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JOINT MEDIA RELEASE: Civil society organisations welcome the Future Fund’s exclusion of Elbit Systems, and call on the Federal and Victorian Governments to drop Elbit or risk complicity in serious violations of international law 

by Admin

15 March 2022 | For immediate release

Civil society organisations working for human rights for Palestinians and others welcome the news of Australia’s sovereign wealth fund, the Future Fund’s exclusion of Israeli arms manufacturer, Elbit Systems Limited from its investment portfolio because of allegations of its involvement in the production of cluster munitions.

The organisations call on the Future Fund as part of its duty to undertake responsible investment and human rights due diligence, to investigate its investment portfolio and divest from any entity involved in or complicit in serious violations of international humanitarian law and human rights against the Palestinian people. Some of these serious violations include credible and well documented abuses which amount to serious crimes under international law, including war crimes and crimes against humanity.  Australia’s public funds should not be involved in furthering grave human rights abuses. 

They further call on the Victorian Government to immediately cease its partnership with Elbit Systems Australia, a wholly owned subsidiary of Elbit Systems, to establish a research ‘Centre of Excellence’.  

The organisations call on the Australian Government to suspend its defence cooperation with Israel and any facilitation of defence industry partnerships. These recommendations were supported by a coalition of Palestinian human rights organisations in a 2021 submission with the ACIJ to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade which is currently conducting a feasibility study into a Free Trade Agreement with Israel.

The Palestinian people suffering under decades of Israeli military occupation and apartheid have called on the UN Security Council and all states parties to the Arms Trade Treaty, which includes Australia, to impose a two-way arms embargo to protect Palestinians lives.

The organisations are encouraged by the Australian Government’s rapid response to the crisis in Ukraine through implementing measures in responding to and condemning Russia’s illegal invasion and act of aggression in Ukraine. The Australian Government must respond similarly to Israel’s serious, decades long and continued violations of international law.

Executive Director of the Australian Centre for International Justice (ACIJ), Ms Rawan Arraf, said:

“The Victorian Government’s outrageous partnership with Elbit Systems should never have been made. We believe the Victorian Government either neglected to consider the human rights implications of the partnership, or ignored them outright. It’s a shameful partnership that must be suspended on account of Elbit’s complicity with serious human rights abuses and crimes under international law. If it continues, the Victorian Government will stand accused of complicity with international crimes.  

“Further, the Australian Government’s eagerness to enhance defence industry cooperation and partnerships with Israeli defence firms has been forged in complete disregard of Australia’s international legal obligations, and respect for Palestinian human rights. All of these must end.”

Hilmi Dabbagh from BDS Australia said:

“BDS Australia sees the Future Fund’s divestment from Elbit as a milestone development which will have ramifications right throughout state and federal Australian governments, companies and academic institutions whose partnerships and trade with Elbit are highly problematic and in breach of international law. 

“BDS Australia has been calling for an end to Australia’s ties with Elbit for many years and has seen the growth of a strong grassroots movement which in 2017 saw the Royal Flying Doctors end its association with this Israeli arms company. Most recently our campaigns in relation to the Victorian and federal Government’s associations with Elbit, have been met with silence from both governments but are strongly supported by growing numbers of people who want to see an end to Australia’s complicity with the apartheid regime of Israel.” 

Bishop George Browning, President of the Australia Palestine Advocacy Network (APAN) said:

“Australia must not explore a free trade agreement with Israel and should halt all military trade while Israel continues its flagrant violations of international law. Israeli officials are under investigation by the International Criminal Court, demonstrating the seriousness of Israel’s crimes against Palestinians. Australia must not be complicit.”

Dr Sue Wareham, President of the Medical Association for Prevention of War (MAPW) said:

“The terrible Ukraine crisis has shown us that governments can act quickly when human rights are being grievously violated.  We call for the same level of action to protect the Palestinian people who have long suffered from Israeli military aggression. There is no place in Australia for partnerships with companies, such as Elbit Systems, that are complicit in inflicting human harm.”

