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Posts Tagged ‘Israel’

Israel and Saudi Arabia: the rise of rogue states

19 October 2018 1 comment

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Israel

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On 10 July 1985, the bombing, sinking, and fatality aboard the Greenpeace ship, ‘Rainbow Warrior‘, taught New Zealand that as a small country we could be vulnerable to the perniciousness of foreign powers.

Despite being supposed allies; despite the blood of our soldiers shed for their liberation in two World Wars, faraway France sent a team of DGSE secret agents to our shores and committed what could only be described as an act of state-sponsored terrorism.

As a nation, we did not take kindly to being bullied by a foreign power. The NZ History website pointedly observed that;

This incident did much to promote what has been described as New Zealand’s ‘silent war of independence’ and was central to an upsurge in New Zealand nationalism. There was a sense of having to ‘go it alone’ because traditional allies such as the United States and Britain sat on their hands while France worked to block New Zealand exports. The failure of Britain and the United States to condemn this act of terrorism hardened support for a more independent foreign policy line.

Thirty three years later, and another nuclear-armed, aggressive nation is arrogantly throwing it’s weight around and trying to “have a go” at us – Israel.

NZ-Israel relations took a nose-dive last year when singer-entertainer Lorde decided to cancel her planned tour of Israel;

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The bitter reaction from Zionist individuals and organisations could only be described as  – at times – reaching levels of insane hysteria. A full page advertisement in The Washington Times by fanatic Rabbi Shmuley Boteach showed the intolerance to dissenting views by hardline Zionists;

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Obviously, Rabbi Boteach’s call to “support our campaign to defend Israel and promote human rights” (bottom of advert) didn’t extend to people having the right to make a decision on whether or not to tour the country he was “defending”.

Two young women who last year called on Lorde not to tour Israel have found themselves on the sharp, pointy-end of Israel’s hard-line extremism when it comes to criticising that country;

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Justine Sachs and Nadia Abu-Shanab had appealed to Lorde in an open letter to join the cultural boycott of Israel.

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Ms Sachs and Ms Abu-Shanab wrote;

Since 1967, Israel has militarily occupied Palestinian land in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza strip. The occupation is considered an affront to international law and Israeli settlements in the area explicitly violate the Geneva Convention. The military occupation of Palestinian territories has resulted in an apartheid state. Palestinians living in the occupied territories do not enjoy the same rights Israeli citizens enjoy, they are denied freedom of movement and often basic services and necessities.

Today, millions of people stand opposed to the Israeli government’s policies of oppression, ethnic cleansing, human rights violations, occupation and apartheid. As part of this struggle, we believe that an economic, intellectual and artistic boycott is an effective way of speaking out against these crimes. This worked very effectively against apartheid in South Africa, and we hope it can work again.

Israel’s violations are so brutal, Nelson Mandela’s own grandson, Mandla Mandela, said: “The settlements I saw here [in the West Bank] reminded me of what we had suffered in South Africa because we also were surrounded by many settlements and were not allowed to move from one place to another freely. Palestinians are being subjected to the worst version of apartheid.” He added, “Israel is the worst apartheid regime” and called for the continued support of the boycott movement.

They called on Lorde to follow in our country’s tradition of standing up to injustice;

Israel might seem like a world away from New Zealand but that shouldn’t stop us from speaking out and being on the right side of history. In 1981 New Zealanders took to the streets to protest the Springbok tour and South African apartheid. It’s remembered proudly now, so it’s easy to forget that at the time this stuff was seriously fraught. Many argued the politics of apartheid shouldn’t be brought into sport. People will say the same about music.

We’re not just writing to appeal to the past. We’re writing this because we know you agree that our part in movements for justice and equality shouldn’t just be a memory that gathers dust. We can play an important role in challenging injustice today. We urge you to act in the spirit of progressive New Zealanders who came before you and continue their legacy. In 2017, Lorde, reignite the spirit of 1981 and show the world that New Zealanders are the progressive forward-thinking people we say we are. Please join the artistic boycott of Israel, cancel your Israeli tour dates and make a stand. Your voice will join many others and together we can and will make a difference.

I am in awe of the courage of these two young women.

