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GPJA Calls For Boycot Of Israel

Global Peace And Justice Auckland Calls For Boycott Of Israel

At the 4pm protest this afternoon GPJA will be calling for a comprehensive boycott of Israel in response to the latest massacres of Palestinians trapped in the siege of Gaza.

The situation for Palestinians is a parallel to the situation faced by black South Africans under apartheid. Just as an international consensus was reached that a boycott of the white regime was the best way to bring international pressure to abolish apartheid in South Africa so we aim to help develop the same consensus in New Zealand regarding the apartheid policies of Israel.

As South Africa’s Bishop Desmond Tutu said as long ago as 1989 –

“If you change the names, the description of what is happening in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank would be a description of what is happening in South Africa.”

The brutality and oppression of Palestinians has gone on too long. Israel gets away with it because it receives massive military and financial support from the US. It suits the US’s strategic interests to have a client state in the middle east.

The boycott must be comprehensive and cover such areas as academic, sporting, political, economic, trade and investment.

GPJA will be actively promoting the boycott and calling on all New Zealanders and New Zealand organisation to do likewise.

GPJA spoksesperson John Minto was part of the campaign to isolate South Africa and says the same reasons apply today. “Israel is a regime that defies international law and all boundaries of civilised behaviour. No amount of polite criticism will change its behaviour. The only way to end the decades long occupation and defacto apartheid policy towards the Palestinian people is to impose comprehensive sanctions. Eventually we hope it will realise that it has no choice but to withdraw from all of the occupied territories and end its reign of terror against the Palestinian people.”

Background

The following taken from the Itisapartheid.org website and outlines the case for Israel to face a comprehensive boycott just as apartheid South Africa did.

Two Systems: Separate and Unequal

• Palestinians are under Military Law and face the constant threat of arrest and detention without charge and can be held indefinitely. They have no right to representation or trial. Israelis living in illegal settlements on Palestinian land have all the privileges of Israeli Civil Law. As citizens of Israel, they can vote, seek redress in court, and have freedom of speech and assembly.

• Palestinian villages and towns face collective punishment in the form of bulldozing of family houses, extended 24 hour curfews, closures, military raids, violence and harassment. Israeli settlers face no such collective punishment.

• Palestinian land ownership (agricultural and residential) is subject to military and economic confiscation. The purpose is to establish Jewish only settlements, take water resources and confine the Palestinian population into smaller and smaller cantons. Israelis face no land confiscation.

• Over 17,000 Palestinian houses have been demolished, creating 100,000 of thousands homeless. Over a million Palestinian olive and fruit trees have been uprooted. A few Israeli outposts have been dismantled, but there has been no widespread destruction of Israeli homes and trees.

• Palestinians are prohibited from using the extensive network of settler only highways that connect the settlements to Israel.

• Palestinian workers employed in settlement industrial zones receive only the sweatshop-like minimum wage mandated by Jordanian law in 1967. In the settlements, Israeli workers receive all the rights and benefits of Israeli employment law including a much larger minimum-wage.

• The Israeli military authority controls virtually all the water in the West Bank. 73% of West Bank water is piped back to Israel. Illegal Jewish settlers use 10% of West Bank water. Palestinians have access to only 17% of their own water and must buy it from Israel at 4 times the price Israelis pay.

• The wall fragments Palestinian communities; it separates families from their land, their livelihood, health care and schools. The wall also divides communities and families from each other. The wall does not fragment Israeli settlements; it is built in such a way to as to annex them to Israel proper.

ENDS

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