Free Mike Treen

Written By: - Date published: 8:15 am, July 31st, 2018 - 72 comments
Categories: human rights, International, israel, Palestine - Tags:

Unite Union’s Mike Treen has been arrested in International waters by Israeli forces for being part of a flotilla that wanted to deliver medical supplies to Gaza.

From Daily Blog:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OZ7prhn5eMc

Mike Treen is the National Director of the Unite Union, and a veteran human rights defender. and our New Zealand representative on the international Freedom Flotilla to Gaza.

He pre-recorded this urgent SOS message (above) in the advent of the Freedom Flotilla boat, the Al Awda, being hijacked by Israeli forces.

Please also see the earlier post – ‘Freedom Flotilla boat hijacked by Israeli forces’ – regarding this unlawful and unwarranted attack which began late last night (NZ time).

Subsequent news items indicate that the boat has been forced to the southern Israeli port of Ashdod.

Please view Mike’s important message and urgently contact the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Rt Hon Winston Peters, asking him to demand the Israeli government immediately release all flotilla participants and ensure the cargo of medical aid is promptly delivered to Gaza. His email address: w.peters@ministers.govt.nz

Here is some background from Al Jazeera about the arrest and the flotilla:

If you want more background this Stuff article about veteran peace protester Roger Fowler provides some information. Stuff also allowed David Cummin Director of the Israel Institute of New Zealand to respond in the same article.

72 comments on “Free Mike Treen”

  1. bwaghorn 1

    Brave but futile action .
    Did the flotilla truly think it would go any other way. ?

    • mickysavage 1.1

      I think they should do it every year.

      Shows Israeli Government to be a cold heartless entity and that Palestine is not a sovereign nation.

    • Jeff 1.2

      And do you think they shouldn’t have done this just because it might be hard?

  2. Adrian Thornton 2

    @mickysavage +1

  3. Venezia 3

    The Freedom Flotilla is shining a light on human rights abuses in Gaza. The people who sailed on the Al-Awda are courageous human beings willing to challenge the Israeli thugs who have kidnapped than in international waters – an act of piracy. And Israel, the apartheid state is able to continue their violent dispossession of Palestinian people because the rest of the world chooses to look the other way.

  4. Bewildered 4

    Israel should just ignore them,the publicity of the arrest is what Mike and his ilk want, let them thorough drop off their supplies then bye, the likes of mike teen would then not have a stage to virtue signal and would get bored very quickly

    • You live in Gaza I take it.

      Hows the weather there, mate?

      • Bewildered 4.1.1

        Not sure today, but interestingly I have been to gaza a number of times, what say you

        • WILD KATIPO 4.1.1.1

          Good for you, were you in the Israeli military then?

          • Bewildered 4.1.1.1.1

            Thanks and no, I travelled though there a number of times to get to the Sinai / Egypt through the Ramallah gate, You have pretty strong position on the area, have you been their

            • te reo putake 4.1.1.1.1.1

              ” … Sinai / Egypt through the Ramallah gate”

              Huh? That’s a bit like going from Auckland to Whangerei via Hamilton as Ramallah is in the west bank, not Gaza.

              Did you mean the Damascus gate?

    • halfcrown 4.2

      Tell me Bewildered. Something that has always puzzled me Perhaps you can answer
      Somalians attacking shipping in international waters off Somalia are known as pirates, thugs, scum and the worlds navies do their best to try to stop the attacks on the shipping.
      Whereas Jewish thugs attacking an unarmed merchant ship in international waters off Gaza are called “commando’s” and is supported by the likes of America and the UK etc.
      What’s the difference?
      Perhaps you can tell me why these two groups doing the same thing are treated differently.

      • Bewildered 4.2.1

        No difference both been pirates and flotilla are both intending to commit a crime In the flotilla case in Israel territorial waters , the flotilla expressing directly and acting on such. Israel is simply taking action to the prevent the inevitable from happening before it reaches its territorial waters, as would any rationale actor Further more the flotilla want Israel to take action so really a win win for all as per WK point below re protesting

        • Adrian Thornton 4.2.1.1

          From what I understand they were heading to Gaza not Israel, therefore Israel have no right to interfere with their voyage.
          Unless you think Israel should be allowed to operate outside of international law?

