Petition to The Warehouse to Stop Selling Sodastream

Please read these instructions before downloading the written petition:

1. Print on one side only – not double-sided.
2. Print on A4 paper, never change the design or size of the form.
3. Double check each person’s entry while they’re present; and fix any illegible writing, letters or numbers.
Check that there are no silly or joke entries.

After reading the instructions above, click here to download and print the petition and start collecting signatures now.

Please post completed petitions to: Aotearoa BDS, PO Box 642, Wellington, New Zealand.

More information:

Why do we want The Warehouse to stop selling Sodastream?
Please click here to see Letter to The Warehouse

Is this a campaign affiliated to the global, Palestinian led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement?
Yes, it is being organised by local New Zealand groups which support the BDS movement as part of a broad group of community organisations

What is the BDS movement calling for, in general?
1.Ending the occupation and colonization of all Arab lands occupied in June 1967 [the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza] and dismantling the Wall;
2. Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality;
3. Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN Resolution 194.

– See more at: http://bdsmovement.net/bdsintro

Letter to The Warehouse re SodaStream

Aotearoa BDS Network has sent a letter to The Warehouse asking them to stop selling SodaStream products due to the company’s complicity in abuses of Palestinian human rights.

If you or your organisation would like to endorse this letter please email wellington@aotearoabds.org

The full text is below and the PDF is here.


Ted van Arkel
Chair
Board of Directors
The Warehouse Group

Friday 11 December 2015

Dear Mr van Arkel,

We are human rights activists who are writing with concern that The Warehouse Group is selling SodaStream products. We hope The Warehouse would not want to be associated with a company that is complicit in and profits from Israel’s violation of Palestinian human rights.

Until Sept 2015, SodaStream products were produced in an illegal settlement in the Occupied Palestinian Territory of the West Bank[1] in clear violation of international humanitarian law [2]. We understand that The Warehouse has claimed in the past, based on information from SodaStream, that this production is from ‘disputed’ land. However, we wish to draw your attention to the International Court of Justice Advisory Opinion (2004), which has clearly stated that the entire West Bank is Palestinian territory which is occupied by Israel – not disputed [3].

Sodastream machines and carbonating bottles have recently been photographed on the shelves at The Warehouse stores in New Zealand, with no country of origin labelling on the packaging. These products were made in the Occupied Palestinian Territory of the West Bank. Products made in illegal settlements cannot be labelled “made in Israel” under European rules [4], but failing to provide any country of origin labelling is misleading to consumers and not up to world class standards of fair trading business practices. We ask that you de-shelve these items as an urgent priority.

From October 2015 [5], in the wake of international pressure and protests, SodaStream has moved its production to Rahat in the Negev Desert. This may bypass some country of origin labelling rules, but it will not make SodaStream an ethical business partner for The Warehouse. As Palestinian human rights activist Rafeef Ziadeh says, “SodaStream will remain implicated in the displacement of Palestinians. Its new Lehavim factory is close to Rahat, a planned township in the Negev Desert, where Bedouin citizens of Israel are being forcefully transferred against their will.” [6]

Under Israel’s Prawer Plan, 35 Bedouin villages were to be demolished, up to 70,000 Bedouin citizens of Israel forcibly dis- placed from their lands, homes and livelihoods, and relocated to Rahat and six other officially designated towns. Israel has announced that it has rejected the Prawer Plan, but it continues to be implemented on the ground and no such halt has taken place: the Israeli military continues to demolish Bedouin homes, villages, barns and other structures in the Negev.[7]

The Prawer Plan has been rejected by the Bedouin people [8], condemned internationally [9] [10], and described by some Palestine Solidarity campaigners as Israel’s biggest act of ethnic cleansing inside the Green Line since the 1950s [11]. South African Bishop Desmond Tutu has compared such policies to the way the apartheid regime in South Africa confiscated Black people’s lands and shifted them into Bantustans [12]. Movement into Bantustans deprives people of their previous livelihood and removes options other than low wage work [13] [14].

SodaStream benefits from the Israeli government’s project of apartheid in two different ways [15]. It has accepted Israeli government money to be the first major tenant in a new industrial park, Idan Hanegev, near one of the forcibly expanded concentrations of impoverished Bedouin, Rahat. Sodastream also employs a limited number of those Bedouin, in conditions imposed by the Israeli government, which minimise their remuneration [16].