In the interests of fair, free speech, The Spinoff also published a counter-opinion, by Dane Giraud from the NZ Jewish community.

For their actions, a pro-Zionist group in Israel called “Shurat Hadin” has sued – and ‘won’ a legal case in an Israeli Court – seeking ‘damages against Ms Sachs and Ms Abu-Shanab. The award was for 45,000 Israeli New Shekel ($NZ18,976).

According to a Jerusalem Post report;

In January, Shurat HaDin filed a lawsuit on behalf of Shoshana Steinbach, Ayelet Wertzel and Ahuva Frogel. The three all purchased tickets to see Lorde, and were refunded when the show was canceled. The suit demanded NIS 15,000 in damages for each of the teenagers, claiming that their “artistic welfare” was harmed as was their leisure time, “and above all damage to their good name as Israelis and Jews.” The lawsuit said that Lorde’s response on Twitter to the letter Sachs and Abu-Shanab penned showed a direct connection to the concert cancellation.

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“This is a precedent-setting ruling according to the Boycott Law,” [Shurat HaDin lawyer] Darshan-Leitner said Thursday. “This decision makes it clear that anyone who calls for a boycott against the State of Israel could find themselves liable for damages and need to pay compensation to those hurt by the boycott call, if they’re in Israel or outside it.”

Shurat Hadin” makes no secret of their hard-line Zionism and willingness to exploit “legal avenues” to further their cause;

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As their website clearly states;

Shurat HaDin is at the forefront of fighting terrorism and safeguarding Jewish rights worldwide. We are dedicated to taking action to protect the State of Israel and its citizens. By putting terrorists and their supporters on trial to compensate victims and block funding of terror, by fighting to end the use of social media for inciting violence and promoting terror, by defending Israel, its leaders, and soldiers against claims of war crimes, and by battling lawfare, BDS and other efforts to delegitimize the Jewish State, Shurat HaDin is using court systems around the world to go on the legal offensive against Israel’s enemies.

Former CIA counter-terrorism specialist and military intelligence officer, Philip Giraldi, has accused ShuratHaDin as engaging in lawfare;

Lawfare, as the name suggests, is the concept of using the law itself as a weapon of war. What it has meant in practice is turning American courtrooms into battlegrounds between private actors and foreign litigants seeking leverage in international political disputes. As a court case just concluded this week [February, 2015] in New York against the Palestinian Authority highlights, the increasing abuse of Lawfare litigation in the U.S. courts may soon have dangerous and irreparable implications for American foreign policy interests in the Middle East.

Israel’s Shurat HaDin Law Center has featured in much of the Lawfare litigation, seeking to harass groups and individuals that it regards as hostile, tying them up with litigation so they become ineffectual or even bankrupting them when a friendly judge rules its way. Shurat HaDin is headed by Nitsana Darshan-Leitner and her husband Avi, who have described their organization as a means of “fighting back,” particularly appropriate for Israel because “the Jews invented law.”

He pointed out;

More recently Shurat HaDin has been threatening to use litigation on American university campuses where it perceives that there is toleration of “an environment of intimidation and hostility” that fails to protect Jewish and Israeli students against alleged anti-Semitic harassment, by which it means demonstrations by Palestinian supporters and calls for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel.

Shurat HaDin have links to Israel’s security agency, Mossad.

Clearly, Ms Sachs and Ms Abu-Shanab are the latest victims of Shurat HaDin’s ‘lawfare’ strategy to coerce  critics of Israel into silence.

Philip Giraldi‘s analysis is backed up by Waikato University law professor, Alexander Gillespie, who said this was an attempt to quell free speech;

“This is political theatre. This is not really a legal issue, this is about a court in Israel trying to create a precedent and it will have quite a large global impact.

A lot of people will start watching this because the fear will be that if you’re critical of Israel, no matter where you are in the world, you could be sued.”

However, Professor Gillespie said it would be difficult for Israel to enforce their Court decision to demand payment from the two women;

“In theory they can apply to the courts here to enforce their judgement, but it’s very unlikely that the judgement will be enforced because it’s completely contrary to our own laws.”

To their credit, Ms Sachs and Ms Abu-Shanab have bravely refused to cave to Israel’s abuse of legal process and have set up a ‘Givealittle’ page where donations toward their ‘fine’ will be forwarded to the  Gaza Mental Health Foundation.

