Gareth Smith (NSW) writes to Prime Minister Gillard re duel citizens who aid and abet human rights abuses in Israel 2Mar13 March 2, 2013

Dual citizens like Ben Zygier, who enlist in the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) are complicit in Israel’s violations of international and humanitarian law.  The U.N. Special Representative of the Secretary General on Human Rights and Transnational Corporations and Other Business Enterprises states that “corporations that supply substantial assistance to human rights violators, knowing that their assistance will aid and abet human rights abuses, violate international law”.  Earth Rights International adds that “a key way to ensure that companies respect human rights is by holding accountable all actors who knowingly aid and abet human rights abuses”.  Clearly this includes Australian/Israeli members of the IDF.  Breaking the Silence, a veterans’ organisation, say: “Soldiers who serve in the Territories witness and participate in military actions which change them immensely. Cases of abuse towards Palestinians, looting and destruction of property have been the norm for years, but are still explained as extreme and unique cases. Our testimonies portray a different and much grimmer picture in which deterioration of moral standards finds expression in the character of orders and the rules of engagement, and are justified in the name of Israel’s security”. Erez Katzav, combat medic, Haruv Battalion, explains how he had to examine captives to make sure they were fit for detention. Many were children who had been beaten and were crying in pain. (

Please answer the following questions:
* How is it possible for the Australian government to turn a blind eye to its dual citizens aiding and abetting the IDF in its violent repression of the Palestinian people?
* Don’t the actions of our IDF enlisted dual citizens compromise Australia’s ratification of international conventions supporting human rights and international law?
* The Australia/Israel and Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) have organised all-expenses paid trips to Israel for politicians, journalists, trade and student union leaders for over a decade. Why is this endorsement of Israel, a pariah state, allowed?
* Why are Israeli companies (Max Brenner, Soda Stream, Ahava, Seacret) which are complicit in the exploitation of Palestinian land allowed to trade in Australia?

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