Book review:

21 Jun

Our Vision for Liberation; Engaged Palestinian Leaders & Intellectuals Speak Out. Editors: Ramzy Baroud & Ilan Pappe

BOOK REVIEW: A book whose positive message and clear-eyed sense of purpose make it an inspirational read is recommended by SUE TURNER, Morning Star, 19 June 2022.

Continue reading

Filmmakers call out Doc Edge “art-washing” Israel racism and apartheid

20 Jun

Palestine Solidarity Network Aotearoa media statement, 20 June 2022

International filmmakers have called out Doc Edge for its “art-washing” of Israeli racism and apartheid against Palestinians.

The filmmakers letter is here https://tiny.one/DecoloniseDocEdge

Open Letter from DocEdge Festival Filmmakers Opposing Apartheid Funding

Tēnā koutou,

As filmmakers and participants in DocEdge Film Festival, we are deeply concerned by the festival’s continued acceptance of funding and official support from the Israeli Embassy. It is an offensive and unacceptable affiliation which we do not endorse.

Numerous human rights organisations conclude Israel’s systemic policies, practices, and human rights violations meet the legal definition of apartheid. In just over the last month alone Israel announced the ethnic cleansing of over 1000 more Palestinians, greenlit plans to build almost 4500 more homes in illegal Israeli settlements, and murdered Palestinian Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in cold blood before attacking pallbearers and mourners at her funeral. By affiliating with Israel DocEdge are legitimizing an abhorrent and racist apartheid regime which attacks and persecutes the very storytellers they claim to support. It is a blatant contrast to the spirit of a festival.

DocEdge have stated they’re “apolitical” and aim to “facilitate dialogue,” but they’ve actively chosen to accept funding from the apartheid Israeli government and avoided engaging those who’ve expressed concern over the funding since as early as 2018. Unflinching affiliation with an apartheid government discredits any notion of being apolitical. This is not an issue of ‘censorship’ or ‘pressure groups’, it is an issue of Israel using culture and art as a form of propaganda, curating an image of sophistication and philanthropy to whitewash its abhorrent crimes and justify apartheid.

Our concern is not fearing Israeli influence in the festival selection, rather, the credibility and legitimisation that Israel gains from DocEdge’s endorsement and platform. Our call isn’t to take ‘sides’ or censor films, it is to recognise human rights and to keep our cultural spaces free from the harm and normalisation of racism and colonisation.

Inspired by the international movement that contributed to ending apartheid in South Africa, it is critical to mobilise non-violent pressure on Israel to end its apartheid, persecution, and illegal occupation against Palestinians, making the ‘status quo’ inconvenient enough for Israel to care, and change.

It is in firm solidarity with the Palestinian people and the global recognition of human rights that we request DocEdge end their affiliation with the apartheid Israeli Embassy and divest from a relationship that endorses and legitimizes the systemic and racist persecution of Palestinians.

In solidarity,

Cole Yeoman  –  ‘The Milford Road’ – Director/Producer

Gabriel Shipton  –  ‘Ithaka’ – Producer & brother of Julian Assange

Haidy Kancler  –  ‘Melting Dreams’ – Director/ Writer

Neasa Ní Chainaín  –  ‘Young Plato’ – Director

David Rane  –  ‘Young Plato’ – Producer

Rich Felgate  –  ‘Finite: The Climate of Change’ – Director/ Producer

Julia Maria Diana Jansch  –  ‘Coming Home’ – Director/ Producer

Olha Zhurba  –  ‘Outside’ – Director

Kaia Kahurangi Jamieson  –  ‘Scope’ – Director/ Producer

The Festival has accepted financial sponsorship from the Israel Embassy and in turn Doc Edge has put the logo of this racist, apartheid state alongside other countries which are not racist. 

Doc Edge is helping Israel to “normalise” its racism and brutality against Palestinians.

The Doc Edge Film Festival organisers, Patron (Former Prime Minister Helen Clark) and Board have refused to engage in discussion or even respond to communications from PSNA.

Doc Edge is effectively running a protection racket for Israeli racism and brutality.

The organisers claim the festival is “apolitical” but this is untrue. Doc Edge expressed strong solidarity with Ukrainians living under Russian military invasion and occupation but have refused solidarity with Palestinians living under Israeli military occupation. 