Hopefully the New Zealand government will act decisively to defend two of it’s citizens from the brazen bullying by a foreign power. If our government fails to act to defend it’s citizen on our own soil, then it has become a weak vassal-state of a foreign regime.

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Saudia Arabia

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Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia – another “ally” of the West – has taken it’s war from the bombing of Yemen to it’s Consulate in Istanbul where apparently it has murdered Washington Post columnist, and critic of the Saudi regime, Jamal Khashoggi.

Not content with bombing and mass-killing in Yemen that has resulted in at least ten thousand killed and tens of thousands more dead from starvation, the Saudi regime has adopted Mossad-style techniques of using execution teams to kill critics. The weapons used to kill innocent men, women, and children in Yemen – such as forty children in a school bus – are American-made;

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Munitions experts said the numbers on this piece of shrapnel confirmed that Lockheed Martin was the maker of the bomb. – CNN

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Sensitive to ongoing reports of mass deaths of Yemeni civilians, Secretary of State, Michael R. Pompeo, tried to “make good” on assurances that Saudi Arabian warplanes would take better aim in attacks on so-called rebel targets;

Pursuant to Section 1290 of the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 (NDAA), I certified to Congress yesterday that the governments of Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates are undertaking demonstrable actions to reduce the risk of harm to civilians and civilian infrastructure resulting from military operations of these governments.

In the same statement, Pompeo  also said how much the US government wanted peace in Yemen;

The Trump Administration has been clear that ending the conflict in Yemen is a national security priority. We will continue to work closely with the Saudi-led coalition to ensure Saudi Arabia and the UAE maintain support for UN-led efforts to end the civil war in Yemen, allow unimpeded access for the delivery of commercial and humanitarian support through as many avenues as possible, and undertake actions that mitigate the impact of the conflict on civilians and civilian infrastructure.

Oxfam America’s  Scott Paul responded the only way possible to US support of Saudi bombing of Yemen;

“Today, the Trump administration once put its Gulf allies ahead of Yemeni families who are struggling to survive. With Secretary Pompeo’s certification, the State Department demonstrated that it is blindly supporting military operations in Yemen without any allegiance to facts, moral code or humanitarian law.”

Many of the horror-weapons used in Yemen were banned from sale to the Saudis by the previous Obama administration.  Trump reversed that ban in March 2017.

Trump has promised a controversial US$110 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia will proceed – regardless of the current storm of international condemnation over the mysterious disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi; regardlss of the fact that the Saudi regime may be engaging in extra-judicial killings; regardless of the the alleged murder taking place within the borders of another country.

In a statement that shows – yet again – the utter moral bankruptcy of the man, Trump explained;

“I know they’re talking about different kinds of sanctions, but they’re spending $110 billion on military equipment and on things that create jobs, like jobs and others, for this country. I don’t like the concept of stopping an investment of $110 billion into the United States. Because you know what they’re going to do? They’re going to take that money and spend it in Russia or China, or someplace else.”

And Americans wonder why they are hated throughout much of the Middle East?

Israel and Saudi Arabia – two regimes that brook no dissent. Both thumb their noses at free expression; democracy; and respect for human life. Neither are hesitant at using lethal violence to pursue their aims.

We certainly have no moral grounds to complain when Russia supports one of their own allies in the region. Russia has Syria’s Bashar al-Assad. The US has Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu and Saudi ‘Crown Prince’ Mohammed bin Salman.

Russia’s RT News may be a government mouthpiece, but on the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, Yemen,  and continuing arming of the Saudi regime, they make a valid point;

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The West should choose it’s friends in the Middle East more carefully.

And New Zealand should have as little as possible to do with Israel and Saudi Arabia as possible. They are both rogue states.

