbourne Magistrate Stephen Garnett dismissed the two main charges of trespass and besetting against all 16 protestors. A small number of activists also had a number of other charges against them (primarily “hindering” and “resisting” arrest) – their cases are still being heard, it is not possible to comment on them until a ruling has been made, which hopefully will be in the next day or two.

In relation to the two substantive charges of trespass and besetting, Magistrate Garnett made a copy of his ruling available to the media and the public gallery.  
I will be writing up a more comprehensive article, which hopefully I will have ready a little later this week.

In the meantime, just a few points about Magistrate Garnett’s ruling:

It should be clarified that all 16 protestors had the charges of trespass and besetting dropped against them. The Magistrate ruled that protestors had the "lawful" right to enter Queen Victoria (QV) Shopping Square (where the protest took place) without restriction and had the right to engage in protest. The Magistrate ruled that QV Square (and laneways) are a public space and that the protestors posed no threat to public order or a breach of the peace (to the extent necessary to restrict their right to protest) and that the conduct of the protestors did not promote violence. The Magistrate ruled that QV had no right to restrict the protestors access to QV on the basis they were engaged in a political protest.

In relation to the "besetting" charge, the Magistrate noted that if any restriction of movement occurred, it was not the actions of the protestors who had caused obstruction to members of the public, but the police and the police lines they established.  Magistrate Garnett went on to say that there is no evidence of any ‘hostile intent’ by any of the protestors towards members of the public in QV Square or the outside tables at Max Brenner’s.

In relation to the trespass charge, the Magistrate noted that QV has a contract with the City Council, which requires them to keep the laneways and QV Square open to the public 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The Magistrate ruled that QV therefore did not have the legal authority to apply conditions on members of the public who wished to enter QV or the laneways. The Magistrate ruled that there was no evidence to suggest that the protestors had criminal intent or were reckless as to the consequences of their acts (ie. they did not cause any criminal damage to property, did not cause a significant breach of the peace or cause a threat to public order). He also noted the purpose (ie. it was a political protest) and conduct of the demonstration (ie. that it was noisy) did not render them “wilful trespassers” and they had a lawful right to conduct a political demonstration and QV could not impose conditions of entry on them.

The dismissal of the substantive charges by Magistrate Garnett is a big win for freedom of speech, freedom of assembly and pro-Palestine and social justice activism.   

Friday, July 13, 2012

Presbyterian Church (USA) and Church of England (UK) vote in support of pro-Palestine solidarity motions

Dear friends,
as you will be aware last week, both the Presbyterian Church in the USA and the Church of England in the UK took significant votes in relation to Palestine solidarity activism and the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel.

In the USA, the divestment vote failed by the narrowest margin of two votes.  However, the Presbyterian church did vote for a boycott of Israeli settlement goods.  Also a vote supporting the creation of a "choice of conscience" option for pension holders troubled by investments in Caterpillar, Motorola and Hewlett-Packard was passed.

In the UK, the Church of England General Synod voted to support the work of Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) in Palestine.

Please find below two reports from Electronic Intifada on the votes.

In solidarity, Kim


Divestment vote fails, but Presbyterian Church (USA) resolves to boycott Israeli settlement products

Following the ultimate failure — by two votes — of the Presbyterian Church (USA)’s measure to divest from three major US companies profiting from Israel’s occupation in the General Assembly vote on Thursday evening, the Church overwhelmingly passed a separate resolution this morning calling for the boycott of products made in Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.
The Church’s assembly also voted to accept a recommendation by the Board of Pensions to create a “choice of consciousness” option for pension holders “troubled by investments in Caterpillar, Motorola, and Hewlett-Packard, to be voted on at the next General Assembly in 2014,” according to a statement sent out hours ago by Jewish Voice for Peace, one of the groups at the forefront of the divestment movement.

Mondoweiss has been doing an excellent job at compiling the details of each recent resolution and vote outcome, including Twitter updates. You can read more here.
The Israel/Palestine Mission Network of the Presbyterian Church (USA) stated on Friday morning:
Following last night’s vote by the plenary of the 220th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) on a motion to divest from three companies whose products are used in non-peaceful pursuits in the occupied Palestinian territories, the plenary has voted in favor of a separate resolution to boycott products made in Israeli settlements in the occupied territories, including Ahava Dead Sea beauty products and dates grown by Israeli cooperative Hadiklaim.

Although the plenary failed to pass the divestment motion, its approval of the boycott resolution sends a strong signal nonetheless that the Presbyterian Church (USA) supports those Palestinians who are using peaceful means to secure their freedom and human rights in the face of Israel’s 45-year-old military occupation and colonization of their lands. The Israel/Palestine Mission Network of the Presbyterian Church (USA) believes this is a positive step and hopes the church will continue to support Palestinians who are struggling nonviolently to achieve freedom and self-determination.
The razor thin margin of last night’s vote on divestment, which was defeated by just two votes, demonstrates that the General Assembly remains divided on both divestment and investment, and has failed to provide a clear mandate on these issues. Sadly, it is the millions of Palestinians living under occupation who will pay the price for this lack of a moral directive.
Along similar lines, Jewish Voice for Peace’s press release states, in full:
Jewish Voice for Peace is heartened by the strong show of opposition to the Israeli Occupation by the Presbyterian Church (USA). This morning, the General Assembly passed a resolution to boycott settlement goods with 71% of the vote, while last evening divestment from companies that profit from the Israeli Occupation was defeated by a razor thin margin of two votes.

