Practical solutions for peace, justice and reconciliation

Labor Party and union members in Australia, looking for progressive solutions to support peace, justice and reconciliation for Palestine and Israel , will hold a break through Fringe Event at the 2009 National Conference of the Australian Labor Party in Sydney later this month.

The event is being sponsored by the Australian Workers’ Union with the support of the Maritime Union of Australia.

Ambassador Izzat Abdulhadi, the head of the Palestinian general delegation in Canberra, will be a key speaker at the ALP Fringe Event.

The ALP Fringe Event is being held at the Australian National Maritime Museum theatre on Thursday July 30, 2009, at 5.30pm.

It is open to all   National Conference delegates, ALP members and supporters.

AWU looking for constructive alternatives to BDS

The National Secretary of the Australian Workers’ Union, Paul Howes will chair the panel discussion at the Fringe Event, which brings together, for the first time, key agenda setters in this debate in Australia.

Paul Howes, as a founding Executive member of Trade Unions Linking Israel and Palestine (TULIP), is looking for constructive alternatives to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement which has undermined trust building between unions on both sides of the Green Line.

Pace-setting examples of union trust-building programs

This event – which is expected to attract a huge and diverse crowd – will be opened by Paddy Crumlin, National Secretary of the Maritime Union of Australia.

The MUA leader will show a short video, produced by the International Transport Workers Federation, about a joint Palestine-Israel trade union project bringing together Palestinian and Israeli transport union leaders.

This is a pace setting example of co-operation between the two national union centres – other projects involving Israeli and Palestinian construction unions are now under active discussion.

Panel participants

The panel discussion will involve:

  • Ambassador Izzat Abdul Hadi, head of the Palestinian general delegation in Canberra
  • Robert Goot, President of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry
  • Michael Danby, Federal Labor MP and an active member of Parliamentary Friends of Israel
  • Janelle Saffin, Federal Labor MP and an active member of Parliamentary Friends of Palestine

Palestinian Ambassador a strong advocate for civil society and human rights

Mr. Abdulhadi was appointed, in 2006, as Ambassador to Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific, as part of a strategy by the Palestinian Authority to professionalise and upgrade the existing Palestinian diplomatic Corp.

Before coming to Australia the Ambassador was well known for his NGO activity,  strengthening Palestinian civil society, promoting human rights, democratic principles, human sustainable development and social justice through community development, policy research advocacy and networking.

After questions from the floor Mike Salah, current president of the Australian Palestinian Professionals Association (APPA ), will make some comments about the way forward for activists in the Australian labour movement, from an Australian-Palestinian perspective.