Jewish and Palestinian solidarity

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This Sunday, 29 November, the United Nations Organisation and human rights supporters globally commemorate an annual International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, established in 1977. At 7pm in Auckland, the Palestinian Community of NZ and the Palestine Solidarity Network Aotearoa (PSNA) will play their part, holding an event at the Western Springs Garden Community Hall, 956 Great North Road. There will be a number of speakers and it is hoped, but not yet confirmed, that our new Foreign Affairs Minister, Nanaia Mahuta, will also attend. Everyone is welcome and the occasion will also be available for live viewing.

Zionist propaganda in New Zealand

In a somewhat personalised criticism of PSNA Chair, John Minto, published on the Israel Institute of New Zealand’s website, Sheree Trotter takes particular exception John mentioning Israel’s brutal, criminal suppression of the Great March of Return protests in Gaza. She does so by quoting from a case study for the ICRC that was prepared by a student at the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights. Its language largely reflects Israeli and Zionist lobby versions that put the blame squarely on unarmed civilian victims of superior Israeli military force. The student’s account differs strangely in tone to facts already recognised by the Academy which has acknowledged, for instance, that the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip has been “catastrophic for the population”. Regarding Israel’s military Occupation of the West Bank, the Academy has also noted that: “President Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel happens in a context where efforts to expand settlements in Palestinian-owned land have continued, particularly in East Jerusalem, leading to an increase in evictions of Palestinian families.”

Trotter accuses John Minto of “spouting a distorted picture of what is a complex conflict”. Towards the end of her piece, she asserts also that he had delivered a “distorted narrative about a conflict on the other side of the world . . .” That sounds rather as though she is telling New Zealand to mind its own business when it comes to Israel’s crimes against humanity. As for a “distorted narrative”, simply compare the Geneva Academy student’s version of events during the protests and the UN Independent Commission of Inquiry on the 2018 Gaza protests, then judge which is closer to the truth. Here are some excerpts from the Inquiry:

UN Independent Commission of Inquiry on 2018 Gaza protests

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The Commission has reasonable grounds to believe that during the Great March of Return, Israeli soldiers committed violations of international human rights and humanitarian law.

More than 6,000 unarmed demonstrators were shot by military snipers, week after week at the protest sites by the separation fence. The Commission investigated every killing at the designated demonstration sites by the Gaza separation fence on official protest days. The investigation covered the period from the start of the protests until 31 December 2018. 189 Palestinians were killed during the demonstrations inside this period. The Commission found that Israeli Security Forces killed 183 of these protesters with live ammunition. Thirty-five of these fatalities were children, while three were clearly marked paramedics, and two were clearly marked journalists.

There can be no justification for killing and injuring journalists, medics, and persons who pose no imminent threat of death or serious injury to those around them. Particularly alarming is the targeting of children and persons with disabilities.

The Commission found reasonable grounds to believe that Israeli snipers shot at journalists, health workers, children and persons with disabilities, knowing they were clearly recognisable as such.

These serious human rights and humanitarian law violations may constitute war crimes or crimes against humanity.

The Commission finds that these protests were a call for help from a population in despair.

The Israeli authorities did not respond to repeated requests by the Commission for information and access to Israel and to the Occupied Palestinian Territory.”

Israel Institute of New Zealand

In a recent IINZ article criticising New Zealand policy towards Palestine, David Cumin expressed anger at a people he discriminately chose to call “Arab Palestinians” for daring to have pushed for statehood through the ICC”. He also claimed that Palestinians “promoted terror in schools” and accused MFAT officials of “attempting to justify spending Kiwi taxpayer money on schools that incite violence”. An article in The New York Jewish Week offers a quite different perspective from that promoted by Cumin, quoting from what it describes as “an in-depth comparative study of Palestinian and Israeli school textbooks” entitled Palestinian Textbooks Do Not Incite Hate. The study was conducted by the Council of Religious Institutions in the Holy Land, a multi-faith body that aims to “prevent religion from being used as a source of conflict, and to promote mutual respect”. While the Israeli Government did not co-operate with the study, the Palestinian Authority did.

