Home > Global > Exclusive: Provocateurs attempt to disrupt March for Palestine, in Wellington!

Exclusive: Provocateurs attempt to disrupt March for Palestine, in Wellington!

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Wellington, 24 November – A Solidarity-with-Gaza protest march in Wellington today was briefly marred when two young men wearing Jewish Kippah/Yarmulke walked at the front of the procession, and had to be led away by a lone police constable for their own protection.

The protest march, numbering approximately 100 to 150, marched along Wellington’s main streets, calling for justice for Palestine and for the ending of the illegal Israeli blockade of Gaza.

Organisors of the protest call themselves “Wellington Students for Justice in Palestine“.  They are New Zealanders who  stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people.

They say,

We support Palestinian self-determination and Palestinian refugees’ right  of return. We advocate a just solution  to the conflict that allows Palestinians, Jews, and others to live in peace and equality regardless of religious or ethnic identity.”

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According to a conversation overheard on a Wellington bus driver’s radio, the Police had not been alerted to the protest march  – though it was well-organised and  moved peacefully through the city,

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The messages on placards and banners was simple and direct,

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Frank Macskasy  Frankly Speaking  blog fmacskasy.wordpress.com Free Palestine support Gaza Wellington Oppose Israel aggression Protest 24 Nov

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Students of history will recall that Nazi occupiers throughout Europe referred to various localised resistance movements as “terrorists”,

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Men, women, and children – the procession moved peacefully through the streets of the city, with their  chants echoing through the concrete-and-glass-walled canyons of the city,

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One lone police car parked on an intersection, to slow down and divert on-coming traffic,

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At this point, this blogger witnessed a lone police constable hauling two young men away from the front of the march,

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My first thoughts were that individuals within the protest march had caused an ‘incident’, and were being arrested. Then I noticed their head-gear,

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I also overheard snippets of conversation between the constable and the two young men; they had been pulled away from the protest march not because of breaking any law – but for their own safety. The constable was adamant that the pair would not be permitted to return to the protest march.

One of the young men responded that it was his right to freedom of expression,

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The constable replied that either they walked away,  or they would end up in a police car – for their own protection. She was in no mood to be playing silly-buggers with this pair of fools,

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As the two young men walked away from the protestors, this blogger caught up with them and tried to find out what their intentions were,

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They began with a curious comment that they did not want to be recorded because it was their “Holy Sabbath”. When pressed what they meant, the following conversation was recorded,

Him: “I’m gonna ask you not to record anything today.”

Frank: “Well it can’t be too much of a Holy Sabbath if you’re down here to protest [the] march, and walking in front of it.”

Him: “Well, they chose that day unfortunately. I’m talking, I’m allowed to talk.”

Frank: “Well that’s right, so, what have you got to say for yourself as to why you were standing in front of them? What was your message?”

Him: “I don’t want to be recorded on my sabbath. Is that… Can you respect that?”

Frank: “Alright, well, ok, but can I ask you then-”

Him: “I can give you my email address. You can memorise it, write it down, whatever you want. You can email me, you can interview me later, how’s that?”

Frank:  “Ok. Do you think it was appropriate to put yourself  in front of that protest march? Any comments, sir?”

Him: “Who are you?”

Frank: “I’m a blogger-”

Him: “Ok, you can take my email address if you want, but no recordings.”

Frank: “-I’m a blogger, Frank Macskasy, and I’m covering this.”

Him: [no response]

Frank: “Ok, thanks gentlemen.”

Him: “Thank you.”

The pair then walked off,

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This blogger then returned to the body of the march; the passionate chanting and  vocal  demands for justice for Palestine still very strong,

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Standing beside one of the protestors, she informed me that “they’ve been here the whole time… they often come to these things“.

She asked me what they had said, and I repeated their refusal to go on record with a taped interview, claiming it breached their Sabbath. Did it stop them chanting their own pro-Israel slogans in front of the march?

“Oh no,” she replied.

Perhaps the two young gentlemen felt shy in expressing themselves – without backup from the Israeli Army?

The protest march made it’s way to Wellington’s civic centre,

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A young Palestinian, Mohammed, addressed the crowd, which had swelled along the way to the Civic Square,

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In part, he said,

“… Since 1948, when they stole our land, killed our people, and displaced millions of us. And up till now Israel continues their massacres, their discriminations against Palestinians, again and again.

More then ten thousand prisoners, waiting for their human rights, waiting for freedom in Israel’s jails.

[cries of 'Shame! ' from the crowd]

Last week they started their attack, their war over Gaza, over the civilians in Gaza. And they killed 162 civilians, including children, women, elderly, and men. More than 1,200 severe injuries. This attack on Gaza is by no means the last crime of Israel on Gaza.

Once the ceasefire agreement has been signed with the [distorted word] government of Israel, they arrested more than fiftyfive people in the West Bank and their ‘mistake’  was just to be demonstrating  against the attack on Gaza. Yesterday two young people were shot by Israeli forces around the border with Gaza.

[cries of 'Shame! ' from the crowd]

Even the seige of Gaza is still going on which prevents essential needs to be delivered to the people of Gaza. And quite simply I would say, as any Palestinian says, we’ll never forget our people who are killed by Israeli  forces. We will never forget our land. We will never give up.

Thank you so much for joining us today in solidarity with Palestine, especially the Gaza.”

Despite english being his second language, those listening to Mohammed understood the meaning and pain inherent in his words.

How many times have we heard similar words from  around the world, where people are repressed with harsh brutality.

In the past, New Zealand has played it’s part in rejecting repressive regimes, and standing firm with people suffering from suppression. We’ve done it before, we can do it again.

The Palestinian people deserve our support and friendship.

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“Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.”
- Abraham Lincoln

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  •     At all times, images must be used only in context, and not to denigrate individuals.
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Contact

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  1. Pio K
    25 November 2012 at 12:28 am | #1

    I wish I had known about the march I would have gone too. People at the march that make a stand for humanity make me proud to be Kiwi! Was it on the news at all?

  2. Tamar
    25 November 2012 at 12:40 am | #3

    “She asked me what they had said, and I repeated their refusal to go on record with a taped interview, claiming it breached their Sabbath. Did it stop them chanting their own pro-Israel slogans in front of the march?”

    Er…because the violation of the sabbath was due to the electronic recording device. There is no violation with just speaking or walking to a march.

    • stingray
      25 November 2012 at 1:31 am | #4

      That is the most ridiculous explanation I have ever heard. Ever. Does it not occur to you that you may just be incredibly stupid?

      • Tamar
        25 November 2012 at 7:34 am | #5

        Wow! Did you just call my religion stupid? There are 39 categories of things forbidden on the sabbath. Use of electricity falls into one of them. If I were you, I would actually take the time to learn about someone’s religion before calling it stupid. Your opinions hardly make you sound intellectual when that is your approach.

      • Tamar
        25 November 2012 at 7:49 am | #6

        You are very quick to knock down my religion but you seem happy enough to support Islamic religious groups. Incidentally, there is a great deal in common between Judaism and Islam.

    • Morrissey
      25 November 2012 at 7:13 am | #7

      “It breached their Sabbath.” That was a stupid as well as a dishonest answer. Did you ask them if they voted ACT?

      • Tamar
        25 November 2012 at 7:36 am | #8

        See above. Not dishonest. And believe it or not, it is possible to be relatively left wing and still support Israel’s right to defend itself and not be attacked by rockets every day. Again, these assumptions and labelling things as stupid do not do your arguments any credit.

    • 25 November 2012 at 10:02 am | #9

      Does it mean you sit in darkness all day and night? Nope, you ask a stupid Goy to turn the light on. At least that is what happened when I was young and I had to turn the light on for some Jewish neighbors.

      I don’t have a problem with anybodies religious idiosyncrasies no matter what religion but when used hypocritically I think I have the right to point it out.

      Those two young men probably were very happy to have news crews show up and record their anti Palestine Hasbarah talking points and the Sabbath anti electricity rule be damned.

    • Ron
      25 November 2012 at 9:14 pm | #10

      Please tell me where in your bible, does it say you may not use electronics on this day…. O wait it doesnt

  3. 25 November 2012 at 12:49 am | #11

    We have enough of our own problems Frank, without bringing that crap here.

    • Hugh Y
      25 November 2012 at 10:52 am | #12

      It’s a global village, Peter Petterson, and what happens in Israel/Palestine could affect us all – especially if nukes start flying. Or even leaving the selfishness factor out, people are suffering there, and that is a human concern.

      I don’t know if they’re “provocateurs”, Frank, or just counter-demonstrators. If they had concealed themselves among the marchers and chanted “Destroy Israel!” they would have been provocateurs.

      • 12 December 2012 at 9:26 pm | #13

        People are suffering all round the world, none more than in Africa. But Africa is not politically important. It is all designed to get at America. But think a little: Would you rather have Islam and China as the super-powers? America is at least culturally similar.

  4. Theodore
    25 November 2012 at 9:20 am | #14

    Tamar :

    Wow! Did you just call my religion stupid? There are 39 categories of things forbidden on the sabbath. Use of electricity falls into one of them. If I were you, I would actually take the time to learn about someone’s religion before calling it stupid. Your opinions hardly make you sound intellectual when that is your approach.

    No, if you read his comments carefully instead of making wild assumptions , he called YOU stupid, not your religion.

    But since you’ve brought it up, yeah, every religion has some really stupid things going for them. Why should yours be any different?

  5. Theodore
    25 November 2012 at 9:23 am | #15

    Tamar :

    You are very quick to knock down my religion but you seem happy enough to support Islamic religious groups. Incidentally, there is a great deal in common between Judaism and Islam.

    He didn’t call your religion stupid. You’re the one saying that. Seems to me you’re either identifying a bit too much with your religion or are engaging in faux victimisation. Either way you’re not doing yourself any favours.

    So where do you stand on Israel blockading Gaza and stopping food supplies from getting through?

  6. Theodore
    25 November 2012 at 9:24 am | #16

    Tamar :

    Wow! Did you just call my religion stupid? There are 39 categories of things forbidden on the sabbath. Use of electricity falls into one of them. If I were you, I would actually take the time to learn about someone’s religion before calling it stupid. Your opinions hardly make you sound intellectual when that is your approach.

    Can’t use electricity on the Sabbath? That doesn’t stop Israel from using electricity on the Sabbath to attack innocent men, women, and children, does it?

  7. Ray McIntyre
    25 November 2012 at 9:41 am | #17

    Provocaters? probably not. Focused on their own group, almost certainly.

  8. Strawberry Paddocks
    25 November 2012 at 10:15 am | #18

    Tamar :

    Wow! Did you just call my religion stupid? There are 39 categories of things forbidden on the sabbath. Use of electricity falls into one of them. If I were you, I would actually take the time to learn about someone’s religion before calling it stupid. Your opinions hardly make you sound intellectual when that is your approach.

    Wow! Did you just deliberately misread his comment? He called you stupid not your religion.

  9. Strawberry Paddocks
    25 November 2012 at 10:18 am | #19

    Tamar :

    See above. Not dishonest. And believe it or not, it is possible to be relatively left wing and still support Israel’s right to defend itself and not be attacked by rockets every day. Again, these assumptions and labelling things as stupid do not do your arguments any credit.

    Perhaps if Israel stopped persecuting and repressing the Palestinians, they wouldn’t have just cause to defend themselves by firing rockets.

    What would you do if another country blockaded your right to buy food, clothing, medicines, and building materials? Actually, I know what Israel would do – probably use their nukes to destroy their enemies.

    Please don’t play the victim card. It doesn’t sit well.

