Security services smear against Palestinians and the Palestine solidarity movement

Security services smear against Palestinians and the Palestine solidarity movement

This morning we wrote to the minister in charge of security services, Andrew Little, to demand an apology for a report on the Wellington parliament protest which identifies supporters of one single national ethnic group, Palestinians, as part of the Wellington protest in the context of possible politically-motivated violent extremist attacks (PMVE) in the wake of the clearance of the protest from parliament.

The CTAG report is racist, reckless and dangerous as we explain in the letter.

 

Palestine Solidarity Network Aotearoa 

9 May 2022

Andrew Little

Minister of Security Services

Parliament Buildings

Wellington

 

a.little@ministers.govt.nz

 

Dear Mr Little,

 

Security services smear against Palestinians and the Palestine solidarity movement

We are writing to request an apology for the nasty smear against Palestinians and the Palestine solidarity movement by a Combined Threat Assessment Group (CTAG) report into the Wellington parliamentary protest.

The report was released to Newshub through the Official Information Act and looks at how “politically-motivated violent extremists” (PMVEs) could react as a result of the protest clearance at parliament.

The report identifies “pro-Palestinian” protestors – the only national ethnic grouping so identified in this context of potential security threats. This is a nasty repugnant smear on Palestinians and the Palestine solidarity movement.

There was a Palestinian flag being held at one point during the occupation but the Palestine Solidarity Network Aotearoa has no idea who that person was. We tried to identify them from the livestream but couldn’t – if we had we would have told them to put the flag away. For all we know it could have been a deliberate plant.

What we do know is there was an Israeli flag carried at the protest during the clearance of the occupation but somehow it escaped the attention of our security services.

The pro-Israel lobby in New Zealand, with which the security services meet regularly and have a cosy relationship, has been trying for many years to denigrate the Palestine solidarity movement with repugnant smears of anti-semitism and claims of support for terrorism. Now we have the Police, SIS and the National Assessments Bureau doing the pro-Israel’s lobby’s dirty work for it.

Perhaps this is why the Israeli flag was overlooked.

It will possibly come as a surprise to the security services that six Palestinians were killed in the Christchurch mosque attacks on 2019. Following this up with repulsive smears – guilt by association – against Palestinians and pro-Palestinian activists in their assessment of the Wellington occupation is reckless and dangerous. It is a not-so-subtle hint to white supremacists and their fellow travellers that Palestinians and pro-Palestinian activists are their enemy.

As well as pro-Israel supporters, also present at the Wellington protest were National Party supporters, New Zealand First supporters, Labour Party members, pro-Israel supporters and supporters from dozens of other groups. But the security services chose to identity supporters of one vulnerable national ethnic grouping – Palestinians – for special mention in the context of possible PMVE attacks.

If the CTAG report had mentioned “pro-Israel” supporters in this context of possible PMVE attacks the pro-Israel lobby would denounce this as anti-semitism, the Israeli ambassador would demand a meeting with the government and the Prime Minister would issue an apology.

Why should Palestinians and the Palestine solidarity movement expect anything less from our government?

Please respond without unnecessary delay.

Nā,

John Minto

National Chair

Palestine Solidarity Network Aotearoa

 

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