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Information on Israel and Lebanon

July 2006

In response to the numerous enquiries we have been receiving about the Israeli government's massive military assault on Lebanon and the deliberate targeting of civilians there as well as in Gaza and Israel, we have put together this information as a summary to answer the questions we are being asked.

The focus is mainly on the actions of the Israeli government, precisely because as a state they have the responsibility and obligation to adhere to international humanitarian and human rights law - and they are not. This focus does not imply any support for any act of violence by any other individual or group.

The information below is in five sections (arranged in order of the number of enquiries):

  • details of an emergency appeal for Israel, Palestine and Lebanon;

  • contact details for Israeli and NZ government representatives;

  • details of solidarity events and protests in Auckland, Tauranga, Wellington, Nelson and Dunedin;

  • links to some of the Israeli and Jewish peace groups who are commenting on the current situation; and

  • links to other sources of information.

    Emergency appeal for Israel, Palestine and Lebanon

  • Christian World Service (CWS) has launched an emergency appeal for relief efforts in Israel, Palestine and Lebanon and is calling for an end to the escalating violence in the region. Member churches, including Methodist, Anglican, and Presbyterian, are supporting the appeal. "The Lebanese Prime Minister has declared his country a disaster zone. Israeli attacks against Hezbollah positions in Lebanon have destroyed homes, roads, infrastructure and community services. Civilian casualties have reached close to 300 dead and 450 wounded, with the numbers growing. Over 600,000 people have fled their homes, taking refuge in school buildings. Thousands more will be displaced if attacks continue. The Gaza Strip, home to 1.4 million people, has been stricken with fuel and water shortages after three weeks of Israeli incursions and has also been bombed, destroying homes and services. Retaliatory missile attacks are bringing further destruction and civilian deaths in Israel." For more information about the appeal, go to this web page. To make an online donation by credit card go to this web page, tel 0800 74 73 72 or send your cheque payable to Christian World Service to CWS, PO Box 22-652, Christchurch 8142 - please include a note saying your donation is for the Israel, Palestine and Lebanon appeal, together with your name and address if you would like a receipt.
  • * There is a fundraising solidarity event in Auckland on Saturday, 29 July, see 3) below.

    Contact details for Israeli and NZ government representatives

    * Israeli diplomatic representatives: Ambassador Mr Naftali Tamir, Embassy of Israel, 6 Turrana Street, Yarralumla, Canberra, ACT 2600, Australia; tel +61 2 6273 1309, fax +61 2 6273 4273, email - Honorary Consul Mr David Zwartz, Consulate of Israel, 54 Central Terrace, Kelburn, Wellington; tel (04) 475 7622, fax (04) 475 7622, email.

    * NZ government politicians: Helen Clark, Prime Minister, email or fax (04) 473 3579, and Winston Peters, Minister of Foreign Affairs, email or fax (04) 471 2042; write to them at Freepost Parliament, PO Box 18-888, Wellington

    3) Solidarity events and protests - for current event listings, click here.

  • Auckland
  • * For details of Israel / Lebanon / Palestine protests and solidarity events in Auckland other than those listed below, contact the Palestine Human Rights Campaign, PO Box 56-150, Mt Eden, Auckland; email or go to this web site.

    * Saturday, 29 July - Milk and Honey: a solidarity event to support Lebanese and Palestinian communities - "Milk and Honey is a solidarity event, with musicians and artists alike, using their collective voices to share the plight of the Lebanese and Palestinian communities. We hope that we can offer support to all peoples affected by this current crisis and in particular accept our responsibility to act in kinship with fellow human beings in grave need. We have a wonderful opportunity to make our voices heard and hope our collective sound will resonate within the hearts and minds of our communities and our governments." With performances by Op Shop, Mahinarangi Tocker, The Bads, Steve Abel, The Dylan Storey Band, Paul and Meesh Bosauder, Reb Fountain, Unity Pacific, Gasoline Cowboy - and more to be confirmed including children's entertainment. Maori Television will be filming the event for a Coast television special. Doors open 4pm, Dorothy Winstone Centre, Auckland Girls Grammar School; all ages, family event, free entry. For more information or to donate services, please contact Reb Fountain tel 021 414 555, email, or Steve Best tel 027 564 7778 or email. There is a poster for Milk and Honey online here.

