CAIA STATEMENT: Stand with Jake Lynch and the Palestinian BDS Campaign.
Join the Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid (Melbourne)’s STAND WITH JAKE LYNCH AND THE PALESTINIAN BDS CAMPAIGN page on Facebook by clicking here.
CAIA (MELBOURNE) SOLIDARITY STATEMENT IN SUPPORT OF PROFESSOR JAKE LYNCH
27 November 2013
The Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid (CAIA) in Melbourne wishes to extend our support and solidarity to Professor Jake Lynch, the director of the University of Sydney’s Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, in his court case which began on today against spurious charges brought by the Israeli based law group, Shurat HaDin.
Shurat HaDin, who are well-known for filing SLAPP suits (strategic lawsuits against public participation) in an attempt to silence and intimidate critics of Israeli state policy, filed a case in the Australian Federal Court on 29 October against Professor Jake Lynch over his support of the Palestinian-initiated boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign, which calls for the boycott of Israeli academic and cultural institutions that are complicit in the system of oppression that denies Palestinians their basic rights.
Shurat HaDin claims that Professor Lynch’s support for BDS and his refusal to sponsor an institutional fellowship application for Israeli academic Dan Avnon from the Hebrew University violates Australian law, specifically the 1975 Racial Discrimination Act, which deems it unlawful to discriminate against a person “based on race, colour, descent or national or ethnic origin”.
However, the Palestinian BDS campaign does not target individuals, businesses or institutions on the basis of religion, ethnicity or nationality. The BDS campaign focuses on institutions, with boycott targets chosen on the basis of their complicity with human rights abuses and violations of international law carried out by the Israeli state and military or their contribution to “rebranding campaigns” that attempt to whitewash Israel’s human rights abuses and war crimes.
As a result, Professor Lynch’s refusal to assist Dan Avon was not because he was Israeli or Jewish, as Shurat HaDin spuriously claims. When in December 2012, Dr Avnon approached Professor Lynch for assistance to study civics education in Australia under a fellowship agreement between the Hebrew University and Sydney University, Professor Lynch declined because of his opposition to the fellowship agreement between the two institutions due to the Hebrew University’s long history of complicity in Israel’s human rights abuses against the Palestinian people.
The Hebrew University’s complicity is well document. Not only is the Mount Scopus campus of the Hebrew University built on land confiscated from its rightful Palestinian owners and the University is also well-known for its ties to the Israeli government and Israeli military establishment, with the university accrediting Israeli military training courses. In addition, the University has close links with one of Israel’s largest military companies, with Michael Federman, the chairman of Elbit Systems, on its Board of Governors. The United nationals has named Elbit System as one of the companies complicit with Israel’s human rights abuses and war crimes in the Occupied Territories. For all these reasons, the Hebrew University is a legitimate targets for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign.
The BDS campaign is a call for justice by all sectors of Palestinian civil society and supported around the world by unions, churches, civil society and human rights groups. It is a form of non violent popular resistance and international solidarity in protest against Israel’s persistent violation of Palestinian human rights and international law.
CAIA (Melbourne) recognises Professor Lynch’s strong support of the BDS movement for justice for the Palestinians. We congratulate him on his courageous stance in support of the right of Australian academics to dissent. We wish him well in his court case against Shurat HaDin, and we look forward to celebrating many victories in the BDS campaign alongside him.
Relevant Information and Links:
PALESTINIAN BDS CAMPAIGN 2005 CALL TO ACTION (click here)
Spin Watch report: BDS campaigner targeted by law firm with links to Israeli intelligence
Electronic Intifada: Israeli lawyers group Shurat HaDin unmasked as Mossad proxy
HEBREW UNIVERSITY AND ISRAEL’S OCCUPATION & APARTHEID POLICIES: (click here )
Academic Boycott of Israel and the Complicity of Israeli Academic Institutions in Occupation of Palestinian Territories
Situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, September 2013 (click here)
The present report addresses Israel’s compliance with its obligations under international law in relation to its occupation of Palestinian territory. The Special Rapporteur focuses particular attention on the legal responsibility of business enterprises, corporations and non-State actors involved in activities relating to Israel’s settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory.