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Middle east Teenagers

Written By: - Date published: 10:01 am, February 2nd, 2018 - 60 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, child abuse, democracy under attack, International, israel, Politics, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: , ,

By Haim Schwarczenberg, https://schwarczenberg.com . “Full name and blog URL address” must be cited when the photo is used anywhere. – email to OTRS system by Author, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=65162623

Recent news from Israel makes you wonder about the State of Israel.

The first is about Palestinian teenager Ahed Tamimi.  She recently celebrated her 17th birthday but unlike most teenagers she did this from behind bars.  Why is she there?  Because she hit and kicked Israeli soldiers.  The blows were not hard and no injury was caused.

Why did she do this?  To protest the continued illegal occupation of Palestinian land by Israeli forces.  And there are some very personal reasons.  Her 14-year-old cousin Mohammed Fadl al-Tamimi was shot in the face a couple of days before the incident and badly wounded.

Israeli propagandists have accused her of engaging in performances designed to discredit the state of Israel.  Funny really but shooting kids in the face and subjugating your people to tyranny and oppression can have an adverse effect on the way teenagers feel about a neighbouring state and make them behave in unusual ways.

She is still in custody.

The second is about three Israeli teenagers wanting to engage in legal action against a couple of Kiwis for urging Lorde not to play in Israel.  The request was successful although proving causation would be very difficult to achieve.  From Radio New Zealand:

Jewish New Zealander Justine Sachs, and Nadia Abu-Shanab, from a Palestinian family, wrote an open letter to Lorde last year asking her to join the artistic boycott of Israel.

The singer later cancelled her concerts there.

“If Lorde had the guts to come here … she’d see Israel is the most democratic state … in the Middle East.” – Nitsana Darshan-Leitner

Law firm Shurat HaDin was filing a case under an Israeli law allowing civil lawsuits against anyone calling for a boycott of the country, its lawyer Nitsana Darshan-Leitner said.

She said it would seek $US15,000 for “mental harm” to three 17-year-old teenage girls who were hurt by the cancellation of the show.

However, the two New Zealanders said in a letter they had not formally heard anything about it.

“As far as we are concerned, this ‘case’ has no legitimacy,” they said.

Strange that a supposed democratic state would pass a law purporting to make people in a foreign country liable in damages for exercising their right of freedom of expression guaranteed in that country.

The law centre involved, Shurat HaDin-Israel Law Center, has close links to the Israeli Intelligence agency Mossad.  From Vice:

The centre, which works under the tagline “BANKRUPTING TERRORISM—ONE LAWSUIT AT A TIME” pursues cases in international courts against Israel’s enemies. It has previously named Palestinian authorities, Iran, Lebanon’s Hezbollah and North Korea as defendants in lawsuits it has brought.

The organisation has close links to Israeli intelligence organisation Mossad, according to the Law Centre’s head Nitsana Darshan-Leitner.

Darshan-Leitner told Reuters last year that after her law centre began suing Palestinians over attacks during a revolt in 2000, she was invited to Mossad headquarters for a consultation.

“I explained to them what we do, how and where lawsuits are filed, what evidence and jurisdiction is required, the general rules,” she said. “Their response was: What do we have to do to file more lawsuits? What do you need?”

Darshan-Leitner told Reuters that contact evolved into regular briefings with the agency.

Andrew Geddis in his clear scholarly way has analysed the legal issues.  His basic advice is that the law is problematic and that it is best for Justine and Naida to do nothing.

The contrast is juddering.  Israeli teenagers can sue for compensation for not being able to go to a music concert.  Palestinian teenagers can expect to be shot or detained if they stand up against Israeli tyranny.

If Justine Sachs and Nadia Abu-Shanab are approached by Israeli lawyers can I suggest to them they use the response pioneered in the case of Arkell v Pressdram.

Update:  A response from Justine and Nadia has been brought to my attention.  They say:

With our open letter to Lorde we joined a chorus of millions of people across the world who are calling for justice and peace in Israel/Palestine. People who know the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign is a legitimate, non-violent strategy to pressure Israel into ending its occupation and apartheid regime. No intimidation tactics can or will stifle this growing movement. The reality of the situation speaks for itself. Today we’ve been overwhelmed with supportive messages from across New Zealand and the world. New Zealanders value fairness and being able to think for ourselves as a country. We won’t be told what to say. Instead of scaring us, these bullying tactics only embolden us and make it self-evident that there is a right and wrong in this situation. We are proud to stand for what is right.

60 comments on “Middle east Teenagers ”

  1. One Anonymous Bloke 1

    From what Prof. Geddis says, the last thing Justine Sachs and Nadia Abu-Shanab should do is make contact with anyone connected to this little stunt.

    …if the case is ever brought before an Israeli court, those authors should simply ignore it, because if they do try to participate then they run the risk of enabling any judgment to be enforced here in New Zealand.

    …but that passage doesn’t do the whole piece justice.

    Israeli Defence Forces now appear to be relying on poor snowflakes so, so very much disappointed they didn’t get to see a music concert that they now need lots of money to feel better…


  2. Keepcalmcarryon 2

    Gods chosen people at it again.

  3. esoteric pineapples 3

    A lot of Lorde fans who have never given a thought to Israel before will get a negative impression of the country from this

  4. Bill 4

    If a 17 year old punched and kicked a cop in NZ, they’d likely be arrested and charged. At trial, I doubt extenuating circumstances would carry much weight. If the 17 year old had a history of goading cops or such like and securing international coverage off the back of it, then I’m thinking the supposedly impartial legal system would be pissed.

    Maybe instead of a NZ context, think a photogenic Irish Catholic kid in Belfast during the troubles “going” British soldiers and being subjected to British court system.

    And then, what if the same 17 year old had been adopted as a “poster child” by international NGOs critical of British occupation?

    Regardless of my opinions on the rights and wrongs of individual actions and state responses, I’m going to be pissed at the NGOs for creating a vulnerable target for the state; for creating a martyr to better peddle their cause.

    And I am.

    The second issue about Justine and Nadia – this was commented on yesterday on “Open Mike” by Adrian Thornton. To expand a little. The broad argument presented to the public by the Israeli state (one of being victimised) was and is entirely predictable and comes down to leveraging off the core demands of the BDS movement.

    They (BDS) want Israel eliminated. The BDS movement calls for boycotts to push its demand for a “Right of Return” which, given we’re talking an influx of millions, guarantees the destruction of the Israeli state one way or another. And Israelis are never going to sit back and let that happen or agree to it (understandably) and are going to point to how fucked up the proposition is (which it is).

    And there goes the wider public support.

    Creating a Muslim state of Israel doesn’t fly. If you think it would result in a secular state, you might want to look to the fact that western governments have been busy destroying secular states in the Middle East and North Africa.

    BDS also calls for a boycott as a way to end to the situation of there being “second class citizens” in Israel…as though there are no “second class citizens” in the US, Germany, UK, NZ, Canada…(So, why not a boycott of those places too?)

    I guess I’ll probably attract mis-guided opprobrium off the back of this comment. So just to be clear, all I’m pointing to is the fact that those rightfully opposing the actions and policies of the state of Israel have stupidly and unnecessarily handed the state of Israel a loaded gun or two with which they can shoot down any stirrings of broader public support.

    • Paul Campbell 4.1

      but these are not cops, these are soldiers taking part in an illegal occupation going into people’s private homes, shooting their relatives.

      If we were occupied, say by Japan in WW2, you would be cheering those brave souls who stood up to the occupiers, just as we now lionise the Free French, and the Jewish partisans, who fought against Hitler

      • Bill 4.1.1

        Yeah okay Paul. They ain’t cops. But like I said – consider Belfast, an Irish Catholic kid and British soldiers.

        I thought my comment was clear. My comment (the second part) is about fairly predictable and obvious political machinations around gaining/losing wider public support for pressuring Israel on its policies.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          It’s a double edged sword: extreme positions can affect the credibility of a wider movement, while also dragging the Overton Window in their direction. In these cases, people are just as if not more likely to see the Israeli actions in a poor light, well before they learn all the details of BDS’s position.

          • Bill

            Calling for a boycott over illegal settlements and occupation works and will succeed in terms of garnering widespread public support.

            Calling for a robust two state settlement process and underpinning it with a boycott movement would also probably enjoy widespread support.

            But the same can’t be said for a position that entails the destruction of Israel, or for a position that singles out Israel among all other nations for having second class citizens.

            It’s beyond me that those last two things are “gifted” to the state of Israel in what is essentially a battle for hearts and minds.

        • Paul Campbell

          The real problem was that Israel was founded on the pushing out of a whole lot of people from their homes into refugee camps, and they’re still there 70 years later, what was a short term thing that should have been resolved within a decade has become a multigenerational thing, something that has become an important part of Palestinian culture … it’s why we have Palestinian refugees being resettled in NZ right now.

          Conflicts that become multi-generational are particularly difficult things to finish – Belfast is a wonderful example (and a wonderful example of how to solve it), if only Tito’s Yugoslavia could have kept a lid on their solution until the older generation passed away we wouldn’t have seen the Balkan war – that one still isn’t finished.

          Israel isn’t going to make this go away by sending troops into people’s home, there needs to be some genuine give and take on both sides, and so long as Israel keeps on electing right wing governments they’re just digging their hole deeper – they need some pressure on them from somewhere .

          Boycotts worked well on South Africa, eventually their government realised that their position was impossible, as kiwis we’re still proud of what we did in ’81 (and the economic boycott before and after, I still own some now useless wine wholesaler shares). Of course we should be doing the same for Israel – it’s obvious that it has an effect even if it’s from this bizarre reaction.

          • Rosemary McDonald

            “…what was a short term thing that should have been resolved within a decade…”

            What would resolution have looked like?

            • Paul Campbell

              recompense for people whom lost their houses and land, citizenship, voting, equality, civility …. apologies …. all the usual stuff we expect in the western democracy Israel pretends to be

              • Bill

                My understanding is that Palestinians within Israel’s borders were and are offered the right to Israeli citizenship. Citizenship confers voting rights. (I don’t know the number of countries that allow citizens, but not permanent residents to vote.)

                Palestinians within Gaza and the West Bank vote for their own governments.

                Compensation? Absolutely.

                But then (as has been pointed out to me) what about compensating Jews who were expelled from Arab/Muslim countries following ’47? These people are/were also innocent pawns and victims of geo-political bullshit (~850 000 between ’48 and the early 70s)

                • Paul Campbell

                  Many Palestinians were expelled from Israel as it was created, others escaped from the terrorism by groups who’s leaders who later became leaders of the Israeli government … only to find that their homes and land were taken, without compensation … they became refugees and didn’t get citizenship in the country where their stolen homes were located.

                  Yes of course people Jewish, Palestinian, everyone should receive recompense if their property is stolen, if they are deported, their lives turned upside down, there’s nothing special about being Palestinian, or about being Jewish …. after all isn’t that what all the Treaty settlements in NZ are all about, it’s never too late to make things right

      • Wayne 4.1.2

        The occupation is not, of itself, illegal. It is the result of Israel winning the 1967 war, which is not regarded as an illegal war. In fact Jordan attacked Israel, and then lost, to the extent that Israel took over that part of the West Bank which had been part of Jordan. Jordan did not want it back when it did its peace deal with Israel on the basis that it would become the future state of Palestine.

        Israel does have to conduct the occupation according to international law regarding occupations. That means not incorporating the occupied territories into the state of Israel. Many of the settlements would be in breach, but not all. However Israel has not legally incorporated the West Bank into the state of Israel. They don’t because they know they will be in serious breach of international law. Which does actually matter to them.

        Clearly occupied people will resist an occupation, so it will never be policed in a normal civil way. Hence the use of soldiers. However their activities are governed by international law.

        As for the law suit. My experience of Israelis (on my visits there) is that the great majority of them will not tolerate for a moment the BDS movement. They see it as the first step in the destruction of Israel. And they raise example of the Holocaust as to to why anything that threatens Israel must be resisted right at the outset. So they (or at least some of them) will publicly take action against BDS supporters. And it seems to me that Israelis have become more militant on this and other issues in recent years. Hence why they keep electing Netanyahu.

        Obviously the law suit has no effect in New Zealand. But if the law suit is successful (which is not a given) then if Sach and Abu-Shana visit Israel, they may have to pay any damages awarded. However, Israel is also adopting a policy of not giving visas to the most active supporters of BDS. So a visit might be moot anyway.

        • lprent

          In short, a publicity stunt.

          The problem with the ‘occupation’ is that Israel seems over decades to have had no real intention of actually withdrawing. In fact all of their actions from the way that the occupation is ‘policed’ with the internal security harassment into effective ghettos (I guess that comes from their history) to the way that they actively extort land illegally or with dubious legality, that they have defacto illegally taken the land rather than occupying it.

          As far as I am concerned the best things that could be done at present to resolve the west bank occupation are to provide money for arms for resistance to the occupation and a widespread boycott. In other words, I can’t see the Israelis ever giving up the land – they need to be removed forcibly by making it too costly in terms of life and economics.

          Otherwise I suspect at some point the Israelis look to me like they will indulge in even more ethnic cleansing and probably even resort to real concentration camps.

          That is something that I’d go a long way to prevent. Basically Israelis to me look increasingly like uncivilized barbarians.

          • Stunned Mullet

            ” Basically Israelis to me look increasingly like uncivilized barbarians.”

            Perhaps you should visit the region and have a chat to the locals before finalising your opinion.

            • Morrissey

              Perhaps you should visit the region and have a chat to the locals before finalising your opinion.

              Indeed. One of the most respected of those locals was in Auckland two months ago…

              Israel has three regimes. First, there is the “liberal democracy” which is the privilege of its Jewish citizens, but there are many threats to this. The second regime is aimed at the Palestinians—the “Israeli Arabs” who comprise 20 per cent of the population, and who have formal civil rights; they are deeply discriminated against in every way. The third regime is very different from any “liberal” posturing—this is Israel’s dark heart, the regime in the Occupied Territories. This is one of the most brutal tyrannies on Earth today, no less than that.

              —-Gideon Levy


          • Wayne


            So you have decided to support a war against Israel, since you advocate “providing arms for resistance”. Presumably a personal view. I wonder how many other regular commenters on this site are of the same view?

            And you wonder why so many Israelis are militantly against BDS? You have just proved why they see it as the thin edge of the wedge. And for many Israelis, they see it as a reminder of the 1930’s in how these things start.

            Too many BDS supporters are so militantly against Israel and their basic right to exist as a Jewish state, that the Israeli response to BDS is equally militant.

            When Israelis are given a reason to see BDS as the thin edge of the edge, then no amount of pressure is going to persuade them to listen to to an alternative view.

            Your call of war against Israel makes resisting BDS an existential issue for many Israelis. And given their history as soon as it becomes an existential issue, they will do everything in their power to defend themselves against BDS.

            • McFlock

              I support self defense against Israel, which is not the same thing as wiping it off the face of the map.

              You brought up the 1930s – seems to me that too many Israeli politicians are intent upon ghetto-ising the 1967 occupied territories. That never ends well – I’m surprised the Israelis who supposedly learn from history don’t learn that.

              To flip it around, how do you see this situation ending? People in a confined and underresourced area, alienated, beaten, mistreated, and with a growing population.

              Things will come to a head in some manner. I think the resolution will be one of liberation, negotiation, or elimination of that population (probably more towards forced evacuation rather than extermination, but even that will kill many).

              The Israelis’ behaviour strongly suggests to me that they’re after option 3.

            • mickysavage

              My take Wayne is that the Palestinian state is now running on fumes and relying on the adverse international publicity generated by the Israelis totally overreacting to teenagers doing symbolically powerful things that in practice mean very little. And the Israeli thinking the BDS is some sort of thin edge of the wedge is weird. They have won the military war but they seem to think they should occupy the moral high ground as well.

              What will it take to make Israel stick to any of the past two state deals that it signed up to and stop grinding the Palestinian state into the dust?

              • Et Tu Brute

                Remember Ariel Sharon, hardly a liberal and a horrible person at that, pulled Israel out of Gaza. All the settlements were removed. All the Jewish population relocated. Then some idiot in the Israeli government decided to destroy the Jewish businesses so Palestinians couldn’t use them. But that aside, the point is Israel withdrew from the occupied territory.

                How do we get it to do that now in the West Bank?

                And then once Israel withdraws from the West Bank, how do we keep the peace? What happens the next time a small splinter group fires a rocket, as happened in Gaza? It’s rarely Hamas or the PA engaged directly in violence.

                And one reason the West Bank is so precious is the high points which can be used to fire across the border into Israel.

                Money talks though. Just as Israel bought out the Jews in Gaza, how much would it cost to buy up every settlement in the West Bank? Sharon’s government was pounded in the polls for the cost of it, but what if there was an international peace initiative that paid for the total relocation of Jewish settlements, and a Waitangi-esqe tribunal to pay Palestinians for land lost in Israel.

            • Morrissey

              And you wonder why so many Israelis are militantly against BDS?

              They are militantly against BDS in the same way so many white South Africans were militantly against boycotts of that apartheid regime. Some people—especially politicians like you—used that “thin end of the wedge” analogy to defend that racist state as well.

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            to provide money for arms for resistance

            Instead, instruct the GCSB to disrupt and expose the racists, warmongers, and other representatives of the centre-right on both sides. We’d have enough allies on both sides, too. Throwing money and guns at the problem is what arms dealers do.

          • Venezia

            Lprent – well said.

          • Et Tu Brute

            What conflict has got better by getting worse? One day Israel and Palestinian will have to live together.

            In the meantime those arm shipments will harden Israeli voters, and be an excuse for blockades, blowing up tunnels and raids into occupied territory.

        • solkta

          “However Israel has not legally incorporated the West Bank into the state of Israel. They don’t because they know they will be in serious breach of international law.”

          More the point they would then have to give the inhabitants citizenship of Israel which would make it hard to sustain it as a “Jewish State”.

          No better for them to just systematically steal land and ghettoize the Palestinians.

          “Which does actually matter to them.”

          What they are already doing is a serious breach of international law so obviously not.

        • red-blooded

          Wayne, you know there are differences in opinion as to whether the occupation is legal or illegal. The only way Israel manages to finesse this is by claiming that these are “disputed territories” rather than occupied territories (hence the settlements to establish a claim).

          Part of the problem is that Israel sees itself as a state under siege, even if the suffering and hardship and loss of life in Palestine is hugely out of proportion to any actual harm they manage to inflict on Israel. I have taught several teenagers who would be returning to serve in the army and they simply accept that this is part of what they must do for their country. They’re often really shocked by the way most NZers see Israel and regard its government and its actions.

          It’s a hugely sad situation, and I don’t think there’s any way to resolve it perfectly. It’s not reasonable to expect Israelis to cede what is now their country – where would they go? Would they then become a stateless people again? It’s perfectly reasonable to expect them to return the occupied territories to Palestine, though, and to provide compensation and aid to help a country that’s been actively oppressed and kept in poverty to develop and find a level of economic sovereignty. A two state solution is the only way there’ll ever be a semblance of peace in the Middle East.

          In the meantime, I absolutely support boycotting Israel, even if it does tie into the siege mentality. There has to be a way to send them a message that what they are doing to their neighbours is just plain wrong.

          • Et Tu Brute

            As an honest question what were the political dynamics that enabled the then government of Israel to withdraw from Gaza? I understand they suffered terribly for it, and maybe it’s a case now of ‘once bitten, twice shy’ in regards to the West Bank. But as I remember it they paid out all the settlers, razed the settlements, and forced all Israeli’s in Gaza back into Israel.

          • Et Tu Brute

            Maybe the way forward – and the big barrier in the way is Israel’s relationship to Hamas – is to focus on an independent state of Gaza. At least they have the territorial independence. Not sure what the rules would be if one side hit the other. Israel can’t be expected to do nothing if missiles started flying again. But, neither could Gaza be expected to do nothing if Israel blockaded them again.

            BUT if there was a functioning independent Gaza – and we can’t expect both Palestines to become independent at the same time anyway – Israeli voters might start to see the benefits of peace on that border, and West Bank residents might start to see how it could work and want to move towards it.

    • Tracey 4.2

      Remember the Dunedin man, Delegat who hit a police woman and continued punching her while she was on the ground? Do not be so quick to assume we punish people who hit cops

    • Et Tu Brute 4.4

      Well said.

      I support an independent Palestinian state, or more than one if it comes to it. But I also see Israel as there, and there are generations that have grown up there, so regardless of legitimacy in the past, it is a state now – a well established, democratic state for all it’s failings. Rhetoric aside, we can’t just eliminate a state. The citizens would fight to the death. And if they didn’t, they know they’d die afterwards. So for lasting peace, Israel has to exist. Exit the BDS movement.

      Palestine (1 or 2) has to exist as a sovereign state. And it has to live in peace with Israel, and Israel has to live in peace with it.

      How do we get there? I’m not sure – but I know both sides are responsible to ratcheting up tensions. While I understand Ahed’s anger, and she’s been protesting soldiers and police for a decade or more on video – the parents film it in case something happens. I hope they do it out of fear, and haven’t prodded the daughter to risk her life like that. But I DON’T see this as helping. What does a 16 year old achieve by punching a soldier? Make them look bad? On the video the armed soldier turned around and walked off. What would Germans or Japanese have done in WWII?

      This then comes down to “jus in bello”. Palestinians have a right to resist the occupation. But we also need to look at how such a war is conducted. Children provoking soldiers isn’t a ethical military strategy. It comes down to leadership. The Palestinian Authority needs a strategy and it needs to get it’s citizens behind it, a bit like Hamas has a good leadership hold on the Gaza Strip. And this might be controversial, but if Hamas controlled the West Bank things would be different today.

      Anyway this could go on forever.

  5. Paul Campbell 5

    By saying that their goal is bankrupt terrorists through the court and then suing the two kiwis I think they are calling them terrorists for exercising their free speech rights – it’s obviously libel ….

    Really though the real thing here is the hubris that the Israeli govt can make laws to control what people do in NZ, that their sovereignty extends outside their borders, it’s the same attitude that makes them think they can send spies to NZ to steal the identities of dead babies, or as we see above occupy other countries and send their soldiers into people’s homes and take away their children

  6. red-blooded 6

    I find it amazing that any country that regards itself as a democracy would have a law such as this on its books. It’s not a crime to disapprove of Israel! Imagine if the South Africans had tried to do this during the apartheid years – their courts would have been endlessly tied up with useless cases that were just gobbling up their resources while having no effect on the people supposedly being sued. It’s a farce.

    I do take Bill’s point above, though. Isreal sees itself as under seige and they are going to try to protect their own soldiers (who, let’s remember, are also mostly teenagers – all of whom are expected to serve in the armed forces). Most people who try to work on this issue support a two state solution as the only even vaguely realistic or positive outcome. No, it won’t return all of what has been taken, but it could stop this festering on and on and destroying more people along the way.

  7. Morrissey 7

    I note that in all the “Me Too” blather at that awards ceremony last week, not one of those rich celebs pretending to be concerned for women’s rights uttered a single word in support of Ahed Tamimi.

    Not one.

    • red-blooded 7.1

      First off, the issue for the “Me Too” movement is sexual abuse (with a bit of a sideline in exploring how sexism impacts women’s lives). It’s not every bad thing that ever happened to every female person. (And “blather”? Really?)

      Secondly, how widely known is this story (and especially in the Us, which tends to run a very pro-Isreali view)?

      • Morrissey 7.1.1

        First off, the issue for the “Me Too” movement is sexual abuse (with a bit of a sideline in exploring how sexism impacts women’s lives).

        Of course Palestinian girls and women are not routinely harassed, terrorized, raped, and murdered by Israeli soldiers and settlers. Of course not. What the hell are all those Palestinian, Israeli and international human rights groups going on about?

        It’s not every bad thing that ever happened to every female person.

        Of course you’re correct. Palestinian girls and women don’t count. Of course a young woman and her family being persecuted by heavily armed soldiers has no relevance for the “Me Too” crowd. Of course not.

        (And “blather”? Really?)

        I guess you’re right. When they speak so sonorously about women’s rights, there is no reason why a Palestinian nobody should feature in their heartfelt orations. Of course those rich and privileged celebrities didn’t mention the persecution of this Palestinian girl for very good reasons. I’m sure you’ll remind us what those reasons were.

        In the same way, in 2013 RNZ National’s U.S. correspondent Jack Hitt was too busy to even mention the show trial of Bradley (now Chelsea) Manning. Really important things like Game of Thrones took priority….

        Open mike 04/06/2013

        • red-blooded

          And I’m sure they didn’t mention sharia law or genital mutilation, either, Morrisey. Women are abused in multiple ways and in all cultures. The people speaking at the Grammys were Americans, speaking to other Americans about their own culture.

          Complaining that they didn’t mention Palestine is like complaining that Women’s Refuges don’t also campaign about body image and the mental and physical harm it does to many women. They do their bit – they can’t do it all.

          • Morrissey

            Idiot. As I suspected, you are viciously prejudiced, not merely ignorant.

            • SPC

              What category of abuse of power does exercise of free speech to verbally bully others on a blog come under?

            • red-blooded

              Excuse me? Where the hell does that come from? Prejudiced against whom? You’re the one calling women speaking out against sexual harassment “blathering”!

              As it happens, I’ve always supported the right of Palestinians to their own, free state. Can you point to a comment from me in the thread above that has shown me to be “viciously prejudiced”, please? How about one that’s shown me to be “ignorant”? Because I’d take your “blathering” label and say that shows a fair amount of both of those qualities.

              • Morrissey

                Sorry, red-blooded, I realize I made a terrible mistake in imputing those motives to you. I saw the words “sharia law” and “genital mutilation” and assumed you were accusing the Palestinians of advocating those things. The mistake was all mine, a result of my tendency to skim read and react, rather than carefully checking.

                I apologize to you for my hasty and foolish actions.

                • red-blooded

                  Thanks for being big enough to reconsider and apologise, Morrissey. It does make a difference. I have no problem with disagreement and argument (it’s at the heart of most discussions on this site), but I don’t like it when things get personal, so I appreciate you pulling back from that.

                  Go well.

      • Secondly, how widely known is this story (and especially in the Us, which tends to run a very pro-Isreali view)?


    • Thirdly, people who take a stand on one particular issue aren’t thereby obligated to take concurrent stands on other issues that Morrissey might feel they ought to.

      • Morrissey 7.2.1

        No, of course not. Why should the persecution of a young girl even trouble the minds of people making fine speeches about the persecution of women and girls?

  8. mary_a 8

    The actions of Lorde and Ahed Tamimi, have once again exposed the ongoing tyranny of Israel.

    Israel has to be reigned in and held accountable for its atrocities against the Palestinian state, as well as threatening legal action against any foreign nation which exercises free speech daring to point out how barbaric Israel really is.

    Zionism has been, still is and will always to be a threat to international peace if it is allowed to continue in its current aggressive form.

  9. SPC 9

    Listen to the views expressed by the MK in this video, and understand the quite evident ambition to end Palestine.


    The strategy is to depopulate areas around Jewish settlements (use them to provoke fight or flight (resistance/resulting in imprisonment) and then reduce remaining Palestinians into a few catchments. With the economy strangled and foreign aid diminished then wait for people to migrate from the WB itself. At which point they will regard the remaining Arabs as Jordanians and deny them the vote when they annex the entire area.

  10. Keepcalmcarryon 10

    Well I’m counter suing because pretzels don’t actually taste like anything.

  11. Eco Maori 11

    Many thanks to Rihanna for getting the Australian government to donate $90 million to the cause of educating the mokos /grandchildren of OUR Papatunuku /World .Ka pai
    All the mokos of Papatunuku need a education and a lot of girls miss out on education because of the dominance of idiotic Men Kia kaha