Endorsed by:

Australia Palestine Advocacy Network (APAN)

Australian Centre for International Justice (ACIJ) 

Australian Friends of Palestine Association (AFOPA)

Australian Palestinian Professionals Association (APPA)

Australian Students for BDS (ASBDS)

Australian Unionists Supporting Palestine

Australians for Palestine (AFP)

BDS Australia

Coalition for Justice and Peace in Palestine (CJPP)

Federation of Italian Migrant Workers and their Families (FILEF)

Free Gaza Australia

Free Palestine Melbourne

Friends of Hebron (FOH)

Friends of Palestine WA (FOPWA)

General Union of Palestinian Workers (GUPW)

Justice for Palestine, Meanjin (Brisbane) (JFP)

Medical Association for Prevention of War (Australia) 

Palestine Fair Trade Australia (PFTA) 

Palestine Israel Ecumenical Network (PIEN)

Palestinian Christians in Australia (PCiA)

Media enquiries contact:

Australian Centre for International Justice – Rawan Arraf: 0450 708 870

BDS Australia:


Elbit Systems is an Israeli based manufacturer of military, security and surveillance equipment and is widely known as a major research and development partner to Israel’s Ministry of Defence, who after the US Government, is its second biggest customer. 

Elbit is known for its drones (UAVs) and land weapons.

In 2018 Elbit Systems completed its acquisition of Israel-state owned IMI (Israel Military Industries). IMI – which was merged into Elbit Systems Land manufactures and supplies a wide range of weapons, munitions, missiles, tanks and military technology to the Israeli military. Elbit is also a major partner to Israel’s police and Ministry of Interior. More information on Elbit can be found on

Elbit Systems is excluded from many investment funds, pension funds and sovereign wealth funds worldwide including but not limited to:

  • NZ Super excluded Elbit Systems in 2012 for involvement in Israel’s illegal construction of the Annexation Wall in the occupied West Bank;
  • Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, NBIM excluded Elbit Systems in 2009 for supplying surveillance equipment used on the occupied West Bank’s Annexation Wall;
  • Norway’s KLP excluded Elbit Systems in 2010 for its involvement in the illegal construction of the Annexation wall. It excluded it again in 2021 for its role in production of cluster munitions; 
  • Sweden’s largest state pension funds AP1-4 excluded Elbit in 2010 for its involvement in the Annexation Wall and illegal settlements the occupied Palestinian territory;
  • Denmark’s Dankse Bank excluded Elbit in 2010 for its role in the Annexation wall and in illegal settlements;
  • Sweden’s Nordea Bank;
  • Sweden’s SEB Group;
  • HSBC divested from Elbit in 2018;
  • French investment firm AXA Investment Managers divested from Elbit in 2018; and 
  • Luxembourg’s general pension fund, Fonds De Compensation, FDC in 2014.  

In February 2021, the Victorian Government announced it has entered into a partnership with Elbit Systems Australia to build a ‘Centre of Excellence for Human and Machine Teaming’. For more information see  Stop Elbit BDS campaign

In September 2017, the NSW Royal Flying Doctor Service confirmed it will not contract with Elbit Systems.

Elbit is said to have supplied equipment to the Myanmar military, before the military’s ethnic cleansing clearing operations against the Rohingya people and following the military coup in February 2021.

According to West Papuan human rights advocates, Elbit is alleged to have supplied equipment to the Indonesian military used to suppress human rights in occupied West Papua.

