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Urge your MP to support Green motion for Palestinian statehood today

19 May
Green MP Golriz Ghahraman has submitted a member’s motion asking MPs to recognise Palestine as a state. [photo: Stuff]

Wellington Palestine implore all of our members and supporters to do all that they can to support the motion tabled in the house of representatives by Golriz Ghahraman MP to recognise and support the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and statehood.

Please write to your MP insisting that they support the motion and encourage all of your family, friends and workmates to do the same. Please SHARE

https://www.greens.org.nz/green_party_tables_motion_palestinian_statehood

Rally for Palestine at Parliament steps today from 1pm.

Biden administration approved $735 million arms sale to Israel – sources

18 May
Israeli soldiers stand by an artillery unit as it fires near the border between Israel and the Gaza strip, on the Israeli side May 17, 2021. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

Israeli soldiers stand by an artillery unit as it fires near the border between Israel and the Gaza strip, on the Israeli side May 17, 2021. [REUTERS/Amir Cohen]

Patricia Zengerle, Reuters, 18 May 2021

President Joe Biden’s administration approved the potential sale of $735 million in precision-guided weapons to Israel, and congressional sources said on Monday that U.S. lawmakers were not expected to object to the deal despite violence between Israel and Palestinian militants.

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The Gaza Centre for Human Rights has been targeted and destroyed by Israel

18 May

Palestine Solidarity Network media release, 18 May 2021

The offices of the Gaza Centre for Human Rights have been targeted and destroyed by a missile from an Israeli fighter jet.

New Zealander Julie Webb-Pullman has been working for the Centre for several years as an international expert on gathering evidence of Israeli war crimes against Palestinians in Gaza. (Julie is currently waiting to return to Gaza after being delayed in New Zealand through Covid 19)

So far the Centre, under Julie’s guidance, has sent over 2000 claims of war crimes relating to Israel’s attack on Gaza in 2014 and its targeting the Great March of Return protests in March 2018.

Earlier this year the International Criminal Court made the formal announcement that they are opening an investigation into allegations of grave Israeli breaches of International Humanitarian Law. Israel is furious and has tried to stop the investigation. 

Now Israel has seized the opportunity to hit back with missiles from a Israeli fighter jet.

The Centre is making an appeal for funds to get back up and running and PSNA is co-ordinating fundraising here.

People can donate to:

Account name: PALESTINE SOLIDARITY NETWORK

Account number: 38-9015-0849542-02 (Please put GCHR in the reference)

This is a message from Julie describing the photo and the damage.

I would really appreciate it if you could also appeal for funds for Gaza Centre for Human Rights – our offices were directly targeted and destroyed a few days ago. We need to replace printers, photocopiers, furniture etc.

Our electronic backup files are safe, but all of the original documents have been destroyed. 

Attached (above) is a picture of the destruction – our offices were on the third floor, the translators’ office is the one with the blue wall, my office is at the front. Was.

Like almost every building in Gaza, it is a mixed residential and office tower.

We expect the New Zealand media will report on this and the government will condemn outright this bombing of a human rights organisation.

John Minto

National Chair, Palestine Solidarity Network Aotearoa

johnminto@orcon.net.nz

Ex-Israeli pilot: ‘Our army is a terrorist organisation run by war criminals’

18 May
Yonatan Shapira, a former Israeli soldier on September 26, 2010 [HASAN MROUE/AFP via Getty Images]
Yonatan Shapira, a former Israeli soldier on September 26, 2010 [HASAN MROUE/AFP via Getty Images]

Middle East Monitor, 18 May 2021

A former Israeli Air Force pilot, Yonatan Shapira, has described the Israeli government and army as “terrorist organisations” run by “war criminals.”
Captain Shapira who had resigned from the Israeli army in 2003 at the height of the Palestinian Second Intifada explained in an exclusive interview with Anadolu News Agency why he realized after joining the army that he was “part of a terrorist organisation”

VIDEO by Anadolu Agency, 18 May 2021


I realised during the Second Intifada what the Israeli Air Force and Israeli military are doing are war crimes, terrorising a population of millions of Palestinians. When I realised that, I decided to not just leave but to organise other pilots that will publicly refuse to take part in these crimes, he said.

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Israel warns it will bomb Gaza schools as strikes escalate

18 May

BREAKING NEWS: Video report by Al Jazeera today

The disease of settler colonialism and apartheid

18 May

No humanitarian assistance can relieve Palestinian suffering, only the end of the Israeli occupation and apartheid can.

