The Marrickville-based community group, Friends of Bethlehem, has joined the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israeli goods and services.
“This is the non-violent method to get Israel to listen to the world’s cry to let the Palestinians have their own state”, said the Chair of Friends of Bethlehem, Peter Manning today.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu sends his greetings and support to the participants and organizers of the 2012 American National BDS Conference at the University of Pennsylvania.
“Our little organization is sick of hearing of Palestinians in the Bethlehem region being attacked by Jewish settlers, watching new settlements being built on Palestinian land day by day and Palestinians being locked inside vast concrete walls like prison pens while guarded by young Israeli soldiers.”
Friends of Bethlehem held a Special General Meeting of its membership last Tuesday, July 2, 2013 in the Tom Foster Hall in Newtown and voted overwhelmingly to join the BDS movement.
“We still want to support the sister city relationship between Marrickville Council and Bethlehem Council (signed in 2006)” said Mr Manning, “but the way the Israelis are going there won’t be the ancient city of Bethlehem anymore soon. It will be swallowed up by Jewish-only settlements.”
Mr Manning said the Palestinian people decided in 2005 to ask the people of the world to use the non-violent method of BDS to get Israel to acknowledge Palestinian rights to self-determination and to abide by international law. Many churches, trade unions and artists, university academics and film-makers have joined the movement in response. They have banned Israeli goods, services and companies and other companies which profit from Israel’s illegal 45-year occupation of Palestine.
“It’s time for bodies like Marrickville Council to look at its goods and services and see if their practices help breach human rights. So should local businesses, churches, and civil society groups generally” said Mr Manning. “Only then will change begin.”
For further information: Peter Manning 0419 274 661.
See also these articles & videos:
Settlers install mobile homes on private land near Bethlehem, Ma’an News, 30 May 2013
Settlers attack man near Bethlehem, Ma’an News, 4 May 2013
Jewish Voices for Peace, ‘Israel and Palestine, an animated introduction’, United States of America, Published on Nov 28, 2012.
Porter Speakman Jr, The Checkpoint, Published on Mar 20, 2012. A Short film by Porter Speakman, Jr. (@porterspeakman) for the “Christ at the Checkpoint Conference 2012″. “The Checkpoint” looks at the system of Israeli checkpoints in the West Banks and the daily routine Palestinians must face going through the Bethlehem Checkpoint.
Michael Deas, ‘Interactive timeline shows 8 years of Israel boycott gains‘, Electronic Intifada, 9 July 2013
Peter Manning, ‘Carr: Israeli settlement building must stop’, Friends of Bethlehem, 31 July 2012