Right of Return


At 6:55pm on 23 March, Palestinian Resistance fighters launched an unguided missile from the Gaza Strip that crashed into an open area near Be’er Sheva. There were no reports of any casualties or damage. Israel then waited until the small hours of the following morning to respond, hitting Gaza with ten missiles launched in five separate air strikes between 2:20am and 2:55am. An explosion over Gaza was reported as Israeli fighter jets and attack helicopters carried out the raids. For children, especially, night-time air raids are traumatic and, although each jet fighter does at least move away quickly after air strikes, the noise made by circling attack helicopters adds an ominous extra sense of terror.

This Palestinian missile-firing was not the first this year. There was also one on 19 January. That was the day when Israel committed 13 Gaza ceasefire violations, with the Israeli Navy opening fire on and pursuing Palestinian fishing boats, while shelling by the Israeli Army damaged houses and wounded a resident. Up to and including 24 March, apart from the two Palestinian missile-firings already mentioned, the only other Palestinian violation was on 17 January. On that day, Israeli forces encountered armed resistance when they began laying waste to Palestinian land, after making an incursion into an area east of al-Farahin. Israel committed a total of 113 violent ceasefire violations over the same period, an average of well over four each day.

Never calling Israel to account

James Cleverly, the UK Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, describes himself as “a proud friend of Israel, and one which has stood up for Israel when it faces bias and unreasonable criticism”. The problem, for Cleverly, is that he is unable to deny Israel’s egregious human rights violations when questioned in Parliament. When asked about abducted Palestinian children routinely detained by Israel for interrogation, being held in solitary confinement for an average of more than 14 days, Cleverly could not deny it, lamely commenting: We remain committed to working with Israel to secure improvements to the practices surrounding children in detention and regularly raise this with the Israeli Ministry of Justice.”

When questioned about what steps he thought could be taken to prevent the destruction by Israel of Palestinian schools and other infrastructure in the West Bank, Cleverly answered, “the UK opposes Israel’s proposed demolition of a Palestinian school in al-Maleh and calls on Israel to reconsider its plans to do so.” Following this weak response, the question was again raised, this time he answered by saying he had raised concerns with the Israeli Ambassador to the UK “about demolitions of Palestinian infrastructure, including the potential demolition of schools.” Our Five-Eyes partner’s Foreign Affairs Minister appears to reflect a determination by the Western Alliance never to call Israel to account.

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Appeal to humanity

Israel’s control over Gaza is callous. On 22 March, 14 Westminster MPs tabled a Parliamentary motion, calling upon the House to condemn the “inhumane practice” of routine withholding of passes for parents to accompany their children who need medical treatment outside the Strip. Physicians for Human Rights testified that it had, since January 2018, assisted over 130 children, including breastfed babies, who needed to leave Gaza for medical treatment but whose parents were refused permission to go with them. Profound concern was expressed at “the serious psychological and physical implications for the children and the violation of their right to health.” The organisation shares its concern with Physicians for Human Rights Israel, the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the European Academy of Pediatrics and the International Society of Social Pediatrics and Child Health. As far back as 2012, the UK Government backed a UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) report that condemned constant breaches by Israel of its commitment to the Convention.

In spite of news media silence and powerful support from vested interests, ever more people are beginning to see through Zionist propaganda. In the US, Israel’s most ardent ally, a recent Gallup poll shows a small majority of Democrats now favour putting more pressure on Israel than upon Palestinians. Politicians are speaking out: Last December, two US lawmakers denounced the fatal shooting of a 15-year-old boy, Ali Abu Aalya, by Israeli forces. More US lawmakers urged Israel, as an Occupying power, to vaccinate Palestinians, while 17 House Members called for ‘continued pressure’ on Israel to meet its obligations under international law. These developments should serve to encourage our own lawmakers, those who care about justice and human rights, to raise these issues and break the silence. In the US it has been acknowledged that changing public opinion takes time to gain an appropriate influence on policymakers. The same could be said for New Zealand but, as in the US, it is certain that there is a demographic shift. The move to pressure Israel is coming more from younger and more progressive lawmakers and voters. One important principle that is gaining support is that of equal rights between Israelis and Palestinians

Zionism – from Israel’s perspective

The decades of daily suffering inflicted upon the people of Palestine never stops. It is happening right now – relentlessly. Plainly, the Zionist state is totally unperturbed by its Western allies‘ occasional, diplomatically-framed appeals. Why does Israel behave in this way? The answer can be found in the purpose of its founding ideology, Zionism. A no doubt well-meaning article, The growing issue of anti-semitism in New Zealand, by the New Zealand Race Relations Commissioner Meng Foon and Chief Human Rights Commissioner Paul Hunt, notes that “critics of Israel often condemn ‘Zionists’, but Zionism has different meanings.” Fair enough – so what is Zionism to the Israeli regime?

The Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs has published an on-line article of explanation entitled Zionism, written by Professor Benyamin Neuberger. Bearing in mind that Israel commits its war crimes while, at the same time, claiming to represent all Jews, worldwide, the article begins by defining Zionism thus: “Zionism is an ideology which expresses the yearning of Jews the world over for their historical homeland – Zion, the Land of Israel.” The author also tells us that the essence of political Zionism can be found “in Israel’s Declaration of Independence (14 May 1948).” On behalf of the multiplicity of ethnicities with cultural links to Judaism, the Declaration asserts: “The Land of Israel was the birthplace of the Jewish people”, going on to claim that “After being forcible(sic) exiled from their land, the people kept faith with it throughout their dispersion and never ceased to pray and hope for their return to it and for the restoration in it of their political freedom.” This statement leaves no room for the feelings of Jews who do not identify with the concept and who actually oppose what the Zionist regime is committing in their name. Particularly offensive to them, is the view expressed that “Central to Zionist thought is the concept of the Land of Israel as the historical birthplace of the Jewish people and the belief that Jewish life elsewhere is a life of exile.”


The Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs article goes so far as to accept hatred towards Jews as inevitable, insisting that the only place where Jews can be safe is Israel and that they will never be safe in their homelands. Referring to what he calls the “Jewish problem”, the author asserts the Zionist view that “a Jewish state in the Land of Israel, with a Jewish majority, is the only solution.” Neuberger dismisses the Palestinian people, writing that, in the late 19th Century, “the Arab population of Palestine was sparse and apolitical.” The author admits that what he calls “a clash between two peoples” is, on the one hand, the Zionist perception of the land of Palestine as Jewish “by virtue of their historical and spiritual connection” and, on the other, opposition to that from “Arabs because of their centuries-long presence in the country.” This sad dismissal of an indigenous population’s homeland identity merely as “a presence” reveals Zionism’s inherent racism. Such contempt is not solely confined to native Palestinians, as other victims of Zionist terror in both Lebanon and partly Israeli-Occupied Syria will attest. Finally, casting aside Jews opposed to Israel’s criminal violations of the Fourth Geneva Convention, the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs article falsely asserts: “Jews everywhere accept Zionism as a fundamental tenet of Judaism, support the State of Israel as the basic realisation of Zionism and are enriched culturally, socially and spiritually by the fact of Israel”.

Plain speaking

Paul Hunt and Meng Foon say: We will do all we can to ensure anti-semitism is given proper attention in the government’s National Action Plan against Racism.” Just as the authors say, “the word ‘Zionist’ needs to be clarified and understood”, so too does the term anti-Semitism. They appeal to everyone who discusses Israel and Palestine to avoid hateful language, emphasising that we should not be “anti-semitic, anti-Arab, racist, anti-Palestinian or Islamophobic”. It would have been more straightforward to have simply written ‘anti-Jewish, anti-Palestinian or Islamophobic’.

On 26 March, the Jerusalem Declaration on Antisemitism was published by JDA. In New Zealand, Sh’ma Koleinu (hear our voice) Alternative Jewish Voices (NZ) welcomed the declaration with the important observation: “We are losing the language to distinguish between debate and racism.” There can be no doubt that use of the term ‘anti-Semitism’ has contributed mightily to the confusion and uncertainty surrounding Zionism‘s purpose and practice. Zionism wins when goodhearted humanists continue to accept the term ‘anti-Semitism’ as meaning solely hatred and prejudice towards Jews. As the ideology’s chief victims are the Palestinian people, Zionism must itself be ‘anti-Semitic’. Clearly, exclusion of the Palestinian people is the very essence of political Zionism.

Right of Return – justice, peace and reconciliation

Meng Foon and Paul Hunt quite rightly say in their appeal, “don’t assign responsibility for Israeli policies to all Israelis (let alone Jews).” In Israel, among a number of anti-Zionist movements, Zochrot (“remembering” in Hebrew) has, since 2002 been working to promote acknowledgement and accountability for the ongoing injustices committed by Israel in the Palestinian catastrophe of 1948, the Nakba. Zochrot supports the Palestinian right of Return “as an extended and multidimensional process, which includes not only the physical return of refugees to this country, but also their appropriate and dignified integration in an equal, joint Palestinian-Jewish society.” Zochrot says, “Return does not mean expelling Jews from their homes, but the very opposite: The mutual existence of Palestinians and Jews in the country.” On Land Day, 30 March, Zochrot led an action and tour to expose destroyed Palestinian villages, with a number of Jewish National Fund (JNF) sites visited to re-discover their names, hidden within and beneath JNF forests and parks.

