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Airstrikes / invasion of Gaza
information, vigils, protests, and contact details
Censored: Gaza update, 7 January 2009
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'The age of reason', Guy Body, NZ Herald
Vigil, protest and meeting details
- Auckland, Saturday, 7 February: Rally for Justice And Peace in Palestine, come and support the rally which is held on the first Saturday of each month, starts 2pm, QEII Square, Customs Street and Queen Street intersection, outside Downtown Shopping Centre. Organised by the Palestine Human Rights Campaign, for more information contact email.
- Auckland, Friday, 23 January: Aid for Gaza - an evening full of culture and cuisine and most importantly an opportunity to show your support for the Palestinian people either by donating or just learning about the situation in Palestine. We will be selling food, T shirts and kafeyahs. Come out and help us raise money to provide food and humanitarian aid - 100% of the proceeds will go to provide aid to the Palestinian people in Gaza. From 6.30pm to 10pm, Avondale Community Centre, 99 Rosebank Road, Avondale. For more information please contact Khalid Al-Amleh, Palestinian Society of New Zealand, tel 021 575 484, or Saraa Nabhani, Justice for Palestine, tel 021 1860 140.
- Whakatane, Thursday, 22 January: Whakatane Medical Aid For Gaza fundraising film evening. Starts at 6pm with 'Occupation 101', the current and historic root causes of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, 7.30pm - sandwich and refreshment break, 7.45 pm - 'The Iron Wall' (45 mins), Israeli settlements and 'the Wall' inside the ocupied territory of the West Bank; at REAP House, Pyne Street, Whakatane. Organised by the Whakatane / Opotiki Peace Group, for more information contact Lynne, tel (07) 315 4646.
- Opotiki, Wednesday, 21 January: Whakatane Medical Aid For Gaza, fundraising film evening. Starts at 6pm with 'Occupation 101', the current and historic root causes of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, 7.30pm - sandwich and refreshment break, 7.45 pm - 'The Iron Wall' (45 mins), Israeli settlements and 'the Wall' inside the ocupied territory of the West Bank; at Opotiki Theatre, Church Street. Organised by the Whakatane / Opotiki Peace Group, for more information contact Lynne, tel (07) 315 4646.
- Wellington, Tuesday, 20 January: Protest march - End the Occupation! 12 midday, meet in Cuba Mall (near bucket fountain) then march to Parliament. Make or bring a key ("the key is a symbol of Palestinian Dispossession from their homes and land. This dispossession continues in Gaza as Israel commits another massacre.") Organised by the Wellington Palestine group, for more information contact email.
- Auckland, Saturday, 17 January: Protest against Rakon help in Israeli bombing of Gaza, assemble at 3pm outside Sylvia Park, Mt Wellington Highway. "Rakon Industries provides crystal oscillators for targeted bombs used by the Israeli air force in their attacks on Gaza. The Rakon parts are supplied to the US which provides the bombs directly to the Israeli military. Rakon have been supplying these sophisticated crystal oscillators for these weapons of mass murder for 12 years and are now contributing directly to the carnage being inflicted against Palestinians trapped in Gaza. It is unconscionable that a New Zealand company would collude in the production of weapons being used to heap devastation and suffering on the people of the Middle East." Organised by Global Peace and Justice Auckland, for more information contact email or email.
- Wellington, Saturday, 17 January: Information stall, 12 noon to 3pm, Cuba Mall (Manners Street end, outside Westpac Trust Bank); organised by the Wellington Palestine group, for more information contact email.
- Dunedin, Saturday, 17 January: Peace and Justice for the Palestinian people of Gaza, Dunedin Coalition against War Rally in the Octagon at 12 midday. Speakers will include members of churches, the International Socialist Organisation and the Muslim community. There will be a Die-In, in which as many people as possible are asked to take part, to represent the 1000 Palestinians killed in the conflict. Please bring a piece of ‘bloody’ clothing or rags if possible.
This will be followed by a Prayer Vigil. There will be an opportunity to make a donation to the Christian World Service Appeal for Gaza, and to sign a letter to the Prime Minister John Key and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Murray McCully. For more information about the rally and vigil please contact email.
- Christchurch, Saturday, 17 January: Protest march against the Israeli bombing and invasion of Gaza, starts 12 noon at the Canterbury Museum, Rolleston Avenue, then proceeds to Cathedral Square where there will be speakers. Organised by Justice for Palestine Christchurch, for more information contact email or email.
- Wellington, Thursday, 15 January: Interfaith prayer vigil and candle lighting for peace in the Middle East, from 5.30pm to 6.30pm at St Andrew’s on the Terrace, 30 The Terrace. A prayer vigil for peace including lighting a candle for peace in the Middle East, and reflections on the desire and promotion of peace in different religious traditions. The Peace Prayer Vigil is a spiritual event providing an opportunity for people to appreciate and reflect on the universal call for peace in the different religious faiths. It will not include discussion about, or the promotion of, specific proposals or actions for peace in the Middle East or anywhere else. We invite attendees to appreciate and respect the inclusive space of peace at the event. Hosted by St Andrew’s on the Terrace, facilitated by Dr Margaret Mayman, participants include representatives from local faith communities. Supported by The Peace Foundation and the United Nations Association of New Zealand, for more information contact email.
