Kia Ora Gaza’s Open Letter to Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters

Written By: - Date published: 6:45 am, July 14th, 2018 - 42 comments
Categories: israel, Palestine - Tags:

Israel’s slow motion eradication of Palestine over the last 100 years

 

Dear Mr Peters,

We call on the NZ Government to urgently demand the Israeli authorities end the inhumane blockade of Gaza and allow the 2018 Freedom Flotilla to Gaza safe and unhindered passage to their destination – the port of Gaza.

We are pleased to announce that our New Zealand nominee, Mike Treen, has been selected to join the 2018 international Freedom Flotilla to Gaza. Mike is a life-long human rights campaigner and the National Director of the Unite Union. You may recall that in 2016 Kia Ora Gaza facilitated Green MP Marama Davidson’s participation on a similar mission with the Women’s Boat to Gaza.

Mike will join many other prominent human rights advocates from around the world and international media personnel on this peaceful and non-violent civil society mission to challenge Israel’s illegal and inhumane 11-year naval blockade of Gaza. This flotilla will also highlight the struggle for human rights and freedom in Palestine.

Due to depart Sicily in mid-July, the four-boat flotilla will draw world attention to the devastating effects of the cruel blockade imposed on the 2 million Palestinians isolated in Gaza, and demand an end to Israel’s harsh siege, military attacks, and territorial confinement that severely restricts community development and nation building, and obstructs efforts towards peace. The flotilla also aims to allow Palestinian voices to be heard, especially during these times of extreme injustice and enforced hardship.

We also acknowledge the recent eighth anniversary of the massacre on the Mavi Marmara-led peace flotilla in 2010, when 10 civilians were murdered during a violent raid by Israeli commandos; an outrageously illegal attack in international waters that continues to go unpunished. However, this brutal assault doesn’t compare with the continual violence and remorseless occupation inflicted on Palestinians while world leaders fail to act. Ending Israel’s colonial-settler occupation, siege and aggression is pivotal to bringing about peace in the region and the world.

Many homes, vital infrastructure, schools and hospitals in Gaza have been destroyed by repeated Israeli bombings. Primarily as a result of this destruction and siege, 95% of the water is undrinkable and electricity is reduced to a few hours per day. Israel’s siege and naval blockade severely restricts the movement of goods and people resulting in extreme levels of unemployment and impoverishment. The over-stretched medical services are in crisis and unable to cope with the high levels of injuries and deaths from Israel’s on-going military attacks. Gaza, one of the world’s most densely populated areas, is also known as the ‘world’s largest open air prison.’ A United Nations report states that Gaza will be uninhabitable by 2020. In order to prevent this horrifying prediction the siege and naval blockade must be immediately lifted.

Mike’s participation in this important mission has been facilitated by Kia Ora Gaza and supported by many hundreds of fellow New Zealanders. The Freedom Flotilla, endorsed by many NGOs in Palestine and by civil society organisations around the world, seeks to bring a message of hope and solidarity with the Palestinian struggle for peace and justice and the right to return.

The 2018 international Freedom Flotilla to Gaza will also carry a quantity of urgently needed medical aid, and like previous peace missions, the flotilla poses no threat whatsoever to Israel. However, in light of Israel’s illegal interception and seizure of previous Gaza-bound boats in international waters, we call on the NZ Government to urgently demand the Israeli authorities end the inhumane blockade of the Gaza Strip and allow the 2018 Freedom Flotilla safe and unhindered passage to their destination – the port of Gaza.

We look forward to your prompt response.

Yours sincerely,

Roger Fowler QSM,
Chair, Kia Ora Gaza Trust.

Endorsed by:

Janfrie Wakim, Spokesperson for the NZ Palestine Human Rights Campaign

Debbie Abbas, National Secretary, NZ Palestine Solidarity Network

42 comments on “Kia Ora Gaza’s Open Letter to Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters”

  1. Tuppence Shrewsbury 1

    Maybe if the Palestinians had opened their hearts and homes to the Jewish refugees all those years ago and stopped trying to drive them out, they wouldn’t have lost so much of their “nation”

    • Brigid 1.1

      What the fuck are you talking about?

