Tag Archives: Info

New team takes the lead in Kia Ora Gaza

18 Feb
Grant Morgan (right), retiring chair of Kia Ora Gaza, congratulates his successor, Roger Fowler

Grant Morgan (right), the retiring chair of Kia Ora Gaza, congratulates his successor, Roger Fowler


by Grant Morgan

 retiring chair of Kia Ora Gaza

18 February 2013

After two-and-a-half years as Kia Ora Gaza’s chair and website editor, I retired from those roles at our leadership forum last weekend.

The reason? Over the past half-dozen years I have researched, written and spoken about how global capitalism is in overshoot on all main fronts and, consequently, is on an unstoppable collapse trajectory. Examples of my longer writings can be seen here and here.

Well before Kia Ora Gaza was set up in July 2010, I had made commitments to others about progressing our collective work on the end times of the current world system. Now that we are getting nearer to the launch of our capitalist collapse website, I must clear the decks of other tasks, and thus my resignation from all leadership roles in Kia Ora Gaza.

Over the past 12 months, I have advised other leaders of Kia Ora Gaza of my intention to step down as chair and website editor. For them, my resignation comes as no surprise whatsoever.

I have no doubt that the transition will be smooth. Why? Because other leaders have risen up to take the reins of Kia Ora Gaza, and will likely do a better job than what I’ve done.

Roger Fowler, for instance, has led two Kia Ora Gaza aid missions to Gaza, went on an investigative mission to the strip last October, and subsequently organised the successful tour of New Zealand by UK film-maker Harry Fear who documented Israel’s last murderous blitz on Gaza.

It’s fitting, therefore, that Roger was elected the new chair of Kia Ora Gaza by popular acclaim at our leadership forum. He will also take over as website editor.

Alongside Roger on a new executive are Tali Williams and Hone Fowler, both of them Gaza convoyers. These three make a talented and dedicated leadership team.

Together with Roger, Ismail Waja and Robyn Hughes remain as trustees of Kia Ora Gaza.

It’s customary for a retiring chair to express well wishes to the incoming chair and the new leadership team, and I certainly do so. But I don’t really think they need any well wishes from me, or anyone else, since they are already proven as leaders of Kia Ora Gaza.

Given the vast changes which have swept the Middle East over recent times, and which are increasingly being felt inside Gaza, the West Bank and their colonial oppressor Israel, it’s an appropriate time for a new team to take the lead in Kia Ora Gaza.

I remain, of course, a strong advocate of Kia Ora Gaza and the cause of Gaza and wider Palestine.

Foundation chair of Kia Ora Gaza steps down

18 Feb
Kia Ora Gaza's newly elected executive: Tali Williams (seated), Roger Fowler (back left) and Hone Fowler

Kia Ora Gaza’s newly elected executive: Tali Williams (seated), Roger Fowler (back left) and Hone Fowler


by Roger Fowler

new chair of Kia Ora Gaza

18 February 2013

Last Saturday, at a leadership forum of Kia Ora Gaza, Grant Morgan stood down as chair of our solidarity network and editor of our website kiaoragaza.net. His departure had been well flagged over the past 12 months.

Grant has been busy with research and networking around the pending collapse of the international capitalist system. Now he needs to devote his energies to a capitalist collapse website as its launch date gets closer.

Consequently, the executive of Kia Ora Gaza has, with regret, accepted his resignation as our chair and website editor, along with other responsibilities. Grant remains an ardent supporter of Kia Ora Gaza.

By unanimous vote, the executive elected myself as the new chair and website editor.

The executive expresses our heartfelt thanks and appreciation for Grant’s consistently prudent leadership.

As our foundation chair, his work has been integral in shaping Kia Ora Gaza as a vital catalyst for solidarity with besieged Gaza, and battered Palestine, in New Zealand.

Palestinian statehood receives resounding ‘yes’ vote at UN

30 Nov

Al Jazeera, 29 November 2012. Nicole Johnston reports from Ramallah.

Euro News, 29 November 2012.


by Ewen MacAskill at the UN & Chris McGreal in Ramallah

The Guardian

29 November 2012

The United Nations General Assembly voted overwhelmingly on Thursday to recognise Palestine as a state, in the face of opposition from Israel and the US.

The 193-member assembly voted 138 in favour of the plan, with only nine against and 41 abstentions. The scale of the defeat represented a strong and public repudiation for Israel and the US, who find themselves out of step with the rest of the world.

Thursday’s vote marked a diplomatic breakthrough for Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas and could help his standing after weeks in which he has been sidelined by Palestinian rivals Hamas in the Gaza conflict.

