NZ govt urged to condemn Israel’s attacks on Palestinian human rights organisations

24 Oct
John Minto, National Chair, Palestine Solidarity Network Aoteraroa [Photo: Kia Ora Gaza]

By John Minto, The Daily Blog, 24 October 2021

Palestine Solidarity Network Aotearoa has written to the Minister of Foreign Affairs this afternoon urging Nanaia Mahuta to speak out and condemn outright Israel’s declaration of six Palestinian Human Rights organisations as “terrorist organisations”.

“This is another outrageous abuse of human rights, for which the Israeli regime has become synonymous”, says PSNA National Chair John Minto.

“Our government must speak up and hold Israel to account for this savage attack on legitimate human rights organisations”

The groups identified as “terrorist” by the Israeli government are:

  • Addameer, which supports Palestinian political prisoners
  • Al-Haq, a human rights organisation that works with the United Nations.
  • Union of Agricultural Work Committees
  • Bisan Centre for Research and Development
  • Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees
  • Defense for Children International – Palestine.

“One way or another PSNA supports the work of all these groups. They have been targeted because they are effective in bring Israel’s daily human rights abuses to international attention – and demanding accountability for Israel at the International Criminal Court”

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Israel declares war on Palestinian rights groups

23 Oct

Palestinians walk through a neighborhood in Beit Hanoun, northern Gaza Strip, destroyed in Israeli airstrikes in May 2021. (Photo: Mohammed ZaanounActiveStills)

By Ali Abunimah and Maureen Clare MurphyThe Electronic Intifada, 23 October 2021

Israeli defense minister Benny Gantz declared six prominent Palestinian human rights groups to be “terrorist organizations” on Friday.

The defense ministry order accuses the groups of serving “as an arm of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine,” a leftist political party banned by Israel, the US and the European Union due to its opposition to normalization with Israel.

Some of the six targeted groups – Al-Haq, Addameer, Defense for Children International Palestine, the Union of Palestinian Women Committees, the Union of Agricultural Work Committees and the Bisan Center for Research and Development – have cooperated closely with the International Criminal Court in its war crimes probe in the West Bank and Gaza.

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Amazon and Google: partners in Israeli apartheid

20 Oct

Google depicts Israel as a democracy, while assisting the abuse of Palestinian rights. (Arthur WidakNurPhoto)

By Jonathan Cook, The Electronic Intifada, 20 October 2021

The best-selling Irish novelist Sally Rooney is openly shunning Israel after recent reports from human rights groups warned that Israel practices apartheid, systematically oppressing Palestinians under its rule.

But while Israel risks becoming a pariah among some cultural producers, it is being aggressively embraced by globe-spanning corporations like Amazon and Google – among the wealthiest companies in history.

The two tech giants are not just lining up to do business with Israel. They are actively working to build and improve the technological infrastructure Israel needs to surveil Palestinians and confine them to the ghettos Israel’s army has created for them.

Through their collaboration on Israel’s Project Nimbus, both companies are helping to remove any pressure on Israel to make peace with the Palestinians and are instead becoming partners in Israeli apartheid.

Now workers for both companies are speaking out – most of them anonymously for fear of what they call “retaliation.”

VIDEO: By Middle East Eye, 15 October 2021

This month some 400 employees of the two companies published a letter in The Guardiannewspaper warning that Amazon and Google were contracted to supply “dangerous technology” to the Israeli military and government that would make Israel’s rule over Palestinians “even crueler and deadlier.”

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Mandla Mandela calls for boycott of Miss Universe pageant in Israel:

20 Oct

’There is nothing beautiful about occupation’

Nelson Mandela's grandson and chief of Mvezo, Mandla Mandela, has called on Miss South Africa Lalela Mswane and all former Miss South Africa winners to boycott the Miss Universe event scheduled to take place in Israel. Photograph: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)

Nelson Mandela’s grandson and chief of Mvezo, Mandla Mandela, has called on Miss South Africa Lalela Mswane and all former Miss South Africa winners to boycott the Miss Universe event scheduled to take place in Israel. (Photo: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency)

By Shifaan Ryklief, Capetown, Independent Online IOL, 20 October 2021

Following the crowning of Miss South Africa 2021 on Saturday, former president Nelson Mandela’s grandson Inkosi Zwelivelile Mandla Mandela has urged South Africans to boycott the Miss Universe event to be held in Israel.

