Palestine Update 550
Palestine Solidarity Network Aotearoa writes to the Minister of Security Services on security services smear against Palestinians
John Minto, National Chair, Palestine Solidarity Network Aotearoa
“We are writing to request an apology for the nasty smear against Palestinians and the Palestine solidarity movement by a Combined Threat Assessment Group (CTAG) report into the Wellington parliamentary protest. The report identifies “pro-Palestinian” protestors – the only national ethnic grouping so identified in this context of potential security threats. This is a nasty repugnant smear on Palestinians and the Palestine solidarity movement. There was a Palestinian flag being held at one point during the occupation but the Palestine Solidarity Network Aotearoa has no idea who that person was. We tried to identify them from the live stream but couldn’t – if we had we would have told them to put the flag away. For all we know it could have been a deliberate plant.
What we do know is there was an Israeli flag carried at the protest during the clearance of the occupation but somehow it escaped the attention of our security services. The pro-Israel lobby in New Zealand, with which the security services meet regularly and have a cozy relationship, has been trying for many years to denigrate the Palestine solidarity movement with repugnant smears of anti-Semitism and claims of support for terrorism. Now we have the Police, SIS and the National Assessments Bureau doing the pro-Israel’s lobby’s dirty work for it. Perhaps this is why the Israeli flag was overlooked.
It will possibly come as a surprise to the security services that six Palestinians were killed in the Christchurch mosque attacks on 2019. Following this up with repulsive smears – guilt by association – against Palestinians and pro-Palestinian activists in their assessment of the Wellington occupation is reckless and dangerous. It is a not-so-subtle hint to white supremacists and their fellow travelers that Palestinians and pro-Palestinian activists are their enemy. As well as pro-Israel supporters, also present at the Wellington protest were National Party supporters, New Zealand First supporters, Labour Party members, pro-Israel supporters and supporters from dozens of other groups. But the security services chose to identity supporters of one vulnerable national ethnic grouping – Palestinians – for special mention in the context of possible PMVE attacks. If the CTAG report had mentioned “pro-Israel” supporters in this context of possible PMVE attacks the pro-Israel lobby would denounce this as anti-Semitism, the Israeli ambassador would demand a meeting with the government and the Prime Minister would issue an apology.
Why should Palestinians and the Palestine solidarity movement expect anything less from our government?”
About Palestine Solidarity Network Aotearoa
Germany’s Position on Palestine: Twice on the Wrong Side of History?
Excerpts from an article by Ilan Pappe
“There is no doubt that Nazi Germany was on the wrong side of history, and it took an enormous amount of international effort to bring Germany over to the other side of history after the end of the Second World War. A noble way of doing it was by strengthening the democratic basis of post-Nazi Germany, and by re-writing its educational curricula as well as granting it a leading role in the struggle against racism at the heart of the continent. This was complemented by a noble attempt to regulate the local arms industry and arms exports so as to ensure as a comprehensive restitutive process as possible.
However, one important element of this restitution, still believed to be crucial by the German political system, is unconditional support for Israel. A position that creates the impression that Germany, as a State, might err again. This time, it is much less dramatic than the previous deviation from normalcy and humanity but, nonetheless, is highly worrying and deeply disappointing that Germany as a State – and hopefully not its society – did not deduce fully and honestly the moral lessons its darker history should have taught it.
Germany, that is West Germany until the late 1980s, and the West in general, believed that the road to West Germany’s rehabilitation and re-admission to the “civilized nations” had to go through the legitimization of the colonization of Palestine. Thus, within three years after the end of the Second World War, the West was asking the world to grant, simultaneously, legitimacy for the new Germany and for the creation of a Jewish State over much of historical Palestine, as if the two demands were logically and, worse still, morally connected. Hence, Israel became one of the first states to declare that there was a “new Germany”, in return for unconditional support for its policies, complemented by huge financial and military aid from West Germany”.
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Israeli enemy kill 53 Palestinians since beginning of 2022
The Palestinian ministry of health has said that Israel has been carrying on with its crime of field execution against Palestinians and has killed 53 citizens since the beginning of 2022.
“Israeli occupation forces (IOF) killed 50 Palestinians, including 3 women and 8 children, between the 1st of January and the 9th of May this year,” the ministry reported, adding that three Palestinians from 1948 occupied Palestine were killed after allegedly carrying out attacks on Israelis, bringing the total number of Palestinian martyrs to 53.