          • Bewildered 4.2.1.1.1

            Pursuant to the Oslo Accords signed in 1993, the Palestinian Authority became the administrative body that governed Palestinian population centers while Israel maintained control of the airspace, territorial waters and border crossings with the exception of the land border with Egypt which is controlled by Egypt.

            • Adrian Thornton 4.2.1.1.1.1

              Oh that’s right the same Oslo accord that allowed the building of a airport, which Israel destroyed, and a port which Israel also destroyed (as it was being built) amongst many other outrageous Israeli violations to those accords.

              • Bewildered

                Just answering your question on Territorials waters, that was your question, can’t comment on your other points as not across these acts

        • halfcrown 4.2.1.2

          Thank you for the condensing answer Bewildered. You completely missed the point, didn’t you?
          Let me put it another way When is the world going to condemn this rogue state like any other rogue state for their actions.
          Most interesting you classify the ship carrying supplies as the same as the pirate’s
          That being the case why were they not arrested before they left port for piracy? Whatever you say the fact is, the ship was attacked in international waters irrespective of where they were heading or is it a case that international law no longer applies to the Jews.

          • Bewildered 4.2.1.2.1

            You ask for a reply just because you dont like the answer that infuriates your bias does not make it condescending Suggest you debate to learn rather than to win, easier on the blood pressure

            • Bewildered 4.2.1.2.1.1

              By the wsy I never siad
              Flotilla where pirates, I siad they where intending to break the law, not necessarily committing piracy which is also breaking the law , that is the similarity both law breaker, not both pirates, hope that’s a bit clearer

  5. If people genuinely believe there is need of exposure of bad practice the only way is to protest , highlighting and embarrassing the govt responsible. It was a peaceful protest, not a violent one.

    Repeated protests will garner yet more publicity on the TV’s and social media globally .. however the problem comes when the authorities take it one step too far and someone is killed. We have already read about repeated tasering of Treen and co,… those military personnel do not know if there is a preexisting heart condition as some were older , notwithstanding the roughhousing they already received …

    Lets hope they all get home without further incident.

    Interesting also – and some here need to be REMINDED, that the incident apparently occurred in international waters… and that constitutes kidnapping on the high seas…

    • Bewildered 5.1

      Not disagreeing with you just arguing from Israeli side, if they want to stop this charade every year ( my view, I respect others won’t agree) don’t play into protesters hand, similar arguement re Goff been played by Lauren Southern

      • Stuart Munro 5.1.1

        Well if you’re going to argue the Israel side, you know they could just stop shooting uncle tom cobbly and all and pretend to be a grown up country for a change. Save everyone a lot of trouble.

        • Bewildered 5.1.1.1

          Probably a wee bit more complicated than that,

          • WILD KATIPO 5.1.1.1.1

            Yeah rocks hurt when they thud on Israeli helmets , eh.

            • Bewildered 5.1.1.1.1.1

              Probably a wee bit more complicated than that, but slowly getting there

              • Yes, yes , yes, we all know about Hamas, Russians and bombs and bullets.

                But out of two million who live in Gaza,… are they all Hamas operatives,? … even the little old lady’s?

                Seriously?

                Come on.

                • Bewildered

                  Slowly but surely teasing out the complexities here, current day but also past and managing future contexts

                  • And you are acting condescendingly and patronizing to others on this site. We are all well aware of those complexities and the fact that ‘ Hamas’ has family members shielding them etc. There. Was that so hard to say?

                    However, the question remains, out of the two million inhabitants of Gaza, – are they ALL Hamas operatives?

                    Obviously not.

                    And that wall the Israelis built pushing through Palestinian property, using hard military force to bully civilians and a blockade to basically keep the population in poverty seems a little similar to the Warsaw Ghetto , don’t you think?

                    I’ve no great love for either party but mistreatment of any people including Palestinians and Israelis is wrong, – and so is by association detaining , physically assaulting foreign nationals when they were in designated international waters protesting as that was their legal right to do so.

                    It is not all right for a belligerent Israeli military or any other military to push their weight around for any reason and start breaking the law.

                    And it appears this is what has happened.

                    • Bewildered

                      Gazza has not always been shut it was given Autonomy, troops pulled out in 1993 with Oslo accord , people could cross into Israel and Egypt for work and trade it was Hamas who choose to abuse that position with Rockets, bombs, terrorist acts hence what we have the very unfortunate position today

                    • Adrian Thornton

                      “and the fact that ‘ Hamas’ has family members shielding them etc.”
                      Can you please provide (neutral )links to support that statement.

                      Or if we are talking about the recent Gaza prison fence protests, video footage.

                      thanks.

                      In the meantime, here is some actual footage if IDF using civilians as human shields.

                    • No , I’m not going to supply any link because we know that one reason for all the drama is that Hamas ,the IRA or any other outfit have family connections and those family’s will more often than not shield their sons and daughters from harm and retribution.

                      And many wouldn’t even share their children’s political points of view. But they will provide sanctuary rather than just hand them over .

                      Its splitting hairs to then claim they don’t.

                    • @ Bewildered

                      Yes indeed, that may be the case politically and perhaps HAMAS was too radicalized to enter into negotiations with. However , you don’t root out a group that is ideologically opposed to you by further oppressing the larger group that may not even support Hamas views.

                      All you do is exacerbate a situation and guarantee you will create new generations rising up against you . But one cant help but think in doing so,.. the Israelis saw an opportunity to annex new territory for their Kibbutz. And ignore international views that it was not just illegal, but genocidal.

                  • bwaghorn

                    The only cure would be to give Gaza’s people as many guns as Israel has . Once they are both sick of bleeding ray might look for peace.

          • Stuart Munro 5.1.1.1.2

            Doesn’t have to be.

  6. Jenny 6

    NZ Parliamentarians silence is consent.

    After the vessel he was on was illegally boarded in International Waters, latest reports are that Mike Treen was tasered multiple times and two other peace activists were so badly beaten by the Israeli soldiers that they were put in hospital

    These extremely serious allegations of brutality and illegality perpetrated on New Zealand citizen Mike Treen in International Waters by agents of the Israeli government, at the very least, need to questioned by our Foreign Affairs Minister, and a statement made as to their validity.

    If not, questions of the Minister need to raised in the House.

    Will they?

    Silence means consent.

    Unite Union UPDATE: Mike Treen repeatedly tasered by Israeli Occupation Forces, other injured and hospitalised

    We have now received a direct report from Mike in Givon Prison.

    He was tasered repeatedly by the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) while in the wheelhouse of the Al Awda and subsequently tightly handcuffed. He received injuries to his face and head and was bleeding but is now recovering.

    Of Mike’s fellow flotilla members one was tasered in the head, a 69 year old female surgeon received a head injury and a senior Canadian passenger was received a foot injury and had to be treated in hospital.

    The IOF takeover of the boat conducted by armed and masked soldiers was clearly violent with many passengers & crew assaulted, roughly handled and hit.

    Local civil rights lawyers met with all those detained a few hours ago. All their belongings, including their passports have been seized and not returned, despite promises they would if they co-operated.

    Despite KiaOra Gaza contacting the New Zealand Hon. Consul in Tel Aviv requesting assistance we are unaware of any contact, visit or action from the New Zealand Government or its representatives to assist.

    The next flotilla boat, the “Freedom” continues to approach Gaza.

  7. Jenny 7

    Questions for answer by the Minister:

    Why is the New Zealand Hon. Consul in Tel Aviv, (who gets his warrant from the Minister), refusing to demonstrate even the most basic minimum duty of care to New Zealand citizen Mike Treen?

    Supplementary questions:

    Does, or does not, the New Zealand Hon. Consul in Tel Aviv answer to the Minister?

    And if the NZ Consul in Tel Aviv does answer to the Minister, Why is the New Zealand Consul in Tel Aviv refusing to communicate with or contact or investigate the conditions and treatment that New Zealand citizen Mike Treen is being illegally detained under, in International Law?

    In the light of previous attempts by Israeli government agents to steal and forge New Zealand passports, why is the New Zealand Hon. Consul not demanding that the documents and possessions of New Zealand citizen Mike Treen be returned to him?

    • SPC 7.1

      Wendy Hinton took up the role of Ambassador to Turkey in March 2018. She is also Ambassador to Israel and Jordan.

      Based in Turkey, as you say what is the Hon. Consul there doing, and are they under instruction of the Ambassador, MFAT or the Minister?

    • Tuppence Shrewsbury 7.2

      When do embassies ever go out of their way to help citizens who have gone overseas with the express purpose of committing crimes?