Action in New Zealand

A petition organised by the human rights organisation, Wellington Palestine/Pōneke Parihitini was presented to Parliament on 25 March, calling upon the New Zealand Government to use all available means to pressure the Israeli Government to end the detention and abuse of Palestinian children. It also called on our Government to publicly make clear its intention to join international pressure in the demand for Israel to act in accordance with international juvenile justice standards and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Wellington Palestine also reminded the Government to acknowledge that Israel is the only country in the world to automatically prosecute children in military courts. It is reasonable to expect Meng Foon, Paul Hunt and the New Zealand Race Relations Commission to support the petition, ensuring that it be given proper attention in the Government’s National Action Plan against Racism.

Zionism is the biggest obstacle to peace and respect for international law – and not only in Palestine. It is time to recognise its racially-biased purpose and direction. Militaristic, racist regimes rise and fall but Zionism has now ruled for more than 70 years, thanks to the support it has been afforded by an abundance of powerful allies. That has to change Israel must be made to answer for its atrocities – without that, the suffering will continue. It is time for the New Zealand Human Rights Commission to recognise that the Palestinian Right of Return is anathema to Political Zionism which, undeniably, defies humanitarian rules-based international relations. It has to be realised that, requiring the defenceless Palestinian people to seek a ‘negotiated’ settlement with the foreign power that militarily dictates every aspect of their lives, is to hand the Zionist regime, undeservedly, all it desires.

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Leslie Bravery
Leslie Bravery is a Londoner with vivid World War Two memories of the Nazi blitz on his home town. In 1947/1948 His father explained to him what was happening to the Palestinians thus: “Any ideology or political movement that creates refugees in the process of realising its ambitions must be inhuman and should be opposed and condemned as unacceptable.” What followed confirmed this assessment of the Zionist entity a hundredfold. Now a retired flamenco guitarist, with a lifelong interest in the tragedy of what happened to the Palestinian people, he tries to publicise their plight. Because the daily injustices they suffer barely get a mention in the mainstream news media, Leslie edits/compiles a daily newsletter, In Occupied Palestine, for the Palestine Human Rights Campaign. These days, to preserve his sanity, he enjoys taking part in a drama group whenever possible!


  1. Even if one believes in the discredited notion that foreign powers have the right to gift sovereignty over indigenous property to European colonists as was done during partitioning, Beersheba was not designated Israeli territory. Yigal Allon captured the town on October 21 1948 and expelled the Palestinian residents to Gaza where they and their descendants remain, cooped up behind a fence, unable to even visit the land that remains, by all International Law, their property. It is at least understandable why the inmates of Concentration Camp Gaza might aim their bottle-rockets and fire-kites in that direction and it raises an interesting question as to the legality of firing at one’s own land when it has been illegally occupied. Resistance to colonial occupation is an inherent right of the occupied, including armed struggle, recognised in international law.

    That Palestinians are the indigenous people of the land, descended from Jews, Samaritans, Hittites, Jebusites and a whole bunch of “ites” (originally Canaanites) is now beyond question. The Historic record is clear, likewise the Genetic record. It therefore makes little sense to introduce the logically unsound concept of “anti-Semitism” into a debate of this nature. Prior to the advent of Zionism, the Christians, Muslims and Judaics of the region were all Palestinians – they are essentially one people divided only by religion.

    I have often questioned why racism as practised against Jews merits a special name (“Antisemitism”) and, in some societies, special treatment at Law. It is obviously a misnomer, given the definition of “Semite” but if we take the common understanding of its meaning, that of its applying exclusively to Judaics, we run into several difficulties. First up is the Rule of Law which insists that Law must apply equally regardless of race or religion. I don’t think a law that dealt with theft of property belonging to a Presbyterian differently than, say, that of a Roman Catholic would stand up to scrutiny. The problem becomes even more stark when considering a law that deals differently with Black on White crime as opposed to White on Black crime.
    I suspect that Antisemitism and Racism are in fact the same thing in every respect except public perception. An act considered antisemitic should surely only be considered an offence if the same act perpetrated by anyone against any person of a different race or creed were equally an offence. The IHRA definition of Antisemitism would fail such a test.