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The moment when Nadine heard that her mother was refused entry to Gaza…

19 Oct

The moment when Nadine, the daughter of prisoner Nisreen Abu Kamel, received news that her mother was not allowed to enter Gaza.

Nisreen Abu Kamel sees the light after six years of detention in Israeli occupation prisons, but her children and family cannot see her because the Israeli occupation prevented her from entering Gaza.

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‘I became a journalist because we need to be heard’

18 Oct

telling the stories of Palestine

Erez Crossing, Gaza Strip: Journalists and Palestinian protesters take cover while Israeli tanks and snipers open fire during a demonstration to mark the Palestinian’s Catastrophe Day 60th anniversary on May 15, 2008 at the Erez crossing between Israel and the Gaza Strip. (Photo By Abid Katib/Getty Images)

By Yousef M Aljamal, AlJazeera, 14 Oct, 2021

For many Palestinians, including myself, journalism is more than just a profession. It is the means by which we tell our stories and convey our personal experiences of life under Israel’s military occupation to the outside world. 

I never imagined myself as a journalist until I became one. Where I am from, it is a profession dictated by circumstance and necessity. In the context of Israel’s military occupation of Palestine, journalism becomes a duty for Palestinians – or a burden in that we find ourselves obliged to tell our stories to the outside world. These are stories that the world will not get to hear otherwise – certainly not from the Palestinian perspective.

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How Palestinians in Gaza celebrate olive harvesting season

16 Oct

Despite the severe hardships imposed by the Occupation, Palestinians celebrate their traditions.

VIDEO: 16th October Media Group members recently visited and helped farmers picking olives during a festival that heralds the start of the olive harvesting season.

Video by 16th October Media Group, Gaza, 16 October 2021

NO TECH FOR APARTHEID

15 Oct

The international BDS (Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions) movement is calling for support for the nearly 800 workers at Amazon and Google who have joined forces to demand their employers pull out of ‘Project Nimbus’ – a $US1.2 billion contract to provide cloud services for the Israeli military and government – and cut all ties with the Israeli military.

These courageous workers at every level of Amazon and Google are making it very clear that technology should be used to bring people together, not to enable apartheid and violence.

They deserve our support. Support this historic campaign – send an email to Amazon and Google execs now. See below:

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Photos reveal brutal Israeli treatment of activists, farmers during olive harvest

15 Oct

Activists and local farmers said Palestinian activist Mohammed al-Khatib was violently beaten, kicked, and punched in the face by Israeli soldiers before he was thrown on the ground and dragged across the rugged terrain before he was stepped on, and eventually blindfolded and taken into custody.

Israeli soldiers preventing access for locals and activists from olive groves during harvest season in Salfit, The West Bank on Oct. 11, 2021. Palestinian land on the outskirts of the town of Salfit was annexed in the last year to a new Jewish outpost although Palestinians hold land deeds for the land. During an attempt to break the white line zoning a closed military zone in the groves, the army used stun grenades and arrested three activists. (Photo by Matan Golan/Sipa USA)

By Yumna Patel, Mondoweiss, 15 October 2021

A photo of an armed Israeli soldier, surrounded by dozens of his fellow soldiers, standing on the back of a Palestinian man as he lie face down in the ground went viral on Palestinian social media this week. 

The photo was taken in the midst of a brutal Israeli crackdown on activists as they attempted to escort a group of Palestinian farmers to their land in order to harvest their olive trees in the al-Ras area west of Salfit, in the northern occupied West Bank.

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40th anniversary of the 1981 Springbok Tour – rescheduled events

13 Oct

NOW RESUMED – The Minto Tour that was postponed because of Covid.

40th anniversary commemorations of the 1981 Springbok Tour protests

Celebrating the fight against apartheid in 1981 AND stepping up the fight against apartheid in Israel in 2021

Former HART National Organiser John Minto is speaking at meetings around the country which follow the 1981 Springbok tour dates. John is also the current chair of the Palestine Solidarity Network Aotearoa.

New Zealanders have a proud record standing in support of black South Africans suffering under apartheid and we can take action NOW to support Palestinians suffering under Israeli apartheid.

Come and join the celebration at a venue near you!

John Minto’s three meetings rescheduled for November (Covid restrictions permitting) are as follows.


Auckland:

Whangarei

Kerikeri:

Check the PSNA Facebook events page here.