      Only the Russians as far as I know.

      Do you agree with Putin’s meddling then?

      • halfcrown 7.2.1

        What is the crime Mike Treen has committed?

        • WILD KATIPO 7.2.1.1

          The ‘crime’… was staying in international waters which the Israelis have no jurisdictions over and wanting to drop off medical supply’s. To which the Israelis have no proof that they were ever going to do anything illegal by delivering them.

          This is typical overreach and heavy-handedness by the Israeli military.

  8. SPC 8

    It’s past time Gaza was sorted. This probabaly requires a UN nation building mission that would end the Israeli blockade and also Hamas rule – so which would object more?

    • Rosemary McDonald 8.1

      “It’s past time Gaza was sorted. This probably requires a UN nation building mission..”

      Or maybe not…

      http://tari.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=14&Itemid=15

      What Has Been the Role of the UN in the Israel-Palestine Struggle by Phyllis Bennis

      Pocket history.

      • Draco T Bastard 8.1.1

        The UN were the ones that caused the problems when they went against their founding charter by allowing and even encouraging the invasion of Palestine by the Jews.

    • Exkiwiforces 8.2

      The Useless Nations couldn’t organise a piss up in a brewery, let a lone a root in a knock shop with a fist full of fifties.

      It would be nice to see the UN get some backbone and boot both IDF/ IOF along with Hamas out Gaza, but the so-called chosen people would run off crying to their dear Uncle Sam for help as the nasty UN steps up to the crease wracking everyone out of Gaza.

  9. Observer Tokoroa 9

    Three Questions

    Is it wrong for Israeli people to defend themselves ?

    Is it right for Hamas Leaders to place their people in danger ?

    Why can Hamas Leaders and Israel Leaders ignore seeking Peace ?

    • mickysavage 9.1

      Three answers.

      1. No but stopping private boats in international waters carrying medical supplies for what is meant to be a sovereign state is not defending yourself.
      2. If you mean should actions by some individuals justify the state of Israel from breaking International Law as well as shooting unarmed civilians engaged in peaceful protest then the answer is you have to be joking.
      3. We will not have peace until Israel starts to act like a civilised nation and not a rogue state.

      • Gosman 9.1.1

        1. Stopping boats in international waters from reaching a place where the quasi-government is undertaking agressive military action against another country is entirely lawful according to investigations carried out by an international panel including Geoffrey Palmer.

        2. Use of deadly force to defend borders is not against international law. Deliberately targeting unarmed civilians may be but that will need to be investigated.

        3. Israel has acted in a very civilised manner before and still has been the target of both passive and active aggression from it’s neighbours.

        I don’t particular like what the current Israeli government does nor what Israel has done in the past in relation to the Occupied territory but I don’t think Israel is any worse than other nations in the region (e.g. Turkey).

        • Stuart Munro 9.1.1.1

          Stopping boats in international waters is a crime.
          Targeting unarmed civilians is a war crime.
          Israel have acted like the murderous, barbaric, scumbags they have repeatedly proven themselves to be.

          “I don’t particular like what the current Israeli government does but I never fail to endorse it” ~ Gosman

          “And on the pedestal these words appeared,
          My name is Gossiemandias, fink of finks,
          Look on my words, non-righties and despair…”

        • Draco T Bastard 9.1.1.2

          Israel is pure barbarism.

          But I’m not surprised a RWNJ supports them – RWNJs are barbarians as well.

    • Draco T Bastard 9.2

      1. They’re not defending themselves – they’re invading Palestine. So, is it wrong for Palestinians to defend themselves against an invasion?
      2. The people placing the Palestinians in danger are the people invading Palestine and their supporters.
      3. Israel will not seek peace as they’re after Ersatz Israel. That includes quite a bit more land than merely Palestine and requires the forceful removal of all peoples who presently occupy those lands.

    • KJT 9.3

      Is it wrong for Palestinians to violently object to, being evicted from their homes at gun point, bombed, imprisoned, blockaded and starved by Israel at wim.

      I think I would be a little pissed off, also.

      • Gosman 9.3.1

        If they truly want peace then they will have to stop taking the violent apprach to resistance. Doing so only allows Israel to carry out actions such as the blockade of Gaza.

