Flying the Palestinian flag – a small but welcome change at Foreign Affairs

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After receiving heavy criticism for their advice to City Councils that flying the Palestinian flag on council buildings during this year’s Nakba Day (15 May) would give offence to the Israeli Embassy, Foreign Affairs have had a change of heart.

Instead of recommending against a council flying the flag they will now simply “provide New Zealand’s International policy settings” to councils.

This is a small but welcome change. Councils will be able to make their own decisions and take into account the sensitivities of Palestinian New Zealanders, not just the risk of giving offence to the embassy of a racist, apartheid regime.

By way of background Palestine Solidarity Network Aotearoa wrote to all councils earlier this year requesting they fly the Palestinian flag. Wellington City Councillor Tamatha Paul organised for the Michael Fowler Centre to be lit up in Palestinian colours (because the council had no flagpole!) but this was abandoned when MFAT advice was received.

Justice for Palestine activists in Wellington then projected the flag onto the side of Te Papa in response to the council decision.

The one council which did fly the Palestinian flag was New Plymouth District Council – and the sky did not fall in (see picture below)

TDB Recommends NewzEngine.com

21 COMMENTS

  1. Well done John and PSNA. The authorities never move until challenged. It was a pathetic display from MFAT, targeting displaced and under attack Palestinians in favour of diplomatic bullshit, and lets face it support for the Apartheid Israeli State and Military.

  2. This reveals a very worrying degree of interference by foreign actors in NZ domestic polítics, which must be routed out. MFAT has no mandate to interfere in domestic matters. Saying that “in future” they will not interfere is frankly not good enough. How many more times have they done this, behind the scenes? We know from our own experience that it is not the first time. I believe a full Commission of Inquiry is essential to expose what is going on behinds the scenes in MFAT, and to hold it publicly and transparently accountable for both this issue, and the many more oozing out from under the carpet.

  3. It is of concern that the ‘balanced’ and conservative approach to Palestine by central government has such an influence on local councils so this little change in policy is welcome. There was no resistance whatsoever when NPDC was approached by local PSNA, and one of the counsellors even suggested the Palestinian flag could be flown at half mast in mourning for the death of Shireen Abu Akleh, Aljazeera journalist targeted and killed by Israeli forces May 11, 2022. If more local government show support for Palestinian justice perhaps it might influence central government or am I being overly optimistic?

      • I’m perfectly serious mon ami. What happens to Gazan’s persecuted over their sexuality? Oh that’s right they flee to “apartheid” Israel. Need a link?

        • So Anne, Gazans, like gays among most of the world’s population are legally discriminated against. What a surprise. It would have been the same here if we civil rights protesters that seem to get up your nose, hadn’t participated in a strenuous campaign to have the law changed in 1986. That was before Israel changed its laws. No doubt ,the Israeli legislative change was made because US gays were previously deterred from joining the Zionist exodus to the ‘homeland’.
          As for Gazans fleeing to Israel, this came about when some smart arse in Israel started a campaign to honey-trap Palestinian gays then out them for propaganda purposes, as you will be well aware.

          • But aom, I was one of those civil rights protesters. I also campaigned for abortion rights as well. And although I tried not to get up my own nose by campaigning, I certainly got up those of many others. I’m not all bad aye.
            Why would persecuted Gazans’ fall for a honeytrap and flee to “apartheid” Israel where apparently they are not welcome? Why not Syria, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon or Jordan from whence many of their parents came?

  4. Isn’t Nakba day also the anniversary of the date that Arab states started a war with Israel.

    Maybe we should fly the German flag on 1 September…

    • In response to? Read Palestine: the Reality, J M Jefferies (1939)?
      We would resist too, declare war after perfidy on both British & Zionist sides in land ‘acquisitions’ & denial of self-determination. Resolution 194 right of return has been ratified 135 times since.
      Israel is the rogue, pariah, apartheid state.

  5. The final paragraph of Rob Taylor’s letter is a reminder of how deluded and wrongheaded the NZ Government’s policy is to Palestine, Labour or National.
    I admire your steadfastness JM.
    Kia kaha.

    • There is nothing the uniparty holds more highly than ensuring that Palestinians do not get human rights in all of Palestine.

      • Hamas and Fatah are not a uniparty though John. And even if they were women, religions and LGBTQ+ would not have equal human rights in whatever the area you designate as Palestine.

        • Not sure what you’re saying with your comment? is it that because some in Palestine do not hold the same liberal view points as you they should face murderous ethnic cleansing and apartheid?

          • You have interpreted my comment correctly. Is it some or all in Palestine that do not hold liberal views? Would you say the ban on reproductive rights is a political or religious issue? And could it interplay with future Palestinian intentions … possibly that murderous ethnic cleansing and “apartheid” you mention? There’s precedent for it isn’t there.

  6. A fake flag for a fake people. The ‘Palestinians’ are the Jews, thus designated by the Romans thousands of years ago.

  7. The sooner the apartheid state of Israel is confined to the dustbin of history the better. Every population has people that are attracted to fascist ideology. Zionism was the fascist ideology that a small percentage of eastern European Jews were attracted to in the 1890’s. What is ironic is that it took the rise and fall of German fascism and a deal with the British imperialism to create the fascist state of Israel that exists today. Why is MFAT worried about offending the apartheid creation of Zionism? The fact the state of Israel still exists is what is offensive.

  8. The sooner the apartheid state of Israel is confined to the dustbin of history the better. Every population has people that are attracted to fascist ideology. Zionism was the fascist ideology that a small percentage of eastern European Jews were attracted to in the 1890’s. What is ironic is that it took the rise and fall of German fascism and a deal with the British imperialism to create the fascist state of Israel that exists today. Why is MFAT worried about offending the apartheid creation of Zionism? The fact the state of Israel still exists is what is offensive.

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