Abbas, who flew from Ramallah, on the West Bank, to New York to address the General Assembly, said: “The moment has arrived for the world to say clearly: enough of aggression, settlements and occupation.”

A Palestinian flag was unfurled on the floor of the General Assembly after the vote.

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Israel’s war for Gaza’s gas

30 Nov


by Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed

Le Monde Diplomatique

28 November 2012

It is clear that without an overall military operation to uproot Hamas control of Gaza, no drilling work can take place without the consent of the radical Islamic movement.

Moshe Ya’alon, 
Israeli deputy prime minister 
and minister of strategic affairs, 2007.


Over the last decade, Israel has experienced a growing energy crisis.

Between 2000 and 2010, Israel’s power consumption has risen by 3.5 per cent annually. With over 40 percent of Israel’s electricity dependent on natural gas, the country has struggled to keep up with rising demand as a stable source of gas is in short supply. As of April, electricity prices rose by 9 percent, as the state-owned Israeli Electricity Company (IEC) warned that “Israelis may soon face blackouts during this summer’s heat” – which is exactly what happened.

The two major causes of the natural gas shortage were Egypt’s repeated suspension of gas supplies to Israel due to attacks on the Sinai pipeline, and the near-depletion of Israel’s offshore Tethys Sea gas fields. By late April, a trade deal that would have continued natural gas imports from Egypt into Israel collapsed, sending the Israeli government scrambling to find alternate energy sources to meet peak electricity demands.

Without a significant boost in gas production, Israel faced the prospect of debilitating fuel price hikes which would undermine the economy.

By late June, Israel was tapping into the little known Noa gas reserve in the Mediterranean off the coast of Gaza. Previously, Israel had “refrained from ordering development of the Noa field, fearing that this would lead to diplomatic problems vis-à-vis the Palestinian Authority”, according to the Israeli business daily Globes. The Noa reserve, whose yield is about 1.2 billion cubic metres, “is partly under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority in the economic zone of the Gaza Strip” – but Houston-based operator Noble Energy apparently “convinced” Israel’s Ministry of National Infrastructures that their drilling would “not spill over into other parts of the reserve.”

But the Gaza Marine gas reserves – about 32km from Gaza’s coastline – are unmistakeably within Gaza’s territorial waters which extend to about 35km off the coast.

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Gaza kids back at school, but psychological scars remain

26 Nov

Al Jazeera, 24 November 2012. Nadim Baba reports from Gaza.

Euro News, 24 November 2012.

Gaza ceasefire an event of ‘significance’: US scholar

25 Nov

Hamas leader-in-exile Khaled Mashaal speaks during a Cairo news conference about the ceasefire agreed between Israel and Gaza, 21 November 2012. The Zionist state and its Western allies have been compelled to give de facto recognition to Hamas as the legitimate government of Gaza, thus kneecapping their strategy of isolation.


by Richard Falk

24 November 2012

The Gaza ceasefire, unlike a similar ceasefire achieved after Operation Cast Lead four years ago, is an event that has a likely significance far beyond ending the violence after eight days of murderous attacks. It is just possible that it will be looked back upon as a turning point in the long struggle between Israel and Palestine.

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Truce deal reflects pressure on Israel to lift Gaza siege

24 Nov

by Harriet Sherwood in Jerusalem

The Guardian

22 November 2012

extract from article

Details of the truce agreement, principally over easing Israel’s blockade on Gaza, still have to be hammered out in talks that were due to begin within 24 hours of the ceasefire deal’s announcement on Wednesday evening.

The price of US support and European acquiescence in the military operation may be heavy pressure on Israel to lift trade restrictions and allow much greater freedom of movement for the people of Gaza.

Some in the Israeli government also believe the six-year blockade has proven to be a failure and are pressing for a wholesale review.

‘This time Israel felt the heat of the Arab Spring’

24 Nov


Gaza premier Ismail Haniya hugs the brother of Ahmed Jaabari, the Hamas military chief killed by an Israeli air strike, as Gazans celebrates the truce


by Jodi Rudoren in Gaza & Isabel Kershner in Jerusalem

The New York Times

22 November 2012

article abridged

Palestinians erupted in triumphant celebrations in Gaza on Thursday, vowing new unity among rival factions and a renewed commitment to the tactic of resistance, while Israel’s leaders sought to soberly sell the achievements of their latest military operation to a domestic audience long skeptical of ceasefire deals like the one announced the night before.

