We are all Palestinians



Plenty of sickening things happen every day but one of the worst this week has been the singing of Ariel Sharon’s praises at his funeral by Israeli politicians and an assortment of international butchers and war criminals such as former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair.

(Sharon was a former military leader and Prime Minister of Israel who died this week)

Our own Minister of Foreign Affairs Murray McCully was marginally less cringe-worthy saying Sharon had acted out of love of his country but at least acknowledged Sharon as “controversial” – a euphemism for bloody butcher in this case.

Sharon was one of the most vicious and gruesome political leaders from the 20th century. His most well-known crime was in engineering the massacre of thousands of Palestinian civilians in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in Lebanon in 1982.

Renowned journalist Robert Fisk described the scene after entering the camps following the massacre:
“What we found inside the Palestinian Shatila camp at ten o’clock on the morning of 18th September 1982 did not quite beggar description, although it would have been easier to re-tell in the cold prose of a medical examination … there were women lying in houses with their skirts torn up to their waists and their legs wide apart, children with their throats cut, rows of young men shot in the back after being lined up at an execution wall. There were babies – blackened babies because they had been slaughtered more than 24 hours earlier and their small bodies were already in a state of decomposition – tossed into the rubbish heaps alongside discarded US army ration tins, Israeli army medical equipment and empty bottles of whisky…”

One of Sharon’s sons spoke at his funeral saying how devastated Sharon was when one of his (Sharon’s) sons was killed in a firearms accident in the 1960s and how it broke his heart. It’s sickening to hear this when Sharon thought so little of the lives of Palestinian children. Small wonder his death is being celebrated by Palestinians.

Less well known is Sharon’s open advocacy of the theft of Palestinian land. As Foreign Minister he supported and encouraged new settlements – all Jewish-only and all illegal – on Palestinian land. He said Jewish settlers should occupy as much land as possible before any deal was reached with Palestinians. He said it like this:

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“Everyone there should move, should run, should grab more hills, expand the territory. Everything that’s grabbed will be in our hands, everything that we don’t grab will be in their hands”.

Those words condemn him forever as a racist thug in the same mould as the likes of Mugabe.

He has been praised for his later decision to withdraw Israeli troops from Gaza. It was a gesture meant to appeal to international opinion but in the end was largely meaningless because Israel keeps the Palestinian people of Gaza in perpetual imprisonment with a brutal blockade of the sea, land and air.

History will show Sharon as someone who showed in stark relief the essentially racist nature of Zionism and how ultimately futile its pursuit will be.

Israel is an anachronism – a tiny state based on oppression and exploitation of Palestinian people and their resources.

Just as South Africa’s apartheid policies discriminated against “non-whites” so Israel has a plethora of laws which discriminate against Palestinians – even those who live in Israel and have Israeli citizenship.

Israel was one of racist South Africa’s last supporters and it’s easy to see why when former white South African regime leader Hendrik Verwoerd said:

“…they (Israel) took Israel away from the Arabs after the Arabs lived there for a thousand years. In that, I agree with them. Israel, like South Africa, is an apartheid state.”

Black South African leaders recognised the same apartheid structure as well. Nelson Mandela said “we know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians” and South Africa’s Bishop Desmond Tutu said, after visiting the occupied Palestinian territories, that the situation for the Palestinians today is much worse than it was for black South Africans under apartheid.

Israel survives with its current structure as a racist, apartheid state only because it has massive US backing. It has no future beyond its usefulness to the US empire. It will not and cannot survive with its current setup. It was founded on, and is maintained by, terrorism against Palestinians. Even the UN resolution which agreed to the formation of Israel back in 1948 (absolutely unjust as it was) was explicit in saying Israel’s formation must not be at the expense of the Arab population already living in the area (Palestinians).

New Zealand stood shoulder to shoulder with black South Africans in the struggle against South African apartheid. We must do the same again in the struggle against Israeli apartheid.

In international solidarity we are all Palestinians.


  1. It’s been my view for sometime now that we Kiwis are being ‘ groomed ‘ to become the new state of Israel .

    Great and chilling Post John Minto .

  2. John I know you are passionate about this issue but I seriously believe you are misguided. Israel is one of the few true democracies in the middle east, where both Jew and Arab live side by side and enjoy equal rights. The Palestine you speak of pre 1948 was a desert, economically and practically. Israel have built a prosperous nation out of nothing, and all they want is peace, yet all the arab people want to do is push them into the sea. The Palestinian territories Israel occupies are the result of Arab aggression against Israel, that is simple historical fact. The Israeli’s would not occupy those territories if not for that aggression, and while the spoils of war no longer applies, these are ancient peoples with ancient grievances.
    So no, we are not Palestinians. We are not aggressors. We are not terrorists. We allow sovereign nations to exist in peace.