In the light of these matters, we regard SodaStream products that are manufactured at Rahat to be products of apartheid. Based on the experience around South Africa, New Zealanders can become quite concerned about this kind of injustice [17]. We take the view that, because of SodaStream’s benefit from the injustice, all SodaStream products are tainted, and that ceasing to stock SodaStream altogether would be an appropriate measure, consistent with your principles of early identification and resolution of ethical issues and commitment to world-class business practices [18]. If you decided to do this, you would not be alone. In July 2014, John Lewis the major department store chain in the UK removed all SodaStream products from its shelves [19]. Macy’s, a major department store in the USA, has also de-shelved Sodastream products [20].

Aotearoa BDS would welcome an early decision regarding its request that The Warehouse cease selling SodaStream products. Please may we have your response by the close of business on Friday 18 December 2015. If, on the way to that decision, you have questions, please feel free to contact us on wellington@aotearoabds.org.

Yours sincerely,

James Cone,

For Aotearoa BDS Network              wellington@aotearoabds.org
with
BDS Wellington
Kia Ora Gaza
Billy Hania, Auckland
Martin and Lois Griffiths, Christchurch
Peace Action Wellington
Students for Justice in Palestine, Victoria University of Wellington
BDS South Taranaki
BDS Hawera

Additional signatories:
Debbie Abbas
Freedom and Peace for Palestine Whangarei
Dr. Asad Khan, Palestine Human Rights Campaign, Waikato

If you or your organisation would like to endorse this letter please email
wellington@aotearoabds.org

References:
1 http://www.whoprofits.org/sites/default/files/WhoProfits-ProductioninSettlements-SodaStream.pdf page 32
2 In particular, of the Fourth Geneva Convention
3 International Court of Justice, page 10 paragraph 4: “The Court concludes that the Israeli settlements in the Occupied PalestinianTerritory (including East Jerusalem) have been established in breach of international law.” http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/files/131/1677.pdf
http://eeas.europa.eu/delegations/israel/documents/news/20151111_interpretative_notice_indication_of_origin_of_goods_en.pdf
5 http://www.whoprofits.org/content/soda-stream-completes-withdrawal-its-factory-mishor-adumim-west-bank-and-relocates-naqab
6 http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/oct/29/sodastream-move-factory-west-bank-israel-slash-forecast
7 Amnesty International Annual Report 2014, Section on Housing rights – forced evictions and demolitions, in https://www.amnesty.org/en/countries/middle-east-and-north-africa/israel-and-occupied-palestinian-territories/report-israel-and-occupied-palestinian-territories/
8 http://www.adalah.org/en/content/view/7589
9 http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=45495
10 http://imeu.org/article/the-prawer-plan-ethnic-cleansing-in-the-negev
11 http://www.ipsc.ie/press-releases/prawer-plan-is-israels-biggest-act-of-ethnic-cleansing-since-1967
12 http://www.unjppi.org/open-letter-from-tutu.html
13 http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2012/04/2012421020291808.html
14 https://www.badil.org/en/publication/periodicals/al-majdal/item/961-the-naqab-negev-under-the-microscope-roots-reality-destiny.html
15 http://www.whoprofits.org/content/soda-stream-completes-withdrawal-its-factory-mishor-adumim-west-bank-and-relocates-naqab
16 http://www.ethicalconsumer.org/commentanalysis/humanrights/sodastream_feature_ec155.aspx
17 http://www.tepapa.govt.nz/whatson/exhibitions/sliceofheaven/exhibition/Diversity/Pages/1981Springboktour.aspx
18 The Warehouse Group Limited (“The Warehouse”) Code of General Business Principles, 2 August 2012, page 5.  http://www.thewarehousegroup.co.nz/corporate-governance
19 http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.603011
20 http://www.alternativenews.org/english/index.php/bds/92-macy-s-stops-stocking-sodastream

[ENDS]

Stop land theft – Boycott SodaStream!

Join the Campaign to Help Stop Demolitions of Bedouin Villages – Boycott SodaStream!
SodaStream is complicit in the displacement of 40,000 to 70,000 Palestinian Bedouin Citizens of Israel who are being dispossessed from their lands and forcibly relocated to urban townships like Rahat, near SodaStream’s new factory. Without their lands and herds the Bedouin are becoming a captive workforce exploited by companies like SodaStream.