After eight days of intense Israeli shelling from air and sea that killed 162 Gazans, including at least 30 militant commanders, and flattened many government buildings and private homes, Palestinians poured onto the bomb-blasted streets, beaming as they shopped and strolled under the shield of the ceasefire agreement reached Wednesday in Cairo. The place was awash in flags, not only the signature green of the ruling Hamas party but also the yellow, black and red of rivals Fatah, Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a rainbow not visible here in years.

Despite the death and destruction, Hamas emerged emboldened, analysts said, not only because its rockets had landed near Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, but also from the visits and support by Arab and Muslim leaders, potentially resetting the balance of power and tone in Palestinian politics, as leaders from various factions declared the peace process dead.

“The blood of Jabari united the people of the nation on the choice of jihad and resistance,” Ismail Haniya, the Hamas prime minister, declared in a televised speech, referring to the commander Ahmed al-Jabari, killed in an Israeli airstrike at the beginning of the operation last week. “Resistance is the shortest way to liberate Palestine.”

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Guardian editorial says ‘siege of Gaza has just ended’

22 Nov

Israeli soldiers ready their military gear near the border with Gaza in preparation for a ground invasion that never took place


editorial in The Guardian

21 November 2012

Outside the confines of an Israeli election campaign, it is hard to see the last eight days of aerial bombardment of Gaza as a tactical success.

What started from the Israeli defence establishment’s view with a moment of elation – the pinpoint strike on the car of Hamas military commander Ahmed al-Jaabari – ended with Hamas and other militant groups breaking two taboos: firing rockets repeatedly at Tel Aviv (not even Hezbollah during the height of the second Lebanon war did that); and returning to the tactic of bombing buses.

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Israel must ‘ease’ Gaza siege under ceasefire deal

22 Nov

Al Jazeera, 21 November 2012. Nadim Baba reports from Gaza.


by Al Jazeera

22 November 2012

article abridged & re-edited

A ceasefire has gone into effect in and around Gaza after Israel and Hamas agreed to cease hostilities.

Many Palestinians in Gaza City took to the streets to celebrate the truce on Wednesday night.

Egypt’s foreign minister Mohamed Kamel Amr announced the ceasefire during a joint news conference with US secretary of state Hillary Clinton in Cairo.

Under the ceasefire terms, Israel stops all aggression against Gaza from land, sea and air, including cross-border incursions and targeted killings.

Palestinian factions cease all rocket fire and attacks from Gaza towards Israel, including along the border.

24 hours after the ceasefire takes effect, Israel will also be committed to opening all border crossings and easing restrictions on movements of people and goods in and out of the enclave.

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Gaza City celebrates Hamas ceasefire with Israel

22 Nov

Palestinians in Gaza City celebrate what they say is a victory over Israel


by Chris McGreal in Gaza City & Harriet Sherwood in Tel Aviv

The Guardian

21 November 2012

article abridged & re-edited

Celebratory bursts of gunfire, cheering and chanting could be heard within minutes of the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas coming into effect on Wednesday as gunmen emerged onto the streets of Gaza City to claim victory.

Some people let off fireworks from rooftops. Others drove through the city with horns blaring. But in Israel, relief at the war’s end was imbued with caution, skepticism and opposition to striking a deal with Hamas. Many were waiting to see if the deal would hold before celebrating.

Along Gaza City’s waterfront, a loudspeaker on a mosque repeated over and over “Allahu Akbar” (God is greatest).

“Israel begged for a ceasefire because it could not stop our rockets,” said Adel Mansour. “They bombed us, they killed our women and children, but they could not stop the resistance. So they had to surrender and agree to stop the assassinations. They learned we cannot be defeated by their bombs.”

Support for Hamas has strengthened inside Gaza in recent days because it has been seen to stand up to Israel. There is little debate about the cost in lives. “Our martyrs are the price we must pay,” said Mansour. “But it is the Israelis who have their blood on their hands.”

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Egypt’s Morsi emerges as winner of Gaza conflict

22 Nov

Israel’s prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu (left) and defence minister Ehud Barak at a media conference about the ceasefire with Hamas held in Jerusalem, 21 November 2012. Do they look happy to you?


by Ian Black, Middle East editor

The Guardian

21 November 2012

article abridged & re-edited

It is the way of all negotiations, particularly ones conducted under intense pressure and when the stakes are so high, that each party seeks to put a positive spin when the deal has been done.

So it was on Wednesday, in Gaza, Jerusalem and Cairo, as the protagonists explained what had been achieved after eight days of bloodshed, some 145 dead and fears around the world of the possible eruption of a wider Middle East war.

Hamas, the Islamist movement that rules Gaza, was upbeat, claiming that all its demands had been met.