  10. Samwise
    25 November 2012 at 10:52 am | #20

    Tamar, you’re either taking the piss or you don’t get it. If it’s the latter, stop hiding behind your religion. You’re not doing your cause any favours.

  11. Ralph Lawrence
    25 November 2012 at 11:17 am | #21

    No surprises there…I wonder who?

  12. Ralph Lawrence
    25 November 2012 at 11:23 am | #22

    Great work again Frank, for some of us out here in the outposts its excellent to see whats going on. So impressed by that sole police officer, well done that women-person. And solid support for the marchers and their plain messages. Proud of them.

  13. Taura
    25 November 2012 at 11:31 am | #24

    The whole regime/ state is based on lies and murder. It goes back further than 1948. And Israel has the cheek to call anyone speaking against it anti semitic then use the holocaust as an excuse for its terror, theft, apartheid policies when those who foment this garbage have no semitic blood in their veins. I have to say that not all are like this though. Their voices are iust not heard or their actions recorded by mainstream zionist controlled media.

  14. Danny
    25 November 2012 at 11:41 am | #27

    travellerev :
    Does it mean you sit in darkness all day and night? Nope, you ask a stupid Goy to turn the light on. At least that is what happened when I was young and I had to turn the light on for some Jewish neighbors.
    I don’t have a problem with anybodies religious idiosyncrasies no matter what religion but when used hypocritically I think I have the right to point it out.
    Those two young men probably were very happy to have news crews show up and record their anti Palestine Hasbarah talking points and the Sabbath anti electricity rule be damned.

    The Sabbath is only one day a week, so there is no need to be in “darkness all day and night”, and any lights required can be left on beforehand. Just because you can hint to a non-Jew to switch on or off a light, it does not mean anyone regards the non-Jew as stupid. Referring to a non-Jew as a “stupid Goy” demonstrates you do indeed have problem and a misunderstanding of Judaism.

    • 26 November 2012 at 8:47 am | #28

      The Sabbath is 24 hours. One day one night. If you are serious about being spiritual and you realize that the sabbath was meant to remind you of your spirituality and connection to “God” you would spend that day and night, ALL of it, in the natural “God given” light. But you don’t. You have an “infidel” turn it on for you. That is what I call hypocrite.

  15. Danny
    25 November 2012 at 11:57 am | #29

    Perhaps if Israel stopped persecuting and repressing the Palestinians, they wouldn’t have just cause to defend themselves by firing rockets.
    What would you do if another country blockaded your right to buy food, clothing, medicines, and building materials? Actually, I know what Israel would do – probably use their nukes to destroy their enemies.
    Please don’t play the victim card. It doesn’t sit well.
    Perhaps if Israel stopped persecuting and repressing the Palestinians, they wouldn’t have just cause to defend themselves by firing rockets.
    What would you do if another country blockaded your right to buy food, clothing, medicines, and building materials? Actually, I know what Israel would do – probably use their nukes to destroy their enemies.
    Please don’t play the victim card. It doesn’t sit well.

    No one has just cause to target civilians. The rockets they fire only give Israel a need to defend itself – they don’t help the Palestinians people at all; in fact, they make things much worse.

    Of course they would nuke everyone, just as they always do. With a nuke, nuke here and a nuke, nuke there. Here a nuke, there a nuke, everywhere a nuke, nuke. Your assumptions need a little more thought.

    • Strawberry Paddocks
      25 November 2012 at 12:14 pm | #30

      “No one has just cause to target civilians.”

      That is an unbelievable thing to say. Israel targetted media offices – civilians!

      Israel killed 168 Palestinian civilians.

      Where do you get of being so morally selective?

      “they don’t help the Palestinians people at all; in fact, they make things much worse.”

      No, the blockade of Gaza made things much worse. Something you seem studiously keen to ignore in your rush to apologise for Israel.

    • Ghost Worker
      25 November 2012 at 12:30 pm | #31

      Yeah. everyone knows that Israel’s nukes are only there to make great pot-plant holders, eh Danny. Just gotta make sure you colour-co-ordinate properly.

  16. Mick
    25 November 2012 at 12:45 pm | #32

    I think these guys always turn up at pro Palestinian rallys I sure I’ve seen them at previous protest that I’ve attended. I missed yesterdays unfortunately.

  17. Danny
    25 November 2012 at 12:51 pm | #33

    Strawberry Paddocks :
    “No one has just cause to target civilians.”
    That is an unbelievable thing to say. Israel targetted media offices – civilians!
    Israel killed 168 Palestinian civilians.
    Where do you get of being so morally selective?
    “they don’t help the Palestinians people at all; in fact, they make things much worse.”
    No, the blockade of Gaza made things much worse. Something you seem studiously keen to ignore in your rush to apologise for Israel.

    Cool. So I can fire rockets at the NZ parliament from your place, and when the NZ government acts, you can just blame them for leveling your house. Fantastic.

    The blockade saves Israeli lives by preventing even more weapons flowing into Gaza. The rockets serve no one but Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

    • 25 November 2012 at 4:49 pm | #34

      “The blockade saves Israeli lives by preventing even more weapons flowing into Gaza. The rockets serve no one but Hamas and Islamic Jihad.”

      Except, as you well know, Danny – and which you forget to mention – Israel is also blockading food, medicines, building materials from entering Gaza.

      Food and medicines are not rockets.

      And on top of that, Danny, Israel is preventing Gaza from exporting. How does the OUTFLOW of goods, to sustain an economy and create jobs, affect the INWARD flow of weapons?

      Your explanations become more ridiculous and demonstrate the mendacity of Israel’s claims. As you yourself are showing us, Israel’s explanations don’t stack up.

      What you’re really doing is making up all manner of strawman “enemies” to justify Israel suppressing the Palestinians and preventing the West Bank from becoming a full Palestinian state.

      That would entail evacuating the settlements. And no Israeli government could countenance that.

      Feel free to comment on any of the facts I’ve laid out for you.

    • Citizen Gee
      25 November 2012 at 6:49 pm | #35

      “The blockade saves Israeli lives by preventing even more weapons flowing into Gaza. The rockets serve no one but Hamas and Islamic Jihad.”

      One word: crap.

    • Morrissey
      25 November 2012 at 7:51 pm | #36

      “Cool. So I can fire rockets at the NZ parliament from your place…”

      If the New Zealand government had terrorized and murdered your people for the last fifty years, then you would be entitled to fire rockets. Resistance to illegal occupation is a right; you pretend that only the invaders have rights, which is a moral and logical nonsense.

  18. Danny
    25 November 2012 at 12:55 pm | #37

    Ghost Worker :
    Yeah. everyone knows that Israel’s nukes are only there to make great pot-plant holders, eh Danny. Just gotta make sure you colour-co-ordinate properly.

    I am going to teach you a new term: NUCLEAR DETERRENT

    • Danny
      25 November 2012 at 1:00 pm | #38

      …in other words, Aggressors: don’t even think of nuking Israel.

    • 25 November 2012 at 4:50 pm | #39

      So, remind us how many other states in the region have atomic bombs, Danny?

    • Citizen Gee
      25 November 2012 at 6:37 pm | #40

      Danny, I can smell the uranium on your breath

  19. Robert
  20. Alison W
    25 November 2012 at 1:12 pm | #42

    they weren’t so brave without the Israeli army backing them up!

  21. nznative
    25 November 2012 at 1:40 pm | #43

    People wanting their stolen land back is not an Islamic jihad. Thats just fear-mongering spin to draw attention away from the root of the problem.

    The main problem is zionist jews are continuing to steal land and kill Palestinians at will

    How many children does Israel have to kill for ‘security’ ?

    http://www.rememberthesechildren.org/remember2012.html

  22. 25 November 2012 at 1:47 pm | #44

    @ Pio – It wasn’t covered by any MSM that I’m aware of, Pio.

    @ Ray – I use the term “provocateurs” in the broadest sense. It certainly was provocative to do what they did. The police constable certainly thought they had put themselves in some danger.

  23. Danny
    25 November 2012 at 1:53 pm | #45

    nznative :
    People wanting their stolen land back is not an Islamic jihad. Thats just fear-mongering spin to draw attention away from the root of the problem.
    The main problem is zionist jews are continuing to steal land and kill Palestinians at will
    How many children does Israel have to kill for ‘security’ ?
    http://www.rememberthesechildren.org/remember2012.html

    Umm… Islamic Jihad is the name of a paramilitant organisation, not my description of anything… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_Jihad_Movement_in_Palestine Perhaps you should read more about the situation before commenting.

    Is it really necessary to say ‘Zionist JEW’? I don’t refer to New Zealanders as ‘WHITE or MAORI New Zealanders’ – ‘New Zealanders’ suffices.

    • Danny
      25 November 2012 at 1:58 pm | #46

      After Israel removed its settlements from Gaza, the rocket attacks became more prolific. This has made it much harder for any Israeli government to evacuate from the West Bank, as Ariel Sharon had planned to do.

      • 25 November 2012 at 4:36 pm | #47

        “This has made it much harder for any Israeli government to evacuate from the West Bank, as Ariel Sharon had planned to do.”

        That remark is so disingenuous that it invites ridicule.

        In effect you are justifying a slow expansion of settlements by pointing at the RESISTANCE to said settlements.

        Horse pushing the cart much?

    • Ali
      26 November 2012 at 12:03 am | #48

      Zionism is a political movement… being a “White” or Maori New Zealander is a racial distinction so I dont really get your analogy Danny. NZ Native is correct.

      • Danny
        26 November 2012 at 12:48 am | #49

        Ali :
        Zionism is a political movement… being a “White” or Maori New Zealander is a racial distinction so I dont really get your analogy Danny. NZ Native is correct.

        The point is that NZNative was pointing out the enemy are the Jews. ‘Zionist’ is enough. No need to say ‘Zionist Jew’.

    • 29 November 2012 at 10:44 pm | #50

      Several Middle East groups use the term Islamic Jihad in their names, According to wikipedia jihad means nothing more threatening than ‘an inner spiritual struggle and an outer physical struggle’. Islamic explains itself.

      As for Zionist Jew, the illegal settlements on occupied Palestian land are nearly all populated by Zionists. Hence Zionist Jew is a valid term that distinguishes these settlers. from other Israels, who may even be Arabs,living in Israel proper. Ever heard the term Arab Israeli? That’s what Jews call Palestinians who have Israeli nationality and ive in Israel.

      There is no need to refer Maoris as New Zealanders, as its obvious they all oringinate from New Zealand, something you ought to know. However, it’s nowhere near conclusive all Jews came from Palestine, and the majority of Jews worlwide would not claim to be Zionists, as you also ought to know.

      The term Zionist is more akin to political persuasion than religious conviction, whereas white and Maori are both ethnic terms. The term Jew is like Christian or Muslim, as Judaisn is the predominant – but not exclusive – faith of Jewish people throughout the world. I’m sure many Israelis and Jews throughout the world would like to argue differently, but this is very basic stuff.,

      Strangely enough, even some Jews seem to think being Jewish as a nationality, and would call themselves Jewish where others might call themselves Americans, NewZealanders, French or whatever.

      Mistakes arise because Judaism makes if viirtually impossible for non-Jews to convert, The confusions created are part of modern Israeli state propaganda, which constantly tries to suggest the terms Jew, Semite, Israeli and Zionist are interchangeable by lumping them all together, which is one of the reasons for growing anti-Jewish violence in the rest of the world, where many people mistakenly assume all Jews support Israeli actions in Palestine. They do not.

      As many Gazan rockets fall on occupied Palestinian territory, in other words their own land as internationally recognised, the answer for a lot of settlers wanting to avoid getting killed or injured by them might be to move off land that doesnt belong to them.

