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.
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.