MaoriTV documentary on the Freedom Flotilla to Gaza

28 Jul


Native Affairs report, MaoriTV, 27 July 2015

Palestinian supporters call it a “Freedom Flotilla”. The Israeli Government named it the “Terror Flotilla.”

Last month five vessels planned to set sail for Gaza, their mission to try and break the Israeli-imposed naval blockade of Gaza.

On board the ships were human rights activists, artists and political figures representing 17 countries, along-side media from around the globe.

One of the journalists on board was our Native Affairs reporter Ruwani Perera, who, along with cameraman Jacob Bryant, were there to observe the voyage.

Here’s their account of what happened on board:

Destination Gaza – Part 1

What was supposed to be a flotilla of five became a quest for one Swedish fishing boat, [The ‘Marianne’ – pictured above] on course for Gaza.

On board was our Native Affairs reporter Ruwani Perera and cameraman Jacob Bryant.  They would soon be joined by politicians and a former president, and face the might of the Israeli Defence Force.

Here’s part two of our special report:

Destination Gaza – Part 2

Freedom Flotilla documentary to be screened on Monday

22 Jul


MaoriTV plans to broadcast their exclusive documentary on the recent Freedom Flotilla III to Gaza on ‘Native Affairs’ at 8:30pm this Monday, 27 July.

Facilitated by Kia Ora Gaza, senior MaoriTV journalist, Ruwani Perera (above), and award-winning camera operator, Jacob Bryant,  joined other media documenting this international civilian initiative to challenge Israel’s inhumane blockade of Gaza.

Here is a link to the Native Affairs promo for the documentary:


Israel exploits Syrian chaos to plan looting of Golan oil

22 Jul


Israeli soldiers patrol near the occupied Syrian town of Majdal al-Shams in the Golan Heights in 2011. [Oren Ziv ActiveStills]

By Paul Fallon, The Electronic Intifada, 21 July 2015

According to Geoff Rochwarger, CEO of Afek, energy independence is the new Zionism.

The Afek oil and gas exploration company has almost completed its second drilling test in the Golan Heights, a part of Syria which Israel has occupied since 1967 and annexed in violation of international law.

The test is part of a three-year programme to see if hydrocarbons in the area could lead to oil or gas for Israel.

Israel is fuel-poor and its domestic energy woes could be eased in the interim if the government progresses on deals in relation to the Tamar and Leviathan gas fields in the Mediterranean Sea.

In addition, Israel is now taking advantage of the chaos in Syria to look for precious resources to extract from the occupied Golan Heights.

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Iran Is Not The Threat. By Miko Peled

22 Jul


Miko Peled during his NZ visit 2013. (Photo: Kia Ora Gaza)

“Neither Iran, Hezbollah or Hamas pose a threat to Israel, they pose a threat to the Israeli occupation and oppression of Palestinians.”

By Miko Peled, ‘Tear Down The Wall’ blog, 21 July 2015.

Benjamin Netanyahu’s name is in the headlines again, this time along with the news of the Iran deal. He rejects the agreement, he called it a disastrous historic mistake and he did not miss the opportunity to say that Israel will defense itself, etc. Two questions must be raised in light of Netanyahu’s outrage: The first is why? And the second is why does anyone care?

Netanyahu opposes the Iran deal because the Iran supports Hamas and Hizbollah. Both of these organizations were created in response to Israeli aggression and occupation, the former in Palestine, and the latter in South Lebanon. It was the dedicated resistance of Hezbollah that ended the twenty-year Israeli occupation of Southern Lebanon, and made it possible for Lebanese people to return to their homes in Southern Lebanon. Hamas was democratically elected to govern. It maintains some semblance of a government in the Gaza strip, something they would not be able to do without Iranian money because Israel imposed a siege on the strip, locking its 1.7 million people in an open air prison. Hamas is also committed to resistance to the brutal Israeli occupation of Palestine, resistance that is obvious particularly in Gaza. During a fifty-one day attack on Gaza in the summer of 2014 Israel murdered over two thousand Palestinians in cold blood and so in reality Israel is the problem and not Iran, Hamas or Hezbolllah. Furthermore, neither Iran, Hezbollah or Hamas pose a threat to Israel, they pose a threat to the Israeli occupation and oppression of Palestinians.

