NZ Gov’t urged to speak out against Israel’s ethnic cleansing & brutality towards protesting Palestinians

10 May
Israeli police confront Palestinians in the compound that houses Al-Aqsa Mosque, amid protests over the threatened eviction of several Palestinian families from homes on land claimed by Jewish settlers in the nearby Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood, in Jerusalem’s Old City, May 7, 2021. [REUTERS/Ammar Awad]

Palestine Solidarity Network Aotearoa statement, 8 May 2021

The Palestine Solidarity Movement Aotearoa has written to the Minister of Foreign Affairs Nanaia Mahuta tonight urging the government to speak out against the imminent ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from the Occupied East Jerusalem area of Sheikh Jarrah and the Israeli state violence being used against Palestinians protesting against these racist, apartheid policies.

In recent hours there has been extensive media coverage of Palestinian protests in East Jerusalem in which over 200 Palestinians have been injured.

Tensions have been high in East Jerusalem in recent weeks after Israeli restrictions on Palestinians around the Damascus Gate and the intervention of extreme right-wing Israeli politicians, such as Itamar Ben-Gvir who wants to “Expel the Arab enemy”. Ben-Gvir is stoking the flames of race-hatred against Palestinians while he enjoys the protection of the Israeli army.

In our letter to the Foreign Minister we have argued that

The Palestinian people deserve the New Zealand government’s voice on their side rather than our “complicity through silence” which usually accompanies Israeli racism and systematic brutality against Palestinians.

In speaking out we urge you not to use anaemic language such as “calling for calm” or “urging restraint on both sides” because those statements in effect mean New Zealand siding with Israel’s racist, ethnic cleansing policies.

Please intervene with a strong, clear voice which condemns both Israel’s ethnic cleansing of the indigenous people of Palestine and the brutality meted out against them by the Israeli police and armed forces. New Zealand should be demanding equal rights and equal treatment for all people living under Israeli occupation and control.


John Minto
National Chair PSNA
Palestine Solidarity Network Aotearoa

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