February 3, 2024
Pro-Palestine "toolkits" that encourage civil disobedience to "threaten business as usual", provide a script to make daily calls to Foreign Minister Penny Wong, and lobby the State of Origin teams to ditch their Puma-made kits are circulating among activist networks.
One toolkit also provides "counter arguments" for activists, which include comparing the Gaza Strip to the Nazi concentration camps, that Israel had no right to defend itself, and how there was a "migration of pedophiles" to Israel.
The handbooks have been called "appalling" by political and Jewish leaders.
An 104-page "Call to Action Australian Toolkit" produced by "DEiFY", which describes itself as a "queer, black, Indigenous collective based in the settler colony of Australia", was produced in December and later shared by the Australia Palestinian Advocacy Network.
"Institutions within the settler colony of 'Australia' are becoming fearful of mass mobilisation, and resistance against state power and Zionism," the toolkit reads, saying activists should make daily calls to Senator Wong.
"Calling and emailing Penny Wong is a tangible daily action you can take to pressure on the government. To send daily emails with minimal effort, copy and paste the same script into multiple draft emails and 'schedule send' every day of the week. You only need to call once daily, so your calls are not considered harassment." The toolkit provides a script for activists to use when emailing or calling the minister.
"My name is (XXX)," the script reads, urging the government to "cut all ties" with Israel. "I am contacting you about the Palestinian genocide. I find Australia's silence about Israel's war crimes . deeply shameful and upsetting." The toolkit also listed organisations activists could target as part of the Boycott, Diversify and Sanction Movement, including the Queensland Maroons and NSW Blues, who don Puma-made jerseys for the annual State of Origin.
The movement has targeted the German-brand due to its ties with the Israeli Football Association.
The toolkit also urged "civil disobedience" to "threaten business as usual until demands are met".
"It (civil disobedience) acts as a public rejection of institution authority - a settler colonial government ." it reads, referencing port-blocking protests.
The toolkit targets media outlets, urging activists to complain about language that could undermine the Palestinian cause, "avoid The Daily Telegraph and affiliates", boycott Schwartz Media mastheads, and "hold the ABC to account".
"(The ABC) claims to provide impartial coverage of the crisis . (although) many concerns have been raised about the favouring and prioritising of pro-Israel and Zionist perspectives," it reads.
One handbook, produced by "Advocating for Palestine", provides "counter arguments" for activists. "Israel is a Western colony, (which) forms the basis for both the British endorsement of the declaration of the state of Israel and the unwavering support of the US," it reads.
"(President) Biden has stated, 'if there were no Israel, the US would have to invent one to protect its interests in the region'." US President Joe Biden did not say in his October visit to Tel Aviv that Israel was "invented to protect its interests in the region", rather it was "born to be a safe place for Jewish people".
The handbook said Gaza "met all the criteria of a concentration camp" and that the Israel Defence Forces' actions were "what Nazis did (at) concentration camps".
Opposition home affairs spokesman James Paterson called the tactics appalling. "While every Australian is free to organise peacefully for their political views, it is abhorrent that activists are resorting to appalling tactics like comparing the Jewish state to Nazi Germany," the senator said.
"This is historically ignorant, offensive and corrosive to social cohesion." The handbook urged activists to make clear that "Israel was not a democracy", the conflict was not a "war", and that Israel had no right to defend itself.
It also noted an apparent "migration of pedophiles" to Israel.
"Numerous convicted child molesters are escaping prosecution by migrating to Israel . (whereby) any Jewish person can move to Israel and automatically gain citizenship," it said.
NSW Jewish Board of Deputies President David Ossip said there was a "calculated effort to impute a sinister intent to Jews engaging in public debate" that drew on stereotypes. "In contrast, co-ordinated pro-Palestinian initiatives such as these propaganda manuals which effectively script activists with disinformation, escape all scrutiny," he said.
Executive Council of Australian Jewry co-CEO Alex Ryvchin criticised the movement's tactics.
"Yet they (pro-Palestine groups) evade scrutiny or accountability by deflecting attention to their opponents, the vaunted 'Jewish lobby', by appealing to stereotypical views and conspiracy theories about Jewish money and power," he said.
DEiFY and Advocating for Palestine were both contacted but didn't respond.