Nationwide Rallies And Marches For Palestinians On Saturday – Nakba Day, 15 May
Nationwide rallies and marches will take place across the country this Saturday, 15 May as New Zealanders express their outrage at Israel brutality and their support for the Palestinian struggle for human rights.
The protest venues can be seen here https://www.facebook.com/Palestine-Solidarity-Network-Aotearoa-PSNA-403868133556427/events
These protests mark Nakba Day (Arabic for “catastrophe”) which remembers the mass ethnic cleansing of 750,000 Palestinians from their homes and land by Israeli militias in 1948.
We will be demanding the government speak out and condemn Israel’s racist, apartheid policies towards Palestinians and its rampant brutality against any Palestinian resistance.
So far Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta has refused to apportion blame – preferring to tiptoe meekly around the issue – unlike her criticism of China or Myanmar. She is effectively excusing the racist policies and brutality of the highly militarised state of Israel which has the second largest army in the world per capita, against a largely defenceless indigenous population who all live under Israeli occupation and/or control.
We will also be demanding the government implement existing New Zealand policy and insist Israel follow international law and United Nations Resolutions. For example, the government must:
· Demand an end to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land (UN Security Council resolution 242)
· Demand the right of return for Palestinian refugees expelled by Israeli militias (UN General Assembly resolution 194 – reaffirmed every year since 1949)
· Demand the repeal of more than 65 laws discriminating against Palestinian citizens in Israel (illegal under the crime of Apartheid as defined by the 2002 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court)
· Demand Israel stop building Jewish-only settlements on Palestinian land (UN Security Council resolution 2334 which was co-sponsored by New Zealand under John Key’s National government) These settlements are illegal under Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 and a war crime under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
The government must back up these demands with sanctions (eg close the Israeli Embassy) till Israel abides by international law and UN resolutions and ends its denial of Palestinian human rights.
Despite our size and location, New Zealand played an important role in the fight against apartheid in South Africa. We can play a similar role in the fight against the apartheid policies of the Israeli regime.