Marrickville Council and its Israel Boycott

January 7, 2011 by J-Wire Staff
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An online petition has to date netted almost 1300 signatures protesting the resolution passed last month by a Sydney council to introduce boycotts against Israel.

Councillor Cathy Peters

But questions directed to Councillor Cathy Peters [Greens] as to how far she will take the boycott personally remain without precise answers. J-Wire asked the councillor if she would be prepared to cease using her mobile phone, texting, drinking Australian wine [the vines are in the main watered using Israeli drip irrigation techniques], Intel processors not to mention innumerable contributions used daily by the Australian medical profession.

The latest addition to the list of popular Israeli-designed technology in use across the globe is the Kindle e-book reader…distributed by Amazon in the U.S. but designed in Herzliyah.

As we await for Councillor Peters’ shopping list of what not to buy, J-Wire urges its readers to visit the online petition and, if you disagree with a council involving itself on the world stage, add your say to the petition which will eventually presented to to the Minister for Local Government, Barbara Perry.

You can add your name to the petition here….


27 Responses to “Marrickville Council and its Israel Boycott”
  1. mark beecham says:

    shame on you marrickville council it saddens me to think that such draconians like yourselves can represent the publics intrests.i think also that your protest is nearly unconstitutional,how can any of the council sign off on such blatant racism and bigotry.stick to catching stray dogs collecting rubbish and screwing up the building codes,because geopolitics is obviously not your forte.sensationalism may gain you a few votes in the short term,but fixing the infastructure and time wasted on things that dont involve you would probably win you more votes.why not curb unnecessary council spending like color copying and private use of rate payers vehicles and the numerous other things that council squander the electrates money think that my uncle to war to protect you lot is really sad.think before you act next see you at the next meeting of the flat earth society!

  2. Saar Darzi says:

    Why don’t you boycott Chaina for they human rights or Sirya for killing it’s own pepole???????
    Oh i know becoase they aren’t Jewish!!!!!!

  3. Too bad none of the critics of Marrickville Council have a skeric of an idea how to stop Yigal Amir’s mates thieving land, as so called “settlers”.

    Come to think of it when I was a Waverley Councillor 1995-1999 none of the local Jewish worthies (as best I recall) had anything to say condemning Yigal Amir’s murder of peacemaker prime minister Yitzak Rabin. Certainly my condolence letter to the local Synagogue was snubbed.

    Now the barrackers for the predator settler, and Yigal Amir, in particular hold the balance of power in the Israeli Government.

    As far as i am concerned all the rest is bupkis sophistry, and no wonder the World Council of Churches and Mandela and Bishop Tutu support the BDS.

    Perhaps you might stop whining and actually do something about the predatory settler drawing China into a space arms race to protect its US$70B oil investment in Iran itself in an nuclear arms race with Israel – hardly at any existential risk with the Federation of American Scientists estimating 100-200 nuclear weapons.

    And yes I have worked with and for and done charity for local Diaspora in Sydney for at least 15 years. And it doesn’t make one jot of difference when it comes to apologists of Yigal Amir and his mates in Gaza.

    [I also want to add the incredulous patter in Israel at the moment – former President convicted of crime, former primer minister Olmert facing financial real estate corruption charges, now foreign minister reported in Haaretz 13 April facing fraud charges. This is not an encouraging situation you may agree.]

  4. Kalista Jones says:

    The boycott was supported by 4 Labor councillors and an independent in addition to the Greens councillors. The very fact that this tiny little isolated act has attracted such vitriol shows that it is courageous. There is a whole world out there speaking for and supporting the giant, nuclear-armed Israel, and one tiny council does one tiny thing for the Palestinians and they get pummelled.
    Zen, you don’t need to do anything. The council you work for just won’t be buying Israeli-made goods. Simple.
    Denise, you are racist and make me, an ‘Aussie’ (though I hate the term) very, very ashamed.
    Rita, this is not anti semitic, it is just a little spotlight on a major human rights issue that the world is studiously ignoring. Don’t use those important words and dilute their power and meaning by throwing them around in situations where, and to people to whom, they patently do not apply. If you are Jewish you are doing yourself no favours by using these words.