Please join in Poneke Palestine’s “Boycott SodaStream” actions:

Outside the carpark at 133 Tory Street, Wellington:
10:00 am on Sunday 13th December 2015; and
10:00 am on Sunday 20th December 2015 (as part of nationwide actions.)

Poneke Palestine will provide leaflets, banners and placards – – just bring
your own sunscreen/water etc.  (No racist symbols please; thank you.)

If you are unable to come along on the Sunday, but you would like to support the Boycott SodaStream campaign, we encourage you to write to your local appliance store and ask them to stop selling SodaStream products.

Here is a link to a letter for your local appliance store which you can print, sign and give it to retail outlets, or welcome to use it as a model to write a personal letter to your local appliance store.

If you would like to organise a local campaign, please contact wellington@aotearoabds.org

Don’t buy sodastream this Christmas!

Join the global boycott of Sodastream! Don’t buy sodastream!

SodaStream is an Israeli fizzy drinks machine company, which is complicit in human rights abuses.  For 40 years, SodaStream was illegally located on stolen Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank.  Sadly, SodaStream is still profiting from apartheid and human rights violations at its new location in Rahat.

SodaStream is NOT Green – stop greenwashing!

While SodaStream claims to be environmentally friendly, the reality is that the company has for over 40 years been fully complicit in environmental destruction.

By promoting its product as beneficial to the environment, the company hopes to gain allies and distract from, or greenwash, its complicity in Israel’s human rights abuses and violations of international law.

Since April 2014,  the Earth Day Network has cut ties with SodaStream.  The Palestinian Environmental NGOs Network stated SodaStream depletes and pollutes scarce Palestinian water resources, and has contributed to the degradation of Palestinian land the destruction of thousands of trees.

Mishor Adumim, where SodaStream operated for 40 years and still  holds factory property,  “manages” “the most polluting waste disposal site in the country” where more than 1,100 tons of toxic waste from Israel and illegal Israeli settlements are dumped every day onto Palestinian land at the  infamous Abu Dis landfill.

At the new factory in Rahat, in the Negev Desert SodaStream is still complicit in the displacement of Palestinians, theft of their resources, and perpetuation of the apartheid system which subjugates and oppresses them.

Based on these realities, SodaStream is a target of the Palestinian call for the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) of Israel and complicit institutions, until Israel meets its obligation to fully comply with international law and uphold the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination.

Israel razes Palestinian village in Negev for 90th time

Soda stream is moving to a location very near to the Bedouin village of Araqib, which Israel has destroyed for the 90th time on 28 October 2015.

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/10/israel-razes-palestinian-village-negev-90th-time-151028121644298.html

The villagers of Araqib have not given up, and they are resisting this ethnic cleansing. The community returns and rebuilds their homes after each demolition.  But Israeli police and military continue storming Araqib village to demolish it and evict its residents.

Israeli authorities have demolished Araqib 90 times since 2010, said the Adalah Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights.  Araqib is one of more than 35 or more “unrecognised” Palestinian Bedouin villages in the Negev Desert region.

An estimated 80,000 Palestinian Bedouin with Israeli citizenship live in the “unrecognised” villages.  They are denied state services such as water, electricity, rubbish pick-up and schools, stated the Association for Civil Rights in Israel.

The Adalah Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights has documented more than 50 discriminatory laws targeting Palestinian citizens of Israel.  These laws amount to an apartheid system involving separate but unequal laws and lack of civil rights, solely based on race.

SodaStream is complicit in upholding such a system and depends on this system to make a profit.  SodaStream benefits from financial subsidies and lax regulation.  The company benefits from cheap land use, tax breaks, financial “incentives” to move to the Negev, and captive labour of displaced Bedouin.

Oscar-nominated filmmaker to tour NZ

MAIN POSTER COLOUR-AMENDED

Oscar-nominated Palestinian filmmaker Emad Burnat will pay a rare visit at the end of this month. 

 He will be touring New Zealand with his acclaimed film 5 Broken Cameras.The film won an Emmy, was nominated for ‘best documentary feature’ at the Academy Awards and was awarded by the Sundance Film Festival.

PORIRUA AND WELLINGTON Special screenings, followed by Q&A sessions will be hosted on the following dates: (NZ wide events to come soon…)

 

PORIRUA – WHITIREIA

Mon 29th Feb, 5 pm
Wi Neera Drive, Porirua
WK 120, Wikitoria Katene Bdg.

