Marrickville slings out boycott

Further to this earlier post, the Australian Council whose mayor Fiona Byrne attempted to bring in an unpopular and possibly election-losing boycott of Israel is now about to vote it out. The reason Byrne gives is that it costs too much.

“Cr Byrne’s new motion, which calls for in-principle support to be maintained but no practical boycotts implemented, will be put alongside another motion from the independent councillor Victor Macri, who has opposed the boycott from the beginning.

His motion calls for it to be overturned and for the council to ”acknowledge that Australian foreign policy is the responsibility of the Commonwealth government and not local government”.

Cr Macri also asked the council’s general manager, Ken Gainger, how much money had so far been spent on the policy. Mr Gainger said any figure would be speculative.

”I am advised that council has not incurred any direct expenditure in administering this decision to date as no boycott is currently in place,” he says in meeting business papers.

But Mr Gainger also noted the controversy surrounding the boycott has become a ”distraction” for staff from other work.”

That’s a polite way of saying that it worried some people enough to take an energetic stand against this hostile, futile and inappropriate piece of foreign policy and kick it out.

Update: the boycott is gone, ongoing concern for the Palestinians is registered, some people got spat on and called pigs, others got called effing cowards, 18 councillors and a 3-hour meeting. Important to keep in mind that notoriety does not have to be a function of pro-Palestinian activisim. The trouble is, good news is no news – sadly the Palestinian activists we hear about tend to be the ones who are doing it wrong – driving their wedges, acting out their prejudices. So it has been in Marrickville.


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