The New Zealand media’s shameful silence on Israeli apartheid

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Last week full-page advertisements appeared across New Zealand celebrating 71 years since Israel declared independence. They were placed by a Pastor Nigel Woodley from Hastings – a Christian Zionist – and paid for from the deep pockets of his backers.

The advertisements are full of lies and misrepresentations about Israel-Palestine. In response I wrote the piece below but it was rejected by the Press and the New Zealand Herald. As well as declining to publish this piece the New Zealand Herald refused to publish even a single letter responding to the advertisement despite several being sent in.

The New Zealand Herald is happy to accept big money from the Israeli lobby to publish their lies in full-page advertisements while refusing to publish anything critical of Israel in response. For the Herald it seems “free speech” comes with a price tag.

The Herald has a sorry history of bowing to the Israeli lobby who exercise their manipulations behind the closed doors of the offices of our newspaper editors, Vice Chancellors and MPs.

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Readers of the Daily Blog at least can read this response to Pastor Woodley lies. Here it is:

Bishop Desmond Tutu: “Name Israel an ‘apartheid state’ and divest!”

Judging by the full-page advertisements defending Israel in newspapers across New Zealand this week, the backers of Pastor Nigel Woodley have deep pockets but a shallow commitment to truth or justice. New Zealanders deserve better.

Among Nigel Woodley’s fanciful claims is the absurd statement that “all sectors of Israeli society – Jewish, Arab, Muslim, Christian, Druze etc share equally in the benefits of the nation in education and culture, politics and religion, business and employment. All have the same equal opportunities you would find in any other genuine democracy”.

If only.

Laws governing citizenship, land ownership and the law of return have been passed giving exclusive rights to Jewish Israelis.

For example to maintain a Jewish majority, Israel’s law of return excludes Palestinians’ right of return to their homeland while granting it to every Jew in the world who has no connection to the Middle East.

Palestinian Israelis are denied permission to serve in the army but then lack of army service is used as a reason to severely restrict their access to government services and assistance.

Palestinian Israelis are likewise excluded from housing and employment in ‘security sensitive’ areas and industries while budgetary policies relating to land mean Palestinian Israeli councils and municipalities receive far less funding than their Jewish counterparts.

At the heart of the disparity is land.

Israeli government policies divide the land into Palestinian and Jewish areas which is intended to split Palestinian land into disconnected scraps – similar to apartheid South Africa’s bantustans. This division of land was created by ethnic cleansing of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from places where their families had lived for hundreds of years.

Meanwhile Palestinians living in the occupied territories face daily humiliation at road blocks and harassment in their communities which includes the uprooting of trees, destroying of olive groves, bulldozing homes and random shooting at their homes and vehicles.

When Palestinians resist, the result is unbridled brutality. No less than 20% of the Palestinian population having been arrested without trial while 15,000 have been killed since 1967, including 2000 children.

May 15th this week marks the Palestinian Nakba (“catastrophe” in Arabic) referring to the mass expulsion of Palestinian Arabs (between 750,000 and one million) from British Mandate Palestine during Israel’s creation (1947-49).

It was a deliberate and systematic policy of ethnic cleansing designed to create a Jewish majority state in historic Palestine, which was overwhelmingly Arab prior to 1948.

Most importantly the Nakba did not end in 1948 and continues today, in the form of Israel’s ongoing theft of Palestinian land for Jewish settlements and denial of the internationally recognised legal right of return of millions of stateless Palestinian refugees.

It’s small wonder Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a civil rights leader from South Africa compared Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians to the apartheid regime that oppressed blacks in his native South Africa.

Tutu says he has “witnessed the systemic humiliation of Palestinian men, women and children by members of the Israeli security forces. Their humiliation is familiar to all black South Africans who were corralled and harassed and insulted and assaulted by the security forces of the apartheid government.”

When asked what the international community should do to support Palestinians Tutu says “Name Israel an ‘apartheid state’ and divest”.

“In South Africa, we could not have achieved our democracy without the help of people around the world, who through the use of non-violent means, such as boycotts and divestment, encouraged their governments and other corporate actors to reverse decades-long support for the apartheid regime.”