  24. 25 November 2012 at 2:07 pm | #51

    I’ll make some general responses here…

    1. @ Tamar, Danny, et al; My understanding of the use of electrical devices is the act of switching them on or off on the Sabbath.

    My recorder was already switched on, by me. That appears no different to Jews requesting non-Jews to switch on/off electrical lights and appliances in their homes.(Which, from my reading is acceptable to Jews who follow this tenet.)

    Using my electrical recorder is no different to using their electrical device in their own homes.

    Therefore, I surmise that the two young men were inaccurate to invoke their Sabbath. Ie; a cop out.

    2. @ Tamar; “And believe it or not, it is possible to be relatively left wing and still support Israel’s right to defend itself and not be attacked by rockets every day.”

    And just why do you think that they are firing rockets at Israel? Boredom? Practicing for the Olympic Cross-Country Rocketry games?

    Or is it because Israel has illegally blockaded Gaza – effectively an act of war – and preventing vital supplies from reaching Gazans?

    Is it because Israel is continuing to build illegal settlements on the West Bank, displacing local Palestinians in the priocess?

    Is it because Israel has breached the Oslo accords?

    3. @ Peter; indeed, if they were bringing their violence here, I would concur 100% with you.

    However, the protestors were demanding peqace and justice for a group of people who have been badly treated since 1948. I think it’s a natural, normal human reaction to try to help those less fortunate than us.

    4. @ Morissey “Did you ask them if they voted ACT?”

    No… but I should have. It was typical ACT-style behaviour. Bizarre, to put it mildly.

    5. And more to the point, though I highlighted the behaviour of these two young men, the real issue at stake is the Palestinian people and Israel’s abhorrent treatment of them.

    If you brutalise a people, can anyone be surprised when they respond in a brutal manner?

    • Jo
      25 November 2012 at 4:47 pm | #52

      Agree with everything Frank which surprises me as much as it might surprise you. The only time I heard my father swear was when we were watching young Palestinian youths throwing stones and the Israels responding with bullets.
      Good on the young NZ policewoman taking no bullshit.

      • Citizen Gee
        25 November 2012 at 6:48 pm | #53

        Yeah, she looks a no-nonsense sort of woman Jo. Big ups to her for seeing the situation and stopping it escalating.

  25. nznative
    25 November 2012 at 2:12 pm | #54

    Israel steals land from Palestinians in a continuing and ongoing fashion.

    It imposed a crippling blockade on the Palestinians punishing all for democratically electing a government the Israelis dont like. They try and murder the leaders of this democratically elected government…..

    Israel has killed over 1500 children since the year 2000.

    Thats indefensible unless your ok with the idea of killing children

    Its hard to base a nation on stealing land, ethnic cleansing and killing children but that seems to be what Israel stands for .

    • Danny
      25 November 2012 at 2:21 pm | #55

      It is simply astonishing how many points you have missed.

      • nznative
        25 November 2012 at 2:32 pm | #56

        Your the one who’s dodging the point of Israel killing over 1500 children since the year 2000 ……….. and to quote frank himself …. “It’s fairly clear to anyone in possession of their full faculties that Israel is engaged in a slow, methodical land-grab on the West Bank, as it slowly pushes local Palestinian inhabitants into a smaller and smaller territory,

        Steal the land, kill the kids, Israel is enough to make you dislike jews .

      • Citizen Gee
        25 November 2012 at 6:42 pm | #57

        Missed points?

        Nah mate, they’re all been addressed, and some.

        You’re just too fixated on parroting the Israel official line to consider anything else.

  26. Matthew
    25 November 2012 at 3:20 pm | #58

    This is probably going to cause me some flack, but here goes.

    I don’t get why Lefties get into bed with Islamic groups.

    Intellectually I support self determination for Palestine, just as I do for Kurdistan, just as I do for Israel, and just as I did for Eritrea. But I could only support a secular free Palestine. Just as I support a secular free Iran, and a secular free Syria (yes secular states that might be 100% populated by Muslims are not impossible). Hamas, because of its rockets, are terrorists (which I’ll say irrespective of Israel’s behaviour which I agree it could be argued at times is state sponsored terrorism). Iran are fighting Israel in this little proxy war. Iran want to destroy the Israeli state. What if that war escalates? Where do our allegiances lie when millions of Jews are going to be killed again? I tell you where they lie; they lie in the prevention of that ever happening again.

    So whilst I agree that the current escalation of violence is completely fucked up. I’m not going to take sides. The rest of the World needs to get them back from the brink. Iran’s meddling influence needs to be got rid of, and real security and real self determination worked out. Then both the Israeli state and a Palestinian state need to have secular democracies that respect their neighbours’ right to exist in peace. Does Hamas want to destroy the Israeli state? Yes, then they are a terrorist organisation.

    As I said I don’t get it at all. It would be a bit like siding with the Hutus or the Tutsis in Rwanda in the 1990s. We should be stating our values of non-violence, of negotiated settlement, of secular, democratic values, and of the rights to self determination. Those Iranian rockets being smuggled into Gaza and fired into Israel are just what the Iranians want. The mullahs there can use Israel as a diversion from the fact that they are failing Iranians domestically on the economy and on those secular and democratic values.

    Saying all that, I’ve never met an Iranian, a Kurd, or an Israeli I’ve not liked on a personal level. Nor an Iraqi, an Egyptian, nor indeed the one and only Palestinian I’ve ever met. I’d also say about half of all Muslims I’ve ever met, who I’ve known well enough to ask, or be told, were privately atheists.

    Shouldn’t progressives engage with that part of the World progressively, condemning violence universally, rather than teaming up with what aren’t our natural allies, the religious fundamentalists? Shouldn’t we instead be supporting both the Israeli Left and progressives and the Palestinian Left and progressives (and if they don’t exist, manufacture their existence)?

    • Danny
      25 November 2012 at 4:53 pm | #59

      Very well said.

      I’ve wondered why the far-left is so silent on Syria, but so vocal about the Jews.

      • Citizen Gee
        25 November 2012 at 6:41 pm | #60

        The left isn’t silent.

        You just have selective hearing.

    • Theodore
      25 November 2012 at 10:28 pm | #61

      Matthew, you can’t liken the oppressor with that of subjugated people. Staying neutral, as someone once said, takes the side of those with power over others.

      • Matthew
        25 November 2012 at 11:07 pm | #62

        You may as well tell me to choose a side in Rwanda or Northern Ireland. It’s not my fight and I’m not taking sides. I’ve gone off and read more and watched docos about 1947 and 1948 and 1967. I can’t quite believe how many times the same bit of land has been fought over. The Arabs conquered it in 634AD from Christians who grew out of the Romans who conquered Judea, but that was about the 10th or 11th change of hands and then the Ubayyids and the Abbassids and then the Fatimids then the Seljuks then the Fatimids then the Crusaders. And on and on and on. Whosever thinks either of the current sides has an inalienable right to the land to the exclusion of the other is talking shit. And I still don’t get why some Lefties are prepared to make bedfellows of Islamic jihadists. They want to “Push all the Jews into the Sea.” remember. That would be another holocaust. Do you want to let that happen and then say “whoops, didn’t see that coming”?

        Another intifada ain’t going to improve the situation. It is only going to entrench the hardline views on both sides, entrenching Israeli’s occupation for reasons of ‘security’ and the Palestinians are going to be more oppressed. It is stalemate. With the rockets they are oppressing themselves.

        It could be argued that Israel has tried to and continues to ethnically cleanse the occupied territories (especially with its settlements), but the Jewish communities of Damascus. Baghdad and Cairo have also been ethnically cleansed since 1948 too. So where is the wrong and right in all that tit for tat. Why should that history be ignored too?

        At the start of the 2nd Gulf War with all the missing WMD time, I felt strangely embarrassed by some on the Left defending Saddam Hussein and his Bathist regime as if he wasn’t a complete bastard. It was pretty obvious the war was fought for bullshit reasons, but to team up with Saddam as if he wasn’t a murderous bastard did nothing for anyone’s credibility.

        It ain’t black and white and if you’re sitting in a comfortable house in New Zealand and you do choose sides then you’ve oversimplified it.

    • 25 November 2012 at 11:06 pm | #63

      Mathew I could not agree more.

      Time the fundamentalist equation was taken out of the picture.

      Iran is stirring then pot no doubt about it.

      As long as the fundamentalists are stirring the pot this mess will never be settled.

    • PB
      26 November 2012 at 7:34 pm | #64

      While you’re bashing theocracies (Syria is secular, btw), do you support a secular Israel? Sounds like you’re actualy keen on a one state solution. Kudos!

      You’re right though: you don’t get it. This is not Game of Thrones. You can’t actually figure out what’s going on by listening to “foreign policy experts” and Western diplomats. There are simple moral issues that are clouded by the propaganda of strategic interests.

      Your thesis of an Iran proxy war is mostly propaganda – Iranian propaganda and Western. It is orientalist and outrageous to reduce the choices and actions of real people in Palestine to some simple puppet play.

      Supporting rightful resistance to powerful oppressors isn’t “teaming up” with extremists. It’s just the Western regimes that have tagged all opposition to their rule to be Islamic monsters. You know, like the cockroaches, since you bring up Rwanda.

      Also, Syria is a red herring. The narrative that Syrian police (sorry, “security forces”) led a violent crackdown on peaceful protests, sparking a popular revolt is a canard. There is far more evidence that the West fanned a spiral of violence behind which to throw their support for regime change. Which is all they care about.

      What is freedom? Compare an average Palestinians day with an average Iraqi’s – pre invason and post? The average Libyan? How they enjoying their “free market”? The freedom from a secure job, secure neighbourhood? These Western “liberations” are stealing the choices of Syrians and Iraqis and Libyans who chose to say “my life is okay enough not to risk death for change”. Just like we in NZ choose not to risk death (or more accurately, losing our jobs, prospects – same deal) to stand up against capital and government policy for the last 30 years. Even Afghanistan – we are seeing what those of us who know our political science or history knew would happen – the Taliban will win. You can not impose cultual change from outside. THe Taliban are a process Afghanis have to reject themselves. If the US had come in and made Afghanistan the 51st state: that is the only way that country would have seen any real change. Everything else is foolishness and greedy privateering lies.

      Palestinians chose Hamas in a democratic election, and they are choosing to resist the slow motion genocide and constant theft of their land. When there really is a just uprising the leaders of the “free West” turn a blind eye.

      • Matthew
        27 November 2012 at 6:30 am | #65

        Iran meddling in Palestine is only “mostly propaganda”. You should tune into Press TV on Optus D2 and watch a few hours of that to see just how anti-Semitic and hateful the official Iranian line is.

        At the end of the day I don’t hate people enough to take a side in this intractable conflict with its mutual animosity, and its calculated strategic hate on both sides.I still don’t think anyone calling themselves a leftie would jump into bed with people who aren’t natural allies. i.e. religious fundies, but they do and it doesn’t add to credibility.

        And I think the march, and this whole comment thread isn’t going to solve the problem. We are wasting our breath.

        As for supporting a one state solution or a two state solution, whatever pragmatically is going to work with the least amount of violence on the way and the most amount of true liberty enjoyed by everyone at the end. But that part of the world and this part of the world are backwaters, and haven’t got much to do with each other. Whatever happens the solution ain’t going to be found on this blog.