    Personally, I think there is a deeper motive for Israel boosters preferring the “Antisemitism” concept over the generic “Racism”. It is only through special pleading that the entire Zionist project evades recognition as a racist enterprise. This is illustrated by my favourite Palestinian quote:
    “Ahhh. I get it. I don’t fight you because you came to my land, killed my father and brother then drove my mother and me out of our home. I fight you because I am antisemitic. Thanks for pointing that out. I had no idea!”

  2. It is well-documented how the Palestinians are willing to sacrifice their children for war and propaganda. Raised on a steady diet of Jew-hatred indoctrination and the glorification of terrorists as ‘martyrs’, these children are victims of brutal and callous manipulation by their own people, often members of their own families. As Israeli PM, Golda Meir insightfully stated: “We’ll have peace when the Arabs love their kids more than they hate us.”
    Israel is entitled to use whatever defence measures necessary as the Palestinians prolong the war. Think kids can’t kill? Tell that to Michael Choy’s family—their son was murdered by 12-year-old Bailey Kurariki.

    • It is also well documented that Israel is willing to kill Palestinian children:
      134 Israeli children have been killed by Palestinians and 2,172 Palestinian children have been killed by Israelis since September 29, 2000.
      1,270 Israelis and at least 10,001 Palestinians have been killed since September 29, 2000.
      11,895 Israelis and 95,299 Palestinians have been injured since September 29, 2000.
      You can read about these Palestinian children here:
      The vast majority died from gunshot to the head or chest – kill shots from a marksman. Think about it. In each case, an Israeli soldier had that child in his telescopic sight and pulled the trigger.

      • It is actually well-documented how the IDF are willing to sacrifice Palestinian children for war ,,,, they had a actual policy and operated of using ‘enemy civilians’ which is a fucked up term for their fucked up practice of using Palestinian human shields ,,,,,

        Anyone can google this war crime by the most moral war criminals in the world ,aka the Israeli army ,,, it was called their “neighborhood policy”

        “Israel: Decision to Stop Use of “Human Shields” Welcomed

        The Israel Defense Forces’ (IDF) decision to prohibit the use of Palestinian civilians as “human shields” during military operations is an important step forward ….” https://www.hrw.org/news/2002/05/09/israel-decision-stop-use-human-shields-welcomed

        gaby knows this but he can no more stop lying than the Heroe of Israel Harvey Rapestein could stop raping.

        Things like that and the IDF vandalizing and smearing shit through childreens schools and kindergartens when they occupy ground shows who is full of hate and trying to spread it.,,,,.

        “Israel never wanted to share its Holy Land. Before the UN partition plan for Palestine took effect in 1948, Zionists forcibly expelled as many Palestinians as they could — upwards of 700,000 — from the future Jewish state and its border regions.”

        I was reading about Lord Folke Bernadotte,,,,, the first UN mediator to the Arab-Israeli conflict, who stated:…… “It would be an offence against the principles of elemental justice if these innocent [Palestinian] victims of the conflict were denied the right to return to their homes, while Jewish immigrants flow into Palestine.” Lord Bernadotte paid for his candour with his life as Jewish militants assassinated him under the direction of Yitzhak Shamir, the man who would later become prime minister of Israel.”

        “Bernadotte had been chosen the United Nations mediator for Palestine four months earlier in what was the U.N.’s first serious attempt at peacemaking in the post-World War II world. As a hero of the war, when his mediation efforts on behalf of the International Red Cross saved 20,000 persons, including thousands of Jews, from Nazi concentration camps, ” ,,,


        Now if one looks up Lord Folke Bernadotte on Wikipedia they seem to low ball the number of Jews this decent man saved ,,,, and his page has 1700 edits on it ,,,, 1700 edits is absurd and abnormal ,,, I;m sure Zionists who dislike him have nothing to with it and we can all trust Wikipedia when it comes to politics and Israel

        Also note how below this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TOaxAckFCuQ ,,,there is a link which has over 2 million views ,,, and their account has been removed by youtube ,,,,

        Pro- Israel censorship ,,,, Dirty youtube

    • Hey Gaby go back to your IDF run troll camp please. You are clearly just a pawn of the Israeli military pushing a tired racist zionist agenda, popping your head up pretending to be a real NZ’er whenever anyone has the temerity to suggest that Israel abides by international law and treat the Palestinians as human beings.

      I bet when those Mosad spy scum stole NZ babies passports you were hole heartedly in support.