This afternoon, the assembly voted to accept a recommendation by the Board of Pensions to create a “choice of conscience” option for Pension holders troubled by investments in Caterpillar, Motorola, and Hewlett Packard, to be voted on at the next General Assembly in 2014, signaling a deep crisis of conscience within the church regarding their investments in companies that profit from the Israeli occupation.
Sydney Levy, Jewish Voice for Peace Director of Advocacy said, “I congratulate the Presbyterian Church (USA) for their decision today to boycott all goods made in Israeli settlements, just as the United Methodist Church did last month. This vote signifies the mainstreaming of boycott as a way to oppose illegal Israeli settlements, and the Israeli occupation overall. Clearly, the movement for justice for Israelis and Palestinians is growing.”

JVP is very proud to have been part of the broad coalition supporting Presbyterian efforts to boycott settlement products and divest from companies that profit from the Israeli occupation since 2004. We are especially proud of the members of our youth branch — Young, Jewish, and Proud (YJP) — and of our Rabbinical Council who were in Pittsburgh this year at the General Assembly meeting in support of the resolutions.

Despite being overwhelmingly out-resourced by large Jewish institutions with ties to the Israel lobby, our members succeeded in galvanizing a nearly identical amount of support for divestment as the opposition, and overwhelming support for boycott. This accomplishment is despite heavy-handed fear-mongering by the Jewish establishment that included threatening the future of interfaith cooperation and raising the specter of anti-semitism.

The truth is, growing numbers of Jewish groups and individual Jews of conscience support some form of boycott and/or divestment as a strategic tactic to pressure Israel to end the human rights abuses of the 45-year-old occupation of Palestinian people and land. This support is at least in part a response to over 20 years of U.S.-brokered negotiations that have not simply failed, but worse, have entrenched the Occupation by keeping pressure off of Israel while it has continued to massively expand illegal settlements and evict Palestinians from their homes.

Rabbi Alissa Wise, Jewish Voice for Peace Director of Campaigns, who was at the committee vote on divestment and boycott said: “I was moved to tears in Pittsburgh, as I saw deep recognition of Palestinian experience and deep commitment to justice for all people by the Presbyterian Church (USA). This was a historic moment in the struggle for dignity and justice, and I commend the Church for passing the boycott resolution and for getting this close to holding corporations accountable for profiting from the occupation.”

A near majority of the Presbyterian Church (USA) has shown the courage of true friendship, which sometimes requires facing difficult truths, and for that we are deeply grateful. We know that decades of working closely with Jewish communities in the U.S., engagement with Israel, and an ongoing commitment to understanding the Christian role in historical anti-Semitism, will continue and deepen. Jewish Voice for Peace members in communities across the United States certainly look forward to deepening those relationships, grounded in our joint understanding that Israel’s ongoing occupation makes a peaceful future for both Jews and Palestinians impossible.

Jewish Voice for Peace believes that this very close divestment vote and the successful boycott vote, along with several other recent watershed victories, makes clear that Israel can no longer count on being singled out for special treatment. Depending on major institutions to selectively ignore Israel’s human rights record year after year is no longer a viable strategy.
These recent watershed victories are:
  • Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI), a leading US investment firm, removed Caterpillar, Inc. from its socially responsible investment indexes, saying Caterpillar’s role in Israeli human rights violations were one of the “key factors” in the decision.
  • Shortly thereafter, retirement giant TIAA-CREF dropped $72 million in Caterpillar, Inc stock from their socially responsible funds.
  • Friends Fiduciary Corporation, which handles investments for over 250 Quaker meetings, schools, organizations, trusts, and endowments around the US, divested from Caterpillar.
  • The United Methodist Church resolved to boycott “products made by Israeli companies operating in occupied Palestinian territories.” The church called on all nations “to prohibit any financial support by individuals or organizations for the construction and maintenance of settlements and the import of products made [in settlements.]”
The power behind the idea that Palestinians deserve full civil and democratic rights, just as Jewish Israelis do, grows exponentially each day.
New pro-divestment resolutions are already being proposed for the next Presbyterian Church (USA) General Assembly in Detroit in 2014. We look forward to standing beside our Presbyterian friends as they take additional steps toward a just peace based on security, freedom and equal rights for all the people of Israel and Palestine.

Church of England backs Palestine motion in spite of strong Israel lobby pressure

Today the Church of England General Synod — the church’s legislative body — overwhelmingly voted in favor of a Private Members Motion (PMM) on Palestine/Israel, in spite of pressure from pro-Israel organizations before and during the gathering.

In an embarrassing defeat for the Board of Deputies of British Jews (BoD) and the Jewish Leadership Council (JLC), both of whom had lobbied hard for Synod to reject the motion, members also rejected an amendment by the Bishop of Manchester which would have omitted support for the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI).