  27. Tamar
    25 November 2012 at 5:04 pm | #66

    Ok, thank you everyone for clarifying that stingray was in fact calling me and not my religion stupid. If you think about it though, I’m sure you can understand where the misunderstanding lay. All I said in that initial post was to informatively clarify what I considered to be a misunderstanding of Jewish law. I did not say I was Jewish or that I personally follow those laws. I made no mention whatsoever of my political affiliations or my opinions of the Israel-Palestine conflict. The only definite information that could have been gleaned from it was that I happen to know a little about Judaism. If that makes me stupid, then I clearly have a different definition of stupidity. So I naturally assumed that it was not me, who you knew nothing about, but the religion I was explaining that was being insulted. Also, I was always brought up not to judge people so quickly. I would never call complete strangers stupid but I do think that a great many of you are demonstrating ignorance.

    As for that piece of Jewish law I attempted to explain, it appears that it has fallen on deaf ears. Jewish law is incredibly complicated. A lot of the time it seems downright crazy. Speaking into a microphone and being recorded on Shabbat is not actively switching on electricity, you are right. But the Rabbis of the Talmud and more recently went a lot further than that. We are not even allowed to actively cause someone to do something that is breaking the sabbath, even a non-Jew. So even if we need something done desperately, we have to hint to a non-Jew instead of asking them directly. Crazy? Maybe. True? Yes. So being recorded is a violation of the sabbath and not a cop-out. You said yourself that they were willing to give you their email address to comment later. Why don’t you take the time to ask a Rabbi about it instead of making your own ignorant judgments about the details of our legal code?

    Any comments there have been about what Israel does or does not do on Shabbat are really showing their ignorance. Israel is a Jewish state, yes, but it is also a secular state. The majority of Israeli Jews are not religiously observant and do not follow the laws of the sabbath.

    Any comments here about how Israel makes you dislike Jews is anti-semitism and frankly I am surprised that the rest of you are not trying to distance yourself from those arguments. Whatever problems you have with the state of Israel have nothing to do with the ethnicity of the majority of the population. That would be like hating all Muslims/Arabs for the violence in Syria.

    Incidentally, I have no problem with Arabs or Muslims and I would love for everyone to live in peace. I like the Israeli Bedouin Arabs who very kindly offered my tour group their hospitality in the Negev desert. I like the Druze Arabs, many of whom serve in the Israeli army you hate so much. I like the Israeli Arabs who are members of the Israeli parliament and choose to voice their arguments with words not weapons. I like all the Muslim friends I made at university who were open enough to focus on the similarities between us and our religions, instead of on a conflict many miles away. I like the Muslim refugee women from the Nuba mountains in Sudan, who had been persecuted for their religion and who I had the pleasure to work with in a volunteer capacity.

    I do not like terrorists, whatever their ethnicity, religion and whatever their reasons, who deliberately target civilians. Did you know that Hamas has in the past few weeks murdered many Palestinian civilians who they suspected of being spies for Israel and dragged their bodies through the streets with motorcycles? Terrorism is NEVER the answer to any problem.

    I think it is very strange that I am talking to a group of people that appears to be made up of so-called socialists, terrorists, Islamic fundamentalists, and anti-semites. What a fun mix! I guess maybe that proves that anyone can live in peace together, if you have managed to sort out your differences.

    • Jo
      25 November 2012 at 5:17 pm | #67

      So you dislike the Israeli Air Force droping bombs ih Gaza killing civillians?
      Amti-semitic is just a handy label that infuriates me. I am in now way anti-Jew I am againt injustice which is rife in the Middle East. I personaly als0 hate tribalism in Africa.
      I am none of the people in that last sentence and resent your sweeping assumption that I am. I might as well call you a red-necked Christian fundamentalist.

      • Tamar
        25 November 2012 at 5:46 pm | #68

        I’m sorry if I didn’t represent you in that last bit. That was me being angry. I was out of line. Of course I hate that civilians are dying in Gaza. But it is not so black and white. I would love to hear your solutions to the myriad of problems that Israel faces. I would love to hear how you expect them to protect their own people (including the 1 million Israeli Arabs). I would love to understand why every time we offer any kind of solution that might bring peace to the Palestinians they refuse it or attack us more. I think you will find that there are very few Israelis who don’t want peace. Getting there is just not as simple as you make out. The terrorist groups want Israel GONE so they will never settle for anything else. Nothing we can offer them will make any difference. That might sound pessimistic but I really cannot see a solution. It terrifies me every day that there are so many people in the world who want Israel to be literally destroyed and who won’t accept peace on any other terms. I am well aware that that is not what the average Palestinian wants. I’m sure most of them, like us, just want to have a peaceful life. But the terrorists are the biggest obstacle at the moment. And for the life of me, I cannot understand why educated, left-wing people would support terrorism, especially where they are hurting their own people as well.

        Israel is not perfect. It has more than its fair share of problems. It makes its fair share of mistakes. It is surrounded by enemies and so sometimes it might overreact. But do not underestimate the difficulty of their situation. I have friends, very left-wing friends as it happens, who live every day in fear in Israel. Their children spend more time in bomb shelters than in playgrounds. Instead of fire drills, they practise making it to a shelter in under 15 seconds (that’s all the time they have). Maybe the political history of Gaza and its relationship with Israel is partially to blame, maybe Israel hasn’t always made the right choices, but that is no way for anyone to live. What do you want them to do? Turn the other cheek? They did that for five years since their withdrawal from Gaza. Stop the blockade? More weapons will get in. Israel provides water and electricity to Gaza. Maybe they should stop. It’s just not as simple as Israel bad, Palestine good.

        • Jo
          26 November 2012 at 12:37 pm | #69

          I don’t have ananswer. I wish I did. I am not anti Israel nor pro Palestine. There is right on both sides. Israel is not going away. I understand why the Palestines feel robbed (they don’t even have a Treaty of Waitangi document to slightlyy redress the balance).
          As for nuclear weapons as a deterent yeah right.

      • Tamar
        25 November 2012 at 6:19 pm | #70

        Incidentally, while I know that a lot of people who protest against Israel are not anti-semitic, I also know that a lot are. Our synagogues need extra security whenever there is something going on in Israel that people want to protest about. We get threatening letters and voicemail messages. There was a comment up above: “Israel is enough to make you dislike jews”. Whatever happens in Israel, it is the local Jewish communities who suffer. There are a lot of anti-semites who just use Israel as an excuse to attack Jews. I am not using anti-semitism as an excuse for Israel. I am actually expecting those of you who are not anti-semitic to make a point of distancing yourselves from these particular viewpoints.

        We spend all our time defending Israel against people who blame us for everything that the Israeli government decides to do, that we have no time left to actually try to fix the situation, to try and improve Israel. I do not defend everything the Israeli government does. It is a government…full of politicians. Not keen on politicians of any sort. I do not defend everything that the NZ government does. I do however defend Israel’s right to EXIST. I have Israeli friends who can trace their lineage in Israel back to the 18th century. I have other Israeli friends whose families arrived in Israel in 1948-1951 when they were forcibly expelled from Arab countries. In three years, Israel’s Jewish population more than doubled in size with Jewish refugees from Arab countries – Yemen, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Egypt, Tunisia, Lebanon – where they had been for centuries and centuries before that.

      • Morrissey
        25 November 2012 at 7:55 pm | #71

        Don’t get upset, Jo. You should know that arguing with zealots like “Tamar” and “Danny” always, without exception ends up like that. Smear tactics are all these folks have to offer.

    • Citizen Gee
      25 November 2012 at 6:44 pm | #72

      When Israel bombs the Gaza which is the most densely populated area in the world and kills 168 civilians, what do you call that? Sending love and kisses?

      No Tamar, that’s terrorism.

    • Citizen Gee
      25 November 2012 at 6:46 pm | #73

      “I think it is very strange that I am talking to a group of people that appears to be made up of so-called socialists, terrorists, Islamic fundamentalists, and anti-semites. What a fun mix! I guess maybe that proves that anyone can live in peace together, if you have managed to sort out your differences.”

      Yeah. Now all we need is for your puppet-masters to withdraw from the West Bank – including half a million settlers in illegal settlements, and lift the illegal blockade of Gaza. Not hard to understand really, mate.

  28. Danny
    25 November 2012 at 6:31 pm | #74

    Frank Macskasy :
    “This has made it much harder for any Israeli government to evacuate from the West Bank, as Ariel Sharon had planned to do.”
    That remark is so disingenuous that it invites ridicule.
    In effect you are justifying a slow expansion of settlements by pointing at the RESISTANCE to said settlements.
    Horse pushing the cart much?

    I was not justifying the expansion of settlements. Settlement expansion was frozen for many months, whist the rockets kept flying in from Gaza. It is time for you to find a new excuse for attacking Jews. However, I can see you do not concern yourself with that.

    • Citizen Gee
      25 November 2012 at 6:40 pm | #75

      No, you’re the one ignoring the simple reality that the settlements are still there. That includes 500,000 settlers.

      And according to this BBC reports, the settlement building has not frozen and the settlers aren’t going anywhere soon. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-19700213

      Got any more BS you’d like to share with us?

    • Paul
      25 November 2012 at 6:55 pm | #76

      “Frozen”?

      Where do you get off spreading that kind of bullshit. A Guardian report recent stated,

      “The number of Jewish settlers in the West Bank grew by more than 15,000 in the past year to reach a total that exceeds 350,000 for the first time and has almost doubled in the past 12 years.

      Figures from Israel’s population registry show a 4.5% increase in the past 12 months. Most of the newcomers moved into settlements that many observers expect to be evacuated in any peace deal leading to a Palestinian state.

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jul/26/jewish-population-west-bank-up

      Keep up with the lies, it’s what we’ve come to expect from Israel.

    • Paul
      25 November 2012 at 6:57 pm | #77

      And even your American buddies have condemned settlements on the West Bank,

      “All settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem are illegal under international law. US state department spokesman, Patrick Ventrell, said recently: “We do not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlement activity and we oppose any effort to legalise settlement outposts.””

    • Theodore
      25 November 2012 at 10:26 pm | #78

      Danny :

      Frank Macskasy :
      “This has made it much harder for any Israeli government to evacuate from the West Bank, as Ariel Sharon had planned to do.”
      That remark is so disingenuous that it invites ridicule.
      In effect you are justifying a slow expansion of settlements by pointing at the RESISTANCE to said settlements.
      Horse pushing the cart much?

      I was not justifying the expansion of settlements. Settlement expansion was frozen for many months, whist the rockets kept flying in from Gaza. It is time for you to find a new excuse for attacking Jews. However, I can see you do not concern yourself with that.

      More pathetic lies.

  29. Citizen Gee
    25 November 2012 at 6:50 pm | #79

    By the way, good bit of writing Frank. It’s certainly attracted the sad apologists for the Israrel terrorist state. I’ve shared this with friends, so expect some more attention.

    • Danny
      26 November 2012 at 1:13 am | #80

      Pity that it’s only how big a mob you can conjure up that matters, and not the standard of the arguments.

  30. Paul
    25 November 2012 at 7:00 pm | #81

    Tamar :

    Incidentally, while I know that a lot of people who protest against Israel are not anti-semitic, I also know that a lot are. Our synagogues need extra security whenever there is something going on in Israel that people want to protest about. We get threatening letters and voicemail messages. There was a comment up above: “Israel is enough to make you dislike jews”. Whatever happens in Israel, it is the local Jewish communities who suffer. There are a lot of anti-semites who just use Israel as an excuse to attack Jews. I am not using anti-semitism as an excuse for Israel. I am actually expecting those of you who are not anti-semitic to make a point of distancing yourselves from these particular viewpoints.

