We’ve had a busy month at the AJDS hosting a very successful national speaking tour of the Israeli activists: Micha Kurz and Sahar Vardi.
In case you missed it - Micha Kurz is the co-director of Grassroots Jerusalem and its Merkaz al Kul (Centre for All) enabling urban and human rights activists and organizations in Jerusalem to connect, share knowledge and coordinate on human rights activities. He was one of the co-founders of Breaking the Silence (Shovrei Shtika), an organization of ex-Israeli Defence Force soldiers who have served in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem.
Sahar Vardi is a 22 year old peace activist and ‘refusenik’ from Jerusalem. In August 2008 she refused her mandatory military service. She was released from military prison in January 2009 and has been working since with the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions and the Sheikh Jarrah Solidarity Movement promoting equal rights in Jerusalem, and speaking to different communities, including Jewish communities abroad, about the importance of a strong Jewish voice for peace.
Micha and Sahar spoke at 15 public events in Adelaide, Canberra, Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. They also had meetings with people across the country including 35 MPs in Canberra on a lobbying trip arranged by the Australia Palestine Advocacy Network. See report here.
As well as speaking to Christian groups and Palestine solidarity groups they had a particular focus on speaking to Jewish communities.
We’ve collected some of the media their trip generated here:
- Audio from presentation at Parliamentary Friends of Palestine function at Parliament house, Melbourne – 28/8/12
Print and photos:
- Opinion article by Robert Newton Vice-president of Australian Palestine Adovacy Network in the Canberra Times 20/8/12