        • KJT 9.3.1.1

          Hasn’t worked for them so far. I suspect the last thing Israel wants is peace. Their excuse for grabbing even more Palestiniann land would be gone.

          • Tricledrown 9.3.1.1.1

            And the massive military aid the US gives its Sheriff of the middle East.
            With the Deputy being Saudi Arabia.

  10. Observer Tokoroa 10

    Hi Micky Savage

    I have a deep respect for You – because you deserve it.

    But I think many many Israeli people would like Peace. Calling them a Rogue Nation is to brand them without a Soul or a Heart or Intelligence.

    I would wish that you call on both the so called “states” to take up Peace.

    When has Hamas ever offered to lift a finger towards real Peace – Mickey ?

    • joe90 10.1

      When has Hamas ever offered to lift a finger towards real Peace – Mickey ?

      As far back as 1989, and as recently as last year.

      In a 2004 report published by the highly regarded International Crisis Group, “During the 1987-1993 uprising, Hamas leaders proposed various formulas for Israeli withdrawal to the June 4th 1967 borders, to be reciprocated with a decades’-long truce (hudna).” That same report notes that, “In a March 1988 meeting with Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres, and then with Defense Minister Rabin in June 1989, Hamas leader (now FM) Mahmud Zahar explicitly proposed an Israeli withdrawal to the 1967 boundaries, to be followed by a negotiated permanent settlement.” The offer was refused. (13)

      https://www.counterpunch.org/2006/06/12/setting-the-record-straight-on-hamas/

      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/may/01/hamas-new-charter-palestine-israel-1967-borders

    • mickysavage 10.2

      Observer the body count is so one sided and the breaches of International Law so pronounced that it is no longer a battle, it is a one sided fight. Hamas and Palestine are on their knees. Israel could take the moral position by stopping the shooting and the land grab and recognising Palestine’s right to exist then I suspect peace could be achieved.

      • Bewildered 10.2.1

        Hamas could also piss off and give there people a chance They have no credibility as an agent of peace or someone the Israeli will deal with as spokesman for the Palestinian people nor willl the west negotiate with them The Palestinian people need to make a choice

        • Adrian Thornton 10.2.1.2

          @Bewildered, You forgot to mention that Netanyahu’s violent Government should piss off at the same time if peace if the outcome we are all hoping for….the Israeli people need to make a choice.

          • WILD KATIPO 10.2.1.2.1

            Yep,… seems like both the right wing Israeli govt and Hamas should both do a bit of pissing off. But as we know that wont happen at least in Israels case because its a military stronghold for the USA and Europe. Not to mention a money go round for the same. And then there’s the Rothschild’s and their peculiar involvements…

          • Bewildered 10.2.1.2.2

            Agree but Palestinians are not in a position to dictate, hence they control Hamas they can’t control Israel or the west They need to make a choice if they want a future better than they have now and this includes swallowing a few dead rats Dipsticks like Treen running around ain’t helping them

    • Draco T Bastard 10.3

      Calling them a Rogue Nation is to brand them without a Soul or a Heart or Intelligence.

      Israel is a rogue nation supported by the other rogue nation the US.

      And it doesn’t matter what those many think if their nation acts the way it does. That’s the thing about democracy – every person in that nation is directly responsible for the actions of that nation.

  11. BM 11

    Mike Treen is getting what he wanted.

  12. veutoviper 12

    RNZ is reporting that Mike Treen is now on his way back to NZ via Hongkong.

    https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/363120/nz-union-leader-heading-home-after-israel-detention

    “Unite Union national secretary Gerard Hehir said Mr Treen flew out of Tel Aviv earlier today on a plane to Hong Kong and from there would travel to Auckand.

    He said Mr Treen was expected back in New Zealand around lunchtime tomorrow, but there could be complications as the Israeli authorities refused to return his passport.”

  13. Chris T 13

    Pre-recorded urgent SOS message saying they have been hijacked

    Says it all really

    • Stuart Munro 13.1

      You don’t understand the logistics.

      When Rosa Parks rode the bus it wasn’t just out of the blue, the signs were already printed and the demonstration prepped (Alastair Cooke explained this in one of his letters).

      In dealing with misbehaving far-right numpties, preparation is a must.

      Gandhi’s salt protest likewise wasn’t at random, it requires international attention to bring iniquitous states to heel.

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