John Minto, National Chair

Palestine Solidarity Network Aotearoa

johnminto@orcon.net.nz

Elbit unveils new armed robotic vehicle that Israel will test in 2023

20 Jun

Israel plans to test the unmanned M-RCV system in 2023. (Israel’s Defense Ministry)

By Seth J. Frantzman, DefenceNews, 19 June 2022

JERUSALEM — Israel will next year begin testing an unmanned combat vehicle armed with a 30mm autonomous turret, the Defense Ministry announced Monday in a news release.

The unveiling of the Medium Robotic Combat Vehicle comes in the wake of Israel announcing it is acquiring the Negeva combat vehicle for its special forces from Israel Aerospace Industries, and as the country takes delivery of the first Eitan armored personnel carrier for its Nahal brigade. The acquisitions are part of Israel’s focus on artificial intelligence and other autonomous technologies.

Promotional video by Elbit Systems, an Israel-based international defense electronics company, June 2022.
Continue reading

Israeli warplanes attack several sites in besieged Gaza Strip

18 Jun
An Israeli airstrike on Gaza. (Photo: Mahmoud Ajjour, The Palestine Chronicle)

Palestine Chronicle, June 18, 2022

Israeli warplanes attacked several locations in the besieged Gaza Strip on Saturday morning, causing heavy damage but no injuries, the official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.

WAFA correspondent said that a reconnaissance plane fired one missile at a location in the center of the Gaza Strip, followed by four other missiles fired by warplanes destroying the site and causing a fire.

A warplane also fired two missiles at Malaka site, east of Zayton neighborhood, southeast of Gaza City, destroying it in total.

According to the correspondent, a drone fired two missiles at a location north of Beit Lahiya, and another location east of Beit Hanoun, in the north of the Gaza Strip, destroying them in total and causing damage to nearby homes.

Israeli warplanes and drones are continuing to fly over the Gaza Strip and more explosions are being heard every now and then, the WAFA correspondent added.

Israel claims the attacks came after a missile was fired from the Gaza Strip and intercepted over the city of Asqalan, in the south of Israel.

Israeli navy ships, meanwhile, last night and again this morning attacked fishermen sailing in the south and north of the Gaza Strip and forced them to return to shore, according to local sources.

Link to original post: https://www.palestinechronicle.com/israeli-warplanes-attack-several-locations-in-besieged-gaza-strip-video/

(WAFA, PC, Social Media)

Video: Noam Chomsky on the future of Palestine & the global fight for justice

17 Jun

Palestinian author and Journalist, Ramzy Baroud and Italian writer, Romana Rubeo discuss Palestine and global issues with renowned intellectual, Professor Noam Chomsky.

Palestine Chronicle TV, broadcast 17 June 2022

Screen shot of the discussion

80% of Gaza children suffer depression after 15 years of blockade

16 Jun

800,000 children in Gaza have only ever known life under blockade, affecting their mental health, says report.

Children living in Gaza have had to survive several wars, and have few opportunities [File: John Minchillo/AP Photo]

By Maram Humaid, Gaza, Al Jazeera, 16 June 2022

Gaza City – Four out of five children in the Gaza Strip suffer from depression, sadness and fear caused by fifteen years of the Israeli blockade on the territory, a reportpublished by Save the Children has found.

The report, entitled “Trapped”, interviewed 488 children and 168 parents and caregivers in the Gaza Strip, following up on similar research that was conducted by the organisation in 2018.

INTERACTIVE The mental health of Gaza's children

The blockade of the Gaza Strip began in June 2007, severely affecting the territory’s economy, and heavily restricting travel. It has particularly affected children, who make up 47 percent of Gaza’s two million people.(Al Jazeera)

Continue reading

Join this on-line discussion with Noam Chomsky

15 Jun

Join this special on-line discussion with your questions as Ramzy Baroud and Romana Rubeo interview Professor Noam Chomksy on the Future of Palestine and the Global Fight for Justice –

NOTE: Aotearoa New Zealand start time: 6am Friday 17 June 2022.

Human Rights Watch report: Gaza – an ‘open-air prison

15 Jun

VIDEO: Human Rights Watch, 15 June 2022

This month marks the 15th anniversary of the Israeli government’s closure of the Gaza Strip, which effectively confines more than 2 million people into a 40-by-11-kilometer (25-mile by 7-mile) strip of land.

Israeli authorities’ sweeping restrictions on the movement of people and goods separate Palestinians there from the rest of the world.