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References

NZ History: Nuclear-free New Zealand – Sinking the Rainbow Warrior

Rolling Stone: Lorde Cancels Tel Aviv Concert After Calls to Boycott Israel

Radio NZ: Rabbi continues criticism of Lorde

The Spinoff: Dear Lorde, here’s why we’re urging you not to play Israel

Shurat HaDin: Main Page

Jerusalem Post: New Zealand BDS activists ordered to pay damages over Lorde Israel boycott

The Hill: U.S. legislation abused by foreign entities

Radio NZ: NZ activist being sued in Israel calls it ‘publicity stunt’

Givealittle: Help Justine and Nadia raise money for Mental Health in Gaza

Jerusalem Post: Op. Harpoon – How the Mossad and an Israeli NGO destroyed terrorist money networks

Chicago Tribune: 50,000 children in Yemen have died of starvation and disease so far this year, monitoring group says

The Telegraph: Dubai Hamas assassination – how it was planned

CNN: Bomb that killed 40 children in Yemen was supplied by the US

US Department of State: Certification to Congress on Actions of Saudi Arabia and UAE in Yemen Under the NDAA

NPR: U.S. Stands By Saudi Arabia, Despite Criticism Over Civilian Casualties In Yemen

NY Times: Why Are U.S. Bombs Killing Civilians in Yemen?

CNN: Trump’s $110 billion Saudi arms deal has only earned $14.5 billion so far

Twitter: RT News – Yemen, Khashoggi, Saudi Arabia

Additional

The Electronic Intifada: Israeli lawfare “backfires” in New Zealand

NZ Herald: Israeli court – NZ activists must pay for Lorde cancellation

Other Blogs

The Standard:  Concert Woes

Previous related blogposts

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

New Zealand’s OTHER secret shame

Barbarians at the Gates

To any Israeli solidiers reading this

Wellingtonians say ‘No!’ to Israeli aggression

What to do with the Israeli Ambassador?

Do our bit: boycott Israeli goods and commercial interests!

Trumpwatch: One minute closer to midnight on the Doomsday Clock

One minute to midnight?

It is ten seconds to midnight

Syria: the mendacities of the mainstream media (part rua)

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This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 14 October 2018.

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Letter to the editor – Juliet Moses does NOT speak on my behalf!

17 January 2017 4 comments

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Frank Macskasy - letters to the editor - Frankly Speaking

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This recent NZ Herald story was brought to my attention by Martyn Bradbury writing on The Daily Blog;

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Which prompted me to send this response to the Herald’s editor;

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from: Frank Macskasy <fmacskasy@gmail.com>
to: NZ Herald <letters@herald.co.nz>
date: Sun, Jan 15, 2017
subject: Letter to the editor

Letter to the editor
NZ Herald

Regarding Juliet Moses’ comment in the New Zealand Herald article, that UN Resolution 2334 “was an affront to all New Zealanders” (6 Jan) – I will thank her and her fellow travellers not to assume they speak for me and others.

Last I looked, Israel has not added Aotearoa to it’s list of illegally annexed territory.

As for Moses’ assertion;

“…Israel’s Arab neighbours mounted a second unsuccessful attempt to exterminate her in 1967”

– is either woeful ignorance or wilful misrepresentation of historical fact.

Israel launched the so-called Six Day War on 5 June 1967 against it’s neighbours;

“In response to the *apparent* mobilization of its Arab neighbours, early on the morning of June 5, Israel staged a sudden preemptive air assault that destroyed more than 90 percent Egypt’s air force on the tarmac. A similar air assault incapacitated the Syrian air force.” – Encyclopedia Britannica

Arrogant and mis-informed. She most certainly does not speak on my behalf.

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-Frank Macskasy

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References

NZ Herald: Juliet Moses – Israel vote was an affront to all New Zealanders

Encyclopedia Britannica: Six-Day War – Middle East – 1967

Additional

Causes: Petition – Aerosmith boycott apartheid Israel!

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Do our bit: boycott Israeli goods and commercial interests!

4 August 2014 2 comments

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Boycott Israel

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You can do you bit. Resistance starts at the individual level and acting collectively, an irresistable force begins to grow.

This is how  citizens around the world destroyed apartheid in South Africa.

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01/08/2014:  Note:  Israel Products have appeared on supermarket shelves (in the UK) with a bar code starting with 871 as well as 729.  Although the bar code is a good identifier I’d strongly suggest reading the label on the product to find country of origin if unsure. – Boycott Israel Today Blog

Acknowledgement and more information here: Boycott Israel Today

More here: Consumer Boycott

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References

BDS – Boycott Divestment Sanctions

 

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Letter to the Editor: War crimes in Gaza – we must take a stand!

