Open Letter to Murray McCully

By   /   October 7, 2016  /   31 Comments

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Marama, the proud mother of six tamariki, needs your support to pressure the Israeli government to release her and the other 12 peaceful international activists who were on board of Zaytouna when illegally intercepted by the Israeli Navy on international waters.


Hon Murray McCully,

Minister of Foreign Affairs,

NZ Parliament.


7 October 2016


Dear Mr McCully,


On June 19, I attended a meeting in Christchurch where it was announced that Green MP Marama Davidson would be joining a women’s boat to Gaza to deliver humanitarian aid and break the illegal Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip.


Shortly after the announcement, Marama’s delightful and smiley face appeared on a projection screen. She was Skyping us from her house in Manurewa.


Marama’s hands were covered in gooey flour. It was her daughter’s birthday that night and she was in the middle of baking a cake for her.


Not long into the conversation, the excited birthday girl appeared on the screen and snuggled into her mother’s lap and listened as Marama explained the importance of standing up in solidarity against injustice.

Marama told us that, as an indigenous woman herself, she wanted to stand alongside the women of Gaza and to draw attention to the plight of Palestinians and their oppression by the Israeli government.


I salute Marama’s courage to join the humanitarian mission to Gaza and ask that you show some of her courage and defend your parliamentarian colleague who is currently being illegally detained by the Israeli forces.


Marama, the proud mother of six tamariki, needs your support to pressure the Israeli government to release her and the other 12 peaceful international activists who were on board of Zaytouna when illegally intercepted by the Israeli Navy on international waters.


Kia Ora Gaza reports that thousands of Gazans have been waving Palestinian flags along the beach in preparation for the Zaytouna’s arrival.


Please don’t dash their hopes and use your influence and power to uphold international law and the important Kiwi value of fairness.


Marama’s children and others growing up in New Zealand need to look to their leaders to show them how to become good international citizens. Marama has played her part, hope you will play yours.


Yours sincerely,


Donna Miles-Mojab

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About the author

Donna Miles

Donna Miles is a British-born, Iranian-bred, New Zealand citizen with a strong interest in human rights, justice and equality issues.


  1. Michal says:

    We have written to McCully we re not holding our breath however. That anyone can be arrested in international waters is of real concern. They were not doing anything illegal. At some point history must turn in favour of the Palestinians, driven out of their homes and marginalised by the Zionist thugs. Viva Marama Davidson at the rest of those brave women.

    • Donna Miles says:

      Michal, good on you for writing to McCully. I have heard of many others who have written to McCully. I hope more people will write and pressure McCully to speak up against Israel’s blatant disregard for international law and human rights.

  2. Michelle says:

    Waste of time writing to McCully we have a very gutless spineless and unethical government that is too busy a… kissing and where did it get them for Helens Clarkes job the one we spend millions of tax payers dollars on. The big 5 showed our PM is their glorified bum boy selling out our country to them but when we want something hey what happens we get crushed.

  3. Andy says:

    She is an idiot, of the useful variety

    • Michelle says:

      She is not an idiot you are the idiot Andy she is a good politician that actually cares about people unlike the motley groups we have in at the moment they only care about the 1% getting richer of our assets.

    • ALH84001 says:

      No Andy, if anyone is an “idiot”, it’s people like you whose moral compass is practically non-existent.

      Any fool can support an oppressor, but it takes guts to stand up to aggression.

      Marama is a hero and in the fine tradition of Kiwis standing up for the little people. You’d do well to follow her example.

    • Mike in Auckland says:

      Andy, I trust you take that same “compliment” directed to you from me also, will you not, for your one sided, stupid comment.

    • Brigid says:

      Who McCully? Are you saying McCully’s an idiot. He sure is. Only he’s a he, not a she.
      Ok? Good.
      You’re welcome.

    • Andy says:

      So she uses the NZ taxpayer to support a land run by an Islamic terrorist group – Hamas – that treats women as second class citizens, gays as people to be killed, and Jews as people descended from apes and pigs

      She can do whatever she wants in her own time and with her own money – she can support Jew hating Islamofascists for all I care, but why should I as a taxpayer foot the bill?

      • Probably for the simple reason, Andy, that you have chosen to live in a democracy. You can defect to North Korea any time you like. Have a nice flight.

      • Mike in Auckland says:

        She “used” the “taxpayer”??? Have you any evidence of this? She is likely to have traveled there on her own expenses. As for the rest, Marama has principles and takes human and minority rights rather seriously, not something I have detected in comments you have made, Andy.

        • Bg says:

          Burning a whole lot fossil fuel to do so. The environment don’t matter when there’s a chance for a publicity stunt. I thought she was a Greenie?

          • You have no interest in environmental issues, Bg, except when it suits your purpose.