VICTORIA UNIVERISTY

Wed 2nd March, 5:30

MASSEY UNIVERSITY

Thurs 3rd March, 1 pm
LT 200, Block 6, near Tasman St.
For more info, and special events not listed here, please email danton.fletcher@gmail.com

MORE ABOUT THE FILM, 5 BROKEN CAMERAS

5 Broken Cameras is a moving account of life in Bil’in, a village in occupied Palestine’s West Bank. When the Israeli army decides to build a huge separation wall through their lands, the village responds with peaceful resistance.

Over five years (and five destroyed cameras), Bil’in resident Emad Burnat records what The Guardian described as “one of the best, most involving documentaries”.

The film follows two threads: the struggles of a family and their community to resist the loss of their lands, alongside a moving record of a young child’s growth from baby into a young boy.

FILMS FOR PEACE

5 Broken Cameras has also been of great interest internationally as Emad Burnat (Palestinian film-maker) has worked closely together with Guy Davidi (Israeli film-maker) while making his 5 years of footage together into the film.

 http://www.peoplescinema.org.nz/

Local Palestine supporters stand with Brazil

The Poneke Palestine Working Group will rally at the Brazil embassy in Wellington (Mon 11th January 2016, at noon.) The event is to support the Brazil government’s refusal to accept Israel’s new ambassador designate to Brazil, along with over 30 Brazilian groups.

Brazil has caused a diplomatic storm by rejecting the appointment of Argentinian born Dani Dayan because of his role in Israel’s military occupation of the West Bank. Dayan is envoy of the Yesha Council which lobbies to seize Palestinian land for colonisation and settlements.

Poneke Palestine Spokesperson Kat Goodman says the Brazilian government and NGOs have taken a courageous stand.

“We support Brazil’s principled rejection of Dani Dayan. Accepting him as ambassador would be to accept the occupation he represents.” Ms. Goodman says.

Aotearoa BDS spokesperson Billy Hania, a Palestinian New Zealander who has lived in Latin America, also applauds Brazil’s stance on Dayan.

“Dayan is a leader of the illegal settlement movement. Israel must stop choosing expansion over peace.”

Settlements Violate International Law

In 2004 the International Court of Justice determined that Israel’s settlements in the West Bank violate international law. Israel has since then continued to militarily seize Palestinian land in the West Bank and East Jerusalem and build new settlements.

Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully has said Israel’s settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem are deeply unhelpful and undermine a two state solution.

Billy Hania says New Zealand needs to do more to condemn the settlements as illegal.  “For a start, we should follow the European Union in ensuring exports from illegal Israeli settlements don’t sneak in unidentified – like SodaStream.”

Tel Aviv threatened to downgrade relations with Brasilia if it did not accept Dani Dayan as its choice for ambassador on 28 December.

Jews in Aotearoa condemn Israel’s policies

Kat Goodman is also a member of Jews for Justice Aotearoa, which condemns the occupation. “Many Jews across Aotearoa are totally against the settlements and violence, and against Dayan” she said.

“Dayan lives in Ma’aleh Shorom, a settlement in the West Bank. He claims to be against violence, but he was head of the Yesha Council which funds settler attacks.”

Settler attacks killed Ali Dawabsheh, an 18-month-old Palestinian baby burned to death when settlers set fire to his family home in the occupied West Bank in July 2015.

ENDS

STOP THE WEAPONS CONFERENCE!

Poneke Palestine Working Group and BDS Wellington will join with Peace Action Wellington and other community groups, to protest the Wellington Weapons Conference.  Join us to protest at TSB Arena on Tuesday November 17th from 8am.  Also join us at TSB Arena on Wednesday November 18th, 6pm. All welcome!
For Peace and Justice in the Middle East:

Stop Arming Israel!  Stop Weapons Sales!

The arms embargo on apartheid South Africa was a success in helping to end apartheid discrimination there. You can help support ending apartheid in Israel-Palestine also, for peace with Justice.

Poneke Palestine Working group calls for:

(1)   Two way weapons embargo on Israel now!

Peace and justice groups worldwide are calling for an international weapons embargo on Israel. New Zealand has recently signed the Arms Trade Treaty:  we are obligated to not arm countries who break international law and violate human rights.

