Duncan Shipley-Smith (NSW) writes to the Byron Bay Echo re Palestine 13Dec12 December 13, 2012

The First Casualty of War:

‘Equality or nothing’ Edward Said once said. Indeed equality is a necessary premise for peaceful coexistence in any society and the absence of it leads to a natural and continuous struggle. Such is the case in Palestine and the call for the international boycott of Israel in the fields of trade, sport, academia and culture represents a legitimate extension of the global struggle for Palestinian rights and is firmly based in international law and on the South African model.

To quote Avraham Burg, former chairman of the Jewish Agency and speaker in the Knesset: ‘There is no other country in the Western world from which the international community has been willing to put up with acts of state violence for five decades (sic), other than Israel’.

The real casualty of this asymmetrical ‘conflict’ is Israel’s legitimacy as a balanced democracy and its resultant descent into pariah status in the eyes of the international community. That community has become increasingly intolerant of Israel’s continuing and unpunished war crimes. Amnesty International’s recent call for an arms embargo against Israel mirrors this growing sentiment.

Omar Barghouti represents the voice of clarity on this issue and, as a principal architect of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against apartheid Israel, his words resonate with any clear-minded, freedom loving human being;

‘Ending Israel’s occupation, ending its apartheid, and ending its denial of the right of refugees to return — together, these constitute the minimal requirements for justice and the realization of the inalienable right of Palestinians to self-determination. Support for the BDS movement entails the upholding of freedom, justice, and equality as an irreducible basis for a just and sustainable peace.’

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