Palestine Solidarity Network Aotearoa newsletter Sept/Oct

26 Sep

The next month will be our busiest month since PSNA was redeveloped in June.

We have two guests visiting from Palestine (Julie Webb-Pullman and Dr Salman Abu Sitta) and an evening debate between PSNA National Chair John Minto and the Israel Institute’s Dr David Cumin.

Julie Webb-Pullman tour

Gaza-based Kiwi journalist and war crimes investigator, Julie Webb-Pullman, has begun her speaking tour of New Zealand and raising funds to employ extra war crimes investigators in Gaza.

Details of her meeting are below. If you can’t get to any of her meetings you can still contribute the fundraising efforts for her trip. Details of how to make a donation are above.

The details of her tour are:

  • Monday 23 September Nelson
  • Tuesday 24 September Christchurch
  • Wednesday 25 September Dunedin
  • Thursday 26 September Invercargill
  • Monday 30 September Wellington
  • Wednesday October 2 Wellington
  • Monday 7 October Napier
  • Tuesday 8 October Hamilton
  • Wednesday 9 October Auckland
  • Thursday 10 October Whangarei
  • Sunday 13 October Auckland

Further details of Julie’s tour dates, as well as other events, times and locations can be found here

Adopt an Investigator! (The fundraising proposal behind Julie’s visit)

Although investigators work in pairs, with one female and one male, The Gaza Centre for Human Rights hopes that the generosity of kiwis will fund at least one investigator position for one year, at a cost of $6,000 USD. Julie will be fundraising throughout the country to try to raise this. We are hopeful our friends across the ditch will fund the other position, if we are not able to manage it from New Zealand.

Julie and Yousef’s work on war crimes in Gaza has been published in The Lancet, and presented at international conferences, the most recent being a poster presentation on developing international guidelines for evidence collection in conflict zones. (Attached) They welcome further collaboration with other scientists, researchers and academics for future publication and presentation.

Dr Salman Abu Sitta’s visit

Dr Salman Abu Sitta, well-respected academic, author and member of the Palestine National Council, is coming to New Zealand next month for a two day visit to Auckland and Wellington.

On his visit here he will be meeting with MPs and various government officials in Wellington and will deliver a lecture in Auckland.
The Auckland lecture will be on Thursday 17th October at 7pm at Auckland University, Room 105S (see map below)

Update: Cumin vs Minto debate

The debate between PSNA National Chair John Minto and the Israel Institute’s Dr David Cumin is on Thursday, 3rd October at 7pm at Auckland University in the Owen Glenn Building off Grafton Road Room OGGB5/260-051. The event will also be livestreamed on The Daily Blog https://thedailyblog.co.nz/

The debate came about after John challenged Dr Cumin to a debate (via the letters section in the Press newspaper) after Cumin claimed the Middle East situation was very complicated. It is common for Zionist supporters of Israel to claim the situation is complex – it’s a key tactic they use to discourage people from criticising Israel.

Delegations to Members of Parliament

We are well underway with visits to MPs around the country but we have many holes still to fill!

Are you able to organise a delegation of two or three people to speak with your local MP and deliver a copy of the “Let’s talk about Palestine/Israel” booklet?

If you can, please email secretary@PSNA.nz your local MP’s name. We are aiming to cover all MPs with a visit over the coming six months. Please let us know and we will send you the details of the points that need to be raised with MPs and a copy of the booklet.

3rd Reprint – If you haven’t purchased one yet – buy a copy of our excellent small booklet of common questions and answers on the Middle East conflict.

Have you got your copy yet?
Buy a copy for yourself and maybe a few to give to friends and family. Send your address in an email to bronwensummers@gmail.com and pay $5 online for a single copy – includes post and packaging – add $2 each for extra copies). Account Name: Palestine Solidarity Network
Account No: 38 9015 0849542 00

 

T-shirts and merchandise for sale:

Our spokesperson John Minto recently walked Te Araroa (from Cape Reinga to Tekapo – he will finish in Summer) wearing this T-shirt. He still has the T-shirt but has lost the beard!
We have these T-shirts for sale:
$26 + postage XXL, XL, L, M, S, XS (size 8)
$30 + postage XXXXL, XXXL
Email bronwensummers@gmail.com or phone 03 55 00 132    or txt 0220 850 161

Alternatively, you can buy merchandise including T-shirts from our website
http://www.palestinesolidaritynz.net/shop.html

 

It’s not too late to be part of the important campaign to stop New Zealand military imports from Israel.

Yes, we are still driving this important campaign to make New Zealand an Israeli military free zone.

Send an email to the Prime Minister urging her to use Rule 44 of the Government’s Electronic Tender Service rules to abandon the proposal to purchase $9 million in military equipment from Israel. Rule 44 says the government may exclude a supplier on the basis of “human rights violations by the supplier or in the supplier’s supply chain”.

Here’s an example of the email you could send NOW to j.ardern@ministers.govt.nz

Dear Ms Ardern,
Please invoke government purchase rule 44 to cancel the proposed purchase of $9 million in military equipment from Israel by the New Zealand Defence Force. The company providing the equipment, Roboteam, is an integral part of the Israeli Defence Force and provides equipment to support the illegal occupation of Palestinian land and the siege of Gaza.