, by Jehan Bseiso & Jonathan Whittall, Al Jazeera, 18 May 2021

Jehan BseisoExecutive Director of MSF-Lebanon
Jonathan WhittallDirector of the Analysis Department for MSF
On May 10, Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders, or MSF) started supporting the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) in Jerusalem to assess and stabilise hundreds of Palestinians injured by Israeli forces [Courtesy of MSF]
On May 10, Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders, or MSF) started supporting the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) in Jerusalem to assess and stabilise hundreds of Palestinians injured by Israeli forces [Courtesy of MSF]

When a rubber bullet pierces the eye of a child in occupied East Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood and when a woman is doused in “skunk water”, a cocktail of chemicals that smell like rotten eggs and sewerage, these are clear acts of violence and dehumanisation targeting Palestinians. But the oppression Palestinians suffer at the hands of Israel is not limited to such attacks.

There are multiple structures of exclusion and discrimination that govern Palestinian lives and that – like the violence unleashed upon them daily – affect their health and wellbeing. They all necessitate a humanitarian response from organisations like Doctors Without Borders (Médecins sans Frontieres, or MSF).

However, when MSF patches up a wound, treats a COVID-19 patient, provides mental healthcare, or receives trauma patients in an emergency room, we are not treating patients in a political vacuum. We are treating the consequences of settler colonialism and apartheid, for which we have no medical cure.

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Rally for Palestine at Parliament on Wednesday

18 May

Wellington Palestine is taking a call to action on Palestine to our elected representatives on Wednesday 19 May at 1pm.

We invite you to join us on the steps of Parliament.

We have invited all MPs to attend and tell us how they will use their political power to protect the civilian population of Gaza against Israel’s brutal military offensive.

And how they will act to advance the human rights of the Palestinian people.

Link: https://fb.me/e/1qkW0kdoy

Photo: Tommy-Morum Kelly

Then they came for the journalists…

17 May

…we don’t know what happened after that

Al Jazeera journalists speak about the Israeli air strike on al Jalaa building which housed their office in Gaza along with several residences and offices. TRT video 17 May 2021. #Gaza #Israel #Palestine

VIDEO: Auckland rally for Palestine

17 May

VIDEO report by Chris Huriwai at the Free Palestine rally in Auckland on 15 May 2021.

Kia ora e ngā iwi, I hope you appreciate this video we’ve put together regarding Israeli atrocities. I’ve recently started learning about this kaupapa and welcome my friends and followers to seek advice regarding the plight of Palestine and how they’re falsely portrayed by their oppressors. Ever since the Iraq war, I shut my eyes and ears on issues in the Middle East. I was a victim of US propaganda.

However the stark commonalities that exist between the oppression of Palestinians and the colonisation of Aotearoa has been too much to ignore, or has spilled into my sphere too often for my blinders to keep me ignorant- with the presense of The United States becoming more and more apparent with each passing day in Aotearoa, it’s time to educate ourselves and call out the Israeli and US government for what they are, murderers, colonial settlers, manipulative, merciless oppressors. Least we rot in our ignorance and complacency.

In the last seven days alone, at least 187 Palestinians have been killed. 51 of them are children. 10 Israelis have also been killed. I kōrero koe i te ngakau aroha, kei hea tērā ināianei? Jacinda Ardern. Kei Te Pāti Māori, kei hea koutou? Māori Party. Kore e kōrero… He aha tērā… ā rātou whawhai, ā mātou whawhai, e mōhio ana koutou i tēnei. @Debbie Ngarewa-Packer, MP, Rawiri Waititi MP, e tatari ana au ki te panui. If you’ve ever questioned The US ownership over Aotearoa, ask yourself why we’ve spoken out against China, our primary over-the-table trading partner. Yet silent against Israel/The US.

Ka whawhai tonu mātou, āke, āke, āke. Me rātou hoki.

Palestinian solidarity protests will continue and grow next weekend

17 May
2500 Aucklanders rallied for Palestine on Saturday 15 May. Rallies were held in ten NZ cities.

Media Release, Palestine Solidarity Network Aotearoa, 16 May 2021

PSNA met online tonight and decided to organise nationwide protests again next Saturday 22 May.

We were very pleased with the 4,000 people who turned out in 10 centres around the country last Saturday – the largest public protests on this issue for many years – and we expect this coming Saturday to be significantly bigger given the escalating attacks on Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem,across the occupied West Bank, through Israel itself and now in cruel, cowardly attacks on Gaza.