  5. Moya Rosen says:

    Questions I would like to ask the writer above: How come so many Israeli Arabs chose to stay in Israel after the War of Independence which came just after the declaration of the State of Israel. One fifth of Israel’s population is Arab. The other Arab countries made conditions impossible for Jewish citizens and they were forced to leave. How come when the borders of other countries seem to change at the drop of a hat, Israel trying to settle on one small hill that has biblical significance is a threat. How come the Golan Heights (Syria) is `disputed’ territory. I have stood there. Snipers use it as a firing range to shoot at the kibbutz in Israel below – a bomb shelter there is next to children’s swings. Israel has exchanged land for peace – Gaza is a clear example of how dearly Hamas wants peace. Note their charter – Israel is to be destroyed at all costs. It does not, for them, exist. Also note that the main cause of murder in the Palestinian territories are honour killings, where family members kill non-compliant females. Read your history Gil, then visit Israel as did Foreign Minister Downer and Bob Hawke and see the facts for yourself.

  6. Hi, I am disgusted with Marrickville Council pandering to the middle eastern community in Marrickville because its the middle eastern people in Marrickville who are behind all this. Marrickville Council is gutless. I will mention “middle eastern” because I am not afraid to call it as I see it. I lived in Campsie not far from the suburb of Marrickville for 22 years and have shopped in Marrickville and believe me, when I left Campsie, that suburb and Marrickville looked like downtown Dubai and it was “spot the Aussie”. One thing I have to say to these people is, “if you want to come to this country to live – don’t bring your ethnic hate with you as Aussies will not tolerate it and we will let you know in no uncertain terms, also, if you don’t like our values on life here then go back to where you come from. Don’t try and change our values as Aussie men and women lost their lives trying to protect these values in two world wars. Further, when I went to school in Campsie my classmates were from varying immigrant backgrounds including mine, e.g., Lebanese christians, Polish, Greek, Italian, Yugoslavian, you name it, and we all got on well together. Why is it that some middle eastern immigrants are creating so much trouble, well its because they are the biggest whingers and the bigger whinger you are the more likely you are to get heard.

  7. Stu says:

    I live in Marrickville I vote in Marrickville I support a Ban on Israel.
    If you don’t live here or vote in the council elections then go away and mind your own business.
    I pay my rates I get to vote for who I like thank you very much.
    If we as rate payers choose to vote for the greens then suck it up.
    If we as rate payers support a ban on Israel then its our choice not yours.
    Equally if we vote out the greens then i will suck it up.
    I am not anti -semitic just because i don’t support the illegal occupation of Palestinian territories.
    I am sick of every time someone criticizes Israel they are anti-Semitic that in itself is bigoted.
    The following article is only one example of why i choose to support the ban.

    I am sure there are plenty of arguments for and against.
    I am also sure the truth about the Israel Palestinian conflict is buried beneath propaganda from both sides. I read I listen I learn I make my choices.
    If you think Israel is some kind of perfect state that never does anything wrong then your a fool and even more stupid if you think i am going to believe you for telling me how righteous Israel is.
    Same goes for Palestine or any country for that matter.

  8. Ken Wilson says:

    An unbelieveable situation where a local Government can have a say in what goods are allowed to enter our country. Very selfish politically and driven by anti-semitism. Maybe other councils can have a say in what nationalities are invited to settle within it’s boundaries

  9. Gil says:

    What about Palestine’s right to exist?
    None of these comments address the question of Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, the only land that Palestinians can hope to call their own.
    With so many Jewish organisations now trying to force Israel to change its policies, supporters of Israel’s future would do well to become more focussed on solving the problems in the area, instead of accusing all critics of Israel’s policies of being anti-semitic.