    We spend all our time defending Israel against people who blame us for everything that the Israeli government decides to do, that we have no time left to actually try to fix the situation, to try and improve Israel. I do not defend everything the Israeli government does. It is a government…full of politicians. Not keen on politicians of any sort. I do not defend everything that the NZ government does. I do however defend Israel’s right to EXIST. I have Israeli friends who can trace their lineage in Israel back to the 18th century. I have other Israeli friends whose families arrived in Israel in 1948-1951 when they were forcibly expelled from Arab countries. In three years, Israel’s Jewish population more than doubled in size with Jewish refugees from Arab countries – Yemen, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Egypt, Tunisia, Lebanon – where they had been for centuries and centuries before that.

    I’m not anti-semitic. But I am anti what Israel is doing in Gaza and the West Bank.

    You can take take that however you like.

    And one further thing, people who are not in the least bit interested in international issues have been watching news reports and reading newspapers, and I can tell you that Israel does not come out of this smelling of roses. Kiwis have a thing for supporting the underdog, and that includes Palestinians.

    • Tamar
      25 November 2012 at 7:08 pm | #82

      Good for you. I am very glad you are not anti-semitic. You are of course entitled to your opinion about Israel. Just make sure it is an informed opinion. Go to Israel, go to Gaza. See for yourself before you are so certain that Israel is all bad. And don’t trust the media. See for yourself! Do your research, properly. I don’t mind people disagreeing with what Israel does. I sometimes disagree myself. But I am not a fan of ignorance. The underdog thing is never as simple. There are two sides to every story.

      None of you have said what Israel should be doing. I want to know. What are your solutions?? I’m sick of hearing what Israel shouldn’t be doing. I want to hear what it should be doing? How can this be fixed? Because I sure can’t see a way. If you’re going to have an opinion about something that doesn’t directly involve you, give us some answers. What should we DO? How can we have peace? I want peace so badly. I want Israel to be a peaceful place where I can raise my kids without worrying about wars and suicide bombers. I want that for the Palestinians too. Tell me how!! You cannot just criticise and criticise and criticise a country that you know virtually nothing about. Help us fix it!

    • Danny
      26 November 2012 at 1:03 am | #83

      There are much fewer Jews than Arabs, so they are not the underdogs. Anyway, supporting the ‘underdog’ whether they are right or wrong is plain stupid.

  31. Paul
    25 November 2012 at 7:18 pm | #84

    Tamar :

    You are of course entitled to your opinion about Israel. Just make sure it is an informed opinion.

    Yeah?

    You mean like your mate above who said that illegal settlement building in the West Bank had been “frozen” – and it hasn’t?

    So only you guys are allowed to spread uninformed views? Ok, I think I’m getting the rules here.

    • Tamar
      25 November 2012 at 8:03 pm | #85

      Wow! I like the assumption that all people who support Israel are automatically ‘mates’. Strangely enough I did not make that assumption about you. It seems to me that there are a lot of different kinds of people who would protest against Israel and I find it hard to believe that you are all ‘mates’. You have a real ‘us’ and ‘them’ philosophy. I try to avoid that personally. I think everyone should have informed opinions, if they are going to be strong opinions, on every side of the debate (and there are WAY more than 2 sides).

      I do not pretend to be fully informed about everything that Israel does. Unfortunately, I actually have no idea about the frozen settlements so I am not going to comment on that particular debate. I will leave that to Danny. You see, I do not want to get into an argument about something when I am not 100% I know what I am talking about. The settlements are definitely a problem. I think they cause more harm than good. A very large percentage of Israelis are against them. However, I do know people who live in the settlements and they argue a very good case as well. Two sides to every story. One thing you should know about Jews: we never agree with each other. 12 Jews in a room, 13 opinions. We do as a rule support Israel but that means very different things for each of us. Some say anything goes for Israel, some say two state solution and countless other takes on the situation. You cannot lump us all in the same boat. Israeli politics is heated and there is a LOT of disagreement about what the best courses of action are in the conflict situation. Supporting Israel doesn’t mean we all agree about how it should be run.

      Still…no answers for us? Seriously, enough criticism, give us the suggestions. You want to tell us what to do. So tell us. Enough with the scolding, on with the solution!

      • 25 November 2012 at 9:05 pm | #86

        “Still…no answers for us? Seriously, enough criticism, give us the suggestions. You want to tell us what to do. So tell us. Enough with the scolding, on with the solution!”

        It’s been said before;

        * get out of the West Bank
        * lift the illegal blockade on Gaza
        * eliminate your atomic weapons

        Once Israel stops giving reason to Hamas to launch rockets at them, everyone can start building a real peace which Israelis and Palestinians alike can enjoy.

        It doesn’t get simpler than that.

  32. Steve Raytcheff
    25 November 2012 at 8:12 pm | #87

    Israel is the 20th century’s greatest blunder.A nation created on other people’s land by decades of lobbying,blackmail and terrorism.And the rest of the world felt sorry for those poor jews killed in WW2.Guess what the nazi’s were defeated,why not just go back home like nearly every other displaced person during the war? I for one have no time for islam and its psycho doctrine nor for any other religious mumbo jumbo,but I am heartily sick and tired of israel claiming to be a victim,listen up israel you were created by the short sighted goodwill of the rest of the world,be grateful and go back to the ’67 borders.I no longer have any sympathy for israel and its inhabitants nor of its propensity to cry “anti-semite” at any criticism of its actions.

  33. Paul
    25 November 2012 at 8:13 pm | #88

    Tamar :

    I do not pretend to be fully informed about everything that Israel does. Unfortunately, I actually have no idea about the frozen settlements so I am not going to comment on that particular debate. I will leave that to Danny.
    What? You’ve just finished telling us,

    Tamar :

    You are of course entitled to your opinion about Israel. Just make sure it is an informed opinion.

    So you expect the views of critics of Israel’s murderous rampages to be ” an informed opinion” but you don’t have the same expectation of yourself? How the fuck does that work?

    I suggest to you that “leaving it to Denny” isn’t just a cop-out but he isn’t exactly truthful with us either. Both of you are repeating the official Israeli line without actually knowing you’re spouting lies and mis-information.

    I’m outta here. Got work to go to. And your bullshit is giving me one humungous headache.

    One thing, but. You’ve pushed me even further into the pro-palestine camp. If the rest of pro-Israelis spout as much crap as you and Denny, I’ll side with the Palistinians any day.

    • Tamar
      25 November 2012 at 9:04 pm | #89

      I didn’t say you had to be fully informed about every aspect of Israeli history/politics (that would be impossible), just the parts you are protesting. I should know more about the settlements. I often just get so depressed by the whole situation that I can’t really take it. See, it’s actually personal for me. But I am not arguing about the settlements. So I am admitting that my knowledge is short in this particular area.

      As for your suggestions, 1. Israel would never use its nuclear weapons. They purely serve as a deterrent to any country (like Iran) who might want to use them against us. Withdrawing all the settlements might help (though it didn’t in Gaza) but it would make the government very unpopular with a sector of the population and you know what politicians are like. I don’t think it’s extremely likely and I’m not convinced it would make an enormous difference anyway. And the blockade? Should they also stop providing electricity? It’s easier said than done. The blockade is to prevent weapons coming in that would be used against Israel. Maybe it could be done more diplomatically and they could do better at letting in things that aren’t weapons (though this would take an enormous amount of manpower). Maybe.

      Steve, I am not even going to bother with you. As a matter of fact, I have a degree in Jewish and Israeli history (not extending quite to the recent issues around the settlements) so I could give you a whole essay but I am sensing it would do absolutely no good and I have better things to do with my time. I have had a long day at work and another one tomorrow (and before you make any weird assumptions about my profession, I work with autistic teenagers).

      So I am also “outta here”. Adieu. Good luck to those of you who actually intend to help the struggle for peace and have a sensible method for doing it.

  34. Paul
    25 November 2012 at 8:15 pm | #90

    Tamar :

    You cannot just criticise and criticise and criticise a country that you know virtually nothing about. Help us fix it!

    Ok.

    1. Withdraw all settlements from the West Bank.

    2. Lift the blockade on Gaza.

    And while you’re about it, tell your government to get rid of their nukes. There are too many nutters in that part of the world to have such a weapon. (And that goes for Iran, to.)

  35. Paul
    25 November 2012 at 8:16 pm | #91

    Steve Raytcheff :

    Israel is the 20th century’s greatest blunder.A nation created on other people’s land by decades of lobbying,blackmail and terrorism.And the rest of the world felt sorry for those poor jews killed in WW2.Guess what the nazi’s were defeated,why not just go back home like nearly every other displaced person during the war? I for one have no time for islam and its psycho doctrine nor for any other religious mumbo jumbo,but I am heartily sick and tired of israel claiming to be a victim,listen up israel you were created by the short sighted goodwill of the rest of the world,be grateful and go back to the ’67 borders.I no longer have any sympathy for israel and its inhabitants nor of its propensity to cry “anti-semite” at any criticism of its actions.

    +1

  36. Mick
    25 November 2012 at 9:28 pm | #92

    Why do West Bank Palestinians get treated like animals ? They don’t fire rockets at anyone but every day more of their land is taken over and sanctioned by the Israeli Government ?
    What’s the final “price tag” going to be ?
    I’m trying to find a map of Israel so I can explain the crisis to a friend ,can some one link to a map please.

  37. Theodore
    25 November 2012 at 10:25 pm | #94

    Tamar :

    Incidentally, while I know that a lot of people who protest against Israel are not anti-semitic, I also know that a lot are. Our synagogues need extra security whenever there is something going on in Israel that people want to protest about. We get threatening letters and voicemail messages. There was a comment up above: “Israel is enough to make you dislike jews”. Whatever happens in Israel, it is the local Jewish communities who suffer. There are a lot of anti-semites who just use Israel as an excuse to attack Jews. I am not using anti-semitism as an excuse for Israel. I am actually expecting those of you who are not anti-semitic to make a point of distancing yourselves from these particular viewpoints.

    We spend all our time defending Israel against people who blame us for everything that the Israeli government decides to do, that we have no time left to actually try to fix the situation, to try and improve Israel. I do not defend everything the Israeli government does. It is a government…full of politicians. Not keen on politicians of any sort. I do not defend everything that the NZ government does. I do however defend Israel’s right to EXIST. I have Israeli friends who can trace their lineage in Israel back to the 18th century. I have other Israeli friends whose families arrived in Israel in 1948-1951 when they were forcibly expelled from Arab countries. In three years, Israel’s Jewish population more than doubled in size with Jewish refugees from Arab countries – Yemen, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Egypt, Tunisia, Lebanon – where they had been for centuries and centuries before that.

    Pathetic.

  38. Theodore
    25 November 2012 at 10:31 pm | #95

    Danny :

    Very well said.

    I’ve wondered why the far-left is so silent on Syria, but so vocal about the Jews.

    Here you go; http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/socialist-international-backs-syrian-uprising-calls-on-un-to-protect-syrians-.aspx?pageID=238&nID=16791&NewsCatID=338

    Don’t bother thanking me. Just get out of the West Bank.

  39. 25 November 2012 at 10:56 pm | #96

    Danny :

    Strawberry Paddocks :
    “No one has just cause to target civilians.”
    That is an unbelievable thing to say. Israel targetted media offices – civilians!
    Israel killed 168 Palestinian civilians.
    Where do you get of being so morally selective?
    “they don’t help the Palestinians people at all; in fact, they make things much worse.”
    No, the blockade of Gaza made things much worse. Something you seem studiously keen to ignore in your rush to apologise for Israel.

    Cool. So I can fire rockets at the NZ parliament from your place, and when the NZ government acts, you can just blame them for leveling your house. Fantastic.
    The blockade saves Israeli lives by preventing even more weapons flowing into Gaza. The rockets serve no one but Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

    Right on Danny.