- Wellington, Thursday, 15 January: Protest vigil, 12 noon to 2pm, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, 195 Lambton Quay (corner Panama Street); organised by the Wellington Palestine group, for more information contact email.
- Christchurch, Tuesday, 13 January: Justice for Palestine Christchurch meeting, and banner making for Saturday's march; 6.30pm at the Quaker House, 72 Cresswell Avenue (off New Brighton Road). For more information contact Justice for Palestine Christchurch, email or email.
- Wellington, Tuesday, 13 January: 'Die-in' for Gaza, 12 noon, gather at the Rabin memorial, Harris Street, then proceed to Civic Square where participants will lie on the ground wearing 'bloodstained' clothing and bandages; a petition to the government will be presented to the nearby National Party headquarters. Participants are encouraged to bring and wear 'bloodstained' clothes and/or bandages which will be presented with the petition, religious ministers are invited to wear their clerical garb. Organised by Christians for Justice in Palestine, an ecumenical group that welcomes all who wish to participate – whatever their faith – believers and non-believers; for more information contact email or email.
- Wellington, Thursday, 8 January: Protest vigil, 12 noon to 2pm, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, 195 Lambton Quay (corner Panama Street); organised by the Wellington Palestine group, for more information contact email.
- Auckland, Saturday, 10 January: Mobilisation to protest the latest Israeli outrages against Palestinians living in the Gaza strip, gather at 12 noon, Aotea Square. Organised by the Palestine Human Rights Campaign, contact email, and Global Peace and Justice Auckland, contact email or email.
- Christchurch, Friday, 9 January: Vigil and protest, starts 12 noon in Cathedral Square. Organised by Christchurch Quakers, for more information contact email.
- Christchurch, Wednesday, 7 January: Meeting to talk about what we might want to do in Christchurch in relation to the current Israeli Government bombing and invasion of Gaza (as well as the on going issue of the freedom of Palestine); 6.30pm, for venue details and more information contact email.
- Auckland, Tuesday, 6 January: Organising meeting for Saturday's mobilisation and to plan immediate steps in the campaign to boycott Israel, 6pm at the Unite Union Office at 6A Western Springs Road. Organised by the Palestine Human Rights Campaign, contact email, and Global Peace and Justice Auckland, contact email or email.
- Wellington, Tuesday 6 January: Protest march, 12:30pm to 1:30pm, meet at Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, 195 Lambton Quay (corner Panama Street); organised by the Wellington Palestine group, for more information contact email.
- Auckland, Saturday, 3 January: Rally for Justice And Peace in Palestine, come and support the rally which is held on the first Saturday of each month, starts 2pm, QEII Square, Customs Street and Queen Street intersection, outside Downtown Shopping Centre. Organised by the Palestine Human Rights Campaign, for more information contact email.
- Wellington, Saturday, 3 January: Information stall and vigil, 11am to 4pm, Cuba Mall (Manners Street end, outside Westpac Trust Bank); organised by the Wellington Palestine group, for more information contact email.
- Wellington, Wednesday, 31 December: Information stall and vigil, 12 midday to 5pm, Cuba Mall (Manners Street end, outside Westpac Trust Bank); organised by the Wellington Palestine group, for more information contact email.
- Auckland, Tuesday, 30 December: Protest against slaughter in Gaza, 4pm at the US Consulate, Citigroup Building, 23 Customs Street (corner of Commerce Street); "the consulate is being targeted because the US has given unconditional backing to the Israeli government in these attacks". Organised by Global Peace and Justice Auckland, for more information contact email or email.
- Nelson, Tuesday, 30 December: All welcome to join the Nelson Peace Group's candle vigil, 12 noon on the Church Steps, Trafalgar Street; a letter to John Key will be available to sign by attendees. For more information contact email.
On Gaza airstrikes: UN General Assembly President
"The behavior by Israel in bombarding Gaza is simply the commission of wanton aggression by a very powerful state against a territory that it illegally occupies.
Time has come to take firm action if the United Nations does not want to be rightly accused of complicity by omission.
The Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza Strip represent severe and massive violations of international humanitarian law as defined in the Geneva Conventions, both in regard to the obligations of an Occupying Power and in the requirements of the laws of war.
Those violations include:
Collective punishment – the entire 1.5 million people who live in the crowded Gaza Strip are being punished for the actions of a few militants.
Targeting civilians – the airstrikes were aimed at civilian areas in one of the most crowded stretches of land in the world, certainly the most densely populated area of the Middle East.