4 August 2014 3 comments

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from:         Frank Macskasy
to:               NZ Herald <letters@herald.co.nz>
date:           Mon, Aug 4, 2014 at 10:10 AM
subject:     Letter to the editor

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The editor
NZ Herald
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Israel’s continuing bombardment of Gaza have caused the injuries, maimings, and deaths of thousands of Palestinian men, women, and children. The Israeli military has bombed schools, hospitals, homes, and United Nations facilities.
In any other situation, this would be condemned as  war crimes and immediate Western retailiation would ensue.

Instead, the United States wrings it hands and continues to sell weapons of mass destruction to Israel.
Standing by and doing nothing makes us complicit in Israel’s crimes.
The Israeli ambassador should be sent home and the embassy closed down.

We must cease any and all sporting and commercial contacts with Israel until a lasting, just peace is established; the blockade of Gaza is lifted; and Israel ceases it’s land grabbing in the West Bank.
We did our bit to stop French atomic bomb testing in the South Pacific. We did our bit against the war in Vietnam. We did our bit against apartheid in South Africa.

New Zealand can and must do it’s bit for the besieged people of Gaza.

Mr Prime Minister: send the Israeli ambassador home!
-Frank Macskasy

[address and phone number supplied]

 

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Previous blogposts

Barbarians at the Gates

To any Israeli solidiers reading this

Letter to the Editor: What to do with the Israeli Ambassador?

 


 

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Skipping voting is not rebellion its surrender

Above image acknowledgment: Francis Owen/Lurch Left Memes

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Letter to the Editor: What to do with the Israeli Ambassador?

4 August 2014 2 comments

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from:         Frank Macskasy
to:              Dominion Post <letters@dompost.co.nz>
date:          Sun, Aug 3, 2014 at 11:55 PM
subject:     Letter to the editor

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The editor

Dominion Post
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The time for talking is long past. The atrocities in Gaza; the bombing of schools and hospitals; the maiming and killing of innocent women and children  make Israel a pariah state and we should have no truck with that country’s ambassador.

Israel will not “listen” to international pressure until the are made to feel international pressure by increasing isolation.

When the Ambassador is sent home – then Israel will feel that pressure.

When we stop trading with them – then Israel will feel that pressure.

When we cease sporting contacts with them – then Israel will begin to understand.

That is how the white regime in South Africa was made to “listen” to international pressure. Apartheid was finally destroyed when it was no longer tenable for the South African government of the day to preserve it.

Send the Ambassador packing.
Any message we send to Israel can be done through the U.N.

-Frank Macskasy
[name & address supplied]

 

 

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Previous related blogposts

Barbarians at the Gates

To any Israeli solidiers reading this

Wellingtonians say ‘No!’ to Israeli aggression

 


 

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Skipping voting is not rebellion its surrender

Above image acknowledgment: Francis Owen/Lurch Left Memes

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Wellingtonians say ‘No!’ to Israeli aggression

2 August 2014 10 comments

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Free Palestine

 

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Wellington, NZ, 26 July – About 600 Wellingtonians, and from further afield, met at the Cuba Mall Bucket fountain under a wintery sunny sky, to protest Israel’s continuing aggression in the Gaza strip, which – at the time of writing – has resulted in the deaths of over 1,032 men, women, and children.

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Indiscriminate Israeli shelling of a hospital, and schools housing  families taking refuge, have added to the grisly toll of Palestianian citizens killed.  Fair minded New Zealanders  across the country are apalled by the barbarity of Israel’s bombardment of a densely inhabited urban area in Gaza City.

The placards and banners held aloft were clear in their expression of disgust at the deaths, injuries,  and suffering caused by the continuing violence;

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26 july 2014 - wellington - israeli embassy

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One of the organisers of the Peace Rally, Dougal [*], spoke to the growing crowd, as they filled the Mall;

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Shahd [*] of Students for Justice in Palestine: Victoria University of Wellington, from part of her speech, read a message from Gaza, describing a typical Israeli “warning” to evacuate a house before it was bombed;

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“How does it feel when you get an anonymous phone call which begins, ‘You have 58 seconds from the end of this call to leave your house’?