    Far as I am concerned the islamic religion wants isreal wiped off the map and it does not matter how its done.

    Far as the islamics are cencerned they want to jewish and christian religions gone.

    Hence the fanacticism od the islamic religion and jahhad !!!!

    That is what is behind the palestian conflict.

    It doesnt matter what isreal does as far as the palestianians are concerned it will never be enough.

  40. Danny
    26 November 2012 at 12:49 am | #97

    Citizen Gee :
    The left isn’t silent.
    You just have selective hearing.

    The constant anti-Israel rallies make it hard to hear anything else.

  41. Danny
    26 November 2012 at 1:08 am | #98

    I never said the settlements has been frozen in the last twelve months. History goes back a little further than that… You guys really need to think more about your arguments and stop putting words into people’s mouths – it really is pathetic that you feel you need to be so deceitful to make yourselves feel good.

    • Priss
      26 November 2012 at 12:17 pm | #99

      Danny :

      I never said the settlements has been frozen in the last twelve months..

      So when were you going to tell us what you meant?

      Telling us that settlements “frozen for many months” and then trying to qualify it only after someone found out the true situation, makes your case weak. It makes you look disingenuous.

    • 27 November 2012 at 5:24 pm | #100

      I never said the settlements has been frozen in the last twelve months.

      Twisting your own words?

  42. nznative
    26 November 2012 at 3:39 am | #101

    Zionist jews are the ones who believe that stealing land and killing arab children is ‘kosher’.

    Many Jews do not agree with the land stealing, punishment and reprisals Israel dishes out to Palestinians, which is why I made the distinction of zionist jews .

    The Palestinian conflict is related to the map that frank posted above ………. where we can all see just how much land has been stolen and ethnically cleansed by Israel.

    ……. and over 1500 children killed by them since the year 2000.

    does pointing out the fact Israel kills so many children make one and anti-semite???

  43. Citizen Gee
    26 November 2012 at 7:37 am | #102

    Danny :
    I never said the settlements has been frozen in the last twelve months. History goes back a little further than that… You guys really need to think more about your arguments and stop putting words into people’s mouths – it really is pathetic that you feel you need to be so deceitful to make yourselves feel good.

    You said ” Settlement expansion was frozen for many months, whist the rockets kept flying in from Gaza”.

    Now you’re telling us “I never said the settlements has been frozen in the last twelve months”?

    Now you’re trying to weasel out of telling a lie? Now wonder you’re losing public support. Lies and half-truths. That’s all we get from you.

  44. Priss
    26 November 2012 at 12:21 pm | #103

    Danny :

    There are much fewer Jews than Arabs, so they are not the underdogs. Anyway, supporting the ‘underdog’ whether they are right or wrong is plain stupid.

    Let’s see; Gaza blockaded, Israel not blockaded.

    Illegal settlement on the West bank, no illegakl Arab settlement in Israel.

    168 Palestinian killed.

    About 8 Israelis dead.

    Massive amounts of billion dollar weapons held by Israel. Guns and makeshift rockets used by Gazans.

    You were saying?

  45. 26 November 2012 at 4:49 pm | #104

    Danny :

    Citizen Gee :
    The left isn’t silent.
    You just have selective hearing.

    The constant anti-Israel rallies make it hard to hear anything else.

    Really?

    So have you yourself bothered to comments on any other issues I’ve raised on this Blog? You complain that we’re focused on the plight of Palestinian people, to the exclusion of other issues – but you and Tamar have never commented on the many other issues raised here.

    In fact, you’ve zeroed in on this one single blogpost, much like one of Israel’s drone-missiles.

    When supporters of a regime point at another despot and demand “what about him/them?” – it’s usually code for “focus elsewhere – your attention is embarressing me”.

    • Tamar
      26 November 2012 at 9:50 pm | #105

      Why am I supposed to have heard of you or your blog before now? The only reason I have heard of you now is because I was curious about the march in Wellington and what the response was to members of the Jewish community being there.

      How can you possibly assume that because I haven’t commented on your blog before now that Israel is the only issue I care about??! Seriously, you know nothing about me! There are many other causes that I care about and fight for and, though I hate to say it, I tend to agree with you about many of them. Because, in fact, though I’m sure you could never accept that there could be multiple viewpoints from a Zionist (Jewish or otherwise), I am generally speaking very left wing. I care about the environment, I am a massive supporter of social welfare and I idolise Sweden in that regard. I get so upset about child sex trafficking that I go into a depression for days. I have volunteered for groups for refugee rights, I work in the disability sector and am a major advocate for disability rights. And I even argue with many of my friends about Israel. Because, yes, there are many points that I disagree on with some other Zionists. Because, yes, there are multiple opinions within the Zionist world about how to solve the conflict.

      You make so many assumptions based on the fact that I support Israel and it is just SO much more complex than that! And frankly (no pun intended), I am very insulted that you claim to know more about my own religion (which incidentally I spent the last five or six years studying) than I do.

      This time, really, last post.

  46. Daniel
    26 November 2012 at 10:42 pm | #106

    Shalom – Salaam

    Firstly, let me introduce myself – My name is Daniel and I’m one of the so-called “provocateurs” – that’s me with the yarlmuke, pink shirt and glasses :)

    Apologies that I had to decline your interview on Saturday – but I had good reason to. Saturday is the Jewish Shabbat and there are many restrictions in play, mostly related the prohibition of creative work (known as “melacha” is Hebrew). As technology has progressed the Rabbis have instituted rulings, based on Talmudic tradition, forbidding certain acts on Shabbat. This includes the use of a microphone – as recording is deemed a creative act. I can go into further detail if you require….
    Regarding the protest – what was the key driver for me being there? Simply – to stand in opposition. What do I oppose you may ask? …..

    Point 1:
    One key message of this protest included hatred towards both the people of Israel and the state of Israel. Slogans like “2,4,6,8… Israel is a terrorist state” clearly sum up the agenda of this group. Israel is not a terrorist state. It is a liberal democracy that believes in peace and freedom. It constituency is formed by Jews, Muslims (most of which are Palestinian), Christian (most of which are Palestinian), Druze, Bahai etc. All citizens have voting rights and all citizens are considered legally equal. They are Palestinians members of the Knesset. You will not find Israel listed among America’s official list of terrorist organisations. However you will find Hamas and the PFLP there – http://www.state.gov/j/ct/rls/other/des/123085.htm. Curiously there were many members of the protest that were not willing to condemn Hamas and many members of the group support (both verbally and financially) the PFLP. So who again are the terrorists?
    -> So what do I oppose? I opposed Israel being accused of being a terrorist state. I oppose Wellingtonians supporting terrorist organisations such as Hamas and the PFLP.

    Point 2:
    Another key message of the protest was the fact that more Palestinian lives have been taken than Israelis. This is a true fact … but let’s put it into context. In 2005 Israel completely withdraws from Gaza – no more occupation in Gaza. Very soon after, Hamas takes control of the strip and proceeds to fire missiles at Israel. The missiles were fired indiscriminately. Approx 10,000 missiles were fired between 2005 and today. This is not resistance – this is 10,000 acts of war. Israel had invested billions of dollars in defensive infrastructure (such as the iron dome) to ensure the safety of its civilians. It is equally important to note that Israel continued to provide aid and power to the strip the whole time it was being fired on (including during operation cast lead and operation pillar of defence). Does Israel have a right to return fire? “No” you say? So they should just sit tight and run to the bomb shelters every day and pray that they survive? I think a country is obligated to protect its citizens. Israel however takes it one step further – it attempts to protect the Gaza citizens too! Israel’s defensive actions is Gaza were highly accurate – aimed specifically at military targets. Israel often would send text messages or drop leaflets to warn civilians of a pending target. The sad truth is though that many civilians don’t get the message and unfortunately become collateral damage. Hamas are to blame for this – they strategically choose populated areas to fire their missiles from. And don’t say that they have no choice – there are many open areas in the strip.
    -> So what do I oppose? Hamas using human shields. Notions of “disproportionate force” etc – I guess you are right – in the future we should support Israel firing rockets indiscriminately into the strip as well as Gaza investing in an Iron Dome system. That would be fair game right????

    Point 3:
    I am always surprised at how the left associate themselves with anti-Semites and radicalised Muslims. I thought the left was all about liberty and freedom? How can you stand so proudly with such people? Anyone who has the nerve to call me a “f-ing Jew” has surely lost their right to protest against Israel right? I wonder what the left thinks about the fact that it is illegal to be homosexual in Gaza? I wonder what the left thinks about women having to cover up on the beaches of Gaza even on a hot day? These liberties are part and parcel of the Israeli culture – but unfortunately not the case in Gaza…. What do you really support – freedom and liberty or hating Israel – I’m so confused.
    -> So what do I oppose? The left turning a blind eye to the extreme lack of freedom experienced in Gaza due to the oppression of Hamas. Interestingly there seems to be a link between Hamas and anti-Semitism (see here for some commentary on their official charter – http://www.adl.org/PresRele/IslME_62/4877_62.htm). So maybe next protest will be against Hamas’ oppression of the people of Gaza – I’ll march with you on that one!

    Point 4:
    Another slogan that was chanted on Saturday was “from the Jordan to the Sea… Palestine will be free”. This essentially states that there is no room for a Jewish presence in Israel. I guess this comes as no surprise as Abbas himself has stated that no Jews can live in the future state of Palestine (http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2011/08/12/ethnic-cleansing-jews-abbas). Seems a little hypocritical to me… due to the fact that Israel currently has Palestinian citizens. I think the tone of this slogan once again reinforces the true nature of this protest – a hatred of Israel…. certainly not a peaceful gesture!
    -> So what do I oppose? The notion that a Jewish presence should be removed from the area. Jews have lived in Israel for thousands of years. Granted – many have come from Europe, north Africa and the middle east over the last 100 years but this does not mean they have no right to live there! There must be a compromise – maybe Jewish citizens of a future Palestine would be the way to go?

    Point 5:
    A lot of the PFLP supporters were claiming that a one-state, secular country is the way for peace. Although I applaud their efforts at seeking a solution, I am dismayed at their naivety. The United Nations is 1947 presented (and accepted) the partition plan that would allow for a Jewish state and a Palestinian state. They were not stupid – they saw how fundamentally different the two cultures are both in terms of religious belief and nationalistic aspirations. Ignoring these factors is unwise as it is these factors that lead to conflict currently. The only solution going forward is a two state solution. One Jewish, one Palestinian. I would advocate for freedom of movement between the two states (something similar to Canada/US border) and allow each religion full access to their holy sites. The only point of contention will be Jerusalem and to be honest I have no idea how to solve that one.
    -> So what do I oppose? The protest as a whole… what do I mean by that? If all the energy that was possessed by the protesters on Saturday was channelled into constructive debate and negotiations – I think we would be one step closer to peace. Instead of protests – let’s have peace plan working bees. Instead of chanting – let’s have discussion and respectful debate. I somehow doubt many of the protesters will be willing to come to the table on this one….

    Point 6:
    I do not support violence (on either side). And I certainly do not support being assaulted. What Mr Blogger did not see was the fact that Mr Protester (an Arab man, not sure exactly the ethnicity – apologies if I am incorrect) had pushed me – hand to my chest about 3 times in a row. This is what led to the police jumping in and moving my friend and I away. I did nothing to provoke this person so I would like to see the protest group condemn his actions. All that aside however – I do forgive you Mr Protester.
    -> So what do I oppose? Physical aggression against me. I am a Wellingtonian and have every right to protest in my home town.