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Golriz Ghahraman condemns NZ Govt, says international humanitarian laws have been breached in Gaza

17 May
Green MP Golriz Ghahraman addressing the Auckland rally for Palestine on Saturday.

Jan Nixon, 1 NEWS, 16 May 2021

The foreign spokesperson for the Green Party says she believes NZ has an ‘obligation’ to help uphold international law. Source: 1 NEWS

It comes amid a severe attack overnight on a Gaza building which was home to media organisations, including The Associated Press and Al Jazeera.

As the conflict reaches its sixth day, at least 145 Palestinian civilians have been killed, and about 10 Israeli residents.

Ghahraman told 1 NEWS the New Zealand Government should have responded days ago.

“I’ve been disappointed at the New Zealand Government response over the six days. I think we should have responded strongly at the very start of what was very violent systemic attacks on the Palestinian population in East Jerusalem, that was backed by the Israel government.

Israeli airstrike destroys Gaza building that houses media outlets as conflict escalates

“We then had some retaliation and now have a full-out bombardment of a civilian population in Gaza by one of the world’s most powerful militaries.

“This is an atrocity and it’s absolutely not good enough that the New Zealand Government hasn’t condemned it,” Ghahraman says.

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Alternative Jewish Voices statement at Wellington Nakba Day rally

17 May

Sh’ma Koleinu – Alternative Jewish Voices (NZ) 15 May 2021

May 15, at Wellington’s Nakba Day gathering, we joined Palestinians and many others in outrage and (in the words of another speaker) radical hope. These remarks will be Alternative Jewish Voices’ Nakba Day statement:

Kia Ora,

Thank you – shukran – for inviting me. 

The protests in NZ are furthest from Palestine, so, from the ends of the earth we are with you, seeking your protection, your freedom and all of our futures – because I will only be free when we are all free and safe.

My name is Marilyn Garson, and I am a co-founder of Alternative Jewish Voices.  I’m here with my co-founder Fred Albert. We are with friends and we bring messages of support from more Jewish friends up and down the Island.  We are with you, in sadness and in solidarity.  To each of the Palestinians here today, we wish safety and justice for your families.

Nakba Day and Sheikh Jarrah are both about family homes.  A few generations ago, our antecedents, seeking shelter, took the homes of others.  They drove Palestinians out their homes and built a militarized regime of occupation and apartheid.  Until we resolve it on that level, the Nakba will continue to be an event in the present tense. Israeli settlers are still trying to force Palestinian families out of their homes in the West Bank, in Sheikh Jarrah.  The settlers have ethnic laws and overwhelming force on their side, but their impunity has abruptly ended.

There is no way back to their status quo, because their status quo caused the absolute horror that we see unfolding.

Let me say that I dread violence, I dread anyone’s violence. But I do not equate the actions of the powerful and the powerless. I hate the weapons of war but I see the cause, the power disparities and the proportions of harm. The Israeli human rights organisation, B’Tselem tracks the casualties of this Israeli regime. Through the past 20 years, the casualties have been 88% Palestinian – and those have been grossly, disproportionately Gazan.

As a Jew, I do not know how it has felt to be Palestinian through those years.  I do not narrate the experience of those years.  I listen while you tell me what those years have meant.

But I do know how it feels to sit beneath the bombs in Gaza.  I worked in Gaza through the last war.  I sat beneath four years of bombs, and my body will remember them forever. The bombs that Israeli forces are dropping in Gaza are larger by an order of magnitude than the rockets.  Nowhere on this earth are the power disparities greater than in the repeated bombardments of Gaza.  They are not bombing Hamas, because Hamas is not a tidy, separate, non-civilian place.  No, they are bombing Gaza.  One of the most powerful militaries on earth is bombing in overwhelmingly civilian cities, where a million children are trapped behind a wall.  Gazans are fighting to claim their most basic human rights, to walk free and drink clean water. When buildings are falling around them, when unvaccinated civilians flee from a vaccinated army, when we all know there is no safe place behind that wall – you tell me, who is the aggressor, and who is in need of self-defense? 

I plead with our government to act. Jacinda Ardern, Nanaia Mahuta, where are you? Gaza is in great danger – we need you to stand up and help them. Occupied people are legally protected people and we need you to enforce the laws of protection.

To our fellow Jews we say, surely this is not the Israel you had in mind. So please join us. Standing here, together, you can see the future. This madness will end when we admit what we have done, when we listen, restore, return – then we can begin to transform this mess together. We who hold the power, we start by saying: “Our lives have equal value. Jewish supremacy is not our Judaism. I will not have it done in my name.”

Occupation is not our Judaism – not in my name.  Apartheid is not our Judaism – not in my name.  Bomb a million children behind blockade walls – never, never in my name.  That is not our Judaism.

