Thursday 25 January 2024
On the eve of our Survival Day, the Aboriginal Legal Service (NSW/ACT) Limited (ALS) is called by conscience to speak up for the people of Palestine in their ongoing Nakba – their 75-year-old catastrophe.
We stand with the Palestinian people, as we do with all colonised peoples. In our shared mourning, we uphold the tradition of Aboriginal-Palestinian solidarity in Australia.
The ALS is the nation’s oldest free legal service and we have always maintained that everyone deserves to be safe and treated fairly under the law, no matter who you are or where you come from. We fight every day for our people to safely pursue their dreams: for our children to go to school and be raised in the communities that love them; for our people to be free from prison cells and back on the land of our ancestors, so they can learn the irreplaceable stories of our Elders about how to care for each other and for Country, and to be healthy and grow old so that they can pass all of this on to future generations – for the benefit of all humankind.
All people in the world deserve to feel safe and thrive. All people deserve to have equal rights under the law. Yet, right now, not all people are safe nor equal under the law.
Israeli government leaders, with their extremist rhetoric currently under examination in the International Court of Justice, are trying to convince the world that the safety of some must come at the expense of others.
Tens of thousands of Palestinians have been murdered by the Israeli occupation’s remote-control bombs. Countless more people are missing under rubble. Everyone is exhausted, injured, sick, or starving, with nowhere to turn. We mourn for the people of Palestine, from the river to the sea. We mourn for the Israelis who have been killed or are still missing from their families. We mourn the generations of Palestinian children growing up behind concrete walls, barbed wire, and checkpoints, who have never known freedom and were never given a chance. We applaud the thousands of Jewish people in and outside of Israel standing for justice and peace.
All states have an obligation to contribute to upholding international law, including human rights and international humanitarian law.
We call on the Australian Government to step up their public efforts to secure an immediate and permanent ceasefire, and to keep working with the international community to intervene to prevent further genocide against the Palestinian people, including the sustained destruction of Palestinian cultural heritage. We call on the Australian Government to fast-track official recognition of the State of Palestine.
To honour the thousands of children no longer with us, every step from here must be to end the Israeli occupation and apartheid in Palestine, once and for all.
 See University of Melbourne, Black-Palestinian Solidarity (Conference Program, 6-8 November 2019). See also Suzanna Henty and Gary Foley (eds), Indigenous Solidarity: Testimony and Narratives (28 Magazine, August 2021).
Alyssa Robinson [email protected] 0427 346 017
Bart Denaro [email protected] 0427 950 312
Both Alyssa and Bart can also be contacted at [email protected]