Senior Web Producer Paul Aufiero speaks with Israel and Palestine Director Omar Shakir and Senior Research Assistant Abier Almasri about their new report, what’s happening inside Gaza, and the people whose lives are being put on hold.

Continue reading

15 years on: Israel’s blockade brings Gaza to the brink

15 Jun

VIDEO: Al Jazeera’s Youmna El Sayed reports from Gaza, 14 June 2022

A report from Human Rights Watch has condemned Israel’s blockade of Gaza. It says the siege has devastated Gaza’s economy and blocked nearly two million people’s access to work and education.

The 14th June marks 15 years of an Israeli air, land and sea blockade on the Gaza Strip, that is one of the most densly populated areas in the world. The UN says the humanitarian crisis in Gaza has reached unprecedented levels.

Palestine qualifies for 2023 AFC Asian Cup with convincing victory over Philippines

15 Jun

Palestine qualified for 2023 AFC Asian Cup. (Photo: via Asian Cup TW Page)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff, 15 June 2022

The Palestinian football community celebrated a major achievement on Monday, following another convincing victory in the Sports Center Stadium in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. The 4-0 victory against Philippines was the third win in a row in the AFC Asian Cup qualifiers. 

On June 8 and June 11, Palestine won 1-0 against Mongolia and 5-0 against Yemen, respectively. The previous wins for the Fidaii allowed them to claim a top spot in their Group B with 9 points.

Palestine made it to the Asian Cup finals twice before, first in 2015 and again in the last season. The latest series of victories means that Palestine will participate in the 2023 Asian Cup. 

“For Palestinians, sports has been a form of cultural resistance that allowed them to fight Israeli apartheid and military occupation, and against erasure,” Palestinian journalist and editor of the Palestine Chronicle Ramzy Baroud said.

“From symbols in football games, to chants, to the waving of the flag, Palestinians in Palestine and around the world see sports, especially football, as a form of collective assertion of identity,” Baroud added. 

Video: special book launch discussion

13 Jun

In its latest live show, Palestine Deep Dive celebrates the book launch of Our Vision for Liberation: Engaged Palestinian Leaders & Intellectuals Speak Out (Clarity Press).

Deep Dive’s host, Mark Seddon, is joined in the studio by the book’s co-editor Dr. Ramzy Baroud and one of its many Palestinian contributors, Dr. Ghada Karmi, joined via video link with co-editor Prof. Ilan Pappé.

The Palestine Solidarity Network Aotearoa has copies of ‘Our Vision for Liberation’ available at $35 each. To get your copy simply deposit $35 in the PSNA bank account here:

Account name: PALESTINE SOLIDARITY NETWORK
Account number: 38-9015-0849542-00

And then email secretary@PSNA.nz with your address and get your copy in the mail!

Big Thief call off Israel concerts

10 Jun
Big Thiefs Max Oleartchik and Adrianne Lenker
Big Thief’s Max Oleartchik and Adrianne Lenker at Pitchfork Music Festival 2021 (Barry Brecheisen/Getty Images)

Adalah Justice Project, 10 June 2022

Today indie band Big Thief canceled their concerts in apartheid Israel.

The decision to cancel is the moral high ground. It sends a clear message to our occupiers that they cannot escape accountability from people of conscience around the world.

We know Big Thief is now receiving blowback and pressure from right wing forces. We need to to show them they have our support for honoring the Palestinian call for boycott of apartheid Israel.

Continue reading

‘Join me in boycotting Doc Edge 2022 film festival’

8 Jun

Commenting on the nature of documentary filmmaking, Chris Huriwai, activist and co-producer of the documentary “Milked”, said “The motivation of documentary-making is to help create a better world. The decision of Doc Edge to accept funding from an apartheid state goes against the very spirit of the festival. I urge filmmakers and members of the public to join me in boycotting Doc Edge until they stop accepting Israeli sponsorship.”

Join the boycott of Doc Edge 2022 and tell them why – email your message to the festival organisers:

Dan Shanan dan@docedge.nz
Alex Lee alex@docedge.nz

Above video published by Justice for Palestine, 8 June 2022. Link to original post: https://justiceforpalestine.nz/2022/06/08/boycott-doc-edge-2022/?fbclid=IwAR2O4U3vAZ7ic6FRre3uC5k4JY5BW0_TFvx8Jrg8RLWT6lJM7r5gIE9Pu_w

‘Outstanding’ book now available in Aotearoa:

6 Jun
Co-editor Dr Ramzy Baroud with the recently launched book.

‘Our Vision for Liberation’ is an outstanding book which documents what the struggle for liberation looks like from Palestinian viewpoints.

