GALUS AUSTRALIS: Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JSSV) to disaffiliate Australian Jewish Democratic Society (AJDS) 29Mar13 March 29, 2013

Galus Australis     -     28 March 2013

pistachio-halva-300x222In response to the launch of a campaign advocating an economic boycott of Israeli settlements by the Australian Jewish Democratic Society (AJDS), Nina Bassat, President of the Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV), has suggested in the following statement that they might disaffiliate the AJDS.

The JCCV totally repudiates the AJDS campaign- ‘Don’t Buy Settlement Products’. Whilst the JCCV recognizes that its affiliates have the right to formulate their own policies, this campaign is repugnant to the long-standing policies of the JCCV and indeed to those of the majority of our community. The philosophical differences between the JCCV and the AJDS are such that I propose to bring for discussion to our next meeting the future of AJDS as a JCCV affiliate.

Below is the AJDS press release from earlier in the week announcing the launch of their campaign:

The Australian Jewish Democratic Society (AJDS), a progressive Jewish organisation based in Melbourne, is pleased to launch “Don’t Buy From the Settlements”: a campaign encouraging Australian Jews to avoid buying products made in settlements located in the Occupied Territories.

The campaign was launched online today at as well as on Facebook.

Israeli settlements are seen around the world as a major obstacle to creating peace between Israelis and Palestinians. One way to take a stand against the harm they create is not to buy the products they produce. This sends a clear message that we will not be complicit in the settlement program.

The AJDS launched this campaign as the Jewish festival of Passover, which is commonly known as a festival of freedom, begins. On Passover we remember that Jews were once slaves in Biblical Egypt.  This year the AJDS is putting a call out to the Jewish community asking them  to join a long history of people who have fought for freedom, for both Jews and for non-Jews.

AJDS executive member Dr Jordy Silverstein says: “not buying products from settlements will not work on its own, but it is one small step that we can take. When we add in the possibility of sharing knowledge about what the settlements mean and what they do, together with the capability to have these difficult conversations about what kind of Israel we want to create, we can work alongside Palestinians, Israelis, and people throughout the diasporas to create an exciting, liberating future.”

The AJDS looks forward to working with peoples throughout the various Australian Jewish and non-Jewish communities to cease buying settlement products. We are excited to join new conversations about what kind of Israel we can help to create.

For more information, including a list of products that are manufactured in settlements, and an explanation of some of the many different reasons why settlements are a problem, please visit our website at

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