(2)   New Zealand superfund (public retirement fund) divest

from companies complicit and active in the occupation of Palestinian territory:

For example: G4S runs the Israeli political prisons in the occupied west bank. Raytheon make missiles sold to Israel. Boeing, listed in 2012 as the largest supplier of weapons worldwide, makes bomber planes for Israel. Caterpillar produces militarised bulldozers to demolish Palestinian homes.  Divest now!

Freedom, justice and equality are interlinked and integral to finding a longstanding peace

The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions  (BDS) campaign has had some success worldwide and in New Zealand. New Zealand superfund has thus far divested from ELBIT Systems and General Dynamics as well as two other companies profiting from the occupation.

What can you do?

Learn more: there are many international groups working to end Israel’s military occupation of Palestinian territories, and to allow refugees to return to their homes as well as campaigning for an end to discriminatory laws and apartheid systems.

Get active: Contact Poneke Palestine Working Group  —

www.aotearoabds.org

This group meets regularly, and hosts films and functions. Your support and solidarity would be appreciated!

Poneke.Palestine@gmail.com

Facebook: BDSWellington – Boycott Divestment Sanctions.

www.aotearoabds.org

 

For Peace and Justice in the Middle East:

Stop Arming Israel!  Stop Weapons Sales!

000-STWC Cubic 000-STWC IAI

For Peace and Justice in the Middle East:

Stop Arming Israel

Poneke.Palestine@gmail.com

Facebook: BDSWellington – Boycott Divestment Sanctions.

www.aotearoabds.org

Palestinian solidarity activists are joining Peace Action Wellington Tuesday  17th Nov to protest Wellington’s international weapons conference!

Disappearing Palestine:  From 1947 to 1949, ethnic cleansing caused huge displacement of Palestinian people, with almost a million fleeing to refugee camps in surrounding countries.

In 1967 Israel invaded and militarily occupied the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem (the Occupied Palestinian Territories, which NZ and the world identify as the Palestinian state.

International law requires Israel is to withdraw from those occupied territories. Instead, Israel continues its offensive and expansion, bulldozing Palestinian homes and communities to create illegal gated apartheid areas for Israeli settlers on stolen land.

To this day the majority of the Palestinian people in the occupied territories live in what could be described as open air prisons, in two slices of land, the Gaza strip and the West Bank. Many are desperate for their lives under this military occupation, with essential resources confiscated by the Israeli government and military.

In response to this humanitarian crisis, the Palestinian people have called on the international community, governments and people to Boycott, Divest, and impose Sanctions upon the state of Israel until Israel abides by international law.

The arms embargo on apartheid South Africa was a success in helping to end apartheid discrimination there.

STOP WEAPONS SALES TO ISRAEL NOW!

STAND WITH PALESTINE RALLY, WELLINGTON, NZ on 24 Oct 2015

New Zealand Government should take a stand, to uphold human rights and International Law in Occupied Palestine

Pal Rally steps
STAND WITH PALESTINE RALLY, Wellington 24/10/2015

Human Rights, Interfaith and Peace Groups took to the streets in Wellington on Saturday 24/10/2015.

Over 200 people gathered in Wellington to protest Israel’s summary executions of innocent people, and to campaign for an end to the occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza. This was just one of many demonstrations for Palestinian rights around the world this week.

EXECUTIONS OF INNOCENT PEOPLE

Numerous social media and eye witness reports are coming through, debunking Israel’s trumped-up posthumous “charges” and confirming that Palestinians executed by Israel recently were actually innocent.  Please see for example Zack Sabella’s blog live from the West Bank and East Jerusalem… [trigger warning]  http://zsabella.svbtle.com/a-day-in-the-life-of

Israel’s extrajudicial killings in the occupied Palestinian territories, are a chilling contrast to the IDF soldiers’ “moral army” claims at Victoria University last month.  Academics signed a petition against the University hosting the two IDF soldiers defending war crimes at the university on September 29th 2015. https://protestidfmeetingatvictoria.wordpress.com/2015/09/27/academics-protest-idf-meeting-at-victoria/

 

INTERACTIVE STREET THEATRE IN WELLINGTON

Leading up to the demonstration, students from Victoria University organised a street theatre and interactive banner to raise awareness. The street theatre also reached thousands of people over Friday evening to Saturday morning.

