Katsav's Visit Protest

3rd March 2005

Palestinians, Israelis and Australians "Jewish, Christian and Muslim"

Protest Against Israel's Policies in Palestine

Many participated in the protest gathering on Thursday 3 March 2005, marking the public lecture and visit to Melbourne by the Israeli President, Moshe Katsav.

While limited in numbers the gathering was vocal and enthusiastic, with a mix of Arab, Jewish and other Australian supporters. A number of people provided inspiring and important speeches of which two were Jewish speakers, one an Israeli, and two Palestinians.

As members of the Palestinian and Arab communities we made a concerted effort to invite Jewish supporters and to emphasise the gathering was organised to mark the abuse and violation of Palestinian human rights by the state of Israel. As such, the gathering and its vocal contributions were specifically organised to target the President of Israel as a political representative of the state; to separate questions of religion and ethnicity from the important political issues.

In this endeavour, the gathering was a great success. Our Jewish supporters were made to feel welcome and part of the camaraderie as equal participants contributing towards these political goals. It is important to also note that all protesters adhered to the specific instructions to reject any "anti-Semitic" activity; including racist or vilifying language, verbal abuse, slogans, banners or signs.
It is important to demonstrate that our political views in support of human rights proclaim a universal equality of rights, the rule of law and justice, with no tolerance for racism, discrimination or bigotry of any kind. Thank you for ensuring our protest met those aims.
We look forward to your participation in ensuring the success of future protests.