            You’re just another anonymous stooge for the Israeli government. You and your ilk pop up every time Israel is criticised for it’s oppression of the Palestinians.

            Tell us, Bg, do you support legal opinion that the West Bank settlements are illegal? Or do you just cherry pick what suits you?

          • Mike in Auckland says:

            I trust you are equally critical of former high flyer Tim Groser, when he was trying to get a top WTO job. Add also the Prime Minister and his many flights, add the various Ministers of the government, and MPs from that side, using every opportunity to furn fossil fuels, and otherwise do little to reduce emissions.

            Marama is not known to be a frequent flyer, and she will have invested in this trip and action wisely, and have made it a special mission of sorts.

            You have to allow the odd exception from the rule.

  4. BG says:

    I thought she would be more helpful by ‘standing beside Palestinian woman, standing against Palestinian men’ rather than the Israeli Govt.

    Shouldn’t she be supporting Palestinian women against honour killings and freedom of self-determination from Palestinians stuck in the dark ages.

    Just a thought

  5. Mike the Lefty says:

    Marama has, in the fairly short time she’s been in parliament, showed she is prepared to stand up for what she believes in and to do positive action rather than sit and complain.
    Wish there were more like her in his country.

  6. Zack Brando says:

    Marama Davidson is an absolute fool getting involved with these issues. She has no concept of factions of the Palestinian people who desire arms proliferation. She has no concept of documents like the Balfour Declaration or the history of modern Israel … or biblical Israel for that matter … or the exodus to Europe … 6 day war … just on and on!!!

    She has no concept of security issues pertaining to the Golan Heights. She have no concept of the Edomites and thus the origins of the Palestinian people. Sunni, shiite, wahhabism – she has no idea … the word Palestinian actually means barren land … she has no idea!!!

    This woman is so clearly ignorant and removed from the complex issues her protest raises that it sickens me. She is totally brainwashed and brain-dead. She is an embarrassment to the Green Party and New Zealand.

    I was contemplating voting for the Greens, however this shines the spotlight on how foolish and blatantly ignorant their members of parliament are. I easily have a list of questions as long as my arm, which would show this woman up as the know-nothing hack she is!!!

    Unbelievable!!! And from a NZ MP, disgusting!!! Totally inappropriate! I have ZERO sympathy for this clown!!!

    • That’s quite an ignorant rant, “Zack”…

      Your historical references are cherry-picked, so not much use. You could justify apartheid or slavery with all manner of “Bible” or historically-based “facts”.

      In effect, you’re attempting to justify the oppression of a people which will not gain much currency with fair-minded people.

      Ms Davidson maintains the proud tradition of New Zealanders standing up for what is right; whether it be opposing wars in South East Asia; apartheid in South Africa; or against French testing of atomic bombs in the South Pacific. In each of these cases, those who protested were vindicated by the inevitable tide of history.

      Those who oppose Israeli aggression in Gaza, West Bank, and the Golan Heights will also be vindicated and people like you, “Zack”, will be on the wrong side of brutality.

      • Zack Brando says:

        You’re certainly quick to call my writing ignorant, yet Marama Davidson who has no indepth concept of the issues gets a pass.

        It’s interesting that Jordan and the surrounding counties seem to have left the Palestinian people to languish rather than taking them in. This is clearly a political agenda Marama is ignorant of.

        The original proposed boundaries of Israel were huge, it was going to encompass the whole of what is now called Jordan and more. Israel is tinny. I don’t see Marama denouncing munitions being brought in through Gaza and then used/fired into Israeli territory.

        I’m not picking sides, I’m calling Marama an ignorant fool and an embarrassment to New Zealand. Maybe if she cleaned out malaria infested swamps and made the desert bloom I’d have more time for her. She is a know-nothing, with a one-sided mindset and lack historal context.

        To compare Israel/Palestine to French nuclear testing is bazaar. If you think that tomorrow history is suddenly going to favour either side as being right – I’d suggest that is ignorant and a poor way of viewing things, not to mention conflict resolution.

        As for Marama, that embarrassment needs to read a book!

        • Mike in Auckland says:

          “It’s interesting that Jordan and the surrounding counties seem to have left the Palestinian people to languish rather than taking them in. This is clearly a political agenda Marama is ignorant of.

          The original proposed boundaries of Israel were huge, it was going to encompass the whole of what is now called Jordan and more. Israel is tinny. I don’t see Marama denouncing munitions being brought in through Gaza and then used/fired into Israeli territory.”

          What the hell do you know and talk about?

          Jordan is home to 1.4 million Palestinian refugees at least!

          That is a sizeable part of the total Jordanian population. Also have Lebanon, Syria and other neighbouring countries accepted Palestinian refugees.

