The Marrickville Council meeting

April 20, 2011 Agencies
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J-Wire reader Jack Pinczewski attended the Marrickville Council meeting. Here is his report….


Marrickville Council’s attempt to impose a unilateral Boycott on Israel failed tonight by a vote of eight to four with two Greens Councillors splitting with their colleagues to deny the motion.

In a sometimes fiery meeting attended by nearly three hundred members of the public, Councillor and Mayor  Fiona Byrne noted that the council had put the BDS movement, “on the national agenda”. Claiming that the council had been smashed “like an egg” by a figurative sledgehammer she voted with two other Greens members, Cathy Peters and Marike Kontellis and independent Councillor Dimitrios Thanos against a move to rescind the boycott by Marrickville council against Israel.

Ultimately the council agreed to a motion which called on the council not to pursue a movement of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel in any form as called for in their prior motion of December 14. It did, however, note concern for the human rights of the Palestinian people and called for a right for Palestinian people to return to Israel.

The meeting was addressed by leaders of the Inner West Jewish Community who noted that there were more constructive means by which the council could go about securing peace in the Middle East. Further speakers noted the absence of a mandate for the local authority in formulating a foreign affairs policy and the unnecessarily divisive nature of a boycott against Israel.

At points the meeting descended into farce as the unruly crowd overwhelmed the authority of the chair. On more than one occasion Cr Byrne sought to eject persons from the meeting and all throughout there was loud vocal interjection from the gallery with one ejectee leaving while shouting, “Long live the Hizbollah” and “Viva La Resistance”.

Councillor Phillips, a staffer to Federal Greens Leader Bob Brown, split with his colleagues on the issue of a boycott noting the impracticality of implementing a boycott and stating, “I do not believe there is sufficient understanding or support from the community,” for there to be a case for Marrickville Council to undertake a boycott. Additionally, he noted that even “In principle” support would prejudice against the council as it was not conducive to resolving the issue.

Councillor Victor Macri, who led the campaign against the boycott on the council, maintained his stance against the boycott ,citing the lack of approaches from residents to the council on the issue.



One Response to “The Marrickville Council meeting”
  1. admin says:

    The Council decision has been made and I have no interest in keeping the topic going. I have said the same to others supporting the decision.

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