First steps towards BDS

On Monday 24 June 2024, the City of Sydney passed a historic motion to investigate banning suppliers and investments from companies involved in weapons, or that are complicit in human rights abuses in Palestine including in the illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian Territories. 

This motion comes after the City of Sydney Council voted in October 2023 in support of peace, and in December 2023 for a Greens motion in support of ceasefire.

The decision tonight makes City of Sydney one of the largest Councils in Australia to move towards divestment of suppliers and investments from companies that profit from or are complicit in weapons and human rights abuses by the State of Israel throughout the occupied Palestinian Territories.

The motion states that council will prepare a report “to ensure that Council is not purchasing from companies involved in weapons on human rights abuses.” This includes the 97 companies which are currently named by the United Nations as having, “directly or indirectly, enabled, facilitated or profited from the construction and growth of settlements.”

Link to the Motion passed by City of Sydney Council

When speaking to the motion, Greens Councillor Sylvie Ellsmore said:

“This council has a strong investments policy that commits us not to invest in activities that involve the abuse of human rights or weapons.

“This crucial first step will allow the council to identify what is needed for the City of Sydney to divest and/or change any procurement procedures in regards to companies that are involved in or profiting from human rights violations, including the illegal occupation of the settlements in Palestinian territories, and the supply of weapons.

“Boycotts work because they send an important message to governments and companies about our values. And they work because they remove real, tangible, financial support to those perpetrate violence and oppression.”