NZ and the Golan Heights
NZ and the Golan Heights
Press Release | 29 September 2016: Palestine Human Rights Campaign Aotearoa/New Zealand www.palestine.org.nz
A New Zealand Government Press Release dated 29 September 2016announced the Cabinet’s decision to extend New Zealand’s contribution to the United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation up until September 2018. The NZ Government acknowledges that the United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation emerged through United Nations Security Council Resolution 50, to supervise the truce in Palestine.
The Government statement says that military observers monitor the situation along the borders of Egypt, Israel, Lebanon and Syria. Just what is meant by the borders of Israel is far from clear because Palestine is not mentioned and New Zealand's troops are positioned, not on Syria's border but in the Israeli-Occupied Syrian Golan Heights. The official press release is actually entitledGovernment extends Golan Heights commitment.
For the Palestinian people, New Zealand's presence in the region does nothing to draw attention to the daily Israeli violence they are subjected to. Recently, the Israeli Army destroyed an internationally-donated Palestinian nature reserve containing 5000 trees. Palestinian homes and water-storage tanks continue to be destroyed by the Occupying Power. In the Israeli-Occupied Golan Heights, human rights abuses, so familiar to Palestinians, are being visited upon the Syrian population.
Israel is annexing the Syrian territory because, among other reasons, it holds major energy reserves. The Golan Heights has Israel's only ski resort, which is marketed as being in Israel. Foreign military Occupation can only add to the complexities and injustices of the conflict. New Zealand Government ministers have carefully avoided the question of Israel's violations of international law, including the home demolition and settlement building that have now also begun in Syria. The Zionist regime has declared that Israel and the Golan Heights are “part and parcel” and that the international community should get used to the fact. While Israel continues to enjoy such impunity the chaos and instability suffered by the region can only reach ever more catastrophic proportions. None of the Security Council's members have taken any steps to require Israel to stop violating international law. New Zealand has a duty to speak truth to power – let real peace-keeping begin!