Palestine Solidarity – Newsletter No 45 – Last weekends successful rallies. This coming weekends Rallies –

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18 May 2021
Newsletter No 46
Kia ora Mike,
The past week has seen heart-breaking images of death and destruction in Gaza while our government wrings its hands impotently.

Palestinians have suffered over 70 years of racism, apartheid and unbridled brutality at the hands of the Israeli regime. That is the problem. Rockets from Gaza into Israel are a symptom response to decades of Israeli expulsions, violence, land grabbing and apartheid and yet our politicians and media more often than not portray the issue as the “terrorist group Hamas fires rockets at Israel and Israel retaliates in self-defence”. Countries like ourselves, the US, Canada, Australia and the UK typically justify Israeli brutality rather than hold Israel to account.

Our Foreign Minister has issued a tweet and a brief media release which pay lip service to our international responsibilities. The Prime Minister has condemned violence on both sides (Hamas and Israel) in this interview on Breakfast TV and said that “if the reports are correct that a ceasefire has been offered by Hamas and not taken by Israel then that is wrong”. She says Israel’s response had gone “well beyond self-defence” and that Israel bears greater responsibility as the party to the conflict which was “well resourced”. She also acknowledged that while Israel has “a right to exist”, Palestinians also deserve peace and security in a home of their own.

That’s a big step up from Joe Biden’s feeble, craven support for Israel but if we have learnt nothing else from the past 73 years of Israeli brutality it is that well-meaning words have zero impact on Israel. However, Israel is terrified of BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) campaigns because these will be the gamechanger in forcing this racist regime to change direction.

Only by holding Israel to account for its flagrant violations of United Nations resolutions and International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law will bring about positive change for Palestinians. And holding Israel to account means adopting sanctions such as closing the Israeli embassy, ending trade in military hardware and banning products produced in illegal Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian land.

Palestinians deserve more than our sympathy.

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What can you do right now?

Please email the Prime Minister j.ardern and Minister of Foreign Affairs n.mahuta and copy in MPs from all parties (email addresses for MPs are here) and demand accountabilities for Israel.

Write your own note or copy and paste this one.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Kia ora Jacinda Ardern and Nanaia Mahuta,

Palestinians have suffered over 70 years of racism, apartheid and unbridled brutality at the hands of the Israeli regime. That is the problem in the Middle East from which all the conflict arises.

Rockets from Gaza into Israel are a symptom response to these many decades of Israeli expulsions, violence, land grabbing and apartheid.

We have learnt over this time that pious injunctions for Israel to give Palestinians basic human rights will have zero impact.

Only holding Israel to account for its flagrant violations of United Nations resolutions and International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law will bring about positive change for Palestinians. And holding Israel to account means adopting sanctions such as closing the Israeli embassy, ending trade in military hardware and banning products produced in illegal Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian land.

Palestinians deserve more than our sympathy.

Please take meaningful action to hold Israel to account and let me know which accountabilities you decide to implement.

(Your name)
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Protests this Saturday 22 May

Details we have so far for protests this Saturday 22 May. As they are updated details for other protests will be here.

Whangarei: Palestine Solidarity Network Whangarei is hosting a gathering on Saturday 22nd May morning, 8-10am, in Water Street near the Growers Market. This is a call for robust NZ Government statements and practical actions on Palestine, now, and an opportunity for local conversations about what is behind the current crisis in Palestine. Contact: <tim.nurm

Auckland: Gather Aotea Square, Queen Street at 2:00 pm.

Hamilton: Gather cnr Wairere Drive and Naylor street, Hillcrest, Hamilton at 1:30 pm

Napier: Gather on Marine Parade, end of Tennyson Street at 11:00 am

Palmerston North: To be confirmed

Wellington: Gather at Midland park – 157 Lambton Quay at 2.00 pm

Nelson: To be confirmed

Christchurch: Gather at the Bridge of Remembrance, Cashel Street at 12:00 noon

Dunedin: Gather at Otago Museum Reserve, Great King Street North from 1:00 pm. We will be marching from there to the Octagon.

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Celebrating a marvellous nationwide support for Palestine – Nakba Day – 15 May 2021

What a fantastic day of Palestinian resistance to Israeli racism, apartheid and unbridled brutality. Thanks to everyone who joined the marches and rallies – well done!

Auckland

2,500 people marched up Queen Street in a vibrant colourful march. Young and old, Palestinians, Muslims and Christians. Lots of high energy, chanting etc Great speeches from Green MP Golriz Ghahraman, Unite Union’s Mike Treen and Joe Carolan, Maher Nazal and other Palestinian voices. 600 signatures collected for petition to Close the Israeli Embassy. A great video of Auckland is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YSNbiWAhc_U

Hamilton:

Whanganui:
15 took part – engaged with dozens of locals who were almost all supportive of the Palestinian cause.

Palmerston North:

350 marched around the Square in Palmerston North. The Muslim and Palestinian communities were strongly to the fore – great spirit and great chants – excellent speakers.

Wellington: 300 people rallied in Cuba Mall organised by Wellington Palestine. Great speeches from Wellington City Councillor Tamatha Paul, Alternative Jewish Voices representative Marilyn Garson and PSNA’s Don Carson.

Nelson: 60 to 80 people gathered at Nelson Market. Speeches from local MP Rachel Boyack and local supporters. 150 signatures collected for letter to Jacinda Ardern and Nanaia Mahuta. Lots of interest from bystanders.

Christchurch:

Photo by Rami Elsayed

300+ rallied and marched through town to the square and back. Great spirit – local MP Duncan Webb and two young Palestinian women spoke. Imam Gamal Fouda from Al Noor mosque (centre of terrorist attack) also spoke. 98 new names for local and national mailing list.

Dunedin:

200 people – raised $400 for Gaza Centre for Human Rights – included Palestinian community leading a prayer with Dakba dancing. 100 names on an open letter to the Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs. Finished with the Muslim community prayers and then Dabka dancing.
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Donations needed for the Gaza Centre for Human Rights which has been targeted and destroyed by Israel

The offices of the Gaza Centre for Human Rights have been targeted and destroyed by a missile from an Israeli fighter jet.

New Zealander Julie Webb-Pullman has been working for the Centre for several years as an international expert on gathering evidence of Israeli war crimes against Palestinians in Gaza. (Julie is currently waiting to return to Gaza after being delayed in New Zealand through Covid 19)

So far the Centre, under Julie’s guidance, has sent over 2,000 claims of war crimes relating to Israel’s attack on Gaza in 2014 and its targeting the Great March of Return protests in March 2018.

Earlier this year the International Criminal Court made the formal announcement that they are opening an investigation into allegations of grave Israeli breaches of International Humanitarian Law. Israel is furious and has tried to stop the investigation.

Now Israel has seized the opportunity to hit back with missiles from an Israeli fighter jet.

The Centre is making an appeal for funds to get back up and running and PSNA is co-ordinating fundraising here.

People can donate to:
Account name: PALESTINE SOLIDARITY NETWORK
Account number: 38-9015-0849542-02 (Please put GCHR in the reference)

This is a message from Julie describing the photo and the damage.
. . . . . . . . . . . . .
I would really appreciate it if you could also appeal for funds for Gaza Centre for Human Rights – our offices were directly targeted and destroyed a few days ago. We need to replace printers, photocopiers, furniture etc.

Our electronic backup files are safe, but all of the original documents have been destroyed.

Attached is a picture of the destruction – our offices were on the third floor, the translators’ office is the one with the blue wall, my office is at the front. Was.

Like almost every building in Gaza, it is a mixed residential and office tower.
. . . . . . . . . . . . .

We expect the New Zealand media will report on this and the government will condemn outright this bombing of a human rights organisation.

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New Zealand MPs celebrate World Keffiyeh Day – 11 May

Labour MP Duncan Webb sent through this picture of 17 MPs celebrating World Keffiyeh Day in parliament. The keffiyeh is an iconic symbol of Palestinian dress.

A good solidarity action at a time when Palestinians needed it the most. Well done!

The MPs are:

  • Ibrahim Omer
  • Marja Lubeck Labour List MP
  • Marama Davidson MP
  • Willie Jackson
  • Tracey McLellan – MP for Banks Peninsula
  • Rachel Boyack MP
  • Sarah Pallett – MP for Ilam
  • Helen White
  • Emily Henderson MP
  • Duncan Webb Labour MP for Christchurch Central
  • Tamati Coffey
  • Vanushi Walters MP
  • Golriz Ghahraman MP
  • Teanau Tuiono
  • Chlöe Swarbrick
  • Anahila Kanongataá-Suisuiki Labour MP
  • Ricardo Menéndez March MP
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Resources to help our political campaigning

Kia Ora,
My name is Nurul and I have compiled resources in a folder to make it easier for New Zealanders to help with the situation in Palestine.

Link: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1bQStt9RvSImRknhjTFiFTvcU7a3tZwA2?usp=sharing

This folder includes:

  • How to write a letter/email to an MP (templates included)
  • Where to donate in New Zealand
  • Resources of education such as books, videos, and accounts to follow on social media etc.

If you would like to add or change anything please let me know (nzpalestine2021) Please feel free to share with your contacts or on your social media as well.

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Amid the often-appalling media reporting – a message from Wellington Palestine Group

After decades of persistently refusing to call the Occupied Palestinian Territories ‘occupied’ both TVOne and TVThree last Saturday night (15 May) referred to Palestinian land as ‘occupied’.

