On Friday, 4 December, an Israeli soldier shot a 15-year-old boy, Ali Ayman Saleh Abu Alia, in the stomach. The youngster died soon afterwards in hospital in Ramallah. Ali had been watching, but not participating in, protests being held at the entrance to Al-Mughayyir village. As was to be expected, Israeli Occupation forces lied when confronted with the crime. The Army claimed that its soldiers did not fire live ammunition in the assault on protesters but used only rubber-coated steel bullets and US-made Ruger rifles. However, the Rugers were actually firing live 22-calibre rounds and Israeli forces have used live ammunition to kill five children so far this year. In October, the soldiers also beat up a 16-year-old youth, Amer Abdel-Rahim Snobar, who died later from (as a post-mortem found) asphyxiation.
Since its founding in the UK in 1919, Save the Children (SC) has worked tirelessly in defence of children worldwide who have been, and are still being, subjected to cruelty and neglect through war and politics. An SC report, published in October this year under the heading “The impact of the Israeli military detention system on Palestinian children”, is a shocking addition to, and confirmation of, numerous UN reports concerning Israel’s shameful abuses of human rights. This one tells of more than 470 children, taken prisoner (most often at night) living under Israeli military control in the West Bank, having endured many breaches of “rights enshrined in international law”, including physical and mental abuse.
Population control and home invasion
For Israel, control of a subject population requires intimidation, starting from childhood. The Zionist regime employs its courts and the terror of captivity to break the spirit of youngsters and force them into submission. Imagine any child being awakened from its night’s sleep by armed Israeli soldiers, then abducted, blindfolded and forced into a military vehicle! Moreover, nearly all the children interviewed had been strip-searched. Israel complains that it is unfairly singled-out for criticism but it chooses to be the only country in the world that systematically prosecutes children through military courts. The system works well for Israel of course; the Ofer Military Court, for example, records a conviction rate of 99.74%. No wonder the children believe it better to simply plead guilty, in the hope of being sentenced to less time in captivity!
Three Israeli human rights groups have condemned Israeli Army invasions of Palestinian homes, with over 250 being carried out at dead of night – every month! The Guardian newspaper has published an article that includes evidence from Israeli soldiers expressing shame and regret – and one Palestinian family member telling the Observer newspaper that he had lost count of the number of invasions their home had been subjected to: “On one occasion, I remember I had gone to the mosque for the first early morning prayers. When I came back, the soldiers were in my house. They had put all of my family in the kitchen. When I went into my bedroom I found three soldiers resting on the bed.” He said he felt that the invasion of privacy was in order to “control and humiliate.”
The title of an article in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz: “Dogs, shooting, explosions at 4am: Just another routine night of Israeli raids” really says it all: With a stun grenade launched and detonated inside their house, the family of a man and his pregnant wife suddenly found themselves threatened by dogs unleashed by the Israeli Shin Bet ‘security‘ service. The couple’s four-year-old son and nine-year-old daughter, as well as their 70-year old grandmother, were terrorised by men, in black uniforms, also menacing surrounding homes. A Shin Bet officer told the family, including the children, that their home was going to be blown up.
Last month, eleven Palestinian families were left homeless in the Jordan Valley, seeking shelter for themselves, as well as their sheep and newborn lambs, upon which their livelihood depends. The Israeli Army had driven them from their homes. Day after day, night after night, it continues, the Palestinian victims of this brutal oppression being persecuted because their homeland is coveted by others and because they do not possess the foreign regime’s required ethnicity.
Manipulation of language
The abundant evidence of its crimes against humanity is potentially devastating for the racist Zionist enterprise, which is why it seeks to manipulate news media reporting of its conduct, with silence being the most easily-acquired form of complicity. The fact that Israel has for so long been able to violate the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention, without being called to account, demonstrates another ugly reality – it has allies in the highest places, including governments across the world, most notably among New Zealand’s Five Eyes partners. The US and UK are particularly staunch in their complicity with Zionist ambition – and the reason for that is self-serving. Zionism entices the rich and powerful with the prospect of successfully undermining every aspect of true democracy. They dream of imposing a world with fake freedoms based on ideological falsehoods. In this, they rely on mainstream news media and public institutions, rendered subservient for fear of being branded ‘anti-Semitic’.
When war was considered to be a normal component in the exercise of international relations, those ministries involved were honestly named ‘war’ ministries. But with the end of the Second World War, a thoroughly war-weary humanity wanted nothing other than peace. And so ‘war’ ministries became ‘defence’ ministries – much easier to sell and therefore profit from; watch out for politicians’ circumlocution, there’s a lot of it about! Zionism is not just a threat to Palestinians, it menaces the world through service to greed and alliance with kleptocracy. So long as Zionism holds its place and influence, there can be no hope for world peace or justice.
The Encyclopaedia Britannica defines the term Semite as follows:
“Semite, member of a people speaking any of a group of related languages presumably derived from a common language, Semitic (see Semitic languages). The term came to include Arabs, Akkadians, Canaanites, Hebrews, some Ethiopians, and Aramaean tribes. Mesopotamia, the western coast of the Mediterranean, the Arabian Peninsula, and the Horn of Africa have all been proposed as possible sites for the prehistoric origins of Semitic-speaking peoples, but no location has been definitively established.”
