Published 3 July 20203 August 2020 · Main Posts / Palestine / Activism Statement: Artists and Academics Against Annexation Micaela Sahhar, Sara M Saleh and Randa Abdel-Fattah ????????? We are deeply concerned by the Australian government’s complicity in enabling the Israeli state to suppress the aspiration of the Palestinian people to self-determination. Last week, Australia was one of only two countries (with the Marshall Islands) to vote against a UN Human Rights Council resolution condemning the illegal annexation of significant parts of the occupied Palestinian West Bank by Israel. With the deadline set for July 1, the proposed annexation seeks to formalise ongoing de facto annexation of Palestinian lands since before 1948. The policy purports to solidify the ongoing attempts by successive Israeli governments to systematically and illegally expropriate the lands and homes of Palestinian families, in order to depopulate the land of Palestinians and thus clear the way for more illegal Israeli settlements and Israeli settlers (now numbering over half a million) in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The State of Israel was created on stolen land 72 years ago. Its illegal military occupation of the West Bank – which imposes a punitive legal system on Palestinians in contrast to their Israeli settler counterparts, who enjoy the rights of full Israeli citizens – has been ongoing for 53 years. Throughout this time, Israel has continued to commit war crimes in breach of the Geneva Conventions, and to violate the most basic of Palestinian human rights, ultimately denying Palestinians the right to be sovereign in their own homeland. Israel’s annexation plan will cement the apartheid reality that currently exists. It confines Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza within 115 bantustans that are physically, economically, socially, and politically cut off from each other. The Israeli state has subjected Palestinians to land confiscation, ethnic cleansing, forcible population transfer, home demolitions, settler violence, severe and discriminatory restrictions on their right to freedom of movement, excessive use of force, torture, and a racist legal system and state apparatus which explicitly operates by granting preferential political, legal, social, cultural and economic rights to Israeli Jews. Israel’s annexation plan has been universally condemned. UN human rights experts from across the globe have said that annexation “would violate a cornerstone principle of international law”, and have called for Israel to be held accountable. One thousand European parliamentarians, political leaders, diplomats, religious leaders including 600 Jewish clergy, over 250 leading international lawyers, and an unprecedented 50 independent UN experts have all deplored the plan as a grave violation of international law. The European Union is considering sanctions. We draw great inspiration from current global justice movements committed to the eradication of racism, fascism, imperialism, and apartheid — a collective and intersectional emancipatory process of decolonisation. As iconic civil rights campaigner Angela Davis writes, “When we are engaged in the struggle against racist violence…we can’t forget the connections with Palestine. In many ways, we have to engage in an exercise of intersectionality. Of always foregrounding those connections so that people remember that nothing happens in isolation.” As Davis makes clear, an unequivocal stance against all forms of racial oppression must include support of Palestinians. From Minneapolis to Jerusalem to Gadigal land, all sites of recent state-sanctioned violence, we affirm the critical ongoing and historic solidarities between different movements against systemic and institutionalised state violence, systemic oppression, and brutality. Palestinians in Australia are positioned as settlers of colour and have proudly sought and affirmed solidarity with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in our indivisible anti-colonial struggles. Israel has acted with impunity for decades. Against all odds, Palestinians remain hopeful. Palestinians continue to resist occupation, apartheid, dispossession, and racist political domination in a struggle to secure their inalienable rights to justice, dignity, and freedom. Consistent with the aspirations of any human being, Palestinians want to live free: to control their own lives, and to determine and build their own futures with the people they love. ?? ??? ???????????: · Publicly condemn the Israeli government’s unilateral, unlawful annexation plans. · Demand the Australian government publicly oppose the Israeli government’s annexation plans and cease greenlighting Israel’s violations of human rights and fundamental principles of international law. · Call on people of conscience everywhere to continue to support the Palestinian people in their struggle for self-determination and their aspirations for freedom, justice, dignity, and equality for all. ??????????? Dr Randa Abdel-Fattah, academic and author Sara M. Saleh, writer and poet Dr Micaela Sahhar, academic and poet Dr Ryan Al-Natour, academic and writer Elias Jahshan, writer and journalist Alexis Wright, AUTHOR AND PROFESSOR Dr Gary Foley, Professor of History Melissa Lucashenko, Bundjalung Author Dr Aileen Moreton-Robinson, Professor Tony Birch, Professor and Author Amy McQuire, Darumbal and South Sea Islander journalist, podcast host, and PhD candidate Ellen van Neervan, Mununjali Author Dr Samah Sabawi, Author. Academic. Playwright. 