Disproportionate military response – the airstrikes have not only destroyed every police and security office of Gaza’s elected government, but have killed and injured hundreds of civilians; at least one strike reportedly hit groups of students attempting to find transportation home from the university.
I remind all member states of the United Nations that the UN continues to be bound to an independent obligation to protect any civilian population facing massive violations of international humanitarian law – regardless of what country may be responsible for those violations. I call on all Member States, as well as officials and every relevant organ of the United Nations system, to move expeditiously not only to condemn Israel’s serious violations, but to develop new approaches to providing real protection for the Palestinian people."
- Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann, UN Headquarters, New York, 27 December 2008
Where you can donate to help with medical supplies
- Christian World Service has an appeal to assist the Department of Service to Palestinian Refugees health programme which is struggling to cope with emergency cases at its clinics. For more information go to this web page - follow the link at the end of the media release to make a donation.
- Caritas: "The crisis in Gaza has been brought home very directly to Caritas following the destruction of a Caritas Jerusalem medical clinic last Friday during an Israeli aerial bombardment. The clinic, in the Al Maghazi district of Central Gaza, was completely destroyed in the bombing that also razed four homes. At least another twenty homes sustained heavy damage in the blast." Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand is supporting the people of Gaza via the Caritas Internationalis Gaza Appeal, for more information go to this web page - follow the link at the end of the media release to make a donation.
Updates and more information
- For regular updates, contact the Auckland based Palestine Human Rights Campaign and ask to go on their email list - email Palestine Human Rights Campaign with the subject heading 'Join full e-list', or check out their web site.
For reports, statements and articles from Gaza see the Electronic Intifada and the International Solidarity Movement.
For statements and coverage of protests by Israeli and Palestinian peace and human rights groups, see for example: B'Tselem (Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories), Letter to members of the UN Human Rights Council from Palestinian human rights organisations, Gush Shalom The War Belongs to Olmert - The Victims Belong to Us! and The war in Gaza - vicious folly of a bankrupt government, the Palestinian Non-Governmental Organisations' Network, the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, and the Alternative Information Centre.
For statements / protests by Jewish groups outside Israel see for example: Jewish Voice for Peace (US), Jews for a Just Peace (Canada), and Jews for Justice for Palestinians (Britain).
- Haaretz, see for example, Disinformation, secrecy and lies: How the Gaza offensive came about, Barak Ravid and The neighborhood bully strikes again, Gideon Levy.
- The Independent, see for example, Leaders lie, civilians die, and lessons of history are ignored, Robert Fisk and Inside Gaza: The hospital morgues were already full. The dead were piled on top of each other outside, Sami Abdel-Shafi. The Independent's Middle East page is here.
- The Guardian, see for example, To be in Gaza is to be trapped, Peter Beaumont, The injured were lying there asking God to let them die, Fikr Shaltoot, and We have no words left: Palestinians are at a loss to describe this latest catastrophe. International civil society must act now, Ali Abunimah. The Guardian's 'Israel and the Palestinian territories' page is here.
For recent UN news reports of the siege of Gaza, see for example: Some supplies allowed into Gaza as Israel opens crossings, 26 December 2008, No supplies getting through as Gaza crossings remain closed, 22 December 2008, UNRWA suspends food distribution in Gaza, 18 December 2008, Gaza crossings remain closed to fuel and aid supplies, 17 December 2008, Emergency relief continues to filter into Gaza, 11 December 2008, and Urgent action needed to alleviate desperate plight of Gaza’s civilians – UN rights expert, 9 December 2008.
Contact details for politicians and others
- Israel (provided by Australians for Palestine / Women for Palestine, Melbourne; updated by Peace Movement Aotearoa)
President Shimon Peres
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert
Minister of Defence Ehud Barak
Minister of Foreign Affairs Tzipi Livni
Members of the Knesset Presidium: Dalia Itzik, Collete Avital, Mohammad Barakeh, Amnon Cohen, Yuli-Yoel Edelstein, Yitzhak Levi, David Rotem, Otniel Schneller,
Knesset public complaints department - Gila Rothschild
Chairman, Security and Foreign Affairs Committee - Tzachi Hanegbi.
The Israeli Ambassador to New Zealand (and Australia) is based in Canberra as the Israeli embassy here has not yet reopened - Ambassador Yuval Rotem.
- NZ (provided by the Palestine Human Rights Campaign)
Minister for Foreign Affairs Hon Murray McCully,
Prime Minister Rt Hon John Key
And: Helen Clark, Phil Twyford, Peter Dunne, Pansy Wong,
Rodney Hide, Keith Locke.
- USA - follow the links in the action alert on the United For Peace and Justice site - the alert has a useful brief summary of US military support for the Israeli government. You could also add your organisation's name to the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation open letter to President-Elect Obama re a change in the US government's Israel/Palestine policy.
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