The Australian Friends Of Palestine Association is a South Australian activist group that campaigns for the human rights of the Palestinian people.
Since 2010 one of its campaigns has been against the presence of Seacret cosmetics shops in South Australia. The reason for this is that Seacret is an Israeli company that uses minerals extracted from Palestine's portion of the Dead Sea in its products. Thus, Seacret uses the illegal Israeli occupation of the West Bank to steal Palestinian resources.
On the first of November, 2012, the Australian Friends Of Palestine Association will have its 2012 fundraising dinner. The scheduled guest speaker at the event is former Australian Foreign Minister Gareth Evans.
As Australia's Foreign Minister, Gareth Evans did the following:
- co-signed the Timor Gap Treaty with the then Indonesian Foreign Minister Ali Alatas. The Timor Gap Treaty was an agreement between Australia and Indonesia to use Indonesia's illegal, genocidal annexation of East Timor to steal East Timor's oil resources. Thus, Gareth Evans did to East Timor what Seacret does to Palestine. The two situations are identical.
- sought closer military ties between Australia and Indonesia.
- defended Indonesia's human rights record in East Timor.
- recommended Ali Alatas for the Order of Australia medal.
Gareth Evans has refused to admit that his conduct towards East Timor was in any way morally or legally wrong.
To get an understanding of the gross hypocrisy of having Gareth Evans as the guest speaker at the Australian Friends Of Palestine Association's fundraising dinner, imagine how the organisation would feel about somebody who treated Palestine the same way Gareth Evans treated East Timor. That is, how would the Australian Friends Of Palestine Association feel about somebody who supported Israel's illegal occupation of Palestine, used Israel's illegal occupation of Palestine to steal Palestinian resources, defended Israel's human rights record in Palestine, sought closer military ties between Australia and Israel, recommended Israel's Foreign Minister for the Order of Australia medal, and refused to admit any wrongdoing?
Furthermore, one of the portfolios Gareth Evans held prior to becoming Foreign Minister was Australian Minister for Resources and Energy, which he held from 1984 to 1987. In 1985 the "National Times" newspaper reported that Gareth Evans had a meeting with the then Australian Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Clyde Holding. The meeting was about the issue of Indigenous Australian land rights. At this meeting, Gareth Evans put to Clyde Holding what Evans described as "the three S's" that had to be accepted. They were that exploration and mining were not to be STOPPED on Indigenous Australian land, that explorers and mining companies were not to be STUFFED AROUND when undergoing administrative procedures for applications to explore and mine, and that mining companies were not to be SCREWED by unreasonable claims for compensation and royalties by Indigenous Australian communities.
This raises the question: How would the Australian Friends Of Palestine Association feel about somebody who treated the issue of Palestinian land rights in the same way that Gareth Evans treated the issue of Indigenous Australian land rights?
" A Secret Country" by John Pilger, pages 48-49