It is presented by renowned Palestinian author and activist Ramzy Baroud (who toured Aotearoa New Zealand several years back) and Israeli historian Ilan Pappe. It is a not-to-be-missed publication!

Palestine Solidarity Network Aotearoa has copies now available at $35 each. To get your copy simply deposit $35 in the PSNA bank account here:

Account name: PALESTINE SOLIDARITY NETWORK
Account number: 38-9015-0849542-00


And then email secretary@PSNA.nz with your address and get your copy in the mail!

A book review by Christchurch-based Lois Griffiths is here

Angela Davis’ endorsement of Ilan Pappé and Ramzy Baroud’s ‘Our Vision for Liberation’. (Infographic: Zarefah Baroud)

ABOUT THE BOOK

Co-edited by Ilan Pappe and Ramzy Baroud, Our Vision for Liberation: Engaged Palestinian Leaders & Intellectuals Speak Out aims to challenge several strata of the current Palestine discourse that have led to the present dead end: the American pro-Israel political discourse, the Israeli colonial discourse, the Arab discourse of purported normalization, and the defunct discourse of the Palestinian factions. None promote justice, none have brought resolution; none bode well for any of the parties involved.

Here, engaged Palestinian leaders and intellectuals, those who have been actively involved in generating an ongoing Palestinian discourse on liberation, take into account the parameters of their struggle as it now stands. Drawing on their own personal experiences as educators, community leaders, spiritual leaders, artists, historians, human rights activists, political prisoners, and the like, they address what now, what next, is to be done, in a manner that reflects not only Palestinian aspirations, but their view of what is possible.

Israel’s assaults on public health infrastructure amount to war crimes

4 Jun
A young girl is treated on a hospital bed

Nowhere was the human toll of Israel’s May 2021 aggresssion felt more acutely than at al-Shifa hospital, Gaza city, which was frequently overwhelmed and chronically understocked. [Naaman OmarAPA images]

By Emily HackerThe Electronic Intifada, 3 June 2022

In May 2021, the Israeli military dropped hundreds of bombs on the Gaza Strip, destroying houses, schools, businesses, and health care facilities.

Perhaps nowhere was the human toll of that month more apparent than at al-Shifa hospital, the “only hospital in Gaza equipped for emergency assistance.”

Doctors worked for days on end, rarely sleeping or eating and unable to see their families as they frantically treated hundreds of wounded Palestinian patients – at least, those patients who could actually reach the hospital.

Outside the hospital grounds, streets were so badly damaged by Israeli airstrikes that paramedics struggled to bring patients directly to al-Shifa.

In the span of those 11 days in May, Israeli occupation forces wreaked havoc on Gaza’s already precarious public health system, damaging or destroying 19 medical centers, including the offices of the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund, a nonprofit that provides cancer treatment and medical prosthetics to children who are unable to seek care outside of Gaza due to Israeli blockades.

The Israeli military’s actions in 2021 were, unfortunately, nothing new. Numerous Israeli bombing campaigns have damaged or destroyed primary health infrastructure in the occupied Gaza Strip, including clinics and hospitals as well as key public health services like water treatment facilities, sewage treatment plants, and electrical grids.

This is not accidental. Israel relies on – among other strategies – the destruction of Palestinian health infrastructure, the targeting of medical personnel, and inhibiting Palestinian access to health care to enforce its regime of apartheid.

Yet Western health officials often overlook these acts, which are nothing short of war crimes, and this passive complicity violates our promise as health care professionals to do no harm. The physical and mental health of the Palestinian people is a central component of Palestinian liberation and must be discussed as such.

Continue reading

We remember the ten humanitarians on board the Gaza aid vessel Mavi Marmara killed by Israeli commandos on 31 May 2010:

1 Jun

VIDEO: All aboard! Witnesses of the #MaviMarmaraattack, 12 years ago today. Listen to their testimony and share the #video!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H6c0z0NJmx8

On May 31th 2010, the six Gaza-bound boats of the Freedom Flotilla, headed by the Mavi Marmara, were attacked by Israeli commandos in international waters. Ten Turkish peace activists were killed and over 50 others wounded. Twelve years later, Israel still remains unpunished for this war crimes.