  10. Rita says:

    Virulent anti-Semitism as the one shown by Peters, Byrnes and 6 other councillors seems to be a prerequisite to gain “Brown-ie” points in the Greens Party.

    See the stridently anti-Semitic activities of Lee Rhiannon when she was (successfully) coveting a place in the Upper House where the Greens will now hold the balance of power. She stood shoulder to shoulder with jihadist Sheik Hilali of the Lakemba Mosque on the steps of Sydney Town hall, playing up to the Jihadist gallery and shouting strident anti-Semitic, Jew-hating slogans. That Sheik who publicly blamed the poor Australian girls for being systematically gang-raped by Muslim packs “because they dressed the way they did”.

    _ Lets boycott the Marrickville Council – why should we finance the personal political ambitions of dangerously anti-Semitic councillors with our council rates.

    There should be an option for a conscientious objection to pay council rates, only to see them used for illegal, immoral and unethical activities of racist/anti-Semitic Green Party members.

  11. zev says:

    copy of email sent to clr Peters
    “Hi Cathy
    I was quite surprised to learn that you successfully moved a motion calling for a boycott of Israel. While i don’t always agree with Israel government policy, I don’t think this approach promotes the cause of peace. This resolution also puts me in a very uneasy situation as I am a contracted employee of Marrickville Council, ratepayer, holder of dual Australian- Israeli citizenship and undergrad qualifications from the Israel Institute of Technology.

    Does this mean that I have to boycott myself”?

    I await your advice


    Environmental Coordinator – Infrastructure Services, Marrickville Council

  12. MK Wong says:

    We are here to set good examples to the world of how people living harmoniously downunder, with mutual respect and understanding. Any acts against each other are not good for ourselves and next generation. We should think more how to embrace other people with different ideas and ideals in this peaceful and beautiful country and communities. Any acts of boy-cott and anti-boycott will bring more hate and revenge and should not be encouraged.

  13. P Panchal says:

    Lets live with Peace and Harmony. Life’s too short to hold a grudge –
    So spread the message of peace , love & Harmony!!!

  14. Ehud Tamir says:

    Following is a copy of an email sent to Mayor Fiona Byrnes on 21/01/11:\

    Esteemed Mayor Fiona Byrne,

    My name is Ehud Tamir. My family and I are Israeli citizens who relocated to Sydney and settled at the Inner West in 2008.

    I am writing to you regarding the poor decision recently made by Marrickville council to boycott all Israeli products. I am not sure what is the background for this decision but I assume this is the result when ignorance and malice are combined with the popular trend to criticize Israel.

    It is difficult for me to find the words to describe how I feel about Marrickville council but it is a mixture of surprise, anger and pity. This boycott is a personal insult to me and my fellow Israelis living in Australia.

    I was truly taken a back by surprise when I heard of this boycott – is Marrickville taking sides with the numerous Arab countries wishing the destruction of tiny Israel? who made the council judge of the the Arab Israeli conflict? what are the council’s qualifications and knowledge that allow it to pass sentence on Israel? There is no room for such brutal political acts in our community. This is simply outrageous.

    Given I was born and raised in Israel and after serving over 3 years in “IDF” (Israel DEFENCE forces) I am proud to be an Israeli. Australia and Marrickville should not boycott, but Applause and Salute Israel.

    I urge you to undo this boycott immediately. I also suggest that in future the council will focus on Marrickville’s business and keep away from international conflicts the council knows nothing about.


    Ehud Tamir

  15. JONDAGOY says:

    Anti semite extremist .
    ANOTHER HATE MONGER which I thought was illegal according to our laws .

