Illawarra Greens. Social justice, environmental sustainability, peace and non-violence and grassroots democracy.

Letter of support from Senator Lee Rhiannon


I am sorry I cannot join you at today’s protest. Your action in highlighting the link between manufacturing  here in the Illawarra and crimes of the Israeli armed forces is very important. I believe most Australians would share our opposition to material that will be used in Israeli military equipment being manufactured here.

Let’s remember the Israeli Armed forces commit war crimes.

They send their war planes and their bombs into heavily populated civilian areas and kill thousands of Palestinians indiscriminately.

Israel uses its weapons to maintain a suffocating siege on Palestinians living in Gaza and to violently oppress and control Palestinians living in the West Bank. 

Israel has turned the military occupation of the land that was invaded in 1967 into a laboratory for developing and fine tuning new military technology, which is then promoted to the world as field tested. Arms sales have a tendency to pick up in the aftermath of Israeli military operations waged on Palestinian civilians.

I have always and will continue to support our local manufacturing industries. Australia needs to increase its onshore manufacturing capacity and capabilities. But not when that manufacturing is being used to participate in the ugly practice of war – and especially when it is being utilised by a country that has been and continues to be in violation of numerous UN resolutions, in violation of numerous international laws and a country that contravenes many international agreements. 

Our manufacturing plants and our workers should not – and must not – partake in the market of profiting from violence, death, and destruction of innocent civilians. The contract that has been established between Bisalloy and the Rafael armed systems manufacture does not strengthen Australia’s position on the world market. The contract between Bisalloy and Rafael implicates Australia as an active agent in Israeli war crimes.

Congratulations to the organisers of today’s rally. We must continue to raise our collective voice in support of  Palestine.