AIJAC welcomes Sydney Festival repudiation of demands by BDS movement
Jan 6, 2022 | Mark Leibler and Colin Rubenstein
The Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) appreciates the very important stance of the Sydney Festival in its continued support of the dance performance Decadance and its public repudiation of demands by members of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) to divest funding received for it from the Israeli Embassy. The obsessive singling out and demonisation of the only true democracy in the Middle East by boycotting performers is an affront to Australia’s successful and harmonious multiculturalism.
The BDS movement’s tactics, strategies and aims, as clearly stated by its leaders, make clear that it does not want a Palestinian state alongside Israel, but instead of Israel. It is in this sense that the BDS movement is inherently antisemitic, not motivated by desires of peace or reconciliation, but by a collective yearning to see the erasure of Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people. (For more on BDS, see AIJAC’s factsheet: https://aijac.org.au/fact-sheets/boycott-divestment-and-sanctions-against-israel-bds/).
To justify their demonisation of Israel, BDS proponents revise history, beginning with their denial of the indigeneity of Jews to their historic homeland Israel. They fail to acknowledge historic truths: that Arab armies from all sides, and Palestinians from within, attempted to destroy the state of Israel at its rebirth in 1948; that the Palestinians have rejected all Israeli efforts to negotiate a two-state peace, including three offers of statehood; and that terrorism from the West Bank and Gaza Strip is an ongoing threat to the lives of all Israelis.
BDS supporters have fabricated the accusation of apartheid against Israel despite the clear evidence that all Israelis, regardless of ethnic and religious background, enjoy equal rights and that indeed Arabs hold prominent positions in all areas of Israeli life, including within the government.
Such calls from the BDS movement, based on so many falsehoods and even slanderous claims, only serve to create division and intimidation in Australia’s cohesive, multicultural community. Moreover, they do nothing but impede efforts to advance peaceful coexistence between Israelis and Palestinians in these otherwise promising Abraham Accords times, when Israel is truly normalising its relationships with so many of its Arab neighbours.
Mark Leibler AC Dr Colin Rubenstein AM
National Chairman Executive Director