Instead of directly, and clearly, accusing Israel’s critics of being anti-Jewish, Zionists use the misleading term ‘anti-Semitic’ in order to exclude from the public mind the very existence and right of the long-suffering indigenous Palestinian people to live, in peace, in their homeland. Zionism’s conduct and use of terminology leaves it open to the same criticism that it aims at its victims. According to its own logic, Israel’s contemptuous denial and prevention of Palestinian self-determination is, in itself, ‘anti-Semitic’. A big step forward in disabling this weaponised Zionist terminology would be for Palestinian human rights supporters never to use it themselves but to always refer to it in single quotes – that is, as ‘anti-Semitic’.
Denying the truth
An article, dated 3 December, originally published by Stuff.co.nz, and also by the Israel Institute of New Zealand, far from apologising for Israel’s barbaric abuses of human rights, actually goes to the extreme of denying the UN-recognised right of return to their homeland for ethnically-banished Palestinian refugees. To quote from the article: “. . .while there is a claim to return, there is no such right in international law.” The Zionist mind would have us believe that there was no Nakba (Catastrophe) and no United Nations resolution 194, passed in 1948, that stipulates the rightful return of all Palestinians to their homes. The Right of Return is a universally-recognised right in international refugee law that is also provided for in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Article 13), in major treaties protecting the rights of refugees in times of armed conflict under humanitarian laws, in core human rights conventions governing states’ obligations and duties. It is consistently referred to in UN resolutions. The cold indifference to the plight of refugees expressed in the article illustrates very clearly the inhumanity embedded in Zionist ideology.
The piece also lambasts John Minto, personally, for his appeal to our Government to both “finally join the right side of history and the majority of humanity by recognising the state of Palestine” and to “make its relations with Israel conditional on Israeli compliance with international law.” The coldness of Zionism is again expressed in the article with the declared hope that there would be a growing “realisation by Arab states that their interests lie much more in pursuing normal trade, cultural, diplomatic and political relations with Israel.” Greed and profit far outway humanitarian considerations, in the Zionist world view.
A video of a debate last year in London on the proposal that Anti-Zionism is Anti-Semitism is a telling example of the Zionist ideology’s remoteness from reality. Journalist and author, Melanie Phillips, together with an Israeli politician, Einat Wilf, spoke for the proposal, while Israeli Professor at Exeter University, Ilan Pappé, and Al-Jazeera journalist, Mehdi Hasan, countered with an argument against, calling for equality and respect for Palestinian human rights. It is fair to say that the debate ended with the Zionist proposal truly defeated! At the beginning of the evening, opposition to it was at 59% – by the end of the debate that had grown to 76%. Significantly, the ‘undecided‘ total had shrunk from 26% at the start to just 5%.
Recognition of Rights of Indigenous Peoples
Our new Foreign Affairs Minister, Nanaia Mahuta, has stated that this country needs to “remain committed to a multilateral rules-based trade system that works for New Zealand.” In March 2019, as Māori Development Minister, she announced a Government plan of action to drive and measure New Zealand’s progress towards the aspirations of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. In 2010 she spoke in Parliament regarding the National-led Government‘s decision to ratify the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, criticising Government caution in weakening the document presented to Parliament as non-binding and merely aspirational. Mahuta told MPs that the occasion was “not a time for window-dressing, empty promises, or hollow gains” declaring also: “In Labour we are proud to say what we mean and to do what we say.” We look forward, therefore, to a clear declaration of policy towards Israel and Palestinian human rights from Nanaia Mahuta that reflect and reinforce the values outlined above.
At an event to mark International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people three New Zealand MPs took a pledge to form a new parliamentary Palestine friendship group and to “. . . raise the voices of Palestinian people in New Zealand’s parliament”. Will Nanaia Mahuta express solidarity with this move in defence of the indigenous Palestinian people’s human rights? Israel’s profiteering from enterprises, such as arms sales and population-control technology, was acceptable to Ron Mark and the ‘Defence’ Force who, as John Minto wrote, “were oblivious to any moral issues”, with Mark simply saying that the purchase of “niche” military equipment overrode other concerns. Our Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade informs us that “New Zealand was pleased to play a role as UN Security Council president in adopting UNSC Resolution 2231” The Resolution was passed to oversee an exclusively peaceful Iranian nuclear programme following the country’s co-operation with international supervision and inspection. As is well known, Israel, the only nuclear-armed power in the Middle East, refuses any such openness regarding its own nuclear weapons programme.
In the UK, a movement to Pressure Israel to allow international inspection of its nuclear sites – Petitions (parliament.uk) has been launched. For anyone not familiar with Israel’s secretive nuclear arms programme it would be a revelation to read about the brutally-treated, heroic whistle-blower Mordechai Vanunu who, in 1986, informed the UK Sunday Times of what Israel was so secretly up to. Will the New Zealand Government be as pleased to pressure Israel to allow international inspection of its nuclear sites as it was to support UNSC Resolution 2231 and sanctions against Iran?
Zionism would not survive if world governments were to join together in adopting ethical foreign policies, aligned with international law and United Nations resolutions. With a great working majority, our Government now has an opportunity to set the world an inspirational example of rational foreign policy; one that recognises international law and human rights as paramount, and essential for the creation of a just and peaceful future.