A celebration of ethnic cleansing, war crimes and human rights abuses

It doesn’t get much worse than this.

The government has got itself involved in an effort to build “strategic partnerships in agriculture” with Israel, assisted by the Israeli embassy.

The Chief Science Advisor to the Ministry of Primary Industries, John Roche, is scheduled to speak at this on-line event on 15/16 February, which has been organised by Agritech New Zealand.

This is an outrage!

Israel’s agriculture sector is based on ethnic cleansing, war crimes and human rights abuses against the Palestinian people.

Our government and our farmers (Federated Farmers are part of this) should be demanding Palestinian refugees be allowed to return to their land instead of helping Israel profit from this stolen land.

Israel is a racist, apartheid state* and its agriculture sector is based on:

  • Abuse of International law. (eg Illegal Jewish-only settlements built on occupied Palestinian land)
  • War crimes (eg Illegal settlement building on occupied Palestinian land is a war crime under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court)
  • Violation of United Nations Security Council and General Assembly resolutions. (eg UNGA 194, UNSC 242. UNSC 2334)
  • Ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from their land and the blatant refusal to allow refugees to return to their land (UNGA 194)
  • Frequent racist attacks by Israeli settlers, backed by the Israeli Defence Force, on Palestinian farmers (eg here, here, here and here
  • Seizure of water supplies and blatant theft of water from Palestinian farmers. (eg here and here)
  • Destruction of Palestinian crops and olive groves (eg here, here, and here)
  • Instances of draining sewage onto Palestinian land and crops (eg here and here)
  • Indiscriminate aerial spraying of Palestinian farmland along the border with Gaza. (eg herehere, here, and here)

This Agritech seminar is a celebration of ethnic cleansing, war crimes and human rights abuses.

Withdrawal is the only moral and ethical course for the government.

*Background on Israel as a racist, apartheid state

Early in 2021, B’Tselem, Israel’s largest and most respected human rights organisation, released a report calling Israel “A regime of Jewish supremacy from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea: This is apartheid”

In April 2021, the Nobel-Peace-Prize-winning US-based organisation Human Rights Watch released a 213-page report detailing how Israeli policies constitute crimes of apartheid and persecution.

The recently deceased Nobel Peace prize winner and South African Archbishop, Desmond Tutu, said international solidarity such as BDS is critical to ending injustices like apartheid.

“I have witnessed the racially segregated roads and housing in the Holy Land that reminded me so much of the conditions we experienced in South Africa under apartheid,” says Tutu.

“We could not have achieved our democracy without the help of people around the world, who through… non-violent means, such as boycotts and disinvestment, encouraged their governments and other corporate actors to reverse decades-long support for the apartheid regime”

Bishop Tutu says when it comes to Israel we should “Call it apartheid and boycott!”

It’s also worth recording here Tutu’s words that for anyone “to be silent in the face of oppression is to take the side of the oppressor”. Taking the side of the oppressor is precisely the position the Ministry of Primary Industries is taking with Israel through this event.

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