    • joe90 1.2

      all those years ago and stopped trying to drive them out,

      The prospect of being ethnically cleansed does rather upset people.

      /

      In 1928, Frederick Kisch, the chairman of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, told Weizmann that he had “always been hoping and waiting for” a solution of “the racial problem of Palestine” by way of a transfer of its Arabs to Mesopotamia.

      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2004/jan/14/israel

    • solkta 1.3

      Maybe if we had just given them the South Island they wouldn’t have needed to steal land off the Palestinians.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.4

      So, Italians should now lose all their land to all the people that try to settle there against the will of the Italians? And Australians should lose all their land to all the boat people.

      Yeah, I don’t think you’ve really thought about this. You’re just trying to come up with another excuse for the atrocities that the Jewish people have committed against the Palestinians.

      • Bill 1.4.1

        … the atrocities that the Jewish people have committed against…

        Do you think it might be wise and more accurate to refer to “Zionists” or “Israeli state” instead of “Jewish people” there DTB?

        Running through the Jews who are known to me – they’re all abhorred by the shit that’s going on.

        And…not quite a straight comparison I know, but would you ever refer to Nazi atrocities as somehow belonging to Protestant people?

        • corodale 1.4.1.1

          Don’t you mean Catholic? Mr H was a good little Austrian choir boy who considered becoming a priest. Though Free Mason Switzerland also had strong political influence. The Protestant north went with the flow.

          “…but would you ever refer to Nazi atrocities as somehow belonging to Protestant people?” Bill

    • dukeofurl 1.5

      The Palestinians got two bad deals after 1917
      1) They became part of a British Colony which was made up from the Ottoman provinces ( or Sanjaks) of Jerusalem, Nablus and Acre . The intially it was under military admin before league of nations created Mandate of Palestine .

      2) The British appointed the Zionist politician Herbert Samuel as High Commissioner/Governor

      Jordan had a similar process creating a mandate of Trans Jordan but local government was left in the hands of a Hashemite Emir or King

      • Wayne 1.5.1

        The idea of two states in the Palestinian mandate has its origins before the turn of the twentieth century. It was encapsulated in the Balfour Declaration of 1917.

        That is why the map shown for 1917 is extremely misleading. It would have been much more sensible to take 1948 as the starting point when the whole of the West Bank was available.

        Anyway there its zero prospect of Winston Peters buying into the letter, at least not without some reciprocal gesture from Hamas. For instance accepting the state of Israel as a legitimate state.

        • dukeof url 1.5.1.1

          The other declaration that the British made by McMahon to the Arabs which led to the rebellion in the Hejaz and other Ottoman territories was for an Arab homeland too.
          Then there was the then secret Sykes Picot agreement to divide the area up between Britain and France

          To top it all off the Brits were in secret negotiations later on with some of the Ottoman leadership ( and where big bribes were paid) were for the Middle East to be self governing but under the nominal Ottoman flag in return the Turks would leave the war.

          Must must must implement Balfour declaration ?

          • Wayne 1.5.1.1.1

            I am not doubting your record of the history. But the present day reality is that the state of Israel has been established. It can’t be wished away. The only way it goes away is if it is militarily defeated and completely occupied. I can’t see that happening in the next century. It could only happen in a world war where the west is comprehensively defeated. The balance of power (nuclear weapons) means that can’t really happen. And Israel itself has nuclear weapons. They would use them in an existential war, if it was the only way to survive. Sodom and Gomorrah is a 3,000 year old memory of what they will do to guarantee their survival.

            So Hamas and the PLA need to find a way to settle, not hold out false hope to their people. Yes, they will be negotiating from a position of weakness, but waiting will only increase that weakness.