The irony here is that as textbook researcher Samira Alayan from the Georg Eckert Institute for the Study of Textbooks has revealed, Palestinian textbooks are severely controlled and censored, not only by Israel but also by European and American bodies that finance their production (see “Images of identity: Self and other in school text books of the Palestinian Authority”, June 2011 [PDF]). However, there is another aspect that is hidden from public view with, for example, the study skirting around the racism in Israeli schoolbooks and confining the concept of ‘incitement’ only to the side that is militarily Occupied and dominated. The Wye River Memorandum — signed between Israel and the Palestinian Authority in 1998 — included an “explicit statement about incitement” stating that the Palestinian side would issue a decree prohibiting all forms of incitement to violence or terror, and establishing mechanisms for acting systematically against all expressions or threats of violence or terror. This decree would be comparable to the existing Israeli legislation which deals with the same subject.” There is no such provision demanded of the Israeli Occupation regime. Professor Nurit Elhanan-Peled‘s Palestine in Israeli School Books: Ideology and Propaganda in Education’ Library of Modern Middle East Studies, 2012, reveals how, in Israeli schoolbooks, Arabs are regularly portrayed as villainous aggressors and Jews as their victims.

Cumin’s article, “Possibilities for the future of New Zealand’s approach to Israel”, referred to above is nothing but Zionist propaganda. A far more rational approach to future policy, one that would facilitate the long overdue right of Palestinians to Resistance and self-determination, has been outlined in a Press Release by Alternative Jewish Voices and Wellington Palestine entitled Normalise Palestine, Not The Occupation. For too long, their Press Release reminds us, the most that has been offered in regard to help for the Palestinian people has been a degree of protection. Alternative Jewish Voices and Wellington Palestine deplore the waste of time and energy resulting from the “Trump-Netanyahu embrace” and call instead for recognition of the State of Palestine. They note, however, that “since our diplomatic initiative on UN Resolution 2334, our government has fallen decidedly quiet about Palestine.” The Press Release also informs us about their submission of “a briefing on Palestine to the incoming Foreign Minister, urging her to uphold the laws that governments have signed in our names. We want our government to call for an end to the blockade and recognise the State of Palestine, to condemn the detention of children, to formulate policy that recognises Palestinians as whole people and indispensable partners in any real solution.”

The Zionist regime denies Palestinian land rights as well as their right to adequate fresh water. Alternative Jewish Voices and Wellington Palestine “hope that Nanaia Mahuta will have the courage to ask why Aotearoa-NZ has helped to withhold such basics from the Palestinian people for so long.”

Israel – demanding, aloof and self-isolating

Returning to David Cumin‘s article, he not only refers to the Security Council Resolution 2334 as “biased and improper” but also dismisses the international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign (BDS) as “discriminatory”. Whenever Israel loses the argument it demands to be exempted from conformity with accepted standards of behaviour. New Zealand should be on its guard and understand that the Israel Lobby exercises pressure on governments, to the extent that in many cases successfully undermine democracy. Take the recent French Government decision to defy a formal judgement from the European Court of Human Rights that protects the right of people to call for the boycott of Israeli products. French President Emmanuel Macron is furious because, in a unanimous decision, the Court overturned criminal convictions against 11 Palestinian rights activists in France. These convictions, the Court concluded, violated the European Convention on Human Rights’ guarantee of freedom of expression, and it ordered the French Government to pay each of the activists approximately $US8,000 in damages plus their legal costs. Frighteningly though, the Macron Government’s justice ministry issued a memorandum to prosecutors last month, ordering them to continue investigating BDS activists. The memorandum claimed the anti-Semitic character of a boycott call could result directly from words, gestures and writings of the accused, and can also be deduced from the context of these”.

Last year, the German parliament voted to condemn BDS as anti-Semitic, a move welcomed by Israel, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu posting on Twitter: “I hope that this decision will bring about concrete steps and I call upon other countries to adopt similar legislation.” Tell those that accuse others of what they call ‘anti-Semitism’, to be more precise. If they really mean that a person’s views are anti-Jewish, then they should say so – and explain why and how.

