Government agriculture seminar based on ethnic cleansing, war crimes and human rights abuses


PSNA has written to the Minister of Agriculture, Damien O’Connor, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nanaia Mahuta, urging the government to pull out of a proposed on-line seminar with Israel’s agriculture sector.

The Chief Science Advisor to the Ministry of Primary Industries, John Roche, is scheduled to speak at the on-line event on 15/16 February.

The webinar is designed to build “strategic partnerships in agriculture” with Israel, assisted by the Israeli embassy and the Aotearoa New Zealand government. This is an outrage!

“Israel’s agriculture sector is based on ethnic cleansing, war crimes and human rights abuses against the Palestinian people” says PSNA National Chair John Minto.

“Our government and our farmers should be demanding Palestinian refugees be allowed to return to their land instead of helping Israel profit from this stolen land”

Israel’s agriculture sector is based on:


  • Abuse of International law. (eg Illegal Jewish-only settlements built on occupied Palestinian land)
  • War crimes (eg Illegal settlement building on occupied Palestinian land is a war crime under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court)
  • Violation of United Nations Security Council and General Assembly resolutions. (eg UNGA 194, UNSC 242. UNSC 2334)
  • Ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from their land and the blatant refusal to allow refugees to return to their land (UNGA 194)
  • Frequent racist attacks by Israeli settlers, backed by the Israeli Defence Force, on Palestinian farmers (eg here, here, here and here
  • Seizure of water supplies and blatant theft of water from Palestinian farmers. (eg here and here)
  • Destruction of Palestinian crops and olive groves (eg here, here, and here)
  • Instances of draining sewage onto Palestinian land and crops (eg here and here)
  • Indiscriminate aerial spraying of Palestinian farmland along the border with Gaza. (eg herehere, here, and here)

“This Agritech seminar is a celebration of ethnic cleansing, war crimes and human rights abuses”.

TDB Recommends

Withdrawal is the only moral and ethical course for the government.



Background on Israel as a racist, apartheid state

Early in 2021, B’Tselem, Israel’s largest and most respected human rights organisation, released a report calling Israel “A regime of Jewish supremacy from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea: This is apartheid”

In April 2021, the Nobel-Peace-Prize-winning US-based organisation Human Rights Watch released a 213-page report detailing how Israeli policies constitute crimes of apartheid and persecution.

The recently deceased Nobel Peace prize winner and South African Archbishop, Desmond Tutu, said international solidarity such as BDS is critical to ending injustices like apartheid.

“I have witnessed the racially segregated roads and housing in the Holy Land that reminded me so much of the conditions we experienced in South Africa under apartheid,” says Tutu.

“We could not have achieved our democracy without the help of people around the world, who through… non-violent means, such as boycotts and disinvestment, encouraged their governments and other corporate actors to reverse decades-long support for the apartheid regime”

Bishop Tutu says when it comes to Israel we should “Call it apartheid and boycott!”

In Tutu’s quote above when he refers to “other corporate actors” he is referring to entities such as the Ministry of Primary Industries.

It’s also worth recording here Tutu’s words that for anyone “to be silent in the face of oppression is to take the side of the oppressor”. Taking the side of the oppressor is precisely the position the Ministry of Primary Industries is taking with Israel through this event.



  1. Nah, bad move John. With the rate at which our own arable land is being planted up with soil-depleting pines we will need cutting-edge Israeli technology within a decade to help restore balance to our land-based industries. Probably sooner. The Israelis know how to develop dry, barren, unproductive areas into watered, green and fruitful land and as the Arab world seems intent on acquiring Israeli technology why should we miss out? Our economy is already tanking faster than Joe Biden’s poll ratings.

    • What arable land is being planted with pines? Are you confused with hard hill country used for growing a type of wool which has become worthless?

    • Do you mean this sort of technology?
      Obviously you wouldn’t mean the sort that has been practiced since, probably forever by the inhabitants that have raised crops and stock there before forestation was deemed a good way of appropriating the land.

        • Kudos aom, you’ve truly surpassed yourself in the damned if you do Israel and damned if you don’t stakes. Did the recent climate conference, the one where our world “experts” flew into Glasgow in their private jets, slap a UN-backed injunction on them?
          Enough of your negative though; I was thinking bigger picture stuff … the positive side of trade and business deals (although I realise that’s not highly rated on this site) so more this:

          and this, as we’re not doing so well on renewables ourselves:

          I’ve leave you to do your own research on the benefits currently being garnered by those countries wise enough to sign onto the Abraham Accords. Shame the Palestinian leaders were so blindly intransigence. And they claim they want to progress peace!

          • Of course, an opinion piece by Zev Chafets, a journalist who was a senior aide to Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and founding managing editor of the Jerusalem Report Magazine will present a glowing opinion column. That’s what propagandist are paid to do.

            As for the three states that succumbed to US threats and bribes, they are not likely to be steadfast friends to Israel when the chips are down. It won’t take too long before they see they have been taken to the cleaners. Solar power for desalinated water? How much will Jordon get when Israel has a chronic water problem*? No doubt Jordan could have secured a far better deal elsewhere and probably will when this proposed deal predictably falls over.
            Of course, you have included your usual line, “I’ll leave you to do your own research on the benefits currently being garnered by those countries ….” . Why the evasiveness when you should be backing up your own assertions with evidence of more than a few interconnecting flights and plenty of high minded talk fests?

            • The states will take their cue from Egypt on developing and maintaining relations with Israel. They all saw what happened when the PLO took over Lebanon.
              I give you pointers for your research out of concern for you dear friend. I can’t have you growing fat and lazy by spoon-feeding you. That would never do.

              • The problem you have by not being explicit is that the your claims become questionable through a lack of supportive facts being provided. It is not rare that your claims are undone by independent research.

                Now about the US taking its cue from Egypt – do you mean it is the tail that is wagging the dog? The reality is that Egypt is only second behind Israel* when it comes to being financed by the US. To give credit where credit is due, at least Israel doesn’t always sing the songs the US choirmaster wants, as does Egypt.
                Yes, we saw what happened when Hezbollah became part of the Lebanese government in 2005. They kicked the IDF backsides out of Lebanon and cleaned out the dross after the Sabra and Shatila massacres.

                * ‘U.S. assistance to Egypt has long played a central role in Egypt’s economic and military development and in furthering the strategic partnership and regional stability. Since 1978, the United States has provided Egypt with what now totals over $50 billion in military and $30 billion in economic assistance.’ (05.01.2021). How come Egypt is on the US payroll?

                • Most countries are on the US payroll. And those who aren’t have people fleeing their brutal, misogynist dictatorships to seek asylum in the land that used to be free and the land that once had plenty. And of course once there…. white man bad…..

  2. The same old playbook and the risible insistence on the by now threadbare Tutu quotes. As if we needed further proof of derangement. ..

    • Actually, from the most recent comments, it is apparent the contributor of the comment is the one who is deranged. It is so bad that one has to wonder, has there been a change of hasbra operative. The evidence seems to show that an intellectually challenged 10 year old has taken over from the Gaby.

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