There is no right of appeal. No way to say the Israeli military has made a mistake. No time to collect your wedding album, or even your shoes. Just BOOM!

One could feel a sense of horror and revulsion at Shahd’s description of how the Israeli military were attacking the civilian population in Gaza. It was an affront to all fair-minded people.

New Zealanders of all ages; all  ethnicities; and varying religions and beliefs,  all share one common desire; to see peace and justice for the Palestinian people;

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From the young, to the old – the message was simple; peace.

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In the photo above, the young children holding the small placards would be in severe danger for their lives, if they were living in Gaza…

There is a striking similarity between the Nazi devastation in the ‘Warsaw Ghetto‘, during World War 2, and Israeli military devastation in Gaza, as this protester pointed out with his sign;

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From Wikipedia;

The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising […] was the 1943 act of Jewish resistance that arose within the Warsaw Ghetto in German-occupied Poland during World War II, and which opposed Nazi Germany’s final effort to transport the remaining Ghetto population to Treblinka extermination camp. The most significant portion of the rebellion took place from 19 April, and ended when the poorly armed and supplied resistance was crushed by the Germans, who officially finished their operation to liquidate the Ghetto on 16 May. It was the largest single revolt by Jews during World War II.

In 1940, German occupational authorities began to concentrate Poland’s population of over three million Jews into a number of extremely crowded ghettos located in large Polish cities. The largest of these, the Warsaw Ghetto, concentrated approximately 300,000–400,000 people into a densely packed, 3.3 km² central area of Warsaw. Thousands of Jews died due to rampant disease and starvation under SS-und-Polizeiführer Odilo Globocnik and SS-Standartenführer Ludwig Hahn, even before the mass deportations from the Ghetto to the Treblinka extermination camp began.

Sound familiar?

Replace ‘Warsaw ‘ with ‘Gaza”, and you begin to see the eerie, deadly similarities between the two.

The march took off, headed toward the Israeli Embassy in Brandon Street, in Wellington’s CBD;

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At the front of the Peace march;

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Another banner which made good use of the well-known infograph, depicting Israel’s illegal land seizures, and displacement of the Palestinian  people;

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For those who are unaware of Israel’s policy of land-grabbing to expand it’s territory, the original infograph is highly illuminating;

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Long-time musician,  and peace and social justice activist, Don Franks, adding his voice to a growing clamour demanding an end to Israeli military brutality in Gaza;

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As the march wound it’s way through Wellington’s streets, numbers swelled as more joined in;

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A long-view of the march, filling Manners Street from one side to the other;

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Many cars honked their horns in support, and others on foot signalled their support;

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More hand-made signs from marchers;

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It’s hard for critics of peace marches to claim that these are “professional protesters”, when New Zealanders are hand-drawing/painting their own signs, in the best “number 8 wire” tradition;

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A TV3 news-crew ( cameraperson plus ‘suit’) covering the march;

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As the Peace Rally made it’s way through Wellington’s streets, the marchers chanted,

“Free, free, Palestine!”

 

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And,

“Netanyahu you can’t hide, we charge you with genocide!”

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A banner demanding freedom and an end to Israel’s blockade of Gaza and occupation of the West Bank, was unfurled in front of the Israeli Embassy;

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By the way, note the surveillance camera in the top left of the above image. There was another camera adjacent to that one, with both covering the entranceway to the building housing the Israeli Embassy.

Just some of the peace rally marchers in front of the Embassy, listening to speakers;

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People of the Jewish faith standing up for their brothers and sisters in Gaza;

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This blogger can confirm that not word of anti-semitism was voiced by any of the speakers and not one anti-semitic sign was present. Don’t let anyone say that this peace march was “anti-jewish”. It was not. It was pro-peace, and supported the right of Palestinians to enjoy living in  their own land free from oppression by a neighbouring military force.

If history tells us anything, it is that justice is on the side of the Palestinian people, and like colonialism in Africa, and elsewhere in the world, they will inevitably be free.

The only questions that remain to be asked is; how long will the Israeli government stand stubbornly against the inevitable, and how high must the body-count rise, before they realise the futility of their repressive policies?