Palestinians and Israelis call for a single democratic state

While, in the name of Jews worldwide, the Zionist regime continues its violations of the Fourth Geneva Convention and distances itself ever further from civilised norms of behaviour, a majority of world opinion demands a complete end to injustice and discrimination. One example of this is a call from One Democratic State Campaign. On 23 November, the campaign invited international civil society to join in “building an effective anti-colonial, liberation movement to create a democratic state in historic Palestine.” Read more here and see list of notable signatories.

Plain speaking and responsibility

The world is waking up to the Zionist threat, and the movement to resist the ideology’s manipulation of language to disguise its true purpose is being seriously challenged. Just this week, Shlomo Sand, commenting on a Haaretz article by the Israeli historian, David Engel, advised human rights supporters to stop using the term ‘anti-Semitism’, reminding us that: “There is no such thing as a Semitic race. There are only Semitic languages. I am a Semite because I speak and write Hebrew. My parents were not Semites because they spoke Yiddish.” Haaretz refers to Professor Engel, a scholar of modern Jewish history, noting that “he has avoided using the word antisemitism for 30 years in his articles or books. The word has been banished from his professional lexicon, even when he is writing about the Holocaust.”

The outlawing of BDS is an assault on human rights. Israel’s powerful influence and obsessive desire to control must be firmly resisted everywhere. The IINZ article are welcome because they reveal the weakness of Zionist argument and open the opportunity for debate, which mainstream news media silence disables. Under cover, politicians evade their responsibilities and allow ‘strategic’ and commercial interests to be placed ahead of human rights. We await our new Foreign Minister‘s response to the briefing sent to her by Alternative Jewish Voices and Wellington Palestine. Let us hope that she will affirm New Zealand’s adherence to the principles of Security Council Resolution 2334 and demand that Israel and its allies respect the Palestinian people and their rights under international law including, in particular, the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

12 COMMENTS

  1. Sadly, there will always be Jews in the best kapo tradition willing to betray their own people. Many are bogus Jews or deluded progressives and many are on the payroll of NGOs run by antisemitic groups. In the long run, they are dross and have no impact. ‘Their land’ is pretty rich: Jews are indigenous to Palestine, not Arabs.

          • Thank you! Trite and irrational are what you do best, your field of expertise, so to speak. Hatred, as in antisemitism, is aways irrational.

            • Who is antisemitic? Oh yes, being opposed to countries perpetrating war crimes and human rights abuses is antisemitic in your warped view. Obviously some people, like yourself have brain cells can’t distinguish between reality and political propaganda and an inability to pose a rational argument.

    • Gaby the diatribe you insist on posting is not only ineffective as lies are usually found out, but is based on well debunked Zionist propaganda.

      The Zionist agenda, why not write about that since you are so enthralled by it.

    • “kapo” belongs to a special category of awfulness.

      The term is viewed with disgust by many Jews, most of whom would never choose to use it.

      Using the most painful episode of Jewish history, it accuses Jews today of actively betraying their fellow Jews by working for their oppressors.”

      Gaby is wearing the racist mass murdering christchurch killers manifesto on his sleeve ,,, According to the Christchurch killer,,,, ‘Race Traitors’ were worse than the enemy (non-whites &Jews),,, and their crimes of miscegenation, or having social interaction, or calling for equal rights for all , needed the same punishment he dished out ,,,, death by some ugly fuckwit.

      Race traitors only exist in racist backwards ideology ,,,, Swallow their pill made of rat shit ,,, and sure as shit it brings out the murderous worst in humane nature ,,, twisting the minds of its supremacist / segregationists followers…. mental evilness is inevitable.

      Examples of this sickness ,,,,
      1)goby in this thread ,,, calling Jews who speak out against the crimes of Israel,, or those who support equal rights for all in Palestine / Israel, as traitors or Fake Jews , collaborators worse than the Nazis.

      2)goby on numerous occasions being more offended by a misplaced coma or incorrect spelling ,,,, than any amount of dead Palestinian childrens , or grass clippings as he and the Israel armed forces think of them.

