Distress call from Gaza – New Zealand government must speak out urgently!


The Palestine Solidarity network Aotearoa has renewed its urgent appeal to the government to act in the face of a distress call issued from Gaza’s Ministry of Health to the world to provide laboratory testing materials for Coronaviruus which will run out this evening (today NZ time) at Gaza’s central laboratory.

More than two weeks ago a wide range of New Zealand organisations and prominent individuals wrote to the Prime Minister urging New Zealand to speak out and call on Israel to abandon its brutal blockade of Gaza to allow Palestinians to fight coronavirus.

The letter and key signatories are here and include New Zealander of the year and President of Equity New Zealand Jennifer Ward-Lealand, Catholic Cardinal John Dew, Islamic Women’s Council Spokesperson Anjum Rahman and Anglican Bishop of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia Philip Richardson.

In part the letter says –

The more than two million people living in the blockaded Gaza strip in Palestine are being left to face the Coronavirus with hopelessly inadequate medical facilities and extreme overcrowding – conditions in which the virus will spread rapidly and devastatingly unless action is taken now.

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We urge you to put the welfare of Palestinians alongside concern for New Zealanders and speak out calling for Israel to end its blockade of Gaza and military occupation of the Palestinian territories and allow Palestinians to access the medical supplies and equipment they need to deal with this crisis.

Meanwhile US senators have spoken out calling on the Trump administration to pressure Israel and 31 members of the US congress have done the same in an unprecedented show of support for Palestinians

But not New Zealand, so far.

To date the government (both the Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs) has been silent when silence is complicity with a looming human catastrophe.

Gaza has been blockaded for 12 years by Israel and Palestinians are unable to get the critical medical supplies they need. The United Nations is warning of frightening consequences of coronavirus taking hold in Gaza.

Under International law Israel is responsible for health services in GAZA but the Israeli government will not act without intense international pressure.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Palestinians are “an existential threat” to Israel and is on record as saying “the only way to treat Palestinians is to beat them up, not once but repeatedly, beat them up until it’s unbearable”.

New Zealand speaking out is the right thing to do – both from a humanitarian point of view and because what happens in Gaza with coronavirus affects all of us. The health of humanity is now a collective responsibility.


      • Yes gabby when Palestinians built a temporary hospital ,,,Zionist arseholes like yourself called it a mess ,,,, and sent in the bulldozers to flatten it.

        …. and there is always the chance that aid workers sending supplies to Gaza will be murdered by Israel soldiers ,,,, as has happened in the past.

        Gabby supports Zionist Israel ,,,,, like the racists used to support South Africa ….

        And given Israel laws BANNING mixed marriages ,,, there is probably quite a bit of cross over support, from South Africa to Israel.

    • Bullshit Jacinda dupe ,,,,, how long would it take for ‘the Blair Witch Project’, to give the Israel embassy a razz up ,,,, or send them packing.

      There is always time to do the right thing ,,,,,,, just as there should never be time to side with evil.

      ““As the whole world battles an unprecedented and paralysing healthcare crisis, Israel’s military is devoting time and resources to harassing the most vulnerable Palestinian communities in the West Bank that Israel has attempted to drive out of the area for decades,” https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/w/israel-hurts-palestinian-efforts-to-tackle-covid-19-by-confiscating-medical-tents

      ” Shutting down a first-aid community initiative during a health crisis is an especially cruel example of the regular abuse inflicted on these communities, and it goes against basic human and humanitarian principles during an emergency. Unlike Israel’s policies, this pandemic does not discriminate based on nationality, ethnicity or religion.” https://mondoweiss.net/2020/03/israeli-military-confiscates-palestinian-field-clinic-for-virus-victims-btselems-shocking-report/

    • JFan’s right – You can’t really flag down an ambulance that is dealing with one crisis already, however critical the other situation may be.

      It would be more effective to appeal to all those ordinary people at home, many with new found time on their hands.