A huge majority

During the afternoon debate, speaker after speaker backed the PMM, and praised the work of EAPPI. When it came to the vote, which was done according to ‘house’, bishops voted 21 to 3 in favour (with 14 abstentions), clergy 89 to 21 (44 abstentions), and laity 91 to 30 (35 abstentions). In total, the unaltered motion received 201 votes, while only 54 members voted against.

The short motion commits Synod to support: the work of EAPPI (including making “use of the experience of returning participants”), aid agencies working with Palestinians, “Israelis and Palestinians in all organisations working for justice and peace in the area” (citing Parents Circle – Family Forum specifically), and “organisations that work to ensure” the “continuing presence [of Christian Palestinians] in the Holy Land”.

The proposal, authored by Dr. John Dinnen of Hereford Diocese, had received backing from groups like Jews for Justice for Palestinians, Independent Jewish Voices (IJV), and the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD). Despite that, BoD and the Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks argued that the church risked harming “interfaith relations” by supporting the motion.

The displeasure of Israel’s supporters was focused on the singling out of EAPPI, an initiative of the World Council of Churches that over the last decade has sent more than 1,000 volunteers to Palestine/Israel. The motion also backed bereaved relatives group The Parents Circle-Family Forum, “aid agencies”, Israeli and Palestinian “organizations working for justice and peace”, and bodies assisting Palestinian Christians.

Pro-Israel groups insinuations of anti-Semitism fall flat

Initially misleading their own supporters, the BoD sent a letter to Synod members, along with a leaflet attacking EAPPI. While in the letter the BoD said it “naturally commends those who want to protect the rights of the Palestinians living in the West Bank”, Chief Executive Jon Benjamin told The Times that to focus on “the perceived iniquities of the Israelis” also, “by implication”, points the finger at “Jews abroad.”

Aside from the Chief Rabbi’s intervention, there was an unsubstantiated insinuation of antisemitism by the Council of Christians and Jews, and weak attempts at guilt by association from JLC CEO Jeremy Newmark. Canon Andrew White released a rather bizarre statement – reprising his contribution to the 2006 divestment controversy – in which he claimed “Synod is being asked to adopt a one sided ‘NAKBA’ [sic] narrative against Israel while our fellow Christians are dying in Iraq, Sudan, Egypt and Syria”.

Those efforts were aided by sympathizers in the media, specifically The TimesRuth Gledhill, and the Church of England Newspaper. In a piece last week, Gledhill described the Chief Rabbi’s intervention as “highly unusual”; in fact, it is a repeat of (unsuccessful) efforts in 2010 to persuade the Methodists not to back a boycott of settlement products.

In an article in the Church of England Newspaper, Florida-based journalist George Conger, did not even get motion-proposer John Dinnen’s name correct, and contrary to Conger’s claim, Dinnen says he was not approached for comment. During the 2006 divestment controversy, Conger was praised by a pro-Israel campaigner as a helpful point of contact.

Both Gledhill and Conger cited NGO Monitor as an authority on the activities of EAPPI, an organisation which routinely attacks Israeli, Palestinian and international human rights groups, including through the use of misleading translations and disingenuous allegations of antisemitism.
Indeed, even during the debate itself, as well as after the vote, leaders of the BoD and JLC resorted to making pathetic claims of antisemitism on Twitter.

Defending the indefensible

Israel’s apologists claimed to be speaking in the name of the Jewish community – for example, BoD Vice President Jonathan Arkush said he was attending Synod as a means of the “Jewish community expressing its views.” Yet many do not share the BoD’s “views” on Israeli policies.

It is less surprising that the BoD is attacking the proposed motion when one recalls that the body repeatedly intervenes to protect Israel on a number of issues: whether lobbying the government to change universal jurisdiction legislation, opposing schools’ participation in a Palestinian literary festival, or pressuring the Co-Op supermarket chain to reverse a decision to boycott companies complicit in breaches of international law.

This time around, the pressure on Synod members failed to thwart the adoption of the motion. This took place just after the Methodist Conference, where delegates overwhelmingly backed a Christian Aid call for a government ban on West Bank settlement products. Supporting international law and human rights is becoming less ‘controversial’, and Israel’s defenders are finding it increasingly tough to defend the indefensible.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

A short note from Kim

Dear friends,
a small note to let you know that I hope to restart posting on Live From Occupied Palestine over the next week. 

My apologies for not posting for the last month. This has predominately been because my energies for the last four weeks have been focused on my overseas research.  I am now back in Australia and looking forward to getting things restarted on Live from Occupied Palestine.

One of the things I do hope to do over the coming weeks, in addition to posting up relevant information, news stories and updates about what is happening on the ground in Palestine at the moment, is to also post up a series of articles/posts from my very first blog on Palestine, Palestine Eyewitness, which was mothballed when I began Live From Occupied Palestine in 2007.  

Most of these blogs are from my first time in Palestine in 2004 and chronicle my time there and many of my experiences.  I hope you will find them interesting to read and useful in providing an insight into what was happening in Palestine at the time.

in solidarity,