NSW Greens retreat on
By Pip Hinman, Sydney
After a year of ferocious debate, the New South Wales Greens decided on December 4 to retreat from supporting the global pro-Palestine Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign.
It does not mean the NSW Green Party has abandoned all support for the Palestinian struggle for justice, but it marks a setback for the left inside the Greens and the pro-Palestine movement in Australia.
NSW Senator Lee Rhiannon said the decision was unanimous. It followed the recommendations of a special committee set up in the wake of the ferocious campaign against the NSW Greens during the state election campaign in March.
In December 2010, the NSW Greens backed the 2005 Palestinian civil society movement’s call to isolate Israel until it complies with international law and the universal principles of human rights as one plank of its pro-Palestine policy. It was reaffirmed at its May meeting. It was the only state Greens branch to do so.
The 2010 motion called on Australians and the government to “boycott Israeli goods, trading and military arrangements, and sporting, cultural and academic events as a contribution to the struggle to end Israel’s occupation and colonisation of Palestinian territory, the siege of Gaza and imprisonment of 1.5 million people, and Israel’s institution of a system of apartheid ...”
Soon afterwards, the Marrickville Council voted 10 to two to support a pro-BDS policy. Moved by the Greens, two out of three ALP councillors also supported the policy. Among other things, it committed the council to “report on any links with organisations and companies that profit from or support the Israeli military occupation of Palestine with a view to Council divesting from such links and imposing a boycott on any future such links or goods purchases”.
It was the first council in Australia to take such a stand.
By Green Left