  1. “the only way to treat Palestinians is to beat them up, not once but repeatedly, beat them up until it’s unbearable”.
    All we are required to do, is say nothing about it, John. Your recognition of the brutish, systematic or more rightly, systemic approach to the theft of Palestine by the European diaspora, will not be helpful to any Government struggling against the ‘anti-semitic’ propaganda tsunami that will certainly follow any call for Palestinian relief.
    Thus has been our training. To accept Israeli behaviour against the people of Palestine as being somehow different to expressions of fascism in the past; the Palestinian ‘fault.’ A stain to be washed into the sea, but, quickly now, so that we can forget it ever was.

  2. ‘Gaza has been blockaded for 12 years by Israel and Palestinians are unable to get the critical medical supplies they need’
    And the blockade by Egypt?, ….I’m unsure of that one as you never mention it John…care to elaborate?

    • Egypt’s Sisi, a military thug, is the darling of Israel and the US .But the most  important point is that so many of the Gazans are refugees. They want to go home, as they should legally be able to according to UN Resolution 194.
      The Israeli regime is  not just blockading Gaza..the Israeli regime is bombing Gaza, poisoning farmland, firing on fishing boats, dumping Palestinian workers with the virus into Gaza.  

    • the debased leadership of Eygpt collaborate and align with Israel ….. Feel better now ImaRight idiot ?
      “When it comes to devising ways of stripping peaceful protesters of their dignity, the Egyptian military may have just set a new standard for outrage: Egyptian women arrested during a peaceful protest in Tahrir Square earlier this month were forced to take “virginity tests.”

      ” the tests were conducted so that the women would not be able to claim that they had been sexually abused while in custody.

      “We didn’t want them to say we had sexually assaulted or raped them, so we wanted to prove that they weren’t virgins in the first place,” the general said. “None of them were [virgins].”” https://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/may/31/egypt-online-protest-virginity-tests

      Im right is right ,,,, Eygpt is a natural partner for Israel ,,,,,

  3. A people with a history and a culture are facing ‘a final solution’ while the West looks the other way.

    Silence is complicity. “He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it” – Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968), US civil rights leader

    New Zealand COULD provide the moral leadership so badly needed.
    Let’s spell it out. The issue is the lives of men, women and CHILDREN.

    OUR HUMANITY is being tested.

  4. Excerpts from A Palestinian Guide to Surviving a Quarantine:

    Call it a ‘quarantine’, a ‘shelter-in-place’, a ‘lockdown’ or a ‘curfew’, we Palestinians have experienced them all, though not at all voluntarily.

    Personally, the first 23 years of my life were lived in virtual ‘lockdown’. My father’s ‘quarantine’ was experienced much earlier, as did his father’s ‘shelter-in-place’ before him. They both died and were buried in Gaza’s cemeteries without ever experiencing true freedom outside of their refugee camp in Gaza.

    Currently in Gaza, the quarantine has a different name. We call it ‘siege’, also known as ‘blockade’.

    In fact, all of Palestine has been in a state of ‘lockdown’ since the late 1940s when Israel became a state and the Palestinian homeland was erased by Zionist colonialists with the support of their Western benefactors.

    Now that nearly half of the population of planet Earth are experiencing some form of ‘curfew’ or another, I would like to share a few suggestions on how to survive the prolonged confinement, the Palestinian way.

    Think Ahead

    Since we knew that a complete lockdown, or a military curfew, was always pending, we tried to anticipate the intensity and duration of it and prepare accordingly.

    For example, when the Israeli army killed one or more refugees, we knew in advance that mass protests would follow, thus more killings. In these situations, a curfew was imminent.

    Number one priority was to ensure that all family members congregated at home or stayed within close proximity so that they could rush in as fast as possible when the caravan of Israeli military jeeps and tanks came thundering, opening fire at anyone or anything within sight.

