“TEMPERATURES RISING” CONFERENCE A GREAT SUCCESS

The Coalition for Justice and Peace in Palestine would like to thank all participants and attendees for their valuable work in making “Temperatures Rising!“, the conference on Australian civil society and Palestinian freedom, held in Sydney at the University of Technology in May 2011, such a success.

We were privileged to hear such distinguished and passionate speakers from across Australia and around the world, and to participate in discussions on topics ranging from the Right of Return, to the Arab Spring, to local and national campaigning for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, to the lessons of anti-apartheid organising, to indigenous peoples’ struggles against racism and colonialism, to name only a few. We are also proud to have hosted the official launch of Artists Against Apartheid in Australia.

Speaking notes and audiovisual presentations from the conference will appear here as we receive them. Links to audio recordings made in plenary and workshop sessions will shortly be made available.

We sincerely hope this and any future conferences will strengthen Australian solidarity with the Palestinian struggle for freedom, self-determination and equality.

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A WELCOME FROM COSMOPOLITAN CIVIL SOCIETIES RESEARCH CENTRE

Cosmopolitan Civil Societies Research Centre,
University of Technology Sydney

‘Temperatures rising! Australian civil society & Palestinian freedom’

A Welcome from CCS

The CCS Research Centre is proud to be hosting the conference organised by the Coalition for Justice and Peace in Palestine on ‘Australian civil society & Palestinian freedom’. Our research centres on how cosmopolitanism and human solidarity informs the development of civil societies ‘from below’, so this conference is exactly linked to our research agenda. We are especially interested in researching how grassroots action by one society on behalf of another can influence social change, and Australian civil society action to support and promote Palestinian freedom is a key contemporary example of such grassroots action. As witnessed in recent controversies about sanctions against the Israeli state, there are important strategic political issues at stake that need to be debated, and we hope this conference will make an important contribution to these debates.

At CCS our research has a strong focus on ethno-national relations, and in particular, the relationships between government policy and ethnic hierarchy. We are sharply critical of ethnicised policymaking, where it marginalises, excludes or scapegoats, and creates cultural divisions and ethnic conflicts. We have asserted the intrinsic value of cultural diversity, of multicultural relations and cosmopolitan inclusivity, and have sought to bring these values into the policy field. We are critical of ethnocracy in all its forms, in the first instance in Australia, for instance as manifest in the recent derogation from the Racial Discrimination Act to enable discrimination against indigenous peoples in the Northern Territory. We are also critical of ethnocracy internationally, wherever ethnic hierarchy may be institutionalised by the state, including in countries such as Israel, or indeed in Palestine.

With regard to Israel-Palestine, members from the CCS research centre have had a long engagement with the question of Palestinian freedom, and have hosted key thinkers and representatives, including Tanja Reinhart, Ilan Pappe and George Bisharat. The Palestinian struggle for freedom remains a central global question of concern for us all, and of central importance for Australians given the continuing bipartisan political consensus in favour of the Israeli state. It is also of special significance in 2011 as the Arab democratic uprisings finally bury the mythologies of the ‘War on Terror’. As democratic solidarities erupt across the region, the political possibilities are expanding. Now is a very good time to be discussing solidarities for Palestinian Freedom, perhaps the best of times for many years.

Individual academic members of CCS hold a range of views on these issues; CCS encourages healthy debate about strategies that promote the freedoms of all citizens of Israel and Palestine. CCS sponsorship of the conference does not indicate CCS support for any particular political position on the Israel/Palestine question, other than a concern for democratic peaceful and civil resolution of conflicts within and between the Israeli and Palestinian peoples. In expressing solidarity for Palestinian freedom we also express our solidarity with civil society groups within both Israel and the Palestinian Occupied Territories who seek peaceful resolution to conflicts within and between Israeli and Palestinian peoples.

James Goodman
Coordinating Co-Director
Cosmopolitan Civil Societies Research Centre

Press Release: Palestine Solidarity Conference 14-15 May, 2011

The Coalition for Peace and Justice in Palestine is holding a conference on building Australian solidarity with the Palestinian struggle for justice, freedom and equality.

Click on the link below to read the full Press Release.

Press release, 09 May 2011 (.pdf)

For media inquiries contact:
Mr Ken Davis, Coalition for Justice and Peace in Palestine
041739 8167 – sydpalconf@coalitionforpalestine.org

TIMETABLE FOR TEMPERATURES RISING CONFERENCE, MAY 14-15, 2011

A draft conference timetable (.doc) is now available. Please note that small changes may still be made to this timetable.

CJPP ANNOUNCES SECOND GUEST SPEAKER FOR SYDNEY PALESTINE CONFERENCE

Dr Ibrahim G. Aoudé
Professor in the Department of Ethnic Studies, University of Hawaii, Manoa

The Coalition for Justice and Peace in Palestine would like to announce that Dr Ibrahim G. Aoudé will be a guest speaker at “Temperatures Rising!”, the conference on Australian civil society & Palestinian freedom, in Sydney on 14-15 May, 2011.

Dr Ibrahim G. Aoudé is a Professor in the Department of Ethnic Studies at the University of Hawaii, Manoa, and has been Chair of the Department since 2007 (and previously between 1995 and 2001). He received his Ph. D. in Political Science at the University of Hawaii, Manoa in 1980.