    • Could someone please just put the maps up from 1948 to show the erosion of the Palestinian people’s land. I think you seriously need to educate yourself, do you really think the likes of the great linguist and Jew, American Noam Chomsky has got it wrong, please read a little more and tell me why it is that Palestinians are in fact second class citizens in Israel.

      The zionists are warmongers, propped up by the Yanks whilst the Yanks need them, the Yanks are protecting their own interests not the citizens of Israel as we will see in a few years. After all they don’t want the Arab nations to be too powerful with all that oil!

      • No, you seriously need to educate yourself, particularly on history. The land Israel has occupied subsequent to the 1948 partition is the result of agression by arab nations against the state of Israel. 1948, 1967, 1973, 2000…it goes on and on. The arab nations have never learnt.

    • Israel is an invasion of a sovereign territory against the wishes of the people in that sovereign territory. Such invasion inevitably carries all the listed war crimes as it is war and must oppress those who were there before.

      • Israel is not an invasion of anything. Israel is a UN mandated sovereign nation, recognised by virtually every country across the world.

        • @ Intrinsicvalue; It’s a pity then that Israel hasn’t fulfilled it’s obligations to follow UN resolutions to withdraw from occupied land.

          Nor to cease it’s settlement building on the West Bank, which is illegal under international law.

          Or to cease it’s illegal blockade of Gaza.

          Instead of being an apologist, perhaps you should look at why so many revile Israeli government actions.

          • So only the Israeli’s should comply with the UN, and not the Palestinians? There’s a word for that…hypocrisy.

            Besides, I give you Gaza 2005. Israel withdraws, the Palestinians attack. Israel doesn’t make the same mistake twice, the Palestinian people should have learn’t that by now.

    • “all they want is peace”
      With these five words you completely discredit any of your other arguments. Israeli “peace” is conditional on the ongoing illegal occupation of Palestinian land and they will employ any aggressive military, political and economic means to achieve that.
      There will be no peace without some sort of justice first.

    • Reply to the anonymous ‘Intrinsic Value’
      There are Zionist fantasies – some would call them propaganda – and there are verifiable facts of history. ‘Intrinsic Value’ writes: “The Palestine you speak of pre 1948 was a desert, economically and practically.” I have an 1878 encyclopaedia which describes in glowing terms the rich agricultural produce of Palestine, long before the Israeli state forced itself upon the native people.
      The writer also asserts that Israel built a prosperous nation out of nothing. Israel is, of course, massively subsidised by the US tax-payer and the Zionist state was actually built on terrorism, murder and ethnic cleansing. How many Israeli refugees or refugee camps are there? Before the European Zionist invasion of Palestine there were no Palestinian refugees and the Palestinian people, Moslem, Jew, Christian and Druze, lived in harmony.
      Israel is the only state in the world that brings children before military courts. Not Jewish children of course. In this regard the Israeli state discriminates ethnically, as it always does in every arena, and subjects only Palestinian children to such injustice and terror. Night home invasions are conducted regularly by heavily-armed Israeli soldiers who drag defenceless children from their beds and blindfold and shackle them. Condemnation of this practice by the United Nations is well documented.
      Zionism is a hate-filled ideology that prompts Israeli settlers and soldiers to uproot Palestinians’ olive trees, bulldoze their crops and poison their land with sewage.
      This is just a start – and if ‘Intrinsic Value’ wishes to challenge these facts then there is massive evidence in support of them. In addition, there is also the evidence of Israeli war crimes and witness testimony of Jews who have become so disgusted at being implicated in Zionist atrocities that they have dedicated much of their lives in opposing the ideology and defending Palestinian human rights.
      Leslie Bravery

    • You are either ignorant, stupid or a liar which is it? Every single thing you said is a lie. Israel is the filthy murderous agressors (or should I say assassins?), AND terrorists. Anyone with half a brain and a soul knows that. From the land you have stolen to the walls you have built and the children and women you have MURDERED. After what happened in WW2 you would have thought the racist zionists might have learnt how horrific genocide is but you have spent the rest of the century exterminating the poor Palestinians. Shame on you for trying to defend it.

  3. Well said John. I remember when teaching a Std3-4 class how much the anti-Arab propaganda had permeated these young people because of the stoushes between Jew and Arab in Palestine. Much as I tried I wasn’t able to convince only a small number that Arabs weren’t devils. I’m afraid many otherwise educated colleagues also thought Arabs were devils. After years of watching the occupation of Palestine and the theft of land, settlements and walls of barb wire and concrete I think some at least of the truth about this so called democratic state that otherwise practices the same racist apartheid worse than South Africa and the killing of so many Palestinians it must be clearly evident to even those with an average Std. 3-4 mind set whose at fault and it’s not the Arabs.