The majority of the martyrs were killed during IOF raids on areas of the West Bank. On the 6th of January 2022, the Palestinian young man Bakri Hashash was killed during an IOF raid on the West Bank city of Nablus. He was the first Palestinian killed this year by the IOF. On the same day, an Israeli settler ran over and killed the Palestinian young man Mustafa Falaneh west of the West Bank city of Ramallah.
Israel plans nearly 4,000 settlement units in West Bank
Palestine on Saturday welcomed the US opposition to Israeli settlement expansion in the occupied West Bank but said it was not enough. The US Department of State slammed Israeli plans to advance nearly 4,000 settlement units in the occupied West Bank, saying the measure “deeply damages the prospects for a two-state solution.”
In a statement, the Palestinian Foreign Ministry said the US position to Israeli settlement building remains “insufficient”. The US position “does not rise to the level of criminalizing the settlement scheme as a flagrant violation of international law and the Geneva Conventions and a coup against the signed agreements,” the ministry said. Israeli settlement expansion “exacerbates tensions and undermines trust between the parties.” She, however, declined to specify whether there will be repercussions for Israel if it moves forward with its settlement expansion plans.
The West Bank, including East Jerusalem, is regarded as “occupied territory” under international law, making all Jewish settlements there illegal.
Hamas: Israel persists in its crime of Judaizing al-Quds
Spokesman of the Hamas Movement Jihad Taha said on Monday that Palestinians will confront Israel’s persisting plans aiming at evacuating Palestinian residents of al-Quds to pave the way for its complete Judaization. “Israel is desperately trying to Judaize the holy city of Jerusalem by sieging and separating it from Palestinian villages,” Taha added. “The Israeli occupation authority is confiscating Palestinian lands and expanding in the policy of annexation and settlement building in al-Quds and the West Bank amidst unprecedented Arab and Islamic inaction,” Taha underlined. He called on the Palestinian people to launch massive campaigns to foil the Israeli colonialist, expansionist plans, stressing the importance of preserving the identity of the Islamic holy sites and protecting them from Israeli desecration. Taha also called on the Arab and Muslim countries to support the Palestinian people in their struggle against the Israeli schemes, and urged the world community to pressure Israel into halting its illegal measures.
‘Firefighting’ Diplomacy Will Not Achieve Peace between Israelis and Palestinians
With U.S. attention elsewhere, Egypt has initiated a flurry of diplomatic efforts to avoid another war. But deeper efforts are needed to build peace.
Egyptian efforts have been instrumental in ending almost all the Israel-Gaza wars. Egypt has been continuously monitoring the pulse in the occupied territories, particularly in Gaza, and coordinates closely with Amman and Ramallah on issues pertaining to East Jerusalem. Egypt knows that Hamas has yet to recover fully from the repercussions of last year’s war in May 2021 and is not keen on facing another one; that the Palestinian Authority (PA) is facing an unprecedented legitimacy and financial crisis; that the Israeli government is fragile, on the verge of collapse, and wants to maintain calm but is constrained by extreme right-wing pressure; and finally, that the United States is preoccupied with what it perceives as more pressing priorities and is not dealing effectively with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. All these factors contributed to Egypt initiating a flurry of diplomatic efforts to avoid another war.
Like many countries in the region and beyond, Egypt condemned — and demanded an end to — the Israeli escalation in the Palestinian territories and continued incursions by Israelis in al-Aqsa Mosque under Israeli police protection. Stressing the importance of adhering to international law, Egypt called for due protection for Palestinian civilians, as well as for ending any practice that violates the sanctity of al-Aqsa Mosque and other religious sites or affects the identity of East Jerusalem. The Egyptian president hosted a tripartite summit with Jordan’s King Abdallah and UAE’s Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Zayed where they stressed that their countries would spare no effort to restore calm in Jerusalem and stop all forms of escalation to enable worshipers to perform their religious practices without hindrances or harassment. Egypt also participated in the emergency ministerial meeting hosted and chaired by Jordan with representatives from Algeria, Morocco, the PA, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and the UAE that condemned the Israeli attacks in al-Haram al-Sharif. The parties warned that these actions represent a blatant provocation to Muslims and threaten to ignite a cycle of violence, and they expressed support for Jordan’s custodianship in administering holy sites.