  16. Daniel says:

    Miss Peters&Co. of the Marrickville Council backed by Mayor Fiona Byrnes have decided to boycott Israeli products and companies in retaliation to alleged human rights abuses allegedly perpetrated by the Jewish state against the Palestinians.Have they ever looked at human rights abuses committed by Indonesia against Western Papuans,Chinese human rights abuses committed against ocupied Tibetans [massively displaced by Han Chinese settlers],Turkish human rights abuses and ethnic cleansic of Greeks living in Northern Cyprus,Sudanese mass murders of innocent civilians in Darfur to mention just a few ?Absolutely not.According to them and their usual supporters there should be one rule for the Jewish state and another one for any other state.That’s what they call “justice” and “fairness” in international affairs.Single out the eternal scapegoat and ignore any other country or people which may be involved in similar activities
    What if in areas of Sydney where certain ethnic and religious groups supporting Israel are in larger numbers would ask for and obtain local council resolutions calling for a boycott of products made in Arab countries?Is this the way we should assist in solving this protracted conflict in the Middle East by replicating it in the middle of Sydney?As an individual I cannot stop extremist local government representatives passing such resolutions but I can help alleviate their consequances.From now on me,my family and hopefully my friends will purchase and support an increasing number of Israeli products.

  17. DAVID says:


  18. Jack Chrapot says:

    The most horrible claim made by this Cathy Peters person is the allegation of a “strong lobby group that continues to use the holocaust to justify the illegal, unjust and undemocratic actions of the Israeli government”.

    This is not what Israel, Zionism and the quest for Jewish self-determination are all about as most people who would have an understanding of the concepts and the history behind them would be well aware.

    It does demonstrate gross ignorance on Ms, Peters’ part and if she is Jewish as she claims, absolute stupidity.

  19. Lilith says:

    “Tonight on ABC news, Marrickville Council’s Mayor, Fiona Byrnes reported that Marrickville Council voted to boycott Israel “because the community told” her that’s what they wanted.”

    Fiona Byrnes is not telling the truth. Many complaints have now been lodged with the ABC, who hopefully will be interviewing at least a few of them.

    I am part of the group that raised the petition and we are in consultation with many rate payers in the Marrickville Municipality. You may be interested to know that most are not Jewish. I am

    There are a number of avenues available for us to approach this situation. We probably need legal help and we don’t have the money if anyone knows of a solicitor, who would like take on some pro bono work, we would be very happy to accept.

    I have a very ‘nice’ email from Vic Macri, who is one of the Councillors who opposed the Motion. He agrees with the sentiments of the silent majority on this issue and has offered to help in any way he can.

    We had received some very rude and quite insulting emails from “the 10”, including Cathy Peters, who is Jewish. They all claim not to be antisemitic, but their very actions show otherwise.

    ** Critics who habitually single out Israel for condemnation, while ignoring far worse actions by other countries (especially other Middle Eastern countries) are anti-Semitic.**

    Peters said the following in approximately 30 emails

    “The resolution was not related to Jewish people at all but rather the actions of the Israeli state.”…. antisemitic

    “”I have taken your comments on board and understand that you are part of a strong lobby group that continues to use the holocaust to justify the illegal, unjust and undemocratic actions of the Israeli government”..antisemitic

    As per the norm. It’s the noisy minority of ‘loony lefties’ who get their way, because others are too quiet to speak for themselves.

    Should anyone wish to contact me, J-Wire has my permission to pass on my Gmail address they have on my registration

  20. Chris of Surry Hills says:

    I shall be boycotting businesses in the Marrickville council area. I suggest others do the same.

  21. Mitch says:

    It’s incredibly flawed logic to compare things manufactured in Israel to Israeli inventions e.g. mobile phone are made in China, Japan or South Korea, and that’s overlooking the fact they were invented in the US.

  22. julian says:

    US law prohibits it companies from taking part in boycotts which its government does not support.

    As such they risk having Australia listed along side all these non-democratic countries such as Yemen and Libya:

  23. Gilly Smith says:

    How dare the council cow tail to a culture of people who move to our country, not to live in peace but to use us as a religious battering ram….no matter who is the recipient! How can anyone with even the smallest shred of intelligence not see that this culture of people have no conscience about who they use for their own interests. Is this about votes? Is this woman from the Greens a proud Australian? Well she needs to stick to what she’s suppose to do and that’s council politics….. not world affairs.

