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This Is Your Moment – Take It!

Nanaia Mahuta

Minister of Foreign Affairs

Parliament Buildings

Wellington

Once again we urge you to speak out condemning Israel’s brutal aggression against the Palestinian people which is escalating in East Jerusalem, Gaza and the occupied Palestinian territories.

In the last few days Israeli troops have attacked Palestinians at prayer in the Al Aqsa mosque injuring over 200 worshippers, have launched numerous attacks against Palestinians resisting the ethnic cleansing policies of the Israeli regime in East Jerusalem and are now conducting a massive bombing campaign against the people of the besieged Gaza strip killing dozens of Palestinian civilians.

If attacks such as this were being made against Jews anywhere in the world the government would condemn them unequivocally. There is no excuse for silence.

As we said to you in our letter of 8 October:

The Palestinian people deserve the New Zealand government’s voice on their side rather than our “complicity through silence” which usually accompanies Israeli racism and systematic brutality against Palestinians.

In speaking out we urge you not to use anaemic language such as “calling for calm” or “urging restraint on both sides” because those statements in effect mean New Zealand siding with Israel’s racist, ethnic cleansing policies.

Please intervene with a strong, clear voice which condemns both Israel’s ethnic cleansing of the indigenous people of Palestine and the brutality meted out against them by the Israeli police and armed forces. New Zealand should be demanding equal rights and equal treatment for all people living under Israeli occupation and control.

As this situation is critical, please speak out now.

As well as condemning Israel’s actions it is critical you also address the underlying causes which are Israel’s racist, apartheid policies towards Palestinians which are backed up by unbridled brutality – just as the same polices as were used to back up South Africa’s apartheid regime in earlier decades.

And please do not use the “rockets from Gaza” as any excuse for Israel or as any reason not to speak out clearly and unambiguously. The rockets are a micro issue and simply a response to the savage brutality of the Israeli regime.

Nanaia, you have been in the role of Minister of Foreign Affairs for over six months now and not a word of support for Palestinians. This is your moment – take it!

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