Israeli leaders sounded an equally triumphant note, insisting – though less convincingly – that Operation Pillar of Defence had reached its goals. Ehud Barak, Israel‘s defence minister, said that Hamas had suffered “serious blows”.

Khaled Mashaal, the Hamas leader, said that Israel had suffered a “great defeat”.

The key details of the agreement are sketchy but significant. There’s a promised end to all Israeli assassinations and incursions into Gaza – a reminder that this latest round of bloodshed began with the “targeted killing” of Hamas military leader Ahmed al-Jaabari last Wednesday.

All Palestinian factions will in turn stop cross-border attacks into Israel. Hamas will thus be required to impose its will on more radical groups such as Islamic Jihad, a return to the old arrangement – which raises the question of how much has been achieved in the past week.

Written pledges of that kind may be worth something – but they are very easily broken.

More important is the clause about opening border crossings and “facilitating” the movement of people and goods in and out of the Gaza.

Crucially, no details appear to have been agreed on how and where this is to be implemented, though the matter is to be “dealt with” 24 hours after the start of the truce. There is talk of the creation of a new “liaison mechanism”. It’s a safe bet that it is unlikely to work smoothly for very long.

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Auckland mobilisation: end Israel’s siege on Gaza

21 Nov

End Israel’s siege on Gaza

2pm this Saturday, 24 November

Aotea Square, Auckland central

Called by Auckland University Students for Justice in Palestine

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Wellington: rally in solidarity with Gaza

21 Nov

Rally in solidarity with Gaza

12 noon this Saturday, 24 November

Bucket Fountain, Cuba Mall, Wellington

Called by Wellington Students for Justice in Palestine.

‘Palestinians have the right to defend themselves’: journalist

21 Nov


Egypt’s foreign minister Mohamed Amr (third left) and Gaza’s Hamas premier Ismail Haniya (second left) visit a Palestinian woman wounded in an Israeli air strike, 20 November 2012


by Seumas Milne

The Guardian

20 November 2012

The way Western politicians and media have pontificated about Israel’s onslaught on Gaza, you’d think it was facing an unprovoked attack from a well-armed foreign power. Israel had every “right to defend itself”, Barack Obama declared. “No country on earth would tolerate missiles raining down on its citizens from outside its borders.”

He was echoed by Britain’s foreign secretary, William Hague, who declared that the Palestinian Islamists of Hamas bore “principal responsibility” for Israel’s bombardment of the open-air prison that is Gaza.

Meanwhile, most Western media have echoed Israel’s claim that its assault is in retaliation for Hamas rocket attacks. The BBC speaks wearisomely of a conflict of “ancient hatreds”.

In fact, an examination of the sequence of events over the last month shows that Israel played the decisive role in the military escalation: from its attack on a Khartoum arms factory reportedly supplying arms to Hamas and the killing of 15 Palestinian fighters in late October, to the shooting of a mentally disabled Palestinian in early November, the killing of a 13 year-old in an Israeli incursion and, crucially, the assassination of the Hamas commander Ahmed Jabari last Wednesday during negotiations over a temporary truce.

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Egyptian parties tell Morsi to ‘freeze relations’ with Israel

17 Nov


Leaders of Egypt’s political forces met following Israel’s attack on Gaza, calling on the president to “freeze all relations with the Zionist entity”


by Ahmed Eleiba in Cairo

Ahram Online

17 November 2012

article abridged & re-edited

Egypt’s political forces, including the majority Freedom & Justice Party (FJP), are demanding that the Egyptian government and president immediately move to revise the Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty amid Israel’s ongoing onslaught on Gaza.

After nearly five hours of discussions at the headquarters of the FJP,  a joint statement was issued by all attendees.

FJP president Mohamed Saad Al-Katatni, who chaired the meeting, read the statement: “Political parties and forces call on the Egyptian government to take concrete steps to stop the Zionist assault on the besieged Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip. They welcomed president Mohamed Morsi’s decision to withdraw Egypt’s ambassador from the occupation state [Israel].”

Political forces also called on Morsi to “freeze all relations with the Zionist entity, whether diplomatic, political, economic or security, and leave the Rafah border crossing [with Gaza] permanently open.”

Al-Katatni continued: “Political parties urge president Morsi to revise all agreements with the enemy, especially the Camp David Treaty.”

The meeting was attended by a wide range of political forces, including:

  • Freedom & Justice Party,
  • al-Nour Party,
  • Asala Party,
  • Fadila Party,
  • Free Egyptians Party,
  • Egypt Socialist Party,
  • Ghad El-Thawra Party,
  • 6 April Youth Movement,
  • Popular Current, and
  • independent MPs.

