Break the government’s protective cone of silence

28 Aug

Palestine Solidarity Network Aotearoa, Newsletter Special, 28 August 2020

Break the government’s protective cone of silence around Israel


  • 12 noon
  • parliament steps
  • Wednesday 2 September – the last sitting day of this parliament

(If you can’t make the rally, you can email the Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, and Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters. Suggested text can be found below.)

For over a year the Palestine Solidarity Network Aotearoa has been trying to get the government to speak up for Palestine but we have met a blank wall. Winston Peters as Foreign Minister has maintained a protective cone of silence around Israel and its brutal military occupation and blockade of Gaza. The Labour leadership has refused to step in where Peters has failed.

Over the past year the government has:

  • Refused to speak up and pressure Israel to allow Palestinians to bring in medical supplies and equipment to deal with a coronavirus outbreak in Gaza – our 22 March letter to the Prime Minister, signed by many prominent New Zealanders, has been ignored. Within the last week Covid 19 has broken out with Community transmission within Gaza for the first time. Practising social distancing and frequent hand washing are impossible in this densely populated area where 97% of the water is unfit to drink. Gaza’s severely degraded medical facilities and lack of medical supplies caused by the Israeli blockade means GAZA is struggling.
  • Refused to stop buying military equipment from Israeli companies Elbit System and Roboteam by the New Zealand Defence Force under Ron Mark as Minister of Defence. Mark is a well-known apologist for Israel and demonstrated this in January last year in this nauseating display of fawning to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu – a person who should be facing war crimes indictments. Warning: Video is vomit inducing – viewer discretion advised.
  • Expressed serious concern about Israeli plans to annex further vast swathes of Palestinian land under the Trump so-called “deal of the century” but refused to announce any sanction on Israel in the event of annexation.
  • Refused to speak out against the frequent outrages committed by the Israeli military against Palestinians and Palestinian communities but has been quick to condemn Palestinians for rockets fired from Gaza in response to Israeli war crimes.

It’s time parliament stood up for Palestine and broke Winston Peter’s protective cone of silence around Netanyahu’s racist apartheid regime.

2 September is the last sitting day of parliament. Come to the protest. See the poster above for details.  Get your friends and family in Wellington to come. Spread the word. Be there if you can!

Speak up for Palestine!

Not in Wellington? You can still do your bit. . .

Please write to the Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign affairs calling on New Zealand to speak up against the Vicious, Illegal Blockade of Gaza.

Below is the letter we sent to the Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister. If you can back this up with your own messages to this pair then that would be helpful and important.


28 August 2020

Jacinda Ardern
Prime Minister

Winston Peters
Minister of Foreign Affairs

Kia ora Ms Ardern kōruā ko Mr Peters,

Call for New Zealand government to speak up and

  1. Condemn Israeli bombing of Gaza and
    2.       Call for lifting of the Israeli blockade on the besieged Palestinian enclave

The Palestine Solidarity Network Aotearoa (PSNA) has called on the government to speak up on behalf of the besieged people of Gaza who are once more under bombardment from Israeli bombs during the global Covid 19 pandemic.

Israel claims its attacks are in retaliation for incendiary balloons sent from Gaza which have caused fires in Israel. This is a micro issue. It is subterfuge. The cause of the conflict is the Israeli blockade of Gaza which has been intensified in recent days.

We have previously requested the government speak out calling for the end of the Gaza blockade because of the global pandemic but the government has been silent.

Previously the government has condemned Palestinian resistance but has simply called for “restraint” on the part of Israel. This is a racist, one-sided policy of support for the aggressors and another kick in the teeth for the Palestinian victims.

This must change.

Gaza schools opened last Sunday after five months of suspension due to Covid-19 only to be hit the same night by an Israeli missile. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency tweeted that Beach Co-Educational School ‘D’ “was affected” by an Israeli air strike which has been found to be an unexploded Israeli bomb which targeted the school.

Israeli brutality knows no bounds when it comes to attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure.

They are relying on complicity by silence from countries such as New Zealand to continue their abuses of Palestinian human rights.

It’s time for change. A am calling on you to act immediately to uphold international law and minimum human rights standards and demand:

  1. An immediate end to Israeli military attacks on Gaza, and
    2.       The immediate and total lifting of the illegal siege of Gaza

NZ must then follow these up with concrete action which suspends all bilateral agreements between Israeli entities and New Zealand until Israel complies with both international law and all United Nations resolutions.

I look forward to your quick response in this urgent situation.


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