Don Carson from the Wellington Palestine Group addressed the crowd;

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“If we say according to the Israeli mythology that Israel is not targetting civilians and Hamas is, then they both have failed miserably. Both of them.

Two Israeli civilian casualties.

Two!

I don’t know the number of Palestinian civilian casualties because it’s growing too fast. That is the deliberate policy. And why is that?

Not just the bloodlust in the Israeli Knesset, where a MP, amember of the Knesset, Facebooked on Monday this week, demanding that the Israeli defense forces kill not  just the Palestinian  fighters, not just the civilians, but particularly target the Palestinian mothers. The Palestinian mothers, because “they will breed snakes”! That is the official rhetoric of the Israeli political party!

And we are told it is the Palestinian side that is the inciter!”

Don Carson then ridiculed the role of US Secretary of State John Kerry “seeking a negotiated settlement – again“. He said that any “negotiated settlement” would involve the disarming of the Palestinian side, in return for food, whilst the Israeli side would be permitted to retain it’s right to “self defence”.

Don Carson then heaped scorn on the role of our own government in the war on Gaza,

“And what about our own government?”

“Our own government! Our foreign [affairs] minister, Murray McCully, who very rapidly, within hours of the Ukrainian shooting down of the Malaysian aircraft, had the Russian ambassador in, to tell him off, for doing it! Now as far as I am aware, the jury is still out on responsibility of that. But within hours, Murray McCully has him in [to his office] to tell him off!

And what does Murray McCully say about the Israeli government? Murray McCully urges the Palestianians to stop fighting. But that the Israeli’s response… should be proportionate. He is actually encouraging the Israelis to continue, but just be more careful and be better with your public relations, he says!”

Don Carson said that a campaign is rising to make a real change. Israel is “militarily extraordinarily powerful but diplomatically extraordinarily weak“.

He advocated supporting  a campaign to boycott, dis-investment, and sanctions.

He said Murray McCully should call in the Israeli Ambassador and “tell him to piss off!” to rapturous applause and cheers from the crowd.

Interestingly, police presence was low-key, and focused more on traffic control rather than “crowd control”.

However, as with an incident in November 2012, it is sometimes the ‘other side’ that law enforcement officials need to be more focused on.

Case in point – the  character in the image below (on the right, pakeha, blondish hair, beard). There was a brief heated confrontation between this guy and a Palestinian   (forefront, dark hair, red-dotted scarf, black hoodie). The situation became very tense as the two faced off. It was the tall gentleman in the grey hoodie who intervened and separated the two men;

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Image Acknowledgement: ‘Diamond Daze

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Who was this guy and what was his ‘beef’? The Palestinian accused the bearded man of coming out from the building which housed the Israeli Embassy  (along with offices for other organisations and businesses). The bearded man denied that he was from the Embassy and insisted he had come out from the adjacent ground floor shop.

So who was he? An Israeli provocateur? Some misguided right wing sympathiser with the Israeli government?

I stuck a voice-recorder in his face and asked him (thereby also distracting him from pursuing his confrontation with the Palestinian  peace marcher);

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palestine - gaza - Israel - war crimes - 26 july 2014 - wellington - israeli embassy (54)

Image Acknowledgement: ‘Diamond Daze

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He hotly denied that he had come from the Embassy and said,

“I’m just a random street guy… I just come [out]  from Kirkcaldie and Stains… I’m from Palmerston North.”

This may have been possible, as the retailer had an exit/entry point adjacent to the building where the Israeli Embassy was located. So I asked him why he seemed antagonistic to the peace march. Part of his long rambling response,

“I’m just sort of so worried about the, the thousands of children dying in Syria. And I’ve been trying to organise some support for some of the people that’ve been attacked and killed in Syria, and all these children, and it seems that people don’t want to know about it. And that’s what really concerns me, it’s like I’ve been seeing a lot of reports coming out of both Iraq with the ISIS and I’m just trying to raise awareness in New Zealand and not a lot of people are interested in it.”

I then asked the person what his opinion was on people being concerned with other things happening in the world, “Does that mean they can’t take a concern on other issues?

He seemed to change his ‘tune’ at that point, and agreed that “everyone should be passionate about what they believed it. And what I really like is that people are out, you know, speaking out for what they believe in.”

