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NZ Business Trade Trip Ignored Israel’s Illegal Occupation Before Gaza Genocide

Documents released by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment show that 60 business leaders, led by Simon Bridges, were planning a trade trip to Israel immediately prior to the war. They gave no consideration to Israel’s illegal occupation of Gaza, the West Bank and Golan Heights, nor that Gaza had been labelled an “open air prison” and Palestinians subject to apartheid rule in the West Bank,” said Valerie Morse, member of Peace Action Wellington.

“The so-called ‘Innovation Nation’ tour is intended to highlight sectors where Israel has expertise. It should be clear that their main expertise is in advanced methods of killing people. Israel has murdered 24,000 Palestinians in just over 100 days.”

“Israel has been trialling its latest ‘business solutions’ on the Palestinian people for decades. Advanced surveillance, drone and weapons technologies are all being used on the Palestinian people to systematically imprison an entire population in a tiny strip of land. Israel has then exported that technology to some of the most repressive regimes on earth.”

“Amnesty International has documented how Israeli company NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware has been used to facilitate human rights violations around the world on a massive scale. These include heads of state, activists and journalists; and played a role in the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Israel’s government has long seen Pegasus as a critical tool for its foreign policy.”

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“The NZ tour documents indicate that increased trade and the signing of R&D partnerships and business partnerships were expected outcomes of the business junket.”

“The business community of New Zealand should be aware that Palestinian civil society is calling for a Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel until it complies with international law and universal principles of human rights. Similar to the boycotts applied to South Africa in the apartheid era, these non-violent punitive measures should be maintained until Israel meets its obligation to recognise the Palestinian people's inalienable right to self-determination and fully complies with the precepts of international law.”

“Any business that continues to pursue links with Israel in violation of the boycott campaign should be called what they are: war profiteers and genocide-enablers. The mass movement of people on the streets of Aotearoa NZ calling for a ceasefire and a political solution is not going away.”

Notes for journalists:

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