Most of us spend too much time reading and writing and not enough time doing things that can make a difference.
Let’s change that for the next couple of minutes. Here’s how.
Send an email to the Prime Minister urging her to use Rule 44 of the Government’s Electronic Tender Service rules to abandon the Ministry of Defence proposal to purchase $9 million in military equipment from Israel. Rule 44 says the government may exclude a supplier on the basis of “human rights violations by the supplier or in the supplier’s supply chain”.
Here’s an example of the email you could send NOW to email@example.com
Dear Ms Ardern,
Please invoke government purchase rule 44 to cancel the proposed purchase of $9 million in military equipment from Israel by the New Zealand Defence Force. The company providing the equipment, Roboteam, is an integral part of the Israeli Defence Force and provides equipment to support the illegal occupation of Palestinian land and the siege of Gaza. It is providing active assistance to the Israeli Defence Force in their human rights abuses such as the murder and maiming of unarmed Palestinian youth (16 killed so far this year) and the detention without trial of Palestinian children and minors.
Please respond urgently.
Background: The NZ Defence Force are proposing to purchase $9 billion in robots from Israeli company Roboteam.
The founders of Roboteam, Yossi Wolf and Elad Levy, both served as officers in the Israeli Air Force Special Forces before establishing Roboteam in 2009. They developed and supplied a robot to the IDF that was actively used in Operation Protective Edge, the sustained Israeli attack on the Gaza strip in 2014 which killed 1,492 Palestinian civilians – including 551 children and 299 women. There were countless human rights abuses and war crimes committed against the Palestinian civilian population of Gaza.
Rule 44 of the Government’s Electronic Tender Service Rules say the government may exclude a supplier on the basis of –
“human rights violations by the supplier or in the supplier’s supply chain”
Meanwhile recent media reports indicate the Roboteam products to be purchased by our Defence Force have been trialled by the Israeli Defence Force in its occupation of the West Bank and on the Gaza “border”. The tests were termed a “success”.
The IDF is renowned for its testing of military equipment on the civilian population of occupied Palestine.
It is also renowned for its brutality. For example the murder and maiming of Palestinian children – 16 killed so far this year – and its widely condemned detention without trial of Palestinian children and minors. In April this year for example 205 Palestinian minors were being held in Israeli prisons, without trial, as security detainees and prisoners.
If the murder, maiming or detention without trial of Palestinian children do not constitute human rights violations, then the Prime Minister should tell us what level of human rights abuse would trigger the government to implement Rule 44.
It’s time the government got on board with Palestinians. Palestinian groups have repeatedly called for BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) against the Israeli regime which across the world is known as an apartheid state. New Zealand gave support to the struggle against apartheid South Africa through boycotts and we should do the same to isolate apartheid Israel until it complies with UN resolutions and international law.