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Source: Palestine Solidarity Network Aotearoa
Nationwide rallies, marches and events will take place across the country this Saturday 13th May and Monday 15th May (Nakba Day) as New Zealanders express support and solidarity with Palestinians on the 75th anniversary of the Nakba (Arabic for “catastrophe”) which remembers the mass ethnic cleansing of over 700,000 Palestinians from their homes and land by Israeli militias in 1947-49.

The major events this Saturday 13th May are:

Auckland: Rally in Aotea Square, 2pm. Link to event here

Hawkes Bay: “Liberation cavalcade” from Hastings Library at 10.45am – cavalcade to Napier, Hastings, Napier Flaxmere, Havelock North etc Link to event here

Christchurch: Rally and March from 12 noon, Bridge of Remembrance. Link to event here

Most events around the country are on our Facebook page here with some taking place on Monday May 15th (the actual Nakba Day)

“It is to the shame of the western world that this human rights disaster in Palestine has continued for 75 years” says PSNA National Chair John Minto. “Israel has been given a free pass with only tepid criticism for its colonial, apartheid polices”

Over recent days, in breach of an earlier ceasefire agreement, Israel launched a massive wave of missile attacks against Gaza with dozens of civilians killed – including children.

As Israeli journalist Amira Hass puts it:

“The Nakba, a disaster of dispossession and expulsion, hasn’t let up for a moment since we turned the Palestinian people into a nation of refugees. And they – how irritating – refuse to adapt or surrender to this reality. This is the necessary starting point to understanding the political, military and social facets of the Israeli-Palestinian situation”

We salute the Palestinian people who continue to stand against dispossession and expulsion. Our government should too!

So far Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta is refusing to apportion blame – preferring to tiptoe meekly around the issue – unlike her criticism of human rights abuses in Russia, China or Myanmar.  

The years’ Nakba events will also be demanding the government 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 1948)

·           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.

75 years of inaction is far too long. We are a small country but we can have a large impact if we speak out. The government has our loudest voice and we expect it to speak out clearly.

John Minto
National Chair
Palestine Solidarity Network Aotearoa