And Archbishop Tutu has a message for Pastor Woodley and his wealthy backers: “Those who turn a blind eye to injustice actually perpetuate injustice. If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.”

Israel bridles at claims it is an apartheid state but the facts speak for themselves.

25 COMMENTS

      • whats the point , more than 40 years ago it was spelled out in simple songs, to much bigger audience than i could achieve, no one listened then and no one will listen now.
        It is interesting to watch and sometimes comment. And hope it will go viral.

        • “And go viral”

          So, do nothing. Good on you champ

          Meanwhile, people with a concience like John Minto are doing their best to highlight zionist apartheid

          I know who is making a difference

  1. Zionism is based on the Babylonian Talmud which says anyone who follows Jesus Christ must be beheaded. Palestinians are, on the whole, Christian.

      • What a crock

        How many infidels have been beheaded in palestine??

        And howcmany palestinians have been murdered by israeli thugs in IDF uniforms

        And how many muskims were murdered in cold blood by a cowardly white supremicist racist thug

        Try those Trevor

    • Palestinian Arabs are mostly Muslim. They do have a Christian demographic which was nearly expelled in the “Nakba” of 1948 and the Jewish population of Palestinian Arabs whom were from the Mizrahi sect were a minority until they were joined from Jews of European descent (Yids) or Ashkenazi in the late 1800 onward to 1948.

  2. The Press wouldn’t even print this short letter, see below, I submitted on 15 May. It’s short but it makes some very vital points that should be discussed.

    Sir,

    “Putting aside UN Resolutions” , remarks Paul Grainger (Press May 13).
    True, Israel is allowed by a complacent West looking the other way, to ‘put aside’ UN Resolutions, ‘put aside’ Geneva Conventions, ‘put aside’ the UN Convention  on the Rights of the Child’….
    Are there really, today,  International  Laws and Conventions: about attacking schools, hospitals, water and sanitation facilities, rights of the child, the rights of refugees, types of weapons used , .. I’m not a lawyer, let alone an international lawyer, but I think it is clear what I am thinking about.  Or are these rules, outdated, quaint? 
    The word International concerns me. Are there ‘exceptions’? Are certain countries ‘exceptional’ , so that Geneva Conventions for example do not apply to them? Are there exceptions regarding  who can be taken to the ICC?
    These questions need to be asked about Saudi Arabia and about  the US as well as about Israel.
     
    Yours,
    Lois Griffiths

  3. Have a look at the Uighur next, John, unless you’re too busy checking the value of your house 🙂

    • Castro why is it that you think Minto should take up the case of the Uighur, I am sure he knows about it but am always puzzled thaat some people think he should do everything. Take up the cudgels for the Uighur yourself, I expect you will get lots of support.

      What is this about the value of his house in Waltham?

      • Spot on Michal!!

        Castro, don’t be so fucking lazy. If yOu truly feel the Uighur need our support, get off your fst lazy arse and DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!!!! Write your own blogpost. Do something instead of constanty whining from the back seat

        don’t expect otters to drop what they’re doing to take up your pet causes

        Lazy prick

  4. There’s apartheid alright, just not where you claim it is.

    The 1.6 million Arabs living in Israel enjoy more human rights than in all the Islamic countries put together. Women are treated like first class citizens, allowed to drive, go to school, hold men’s hands without fear of a stoning, walk in public without a hijab, and work in any job they choose. Gays can dance in the streets and in the biggest gay pride parade in the world. Arabs are allowed to marry outside of their religion and even abandon their religion altogether without fear of extreme retribution. They’re represented in every sphere of society, in the arts (Arabs have represented Israel in the Eurovision song contest), sports (captained the national soccer team) the judiciary (an Arab judge sentenced the Israel PM to prison), business, science, education, the military (many generals) — and are fully represented in politics, serving on the Knesset.

    Conversely, the only Jews found in Gaza are invariably tortured to death.

    How many Jews are represented in the Palestinian government? Zero.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Arab_members_of_the_Knesset

    https://www.israel21c.org/16-arabs-from-israel-making-a-difference-on-the-world-stage/

    • Factcheck

      The biggest gay pride parade in the world is not in Israel. Some streets are not safe for anyone (Jew or Arab alike) not of the local religious community.