          As we are talking about comparatively poor countries, who also have their own challenges, they have hesitated to give the refugees the same full rights as their own residents and citizens, as the understanding was for many years, that one day they would return to their homeland in Israel. As that is for many no feasible, realistic option anymore, they rather prefer compensation now, but where is the compensation they should be given, from Israel?

          As for the “original proposed boundaries” for Israel, yes, the Zionists would like to take it all, up to the Euphrates, I suppose:

          The “Promised Land” according to Zionists:
          “The Bible contains three geographical definitions of the Land of Israel. The first, found in Genesis 15:18–21, seems to define the land that was given to all of the children of Abraham, including Ishmael, Zimran, Jokshan, Midian, etc. It describes a large territory, “from the brook of Egypt to the Euphrates”, comprising all of modern-day Israel, the Palestinian Territories, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Iraq, as well as Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, U.A.E, Oman, Yemen, most of Turkey, and all the land east of the Nile river.”

          So this comment reveals you are a Zionist Imperialist yourself, or at least a facilitator or supporter of their ideas.

    • Mike in Auckland says:

      You sound a bit sanctimonious and biased there, what is your “authority” of presumed “greater insights”, I dare ask?

  7. TheTruth says:

    Fairfax has published an opinion piece about Marama Davidson’s “Ship of Fools”.

    The sovereign integrity of states is one of those building blocks on which the modern world operates.

    It is a guiding tenet of international law, and one of the founding principles of the United Nations.

    In the case of Israel’s protection of the waters on the southern end of its country, these principles are confirmed by the Oslo Accords and more recently by the UN Security Council.

    So when a New Zealand politician openly and unashamedly decides to violate international law and another country’s sovereignty for the sake of a media stunt, that act will inevitably reflect poorly on that politician, the party they represent, and sadly, even on our Parliament.

    What made matters worse in this case was that the politician concerned – Green MP Marama Davidson – participated in a breach of Israel’s sovereignty for no apparent purpose. When the protest ended more mundanely than expected, she was forced to resort to melodramatic language to dramatise events.

    Ms Davidson described the Israeli Navy’s female crew taking her and the other activists to safety as a “kidnap,” and herself as a “hostage.” Both terms are wildly inaccurate, and seem designed more to achieve provocation than reconciliation.

    Women do suffer in Gaza, at the hands of the governing power Hamas, an Islamist organisation.

    But Hamas’ honour killings, persecution of gays, genocidal charter, and state-sanctioned misogyny do not rate a mention by these activists on the “women’s peace boat”.

    Nor does Egypt’s stricter blockade of Gaza.

    The “peace activists” include a woman who created a video game that encourages kids to shoot as many Israelis as they can and another who accused Israel of orchestrating the recent terrorist attacks in Munich and Nice. Are these aligned with Green party or Kiwi values?

    What about the impact of such stunts? Apart from the attention-seeking achieved for the individuals involved, the flotilla is unlikely to contribute anything at all for the Palestinians.

    There was no aid on board. It may have even exacerbated the complex political dynamics between Fatah and Hamas, contributing to the delay in the Palestinians building a democratic state with liberal values and civic society institutions.

    And the final irony to this embarrassing episode is that while the Israeli Defence Forces were taking these anti-Israeli protesters to safety, Palestinians in Gaza launched a rocket attack against Israeli civilians.

    • Mike in Auckland says:

      What utter crap you comment:
      “What made matters worse in this case was that the politician concerned – Green MP Marama Davidson – participated in a breach of Israel’s sovereignty for no apparent purpose.”

      They were out at sea in international waters, as far as I can gather!

      Also your pro Israeli bias ignores the activities of early Zionist terrorist that facilitated the establishment of the state of Israel in the first place. Israel has ignored and breached endless UN and UN Security Council resolutions over many years, thus denying rights the native Palestinian people have to their land and livelihoods.

      What a selective interpretation of the “Oslo Accords”, also something many have differing views on.

      In my view the Oslo Accords are HISTORY and obsolete, given Israels continued disregard to the rights of Palestinians, as they even interfere into the affairs of the Palestinian Authority on a regular basis, including denying the local access to water, land to grow crops, and so forth.

    • But you selectively ignore UN Resolution 242, or the fact that Israeli settlents on the West Bank are illegal?

      Such is your selective “morality”.

      By the way, the last time your precious “Israeli Defence Force” thugs were “taking these anti-Israeli protesters to safety”, they shot several protestors in the back, multiple times;

      “Forensic evidence showing that most of the deceased were shot multiple times, including in the back, or at close range has not been adequately accounted for in the material presented by Israel.” –

      I believe Nazis used similar technniques against their victims – many of whom they also labelled “terrorists”.

  8. TheTruth says:

    Green Party MP Marama Davidson’s detention by Israeli authorities in international waters near Gaza is a “less-than-perfect look” for New Zealand, Prime Minister John Key says.