Netflix launches 32 award-winning Palestinian films

13 Oct
Netflix Launches ‘Palestinian Stories’ Collection With Award-Winning Films

Netflix Entertainment, 13 October 2021

On October 14th, Netflix will launch the Palestinian Stories collection, showcasing films from some of the Arab world’s finest filmmakers. Available for members around the world, the collection includes a lineup of award-winning films by Palestinian filmmakers or about Palestinian Stories. The collection is set to launch with 32 films with more to be added over the next few weeks.

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Ramzy Baroud on the Plight of Palestinian Refugees (Video)

13 Oct

Palestine Chronicle, October 12, 2021

Ramzy Baroud discusses the plight of Palestinian refugees. (Photo: Video Grab)

Palestinian journalist and editor of The Palestine Chronicle Ramzy Baroud discusses the plight of Palestinian refugees with Zach Beauchemin on this episode of ‘Citizen Truth’. 

Baroud, a Palestinian refugee himself, wrote about Palestinian refugees in his book, The Last Earth: A Palestinian Story, published by Pluto Press in 2018.

In this podcast, Beauchemin and Baroud discuss the chapter, ‘Shit River’, the first chapter in Baroud’s collection, which tells the story of a third generation Palestinian refugee from Yarmouk seeking an escape out of Syria’s civil war.

Israel’s No-State Solution in Palestine: How Should the Palestinians Respond?

13 Oct

A one-state reality in Palestine, completely free of apartheid, is the only way out.

Israeli forces take security measures around the city as part of the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, in Hebron, West Bank on September 22, 2021. Israeli forces closed some parts of the city, and refused entry to Palestinians. (Photo by Mamoun Wazwaz. Anadolu Agency.)

OPINION by YOUSEF M. ALJAMAL, Politics Today, 13 October 2021

Following the United NationsResolution 181, also known as the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine, on November 29, 1947, which called for establishing two states in Palestine, an Arab and a Jewish one, the only fact that has materialized on the ground today is a Jewish state for IsraeliJews. The Palestinian people are still struggling to build their own state 73 years down the road, living today as a diaspora, in refugee camps in neighboring countries, or in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip with almost no rights.

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Meet the family of Gaza’s “Bird Man” – killed by Israeli snipers

8 Oct

VIDEO report by the 16th October Group, Gaza, 8 October 2021

A 41-year-old man, Mohammad Abdul-Karim Ammar, was shot dead by the Israeli forces stationed at the fence separating besieged Gaza from Israel, while he was hunting birds.

According to the family, he set up his hunting nets approximately 500 meters away from the separation fence. The occupation forces shot him in the head while he was doing his job.

Mohammed Ammar was the father of seven children – the youngest is six years old.

Join this global webinar: 5am Friday 8 October (NZ time)

7 Oct

Join this People’s Inquiry on Gaza to hold Israel accountable for its May assault and ongoing siege on Gaza: 5am (NZ time) Friday 8 October (or 12 Noon EST Thurs 7 Oct) for the free virtual webinar on YouTube and Facebook

The speakers for the webinar include:

  • Mohammed El-Kurd (moderator), Palestinian writer and activist
  • Abier Almasri, research assistant for the Gaza Strip, Human Rights Watch
  • Malak Matar, Gazan artist and activist
  • Issam Adwan, Journalist and Writer, and Former Gaza project manager, We Are Not Numbers
  • Jehad Abusalim, Education and Policy Associate, American Friends Service Committee
  • Annie Shiel, Senior Advisor for U.S. Policy and Advocacy, Center for Civilians in Conflict
  • Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib
  • Rabbi Brant Rosen, Founding Rabbi, Tzedek Chicago

RSVP here today and be sure to tune in on YouTube and Facebook.

Hamas political bureau talks with Egypt “of particular importance”

6 Oct

A top level delegation of 19 members of the newly elected Hamas political bureau, including leaders Yahya Sinwar and Ismail Haniyeh, have been meeting with Egyptian officials in Cairo, to discuss reconstruction of the Gaza Strip and ceasefire with Israel.

The Anadolu Agency reports that a Hamas delegation held talks on Monday with Egyptian intelligence chief Abbas Kamel to discuss a host of issues, a Hamas source said.

“Progress has been made regarding the cease-fire understandings, accelerating the reconstruction process and easing the blockade,” the source told Anadolu Agency.

The source said the two sides agreed on the necessity of consolidating the cease-fire with Israel.

According to the source, Egypt pledged to take further steps to improve the economic situation in Gaza and allow the entry of goods via the Rafah border crossing with Egypt.