Dr Aoudé is the editor of Arab Studies Quarterly and one of two editors of the International Journal for Contemporary Iraqi Studies. His research interests include the Palestinian National Liberation movement,  the Palestinian diaspora and the civil rights of Arab Americans. His articles and book reviews have appeared in such journals as Peace and Policy, Social Analysis and Asian Studies Review. Mr Aoudé has spoken previously at conferences in Australia organised by the Australasian Middle East Studies Association and the Council of Australian Palestinians. Recently Mr Aoudé contributed the entry on “Inter-Arab Politics and Israeli-Palestinian Conflict” to the Encyclopedia of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, vol. 1 (Lynne Reiner Publishers, 2010), edited by Cheryl Rubenberg. Mr Aoudé is also the author of a book on political struggles in Lebanon, Lebanon: Dynamics of Conflict (Zed Books, 1985), under the name B.J. Odeh.

Dr Aoudé will be speaking on the relationship between the mass uprisings in the Arab region and the struggle for Palestinian national unity.

CJPP ANNOUNCES SYDNEY PALESTINE CONFERENCE GUEST SPEAKER

Ms Ghada Abu Ghalyoun
Palestinian Trade Union representative

The Coalition for Justice and Peace in Palestine is pleased to announce that Ms Ghada Abu Ghalyoun will be a guest speaker at “Temperatures Rising!”, the 2011 conference on Australian civil society & Palestinian freedom, in Sydney on 14-15 May, 2011.

Ms Abu Ghalyoun is Coordinator of the International Department and Coordinator of the Youth Department (a project funded by the Canadian Labor Congress) of the Palestine General Federation of Trade Unions (PGFTU), based in the central office in Nablus in the West Bank. She is also an executive committee member of the Graphic Workers Union, and Deputy Secretary of the Women’s Department of PGFTU.

Before joining the PGFTU, Ms Abu Ghalyoun was active in women and youth issues, leading women’s and youth groups in marginalized areas in advocacy actions to demand their rights as well as to play important roles in their communities.

Ms Abu Ghalyoun has represented the PGFTU at many international union events, such as:
• JILAF program for youth exchange –Japan, November 2000
• (UK) TUC Women’s Day, Britain, 2002
• ITUC Asia & Pacific (ITUC-AP) Regional Policy Review Workshop on informal economy –Jakarta, October 2008
• CFDT XI Annual Congress in Montpellier, France, June 2009.
• First Global Women’s Conference, ITUC, Brussels, October 2009.
• Mediterranean youth meeting, Italy, November 2009.
• ITUC-AP Training Seminar on Building and Effective Networks for Human and Trade Union Rights, Hong Kong, March 2010.
• CGIL Congress, Italy, April 2010.
• ITUC seminar on International Labour Standards, Brussels, April 2010
• ITUC-AP conference on violence against women, Singapore, 2010.
• ACV-CSC Congress, Ostend, Belgium, October 2010.

PGFTU is the largest union federation in Palestine, with 13 affiliates, all in the private sector. PGFTU is an affiliate of the International Trade Union Confederation, and its General Secretary Shaher Sa’ed is a vice-president of ITUC.

PGFTU is currently engaged in a mobilization around minimum wages in the Palestinian territories.

SYDNEY PALESTINE CONFERENCE ANNOUNCEMENT – MAY 14-15, 2011

Temperatures rising!
Australian civil society & Palestinian freedom:
analyses, resistances, solidarities, activisms

University of Technology, Sydney 14-15 May 2011

initiated by the Coalition for Justice & Peace in Palestine (Sydney) and
Cosmopolitan Civil Societies, University of Technology (Sydney)

It’s not just climate change: temperatures are rising with the uncertainty of government in Lebanon, the overthrow of the dictators in Tunisia and Egypt, the ever-widening intifada across North Africa and West Asia, the leaks which show the world the intransigence of the Israeli government… all of which interact with the deepening conflict in Palestine. 2011 is a time of decisive changes.

It’s time for a two day conference to analyse current political dynamics in the Middle East and help strategise how to make Australian solidarity with Palestinian self-determination more effective. It’s time to re-focus on the core rights of Palestinians, rights to national freedom, equality, democracy, land and peace… and fundamentally, the right of the refugees to return to their homes. The conference will invite speakers from a range of groups across Australia, and will take place on the 63rd anniversary of the Nakba. The conference will have talks, panel discussions and workshops. Some of the papers will be academic, some will be less formal. Taking part will be academics, activists, community members, students, and civil society advocates.

Guest speaker will be Ms Ghada Abu Ghalyoun, representing the Palestine General Federation of Trade Unions, based in Nablus.

The conference will have discussions to:

• Analyse the current political dynamics of Palestine, the Israeli state, and neighbouring countries
• Analyse contending pro-Palestine and pro-Israel forces in Australia, in media, unions, religious and ethnic communities, universities, political parties, local councils
• Reflect on strengths and weaknesses of the history of Palestine solidarity campaigns in Australia
• Research and strategise to build effective activism, particularly in relation to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign

For information and to express interest in talking or presenting at the conference, please email: sydpalconf@coalitionforpalestine.org