Our Judaism says: Tzedek, tzedek tirdof: justice, justice you shall pursue

We join you to do the work of seeking justice together.

B’Shalom – Ya’tik al afiyah – Nga mihi nui.

Alternative Jewish Voices of NZ

— We are grateful to everyone for their warm welcome, and to our friends at Wellington Palestine for their hard work

Image credits: Tommy-Morum Kelly

https://ajv.org.nz/2021/05/16/standing-together-on-nakba-day-in-sadness-and-solidarity-outrage-and-radical-hope/

Dismantle apartheid, end the occupation: Why we must rally behind Palestine

16 May

Colonialism in Israel has always been a state-run project, one that ultimately aims at the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians.

( Beata Zawrzel / NurPhoto via Getty Images )

By Ramzy Baroud, TRT World, 15 May 2021

Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, must have never anticipated that a routine act of ethnic cleansing in occupied East Jerusalem could lead to a Palestinian Intifada, bringing together all sectors of Palestinian society in a show of unity unprecedented since the first uprising of 1987.

Let us not dwell on the technicalities. Those who are busy deciphering whether the resistance in Palestine at the moment is the “Third Intifada” or not, should stop and, instead, divert their attention to something else entirely: namely, the fact that the degree of unity among the Palestinian people is absolutely unmatched in years.

The Palestinian people have decided to move past all the political divisions and the factional squabbles. Instead, they are coining new terminologies, ones that are centred around resistance, liberation and international solidarity. By doing so, they are challenging factionalism, along with the shameful Arab normalisation of Israeli apartheid and military occupation. 

Moreover, the Palestinian voice is piercing through the international silence, compelling the world to hear their chants for freedom.

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Israeli airstrikes target international media offices, civilian homes in Gaza

16 May
Mohammed al-Hadidi, holds his baby who was pulled alive from under the rubble while seven other family members perished, , after an Israeli air strike struck al-Shati Refugee Camp without advance warning during the night, in Gaza City early on May 15, 2021. (Photo: Atia Darwish/APA Images)

MOHAMMED AL-HADIDI, HOLDS HIS BABY WHO WAS PULLED ALIVE FROM UNDER THE RUBBLE WHILE SEVEN OTHER FAMILY MEMBERS PERISHED, , AFTER AN ISRAELI AIR STRIKE STRUCK AL-SHATI REFUGEE CAMP WITHOUT ADVANCE WARNING DURING THE NIGHT, IN GAZA CITY EARLY ON MAY 15, 2021. (PHOTO: ATIA DARWISH/APA IMAGES)

MONDOWEISS, 16 May 2021

The Latest:

  • Gaza death toll reaches 139, including 39 children and 1,000 injuries, according to Gaza’s Ministry of Health; nine Israeli casualties, including one child. 24 schools have been destroyed in Gaza.
  • 10 members of the same family, including eight children, killed in the Israeli airstrike on Gaza’s Shati refugee camp
  • Israel destroys the Jalaa building in Gaza, which houses many international media offices in the territory, including Al Jazeera and AP offices.
  • Protests in the West Bank are expected to continue, as Palestinians mark 73rd anniversary of the Nakba.
  • Israeli mobs and armed settlers continue to attack Palestinians in Jaffa, Haifa, and Sheikh Jarrah
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Free Palestine: Nationwide Day of Action on Saturday

12 May

NZ Nakba day and Save Sheikh Jarrah rallies on this Saturday 15 May

DUNEDIN: 2pm – 4pm, Otago Museum, 419 Great King Street, Dunedin.

CHRISTCHURCH: 12pm – 1:30pm Bridge of Remembrance.

NELSON: 10:30am– 12p at Saturday Markets, Nelson

WELLINGTON: 11am -12pm, Cuba Street. Wellington Palestine.

PALMERSTON NORTH: 2pm the Square.

WHANGANUI: 10am – 11:30am Taupo Quay 17 Taupo Quay, Whanganui.

HAMILTON: from 1:30pm at the end of Wairere Drive and Cambridge Road Hillcrest (same place as previous rallies). Palestine Human Rights Campaign Waikato.

AUCKLAND: 2pm front entrance of Britomart Railway Station, Downtown Auckland.

Links to each rally: https://www.facebook.com/Palestine-Solidarity-Network-Aotearoa-PSNA-403868133556427/events

Explained: Israel’s deadly new military campaign in Gaza

12 May

Video report: Middle East Eye, 11 May 2021

Israel says it launched deadly airstrikes on Gaza on Monday because of rockets fired at its cities by Hamas, but is the story really that simple? Here’s what you need to know about what’s going on in Gaza, Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa. Video produced by Mohamed Hassan.