Street theatre

The Victoria University students’ street theatre educated the NZ public and drew attention to the issue of Israel’s random, reasonless executions of Palestinian civilians.

Israel has randomly executed at least 50 Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, since October 1st  2015, without evidence, arrest, formal charges or trial. Israel has also ‘accidentally’ executed Israeli citizens and asylum-seekers in this process, thinking they were Palestinians.

 

MASS CIVIL RESISTANCE IN PALESTINE

Meanwhile Palestinian groups have organised widespread demonstrations calling Israel to end the occupation and stop the killings. These are the largest civil demonstrations in occupied Palestine in ten or twenty years.

The media should be covering this largely non-violent civil resistance. Meanwhile, over 50 Palestinian people have been executed without charges or trial while the media reports only the trumped-up charges.  The executions and trumped up charges are forming a media eclipse on huge civil protests against the occupation.

 

NEW ZEALAND GOVERNMENT SHOULD TAKE A STAND

New Zealand should lead the international community in confronting Israel about the occupation and summary executions.  International pressure could force Israel to drop such policies. The New Zealand government has the channels to raise this, and should do so.

Earlier in 2015, New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully condemned Indonesia’s execution of the Bali 9 (with trial.)  However so far, McCully has not yet condemned Israel’s summary executions of innocent Palestinians — executions which are taking place without arrest, evidence of crime. McCully should condemn this immediately.

New Zealand is a High Contracting Party to the Geneva Accords, and has a seat on the UN Security Council.  Also at present Israeli citizens are automatically granted visas to New Zealand, with no application process or mechanisms to identify war criminals or decline their visas.  New Zealand has also been asked to join the global weapons embargo on Israel.

Israel has militarily occupied the Palestinian West Bank and East Jerusalem since 1967. This month Israel has given its occupation forces the green light to shoot Palestinians first and ask questions later.

Failing to protect the rights of Palestinian civilians under Israeli occupation violates UN Security Council resolution 1322 (2000). United Nations Security Council Resolution 242 requires Israel to withdraw from the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza (the occupied Palestinian territories).

We demand that the New Zealand government publicly, though all channels, including through its position on the UN Security Council, condemn Israeli violence and violations of international humanitarian law and further that the New Zealand government take practical steps under its obligations as a High Contracting Party to the Geneva Accords, to force Israel to end the occupation, stop summary executions, and comply with its international obligations.         

 

Stop Summary Executions, End the Occupation;

Support Palestinian Self-determination, Civil Rights & Humanitarian Rights Now!

The Angriness of the Dispossessed

protest

Less than a month ago, Victoria University of Wellington hosted a talk event given by a couple of former Israeli Defence Force (IDF) soldiers. As expected, students opposing the talk protested outside the venue where the talk was given. The security was tight. Verbal shots were exchanged between both camps. Chants of “Free, free Palestine!” and “Shame Vic Uni Shame!” continuously reverberated the hallway while the talk was ongoing. With the coming of the IDF soldiers, the atmosphere of protest that permeated in Palestine hovers briefly in the usually quiet university hallway.

Occasionally, some of the students slipped into the lecture hall. Many of them stayed throughout the talk. Others left – quietly or not. Those who do not leave quietly shouted to the speakers. Although they were being shouted at, the former IDF soldiers remained polite. They urged ‘restraint’ and ‘respectful debate’. That night, the Israelis appeared civilised and reasonable. The students who protested, meanwhile, appeared angry, irrational and disruptive. It is as if the citizens of a benevolent empire are calmly facing a horde of barbarians.

In fact, this is the image the Israeli state as trying to portray itself: as an outpost of civilisation, defending itself against uncivilized natives who do not wish to negotiate and compromise.

Forget the fact that this outpost civilisation was forcibly build upon the ruins and suffering of those ‘uncivilized natives’, without any form of negotiation and compromise whatsoever, beginning with the forcible expulsions of Arab villagers from their homes in 1948, until the recent attempts to evict Palestinian residents to make way for the expansion of Israeli settlement. The ‘defenders’ are merely defending the lands that they conquered, and often through excessive forces.

From 1948 until today, the history between the Palestinians and the Israelis have been a series of occupation, displacements and killings. Often, the violence are perpetrated by forces acting for the state of Israel, whose representatives urged for ‘restraint’ and ‘respectful’ debate at the Victoria University around a month ago.

