A View from Down Under: Australia frontline of BDS campaign

Perhaps much of Jewish mentality throughout the ages has been to keep a low profile in the diaspora, but I believe that Jews need to fight back against the racist campaign of the BDS movement.

By
February 11, 2014 16:53
2 minute read.
Palestinians call for a boycott

Palestinians call for a boycott 370. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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The BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) campaign against Israel today is fought on many fronts across the world. From Israel Apartheid Week at universities, to Danish Banks to academic boycotts and others. It’s even been fought in fizzy drink companies!

The organizers and supporters of this movement like to compare themselves to the campaign against apartheid in South Africa – in other words a good and moral battle against an evil system of injustice. They like to disguise their intentions by using terms such as ‘non-violence’ and ‘international law’.

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However, there is nothing moral or just or good about this battle. It is an absolute front for modern day anti-Semitism. The examples are plenty, but here in Australia, a country of immense racial diversity, the BDS movement itself will find itself on the defense.

This Wednesday a lawsuit will resume at the Federal Court in Sydney against Jake Lynch of Sydney University, who is a prominent supporter of the BDS campaign against Israel. The lawsuit was filed by Israeli legal center Shurat Hadin on behalf of an academic Dan Avnon from the Hebrew University. Avnon wanted to do research in Australia but Jake Lynch refused to sign the application, stating his support for the BDS movement. The lawsuit alleges that Jake Lynch is violating Australia’s racial discrimination act by discriminating against Dan Avnon based on his ‘Israeli national origin and his Jewish racial and ethnic origin’.

In a lawsuit like this, there are Jews in Australia who are for it and who are against it. Perhaps much of Jewish mentality throughout the ages has been to keep a low profile in the diaspora, but I believe that Jews need to fight back against the racist campaign of the BDS movement.

Stuart Rees, a supporter of Lynch, has described the lawsuit as ‘absurd’ and accuses Shurat HaDin of acting as a legal attack dog for the Israeli government by using the law to silence the people who support the BDS movement, yet it is ironic for Rees to complain about the ‘law’ being used when it is the BDS’s goal to ‘force’ Israel to act within ‘international law’.

The reality is that if Jews continue to remain silent against these evil campaigns and do not challenge the lies that are being spewed with venomous hatred by the BDS and others, those lies in time will become ‘fact’ by virtue of the lack of an opposing view.



People are entitled to their views and no one is forcing them to buy gefilte fish at the local kosher deli, but when they abuse their professional position, as Jake Lynch has done in a discriminatory way, the line has been crossed.

Jews are known to be the people of the book, so it’s time to use that legal book – and throw it at them!

Justin Amler is a South African born, Melbourne based writer who has lived in South Africa, New Zealand and Australia and is currently working in the Information Technology industry. He is an avid contributor to discussions on Israel, writing frequently to local newspapers. He has a keen interest in politics and creative writing.


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