Israel and Palestine
Presentation by Carlo Carli about the state of Palestine
10 March 2020, Bouvier Bar
These notes are from a presentation given by Carlo Carli given to a local branch of the ALP, carried forward with permission.
Carlo spoke about his trip to Israel as a member of the Australian Palestinian Action Network (https://apan.org.au).
On a hopeful note he said that the Israeli health system is a model of intense cooperation between Arab Israelis and Jewish Israelis. He circulated maps and photos of devastated Palestinian areas and the wall which has been built to divide Palestinian from Jewish areas.
In the last election the traditional Zionist left parties Labour and Meretz got smashed but the non-Zionist Left Hadash as part of the Joint List of predominately Arabic parties did exceptionally well.
The Trump plan provides for even more fragmented areas of Palestinian settlement.
There are a significant number of Jewish Israelis who are cooperating with Arab Israelis. Many are now calling for one state, and a focus on civil and human rights in an inclusive Israel.
Human Rights groups in Palestine and journalistic sources
Carlo supplied the following links.
- Btselem is the human rights group https://www.btselem.org is the Israeli Human Rights group. Their staff is about half Jewish and half Palestinian. Btselem published a map which Carlo showed of the occupied territories.
- "Breaking the Silence" https://www.breakingthesilence.org.il Former IDF soldiers reveal the issues around occupation.
- Jonathon Cook’s blog from Israel https://www.jonathan-cook.net/blog/ Cook is a Guardian journalist who lives in Nazareth.
- Al Haq http://www.alhaq.org/about-alhaq/7136.html A Palestinian Human Rights group.
Points raised in discussion
Perhaps branch members might wish to follow up some of these points (noted by Robert Durkacz).
- Whereas the people in Tel Aviv are relatively liberal, "settlers" are fascists.
- There is a cohort of Arabs in Israel who wish to remain as part of Israel.
- The intention of the government of Israel is to make life unbearable for Palestinians forcing them to leave.
- Australia is well-known to support Israel diplomatically, yet we are told it provides a lot of aid to Palestine. Why do we do both?
- Australia's diplomatic support may be as a result of following the lead of the USA but more likely it is at the behest of Australian Jews. The impression that we have of the Palestinian story is of ongoing injustice. If we are not to simply look away then a robust discussion with Australian Jews is called for. I believe there are Jews in our branches and Jewish organisations friendly to Labor.
- While the Liberal party is unhesitantly pro-Israel the ALP has sometimes attempted an even-handed approach, but without success. Last year for instance, the Israel lobby caused the respectable Melissa Parke to stand down as a candidate in the Federal election and there was no noticeable reaction from branches.