    Green Party MP Marama Davidson is an embarrassment to New Zealand. The Israelis have better things to do than provide photo opportunities for attention whores like Marama and co. The same day they were forced to deal with her and her bunch of virtue signaling crones, rockets were being sent into Sderot.

    The“activists” on board only had one purpose and that was to generate negative publicity for Israel. They had no humanitarian aid on board the ship. Knowing this, Israel was clever to intercept them with a naval ship operated by women.

    I refuse to quote anything more from the piece of garbage masquerading as fact-based reporting on Stuff. It contained a bare faced lie calling the Israeli actions illegal when in fact the maritime blockade is legal and the actions of the boat attempting to break through the barricade was the only illegal thing that happened.

    Even more disgusting was the way the article described what happened in 2010 when a ship the Mavi Marmara clashed with Israeli commandos after illegally attempting to get through the blockade. It was written as though nine innocent Turks were killed because the Israelis went in all guns blazing despite the peaceful actions of the Turks. The reality was very different.

    The UN Palmer Report unequivocally confirmed the legality of Israel’s naval blockade and their right to stop ships in international waters.

    The report also confirmed Israel’s right to self-defense against Hamas-held Gaza and against the brutal, organized violence unleashed by the IHH terrorists aboard the Mavi Marmara in the 2010 flotilla.

    Though the report suggested Israeli soldiers used “excessive force” on the Mavi Marmara, leading to the regrettable loss of life, the footage of the brutal ambush confirms the independent Turkel Commission’s conclusion that the soldiers behaved “professionally and in a measured manner in the face of extensive and unanticipated violence.”

    The report faulted Turkey for not screening the Mavi Marmara passengers more carefully. Yet, Turkey continues demanding that Israel apologize for the incident. Given this report, it would be more appropriate for Turkey to apologize to Israel for abetting the flotilla and its terrorist passengers.

    The Palmer Report clearly vindicated Israel. It is time for publicity stunts and illegal provocations against Israel to end along with ongoing media lies about the legality of the blockade.

    • The Palmer Report contradicts UN Resolution 242 which states;

      ” (a) For guaranteeing freedom of navigation through international waterways in the area;”


      By the way, “Thetruth” (what an asinine pseudonym – why do you feel the need to bolster your weak credibility by pre-supposing only you know “the truth”?) your selective mis-quoting of the Palmer report left out these bits;

      “The loss of life and injuries resulting from the use of force by Israeli forces during the take-over of the Mavi Marmara was unacceptable,” the panel stated, referring to one of the ships on which nine passengers were killed and many others seriously wounded.


      “Forensic evidence showing that most of the deceased were shot multiple times, including in the back, or at close range has not been adequately accounted for in the material presented by Israel.”

      The report also called for;

      The panel makes a number of recommendations in its 105-page report, including that Israel should continue with its efforts to ease its restrictions on the movement of goods and people to and from Gaza, and that all humanitarian missions wishing to assist Gaza’s population should do so through established procedures.

      But you’ve studiously ignored that, haven’t you.

      You and your fellow-travellers can be dismissed as little more than right-wing mouth-pieces for the aggressive Israeli government. You will use legal niceties when it suits your vile racism, but ignore everything else.


  9. Zack Brando says:

    Just broaching Israel/Palestine as a topic in itself generates controversy and confrontation. The previous sentence could be deemed offensive. Using ‘Israel’ as a proper noun is offensive to many who don’t recognize Israel as a country/state – rather they refer to Israel as the ‘occupied territories’.

    Everybody who takes sides, interferes or subverts with regard to Israel/Palestine comes out the other end proverbially mangled up to say the least. No matter how eloquent a writer or speaker, once they move from observation to involvement, they have plunged themselves into a snare.

    I’m a Kiwi, I’m not from the lands of patriarchs and prophets. Unfortunately, the further away you are from a situation like the Gaza Blockade (which started in 2007), the more ignorant you are to the nuances. Self proclaimed ‘free thinking’ liberals and of course the media start going to work.

    Liberals eliminate cultural paradigms, history, agreements, and of course all Gods. Then these liberal reporters, students, politicians and the like adorn themselves with a secular mindset and cry out with loud voices, “INJUSTICE”! They haven’t adorned themselves with much else. No history, no regional knowledge, no culture, etc. Just talking points really.

    We are seeing more and more ignorant celebrities and politicians opening their mouths about issues they know nothing about. Marama should be working on New Zealand issues, not plunging herself into this classic Middle Eastern Mire.

  10. Afewknowthetruth says:

    I see that America is taking Orwellianism to new heights:

    ‘US secretary of state John Kerry has called for Russia and Syria to face war crimes investigations for their bombing of civilian targets.’