    * Saturday, 5 August - Rally for Justice and Peace in Palestine / Israel - come and support peace and justice based on: the end to Israeli occupation, right of return for Palestinian refugees, sharing Jerusalem, the removal of all Israeli settlements in occupied Palestine, and stopping construction of Israel's annexation / apartheid wall; 2pm to 3pm, QEII Square at Customs Street and Queen Street intersection, outside Downtown shopping centre. For more information contact Palestine Human Rights Campaign email or go to this web site.

  • Tauranga
  • * Friday, 4 and Saturday, 5 August - Prayer Vigil for Peace in Lebanon and Israel, an inter-faith, ecumenical opportunity to pray for peace in the midst of seemingly hopeless conflict. Come for as long or as short a time as you like; pizza will be at 3am and Peoples Coffee throughout. From 8pm Friday through to 8am Saturday, at St George's Anglican Church, Cameron Road, Gate Pa. For more information please contact Graham Cameron email or tel (07) 578 6848.

  • Wellington
  • * For details of Israel / Lebanon / Palestine protests and solidarity events in Wellington, contact the Wellington Palestine Group, PO Box 642, Wellington; or email.

    * Friday, 4 August - Wellington Palestine Group rally, meet at the Cenotaph at 12-30pm (parliament end of Lambon Quay), and march to Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, 195 Lambton Quay to arrive at 1pm. Keith Locke (Green Party MP) and others will be speaking; for more information contact email.

  • Nelson
  • * Every day until further notice - vigil and time for reflection from 12 noon to 1pm at St Johns in the City Church, Hardy Street. Organised by the Nelson Peace Group, for more information contact Anne FitzSimon, tel 021 112 3890 or email.

  • Dunedin
  • * Saturday, 5 August - Protest against Israel's destruction of Lebanon, assemble Otago Museum Lawn at 1pm, rally then march to Octagon. Organised by the International Socialist Organisation and others, for more information contact email.

    Links to some of the Israeli and Jewish peace groups who are commenting on the current situation

  • Bat Shalom - women with a vision for a just peace

  • Gush Shalom - links to articles

  • Not in My Name - US Jewish group seeking a just peace between Israelis and Palestinians, links to articles and viewpoints

  • Physicians for Human Rights (Israel)

  • Yesh Gvul - campaign against a second Lebanon war, and war crimes in Lebanon and in Gaza

    Links to other sources of information

  • David Clark: How can 'terrorism' be condemned while war crimes go without rebuke?, 31 July 2006
  • Electronic Lebanon - commentary, analysis, human rights and development information, and voices from on the ground
  • Human Rights Watch (HRW) - Israel / Palestinian Authority page includes articles about the Israeli military assault on Lebanon and Hezbollah's attacks in Israel, see also the HRW alert on Israeli military use of cluster munitions.
  • Robert Fisk:
  •   A Nato-led force would be in Israel's interests, but not Lebanon's, 1 August 2006

      Report following the bombing of Qana, 31 July 2006 - transcript and audio

      'How can we stand by and allow this to go on?' 31 July 2006

      Under fire in Beirut, 30 July 2006

      The truth of Blair's 'urgent diplomacy', 29 July 2006

      On a Red Cross mission of mercy when Israeli air force came calling, 28 July 2006

      Smoke signals from the battle of Bint Jbeil send a warning to Israel, 27 July 2006

      Israeli missiles had clearly pierced the very centre of the red cross on the roof of each ambulance, 26 July 2006

      A war crime? 24 July 2006

      A gripping diary of one week in the life and death of Beirut, 23 July 2006

      The Empire Leaves Beirut to Burn, 23 July 2006

      Once again, truth is the first casualty of war: the exchange rate for Lebanese vs Israeli deaths now stands at 10 to one, 22 July 2006

      This is not Dunkirk. This is Munich, 21 July 2006

      The child lies like a rag doll - a symbol of the latest Lebanon war, 20 July 2006

      Paradise Lost: elegy for Beirut, 19 July 2006

      Israeli Assault on Lebanon Inflicting 'Mass Punishment on a Whole People', 19 July 2006 - transcript and audio

      'If our Prime Minister is crying, what are we to do?', 17 July 2006

      Hizbollah's Response Reveals Months Of Planning, 16 July 2006

      What I am watching in Lebanon each day is an outrage, 15 July 2006

      From my home, I saw what the 'war on terror' meant, 14 July 2006

      Beirut waits as Syrian masters send Hezbollah allies into battle, 13 July 2006

  • UN News Center - focus on Lebanon

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