#AlAqsa #Gaza #Israel

Middle East Eye Website: https://middleeasteye.net

Palestinian resistance imposes new rules of engagement on Israel

12 May
Israeli police run after a Palestinian demonstrator at the Al-Aqsa Mosque during Israel's 'Jerusalem Day' on May 10, 2021 in Jerusalem, Israel [Laurent Van Der Stockt/Getty Images]

Israeli police run after a Palestinian demonstrator at the Al-Aqsa Mosque during Israel’s ‘Jerusalem Day’ on May 10, 2021 in Jerusalem, Israel [Laurent Van Der Stockt/Getty Images]

OPINION by Motasem A Dalloul, Middle East Monitor’s correspondent in the Gaza Strip, 12 May 2021

At 5 pm on Monday, the Palestinian resistance in Gaza had issued a one-hour ultimatum to the Israeli occupation authorities, calling on them to end their month-long aggression against Muslim worshippers in Al Aqsa Mosque; refrain from evicting Palestinian families in Sheikh Jarrah; and release Palestinian prisoners detained since the start of the latest increase in tensions in mid-April, which also saw the start of the holy month of Ramadan.

Across the nominal border, the Israeli authorities were confused as they did not believe that the resistance would dare to issue an ultimatum to a country with the strongest army in the region and one of the best equipped in the world. However, the one-hour ultimatum passed, and just two minutes later seven rockets were launched towards Israeli settlements in occupied Jerusalem.

This was confusing for the Israeli political and military leadership; it was the first time that they had had to deal with such serious warnings. The Israeli authorities had asked the settlers’ to cancel their provocative march commemorating the day in 1967 that Israel’s occupation of East Jerusalem began, but did not respond to the other demands. Then the Israeli police raided Al Aqsa Mosque and attacked the Palestinian worshippers inside, broke windows and furniture, and fired tear gas and rubber-coated bullets and sound grenades, causing hundreds of casualties.

In response to the Israeli aggression, the Palestinian resistance increased its rate of rocket fire towards Israeli cities and settlements. It renewed its warning and called for the Israeli forces to end the siege of Al-Aqsa Mosque and pull back. The occupation forces met the resistance demand, but this prompted a new Israeli stance.

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NZ Parliamentarians supporting World Keffiyeh Day.

11 May

Seventeen NZ Parliamentarians commemorated World Keffiyeh Day today in the parliament debating chamber.

An important gesture of solidarity at a time when Palestinians need the support so much.
The MPs are:
Ibrahim Omer
Marja Lubeck Labour List
Marama Davidson – Green Party co-leader
Willie Jackson
Tracey McLellan – Banks Peninsula
Rachel Boyack
Sarah Pallett – Ilam
Helen White
Emily Henderson
Duncan Webb Labour MP for Christchurch Central
Tamati Coffey
Vanushi Walters
Golriz Ghahraman
Teanau Tuiono
Chlöe Swarbrick
Anahila Kanongataá-Suisuiki
Ricardo Menéndez March

Green MP Golriz Ghahraman also posted this photo (below) and comment on Facebook: Today is #KeffiyehDay. We celebrate Palestinian culture, humanity, and life, as we continue to call for an end to the terrifying violence suffered right now in Palestine at the hands of Israeli forces and settlers. Our Govt must speak!

#SaveSheikhJarrah #FreePalestine Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand (with) Marama Davidson MP

So, what is World Keffiyeh Day, you ask? It’s a global movement to bring awareness and show solidarity with the Palestinian cause and struggle, by wearing the iconic Palestinian scarf. The day was strategically scheduled on May 11th to prepare for Al Nakba (the day of calamity in 1948) on May 15th.

Initiated by the Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights at Concordia University in Canada, the commemoration has spread globally, and is used to educate the world about the ongoing occupation of Palestine.

‘Gaza Fights For Freedom’ is now FREE for everyone

11 May

In support of #SaveSheikhJarrah and outrage at Israel’s current bombardment of Gaza, the Empire Files have permanently removed the paywall from their feature documentary ‘Gaza Fights For Freedom’ directed by Abby Martin. They hope it helps educate more people about the terrible crimes against Palestinians and builds solidarity with their cause. They are still selling DVDs, HD digital downloads, the soundtrack, and versions of the film with Arabic and Spanish subtitles at GazaFightsForFreedom.com

If you’d like to contribute to help recoup the cost of making this, please donate at Patreon or at PayPal. Please share this video with everyone you know, so it can be seen as widely as possible!

WATCH HERE NOW!

Christchurch rally

11 May
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