Recently, 50 Palestinians and 9 Israelis have been killed since early October. The deaths include an Eritrean man mistakenly killed by Israeli forces after being mistaken as an Arab, an 11 year old boy and a 65 year old woman. Most of the Palestinians were killed after they allegedly tried to stab members of the Israeli security forces.

Despite the disparity of the number of deaths, the Israeli deaths in the mainstream media are commemorated, while the Palestinian deaths are ignored. After all, vigils are held for the victims, not the perpetrators. In this context, the Israelis are the victims, and the Palestinians are the perpetrators.

Firstly, one might ask the question: why knives? What motivated them to stab heavily armed members of the IDF, with mere knives? There are two possibilities. Firstly, the ‘stabbing attempts’ are just excuses to cover up extrajudicial killings committed by the Israeli security force. Secondly, 60 years of systematic oppression might motivate any sane human being to commit any act of resistance possible, even when you only have knife and stones.

However, the excessive media coverage on the violence occurring in Jerusalem and Gaza tend to displace another phenomenon that is happening.

Throughout Palestine, another Intifada is brewing.

Every Friday, young people across Palestine are marching peacefully to demand an end to Israeli’s occupation of their territories. They demand for normal lives, without sanctions and military checkpoints. They are young people who had been born under occupation, with no memories of freedom. They are demanding something that they have never really experienced in their lives.

These protests are not organised by any political party. Most importantly, they are also non-violent.

Sadly, their voices are not heard by the mainstream media. They do not fit the narrative of ‘violent, bloodthirsty Palestinians’ against the ‘benevolent Israelis who are forced to use force’.

They are angry. Every right thinking Palestinian has the right to be angry. Every conscientious human being should have the right to be angry too, at seeing injustice being prolonged without any end to another human being.

If you ignore their right to speak of their anger, then the only language that they will be able to speak is the language of violence.

Stand with Palestine: Stop the Executions. March in Solidarity (Oct 24th)

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Stop Summary Executions – Civil Rights Now

Uphold International Law in occupied Palestine

 


4 maps palestineEND THE OCCUPATION

For more than 48 years, Israel has been carrying out an illegal and belligerent military occupation in the  West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip  (Palestinian territories), neglecting international laws and conventions, in consistent defiance of the international community and of numerous UN resolutions.

Most importantly, resolutions 242 and 338 require Israel to withdraw from territories it occupied in 1967 and 1973.

 

PROTECT PALESTINIAN CIVILIANS

Moreover, the U.N. Security Council, in resolution 1322 (2000), paragraph 3: “Calls upon Israel, the occupying Power, to abide scrupulously by its legal obligations and its responsibilities under the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons…”.

This means that the Palestinian People living in these Palestinian Lands should be “protected persons” under the Fourth Geneva Convention.  But instead, under Israel’s military occupation, Palestinians’ civil rights are consistently violated.

END APARTHEID

Israel has not only neglected to withdraw its military occupation but, conversely, reinforced it through implanting hundreds of military checkpoints and hundreds of thousands of heavily armed settlers in apartheid settlements on stolen Palestinian land.

In addition, the blocking and ripping apart of Palestinian cities and villages via the separation wall, is considered apartheid discrimination in another violation of the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice of 2004.

STOP VIOLENCE BY ISRAELI SETTLERS

In addition to the above mentioned violations, the fully armed illegal settlers backed up by Israel’s occupying military forces are fully free to move around any of these occupied cities and villages including the holy sites of Palestinians. This is usually associated with systematic aggression against Palestinian civilians.

SUPPORT FOR CIVIL RESISTANCE

Under these circumstances, and in the absence of the political will to enforce the body of international law on the Israeli government, Palestinians are left with no feasible options but to carry out what is considered to be a third intifada in order to defend their rights and lives.

A people under occupation have a legal right to resist. The resistance is largely in the form of massive non-violent civil demonstrations, although the media is failing to report the true picture.

STOP SUMMARY EXECUTIONS NOW

Israeli forces have responded by lying to the media and carrying out a series of executions in which Palestinian civilians are being shot on the mere suspicion of causing a ‘threat’. Social media has revealed much of the truth that pro-Israel media tries to whitewash. More than 40 young Palestinians have been shot dead by Israeli settlers and military forces since October the 1st. The majority of these victims were harmless as evident in a number of videos recorded by eyewitnesses.

