GUEST BLOG: Leslie Bravery – Māori Television crew in Freedom Flotilla hijacking



Māori Television crew aboard Freedom Flotilla boat hijacked by Israeli Navy. 

Native Affairs reporter Ruwani Perera and cameraman Jacob Bryant were on the Marianne as it attempted to break through the Israeli imposed blockade of the Gaza Strip to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza. Native Affairs reporter, Ruwani Perera and cameraman Jacob Bryant, were focused on getting the story home. Perera said,

“We are using this opportunity to get supplies from Crete and most importantly we are downloading all our footage and sending it straight back on a plane to New Zealand.”

Their footage arrived at Māori Television just hours before contact was lost.

The Israeli blockade on Gaza has been in force since 2007. Israel has two captive communities to use as guinea pigs in the development of weapons of war and population control. Gaza is used to develop bombardment and terror techniques as well as advanced chemical weapons use.

In 2013, a documentary called The Lab turned the spotlight on Israel’s arms industry. It showed how captive Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza are being subjected to military experiments that not only keep them subjugated but also enrich Israeli arms dealers, entrepreneurs and former generals. Israel is ranked as one of the world’s largest arms exporters, which is hardly surprising given the country’s militaristic founding ideology and massive US tax-payer contributions to the Israeli military.

Benjamin Ben-Eliezer, a former Israeli Defence Minister, attributes Israel’s burgeoning arms sales to the fact that “people like to buy things that have been tested.” Techniques for crippling socio-economic activities like agriculture, fisheries, power production and distribution etc., upon which a population’s well-being depend, are developed with the objective of profitably furthering the objectives of the Zionist enterprise.

In an interview on Maori TV, Palestine Human Rights Campaign (PHRC) spokesperson, Janfrie Wakim, said, “This is an outrage. This is a humanitarian crisis and the world is turning a blind eye.”

TDB Recommends


Leslie Bravery is a Londoner with vivid World War Two memories of the Nazi blitz on his home town. In 1947/1948 His father explained to him what was happening to the Palestinians thus: “Any ideology or political movement that creates refugees in the process of realising its ambitions must be inhuman and should be opposed and condemned as unacceptable.” What followed confirmed this assessment of the Zionist entity a hundredfold. Now a retired flamenco guitarist, with a lifelong interest in the tragedy of what happened to the Palestinian people, he tries to publicise their plight. Because the daily injustices they suffer barely get a mention in the mainstream news media, Leslie edits/compiles a daily newsletter, In Occupied Palestine, for the Palestine Human Rights Campaign. These days, to preserve his sanity, he enjoys taking part in a drama group whenever possible! 



  1. The one year anniversary of Israel’s attack on Gaza is fast approaching. 2,205 Palestinians (including 521 children) were killed in their homes, schools, hospitals and streets. Myself, and at least two other people that I know of, have written letters to The Press about issues relating to findings of the recent UN report on Gaza and the hijacking of Freedom Flotilla boat. None of these letters have been published. Much has been written in the pages of The Press about the importance of “free speech”. At times, however, “ freedom of speech” feels more like “monopoly of speech”. Consider the monopoly of speech, for instance, on the “war on terror”. Yes, we do occasionally hear about who the real terrorists in the world are but do we hear these views as equally as the current dominant narrative? Shouldn’t the “freedom of speech” have some correlation to “freedom to be heard”? It is shameful that there has not been a more extensive coverage of the Israel’s piracy in international waters given that two Kiwi reporters were on board. Thank you Leslie Bravery for this piece.

Comments are closed.