            BDS etc will not move Israel in the slightest. Israel is too determined and has too many powerful friends (not just in the US, but in Russia as well). For instance Germany (the govt) can never really participate in BDS. If the German people do, the govt has to effectively compensate for that. Their history basically guarantees that, and will do so for at least another 100 years.

            • McFlock 1.5.1.1.1.1

              The thing is that it takes two to negotiate. It really looks like bb and co are focusing on removal rather than reconciliation.

              There was a hope with Rabin, but I don’t see a good way out of the current situation.

            • corodale 1.5.1.1.1.2

              Come on Wayne, Ya never heard of civil war? Oh, but not in Israel, they are too civilised? French media reported on a street in Israel that boycotts Israel, mainly selling products from Palestine. From here it seems the Israeli State is split into two main groups of power, Jewish and Satanists.

            • Blazer 1.5.1.1.1.3

              @Wayne..you say that Israel has nuclear weapons…Mossad is knocking at your door to wire your jaws shut!

              List of states with nuclear weapons
              NPT-designated nuclear weapon states (China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, United States)
              Other states with nuclear weapons (India, North Korea, Pakistan)

            • Stuart Munro 1.5.1.1.1.4

              “BDS etc will not move Israel in the slightest.”

              No problem. We can stand it as long as they can. They want to be the Middle Eastern North Korea the only thing we can do wrong is suck up to them like you do Wayne.

              • Wayne

                SM,
                Almost certainly we can’t stand it as long as they can. The Israelis will stick this (BDS) out for many decades. Having basically walled themselves off from the rest of the Middle East, they are basically invulnerable.

                And in the west, Israel has many long term supporters. BDS is no more than a pinprick, for the reasons I outlined above. Israel’s supporters are much more determined than its opponents.

                Even the current Saudi regime is relaxing its opposition to Israel, which really means it is reducing its support for the Palestinians. That is potentially very significant as a pressure point on the Palestinians.

                • lprent

                  Israel’s supporters are much more determined than its opponents.

                  So inform me Wayne – what do you think is the end game for the Israelis with the Palestinians? After all they hold all of the military might.

                  I just see the Israelis indulging in a ultimately bit of ethnic cleansing. Because as it stands, the Israelis are slowly cutting up the West bank into security zones with checkpoints to protect their settlements on land seized by military force, and occasionally shooting protesters.

                  They will probably be cheered on by useful idiots who deny what is blindingly obvious right up until the time that they toss up their hands and say that they didn’t see that coming.

                  Then their zealots will probably start on their Arab citizens for an encore. I hope that you can live with your support at the end.

            • Dukeofurl 1.5.1.1.1.5

              Current facts has allways been Israel’s mantra, and this year’s facts is different to 10 years ago.

              I just raised all the various British agreements in WW1 just to show Balfour wasn’t the only game going.
              During WW1 it was the Russian empire which was seen as the hated supporter of the pogroms against Jews….maybe 30 million might die in a last stand of Zionism… But it’s been a blood drenched century past and maybe so for the next

    • Baba Yaga 1.6

      [deleted]

      [Ban length doubled] – Bill

      Cake makers and fascists

  2. Adrian Thornton 2

    +5 (that’s all my family) Free Palestine!
    Israel has quite obviously turned into a violent rouge state, unfortunately they seem to be able to kill/wound thousands of legitimate protesters with only the slightest murmur from most media.

    I notice that that most useless of interviewers Noelle McCarthy didn’t broach the subject of Israel, or The Guardians crazy anti Semitic witch hunt in UK Labour with The Guardians neo Liberal watchdog Anne Perkins this morning on RNZ.

  3. Old girl 3

    A very good book published last year after seventy six years in obscurity is ‘Palestine: the Reality. The Inside Story of the Balfour Declaration. ‘ by J.M.N. Jeffries. The first edition was stored in the warehouse of Longman Green in London but this received a direct hit and was destroyed in the first blitz. After the war Longmans would not republish.
    A long read but entirely absorbing and informative.