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A Blight Unto Nations

20 Jul


 By Leslie Bravery, The Daily Blog, 19 July 2015

It is one year now since Israel’s brutal Operation Protective Edge blitz all but obliterated much of the defenceless Gaza Strip. The 50-day assault was yet another tragic human rights outrage among countless other violations of international law perpetrated by Israel in the process of advancing the Zionist project. Lasting for more than three generations, the international community has stood by and allowed this process of discrimination and ethnic cleansing to continue. This year also marks the tenth anniversary of the start of the international Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign. BDS is the world majority’s response to the Israeli state’s as yet unaccounted-for violations of Palestinian human rights. The campaign is a reminder to world leaders of the international community’s responsibility for the plight of the Palestinian people; a people who were so contemptuously turned into refugees through foreign interference.

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International Criminal Court to revisit Gaza Flotilla crimes

18 Jul

PressTV report, 17 July 2015

The Israeli premier has condemned the International Criminal Court for a request to reopen a probe into Israel’s attack on an aid flotilla in 2010. PressTV asked Kia Ora Gaza spokesperson, Roger Fowler, to comment.

ALSO: see below a report from the Middle East Eye plus the typical Israeli media reaction to the ‘harsh’ and ‘shocking’ decision to reopen a full criminal investigation into Israel’s murderous attack on the Gaza peace flotilla in 2010 [Jerusalem Post]

Middle East Eye report, 16 July 2015

ICC orders prosecutor to reconsider probing Israel’s Gaza flotilla raid

ICC’s judges ruled that the prosecutor on the case made errors in determining the gravity of 2010’s flotilla attack

The International Criminal Court (ICC) on Thursday ordered its chief prosecutor to review a decision not to probe Israel’s deadly raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla in 2010, saying “errors were made”.

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Why Palestinians resist: The logic of life and death in Gaza

17 Jul

IMG_0696Gaza City graffiti, Nov 2012 (Photo: Kia Ora Gaza)

By Ramzy Baroud, Ma’an News Agency, 16 July 2015.

Another row is brewing between Israel and the Palestinian resistance movement, Hamas, over the release of Avraham Mengitsu, an Israeli citizen who, according to Israeli military sources, ‘slipped into Gaza’ on September 7, 2014.

The circumstances of Mengitsu’s entry into Gaza remain unclear, especially since Hamas’ political leader, Khaled Mashaal, denied that the military wing of Hamas is holding the Israeli citizen.

According to Israel’s Defense Ministry, another Israeli is also being held in Gaza. A gag order on Mengitsu’s disappearance was just lifted, but another remains in effect regarding the other, allegedly, detained Israeli.

Indirect negotiations for their release are yet to begin, according to Israeli officials.

For Hamas, who, according to Mashaal, has been approached by Israel via European interlocutors, no discussion will be possible until Israel releases 71 Palestinians. This is the number of Palestinians who were re-arrested soon after they were released in 2011 following a prisoner exchange between Hamas and Israel. At the time, a prisoner swap secured the release of 1,027 Palestinians (477 reportedly affiliated with Hamas) and Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier who was captured and held by Hamas fighters for five years.

The new prospect of negotiations will allow Hamas to raise the issue of Israel’s violation of the last prisoner exchange agreement. By re-arresting freed prisoners, future agreements with Israel would appear frivolous and seem like a temporary measure to secure Israel’s immediate interests, without full and unconditional commitment regarding the freedom of newly released Palestinian prisoners.

Being the occupying power with unhindered access to occupied Palestinian territories in Jerusalem and the West Bank, Israel can apprehend any Palestinian they accuse of ‘terrorism,’ without much proof or serious due process. The Israeli efforts at choking any form of resistance, armed or otherwise, is often supported by the Palestinian Authority, whose security goons are fully trained and equipped to crush any dissent in the West Bank. A recent foray of arrests, targeting mainly Hamas supporters and other dissenting voices, is the latest proof.

Many cynics questioned the prisoner exchange in 2011. Some asked, “What is the value of securing the release of hundreds of prisoners if they can be re-arrested by Israel at whim?”

Palestinians continue to face the same dilemma of every national liberation movement in modern times. Native Americans, too, haggled with the same dilemma as they faced genocide and annihilation.

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