Kia Ora Gaza challenges New Zealand MPs to visit Gaza

10 May

Will New Zealand’s parliamentary delegation to Israel also visit Gaza to see the ruins of Parliament bombed to bits by Israel?


Kia Ora Gaza
 media release

10 May 2012

Kia Ora Gaza is challenging a New Zealand parliamentary delegation to visit Gaza and other trouble spots in its forthcoming visit to the Middle East.

What the Israeli ambassador to New Zealand is calling a “New Zealand-Israel Parliamentary Group” is leaving next week for Israel to meet with officials and politicians, in the wake of Foreign Minister Murray McCully’s meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this week.

But Kia Ora Gaza says Israel is desperate to bring in foreign delegations to try to break out of the international boycott and disinvestment campaign against serious and protracted violations of human rights by Israel.

Kia Ora Gaza spokesperson Tali Williams says Israel will present a sophisticated public relations display to delegations from New Zealand, and this needs to be balanced by meeting Palestinians and finding out what life under occupation is really like.

Williams says there is limited value in any possibility that New Zealand visitors might meet with leaders of the Palestinian Authority in the occupied West Bank.

“For anyone to appreciate how devastating the Israeli occupation really is, they need to get up close and personal. They should demand to visit the Palestinian political prisoners illegally held by Israel in Israel without charges, and who are now driven to mass hunger strikes.

“Our MPs need to visit the Bedouin villages Israel is destroying, such as el Araqib, see the Palestinian olive plantations Israel is ripping out at Wadi Qana and go to the illegal Israeli settlements Israeli is building, like Givat Hamdos.

“But above all, New Zealand politicians need to see the disgusting mess Israel has made out of Gaza and the suffering of a population under constant attack and siege. I am sure Israel has every security excuse or lack of time excuse for not permitting such a visit.

“Without going there, however, our parliamentarians are getting only the sanitized Israeli version of the conflict. It is far too important an issue to permit that to happen”, Williams concluded.

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