      3) Zionists in Israel segregating the schools and Kindergartens ,,,, keeping the children separate,,, to the point of arson attacking ‘race traitors / Kapos schools in Israel ,,,,,who attempt the normal behavior of mixed schooling ,,like NZ kids have and enjoy.

      4) Nazis who murdered fellow Germans and others who tried to help or protect Jews as the equal humans they are,,, from inhumane Nazi supremacists ,,, with their extermination camps.

      5) USA Jewish Zionist extremists who murdered jews and stirred up antisemitism ,,and who now form part of Netyanhus extremist kill happy Govt. 39min 30sec https://youtu.be/eFl4U2NRJTg

      ***********************************************
      Instead of being banned ,,,,, the christchurch killers dumb evil / Great replacement manifesto,,, should be taught ,,, exposed to the light it looks as attractive as a lepers cock covered in dog shit ,,, reveal his ugly brain rot for what it is ,,, and kiwi kids normal repulsion to a head full of pus and muck is the vaccine.

      Its easy to debunk the ugly stupidity and stinking beliefs of its author ,,, and so so easy to show its inhumane debased history ,,, where the sickest humans claim superiority ,,,

      Israel is very very lucky that the obscenity of the ethno nationalisim and other supremacists sickness in the christchurch murders manifesto are censored from New Zealanders,,,

      Learning Tarrent exposes Israel.

      Great Replacement????? —- “Israel’s new Education Minister Rafi Peretz, leader of the far-right Union of Right Wing Parties, caused international uproar when he compared intermarriage between Jews and non-Jews in the US to a “second Holocaust”

      “White genocide” ???? — “In the early 1970’s, Labor Prime Minister Golda Meir said that anyone who commits intermarriage is “joining the 6 million”, alluding to the Holocaust.”

      Racist ??? ,,,, Jewish Defense League: Anti-Blackness https://youtu.be/Sx29ssfI6ek

      Ethno-Nationalists and the Zionists ongoing example ??? ,,,They are birds like a Vulture ,,,, and fly the same culture.

      Both sustained by death.

      https://youtu.be/7iAlzOcEaTY

  2. A very good piece Leslie – bringing together factual information to expose the appalling anti-Palestinian and anti-Arab racism from within the pro-Israeli lobby. These are the same people who hurl around false smears of anti-semitism like confetti in desperate attempts protect Israel from criticism or effective public pressure. The desperation of their false cries of anti-semitism reflects just how important the BDS movement is. Our government needs to base its approach to Israel on upholding international law and UN resolutions.

  3. Great article Leslie. It’s definitely a tough slog at the moment supporting Palestine with all the damage being done by Trump and Pompeo. But as you say, the arguments put up by the supporters of an apartheid state are so much soggy paper that the only thing that can happen is that they collapse. While there is little to get excited about the new Labour government, the position taken by Nanaia Mahuta on Palestine is one place where I hold high expectations. It seems unthinkable that she could deny the rights of a kindred First Nation sytematically cleared from their land by the ethnic cleansing of a super aggressive coloniser.

  4. The woman in the photo is Anna Baltzer, author of Witness in Palestine, A Jewish American Woman in the Occupied Territories. Anna discusses her upbringing, with an image of Israel as a “tiny victimized country that simply wanted to live in peace but couldn’t because of its aggressive, Jew-hating neighbors”. She began to question this view of Israel after teaching English as a Fulbright scholar and travelling around the Middle East. She was welcomed everywhere, especially by Palestinian refugees in southern Lebanon, ‘hearing a different narrative’. She decided that she had to travel to the Occupied Territories to see the situation for herself.
    Her book describes her experiences in 8 months over a period of 5 years, as a volunteer with the International Peace Service (IWPS) , a ” grassroots peace organisation dedicated to documenting and nonviolently intervening in human rights abuses in the West Bank”.

    I can’t recommend this book highly enough. It’s Anna’s narrative, what she herself witnessed, whom she met. A big plus are the EXCELLENT photographs.

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