2022-06-24 01:28:28.000000

West rightly backs Ukraine but ignores Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan…,

by Gideon Polya

Both the Russian occupation of Ukraine and the Apartheid Israeli occupation of Palestine are wrong, inhumane, international law-violating, and have been hugely destructive. However a racist and specifically anti-Arab anti-Semitic West (the Anglosphere, NATO and the EU) utterly ignores the Israeli occupation and ethnic cleansing of Palestine, while quite rightly condemning and sanctioning Russia over its invasion of Ukraine. Largely missing from the present Mainstream media reportage are the following:
While thousands of courageous Russians are risking violence and lengthy imprisonment imposed by an authoritarian Russian state for protesting the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and the Russian Government forbids use of the terms “war” and “invasion” to describe the current invasion of Ukraine, in the rich, internally peaceful, human rights-cognizant and democratic West there is almost total silence in this context over the Apartheid Israeli invasion, occupation and ongoing ethnic cleansing of Palestine (and indeed US Alliance invasion of a swathe of Muslim countries post-9/11).
Ukraine was the heartland of Ashkenazi Jews (Eastern European Jews) who descend from non-Semitic Turkic Khazar converts to Judaism in circa the 8th century CE. After the Kievan Rus ended Khazarian independence in 965-969 CE, the forebears of the Ashkenazi Jews continued trading in Eastern Europe from the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea to the Baltic Sea. Ashkenazi Jews suffered periodic violent persecution (pogroms) and in the 19th century millions fled to make new lives in the US and elsewhere. After WW1 many Ukrainians settled in Canada.
Ukrainian fascists under Symon Petliura murdered 30,000-50,000 Jews in 1918-1922. 7 million Jewish and non-Jewish Ukrainians died in the 1930s Ukrainian Famine (Holodomor) and the Stalinist purges. Ukrainian fascists under Stepan Bandera collaborated with Nazi Germany in the WW2 Jewish Holocaust. 4.5 million Ukrainians in the Red Army and 0.3 million Ukrainian partisans fought the Nazis. After Ukrainian independence statues were erected to Petliura and Bandera.
Of 15 million mostly impoverished Palestinians (50% children and 75% women and children), 1.9 million Israeli Palestinians can vote for the government ruling them but as Third Class citizens under 65 race-based laws; 5.2 million Occupied Palestinians are denied human rights under military rule and cannot vote for the government ruling them (i.e. they are subject to apartheid); and 8 million Exiled Palestinians represent about 10% of the world’s refugees and are violently excluded from the land continuously inhabited by their forebears for over 3,000 years.
Poverty kills and the GDP per capita is a deadly $3,400 for Occupied Palestine (East Jerusalem, the West Bank and the blockaded and bombed Gaza Concentration Camp), but is $46,400 for Occupier Israel that grossly violates Articles 55 and 56 of the Fourth Geneva Convention that demand that an Occupier must supply its conquered Subjects with life-sustaining food and medical requisites “to the fullest extent of the means available to it”. Indigenous Palestinians are 50% of the Subjects of Apartheid Israel, Jewish Israelis 47%.
In the last 2 decades Gaza rockets have killed about 40 Israelis as compared to 10,000 Palestinians killed violently by Israelis, 85,000 Palestinians dying avoidably from imposed deprivation, about 1,000 Israelis killed by Palestinians, and an estimated 3,000 Israelis murdered by Israelis (on average some 11 Israelis are murdered by fellow Israelis each month).
While Palestine has not invaded any other countries, and Ukraine has not invaded any other country (apart from token support for the US Alliance’s Iraq War and Afghan War), this is in stark contrast to the record of the following countries (numbers of countries invaded in brackets): Britain (193), Australia (85), France (82), the US (72; 52 after WW2), Germany (39), Japan (30), Russia (26), Canada (25), Apartheid Israel (13), China (3, ignoring border spats) and India (0) (Google “stop state terrorism”).
Humanity and the Biosphere are existentially threatened by nuclear weapons and climate change. Palestine and Ukraine do not have nuclear weapons, in contrast to their invaders. The 9 nuclear weapons states (numbers of nuclear weapons in brackets) are the US (7,300), Russia (8,000), Apartheid Israel (90), France (300), UK (250), China (250), Pakistan (120), India (100), and North Korea (circa 10). India, Pakistan, Apartheid Israel and North Korea have not ratified the Nuclear non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
