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To: Banyule City Council

BANYULE COUNCIL SOLIDARITY WITH PALESTINE

We, the undersigned request Banyule Council to:
Pass a motion in support of Palestine in line with the movements of neighbouring councils.

Why is this important?

As at 5th January 2024, at least 30,676 people have been killed and 58,960 wounded in Israeli attacks on Gaza since 7th October 2023 (Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor, 05/01/23). Amnesty International has called the situation in Palestine ‘apartheid’, while organisations such as Human Rights Watch have called it ‘collective punishment’ and an ’open air prison’.

Each year approximately 500-700 Palestinian children, some as young as 12 years old, are detained and held without charges, in some cases for years. Save the Children has reported that they are the only children in the world who are systematically prosecuted in military courts and that the treatment they receive is unlike that of Israeli children for similar crimes. With 86 percent of children beaten in Israeli detention, 69 percent are strip-searched and 42 percent are subject to injuries during their arrests. In 2015, Human Rights Watch found that Israeli military courts in the West Bank denied bail to Palestinian children in 72 percent of cases, while civil courts denied bail to Israealis in 17.9 percent of cases.

Over the past couple months several local councils have passed motions in support of Palestinians, including: Hume, Merri-bek, Darebin, Yarra, Maribyrnong, Wyndham and Dandenong.

While this may be happening thousands of miles away, many local Banyule community members are deeply affected by this conflict, particularly those who share religious, cultural, and familial ties to those in Palestine. With around 2.4 % of the Banyule constituency identifying as Muslim with 7% in Heidelberg Heights and 14.4% in Heidelberg West and Bellfield (ABS, Census of population and housing, 2016 and 2021) and a key priority of the council being ‘health and wellbeing’, we believe it is critical the council respond to the concerns of the community by showing solidarity with Palestine.

Any motion passed by Banyule City Council must contain these essential elements:
* A call for an immediate, unconditional and permanent ceasefire;
* A call for withdrawal of Israel from occupied Palestinian lands;
* An acknowledgement and mourning of the horrific loss of Palestinian and Israeli lives, and a condemnation of all attacks targeting civilians, particularly in hospitals, schools and places of worship, safe spaces that are protected under the International humanitarian law (IHL);
* An acknowledgement that the conflict did not begin on October 7th, but with the Israeli occupation of Palestine;
* A call to the immediate release of all Palestinian children from Israeli prisons.
* An acknowledgement that many global organisations and institutions have documented evidence of war crimes committed by Israel against Palestinians;
* Call upon the Australian Government to prosecute Australians fighting with the IDF in Gaza and the West Bank.
* A commitment to cancelling contracts with companies that support Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestine or profit from it (especially companies supplying equipment to the Israeli defence forces).
* Call upon the Australian Government to condemn Israeli war crimes, call for an immediate, unconditional and permanent ceasefire, and end all military, economic, political and diplomatic ties to Israel until it complies with its obligations under international law. This includes dismantling the institutionalised system of Apartheid as described by UN agencies, Human Rights Watch, B’Tselem and Amnesty International.
* An expression of solidarity with Banyule residents with family and friends in this region;
* A commitment to fly the Palestinian flag at Heidelberg Town Hall and the Greensborough offices;
* Deplore and actively stand against all forms of racism, including Islamophobia, anti-Palestinian racism and antisemitism within our local multicultural and multi-faith community.

How it will be delivered

This signatures from this and a corresponding paper version will be handed to Banyule City Council in February 2024.
In addition to signing this petition, it is very helpful for Banyule residents to send a short email to council sharing their thoughts. Send emails to: [email protected] cc:ing [email protected]

City of Banyule, VIC, Australia

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Updates

2024-02-13 18:00:47 +1100

Formal petition rejection email From Banyule City Council

"Thank you for your recently submitted petition requesting that Council pass a motion in support of Palestine.

As per Governance Rules Chapter 3 Division 15 Rule 69 Sub Rule 14(e) the petition relates to matters outside the powers of Council, and as such will not be tabled at the next Council Meeting on 26 February 2024. You can obtain a copy of the relevant Governance Rules on our website here and the specific section relating to petitions is outlined on page 34-36

I understand that the Mayor Councillor Tom Melican along with the Chief Executive Officer Allison Beckwith met with your colleagues and other representatives as an opportunity to acknowledge and discuss the petition and provided rationale as to why Council will not table the petition, which I understand you were unable to attend but are aware of the outcomes.

This email is a formal acknowledgement and explanation as to why the petition has been disallowed."

2024-02-12 16:34:44 +1100

MEDIA STATEMENT: BANYULE COUNCIL PALESTINE SOLIDARITY PETITION CO-CREATORS MEET WITH BANYULE COUNCIL CEO AND MAYOR

View the media statement here https://tr.ee/TArhbVJKv1

2024-01-22 16:05:12 +1100

100 signatures reached

2024-01-18 21:15:17 +1100

50 signatures reached

2024-01-17 08:44:13 +1100

25 signatures reached

2024-01-15 20:15:48 +1100

10 signatures reached