    • Israel’s forgotten hero: The assassination of Count Bernadotte – and the death of peace

      He was charged by the UN with bringing peace to Palestine– but died at the hands of Jewish assassins. Now, 60* years after his death, the memory of the Swedish aristocrat Folke Bernadotte is dividing Israel. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/israel-s-forgotten-hero-the-assassination-of-count-bernadotte-and-the-death-of-peace-934094.html

      *from a 10 year old article.,,, its over 70 years now.

  3. The Anti-Semitic Birth of the Zionist State: A History of Israel’s Self-Hating Founders
    “When the victims of Zionism finally have their day in court, the world will see just how cruel and racist the early Zionists really were. The world will see that Israel, today’s Zionist state, is a perfect reflection of what the early Zionists were: racist, violent, and hateful.”
    – by Miko Peled.
    (Born in Jerusalem in 1961, Peled grew up in Motza Illit to a prominent Zionist family; his grandfather, Avraham Katsnelson, signed Israel’s Declaration of Independence. His father, Mattityahu Peled, fought in the 1947–1949 Palestine war, and served as a general in the Six-Day War of 1967; later, after the Israeli cabinet ignored his investigation of a 1967 alleged Israeli war crime, he became an advocate for an Israeli dialogue with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).

  4. One of the antisemites’ favourite mantras is that Zionism is racism. This is nonsense. Zionism is the national liberation movement of the Jewish people which holds that Jews, like any other nation, are entitled to a homeland. Despite Bravery’s claims, 90% of Israelis are Zionists, 95% of US Jews are Zionists. Even the New York Times, not particularly friendly to Israel, rubbishes this lie.
    In 1991, the Israel-hostile UN repealed the disgraceful, hateful motion passed to promulgate this vile antisemitism denigrating the Jews, the world’s biggest victims of racism, so why persist with the lie (futilely) to try to deligitimise the world’s only Jewish state? Very revealing.

  5. Palestinians are one the wrong side of history because they chose to accept money from Iran’s terrorist offshoots Hezbollah and Hamas. Israel is now has diplomatic relations with several Sunni states on the southern side of the Gulf and has unofficial relations with more.

    In one of the Doha debates a few years ago, the motion that “Palestinians are their own worst enemy” won…with an Arab audience.

    • Cite your evidence – sounds like the bullshit Gaby comes up with. When you do so, remember that you have been taken down before with your own walks in the parks of racist disingenuous propaganda.

  6. Another favoured canard of Bravery’s….it’s been buried so many times it stinks…is that Arabs (hilarious, since they come from ARABIA as the name suggests) are the indigenous people of Palestine. Everyone, except the obtuse antisemites, know, of course that this is nonsense. Here, a native American, who knows something about indigeneity, puts this old canard through the mincer, definitively and for all time. Brilliant article.
    As for the demolition of buildings, Israel has every right, the same as any other nation, to take down illegal buildings on public land, often constructed by interfering EU NGOs.

    • Gabys Harvey weinsteis script stinks ……

      Palestine was named after its indigenous people living there ,,,,know as the Palestinians ….
      There were Muslim, Christian and Jewish Palestinians

      ,,,, Miko Peleds mother was one ,,, she would not steal / take a house from her former neighbors ,,,, the ethnically cleansed non-Jewish Palestinians

      Harvey Rapestein …. https://youtu.be/pGjy-u0AFgg?t=438 one of the Women who helped bring him down has been banned from twitter ,,,, gaby will be celebrating

    • Here is “obtuse antisemite” Jewish professor of genetics at Hebrew University in Israel: Palestinians are: “descendants of a core population that lived in the area since prehistoric times, albeit religiously first Christianized then largely Islamized, and all eventually culturally Arabized.”
      Now obviously she might not be as knowledgeable as a Native American , “a Métis from the Paddle Prairie Metis settlement in Alberta, Canada” on the subject of Middle East genealogy to a Zionist desperate for the merest skerrick of myth reinforcement but to the other 99.999999% of humankind with an IQ above room temperature, she probably rates.
      Here is Eran Elhaik, Israeli-American geneticist and bioinformatician, and an associate professor of bioinformatics at Lund University in Sweden. His research uses computational, statistical, epidemiological and mathematical approaches to fields such as complex disorders, population genetics, personalised medicine, molecular evolution, genomics, paleogenomics and epigenetics – on Jewish raial identiry:
      “…over 90 per cent of Ashkenazic ancestors come from that converted partially Greek-originating ancient community in north-east Turkey.”

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