Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Govt Ignores Israel’s Threats against NZers on Gaza Flotilla

Government Ignores Israel’s Threats against New Zealanders on Gaza Flotilla

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND – The New Zealand Government has failed to respond to requests to secure the safe passage of New Zealanders on an upcoming humanitarian flotilla attempting to breach Israel’s siege of Gaza. The Government has also failed to clarify New Zealand’s position on the legality of the siege itself.

New Zealand has joined with initiatives from more than 14 national groups and international coalitions who have united to form the Freedom Flotilla Two (FF2). FF2 will consist of at least 10 vessels carrying humanitarian aid and approximately 1,000 passengers including journalists, politicians, humanitarian aid workers, dignitaries, doctors, professors, and human rights defenders. FF2 aims to raise international public awareness about Israel’s occupation of Palestine by directly challenging Israel’s illegal naval blockade of Gaza.

New Zealanders Harmeet Sooden and Vivienne Porzsolt will be participating in the FF2 aboard the Canadian boat *Tahrir*. The name ‘Tahrir’, meaning ‘Liberation’ in Arabic, was chosen to honour those who gathered in Tahrir Square in Cairo seeking democratic reform and spreading hope across the Middle East. The *Tahrir* will also host delegations from Canada, Australia, Belgium and Denmark.

In May 2010, an attack on the first Freedom Flotilla by the Israeli Navy resulted in the deaths of nine passengers on the *Mavi Marmara*, the wounding of over 50 and the kidnapping of hundreds. According to a UN Human Rights Council report, Israel’s conduct “towards the flotilla passengers…demonstrated levels of totally unnecessary and incredible violence” and “betrayed an unacceptable level of brutality” and constituted “grave violations of human rights law and international humanitarian law”.

“As Israel once again openly threatens to do everything it can to stop a non-violent, law-abiding civil society initiative,” says Mr Sooden, “Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon. Murray McCully remains silent.”

"One can only conclude that the New Zealand Government, choosing to subordinate itself to United States foreign policy, condones Israel’s blockade of Gaza, which the Red Cross has called a form of collective punishment and a clear violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, and the Goldstone Report has described as a possible crime against humanity.

“Our safety and the success of this mission are now in the hands of the media and public scrutiny,” says Mr Sooden, “as the Government has in effect declined to protect us and uphold international law. Even so, we invite representatives of the Government and media to inspect our boat and its cargo of medical supplies.”

In 2008, Mr Sooden travelled to Israel to undertake human rights work in Occupied Palestinian Territory but was refused entry, held incommunicado, assaulted, denied consular and legal representation, and removed by the Israeli authorities on the pretext of being a “threat to the security of the State of Israel”.

He leaves New Zealand for the Mediterranean on 20 June 2011.

Mr Sooden’s letter on behalf of New Zealand’s flotilla passengers to Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon. Murray McCully is enclosed.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Another Reason To Loathe HR Departments (And On The Teachers Strike)

This morning’s news item about Police emergency call centre staff turning up for work while they’re sick – because they’re afraid their sick leave statistics will be used against them, and their jobs put in jeopardy – is not an isolated case...

Obviously, sick people shouldn’t be being treated by doctors and nurses who are themselves sick and potentially infectious. Similarly, Police emergency calls also need to be fielded by people who’re feeling alert, and on top of their game. More>>

 
 

MPs' Computers To Be Searched: Inquiry Into Leak On Simon Bridges' Expenses

An inquiry has been launched to find out who leaked the National Party's expenses to the media... Parliament's speaker, Trevor Mallard, said a Queen's Counsel would lead the inquiry with the help of an employment lawyer and also someone with forensic IT skills. More>>

ALSO:

Teachers Strike: Nationwide Rallies And Marches

Teachers and principals voted for a full day strike to be held on 15 August to send a strong message to the Government that the current collective agreement offers from the Ministry of Education would not fix the crisis in teaching. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: City Council Ends Its Support For Jackson’s Movie Museum

The Wellington City Council and the Movie Museum Limited have today announced a mutually-agreed parting of the ways for a joint project between the Council’s Convention Centre and TMML’s Movie Museum... Both parties remain optimistic for the future of their respective projects. More>>

Pay Equity: Historic Settlement For Education Support Workers

The New Zealand Educational Institute (NZEI) and the Ministry of Education today signed Terms of Settlement to address a pay equity claim for 329 support workers who work with very young children in early childhood and primary schools. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Stereotypes About Jacinda Ardern

Routinely, female politicians get depicted as either show ponies or battle axes, with little room for anything else in between. .. More>>

Weekend Interviews: "Discriminatory And Racist" Aussie Deportations

The former president of Australia’s Human Rights Commission Gillian Triggs says deportations have risen dramatically in Australia since 2014 when ministers and ministerial delegates were given the power to cancel visas - and half of those being deported are New Zealanders. "These are massive numbers, actually escalating dramatically."... More>>

ALSO:

Legal Challenge: Prisoner Has 9 Boxes Of Documents Seized

Human rights organisation People Against Prisons Aotearoa says a prisoner they advocate for has had 9 boxes of legal documents seized from him just days before his case against the Department of Corrections was to be heard. More>>

Single-Use Plastic Bags: Govt To Phase Them Out

Single-use plastic shopping bags will be phased out over the next year, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage announced today. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages