02 September 2016

BDS...in Australia ....again


The national executive of the Health Services Union will consider taking up support for hurting people next month. But the executive might be going a bit too far. It's not the first time in Australia that an agency has extended care to the Palestinian Arabs in Gaza or in the West Bank as a specialised campaign. Back a few years ago the Council in Marrickville took on BDS in chambers, but then after reconsidering the issue and its serious implications backed down. Why did they back down? Why should the HSU do the same?

The Australia Jewish News today published an editorial which says it so well; I will quote it.

"Next time someone goes to the chemist to get vital medication for multiple sclerosis or Parkinson's they could be refused because both were developed by Israeli company Teva Pharmaceuticals." The AJN goes on to list bandaids, bay soap, ultrasounds, CT scans and MRI. And "if a person contracts AIDS or HIV they won't be able to access Israeli development treatments, the most effective tools for fighting the diseases."

For those who don't know, BDS stands for "Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions." It is designed to be a financial punishment on the land and people of Israel for the occupation. HEre's what they say on their own website: "BDS is a Palestinian-led movement for freedom, justice and equality. BDS upholds the simple principle that Palestinians are entitled to the same rights as the rest of humanity. Israel is occupying and colonising Palestinian land, discriminating against Palestinian citizens of Israel and denying Palestinian refugees the right to return to their homes. Inspired by the South African anti-apartheid movement, the BDS call urges action to pressure Israel to comply with international law."

So note that the divestment part of BDS as they cite on their website: "DIVESTMENT campaigns urge banks, local councils, churches, pension funds and universities to withdraw investments from all Israeli companies and from international companies involved in violating Palestinian rights."

To include 'all' Israeli companies must include loads of high-tech companies. (Note this photo from this website from Israel or What's App founder. Social media was abuzz after Jan Koum, the co-founder of the popular messaging platform WhatsApp, commented on a Facebook post by pro-Israel advocacy group StandWithUs, which attempted to demonstrate the "foolishness" of the BDS campaign.
The post article goes on, "The StandWithUs post included a photograph taken on Britain's renowned University of Oxford campus of an Apple laptop computer laden with pro-Palestinian and "Boycott Israeli Goods" stickers. On top of the computer a hand-written note is seen with a message pointing out Apple's use of certain Israeli technology.

"Hi there! Just thought you should know the flash-storage inside this computer was designed and built by Anobit, an Israeli technology company! If you don't want it any more, please pass it to the desk behind you," reads the letter. From University of Oxford: Boycott Israel stickers on Israeli made technology - only a BDS supporter would be so foolish."

Imagine being mocked as foolish also by London Mayor Boris Johnson during his trade mission to Israel back in November.
Johnson arrived in Israel with an official trade delegation, mainly to promote bilateral trade in technology between the cities of London and Tel Aviv. His mission was to promote the British capital’s high-tech sector, in a bid to get more Israeli companies to expand to London and make IPOs (initial public offerings) on its stock markets.

London is currently home to 141 Israeli high-tech firms, according to London & Partners (the mayor’s promotional agency) and the IVC Research Center. There are currently 16 Israeli tech firms listed across London Stock Exchange’s markets with a combined market value of £3.7 billion ($5.6 billion). Johnson was also very critical of the movement to boycott Israel, deriding them as “a bunch of corduroy-jacketed lefty academics.”

“I cannot think of anything more foolish than to say that you want to have any kind of divestment or sanctions or whatever or boycott, against a country that when all is said and done is the only democracy in the region,” he said in an interview with Israel’s Channel 2 and recorded on this website in the UK

So hopefully the Health Services Union will take care of patients and reject this foolish and counterproductive resolution. But you never know.

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