End Israeli support for Israeli arms company Elbit
It is one thing to be well informed but this alone does not amount to actions that can make a difference. How do we affect change? What can individuals do to make a difference?
Writing to politicians
Australia plays a key role in the UN when it comes to Palestinian affairs. It is often siding with the US and blocking any investigations of Israeli activities. This is a problem that we can do something about.
As Australian citizens, our politicians must represent our views, concerns and opinions. That is the crux of a representational government. The politicians are elected to represent the concerns of their constituents: the citizens they supposedly represent. Therefore, if you write to a politician, they have an obligation to convey these views. Whether they do or not, relies on many things, one being the extent to which an issue is being presented to them.
WRITE to your representative or local member of parliament. It is not difficult to find your local member and your letter does not have to be an essay. Simply conveying your concerns is enough, and the more of us that do it, the less easy it is for the member to ignore or brush aside.
How to find your electorate https://electorate.aec.gov.au/
Contact details https://www.aph.gov.au/Senators_and_Members.
Writing to newspaper editors
WRITE a letter to the editor of one or more newspapers. If you see an article that raises issues that are important to you, respond as soon as is practicably possible. Editors do pay attention!
Below is a guide to letter writing collated by Jessica Morrison (APAN) from a workshop given by Maher Mugrabi, features editor at The Age, and foreign editor of The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald from 2014 to 2017.
Please note that when writing to editors, it is necessary to include your address and phone number, even though only the suburb will be printed.
Email addresses of the main papers in Melbourne:
Use your purchasing power
Ethical purchasing has become more commonplace. We have become more discerning when we make purchases and seek products from companies that try to do the right thing whether it be the environment or fair trade and workers conditions. This consumer power can be used to support Palestine, by ensuring that we are not purchasing products that are made by those that exploit Palestinians in one way or another. Very simply put, if you know the first three barcode numbers of a product you can avoid products made in Israel*. There are also apps that allow you to scan a barcode. [Buycott] Please visit the BDS website for more information.
*A barcode starting with 729 usually indicates a product of Israel. But this is not always reliable. The best way to tell if a product is made in Israel is to look for a “Product of Israel” label or to ask the retailer if they can guarantee a product isn’t from Israel. https://bdsmovement.net/get-involved/what-to-boycott
- #BoycottHP – HP provide technology for the Israeli army and police. Pledge to stop buying HP products. Read more: https://bit.ly/2S0z3B6
- #BoycottPuma – Puma sponsors the Israeli Football Association which has teams in illegal settlements. Call on @MelbourneCity @CarltonFC @Richmond_FC @MelbourneVixens @QLDMaroons @AthsAust to divest from their sponsorships with Puma. Read more: https://bit.ly/3watXRp
- #ShutElbitDown – Elbit Systems is Israel’s largest arms manufacturer and field-tests weapons on Palestinians. Pressure the Victorian Government to end its partnership with Elbit Systems. Read more: https://bit.ly/3ygKKUY
- Buy fair trade. Palestine Fair Trade Australia
Start organising for Palestine
Get involved with Free Palestine Melbourne. APAN local groups list: Local Groups – The Australia Palestine Advocacy Network – APAN
Donate as a final option. Palestine needs your voice and your political pressure more, but donations help to support the various groups advocating for Palestine.
Organisations to donate to include: Free Palestine Melbourne for local organising and support, Olive Kids and Medical Aid for Palestinians – MAP. BuildPalestine put together this good article: Trusted organizations to donate to Palestine – BuildPalestine