Continue reading

Call to boycott the Doc Edge Film Festival

1 Jun

By John Minto, The Daily Blog, 1 June 2022

The decision by Doc Edge to retain the Israeli embassy as a financial supporter of the Doc Edge Film Festival means Palestine Solidarity Network Aotearoa is calling on film makers and the general public to boycott the festival.

“It is untenable that this festival would side with the Israeli Embassy against calls for freedom from Palestinians”

“The festival is helping Israel to “art-wash” its crimes against the Palestinian people”

For 17 years Palestinians have been calling for BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) against Israel to pressure it to end its military occupation, repeal its apartheid laws and allow Palestinian refugees to return to their homes. A festival boycott is in support of these aims.

Yesterday the festival issued a statement claiming to be “apolitical”.

However being “apolitical” hasn’t stopped Doc Edge from standing in solidarity with Ukraine against a brutal Russian military occupation but it has stopped them standing with Palestinians who live under a brutal Israeli military occupation.

Perhaps it’s the eye-colour of the victims which makes the difference for Doc Edge.

PSNA is putting out a call for film producers to withdraw their films and the public to boycott the festival.

[Abridged]

John Minto is a regular columnist and National Chair of the Palestine Solidarity Network Aotearoa.

Israel’s shelling of Khudair warehouse: ‘Chemical warfare by indirect means’

30 May

Al-Haq (an independent Palestine human rights organisation) has launched a detailed Legal Report on Israel’s 2021 attack on the Khudair Warehouse in the Gaza Strip supporting Forensic Architecture Investigation.

VIDEO REPORT by Al-Haq, 29 May 2022

Al-Haq’s Legal Research and Advocacy Department has released a comprehensive legal report, “Khudair Warehouse: Israel’s Chemical Attack on the Gaza Strip”. This report builds on the inaugural investigation of the newly launched Al-Haq Forensic Architecture Investigative Unit.

The investigation examines Israel’s targeted attack and destruction of the Khudair Warehouse by the Israeli Occupying Forces (IOF) during Israel’s widescale May 2021 military offensive on the Gaza Strip.[1] The IOF attack on the chemical warehouse, created a chemical cloud that spread chemical waste over the people and environment of Gaza, poisoning the population, amounting to the indirect use of a chemical weapon, prohibited under international law. [See also earlier post on 15 December 2021. https://kiaoragaza.wordpress.com/2021/12/15/video-how-israeli-bombing-poisoned-gazas-water/ Ed]

Continue reading

The killing of Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh

20 May

VIDEO REPORT: One week after the Palestinian-American journalist, Shireen Abu Akleh, was shot dead, what do we know about what happened? And why did her work at Al Jazeera mean so much to so many? #AJStartHere with Sandra Gathmann explains. [Al Jazeera, 19 May 2022]

Palestinian rights group challenges Wellington Mayor & Ministry of Foreign Affairs

19 May

Pro-Palestine activists project images on Te Papa museum in Wellington, Aotearoa New Zealand. (Photo: Supplied)

By Neil Ballantyne, Palestine Chronicle, 18 May 2022

A Palestinian rights organization in Aotearoa New Zealand has challenged Mayor Andy Foster of Wellington City Council for his refusal to light up a local council building in the colors of the Palestinian flag.

DomPost front page. #Wellington Mayor Andy Foster vetoed a plan to light up the Michael Fowler Centre in the colours of the #Palestinianflag after the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade expressed concerns about Israeli sensitivities. (Twitter post)

Councillor Tamatha Paul, a Wellington city councilor and supporter of Palestinian rights, arranged for the Michael Fowler Centre, a concert hall in the capital city, to be lit in the colors of the Palestinian flag to mark Nakba Day and as a gesture of solidarity with the Palestinian people.

In an unorthodox approach to a local issue, Mayor Foster took advice from the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) who strongly urged him to cancel the arrangement as it “could be construed as state recognition” of Palestine, and was reported as advising this “could result in complaints from the Israeli ambassador and other Israeli groups”.

Councillor Paul, commenting on the fact that the council building had previously been lit in the colors of the Ukrainian flag said, “We are more than comfortable to recognize injustices in Ukraine, but we are reluctant to show solidarity with Palestine”.

The human rights organization Justice for Palestine responded defiantly by organizing a guerrilla projection on the walls of Te Papa, Wellington’s national museum. The projection included images of the Palestinian flag and of the slain Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh.

Continue reading
%d bloggers like this: