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Palestinian Justice Advocates Deny Others Justice

Palestinian Justice Advocates Deny Others Justice

New Zealand Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) are attempting to gag any discussion and debate about the 2014 Gaza War. They hope to pressure Victoria University into preventing two Israeli students from giving a public address on campus about their first hand experiences while fighting in that conflict. SJP are trying Israel in the court of public opinion but by attempting to suppress these students from speaking, they are willing to deny the process of natural justice by muzzling anyone who might speak up in her defence.

"The public address, billed as "A fascinating talk about Israel's challenges in Urban Warfare" promises to give the audience an extended question-and-answer time which would provide a wonderful opportunity to examine many of the ethical issues that arose from that conflict," said Tony Kan, President of the charity ‘New Zealand Friends of Israel’.

"Perceptions of the Arab-Israeli conflict have a strong influence on how Jews are viewed all around the world. During the 50 day long Operation Protective Edge reports of violence and abuse toward Jews in Europe rose dramatically. For this reason, we were quick to sponsor the event and applaud the Australasian Union of Jewish Students (AUJS) for agreeing to organise and host it."

In June 2014 three Israeli youths were abducted and executed. The resulting manhunt was met with a barrage of indiscriminate rocket attacks on Israeli communities bordering Gaza.

In the process of that search, the discovery of an extensive network of underground tunnels that allowed Hamas to penetrate Israel resulted in Operation Protective Edge. Operation Protective Edge was a military operation intended to put an end to the wave of rocket attacks and destroy the tunnels.

During the operation, New Zealand television audiences were nightly subjected to disturbing images and video footage from Gaza of wounded children, dead children, and grieving parents. There was comparatively little mention of the trauma and destruction the multitude of rocket attacks had had on Israel, which precipitated the war.

"It wasn't until the operation was well over that returning journalists from the combat zone could report that much of the footage that they had taken was heavily censored, often situations were staged and that they had commonly witnessed Palestinian combatants using buildings such as hospitals and schools for military purposes, and civilians as human shields."

Western journalists were prevented from reporting that civilians in Gaza were forbidden to evacuate their homes and other buildings by Hamas despite multiple advance warnings from Israel that they intended taking action against military activity observably operating from those buildings.

Captured documents show that Hamas' doctrine encouraged civilian casualties because they served to harden world opinion against Israel. Hamas was in turn absolved from any guilt since in their eyes, such deaths, incurred in the name of Jihad, guaranteed these Muslim believers entry into paradise.

"Ironically, the SJP, in seeking justice for Palestinians, want to try Israel in the court of public opinion but are willing to deny the process of natural justice by gagging anyone who might speak up in her defence."

"Universities have a long tradition of protecting freedom of speech, recognising that open discussion and debate is a necessary and healthy tool in the discovery of truth and the development of new ideas. A university is therefore an entirely appropriate venue for the students' presentation.

"SJP's efforts to suppress these students' voices undermines the university's foundational values - to operate as a bastion of honest inquiry, knowledge and learning.

"In any case, SJP's accusations are baseless. They believe the two students are in fact IDF representatives on a worldwide propaganda campaign. In fact they are two students respectively studying medicine and business administration back in Israel who are merely wanting to share their nation’s perspective in a world saturated with biased and inaccurate media coverage.”

The public address is to be held in the Memorial Theatre, Victoria University, Wellington at 8.30 pm on Tuesday, September 29.

The latest information on the event may be found here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1498592567118853/permalink/1505471979764245/


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