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    11 hours ago
  • Government taking action to protect albatross
    New population figures for the critically endangered Antipodean albatross showing a 5 percent decline per year highlights the importance of reducing all threats to these very special birds, Acting Minister of Conservation Dr Ayesha Verrall says. The latest population modelling, carried out by Dragonfly Data Science, shows the Antipodean albatross ...
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    1 day ago
  • Adoption laws under review
    New Zealand’s 66-year-old adoption laws are being reviewed, with public engagement beginning today.  Justice Minister Kris Faafoi said the Government is seeking views on options for change to our adoption laws and system. “The Adoption Act has remained largely the same since 1955. We need our adoption laws to reflect ...
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    1 day ago
  • Wider roll-out of cameras on boats to support sustainability and protect marine life
    Up to 300 inshore commercial fishing vessels will be fitted with on-board cameras by 2024 as part of the Government’s commitment to protect the natural marine environment for future generations.  Minister for Oceans and Fisheries David Parker today announced the funding is now in place for the wider roll out ...
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    2 days ago
  • Plan for vaccine rollout for general population announced
    New Zealanders over 60 will be offered a vaccination from July 28 and those over 55 from August 11, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. The rollout of the vaccine to the general population will be done in age groups as is the approach commonly used overseas, with those over ...
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    2 days ago
  • New Zealand introduces Belarus travel bans
    New Zealand has imposed travel bans on selected individuals associated with the Lukashenko regime, following ongoing concerns about election fraud and human rights abuses after the 2020 Belarus elections, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta has announced. The ban covers more than fifty individuals, including the President and key members of ...
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    2 days ago
  • NZ economy grows driven by households, construction and business investment
    The Government’s efforts to secure the recovery have been reflected in the robust rebound of GDP figures released today which show the economy remains resilient despite the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Grant Robertson said. GDP increased 1.6 percent in the first three months of 2021. The Treasury had ...
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    2 days ago
  • Milestone 250th tower continues to improve rural connectivity
    The Government has welcomed the completion of the 250th 4G mobile tower, as part of its push for better rural connectivity. Waikato’s Wiltsdown, which is roughly 80 kilometres south of Hamilton, is home to the new tower, deployed by the Rural Connectivity Group to enable improved service to 70 homes ...
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    2 days ago
  • Quarantine Free Travel pause with Victoria to lift on Tuesday
    Following a further public health assessment of the COVID-19 outbreak in greater Melbourne, New Zealand’s Quarantine Free Travel pause with Victoria has been extended to 11.59pm on Tuesday 22 June, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says. It has been determined that the risk to public health in New Zealand continues ...
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    2 days ago
  • Prime Minister mourns passing of Dr Sir Ian Hassall
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is mourning the passing of Dr Sir Ian Hassall, New Zealand’s first Children’s Commissioner and lifelong champion for children and children’s health. As a paediatrician Sir Ian contributed to a major world-first cot death study that has been directly credited with reducing cot deaths in New ...
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    3 days ago
  • APEC structural reform meeting a success
    APEC ministers have agreed working together will be crucial to ensure economies recover from the impact of COVID-19. Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs David Clark, chaired the virtual APEC Structural Reform Ministerial Meeting today which revolved around the overarching theme of promoting balanced, inclusive, sustainable, innovative and secure growth ...
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    3 days ago
  • Digital hub to boost investment in forestry
    A new website has been launched at Fieldays to support the forestry sector find the information it needs to plant, grow and manage trees, and to encourage investment across the wider industry. Forestry Minister Stuart Nash says the new Canopy website is tailored for farmers, iwi and other forestry interests, ...
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    3 days ago
  • Government continues support for rangatahi to get into employment, education and training
    Over 230 rangatahi are set to benefit from further funding through four new He Poutama Rangatahi programmes, Minister for Social Development and Employment Carmel Sepuloni announced today. “We’re continuing to secure our economic recovery from COVID by investing in opportunities for rangatahi to get into meaningful employment, education or training ...
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    3 days ago
  • NCEA subjects up for consultation
    The education sector, students, their parents, whānau and communities are invited to share their thoughts on a list of proposed NCEA subjects released today, Education Minister Chris Hipkins says. This is a significant part of the Government’s NCEA Change Programme that commenced in 2020 and will be largely implemented by ...
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    3 days ago
  • Major investment in plantain forage programme aims to improve freshwater quality
    The Government is backing a major programme investigating plantain’s potential to help farmers protect waterways and improve freshwater quality, Acting Agriculture Minister Meka Whaitiri announced at Fieldays today. The Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures (SFFF) fund is contributing $8.98 million to the $22.23 million seven-year programme, which aims to deliver ...
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    3 days ago
  • America’s Cup decision
    The Minister responsible for the America’s Cup has confirmed the joint Crown-Auckland Council offer to host the next regatta has been declined by the Board of Team New Zealand. “The exclusive period of negotiation between the Crown, Auckland Council, and Team New Zealand ends tomorrow, 17 June,” said Stuart Nash. ...
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    3 days ago
  • Food and fibres sector making significant strides towards New Zealand’s economic recovery
    The Government is backing the food and fibres sector to lead New Zealand's economic recovery from COVID-19 with targeted investments as part of its Fit for a Better World roadmap, Forestry Minister Stuart Nash said. “To drive New Zealand’s recovery, we launched the Fit for a Better World – Accelerating ...
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    3 days ago
  • Speech to He Whenua Taurikura – New Zealand’s annual hui on countering terrorism and violent...
    Check against delivery Can I begin by acknowledging the 51 shuhada, their families and the Muslim community. It is because of the atrocious violent act that was done to them which has led ultimately to this, the start of a dialogue and a conversation about how we as a nation ...
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    4 days ago
  • Cost of Government Southern Response proactive package released
    The Government has announced the proactive package for some Southern Response policyholders could cost $313 million if all those eligible apply. In December, the Minister Responsible for the Earthquake Commission, David Clark announced a proactive package for SRES claimants who settled their claims before October 2014. It trailed the judgment ...
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    4 days ago
  • New support to reduce emissions from public building and construction projects
    Government agencies are getting new support to reduce carbon emissions generated by construction of new buildings, with the release of practical guidance to shape decisions on public projects. The Ministers for Building and Construction and for Economic Development say a new Procurement Guide will help government agencies, private sector suppliers, ...
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    4 days ago
  • He Whenua Taurikura: New Zealand’s first Hui on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism
    The Prime Minister has opened New Zealand’s first hui on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism, which is being held in Christchurch over the next two days. The hui delivers on one of the recommendations from the report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the terrorist attack on Christchurch masjidain ...
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    4 days ago
  • Speech to inaugural Countering Terrorism Hui
    E aku nui, e aku rahi, Te whaka-kanohi mai o rātou mā, Ru-ruku-tia i runga i te ngākau whakapono, Ru-ruku-tia i runga i te ngākau aroha, Waitaha, Ngāti Mamoe, Ngai Tahu, nāu rā te reo pohiri. Tena tātou katoa. Ki te kotahi te kakaho ka whati, ki te kapuia, e ...
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    4 days ago
  • Campaign shines a light on elder abuse
    A new campaign is shining a spotlight on elder abuse, and urging people to protect older New Zealanders. Launched on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, the Office for Seniors’ campaign encourages friends, whānau and neighbours to look for the signs of abuse, which is often hidden in plain sight. “Research suggests ...
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    4 days ago
  • Farewelling sports administrator and philanthropist Sir Eion Edgar
    Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson today expressed his sorrow at the passing of Sir Eion Edgar – a leading sports administrator and celebrated philanthropist who has made a significant impact both within and beyond the sport sector. “Sir Eion’s energy, drive and generosity has been truly immense. He leaves ...
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    5 days ago
  • Government to apologise for Dawn Raids
    The Government will make a formal apology for the wrongs committed during the Dawn Raids of the 1970’s. Between 1974 and 1976, a series of rigorous immigration enforcement policies were carried out that resulted in targeted raids on the homes of Pacific families. The raids to find, convict and deport overstayers ...
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    5 days ago
  • Humanitarian support for Bangladesh and Myanmar
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced that New Zealand is providing NZ $8.25 million in humanitarian assistance to support refugees and their host populations in Bangladesh and to support humanitarian need of internally displaced and conflict affected people in Myanmar.  “Nearly four years after 900,000 Rohingya crossed the border ...
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    5 days ago
  • Poroporoaki: Dame Georgina Kamiria Kirby
    E Te Kōkō Tangiwai, Te Tuhi Mareikura, Te Kākākura Pokai kua riro i a matou. He toka tū moana ākinga ā tai, ākinga ā hau, ākinga ā ngaru tūātea.  Haere atu rā ki te mūrau a te tini, ki te wenerau a te mano.  E tae koe ki ngā rire ...
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    5 days ago
  • Feedback sought on future of housing and urban development
    New Zealanders are encouraged to have their say on a long-term vision for housing and urban development to guide future work, the Housing Minister Megan Woods has announced. Consultation starts today on a Government Policy Statement on Housing and Urban Development (GPS-HUD), which will support the long-term direction of Aotearoa ...
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    5 days ago
  • Clean car package to drive down emissions
    New rebates for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles start July 1 with up to $8,625 for new vehicles and $3,450 for used. Electric vehicle chargers now available every 75km along most state highways to give Kiwis confidence. Low Emission Transport Fund will have nearly four times the funding by 2023 ...
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    6 days ago
  • Progress towards simpler process for changing sex on birth certificates
    The Government is taking the next step to support transgender, non-binary and intersex New Zealanders, by progressing the Births, Deaths, Marriages and Relationships Registration Bill, Minister of Internal Affairs, Jan Tinetti announced today. “This Government understands that self-identification is a significant issue for transgender, non-binary and intersex New Zealanders, and ...
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    6 days ago
  • Crown speeds up engagement with takutai moana applicants
    The Crown is taking a new approach to takutai moana applications to give all applicants an opportunity to engage with the Crown and better support the Māori-Crown relationship, Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Minister Andrew Little says. Following discussions with applicant groups, the Crown has reviewed the existing takutai moana application ...
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    1 week ago
  • Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment (AODT) Court opens
    The Minister of Justice, Kris Faafoi, and the Minister for Courts, Aupito William Sio, have welcomed the opening of a new Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment (AODT) Court in Hamilton. The AODT Court (Te Whare Whakapiki Wairua) addresses situations where substance abuse and offending are intertwined. “New Zealanders have told ...
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    1 week ago
  • EU and UK FTAs top of list for first ministerial trip since COVID-19
    Trade and Export Growth Minister Damien O’Connor today announced details of his planned visit to the United Kingdom and European Union next week, where he will hold trade and agriculture discussions to further New Zealand’s economic recovery from COVID-19. The visit will add political weight to ongoing negotiations with both the EU ...
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    1 week ago
  • Arihia Bennett to chair Royal Commission Ministerial Advisory Group
    Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu chief executive Arihia Bennett MNZM has been appointed chair of the newly appointed Ministerial Advisory Group on the Government’s Response to the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the terrorist attack on Christchurch mosques. “Twenty-eight people from diverse backgrounds across Aotearoa have been selected for the ...
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    1 week ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Medical Association General Practitioners' Conference, Rotorua
    Ki ngā pou maha o te whare hauora o Aotearoa, kei te mihiTo the pillars of our health system I acknowledge/thank you Ki te ope hapai hauora o roto o tēnei rūma, kei te mihi To our health force here in the room today, I acknowledge/thank you He taura tangata, ...
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    1 week ago
  • Karangahape Road upgrades are streets ahead
    The upgrades to Karangahape Road makes the iconic street more pedestrian and cycle-friendly, attractive and environmentally sustainable, Transport Minister Michael Wood and Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said at the formal celebration of the completion of the Karangahape Road Enhancements project. The project included widening footpaths supporting a better outdoor dining ...
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    1 week ago
  • Speech to APEC business event
    E ngā tumu herenga waka, ākina ā ngaru, ākina ā tai ka whakatere ngā waka ki te whakapapa pounamu, otirā, ki Tamaki o ngā waka Tena koutou katoa… To the great leaders assembled, who guided your waka through turbulent times, challenging waters and you continue to navigate your respective waka ...
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    1 week ago
  • Pause on Quarantine Free Travel with Victoria extended
    Following an assessment of the COVID-19 outbreak in greater Melbourne, New Zealand’s Quarantine Free Travel pause with Victoria will continue for a further seven days, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says. There are now 93 cases associated with the outbreak in greater Melbourne, spread over four clusters. Contact tracing efforts ...
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    1 week ago
  • Supplier Diversity Aotearoa Summit: Navigate 2021
    *** Check with delivery *** A mihi to all who have contributed to making today a success – starting with you! As you have explored and navigated government procurement today you will hopefully have reflected on the journey of our people so far – and how you can make a ...
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    1 week ago
  • Pukemiro School to close
    Pukemiro Primary School near Huntly will close following years of declining roll numbers, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. “I’ve consulted with the School Commissioner, and this decision acknowledges the fact that the few remaining students from last term are now settled at other nearby schools. “I want to thank ...
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    1 week ago