    • What ‘racist apartheid’? Israel is one of the only democratic states in the middle east. Arab and Jew have equal rights in Israel. Please stop making this up as you go.

      • I have lived in Palestine and Israel and I can tell you from first-hand experience that you are wrong.

        Even when there is no violence happening, there remains the institutionalised and systematic economic oppression of Palestinians.
        The Israeli state has massive aid given to it by the US, and also has a very high sales and income tax which is paid by both Israeli and Palestinian citizens. All borders are closed, and apart from smuggling, all imports go through Israel (so are taxed before they reach Palestine).
        Money is then returned to Israeli citizens via targeted rebates, and for newly married couples there are cheap loans and gifts (whiteware, appliances etc.) that not available to the Palestinians
        Additionally, in order for the Palestinians to fund the Palestinian authority (local government and police) additional sales and petrol tax is levied on items sold in Palestine.
        There is no freedom of movement between Palestinian territories and Israeli controlled territories, and Israel controls the checkpoints.

        And that’s just when everything is peaceful. When there is trouble, have a guess which side in on the receiving end of overwhelming violence?

        Tell me again how they have equal rights?

        Even with this as a constant background the majority of both Palestinian and Israelis want the same thing; to work, to raise their families in peace, access to education and good food.
        Just like you and me.

        • “Even when there is no violence happening, there remains the institutionalised and systematic economic oppression of Palestinians” Those words don’t mean anything without evidence. Israel’s Arab neighbours are systematically oppressing Israel. There we are, we can claim anything.

          “The Israeli state has massive aid given to it by the US,” As have the Palestinians by Russia et al.

          “All borders are closed, and apart from smuggling, all imports go through Israel (so are taxed before they reach Palestine). ”
          Sorry, but that is just plain false.

          “Tell me again how they have equal rights?”
          Tell me a right an Israeli Jew has in Israel that an Arab Israeli does not?

          The Palestinian will have peace when they 1. stop electing terrorists into Govt., 2. stop hurling bombs at Israel, and 3. recognise Israel’s right to exist as mandated by the UN.

        • RAMALLAH, West Bank, Jan. 26 — The radical Islamic movement Hamas won a large majority in the new Palestinian parliament, according to official election results announced Thursday, trouncing the governing Fatah party in a contest that could dramatically reshape the Palestinians’ relations with Israel and the rest of the world.


          Why did the Palestinians elect a terrorist organisation whose constitution includes a commitment to the destruction of Israel if they wanted peace?

              • Israel is one of the only democratic states in the ME.


                And yet you admitted “Why did the Palestinians elect a terrorist organisation whose constitution includes a commitment to the destruction of Israel if they wanted peace?” .

                (By the way, many see the government of Israel as a terrorist body as well.)

                So if Hamas was democratically elected, then it has equal footing to the democratically elected government of Israel. Right?

        • e Hamas government in Gaza celebrated the graduation on Monday of paramilitary camps geared at training high-school children “to follow in the footsteps of the suicide martyrs.”

          The camps, titled “the pioneers of liberation,” are run by Hamas’s ministries of education and interior. Some 13,000 students in grades 10-12 participated in the one-week training camps this year, compared to 5,000 last year when the program was launched, Israeli sources with knowledge of the program said.


          Is this the peace the Palestinians are seeking?

          • So systematic oppression and enforced deprivation of a group of people will result in radicalisation.

            Quelle surprise! Who’d have thought?

            • YOu haven’t demonstrated your premise, so you cannot lay clim to your conclusion. However bombing the rap out of Israel won’t enamour them to their neighbours either.

            • I think you will find that radicalisation of a section of the Arab population of the Middle East has existed even before Israel was even founded. If you look in to history you should come across the Mufti of Jerusalem wh was a thoroughly unpleasant person who worked with the Nazis during WWII.

          • Perhaps if you weren’t so eager to be the mouthpiece of a terrorist government that bullies it’s neighbours because it was armed and financed by the US – you might understand why repressing a population will result in hatred, anger, and more violence.

            Repression does not result in love and joy at the oppressor’s whip.

            Time you learned that, eh?

  4. To Intrinsicvalue

    Your arguements are straight from the usual Zionist propaganda the Israeli government spouts in defence of its brutal oppression of Palestinians.
    Israel is NOT a democratic state – unless one regards the old South African racist regime as democratic.
    There are a myriad of laws which discriminate against Arab Israelies who are regarded as “citizens” but not “nationals” of Israel. Jews from anywhere in the world who have never sighted Israel have automatic right to become citizens while Arab families whose decendants have lived in this land for thousands of years are denied citizenship.
    In every aspect of life Arab Israelis suffer from apartheid laws and practices which give much less state funding for education healthcare and social services.
    I’m not writing this for you Intrinsicvalue but for anyone reading this blog who may feel there is an iota of truth in you racist zionist diatribe

    • Israel is far from perfect John, but what country is? Certainly Israel offers it’s Arab citizens far more rights than it’s Arab neighbours offer Jews in their countries. The conflict is an ancient one, but Israel is a UN mandated nation with sovereignty whether you and your anti semite propagandists like it or not. If the Arab nations in the ME had accepted that from day 1, we wouldn’t be having this discussion.