Egypt sides with Gaza while Israel gears up for invasion

17 Nov


Al Jazeera, 16 November 2012. Nadim Baba reports from Gaza.


by Harriet Sherwood in Gaza City, Peter Beaumont in Cairo & Chris McGreal

The Guardian

17 November 2012

article abridged

The Israeli cabinet has authorised the call-up of 75,000 reserve troops as fears grow that the prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, will order a ground invasion.

The size of the call up is on a scale comparable to Israel’s invasion of Lebanon six years ago, and several times larger than the number of reservists drafted during the last major incursion into Gaza in 2008. Tanks were seen gathering near the Gaza border, and roads in the area were closed to Israeli civilians.

Israel’s deputy foreign minister, Danny Ayalon, told CNN that a ground invasion could come before the end of the weekend if the rocket attacks continue.

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Kiwi activist safely exits Gaza to continue mission in Cairo

16 Nov

Roger Fowler (right front) at Gaza’s Rafah crossing with Egypt


by Roger Fowler

Kia Ora Gaza

16 November 2012

I have been in Gaza for two weeks with UK film-maker Harry Fear and his team. As citizen journalists we were on a fact finding mission in Gaza, a job the mainstream media has largely abdicated.

In addition to consolidating friendships established on previous visits, I have been interviewing a wide range of influential people in Gaza about the impact of the historic changes in the region following the Arab Spring uprisings, and the prospects for ending the illegal siege of this Palestinian territory.

Having completed this mission for Kia Ora 
Gaza’s website, and after enduring a night of intense bombing in Gaza, on Thursday I took up an offer from a brave taxi driver to make a desperate dash to the Rafah border crossing with Egypt during a brief lull in Israel’s attacks.

I am now in Cairo where I will investigate Egyptian support for the liberation of Palestine.

Israel’s attack on Gaza is a one-sided, barbaric onslaught by one of the world’s strongest military powers against a largely defenceless and entrapped people.

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Who do you believe? The Palestinians or Israelis?

15 Nov

Al Jazeera, 14 November 2012. 15-minute interview with Hamas spokesperson Osama Hamdan. [Update: Since this interview was carried out, Al Jazeera has confirmed that Ahmad Jabari’s son was not killed in the Israeli attack as Osama Hamdan mentioned.]

Al Jazeera, 14 November 2012. Shakuntala Santhrian interviews Ali Abunimah, a Palestinian-American journalist and co-founder of Electronic Intifada, an online publication about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Russia Today, 14 November 2012. Interview with Israeli military spokeswoman lieutenant colonel Avital Leibovich, who says “we do not need justification” to attack Gaza.

Bombastic Israeli politicians gripped by the flow of history

12 Nov

YouTube video, 10 November 2012. Islamic Jihad’s military wing has published this video claiming to show a new type of rocket launcher firing projectiles at Israeli tanks.


by Grant Morgan

editor of kiaoragaza.net

12 November 2012

Israel’s home front defence minister, Avi Dichter (left), commenting on the recent spike in cross-border hostilities between the Zionist state and Palestinian Gaza, yesterday declared: “We have no other choice; Israel must perform a reformatting of Gaza, and rearrange it, as we did in Judea and Samaria during Operation Defensive Shield.” 

Dichter is referring to Israel’s 2002 military operation in the West Bank, the largest since the 1967 Six Day War. In response to the Second Intifada, Israeli troops locked down the West Bank’s six biggest cities and their hinterlands. Tel Aviv ordered the use of heavy weapons, including air strikes, in densely populated areas. 497 Palestinians were killed, according to the UN, while 30 Israeli soldiers died. 7,000 Palestinians were arrested.

While Israeli politicians, like Dichter, claim the operation was a strategic victory for Israel, independent analysts think differently. For instance, Beverly Milton-Edwards, an Irish professor of politics, says Tel Aviv assisted the popular growth of Hamas by the “emasculation” of the Palestinian Authority and its president Yasser Arafat, who was corralled in his Ramallah compound until he was on his death bed. 

Milton-Edwards concludes that the “unequivocal victory” sought by the Zionist state “remained elusive and the Israelis and Palestinians resumed a variety of forms of low intensity warfare with each other”.

It’s hard to know whether today’s full-on war of words, and the more restrained war of explosions, will spiral into the sort of blitzkreig that Israel unleashed on Gaza in 2008-9 as punishment for the free election of a Hamas government.

Behind Tel Aviv’s rhetoric and missiles, however, lie inescapable trends that are weakening Israel’s position in the Middle East.

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