It is providing active assistance to the Israeli Defence Force in their human rights abuses such as the murder and maiming of unarmed Palestinian youth (16 killed so far this year) and the detention without trial of Palestinian children and minors.

Please respond urgently.
(Name)

Background: The NZ Defence Force have decided to purchase $9 billion in robots from Israeli company Roboteam.

The founders of Roboteam, Yossi Wolf and Elad Levy, both served as officers in the Israeli Air Force Special Forces before establishing Roboteam in 2009. They developed and supplied a robot to the IDF that was actively used in Operation Protective Edge, the sustained Israeli attack on the Gaza strip in 2014 involving numerous human rights abuses and war crimes committed against the civilian Palestinian population of Gaza (1,492 Palestinian civilians were killed – 551 children and 299 women)

Rule 44 of the Government’s Electronic Tender Service Rules say the government may exclude a supplier on the basis of –
“human rights violations by the supplier or in the supplier’s supply chain”

Meanwhile recent media reports indicate the Roboteam products to be purchased by our Defence Force have been trialled by the Israeli Defence Force in its occupation of the West Bank and on the Gaza “border”. The tests were termed a “success”.

The IDF is renowned for its testing of military equipment on the civilian population of occupied Palestine. It is also renowned for its brutality – for example the murder and maiming of Palestinian children – 16 killed so far this year and its widely condemned detention without trial of Palestinian children and minors. In April this year for example 205 Palestinian minors were being held in Israeli prisons, without trial, as security detainees and prisoners.

Are you able to donate a cup of coffee a month to the campaign?

We will need some serious money to make our campaign as effective as possible. For example, we will need somewhere in the vicinity of $25,000 to bring speakers to New Zealand over the next year and organise large public meetings to help spread the message.

You can help. Are you able to donate a cup of coffee a month to the campaign? In other words, can you afford to make an automatic payment of $5 per month to support the Palestinian struggle? (If you can afford more that would be great!)

Our account details are:
Account name:      Palestine Solidarity Network
Account number:  38-9015-0849542-00
Or Pay Pal account: admin@palestinesolidaritynz.net

We are happy to provide a receipt upon request (however, we are not a registered charity so this is not tax-deductible)

Links to important stories

Victoria University: Shut Down Unethical Israeli Prize
https://www.change.org/p/victoria-university-of-wellington-victoria-university-shut-down-unethical-israeli-prize

Why is this important?
Victoria University of Wellington has refused to remove an essay prize funded by the Apartheid government of Israel. The prize is insulting to the university’s own Palestinian students who have been forced from their homeland by the Israeli government.

The Embassy of Israel Prize of $250 is awarded to one student per year on the merit of an essay on one of the given topics – including “Israel in the Middle East”, “Israel’s bilateral relations with its neighbours”, and “Israel’s democracy in the context of the Middle East”.

This prize is unethical because the Israeli government is guilty of building illegal settlements in Palestinian territory, preventing the flow of essential resources, and denying Palestinians the right to vote. It is a regime akin to Apartheid South Africa.

Petition to stop global tourism sites from profiteering from stolen Palestinian Lands
There is currently a petition from Amnesty International NZ calling on Trip Advisor to stop profiting from illegal Israeli settlements. The target in 1000 signatories, let us help them achieve this!
https://www.amnesty.org.nz/tell-tripadvisor-pull-out-illegal-israeli-settlements-occupied-palestine

Please note Trip Advisor are not the only company to do this, others include Air BnB, Expedia, and booking.com

See Amnesty International’s full report titled Destination: Occupation here:
https://www.amnesty.org/download/Documents/MDE1594902019ENGLISH.PDF
https://www.newstalk.com/Tourism-giants-fuelling-human-rights-violations-with-Israeli-settlement-listings
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=92&v=-lk7VLsAKIM

The Daily Blog has regular articles in it about Palestine/Israel 
https://thedailyblog.co.nz/

More ways you can get involved

  • Forward this Newsletter – If you know people who may be interested in this movement, please forward this Newsletter to them. They can sign up themselves by emailing secretary@PSNA.nz
  • Join in local activities in your area monthly Rallies – In Auckland, we hold a monthly Protest at Aotea Square at 2.00 pm on the first Saturday of every month. Please consider doing the same in your community. Contact Secretary@PSNA.nz if you would like to know where and how to get Flags and Banners
  • Help set up a Students for Justice in Palestine group on your campus
  • Tell Your MP your opinions on Divestment and Sanctions of Israel
  • Write Letters to Newspapers – Call Talkback Radio
  • Keep in touch with the campaign on social media
  • Keep Updated on our Facebook pages and websites (listed below)
Regional
Whangarei Palestine Solidarity Network Whangarei
Auckland New Zealand Palestine Solidarity Network
Hamilton Palestine Human Rights Campaign Waikato
Tauranga Tauranga Moana 4 Palestine
Napier Aotearoa Standing with Palestine
Wellington Wellington Palestine
Nelson Te Tau Ihu (Nelson) Palestine
Christchurch PSNA Christchurch
Dunedin Dunedin for Justice in Palestine
New Zealand Affiliates The New Zealand Palestine Human Rights Campaign
Kia Ora Gaza
Letters for Palestine
Boycott Divestment and Sanctions NZ
Auckland Peace Action
Global Peace and Justice Auckland

John Minto
Chair
Palestine Solidarity Network Aotearoa

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