This is no excuse for the war criminal Russian invasion, but Russia evidently felt threatened by massive movement eastwards of nuclear-armed NATO in the years after the break-up of the Soviet Union, and by the US-, NATO- and neo-Nazi-backed 2014 Coup that removed the pro-Russian Ukrainian president Yanukovich. All but 4 of the 30 members of nuclear terrorist and anti-Russia NATO belong to the all-European, anti-Arab anti-Semitic, anti-Jewish anti-Semitic and holocaust-denying International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA).
With economic and political disaster facing Russia, one can ask whether Putin was tricked by the US into invading Ukraine, just as the US green-lighted Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait in 1990 that proved disastrous for Iraq, as summarized here (with dates and deaths from violence and war-imposed deprivation in brackets): in the Gulf War and under Sanctions (1990-2003; 1.9 million), US Alliance invasion and occupation based on WMD lies (2003-2011; 2.7 million), and post-2011 (0.4 million Iraqi avoidable deaths from deprivation).
Deaths from violence and war-imposed deprivation in Afghanistan have totalled 7.0 million, and the post-defeat war criminal US freezing of Afghan foreign reserves will mean that annual under-5 infant deaths and annual avoidable deaths from deprivation will increase hugely from the shocking 2020 values of 76,000 and 106,000, respectively.
It gets worse. 32 million Muslim have died from violence, 5 million, and from imposed deprivation (27 million) in 20 Muslim countries invaded by the US Alliance in the post- 9/11 US War on Terror. 1.7 million Americans die annually from ”lifestyle choice” and “political choice” reasons, and accordingly 34 million Americans have died thus since 9/11. The War on Terror has had a long-term accrual cost of $6 trillion, and accordingly successive US Administrations have committed $6 trillion to killing over 30 million Muslims abroad rather than trying to save over 30 million American lives at home (see my books “US-imposed Post-9/11 Muslim Holocaust & Muslim Genocide” (2021) and “Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950” (second edition, 2022)).
Russia is a major exporter of wheat, oil and gas. The Ukraine is also a major wheat producer. The Russian invasion of Ukraine has already resulted in markedly increased global oil, gas and wheat prices. Millions may die from starvation in the Developing World as a result of this reckless and evil war-making.
It is the inability to buy food that kills in famines. Thus in the WW2 Bengal Famine the price of the staple rice rose up to 4-fold, and those who could not buy enough food simply starved. In the WW2 Bengal Famine (WW2 Indian Holocaust, WW2 Bengali Holocaust) 6-7 million Indians were deliberately starved to death by the British with Australian complicity for strategic reasons in Bengal, Odisha, Bihar and Assam. Australia was complicit by refusing to supply its starving ally India with food from its huge wartime grain stores. The Russian invasion of Ukraine will not just kill Russian soldiers and Ukrainians. Already 7.4 million people die avoidably from deprivation each year.
For a detailed and documented account see Gideon Polya, “West Rightly Supports Ukraine But Ignores Brutally Occupied Palestine”, Countercurrents, 1 March 2022: . Whether US invasion or Russian invasion, war is the penultimate in racism and genocide the ultimate. Peace is the only way but silence kills and silence is complicity. Please call out all wars and please inform everyone you can.

2022-06-24 01:28:28.000000

Did Israel Violate International Humanitarian Law During Operation Protective Edge?

by Admin

by Pat Andriola

An essay from the Emory International Law Review journal.

“On July 8, 2014, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) announced that they had launched “Operation Protective Edge,” a military intervention into the Gaza territory. The IDF stated that the goals of Protective Edge were “aimed to retrieve stability to the residents of southern Israel, eliminate Hamas’ capabilities and destroy terror infrastructure operating against the State of Israel and its civilians.” Less than two months later, at least 2,131 Palestinians had been killed, 1,473 of whom were civilians and 501 children.”

2022-06-24 01:28:28.000000