Max Brenner’s customers will not just be dining on sweets and chocolates this week, as a group of pro-Palestine protestors stage another protest outside its Parramatta store.
The Palestine Action Group and its supporters are demanding the Strauss Group, which owns Max Brenner, stops supporting Golani troops participating in the Israeli defence forces occupying Palestine. The Strauss Group has been a target of the international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign supporting the Palestinian cause for boycott against Israel.
Palestinian supporters have passionately requested Federal Government intervention.
“We want the Australian Government to stop supporting businesses that support Israel,” said lead organiser Patrick Harrison. “Australia must lead in the fight against Palestinian apartheid.”
Socialist Alliance co-convenor, Rachel Evans agreed with the anti-Israeli sentiments. “We want Max Brenner to shut down under the weight of public condemnation,” said Ms Evans.
The same forthright views were expressed last year when 19 people were arrested in Melbourne, although none were convicted.
“This protest is not against the law,” said Mr Harrison. “We just want the last remaining colonial occupation in the world to end.”
Another group, Jews against the Occupation, believes the fight against Max Brenner is justifiable, despite only forming a subsidiary of the Strauss Group.
“The Strauss Group is culpable for these actions, but the insidious nature of its chocolate shop chain spreading throughout Australia as if it is some kind of friendly benign business, but in actuality has a nasty militaristic streak makes it worth highlighting,” said Jews Against the Occupation member, Haskell Musry.
Mr Musry and Mr Harrison agreed repeat protests are necessary to make their cause heard.
“The protest movement including this one will draw worldwide attention to the occupation and Israeli excesses, and help bring peace and justice for Palestinians,” said Mr Musry. “Australian public will become aware there are many businesses in Australia connected to Israeli policies that exploit Palestinians.”
Professor in Social and Political Psychology at Murdoch University, Craig McGarty said: “Protests do not confirm change will occur, but no action is also diagnostic that no change will happen.
“Protests are tactical for organisations to raise attention and consciousness. They are undertaken to call into legitimacy certain social systems.”
And this is the intention of the protestors when they march from Parramatta Town Hall to Westfield Shopping Centre, where Max Brenner is located. The Group chose the Parramatta store to steer away from the label they are just another inner city ‘fashionable boycott of the week’.
About 100-150 people are expected to turn up at the protest which is scheduled to start at 6.30pm on September 20.