      • Your comment about Minto being an anti-semite is the usual stuff written by rabid zionists. Is Noam Chomsky an anti semite and what about Anthony Lowenstein, Anna Balzer, Miko Peled (the Israel General’s son), and all those others who are Jewish who have written books and said that the situation for Palestinians is untenable and needs to be resolved.

        Palestinians are semites anyway so none of what you say makes sense.

        Because other countries are not perfect doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to get some justice in some countries. We can’t take on everything.

        You seem to be shifting away from one of the things you have said, Israel offers all citizens equal rights, it does not, it has been pointed out to you that it does not. Now you have moved to what Arab states offer Jews, I am not sure what this has to do with what goes on in Israel. (this is a red herring) Israel is not a UN mandated state as it stands now, it was, but it has increasingly encroached on to land that the Palestinians were meant to hold on to.

      • ” anti semite propagandists”?!

        So anyone who dares criticise your precious masters is an “anti-semite”?

        Hmmmm. I guess you’re running out of factual argument if you’re resorted to labels and personal attack.

        At least John doesn’t hide behind anonymity, Username Intrinsicvalue. So he has the courage of his convictions.

        You, on the other hand, simply parrot other people’s garbage and Israeli propaganda.

  5. Looks like this thread has a zionist troll ……..

    Israel is founded on stolen land.

    Israel was founded by terrorism and ‘ ethnic cleansing’

    The original occupants of Palestine, which we now call israel have been corralled into the modern day equivalent of the warsaw ghetto.

    Zionists are Religious fascists using 2000 plus year old fairy story’s to steal land and disposes the Palestinians.

    That sums up israel …..

    • What nonsense! Israel is a UN mandated, sovereign nation. The Arab’s in Israel owe any prosperity they have to Israel’s ability to generate economic wealth. The original occupants of Israel are thanking their lucky stars they didn’t end up in one of the Arab states and subject to theocratic oppression. Perhaps you might like to think about why so many Arab’s are flocking to Israel to live, and why so many Arab Palestinians are afraid that their occupied territories may return to Palestinian rule?

      • Today, non-Jewish citizens of Israel constitute about 25% of the population, with 20% being Arabs. Arab Israelis have equal voting rights and their own political parties, serve on the Israeli Knesset, Cabinet, and Supreme Court; hold diplomatic positions; actively participate in the Israeli music and arts scene; and represent Israel on the national soccer team, including winning the Israeli national championship. They are granted all fundamental civil liberties, including freedoms of religion, speech, and assembly, and in fact enjoy more civil rights than Arabs living in any other Middle Eastern country. Israel is also the only country in the Middle East where Arab homosexuals can live without fear of prosecution, which is why many Palestinian gays have fled for Israel. Many Arab Israelis have spoken out in favor of Israel, and against allegations of an Israeli apartheid. Such claims have also been refuted by many others, including by Richard Goldstone, former Justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa, who presided over the UN report concerning the 2009 Gaza war.


      • Israel is a UN mandated, sovereign nation.

        You are so highly selective, IV. Israel is yet to comply with UN resolutionsd ordering it to withdraw from Occupied Territory.

        The Arab’s in Israel owe any prosperity they have to Israel’s ability to generate economic wealth.

        Well, that’s not hard to do. Simply steal other peoples’ land and give it to your own citizens.

        How you can justify the theft of other peoples’ land and then present it as some kind of “economic miracle” shows just how ignorant you truly are.

        I’m not surprised you use a pseudonym, IV, who’d want to be associated with your simplistic garbage?

        • 1. Non-compliance with UN resolutions does not negate statehood. Israel is a UN mandated sovereign nation. Get over it.
          2. Prior to 1948, the area we now call Israel was a wasteland. There was no ‘theft’. The land was ‘set aside’ legitimately by the allies after WW2, following on from the Balfour Declaration of 1917. The UN have mandated Israel, and the territory know as Israel has been developed for the benefit of all citizens, Jew and Arab alike.

          • If you really want to start labelling stuff as ‘theft’, the Arab’s stole the land from the Jews in 634. And then there’s the Mamluk’s, the Roman’s, the Egyptians…the fact remains, Israel is recognised by the UN and virtually every country in the world. When it’s Arab neighbours let it exist in peace, there will be peace.

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