      There is no civil marriage – it’s Jewish Christian or Moslem service only. Many there under the law of return (but who do not qualify as Jewish) cannot actually marry in Israel.

      Arabs are not represented in government. An Arab MK in a coalition is a very occasional oddity. Stuff all generals in their army have been Arab – and I think you meant Druze.

    • “The 1.6 million Arabs living in Israel enjoy more human rights than in all the Islamic countries put together. Women are treated like first class citizens, allowed to drive, go to school, hold men’s hands without fear of a stoning, walk in public without a hijab, and work in any job they choose. Gays can dance in the streets and in the biggest gay pride parade in the world. Arabs are allowed to marry outside of their religion and even abandon their religion altogether without fear of extreme retribution. They’re represented in every sphere of society, in the arts (Arabs have represented Israel in the Eurovision song contest), sports (captained the national soccer team) the judiciary (an Arab judge sentenced the Israel PM to prison), business, science, education, the military (many generals) — and are fully represented in politics, serving on the Knesset” —— and only pay with a few hundred unarmed protestors shot to death, land illegally confiscated, mass imprisonment, assassination of leaders, expropriation of property, annexation of other country’s territory, illegal blockade of Gaza, and seizing half of Jerusalem.

      Have i missed out anything?

      Thats the thing about your nice words about the joys of Zionist colonisation

      You leave out the nasty bits

  5. Israel is the only democracy in the region and over 1.5 million Arabs take part in their elections and elect their people to the Knesset.

    By comparison the Palestinian ‘states’ are thug dictatorships, funded by the terrorist states: Iran and some of the other Gulf States.

    You’re on the wrong side of history.

  6. Favour to those who serve … . Not only them.

    The religious Jews who choose not to serve get covered by religious providers. Their parties form coalitions and extract such deals for “their people”.

    Of course the Knesset majority supporting the colaiton government never includes Arab MK’s from their parties. It’s always a Jewish only majority – needs 61 Jewish MK’s from the c100 Jewish MK’s of the 120.

    Then there is the near impossibility of an Arab to get building consent.

  7. Bishop Tutu is 100% correct

    We should break all contact with Israel, diplomatically and economically

    Give nothing to apartheid

  8. I find most New Zealanders shallow, self serving, hypocritical and not reliable people, sorry to say, there is much disappointment I suffered here.

    It is always much talk and little integrity or action.

    When it comes to politics, especially about overseas issues, most close down the conversation right away, they do NOT want to know.

    So Lesley Bravery and others put much effort into raising matters here, there is simply NO damned interest coming from the 99.99 percent of the population of NZ Inc, who prefer to stay ignorant of matters and issues they may feel make them uncomfortable.

    They swiftly move an and rather watch the next game of rugby, cricket of whatever other game, and turn on Netflix for distraction.

    We have for decades now lived in a society where consumerism is all that matters and counts, and material benefits in whatever form, for consumers, all else, any truly human and social issues, for most it is not that relevant, although some say the opposite, only to appear they may care a little.

    I call BS out, most Kiwis are sadly BS, that is my experience.

  9. I’ts never been about Muslims . it’s always been about Power and Resources. If it was about Muslims ( of which there are many opposing sects and ideologies ) the USA and Britain wouldn’t be supplying arms to Saudi Arabia and turning the blind eye to their horrendous human rights, also the fact that most of the hijackers 911 were Saudis has never been rammed down the throat of the public.
    One of the greatest historic tragedies
    of the middle east is vested interests in journalism, directing the course of history.” Arab lives don’t matter”. was the over arching message from most major news papers . We were continually bombarded for weeks with repeat viewings of planes striking the towers , a sickening and defiant act that caused us to rage and set the stage of justified retribution against a country that had nothing to do with it. Yet we or the press barely batted an eyelid when 17,500 civilians were killed in Israel’s 1982 invasion of Lebanon or 1800 civilians in the Sabra and Chatila refugee camps during 16th – 18th September 1982 that were brutally murdered by the Phalangist killers under the direction of Israel’s Ariel Sharon and backed by the US. The list could go on and on

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