    Lesson number one: Always think ahead and prepare for a longer lockdown than the initial one declared by your city or state.

    Stay Calm

    My father had a bad temper, although a very kind heart. When curfews were about to start, he would enter into a near-panic state. A chain smoker with obsessive, although rational fear that one of his five boys would eventually be killed, he would walk around the house in a useless rush, not knowing what to do next.

    Typically, my mother would come in, rational and calculating. She would storm the kitchen to assess what basic supplies were missing, starting with the flour, sugar and olive oil.

    Knowing that the first crackdown by the Israelis would be on water supplies and electricity, she would fill several plastic containers of water, designating some for tea, coffee and cooking, and others for dishes and washing clothes.

    Per her orders, we would rush to the nearby stores to make small but necessary purchases – batteries for the flashlight and the transistor radio, cigarettes for my dad, and a few VHS videotapes which we would watch over and again, whether the curfew lasted for a few days or a few weeks.

    Lesson number two: Take control of the situation – do not panic – and assign specific responsibilities to every family member. This strengthens the family unit and sets the stage for collective solidarity desperately required under these circumstances.

    Preserve Your Water

    Ration Your Food

    Find Sources of Entertainment

    Find the Humor in Grim Situations

    Hold Tighter to Your Faith

    In Conclusion
    I hope that under no circumstances you will ever hear these ominous words: “You are now under curfew. Anyone who violates orders will be shot immediately.” I also hope that this COVID-19 quarantine will make us kinder to each other and will make us emerge from our homes better people, ready to take on global challenges while united in our common faith, collective pain and a renewed sense of love for our environment.

    And when it’s all over, think of Palestine, for her people have been ‘quarantined’ for 71 years and counting. Dr Ramzy Baroud Surviving a Quarantine

  5. It would suit Israels interest too ensure that COVID19 does infect the Palestinian territories as the blockade will ensure there is no escape from the virus or the help to combat it.

    The more Palestinians are wiped out the better for Israel , it will save them the money in their military budget fighting this dirty war.

    ” To date the government (both the Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs) has been silent when silence is complicity with a looming human catastrophe ”

    So much for a independent foreign policy where we should be calling out this cruel inhuman treatment of a proud race of people who had their land confiscated then imprisoned in what was left of it.

    No such thing exists in today’s world.

    It might as well be renamed subsistence too foreign powers policy or STFP

    The world came together too pressure South Africa too end apartheid and as John will remember put his life on the line too make a stand as did thousands of others in 1981 over that bloody rugby tour !!

    Today’s Israel is no different too P.W Botha’s South Africa in 1981

  6. Jacinda make it publicly known that New Zealand does not support the Israeli treatment of Palestine.

    To hell with the NZ Intiative controlling this Govt. Just do it.

  7. Clearly, you are blocking my comments. I’m really flattered, because it means, to quote dear old Jack, that you “can’t handle the truth!” Good to know I have shown you all up for what you are – antisemites. And yet you would be the first to scream ‘freedom of speech’ if this were done to you. Hypocrites of the first water, as all antisemites are.

    • Isn’t it strange gaby ,,,, that true anti-semites, like the Nazis for instance ,,, had laws Banning the intermarriage between Non-Jews and Jews ….

      And yet nowadays ,,,, the Zionists running Israel have laws Banning the intermarriage between Jews and non-Jews ….

      And both are a bit like how apartheid south Africa,, had laws Banning inter marriage ,,,,

      Does gaby agree with the Zionist perspective ,,,, that intermarriage destroys the ‘pureness’ of Jews ,,,, and is a “second holocaust”??.

      “Rafi Peretz made the statement at a cabinet meeting on July 1, Axios reported Tuesday, citing three people who were in the room.

      Peretz, a former chief rabbi of the Israeli army, is the leader of the Union of Right Wing Parties bloc.”

      After all, Surely nothing is more anti-Semite ,,, than a holocaust.

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