Late last week I joined Dr. Marcelo Svirsky for the last 2 days of his epic walk from Sydney to Canberra. He covered the distance of 287 kilometers (just over 178 miles) in 10 days. The purpose of the walk was to garner support for a petition to present to our Federal Parliament. That petition seeks to promote discussion around the issue of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions to be levied against Israel.
However, just seeking to promote discussion is an ambitious goal. Australian politicians, overwhelmingly,
Marcelo is a Jewish-Israeli academic who continues that strong progressive Jewish tradition of advocacy and activism. As I pounded the pavement with him he spoke at length of his disappointment with the way Israel has evolved into a militaristic state. He left Israel 6 years ago and now has taken up an academic position at the University Of Wollongong and we are lucky to have him. He inspires as well as educates. His life’s experiences have convinced him that ending the suffering of Palestinians is a cause worth fighting for. His feet were blistered and sore but his spirits high as he marched up that Canberra hill and presented the petition to The Clerk of Petitions. The petition will be read in Parliament on October 27th.
As in America, so in Australia. It is time to give John Kerry a rest. Diplomacy hasn’t worked. A grass roots effort to force Israel to start behaving itself seems like the way forward.