Marama Davidson, NZ Green Party MP and spokesperson for Human Rights, is New Zealand’s representative on the international Women’s Boats to Gaza peace flotilla, set to sail in a few days.
OPEN LETTER TO MURRAY McCULLY
Minister of Foreign Affairs,
Dear Mr McCully,
“We call on the NZ Government to urgently demand the Israeli authorities end the inhumane blockade and allow the Women’s Boats to Gaza safe and unhindered passage to their destination – the port of Gaza”
We are pleased to announce that our New Zealand nominee, Green Party MP Marama Davidson, has been selected to join the international Women’s Boats to Gaza peace flotilla. Marama is the Green Party spokesperson for Human Rights.
Marama has joined other prominent women from around the world and international media personnel on this peaceful civil society mission to challenge the illegal and inhumane 10-year Israeli naval blockade of Gaza. This all-women flotilla will also highlight the important role of women in the struggle for human rights in Palestine.
Due to depart Sicily this week, the two-boat flotilla will accentuate the devastating effects of the cruel Israeli blockade on the 1.8 million Palestinians isolated in Gaza, and emphasize in particular the struggle of women who often fill the role of caring for and sustaining life, and are actively involved in community development and nation building. It is important to make their voices heard, even more so during these times of extreme injustice and hardship.
We also acknowledge the recent anniversary of the massacre on the Mavi Marmara-led peace flotilla in 2010, when 10 civilians were murdered by Israeli commandos, an illegal attack in international waters that continues to go unpunished. However, this brutal assault doesn’t compare with the continual violence and occupation inflicted on Palestinians while world leaders fail to act. Ending Israel’s harsh settler-colonial occupation, siege and aggression is pivotal to bringing about peace in the region and the world.
Homes, schools and hospitals in Gaza have been destroyed by repeated Israeli bombings. 95% of the water is undrinkable and electricity is reduced to a few hours per day. Israel’s siege and naval blockade severely restricts the movement of goods and people. Gaza is known as the ‘world’s largest open air prison.’ A United Nations report states that Gaza will be uninhabitable by 2020. In order to obviate this horrifying prediction the siege and naval blockade must be immediately lifted.
Marama’s participation in this important mission has been facilitated by Kia Ora Gaza and supported by many hundreds of fellow New Zealanders. The Women’s Boats to Gaza flotilla, supported by many women’s groups and NGOs in Gaza and by civil society around the world, seeks to bring a message of hope and solidarity with the Palestinian struggle for peace and justice.
Like previous peace flotillas, the Women’s Boats to Gaza poses no threat whatsoever to Israel. However, in light of Israel’s illegal interception and seizure of previous Gaza-bound boats in international waters, and NZ Parliament’s support for the women’s peace flotilla (21 September 2016), we call on the NZ Government to urgently demand the Israeli authorities end the inhumane blockade and allow the Women’s Boats to Gaza safe and unhindered passage to their destination – the port of Gaza.
Roger Fowler QSM, Chair, Kia Ora Gaza.
Janfrie Wakim, Spokesperson for the Palestine Human Rights Campaign
Sian Robertson, Organiser, NZ Palestine Solidarity Network