The road to hell is paved with good intentions.
The world is full of conflict. Whether it is in Afghanistan where every woman seems to be in trouble or it is Bangladesh where religious minorities seem to be in trouble.
The Middle East has multiple, long-standing conflicts which have been simmering and sometimes boiling over, for centuries.
Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) Australia is a vehemently anti-Israel organization which rejects the very idea of Israel as a State in which the Jewish people, after centuries of dispossession and persecution, once again control their own lives and future. And now some BDS leaders are trying to bring that conflict here.
Some Greens leaders have joined together with BDS Australia in an attempt to deprive the Australian people of our diverse arts and culture through its world-famous Sydney Festival. This is contrary to the Greens own core values of social justice and peace-building. The Greens, who are supposed to make the earth and Australia more liveable for our great grandchildren seem to be spending too much of their good intentions on overseas conflicts.
Some Greens Party leaders have, in the past, tried to spread Hinduphobia in Australia using NSW state Parliament privileges. Although their effort has been refuted by all walks of political life in the Parliament, it has created a fear among peace loving Australian Hindus. While non-violence is a core value of the Greens, they have not spoken against Hindu girls being kidnapped in Pakistan, Hindus & Sikhs being targeted by religious fanatics in Afghanistan and killings of minority Kashmiri Pandit Hindus in Kashmir. There is a long list of such atrocities that any one professing non-violence would condemn. Greens leader seems to be cherry picking as if only some overseas incidents deserve all their attention while others can be ignored.
The world is not a peaceful place for many of its inhabitants. But Australia stands out as a place of peace and harmony. Australians have compassion for those suffering and fighting with each other overseas in their homelands. Thanks to the strength of public opinion among Australian citizens, these external conflicts have not been allowed to be imported into our multicultural and tolerant home here in NSW.
BDS Australia have, like many of us, taken sides in one such conflict. The endorsement of the anti- Israel boycott by the internationally-proscribed terrorist group Hamas highlights the sinister nature of the BDS campaign.
Please do not hurt our Multi-Cultural Australia
Please do not deprive Australians of the Arts and Culture that the world (including in its not so stable regions) has to offer. Please do not boycott the Sydney Festival and force cancellations of Arts performances. Let us work to solve the conflicts of the world but PLEASE, do not bring these conflicts home. Please do not divide our multicultural Australia.
We stand against these boycotts and commend the Sydney Festival for its stance against them.
By: Surinder Jain, Hindu Council of Australia.