Over the years, both had routinely shown East Jerusalem in particular as part of Israel. The mistaken impression thus conveyed was that the Palestinians were just causing their government trouble – rather than resisting an occupation.

The Wellington Palestine Group formally complained about this many times and had some success – eventually East Jerusalem was rarely shown as ‘Israel’.

But calling East Jerusalem ‘occupied’ was a step too far for our news networks. While they stated that the brevity of a television news broadcast prevented ‘expanded explanations’ of the legal status of the Occupied Territories, they routinely and quite happily explained the religious status of East Jerusalem, often at some length.

So, last Saturday’s long awaited and correct legal description of occupation is a welcome departure from the orientalism of their news teams over decades, and we hope that the two New Zealand television networks will retain the newfound practice of getting it right.

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And don’t forget BDS…
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Are you able to donate a cup of coffee a month to the campaign?
We will need some serious money to make our campaign as effective as possible. For example, we will need somewhere in the vicinity of $25,000 to bring speakers to New Zealand over the next year and organise large public meetings to help spread the message.

You can help. Are you able to donate a cup of coffee a month to the campaign? In other words, can you afford to make an automatic payment of $5 per month to support the Palestinian struggle? (If you can afford more that would be great!)

Our account details are:
Account name: Palestine Solidarity Network
Account number: 38-9015-0849542-00

Or Pay Pal account: admin

We are happy to provide a receipt upon request (however, we are not a registered charity so this is not tax-deductible)

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Merchandise for Sale
We have Merchandise you can buy including T-shirts from our website.
Go here – https://www.psna.nz/shop
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In Occupied Palestine daily newsletter – an invitation to subscribe from Leslie Bravery

Because of mainstream news media complicity, daily headlines and commentary only occasionally ever mention the relentless Israeli violence in Palestine, not even the frequent air strikes!

However, daily news and statistics regarding the violence Palestinians are forced to live under are regularly reported on in the “In Occupied Palestine daily newsletter”, sourced and compiled for easy reading and correlation chiefly from the Palestinian Monitoring Group’s daily situation reports.

The In Occupied Palestine daily newsletter continues to be circulated, by email, worldwide to subscribers only, as it has been over the last two decades.

Please contact Leslie if you also wish to become a subscriber.

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More Ways you can get involved

  • Forward this Newsletter – If you know people who may be interested in this movement, please forward this Newsletter to them. They can sign up themselves by emailing Secretary
  • Join in local activities in your area monthly Rallies – In Auckland, we hold a monthly Protest at Aotea Square at 2.00 pm on the first Saturday of every month. Please consider doing the same in your community. Contact Secretary if you would like to know where and how to get Flags and Banners
  • Help set up a Students for Justice in Palestine group on your campus
  • Tell Your MP your opinions on Divestment and Sanctions of Israel
  • Write Letters to Newspapers – Call Talkback Radio
  • Keep in touch with the campaign on social media
  • The Palestine Human Rights Campaign produces the In Occupied Palestine newsletter. It is a regular daily newsletter on the daily situation in Palestine, compiled by Leslie Bravery and emailed to subscribers. If you would also like to become a subscriber please contact Leslie at "sumud1 @ outlook. com" (Remove the spaces to use an an email address) for further information.
  • Keep Updated on our Facebook pages and websites (listed below)
  • Human rights for Uyghur refugees – In line with our support for human rights for the people of Palestine we have added our name to the petition in support of human rights for Uyghur refugees so they can be included in the government’s refugee quota. PSNA members who wish to also sign this petition can do so here – https://our.actionstation.org.nz/petitions/open-letter-let-s-show-compassion-to-the-uyghur-community
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Palestine Solidarity Network Aotearoa Groups
PSNA National Committee

Website Chair
Secretary – Neil Scott Secretary
Regional Groups

Bay of Islands PSNA Bay of Islands email
Whangarei PSNA Whangarei Facebook
Auckland PSNA Auckland – Tamaki Makaurau Website
Hamilton Palestine Human Rights Campaign Waikato Facebook
Tauranga Tauranga Moana 4 Palestine Facebook
Napier/Hastings Aotearoa Standing with Palestine Facebook
Palmerston North <a href="mailto:Palmerston.North email
New Plymouth PSNA New Plymouth email
Whanganui <a href="mailto:Whanganui email
Wellington PSNA Wellington email
Nelson Te Tau Ihu (Nelson) Palestine Facebook
Christchurch PSNA Christchurch Facebook
Dunedin Dunedin for Justice in Palestine Facebook
Invercargill <a href="mailto:Invercargill email
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Other groups supporting Palestinian Rights

Twitter
Facebook
Website
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