He carried on with a  speech about “getting people together“…

Either he was incredibly naive in his worldview, or he was a master at disingenuityEither way, he won’t gain much support by needlessly antagonising people.

Don was followed by Ariana, from the Mana Movement;

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palestine-gaza-israel-war-crimes-26-july-2014-wellington-israeli-embassy

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She said that the Mana Movement was calling for the expulsion of the Israeli Ambassador and closure of the Embassy. She called on other political parties to do likewise and added,

“We also call for the closure of the GCSB and end the spy agreement, to end our involvement with the military aggressors… We must stand and fight for tino rangatiratanga for all people, not just in Aotearoa, but abroad.

… They call it a war, but it’s not. It’s a massacre. It’s a war on those who have been colonised and displaced. This is an assault on those who have been colonised and displaced. We must end the apartheid that is happening in Israel. We stood up as a country against apartheid in South Africa, we must follow that and ensure we end apartheid in Israel and restore the rights of Palestinians to be free in their own land.”

She said that the Embassy must be shut down and supported the growing campaign to divestment, boycott, and sanctions on Israel.

“My heart goes out to you all, and the people who are hurting. Kia kaha!”

The next speaker was Munirah [*], from the Wellington Students for Justice in Palestine. She addressed the crowd, and spoke passionately, if briefly on behalf of  Palestinians in Gaza;

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KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

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“Salam! Peace be to everyone! I’m from Malaysia, and as a Malaysian I give my full support to Gaza. And I’m also a muslim, and what I want to say is that that we are not fighting for religion but on on behalf of humanity… [speech drowned out by cheering and clapping] Boycott Israel!”

Possibly one of the briefest protest speeches in recent history – but no less warmly received by the crowd.

The last speaker was Kat [*] from BDS – Boycott Divestment Sanctions Movement;

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palestine - gaza - Israel - war crimes - 26 july 2014 - wellington - israeli embassy (53)

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Kat [*]  told the crowd about the BDS (Boycott Divestment Sanctions) Movement to end Israeli apartheid policies against the Palestinian people. She reminded people that New Zealand had been instrumental in ending apartheid in South Africa, and that the same movement was building against Israel. New Zealand would be part of that movement, Kat said.

“This is not just about boycotting products, it’s about building a mass movement! To build a mass movement to end apartheid!”

As with the anti-apartheid protests of the 1960s, 70s, and 80s, the organisor told the crowd that more protest rallies were already being planned, and this was just the beginning.

The protest dispersed shortly thereafter, peacefully, and without incident. March organisers remained to take names and details of those people keep to participate in future actions.

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[*] Surname with-held for safety reasons.

 


 

References

Al Jazeera: Gazans survey devastation as truce broken

Wikipedia:  Wardaw Ghetto Uprising

Facebook: Students for Justice in Palestine: Victoria University of Wellington

Facebook: BDS Wellington – Boycott Divestment Sanctions

Wellington Palestine Group

BDS (Boycott Divestment Sanctions) Movement

BDS NZ: vicpalestine@gmail.com

Previous related blogposts

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

New Zealand’s OTHER secret shame

Barbarians at the Gates

To any Israeli solidiers reading this

Copyright (c) Notice

All images stamped ‘fmacskasy.wordpress.com’ are freely available to be used, with following provisos,

» Use must be for non-commercial purposes.
» Where purpose of use is commercial, a donation to Palestine Emergency Appeal is requested.
» At all times, images must be used only in context, and not to denigrate individuals or groups.
» Acknowledgement of source is requested.
» Several images have been superimposed. Original, individual versions of images are available upon request.

 

 


 

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rocket vs firecracker

 

This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 28 July 2014
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= fs =

To any Israeli solidiers reading this…

13 July 2014 6 comments

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… when you are fighting women and children, you have lost.

It is not women and children who threaten you, it is your own recourse to violence and oppression.

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Israeli soldier threatening women

 

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Israeli soldier threatening women (2)

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Israeli soldier threatening women (3)

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It’s time to put down your guns and clubs and behave like civilised human beings. Hopefully you still understand what it means to be civilised? And human?

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= fs =

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