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Palestinian lawyer and advocate Diana Buttu will be joining fellow compatriot UCLA Prof SAREE MAKDISI in a forum entitled “Apartheid and Boycotts” that will also include Dr NED CURTHOYS from ANU and  Sydney Peace Foundation Chairman Professor Emeritus STUART REES AM. Below you will find details of the event being held tomorrow evening in Melbourne and also some background to the participants in the forum.  Ms Buttu has been brought out specifically to speak to unions, the media and the public on the impossible conditions endured by the Palestinians under Israel’s apartheid policies and brutal military rule.


Diana Buttu, a Palestinian lawyer from Canada has labored extensively to influence the way the situation in Palestine and Israel is depicted by the media and her public role in promoting the Palestinian cause has made her a much sought after spokesperson in media circles, such as Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC and Late Night Live. Ms. Buttu was one of the prime motivators of the litigation brought to the International Court of Justice in the Hague, which resulted in the court’s landmark opinion against Israel’s illegal wall. From 2000-2005, she used her skills as a negotiator with the PLO’s Palestinian Negotiations Support Unit and more recently has been defending the rights of Palestinians faced with losing their homes, possessions, citizenship, residency status and rights of entry under Israel’s monstrous plan to rid itself of the native Palestinian population.  Apartheid, she says, is Israel’s way of achieving that end.

Palestinian American professor English and Comparative Literature at UCLA, Saree Makdisi is also a frequent commentator on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.  In his expertly written book “Palestine Inside Out: An Everyday Occupation”, Prof Makdisi provides an exhaustive look at the daily experiences that shape Palestinian life under Israeli occupation.  He too raises the wall built in violation of international law on occupied Palestinian land and the myriad other Israeli policies that have denied Palestinian their human rights whether under occupation or even as citizens of Israel.  In this forum, he will focus on Israel’s institutionalised discrimination amongst its own citizenry and will draw the logical comparisons between the failed and unsustainable South African Apartheid regime and Israel’s military occupation regime that rules Palestinian life today.

Dr Ned Curthoys is a Research Fellow at the Research School of Humanities College of Arts and Social Sciences, Australian National University.  In a brave move that brought Australia into the world-wide movement of BDS against Israel, Dr Curthoys began the Australian campaign for an academic boycott of Israel with his father Prof John Docker from the University of Sydney.   Together, they also set up the Committee for the Dismantling of Zionism.  They have been attacked by their own Jewish community for doing so, but it has not deterred them from pursuing the principles to which they have subscribed.  Dr Curthoys will explain the necessity of employing an academic and cultural boycott against Israel’s Zionist policies and practices if there is ever to be any possibility of a future coexistence between Israeli Jews and Palestinians.

The moderator for the evening is none other than the fearlessly principled Prof Emeritus Stuart Rees, Director of the Sydney Peace Foundation, who refused to back down in the face of a vicious campaign run by the Zionist establishment against Palestinian advocate Dr Hanan Ashrawi’s selection as recipient of the Sydney Peace Prize in 2003.  He prevailed then and prevails to this day, a staunch defender of human rights and peace amongst all peoples.

For information on other speaking events for Ms Buttu while in Australia, news and articles on Palestine and much more, please visit our website http://www.australiansforpalestine.com

Sonja Karkar
Co-Convener
Australians for Palestine
PO Box 2099, Hawthorn 3122
Melbourne – Australia
www.australiansforpalestine.com

Special thanks to our friends at: AUSTRALIANS FOR PALESTINE


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