I attended the Palestine protest in Auckland last weekend.
It achieved a certain amount of notoriety. My mate Phil Twyford attended and was booed off stage.
It was not all his fault.
The first speaker railed against Labour and National. She referred to Chris Hipkins’ statement that a ceasefire in Palestine was unrealistic.
She poured scorn on his statement and I am afraid that I am with her on this. Hipkins’ backtrack on what Nanaia Mahuta said initially was not warranted.
What Hamas did to Israel on October was absolutely awful.
What Israel has done to Palestine since then as well as before is even worse.
You see on one hand is a rag tag bunch of young men who have effectively lived their lives under oppression in the open air prison known as the Gaza Strip.
They have watched their friends being killed by sniper fire for taking part in protests. They have seen repeated attacks on Gaza by Israeli forces. And more recently they have witnessed repeated attacks on their schools and hospitals under the pretext that there are Hamas insurgents present.
This makes a perfect incubator for people with terrorist tendencies.
The only word that can be used for what is currently happening in Gaza is “genocide”.
And this is laid out plainly by a former top UN Human Rights Official Craig Mokhiber. From Al Jazeera:
Mokhiber, an international human rights lawyer, had been with the UN since 1992 and worked previously as a human rights adviser in Afghanistan and the occupied Palestinian territories.
At least 8,805 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli attacks in Gaza since October 7 after the armed group Hamas launched a surprise assault on Israel, killing at least 1,400 people and taking more than 200 people captive.
“The current wholesale slaughter of the Palestinian people, rooted in an ethno-nationalist colonial-settler ideology, in continuation of decades of their systematic persecution and purging, based entirely upon their status as Arabs … leaves no room for doubt,” Mokhiber said in his letter to the UN human rights chief, Volker Turk.
He was asked about his view on genocide and said this:
Usually the most difficult part of proving genocide is intent because there has to be an intention to destroy in whole, or in part, a particular group. In this case, the intent by Israeli leaders has been so explicitly stated and publicly stated – by the prime minister, by the president, by senior cabinet ministers, by military leaders – that that is an easy case to make. It’s on the public record.
And he is right there. Israeli Ministers have gone as far as stating publicly that the use of nuclear weapons on Gaza was an option.
The justification for the assault in that Israel is hunting Hamas, and that it has given civilians plenty of warning to move. The subtext is that it is Palestinians fault they are being killed by Israelis bombing schools and refugee camps and hospitals. They had their chance to leave their homes and neighbourhoods.
And the problem is that Israel sees Hamas everywhere. Hospitals are Hamas strongholds. Many ambulance workers are Hamas members. Local contributors to International Media companies are Hamas. Even many UN workers are apparently Hamas.
Oh my god. The Israeli representative to the United Nations is saying that many UN workers in Gaza are actually Hamas.
— Stop Cop City (@JoshuaPHilll) November 10, 2023
The world is coming around. France’s leader Nicholas Sarkozy is the latest to urge a cease fire.
Meanwhile back in Aotearoa New Zealand Act is attacking Nanaia Mahuta for showing restraint when the latest hostilities commenced. From Act’s press release:
“Documents released by the Israel Institute of NZ appear to show a final moral failing by Nanaia Mahuta that casts shame on behalf of all New Zealand,” says ACT Deputy Leader and Foreign Affairs spokesperson Brooke van Velden.
“When Hamas began attacks on Israel, Mahuta was advised by MFAT that she should tweet:
‘Aotearoa New Zealand [flag] unequivocally condemns rocket and terror attacks from Gaza into Israel and calls for their immediate cessation. With a high risk of escalation, the protection of civilians, and upholding of international humanitarian law is essential.’
“Mahuta rejected this advice, instead tweeting:
‘Aotearoa New Zealand [flag] is deeply concerned at the outbreak of conflict between Israel and Gaza. We call for the immediate cessation of violence. The protection of all civilians, and upholding of international humanitarian law is essential.’
I for one am totally with Mahuta on this. All strength to her.
I appreciate that since it is still in caretaker mode it is difficult for Labour to publicly comment on the attrocities happening in Gaza. But when it can it needs to not follow what UK Labour is doing and refusing to call for a cease fire. UK Labour’s pogrom on pro Palestinian voices in the party has been appalling.
So where is this all going to? I think the long term intent is clear. Especially when Israel is continuing its forced settlements of Palestinian land in the West Bank, an area which is not controlled by Hamas.
— Khadija raees (@Khadijaraees2) November 10, 2023