Headlines about Palestine and Israel are rarely pitched in context, especially in Australia. In the small moments of the everyday, Israel is the aggressor. When we judge the enduring situation from an objective human rights perspective, there is no competition for responsibility: Israel is the heavily resourced military and governing power of both societies, the transgressor of international law, the enforcer of Apartheid, and for historical and political reasons, it’s the main recipient of western governments and media sympathies. This must change.
Within a globalised landscape where protest poetics and aesthetics are vital tools in the fight against white supremacy, Palestine solidarity has found shelter in new places within which to breathe and exhale.
In Israel, as in Australia, colonisation is the context without which nothing else makes sense. The Israeli state depends on the dispossession of Palestinians, and so, by its nature, will constantly create and recreate violence, just as the Australian settler state did.
It’s been 50 years since The Sorrow and the Pity first screened in a tiny cinema in Paris. Soon after its American release, film critic Roger Ebert described it as ‘one of the greatest documentaries ever made.’ When it was finally approved for broadcast on French television, in 1981, 10 years after its original ban, it was viewed by 20 million people – more than a third of the entire population of France.
As antipoverty activists, we know we must unite all low-income workers by centring the relationship between poverty and wages, and the declining wage growth this country has experienced in the past ten years. It is vital that the broad left and our movements begin to see that the rights of waged and unwaged workers are intrinsically linked.