A new organisation has recently formed called the Australia Palestine Advocacy Network (APAN), of which IAJV hopes to be a part. Here are some excerpts from the APAN press release with details of the organisation. For more see their website www.apan.org.au
The people of Palestine are asking for urgent and significant intervention from the international community into their situation. The daily human rights abuses they suffer under the Israeli occupation are many – loss of land through settlements; military strikes on civilian targets; the ongoing effect of the blockade of Gaza; blocking of access to water supplies; severe restrictions on freedom of movement; and many others.
APAN has been formed by civil society groups to give a national voice to the Palestinian experience, with an aim of bringing balance and truth to the public debate in Australia about the Israel-Palestine conflict.
APAN was officially established as an Incorporated Association in May 2011. APAN’s founding membership base includes representatives of: Palestinian groups; unions; churches; existing Palestinian solidarity organisations; and Jewish groups. APAN’s executive reflects this diversity [see below].
Since its formation APAN has:
• Met with Kevin Rudd’s Chief of Staff to introduce ourselves and our key concerns;
• Sponsored a petition supporting the Palestinian UN statehood bid to the Australian Parliament;
• Participated in a joint statement with other groups supporting the right to peacefully protest through the BDS campaign;
• Had opinion pieces published in the Canberra Times;
• Held a private meeting with Palestinian Special Envoy Dr Khatib when in Australia;
• Appointed an experienced campaigner as our part time Executive Officer.
APAN’s objectives are as follows:
1. To advocate for peace and justice in Palestine/Israel based on UN resolutions and international and humanitarian law;
2. To advocate for an end to Israeli military control and occupation of the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza;
3. To advocate for the right to self-determination of the Palestinian people in a viable and democratic Palestinian state;
4. To raise awareness of the Australian public, and their leaders, by providing accurate information concerning the Palestinian people and their rights;
5. To support capacity-building initiatives of institutions and civil society in Palestine;
6. To encourage, co-ordinate and build the capacity of organisations which pursue the above objectives in Australia;
7. To foster alliances between organisations which pursue the above objectives, in Australia, Palestine and the international community;
8. To do all things incidental to attainment of the above objectives
The APAN Executive includes:
Revd James Barr, President
Robert Newton, Vice President
Wendy Turner, Secretary
Issa Shaweesh, Treasurer
Samira Ghabar, Executive Member
Kris Hanna, Executive Member
The Rev. Gregor Henderson, Executive Member
Peter Jennings, Executive Member
Peter Slezak, Executive Member