Justice for Ali Dawabsheh: silent vigil in Wellington

A group of about 20 Wellingtonians held a silent street theatre and vigil outside the Israeli embassy in Wellington on 4th August 2015 to demand justice for Ali Dawabsheh. About 250 passers by supported the vigil in various ways. The vigil also aimed to raise awareness of the problem of Israel’s military occupation of the occupied West bank; human rights abuses; apartheid; illegal settlements, settler violence, land theft and the horrors of ongoing ethnic cleansing which Palestinians suffer all over the West Bank daily.

Addressing the root causes of these problems would involve Israel ending the occupation and illegal colonisation of the occupied territories; ending apartheid systems and in supporting refugees’ rights.

You can help by asking the NZ Superannuation fund to stop investing in companies which profit from the occupation of the West Bank; and by telling all your friends and family to boycott soda stream — which is produced in an illegal settlement on stolen land in the occupied West Bank. You can also donate money, or time, to help by sending a message through this web site or a facebook page:

To donate money:
The bank account number for donations is under PONEKE PALESTINE, account number: 38-9016-0505506-00

Funds are needed to help us organise and cover costs in Wellington / New Zealand, for organising and advocacy for Palestinian human rights and you are welcome to donate, any amount large or small will all help, whether a one-off donation or a regular weekly or monthly donation. 🙂

On July 31st, a Palestinian home was set on fire by arsonists during the early hours of the morning. The screams of terror and pain from the occupants were heard by neighbours who ran to help, but they were too late. An 18 month old child named Ali was burned to death. Ali’s 4 year old brother Ahmad and his parents Sa’ad and Reham are all in hospital in critical condition. There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that this was a hate crime. The perpetrators spray painted the Hebrew word for “revenge” on the walls next to a Star of David. Even the Israeli Prime Minister, Bibi Netanyahu, has called this an act of terrorism.

Although it is good that the Israeli authorities are rightly viewing this as a horrific crime, it is galling that they condemn this violent act after their invasion of the Gaza strip last year killing 504 children according to the Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights. The murder of Palestinian children is not an unusual event given Israel’s history of genocide and land theft from the indigenous Palestinians.

Since its founding in 1948, Israel has consistently been slaughtering Palestinians and driving them off their own land. The survivors have been subject to an apartheid system not unlike that of South Africa before 1994. Currently the Gaza strip and the West Bank are Palestinian territories, yet Israel continues to put settlers on occupied land in the West Bank in defiance of international law. The residents of the Gaza strip have been blockaded to prevent the entry of resources and are living in the world’s largest open air prison.

Settler violence against Palestinians is hardly an unusual event. The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs lists over 2500 acts of violence against Palestinians by settlers, yet only 1.9% of the attacks result in a conviction according to the Israeli human rights group Yesh Din.
The attack on the Dawabsheh family was only the most recent development of this decades long crisis inflicted on the Palestinian people. Although this particular crime was only carried out by two or more individuals, all Zionists are indirectly responsible as they have created a culture that encourages the dehumanisation of Palestinians. All of Israel benefits from the same system of apartheid that denies the worth of Palestinian lives. Children like Ali will continue to be killed until the apartheid system is ended.

You can help to end this by supporting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. The BDS seeks to put political and economic pressure on Israel to end apartheid through nonviolent means. Join us at http://www.aotearoabds.org to learn of our campaigns and how you can help.

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