Therefore, we demand that the New Zealand government take all available steps to pressure and persuade the Israeli government to stop killing Palestinian civilians, and to end the occupation.

RALLY & MARCH FROM CUBA MALL BUCKET FOUNTAIN

12 NOON, SAT 24th OCT 2015.    No racist symbols please.

12/10/2015 PALESTINIAN BDS CALLS FOR INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY

handala2The global Palestinian-led BDS movement was started by 176 Palestinian organisations in 2005.

It calls for Boycotts, Dis-investments and Sanctions (BDS) until Israel complies with international law on three principles of human rights:

  1. Ending Israel’s military occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, Gaza and the Golan Heights
  2. Equal rights for all — ending apartheid systems
  3. Allowing Palestinian refugees to return to their homes under UN resolution 194.

In Oct 2015, with the situation currently worsening, the Palestinian BNC (Boycott National Committee) has written a statement (below) calling for international solidarity:

http://www.bdsmovement.net/2015/solidarity-with-the-palestinian-popular-resistance-boycott-israel-now-13313

CALL FOR INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY WITH THE PALESTINIAN RESISTANCE – BOYCOTT ISRAEL NOW

Whether the current phase of Israel’s intensified repression and Palestinian popular resistance will evolve into a full-fledged intifada or not, one thing is already evident—a new generation of Palestinians is marching on the footsteps of previous generations, rising up en masse against Israel’s brutal, decades-old regime of occupation, settler colonialism and apartheid.

In this latest round, Israel has fanned the flames of Palestinian grassroots resistance by stepping up its attacks against al-Aqsa mosque compound, the Noble Sanctuary, located in the heart of the Israeli occupied Old City of Jerusalem. Fanatic, government-backed Zionist fundamentalist settler groups have persistently desecrated the compound, often verbally insulting worshippers with vile racism and openly calling for the destruction of the mosque. This has triggered widespread anger and protests in Jerusalem and among Palestinians everywhere in historic Palestine.

This ongoing rebellion is also a response to Israel intensifying its ethnic cleansing and oppression of Palestinians. In recent months, Israel has sped up its theft of Palestinian land and demolition of Palestinians houses, tightened the siege on Gaza and implemented new racist measures against Palestinians.

In a typical so-called “period of calm”, Israel enforces its medieval siege of Gaza, conducts incursions into Palestinians cities, confiscates Palestinian land, including in the Naqab (Negev), destroys Palestinian property, and builds illegal Jewish-only settlements. In its ongoing attempts to entrench its system of apartheid and colonial rule, Israel denies Palestinians their full spectrum of rights in the most banal of ways, from a child’s right to education to a mother’s access to health care, to a farmer’s ability to reach his/her land and to the right of a family to even live together in one home.

In light of the apathy or direct complicity of world governments and the UN, and as a result of Israel’s impunity in perpetuating this system of injustice against Palestinians, in historic Palestine as well as in exile, the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement has made great strides in redefining Israel’s positioning in the world stage as a pariah state.

More needs to be done, however, to hold Israel to account and shatter its still strong impunity. Complicit governments must be exposed. Corporations that are enabling and profiting from Israel’s human rights violations must pay a price in their reputation and revenues. Israel’s military machine, including its research arm, must face a comprehensive international military embargo, and all Israeli leaders, officers and soldiers who are involved in the commission of the current and past crimes must be prosecuted at the International Criminal Court as well as national courts that respect international jurisdiction.

Read the full statement from the Palestinian BDS National Committee here.

Take action now:

  • Share our call for solidarity action and our Boycott Israel now! graphic on Facebook and Twitter
  • Find out ideas on products to boycott and campaigns to support here.
  • Build awareness about Palestinian rights under international law and support for BDS
  • Pressure parliaments to impose a military embargo on Israel
  • Campaign against Israeli military companies such as Elbit Systems;
  • Support boycott and divestment campaigns against complicit companies, such as G4S and HP, that are most blatantly complicit in Israel’s infrastructure of oppression

Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC)

Hamori building 2nd floor, Jerusalem Street, PO Box 2232, Ramallah, Palestine

 

Read the full statement here: http://www.bdsmovement.net/2015/solidarity-with-the-palestinian-popular-resistance-boycott-israel-now-13313