The talks between the Hamas delegation and the Egyptian intelligence chief also dwelt on the situation in Jerusalem and Palestinian developments, the source said.

There was no comment from either Egypt or Hamas on the report.

The Cairo talks and what is required of Egypt

A Palestinian security officer stands guard at the Rafah border crossing with Egypt in the southern Gaza Strip on 3 October 2021, as a delegation from Gaza's Hamas rulers travels to Egypt for talks. [SAID KHATIB/AFP via Getty Images]

A Palestinian security officer at the Rafah border crossing with Egypt in the southern Gaza Strip. (said Keaton/AFP via Getty Images)

OPINION by Sameer Hamatto, Middle East Monitor, 6 October 2021

The Hamas delegation’s visit to the Egyptian capital Cairo is of particular importance, as they will discuss with Egyptian officials a number of files which the Palestinians have high hopes for major breakthroughs in, especially those related to their day-to-day lives.

Perhaps the most prominent files that will be discussed is the long-awaited matter of the reconstruction of what was destroyed by the occupation in the war last May, in addition to completely lifting the siege and allowing freedom of movement and travel through the Rafah crossing without restrictions. The most important file to be discussed is the ceasefire and prisoner exchange deal through which the people hope for the release of a large number of prisoners from the occupation’s prisons, especially those with long prison sentences.

Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar [Getty]

The presence of the Hamas delegation in Cairo, with the attendance of all the members of the political bureau representing those inside and outside of Palestine, is a great indication, especially since it coincides with the convening of the political bureau’s first meeting since its internal elections.

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‘Art of Resistance’ – Gaza exhibition

6 Oct

VIDEO: The 16th October Media group report on an art exhibition currently on display in Gaza city that “depicts Israeli oppression and Palestinian steadfastness.“

The exhibition includes many paintings, sketches, theatrical performances, and art installations, as well as portraits of Palestinian political prisoners and the 66 children killed by the Israeli bombardments of Gaza in May this year.

How an Israeli Law divides Palestinian families

5 Oct

The Israeli Unification Law aims to divide Palestinians and reduce their numbers in historic Palestine under security claims.

Palestinians cross Qalandiya checkpoint to Ramallah, West Bank. (Photo by Issam Rimawi. Anadolu Agency.)

By Yousef Aljamal, Politics Today, 2 October 2021

In June of this year, the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, failed to pass a law extending a ban on family unifications for Palestinian families, both those living in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, and those holding Israeli passports. The discriminatory law could not pass due to domestic competition and political differences among Israeli political parties following the formation of a government led by Naftali Bennet, a right-wing politician who replaced Benjamin Netanyahu, who is now haunted by charges of corruption while in office.

The Family Unification Law, designed to separate Palestinian families, came into effect in 2000, with the Israeli authorities claiming security concerns behind not giving residency and citizenship to Palestinians (or Arabs) marrying either Palestinians who hold Palestinian passports or Palestinians who hold Israeli passports. Here is the story of how some 22,000 Palestinians, according to the “Family Unification Is My Right” campaign, have ended up stateless under this law.

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AlJazeera documentary – Gaza: 60 minute warning

4 Oct

AlJazeera World documentary, 30 September 2021

In May 2021, missiles from Israeli jets struck and completely demolished four towers in Gaza – that is a fact. What was not clear was the reason for the attacks. Why were these buildings selected for destruction?

An investigation by Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor into the Israeli attacks concluded that “the four towers had no military purpose whatsoever.” (Screen shot).

Israel claimed the towers were used by Hamas, whose military wing was launching rocket attacks on Israeli towns and cities at the time. Local Palestinians in Gaza, as well as international media and political leaders, disputed this and maintained that the towers housed only businesses, residential apartments and media organisations, including Al Jazeera Media Network and American news agency The Associated Press.

This documentary by Ashraf Mashharawi, charts the story of the attacks – from the 60-minute evacuation warning to the question of the cost of rebuilding.

The video includes interviews with Richard Falk, former UN Special Rapporteur on Palestinian Human Rights, and Ramy Abdu, director Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor. Euro-Med’s investigation into the Israeli attacks concluded that “the four towers had no military purpose whatsoever.”

Talented Gazan kids shine despite the Occupation

2 Oct

VIDEO: Episode three: Palestinian Kid’s talk, 16th October Media group, Gaza, Palestine. 2 October 2021.

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