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Pat Cunningham Ulya Niami Efrina Jamson, PhD Student Fadia Abboud, Filmmaker Dr Licho Lopez Mohammad Mudassir Nadeem Amna Karra-Hassan, Speaker, Activist & Consultant Crystal Lim, Artist Michael Roberts, Union member and Victorian Socialists member Dr Ella OKeefe Yen Pham, Writer and Educator Kate MacNicol Tala Abdulhadi, Activist Marita Dyson, artist Gabs Collie (Rudy.V), Artist Basema A, MA Tasneem Chopra, Diversity & Inclusion Consultant Stuart Vaskess, Artist Huma Dar, Adj Professor Ben Gook, Academic Ting Huang, writer Drew Pavlou Dr Hayley Singer Sara Cheikh, PhD student Dr Catriona Menzies-Pike, editor Likhain (Mia Sereno), artist and writer Alison Croggon, Writer Kelsey Oldham, Editor, Books+Publishing Dr Alistair Sisson, Academic Dr Edward Hurcombe Sertan Saral, PhD Candidate Serkan Ozturk, Publisher & Journalist Monique Choy Dr Alissa Macoun, Lecturer Shada Diab, Teacher Mikele Prestia Caitlin McGregor, writer, editor and critic Robyn Wells, Lecturer Sulafa Zidani Dr. Yomna Elsayed, Lecturer Elaine Lin, Archaeologist Tom Ballard, Comedian & writer Scott Webster, PhD Candidate Daniel Denton, Musician Jessica Hatrick, Doctoral Student, University of Southern California Fern York, Teacher / Artist / Curator Meaghan Morris, Professor Tim Busuttil, Academic Russ Radcliffe, Editor Osman Faruqi, Journalist Yen-Rong Wong, Writer Alice Cottrell, Publisher Sarah Schmidt, Author Stewart Smith, Teacher Grant Regan, Visual Artist and Lecturer Dr Karen Crowe Peter Burdon, Associate Professor Dr Jason Tuckwell, WSU Alex Reilly, Professor Richard Barber, Theatre worker Pongjit Saphakhun, Theatre artist Lara Week, designer and creative producer for theatre Carielyn Tunion Julie Kimber, Senior Lecturer, Swinburne University Sisonke Msimang, Writer Dr Sue Bond, writer Alison Evans, writer Dr Megan Weier, Academic Allen “Solo Monk” Elbourne, Pasifika Migrant Activist Stella Maynard, Writer and editor Anwen Crawford, writer Sonia Qadir, PhD student Ezz Monem, Artist Josh Schmidt, Academic ondjaki (angola), palestina livre Alannah McCann Dr Senthorun Raj Karen Wyld, writer & HDR student Julie Blythe, PhD candidate Meera Atkinson, Writer and academic Ana Harcha Cortés, Artist Louis Haddad, Academic and Sculptor Daniel Marabolí Bernales, Music, teacher and performing artist Magdalena Cattan-Lavin, Academic and PhD candidate Dr Dan Tout, Lecturer Dr Alison Mitchell, Academic Dr Thomas Smith, Artist and researcher Tracey Bunda, Professor Daniel Mathews, senior lecturer Eileen Chong, Poet Liam Ferney, Poet Sam Wallman, Cartoonist Floyd Kermode Jon Tjhia, Writer and artist Antony Loewenstein, Independent journalist Magdalena Cattan-Lavin, Academic and PhD candidate Dr John Docker Terahn Robinson Clive Rosewarne, PhD candidate David M. Pritchard, Associate Professor Micaela Sahhar Micaela Sahhar is an Australian-Palestinian poet and researcher. She completed a PhD at the University of Melbourne in 2016 focusing on the influence of Israeli national narrative on Western media coverage of the situation in Israel/Palestine. She currently lectures in the History of Ideas at Trinity College, the University of Melbourne. More by Micaela Sahhar › Sara M Saleh Sara M Saleh is the daughter of migrants from Palestine, Egypt, and Lebanon, living on Gadigal land. A campaigner, writer, and poet, Sara’s work has been published in English and Arabic, and she co-edited the anthology Arab-Australian-Other. Sara received the 2021 Peter Porter Poetry Prize, and is developing her debut novel More by Sara M Saleh › Randa Abdel-Fattah Randa Abdel-Fattah is an internationally award-winning author, former lawyer and a human rights and anti-racism advocate. She is currently a postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Sociology at Macquarie University where she researches race, Islamophobia and the war on terror. More by Randa Abdel-Fattah › Overland is a not-for-profit magazine with a proud history of supporting writers, and publishing ideas and voices often excluded from other places. If you like this piece, or support Overland’s work in general, please subscribe or donate. Related articles & Essays First published in Overland Issue 228 8 September 202315 September 2023 · Main Posts Announcing the 2023 Neilma Sidney Short Story Prize ($6500) Editorial Team Supported by the Malcolm Robertson Foundation, and named after the late Neilma Gantner, this prize seeks excellent short fiction of up to 3000 words themed around the notion of ‘travel’; imaginative, creative and literary interpretations are strongly encouraged. This competition is open to all writers, nationally and internationally, at any stage of their writing career. 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