WHAT ARE THEY AFRAID OF?
The University of Sydney cancels venue for Ali Abunimah’s talk
Please sign petition HERE against this political censorship.
Only two days after our petition to have a visa issued for Ali Abunimah to speak in Australia, Sydney University has cancelled the venue booking for his speech in Sydney.
The venue was booked a full month in advance of the event. Sydney University venues management issued an invoice for the booking for $198 which was paid 2 weeks before the event.
When we submitted the forms for the booking we were told that “Everything should be fine” for the booking. We were also informed “In the case that you event is rejected, or amendments are requested, a reason will be given.”
Venues management has not requested any amendments to our booking, and given no reason for the cancellation.
Ali Abunimah has spoken at many university campuses in the past, including the University of Chicago, University of Colorado, Princeton University and many others.
The decision reeks of political bias. Sydney University has hosted speakers on campus that have vocally supported Israel’s war crimes. Colonel Richard Kemp spoke on campus last year to support Israel’s 2014 assault on Gaza, which left 2,310 people dead, at least 1,617 of whom were civilians. Yet pro Palestinian voices are silenced.
Cancelling the booking is tantamount to political censorship. We demand that Sydney University allow Palestinian voices to be heard on campus, we demand that the booking be reissued immediately.
Please sign petition HERE
21 March, 1pm
Palestine: The Struggle for Freedom
University of NSW, CLB Theatre 3
21 March, 6.30pm
The Struggle For Justice In Palestine: An evening with Ali Abunimah
Sydney University, Carslaw Lecture Theatre 273
22 March, 6.30pm
The Battle for Justice in Palestine: a public meeting with Ali Abunimah
University of WA, Murdoch Lecture Theatre (Arts Bldg)
https://www.facebook.com/events/1693961357510269/ Continue reading
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Release – 15 March 2016
Palestinian supporters call on Immigration Minister to issue a visa to visiting Palestinian American journalist Ali Abunimah Palestine supporters around Australia are urging Immigration Minister Peter Dutton to issue a visa to Palestinian American writer and journalist Ali Abunimah to enable him to commence an Australian speaking tour next week.
Mr Abunimah, a US citizen, is scheduled to deliver lectures in various capital cities this month, as well as speaking at a major Media Symposium in Melbourne, but was denied a normal visitor’s visa. To date, he has not heard if his application for a recommended Temporary Work visa has been granted. He is due to fly out of Chicago for Australia this Friday.
“We are stunned by this turn of events,” said Australians for Palestine co-chair Nasser Mashni. “In 2008, Mr Abunimah came to Australia to speak on the 60th anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba (Catastrophe) without any trouble at all. He is a much sought-after speaker around the world and has never been denied a visa before.”
Mr Abunimah is a journalist and co-founder of the highly acclaimed independent online publication “The Electronic Intifada. He is also the author of two books, One Country: a Bold Proposal to end the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse and The Battle for Justice in Palestine.
“What makes this situation particularly bizarre,” explained Mr Mashni, “is that earlier this month, Ret Lt General of the Israeli Defence Force Benny Gantz was granted a visa by the Australian government to promote Israel’s illegal settlement expansion in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and to raise funds for that purpose.”
“Mr Abunimah should be given an equal chance to present the Palestinian narrative,” continued Mr Mashni, “particularly since Mr Gantz was responsible for two major Israeli offensives against the Palestinians, the most recent being in 2014 which killed more than 2000 Palestinians and wounded over 10,000 men, women and children.”
“Preventing Mr Abunimah from speaking here,” said Mr Mashni “is tantamount to censorship. He has not been accused of anything that warrants such measures: he has certainly never advocated violence in his advocacy for Palestinian human rights and raising awareness about their struggle for justice and freedom from Israel’s Occupation is his fundamental right to free speech.”
“We hope that the Australian Government will issue the visa in accordance with the democratic values and fair play we expect from this country,” concluded Mr Mashni.
For further information contact
Nasser Mashni on 0437 990 415
With less than a week to go until Palestinian American activist, author and journalist Ali Abunimah beings his speaking tour in Australia, he has still not been granted a visa. Our petition to Immigration Minister Peter Dutton follows below. You can sign the petition here:
Message of Support to Friends of Palestine WA from Melissa Parke MP
I re-affirm my support for Friends of Palestine WA and the vital work that you all do in promoting justice for the Palestinian people and the creation of a Palestinian State.
It is in the interests of Israelis, Palestinians, and the entire global community, including Australia, that the decades’-long Israeli military occupation be brought to an end and that Palestinians have their own state at long last.
The United Israel Appeal’s invitation of Retd Lt General Benny Gantz, whose last post with the Israeli Defence Force was as its top official, is an unhelpful continuation of this conflict.
Gantz was a key figure in many recent IDF operations in a period which saw violence and tensions rise as Israel continued to violate international law by building settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.
Gantz has said ‘we will always live by the sword.’ This aggressive rhetoric will only foster further division and violence.
If the UIA truly wants to support Israel’s most valuable asset – its people – then it should reject polarising figures and instead embrace an approach that would enable a peaceful resolution.
This is what would really be in the best interests of the Israeli people, including the 25 per cent of citizens who are non-Jewish.
Dear Friends of Palestine
A reminder that Friends of Palestine WA will be holding a protest tonight against the visit of war criminal, and former Chief of General Staff of the Israeli Occupation Forces, Ret. Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz.
“We will always live by our sword,” declared Lt. Col. Benny Gantz, upon his retirement from the role of Chief of General Staff of the Israel Occupation Forces, twelve months ago. Gantz, a career soldier in the Israeli military, rose to the IDF’s top job in February 2011. He led two Israeli military offensives against the people of Gaza: ‘Pillar of Defense’ and ‘Protective Edge, which killed more than two thousand Palestinians and left tens of thousands of Gaza residents homeless.
Please join us at the protest and help spread the word.
Protest Israeli War Criminal Benny Gantz!
Thursday 3rd March, 7pm
Perth Convention Centre
Organised by Friends of Palestine WA
Phone 0409 762 081
We look forward to seeing you there.
Friends of Palestine WA
Murdoch Lecture Theatre, Arts Building, The University of Western Australia
22 March 2016 at 6.30pm
Ali Abunimah is the author of One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli Palestinian Impasse, and co-founder and director of the widely acclaimed publication The Electronic Intifada. Based in the United States, he has written hundreds of articles and been an active part of the movement for justice in Palestine for 20 years.
He is the recipient of a 2013 Lannan Cultural Freedom Fellowship.
Ali will be addressing public meetings at Sydney University on 21 March and the University of WA on 22 March. He will also be addressing the Marxism 2016 Converence, on 24-27 March, at the Victorian College of the Arts.
Dear Friends of Palestine,
Israel waged a major offensive on Gaza in 2014, which claimed the lives of 2200 Palestinians, 500 of them were children.
War criminal and former Chief of General Staff of the Israel Occupation Forces, Ret. Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, will be addressing United Israel Appeal fundraisers in Perth, Sydney and Melbourne on March 2nd and 3rd.
We want to send a message to this criminal by staging a Twitter storm on March 2nd at 4 PM Palestine time (11 PM WA Australia time).
Please take part in the Twitterstorm and share the info around. If you use Twitter, please join us. Follow @YousefAljamal and @friendsofpales1 for the #hashtag.
Friends of Palestine WA