    In conclusion:
    There is a long way to go before we arrive at a peaceful solution in the Middle East. Both sides will have to make sacrifices in order for peace to be achieved. Anti-Israel protests like the one held on Saturday do not achieve anything – except an increase in Anti-Semitism and hatred towards Israel and its people. Let’s put our differences aside for once and engage in respectful, constructive debate and discussion. What do you really stand for … peace? I certainly do! Can we not seek peace together?

    • Theodore
      26 November 2012 at 10:57 pm | #107

      “2,4,6,8… Israel is a terrorist state” clearly sum up the agenda of this group. Israel is not a terrorist state. ”

      You Istrael is indeed a terrorist state. Your military has killed thousands of civilians ands rained bombs down on innocent families. And in Gaza your military targeted media offices.

      Those protesters were telling it as it is. Israel is a terrorist state hiding behind a facade of “democracy”.

      “Interestingly there seems to be a link between Hamas and anti-Semitism ”

      Oh give me a break. You poor little victims you. You have one of the biggest arsenals in the Middle East, including The Bomb, and you cry “victim”? Anyone daring to criticise you is automatically an “anti semite”?

      Screw that and screw you. Injustice is injustice and hiding behind accusations of antisemitism just makes you more pathetic.

      “Both sides will have to make sacrifices in order for peace to be achieved. ”

      Really? And what sacrifices will Israel make? Withdraw from the West Bank and abandon all illegal settlements? Cease the blockade of Gaza? Release all political prisoners? Dismantle your stockpile of nuclear weapons?

      Yeah, right.

    • Jill Coop
      27 November 2012 at 6:13 am | #108

      I think I know enough about Gaza and the blockade and other things to know they’re you’re not being very upfront with us Daniel. you’re only telling us half the truth and some of what you’re saying isn’t even that.

      You’ve just watered down any sympathy I might have had for Israel.

  47. Citizen Gee
    26 November 2012 at 11:46 pm | #109

    Daniel,

    ” What Mr Blogger did not see was the fact that Mr Protester (an Arab man, not sure exactly the ethnicity – apologies if I am incorrect) had pushed me – hand to my chest about 3 times in a row. This is what led to the police jumping in and moving my friend and I away. I did nothing to provoke this person”

    Rubbish. Total rubbish. Your PRESENCE was a provocation. And if you don’t get that, then you are feeble minded in the extreme. Your presence was as provocative as having Islamic radicals turn up at one of your temples and yelling out anti-Israel slogans. I bet you’d be the first to squeal about “religious insult”.

    Second, do you know how utterly mendacious and pious you sound when you call on Palestinians “to make sacrifices in order for peace to be achieved.”?

    What exactly do you want Palistinians to sacrifice. For gods sakes you’ve taken just about everything they have; their land, security, jobs. What more do you want to extract from these poor people? Their blood? You’ve taken enough of that.

    To be honest you disgust me. You call for peace while Israel blockades FOOD imports for fucks sakes from getting into Gaza. FOOD!! And medicines!!! And you stop them from exporting to make a living.

    Meanwile, your jewish settlements are all over the West Bank, which are illegal, and a theft of Palistinian land.

    Take your santimonious call for peace and shove it. You are a hypocrite of the worst sort, hiding behind religion and pretending to call for peace while stealing from other people.

  48. Citizen Gee
    26 November 2012 at 11:48 pm | #110

    ” Very soon after, Hamas takes control of the strip ”

    Another lie. Hamas did not “take control”. They were elected in a free and fair election.

    Your mendacity rivals that of your mates, Tamar and Danny.

    Keep spreading your bovine excrement. It shows you up for the liar that you are.

  49. 27 November 2012 at 5:29 pm | #111

    Daniel :

    Shalom – Salaam

    Firstly, let me introduce myself – My name is Daniel and I’m one of the so-called “provocateurs” – that’s me with the yarlmuke, pink shirt and glasses :)

    Apologies that I had to decline your interview on Saturday – but I had good reason to. Saturday is the Jewish Shabbat and there are many restrictions in play, mostly related the prohibition of creative work (known as “melacha” is Hebrew). As technology has progressed the Rabbis have instituted rulings, based on Talmudic tradition, forbidding certain acts on Shabbat. This includes the use of a microphone – as recording is deemed a creative act. I can go into further detail if you require….
    Regarding the protest – what was the key driver for me being there? Simply – to stand in opposition. What do I oppose you may ask? …..

    Point 1:
    One key message of this protest included hatred towards both the people of Israel and the state of Israel. Slogans like “2,4,6,8… Israel is a terrorist state” clearly sum up the agenda of this group. Israel is not a terrorist state. It is a liberal democracy that believes in peace and freedom. It constituency is formed by Jews, Muslims (most of which are Palestinian), Christian (most of which are Palestinian), Druze, Bahai etc. All citizens have voting rights and all citizens are considered legally equal. They are Palestinians members of the Knesset. You will not find Israel listed among America’s official list of terrorist organisations. However you will find Hamas and the PFLP there – http://www.state.gov/j/ct/rls/other/des/123085.htm. Curiously there were many members of the protest that were not willing to condemn Hamas and many members of the group support (both verbally and financially) the PFLP. So who again are the terrorists?
    -> So what do I oppose? I opposed Israel being accused of being a terrorist state. I oppose Wellingtonians supporting terrorist organisations such as Hamas and the PFLP.

    Point 2:
    Another key message of the protest was the fact that more Palestinian lives have been taken than Israelis. This is a true fact … but let’s put it into context. In 2005 Israel completely withdraws from Gaza – no more occupation in Gaza. Very soon after, Hamas takes control of the strip and proceeds to fire missiles at Israel. The missiles were fired indiscriminately. Approx 10,000 missiles were fired between 2005 and today. This is not resistance – this is 10,000 acts of war. Israel had invested billions of dollars in defensive infrastructure (such as the iron dome) to ensure the safety of its civilians. It is equally important to note that Israel continued to provide aid and power to the strip the whole time it was being fired on (including during operation cast lead and operation pillar of defence). Does Israel have a right to return fire? “No” you say? So they should just sit tight and run to the bomb shelters every day and pray that they survive? I think a country is obligated to protect its citizens. Israel however takes it one step further – it attempts to protect the Gaza citizens too! Israel’s defensive actions is Gaza were highly accurate – aimed specifically at military targets. Israel often would send text messages or drop leaflets to warn civilians of a pending target. The sad truth is though that many civilians don’t get the message and unfortunately become collateral damage. Hamas are to blame for this – they strategically choose populated areas to fire their missiles from. And don’t say that they have no choice – there are many open areas in the strip.
    -> So what do I oppose? Hamas using human shields. Notions of “disproportionate force” etc – I guess you are right – in the future we should support Israel firing rockets indiscriminately into the strip as well as Gaza investing in an Iron Dome system. That would be fair game right????

    Point 3:
    I am always surprised at how the left associate themselves with anti-Semites and radicalised Muslims. I thought the left was all about liberty and freedom? How can you stand so proudly with such people? Anyone who has the nerve to call me a “f-ing Jew” has surely lost their right to protest against Israel right? I wonder what the left thinks about the fact that it is illegal to be homosexual in Gaza? I wonder what the left thinks about women having to cover up on the beaches of Gaza even on a hot day? These liberties are part and parcel of the Israeli culture – but unfortunately not the case in Gaza…. What do you really support – freedom and liberty or hating Israel – I’m so confused.
    -> So what do I oppose? The left turning a blind eye to the extreme lack of freedom experienced in Gaza due to the oppression of Hamas. Interestingly there seems to be a link between Hamas and anti-Semitism (see here for some commentary on their official charter – http://www.adl.org/PresRele/IslME_62/4877_62.htm). So maybe next protest will be against Hamas’ oppression of the people of Gaza – I’ll march with you on that one!

    Point 4:
    Another slogan that was chanted on Saturday was “from the Jordan to the Sea… Palestine will be free”. This essentially states that there is no room for a Jewish presence in Israel. I guess this comes as no surprise as Abbas himself has stated that no Jews can live in the future state of Palestine (http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2011/08/12/ethnic-cleansing-jews-abbas). Seems a little hypocritical to me… due to the fact that Israel currently has Palestinian citizens. I think the tone of this slogan once again reinforces the true nature of this protest – a hatred of Israel…. certainly not a peaceful gesture!
    -> So what do I oppose? The notion that a Jewish presence should be removed from the area. Jews have lived in Israel for thousands of years. Granted – many have come from Europe, north Africa and the middle east over the last 100 years but this does not mean they have no right to live there! There must be a compromise – maybe Jewish citizens of a future Palestine would be the way to go?

    Point 5:
    A lot of the PFLP supporters were claiming that a one-state, secular country is the way for peace. Although I applaud their efforts at seeking a solution, I am dismayed at their naivety. The United Nations is 1947 presented (and accepted) the partition plan that would allow for a Jewish state and a Palestinian state. They were not stupid – they saw how fundamentally different the two cultures are both in terms of religious belief and nationalistic aspirations. Ignoring these factors is unwise as it is these factors that lead to conflict currently. The only solution going forward is a two state solution. One Jewish, one Palestinian. I would advocate for freedom of movement between the two states (something similar to Canada/US border) and allow each religion full access to their holy sites. The only point of contention will be Jerusalem and to be honest I have no idea how to solve that one.
    -> So what do I oppose? The protest as a whole… what do I mean by that? If all the energy that was possessed by the protesters on Saturday was channelled into constructive debate and negotiations – I think we would be one step closer to peace. Instead of protests – let’s have peace plan working bees. Instead of chanting – let’s have discussion and respectful debate. I somehow doubt many of the protesters will be willing to come to the table on this one….

    Point 6:
    I do not support violence (on either side). And I certainly do not support being assaulted. What Mr Blogger did not see was the fact that Mr Protester (an Arab man, not sure exactly the ethnicity – apologies if I am incorrect) had pushed me – hand to my chest about 3 times in a row. This is what led to the police jumping in and moving my friend and I away. I did nothing to provoke this person so I would like to see the protest group condemn his actions. All that aside however – I do forgive you Mr Protester.
    -> So what do I oppose? Physical aggression against me. I am a Wellingtonian and have every right to protest in my home town.

    In conclusion:
    There is a long way to go before we arrive at a peaceful solution in the Middle East. Both sides will have to make sacrifices in order for peace to be achieved. Anti-Israel protests like the one held on Saturday do not achieve anything – except an increase in Anti-Semitism and hatred towards Israel and its people. Let’s put our differences aside for once and engage in respectful, constructive debate and discussion. What do you really stand for … peace? I certainly do! Can we not seek peace together?

    Daniel, I’m glad you posted to explain your actions last Saturday.

    And I’m happy to address the points you’ve raised.

    1.

    “Israel is not a terrorist state. It is a liberal democracy that believes in peace and freedom.”

    You someomehow assume that “liberal democracies” do not engage in terrorist activities? Of course, terrorism has many definitions ands one man’s terrorists is another perhaps freedom figher.

    I remind you of the Irgun which was branded a terrorist organisation by Britain, and which committed attrocities such as the King David Hotel bombing in July 1946 and the Deir Yassin massacre, in April 1948, which killed over 100 civilians.

    Israel may be a democracy, as is the United States. That does not automatically absolve either nation of responsibility for action that if committed by other nations would be termed terrorist actions.

    2.

    “In 2005 Israel completely withdraws from Gaza – no more occupation in Gaza. Very soon after, Hamas takes control of the strip and proceeds to fire missiles at Israel. The missiles were fired
    indiscriminately. Approx 10,000 missiles were fired between 2005 and today. This is not resistance – this is 10,000 acts of war. “

    No, the act of war is the illegal blockade imposed by Israel on Gaza. A blockade is a military action.