    • Dennis Frank 3.1

      Sounds good. I recall feeling that it was good that the Jews got given a homeland after two millennia of diaspora, as a sixties teenager. In retrospect, I can see I was the unwitting victim of Zionist propaganda. The Brits may have felt they were rectifying an historical injustice but ignoring the rights of the Palestinians was just solving one problem by creating another just as bad.

      Nowadays I see the root flaw of Zionism as the old testament God providing the Hebrews with a divine right to the promised land and telling them to go get it via genocide. Do we see anyone advising us that the Canaanites are the indigenous tribe to the locality, therefore their right of occupation is morally supreme? No, a can of worms nobody is keen to acknowledge. A nitpicker would point out that Canaanites is merely a collective name for diverse tribes in that region. True. Identifying the Palestinians as the down-stream residue of the Canaanites is a stretch, eh?

    • Adrian Thornton 3.2

      @Old girl, There is another good book just released this year on this subject…
      Balfour in the Dock by Colin Andersen
      https://www.balfourinthedock.com/

  4. Old girl 4

    For five hundred years the inhabitants of Syria/Palestine payed taxes to the Ottoman empire but this empire was shrinking. Tsar Nicholas of Russia called Turkey ‘The sick man of Europe.’
    When the 1914 war broke out, the Ottomans conscripted men from Syria/Palestine into their army to fight the allies even putting them into the front lines to face the Germans.
    The British had troops in Syria/Palestine under General Allenby as well as the irregular fighters grouped around T.E. Lawrence who managed under great duress to push the Turks out of outposts. In spite of the risk of terrible reprisals by the Turks, the tribal fighters from Syria/Palestine and surrounding areas deserted in droves from the Turkish and German armies to fight for their own freedom from the Ottoman yoke.
    Old King Hussein carried out a lengthy correspondence with Colonel McMahon the British High Commissioner in Egypt in an attempt to ensure that in the event of a winning situation, the tribal people under his jurisdiction who were assisting the British, would be consulted about their natural need for freedom and autonomy. McMahon agreed so this correspondence constituted a pact.
    Some months later after lengthy lobbying and consultation backwards and forwards across the Atlantic, Balfour handed the Zionists the Balfour Declaration a document the Zionists themselves had spent months correcting and perfecting.
    A secret agreement between the British and the French called The Sykes-Picot agreement had also been made to carve up the conquered Ottoman territories with the French taking over Syria. They planned an oil pipeline. No Arab was ever consulted.
    Woodrow Wilson however, set up the King Crane Commission to determine the wants and attitudes of Arabian citizens. Seventy two percent were hostile to Zionist plan for a national home and wanted a free and independent Syria. (Palestine was nor separate from Syria but ‘ the holy land’ inside Syria.) The King Crane document disappeared after Wilson collapsed with a stroke. It does exist somewhere and sections of it were leaked to a U.S. publication.
    The unutterable perfidy of Albion was never so great.

  5. corodale 5

    Senate Committee Approves AIPAC Bill to Give Israel $38 Billion Over 10 Years, With Additional Perks
    (www.informationclearinghouse.info/49836.htm)

    This money agreed in Obama era. Could The Trump Administration be the peace maker in the MIddle East? Some signs of hope.

  6. Agora 6

    “In Britain, ethnic nationalism contributed to the Balfour Declaration of 1917, a document proposing that British Jews be transplanted to the Middle East. In part this was a colonial project to create an outpost of Jews in the Middle East dependent on British favour for their security. But as noted by Edwin Montagu, the only Jew in the British cabinet at the time, the Balfour Declaration had strong anti-semitic overtones, reinforcing the idea that Jews did not belong and should be relocated elsewhere.”

    https://www.jonathan-cook.net/2018-07-13/how-israel-helped-to-revive-europes-ugly-ethnic-nationalisms/

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