Say no to alliance with land-theft and agricultural sabotage

A letter from the Palestine Solidarity Network Aotearoa (PSNA), written to Minister of Agriculture, Damien O’Connor, as well as Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nanaia Mahuta, has been published in a Press Release, urging the Government to pull out of a forthcoming on-line AgriTech seminar with the Israeli agriculture sector.

In support of PSNA’s appeal, we have sent both Ministers the following Open Email:

Dear Nanaia Mahuta and Damien O’Connor,

With regard to the “coming together” of New Zealand and Israel at the forthcoming AgriTech online summit:

The international community has passed hundreds of resolutions in the UN Security Council, General Assembly and Human Rights Council, calling on Israel not to annex Palestinian land and not to impose any of the 300 illegal settlements it has in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.

Palestinian agriculture is ravaged by land-theft and sabotage, committed by both Israeli forces and illegally-imposed settlers. Boycotting Israel, as exemplified by BDS, is civil society’s way of supporting human rights and international law – setting an example to governments and world leaders.

In a recent interview, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Michael Lynk, reminded the world that there will be no end to Israel’s Palestinian human rights violations until it is held fully accountable for them. He observed “annexation has been illegal in international law, since the end of the Second World War. The international community recognised with the founding of the United Nations in 1945 that countries are not allowed to have acquisitive ambitions beyond their own borders, either in forms of colonialism or in forms of trying to expand their borders.” The 2010 amendments in the Rome Statute on the International Criminal Court hold annexation to be a crime of aggression.

Israel‘s leaders must be made to understand that, if they fail to put an immediate end to their human rights violations, they will be forced to face exclusion from international trade, cultural and investment associations. Sadly, world powers such as the United States, continue to aid Israel.

Where do you both stand on these crucial issues? Does your Government unequivocally support human rights and international law? Or does it place greater emphasis on trade and solidarity with our ‘traditional allies’? Collaboration is complicity.


Leslie and Marian Bravery


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