    I challenge you to accept a blockade of Israel as justifiable? Of course you would not. No one would.

    And please don’t respond that the blockade is to prevent weapons from entering Gaza. We’ve establed that is utter rubbish; the blockade affects food, medicines, construction materials, etc – things that have
    nothing to do with weapons. (Unless you consider a banana as a Weapon of Mass Destruction?)

    Your #2 point tells only half the story – your half – and you deliberately exclude the full picture. If you brutalise people, they will fight back, despite some thinking that Palestinians should just meekly submit to oppressive actions.

    “Israel had invested billions of dollars in defensive infrastructure (such as the iron dome) to ensure the safety of its civilians. “

    Perhaps Israel might consider spending less money on it’s military and more on peace initiatives;

    * withdraw from the West Bank
    * close down your illegal settlements
    * lift the illegal blockade of Gaza

    3.

    ” I thought the left was all about liberty and freedom?

    You’re posting here, aren’t you?

    And if you are so concerned about presenting your viewpoint instead of being provocation – why have you not organised your own protest march? No one is stopping you.

    The honest fact is, you are less interested in presenting your viewpoint than being provocative.

    “How can you stand so proudly with such people? “

    Quite easily. As I will also stand with people who support human rights in Tibet, Syria, Kurdistan, Burma, etc, etc.

    “Anyone who has the nerve to call me a “f-ing Jew” has surely lost their right to protest against Israel right?”

    Your selfishness and arrogance is astounding.

    “I wonder what the left thinks about the fact that it is illegal to be homosexual in Gaza? I wonder what the left thinks about women having to cover up on the beaches of Gaza even on a hot day?”

    Probably the same that the left felt about jewish extremist spitting on an 8 year old girl and calling her a whore? http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2078771/Israel-braced-protests-treatment-women-girl-8-spat-Jewish-extremists.html

    Or this incident, ” Arrests at Jerusalem gay parade

    But really, Daniel, it’s fairly apparent that you are not remotely interested in women’s or gay rights. You’re simply using these issues as justification for Israel’s oppression against Palestinians. Demonise
    another society by pointing out their faults and it makes it easier to steal their land.

    “So what do I oppose? The left turning a blind eye to the extreme lack of freedom experienced in Gaza due to the oppression of Hamas.”

    No… what you’re pissed of about is that the left – and much of the world – has focused their attention on Israel’s actions in Gaza and the West Bank. If Israel is so concerned about Hamas, why are they still
    stealing land in the West Bank and building settlents? Hamas does not govern the West Bank. So what’s your excuse.

    4.

    “Another slogan that was chanted on Saturday was “from the Jordan to the Sea… Palestine will be free”. “

    I was present at the march and did not hear that slogan.

    Regardless, perhaps you should ask yourself why there is such a dislike of Israel. The treatment of Palistinians at the hand of Israel’s military has hardly endeared Israel to it’s neighbours.

    As I’ve stated before; if you brutalise a people, do not expect them to love you.

    5.

    “A lot of the PFLP supporters were claiming that a one-state, secular country is the way for peace. Although I applaud their efforts at seeking a solution, I am dismayed at their naivety. The United Nations is 1947 presented (and accepted) the partition plan that would allow for a Jewish state and a Palestinian state. They were not stupid – they saw how fundamentally different the two cultures are both in terms of religious belief and nationalistic aspirations.”

    Your reference to the UN is hypocritical in the extreme.

    How many UN resolutions has Israel ignored?

    Has Israel withdrawn from the West Bank and returned to it’s pre-1967 borders as per UN resolution 242?

    Has Israel respected international law and lifted the blockade of Gaza?

    When Israel starts to obey international laws and respect UN resolutions, then you can lecture us. Otherwise you make a fool of yourself.

    6.

    “I do not support violence (on either side). And I certainly do not support being assaulted. What Mr Blogger did not see was the fact that Mr Protester (an Arab man, not sure exactly the ethnicity – apologies if I am incorrect) had pushed me – hand to my chest about 3 times in a row. This is what led to the police jumping in and moving my friend and I away. I did nothing to provoke this person so I would like to see the protest group condemn his actions. All that aside however – I do forgive you Mr Protester.”

    Rubbish. You were every bit as provocative as you intended. Please do not take us for fools, Daniel. We know precisely why you placed yourself at the head of thre protest march instead of organising you own protest action.

    For you to claim innocence is symptomatic of the kind of arrogance; aggression; non-respect for international law; and further brutalising of Palestinians, that we’ve come to expect from Israel. You do yourself no favours with such arrogance.

    As for you stating that “I do forgive you Mr Protester”; I wonder if that’s what the South African Boer thought when Black South Africans took up arms against Afrikaaners? Or Vietnamese rising up against

    the French and then the Americans?

    … and by the way, France, Britain, and America are “liberal democracies”. That hasn’t stopped them from engaging in horrific acts of imperialism throughout the 20th century.

    “Can we not seek peace together?”

    If Israel wants peace,

    * lift the blockade on Gaza
    * withdraw from the West Bank
    * abandon your illegal settlements
    * Release all political prisoners.

    Actions speak louder than mealy-mouth words.

  50. 27 November 2012 at 5:55 pm | #112

    Matthew :

    Iran meddling in Palestine is only “mostly propaganda”. You should tune into Press TV on Optus D2 and watch a few hours of that to see just how anti-Semitic and hateful the official Iranian line is.

    At the end of the day I don’t hate people enough to take a side in this intractable conflict with its mutual animosity, and its calculated strategic hate on both sides.I still don’t think anyone calling themselves a leftie would jump into bed with people who aren’t natural allies. i.e. religious fundies, but they do and it doesn’t add to credibility.

    And I think the march, and this whole comment thread isn’t going to solve the problem. We are wasting our breath.

    As for supporting a one state solution or a two state solution, whatever pragmatically is going to work with the least amount of violence on the way and the most amount of true liberty enjoyed by everyone at the end. But that part of the world and this part of the world are backwaters, and haven’t got much to do with each other. Whatever happens the solution ain’t going to be found on this blog.

    Matthew,

    With all due respect – campaigning for human rights is never a waste of time. I may be more sensitive to these issues considering my own parents surviving an uprising in Eastern Europe during the Soviet era…

    My sympathies will always reside with oppressed people, whether they be in Syria, Kurdistan, Tibet, Burma, Aborigines in Australia, Maori in New Zealand, Amerindians in North America…

    People such as Palestinians don’t engage in resistance because they are “predisposed to violence”. They are resisting because life is intolerable when food and medicines have to be brought in by tunnels because Israel has blockaded Gaza,

    Or because Israel is taking more and more land in the West Bank – despite Danny’s silly lie that settlement-building was “frozen”.

    The truth is that Hamas was democratically elected by Palestinians in Gaza. Why is that? Because, I submit, the people had had enough and want what most other countries have; security, peace, independence – and no blockades from a neighbouring military power.

    My ten cents plus 15% gst worth…

  51. Tamar
    27 November 2012 at 6:47 pm | #113

    I am not going to say anything about Israel any more.

    But what I would like to say is that I found this blog out of curiosity, and I posted ready to respect you as fellow Wellingtonians with a social conscience. I was hoping for an intellectual discussion and debate, maybe to learn a little bit more about where the protestors are coming from, and perhaps even to gain some valuable ideas about how to end this terrible conflict.

    None of that happened. There was no intellectual debate, just a lot of judgmental, presumptuous, unkind insults and some tired tag lines. I did not come away with any helpful information about the conflict and I leave here with a lower opinion of anti-Israel protestors and humanity as a whole.

    While I do not want to spend a long time admonishing the cruelty I found on this blog, I would like to ask you one thing. You want there to be peace between two groups of people with different values, lifestyles and histories who both have claims to the same tiny strip of land less than half the size of the North Island, yes? Aren’t the first steps to peace kindness, generosity and open-mindedness (the complete opposites of what I have found here)? Think about that.

    Go and enjoy the sunshine we have been having and this beautiful little peaceful city. That is what I intend to do.

    Good night and good luck finding real peace.

    • Samwise
      27 November 2012 at 8:28 pm | #114

      You did find intellectual debate.

      You just didn’t like the answers you got.

      And it it’s “”peace kindness, generosity and open-mindedness “” that you’re after, shouldn’t you be looking to your neighbours, the Palestinians and not us? It’s the Palestinian people you need to co-exist with, not NZ, so you should look to them for answers.

      And if you think you got an unkind response here, this is tame in comparison to what you might have received on other forums.

    • Samwise
      27 November 2012 at 8:37 pm | #115

      By the way, I looked through all your posts here and found this bit; “’m sick of hearing what Israel shouldn’t be doing. I want to hear what it should be doing?”

      Several people answered your questions;

      *lift blockade on Gaza
      *get out of the West bank

      You gave a brief response to the first and ignored the rest.

      And you still keep asking for answers?

      Like I said, look to your neighbours. Talk with them. Make peace with them. They are your future, not us here in NZ.

    • 27 November 2012 at 10:24 pm | #116

      Tamar – I’m sorry you didn’t hear what you wanted to.

      Sometimes the best friend offers advice that you may not want to hear, but which you need to know.

    • Morrissey
      29 November 2012 at 10:31 am | #117

      Poor Tamar has treated us the most hilariously pathetic hissy-fit since Paul Holmes complained on air that nobody appreciated how difficult it was to get out of Albany in rush-hour.

      1.) “There was no intellectual debate,” Certainly there was no debate, intellectual or otherwise, from Tamar. She simply refused to engage in rational discussion.

      2.) “just a lot of judgmental, presumptuous, unkind insults and some tired tag lines.”

      Nonsense. Many people patiently and systematically rebutted everything she wrote. She simply lacks the wherewithal to mount a coherent response. In the occupied West Bank, she could purge herself of her bile by screaming at cowed and silent Palestinians.

      But here on Planet Earth, she has to actually back up her statements. She is incapable of that.

  52. Che’s Spirit
    28 November 2012 at 12:31 pm | #118

    Tamar, Danny, etc, I find your suggestion that the left is inherently anti-Jewish to be highly offensive.

    I was part of a group that protested recent anti-semitic vandalism in Auckland.

    “A protest was held outside an Auckland cemetery this afternoon where Jewish graves were desecrated.

    Efforts to clean the graffiti from headstones in the Jewish part of the Symonds Street cemetery are continuing today.

    Socialist Aotearoa spokesman Joe Carolan says many in Auckland are shocked by the attack.

    “We really wanted to demonstrate our solidarity with the Jewish community and show them that the real minority that has no place in our society is these Nazis and racists who have committed an act of barbarism.”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10841819

    If you’re going to ignore the left because we happen to support the Palestinian cause as well, then you’ll lose friends very quickly. To be honest I was gutted when I read your comments and next time I may bow out of any similar pro-Jewish action. Do it yourselves.

  53. Priss
    2 December 2012 at 7:51 pm | #119

    “The US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, and British foreign secretary, William Hague, have launched attacks on an Israeli decision to build fresh settlements on occupied territory in the West Bank.

    The Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s decision to approve the construction of 3,000 new homes is widely seen as a response to the United Nations vote earlier this week that recognised a Palestinian bid to be a “non-member observer state”.

    The US, with Israel, strongly opposed that move, while Britain abstained in the vote. But now both countries have criticised the Israeli settlement decision, saying it hurts the chances of a two-state solution and the search for peace in the troubled region.”

    http://apps.facebook.com/theguardian/p/3c8f4

    So much for the prats above who lied about settlements being frozen.

  1. 3 January 2013 at 4:14 pm | #1

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