GUEST BLOG: Lois Griffiths – What a Year 2020 Was..Guess how the Israeli Regime Spent it!

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The pandemic has been and continues to be hard on people worldwide. It’s caused many deaths, some countries hit harder than others. It’s led to the collapse of economies, the loss of jobs.

Peoples’ normal social lives are disrupted. In so many countries people are told to stay home because of the pandemic.

Everywhere, governments and the public are totally  absorbed in their own situation, and especially the US, with their own political problems. 

 Israel has taken advantage of this and gone on a demolition spree.  More Palestinians were made homeless in 2020 than in any other year, with the exception of 2016,  since the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, OCHA, began keeping records in 2009. 

Quoting from Tamara Nassar’s electronicintifada article: Israel went on Demolition Spree in 2020

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“Israel demolished and confiscated more than 850 Palestinian structures throughout the year, displacing 1,000 people. More than half of those displaced were children.

Israel targeted almost any kind of structure Palestinians need for sustainable life, including homes, agricultural buildings, infrastructure and water sanitation facilities.”

“In November alone, Israeli forces demolished and confiscated more Palestinian structures in a single month on record since 2009, according to OCHA.

November also witnessed the largest single demolition in occupied territory in years, when Israel leveled most of the occupied West Bank community of Khirbet Humsa.

Israeli forces arrived in Khirbet Humsa on 3 November and demolished 76 structures. More than 70 Palestinians were made homeless, including 41 children – totaling 11 families.”

 

Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar called the demolition “a grave crime” at the time and asserted that “the United States of America should not be bankrolling ethnic cleansing.”

This story will not surprise anyone who has been following the happenings in historic Palestine.

But I wonder how any Kiwis are aware of a New Zealand connection. 

It’s bad enough  that our academic, political, religious and media elite are indifferent and silent. The silence itself is in effect complicity.

But take a close look at the picture. It shows a house in the West Bank, near Hebron, being demolished on 29 December last year, by Israeli forces using Hyundai equipment.

Our NZ Superfund invests in Hyundai,  a South Korea firm. Data from the Superfund Equities list:

“ South Korea , Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co Ltd  $ 631, 136”

Here is one example of New Zealand, via NZ Superfund, looking the other way,  instead of divesting from a corporation profiting from the Israeli regime’s inhumanity.

There are many other examples of NZ Superfund investments that should be questioned for ethical reasons. In fact, there is a website whoprofits.org , established by the Israeli Coalition of Women for Peace, which exposes corporations that profit from the occupation. 

A good start would be to demand that the fund divest from Hyundai, in the name of humanity. 

New Zealand could provide the moral leadership so desperately needed. Think of the families, the children.  

We’re all in this together.

 

 

 

 

Lois Griffiths is a human rights activist. 

21 COMMENTS

  1. Really? this is a little tenuous.. it is after all just one digger!! and may not have even been on-sold by the company but used by 3rd parties. Should we now call for a boycott of Hyundai EV’s in NZ as well?….

    A far better example would be Caterpillar Inc which has sold for decades the armoured D9 dozer nicknamed the doobi (Hebrew: teddy bear) direct to Israel, as a weapon under the US foreign military sales programme, and which is then covered in Israel armour and used to flatten and raise Palestinian villages. Along with JCB from the UK they have faced criticism from BDS and calls for boycotts for years.

    As of 2020 NZ has $15.6M invested in CAT…

    • I can name quite a few “better examples”. Several years ago I tried to get the Superfund to divest from Caterpillar in memory of the murder of Rachel Corrie. I’ve also tried to get Superfund to divest from Israel Chemicals, now called ICL because of the use of white phosphorus on Gaza.

      The importance of this blog is the PHOTO, as the saying goes, a ‘picture is worth 1000 words’, and the timing. NOW, TODAY’S WORLD, with Covid-19 rampant. Regimes with ANY sense of decency, are helping people, not destroying their homes.

      Imagine if this is your own home being destroyed.