  24. John Simpson says:

    Unilateral declarations like this are part of a squalid agenda in the Arab world, and by unquestioning supporters and outright Jew-haters in the West, to try to destroy Israel through disinformation and delegitimisation, having failed to do it with invasions, an economic embargo, bus bombings and rocket attacks. It’s fine to level criticism at Israel when the grounds are genuine, as they often are, but not if it treats the Arab-Israeli conflict as a completely one-sided affair.
    Let’s show a balanced approach by calling for a boycott against ALL Palestinian products and contacts until they: stop firing rockets at Israeli civilians; stop the vile, racist hatemongering in their press and textbooks; stop cynically refusing face to face talks with Israel until settlement freezes are just about to expire; stop the abduction attempts on Israeli soldiers and civilians; release Gilad Shalit or afford him the same Red Cross access and human rights that Arab prisoners have in Israeli gaols;stop forced Islamisation in Gaza; stop machine-gunning opposition protest rallies; stop the torturing and extra-judicial killings of political opponents; and stop siphoning billions in foreign aid to the families of the Palestinian elite (e.g. Mahmoud Abbas’ mysteriously rich son in Qatar).
    And let’s be balanced and boycott the countries supplying the weapons and training that help perpetuate the conflict: the United States in the case of Israel, and the grubby regimes that support Palestinian terrorism (Lebanon, Syria, Venezuela and Iran).
    Then, why do we never hold other countries to the standard of behaviour we demand of Israel. Why are we not as outraged by the far worse conduct of the authorities in Sudan, Egypt, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Algeria or Yemen? Why aren’t we demanding that Russian settlers, for example, get out of Georgia or Sakhalin (they’re still building new settlements and expanding existing ones, creating facts on the ground), or Chinese settlers out of Tibet? Why don’t we selectively label and boycott goods made by Chinese settlers in Xinjiang and Tibet? Why don’t we force South Korea to open its border to the poor starving North, regardless of the consequences? Why are we outraged by Israel’s ‘genocide’ of Gazans in 2008-2009 (death toll 1400), but not by the (to date) 114 000 dead Arab men, women and children of the Iraq War, launched on the basis of a lie, against a country not directly threatening us, by a Coalition including New Zealand and Australia? So, in fact, why don’t we boycott Marrickville?.

  25. Helen Sanders says:

    Tonight on ABC news, Marrickville Council’s Mayor, Fiona Byrnes reported that Marrickville Council voted to boycott Israel “because the community told” her that’s what they wanted. I challenge Ms Byrnes to inform us what, exactly, was the due process followed to gain the so-called consensus of the local community. Dare I assume that the Councilors that voted for this boycott were just following their own bigoted personal agenda in the guise of having community support. if this was not an anti-semitic exercise, why have they not boycotted China for their human rights abuses, or Iran for that matter?

  26. Syd Cohen says:

    One year after Norway ‘s Socialist Left Party launched its Boycott Israel campaign, the importing of Israeli goods has increased by 15%, the strongest increase in many years, statistics Norway reports.

    In contrast to the efforts of tiny Israel to make contributions to the world so as to better mankind, one has to ask what have those who have strived to eliminate Israel from the face of the earth done other than to create hate and bloodshed?

    Your boycott will similarly fail, but Shame on you Marrickville Council for expressing such bigoted views and supporting such an unjust cause about which you are obviously poorly informed.

    Ratepayers and businesses in Marrickville should demand the immediate resignation of Cathy Peters and the Councilors who called for this boycott.

  27. Lorraine Fox says:

    This is blatant anti-semitism in the guise of anti-Israel. Australia has more to worry about with fanatical Islamists reaching its shores than that little sliver of a democratic country Israel.

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