Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council

AIJAC welcomes Victorian Government's request for probe into BDS movement

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Media Release

August 8, 2011

AIJAC welcomes the decision of the Government of Victoria to ask the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to investigate whether organisations campaigning for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel have been conducting "secondary boycotts for the purpose of causing substantial loss or damage", in breach of section s45D of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.

AIJAC Executive Director Dr Colin Rubenstein said today, "AIJAC applauds the decision of the Victorian Government to refer the matter to the ACCC and hopes that the businesses that have been targeted by the boycott are provided with the injunctive relief or damages to which they are entitled. We call on other Governments around Australia, state and federal, to send a clear message that Australians will not tolerate bullying, hateful and divisive tactics by following Victoria's lead and supporting this or similar complaints to the ACCC. "

The BDS movement has been targeting businesses in Australia for no reason other than their perceived relationship with Israel. They have included cafes, skincare product stores and other companies with little or no political influence or direct involvement in the Palestinian/Israeli conflict. Dr Rubenstein asserted that, "such discriminatory practices have no place in Australian society and, moreover, will only serve to intensify the Palestinian/Israeli conflict by promoting division and hatred."

"A peaceful resolution in the Middle East can only be achieved through meaningful negotiations based on mutual cooperation, understanding and dialogue. This is the view of the Australian Government, as well as an overwhelming majority of the international community," he said. "These boycotts are the very opposite of such dialogue and engagement. Anyone who hopes for Middle East peace based on two states should be standing firmly against them, including opposing them by all legal means available, as the Victorian Government has so commendably demonstrated."

For additional information, contact Dr. Colin Rubenstein at AIJAC on (03) 9681 6660.

See also - Victorian Government's media release

 

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