      If we can get ethical investment acknowledged as an urgent humanitarian issue, one example would easily lead to more. It takes a first step.

      • That’s good Lois, the closing and salient point in your blog post however appears to be a call to divest from Hyundai, a company with no historical or structural links to the IDF or by extension Israel aggression in Palestine.

        As agreed there are far better targets, we should spend our energy focusing on them.

  2. Griffiths’ false portrayal of the events at Khirbet Humsa renders dubious her other claims in this post. Khirbet Humsa was a Bedouin camp built on a live-fire range in Area C, which under the Oslo Accords is under Israeli jurisdiction. The ‘village’ consisted of 7 tents and 8 animal pens and had been illegally constructed. Every country in the world demolishes illegal structures but Griffiths typically imposes a double standard on Israel. The occupants of the ‘village’ were invited to appeal to the Israeli Supreme Court and their claim was rejected. This is truly scraping-the-barrel vilification.

    • Quoting Jeff Halper, one of the founders of The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, author of An Israeli in Palestine and War Against the People…
      New actively promoting The One Democratic One State Campaign..One State Reality,

      ” Israel is the only western country that systematically denies permits and demolishes houses of a particular national group”.

      • That’s nonsense. The Palestinians are the only neighbours who incite hatred and racism and pay their people to murder Israelis. They know Israel demolishes the homes of Palestinian terrorists. They could execute them. Houses can be rebuilt; lost lives can’t be. You always strip all context away to bolster your dodgy points. The Palestinians still refuse to recognise Israel’s right to exist, refuse to make peace with Israel, pay their terrorists to murder Jews anywhere, and still threaten Israel with destruction. You’d be better employed addressing these implacable obstacles to any better future, especially since Israel holds all the aces.

        • For God’s sake Gaby, stop making up bullshit defences for the gross injustices perpetrated by your favourite genocide perpetrators. Even the Israeli domestic media is more honest that you!
          Your accusation of Lois Griffiths stripping away context is priceless – that technique is one of your fortes. You never provide substantive evidence either.
          It has to be conceded though, you are correct on one point, “..Israel holds all the aces.” They make the racist rules, they enforce them through the IDF and the perverse use of military courts, and of course, they never accept responsibility. How Israel they will fare now though? It must be a blow that Sheldon Adelson has died. Who is going to provide the $$$ to bribe the US government to fork out the $8.3 billion per annum that should be spent on the healthcare for its own citizens instead of used to finance an immoral Zionist state.

          • You antisemites are so steeped in lies, propaganda, distortions and all round bullshit you can no longer distinguish the truth. It’s all about your sick, repugnant narrative. Thank God you’re just a tiny, deluded minority in NZ. The polls prove it.

  3. Gobys false portrayal of MLK supporting today’s Israel ,,, a settler colonial apartheid state that has Anti-Miscegenation laws and Lynchings ,,, is as absurd as most of what he writes on this site.

    Palestinian Lynched By Israeli Settlers, Media Ignore It https://youtu.be/GHMJP3S2VgI

    Israel Brutally Destroys Palestinian Homes, Bombs Gaza https://youtu.be/7-nZ-7giSfE

    Hundreds Of Palestinian Children Made Homeless In Jerusalem – Home Demolitions https://youtu.be/n2py7Twu0fY

          • Well done Gaby, you have referenced a site of Zionist sympathisers like yourself who are able to provide their own spin on any anti-Palestinian propaganda (usualy racist as well) that they like. None of it is fact checked either.

            The priceless bit is, “Are you frustrated by the sometimes one-sided dealing of the media with Israel? Are you fed up with the hypocrisy of some reporters attacking Israel, while at the same time showing sympathy for terrorists?” We all know who has the lion’s share of the media when it comes to the political propaganda of Israel!

            You really need to do better that this if you want to convince anyone with half an enquiring mind.

            • So if Jews slag Israel off they’re fine, but if they defend Israel they’re psycho Zionists? You’re even sicker than I first surmised.

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