Friday, 24 November 2017
IOP Report {2} - April 2012 Print
Monday, 16 April 2012

While Occupation and blockade are business as usual for Israel, there should be no business with Israel

In Occupied Palestine

Zionism in practice

Israel’s Daily Toll on Palestinian Life, Limb, Liberty and Property

(Compiled by Leslie Bravery, Palestine Human Rights Campaign POB 56150, Dominion Rd, Auckland, New Zealand

Israeli Navy opens fire on Gaza fishermen – 1 boat disabled

Israeli Occupation forces shoot youngster in face

Recent news updates:

Israeli gunboats fire at Palestinian fishing boats, disabling one – Video by @rosa_schiano. 14 April 2012. Today Palestinian fishermen were attacked by the Israeli Navy inside Gaza's three-mile limit. One fishing boat engine was destroyed. This is the second attack in two days.

Nabi Saleh – video: 13 April 2012 Israeli Occupation forces shoot boy in the face.

Auckland University Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP): Facebook Twitter The Welcome to Palestine 2012 Campaign has been launched and has already attracted a lot of attention internationally, with Israel going to extreme lengths to stop pro-Palestine activists from entering Palestine because they "pose a threat to Israel's security." Attached is a document with the media release urging NZ MPs to support this campaign as well as more information about the campaign in general for your reference. There is an appeal for letters to be written from New Zealand children to children in Palestine as a statement of support and friendship. Kids from Palestine have already sent letters to New Zealand through Julie-Webb Pullman and she hopes that some in New Zealand will reply. Please contact her if you would know anyone interested or if you can link up with your local primary school. The Auckland University Jewish Society (AUJS) has written a response to SJP's article in Craccum about the one state/two state solution. It is rather comical so do check it out:

Welcome to Palestine updates: (From Eric Willoughby) Visitors on a tour of Palestine began to arrive in Israel on Sunday, as demonstrations were held in European airports to protest against the barring of dozens of tourists as part of the 'Welcome to Palestine' initiative. Organiser Mazin Qumsiyeh (see article below) said several passengers had arrived, and Israeli news site Ynet reported three passengers from Paris had been allowed to enter after questioning in Ben Gurion Airport. In photos: Denied passengers protest in Belgian airport Photos and video Ynet News,7340,L-4215933,00.html Photo: Israel has deployed hundreds of policemen to its Ben Gurion Airport to confront pro-Palestinian activists arriving from European countries. Up to 1500 Palestinian supporters, more than a third of them from France, have planned to visit the West Bank as part of the campaign called “Welcome to Palestine 2012.”

Airlines' complicity: Among the airlines that notified the activists of flight cancellations were Lufthansa, Air France and Easyjet, Dr Mazin Qumsiyeh, a Bethlehem-based spokesman for the protest said, adding that the activists are threatening to take legal action against the airlines. "Israel passed lists of hundreds of activists to companies, along with a letter in which it claimed that they were coming to carry out a provocation and disturb the peace, and this is just not true. It is very unfortunate that these companies bowed to Israeli pressure," said Dr Qumsiyeh, who added that he has no doubt that some of the activists and Palestinian organisations - including his own - will pursue legal action against the companies.

Palestine 2012 initiative. Sunday, 15 April 2012, 7:08 pm | Palestinian Human Rights Campaign (NZ) Media Release: The New Zealand Palestine Human Rights Campaign calls on NZ Members of Parliament to endorse the Welcome to Palestine Initiative 17 April 2012 by supporting the right of the people of the occupied Palestinian Territories to receive those who present (Also see below Palestine 2012 initiative article.)


Palestine 2012 initiative

Press Release: Palestinian Human Rights Campaign Welcome to Palestine 2012 initiative and the right of Palestinians to receive visitors:

The Palestine Human Rights Campaign calls on New Zealand Members of Parliament to endorse the WELCOME TO PALESTINE INITIATIVE ON 17 APRIL 2012 by supporting the right of the people of the occupied Palestinian Territories to receive those who present themselves peacefully at Tel Aviv Airport, and who declare their wish to proceed to Palestine, to be freely allowed to do so. It is our hope that New Zealand MPs will agree that this fundamental human right is worthy of support.

A violation of international law, Israel's belligerent military Occupation of the West Bank isolates the territory from the outside world. Allowing Israel to continue turning away peaceful travellers to Palestine is tantamount to endorsing a long-running, illegal occupation.

New Zealand MPs who support this appeal and confirm their commitment to peace based on justice and freedom for all will be in company with Archbishop Desmond Tutu and many other distinguished human rights advocates around the world.


14 April 2012: As citizens of Israel, we feel great respect and appreciation for our Internationals who come to visit the West Bank and express solidarity with the Palestinian residents, living under occupation and apartheid. Certainly, we will be there to greet them on 15 April at the airport terminal, maintaining a presence between the hours of 12 noon until 8pm. We will greet them with open arms, in a feeling of deep appreciation and a personal friendship with some of them. We will hold 'Welcome' signs, balloons, flowers, chocolates and copies of the drawings by Palestinian children from Bethlehem. We welcome them in the harsh reality where Palestinians are excluded from meeting their invited guests and escorting them from the airport – not to mention, of course, being excluded themselves from flying from this airport.

Palestinian organisations proudly announce the forthcoming arrival of hundreds of visitors as part of the "Welcome to Palestine" campaign. The visit's programme will include the launching of a new school, getting into personal contact with Palestinians and exchange of cultural knowledge and study tours. Many Palestinian activists join every day in the effort to provide the most effective programme possible for the visitors. We continue our preparations, although a number of volunteers were harassed by Israeli security forces. In one case an activist suffered a late-night search of his home at 2am, having his personal computer confiscated. Other activists were detained for long hours of interrogation upon entering or leaving the country.

Dozens of our volunteers were actually encouraged by this very harassment campaign, as the State of Israel itself exposed the policy of siege and isolation which is being imposed on the West Bank. Last July, hundreds of Internationals bought tickets to board the flights to Palestine. The State of Israel sent out a "black list" containing the names of 342 people aged 9 to 83, preventing them from getting on the flights. This provoked demonstrations at airports across Europe, while Israeli security forces turned Tel-Aviv Airport into a military zone. 127 men and women were arrested at the airport and detained for several days, solely due to their insistence upon visiting the Palestinian families and organisations which invited them.

The campaign waged in the aftermath had many positive implications. Under judicial pressure, many airlines compensated the blocked passengers and fully refunded the ticket prices fully; trade unions at airports have joined in our call for preserving the Freedom of Movement. The Workers' Union of the Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris recently published a clear message of support for the "Welcome to Palestine" Campaign. The publicity also exposed Israel's attempts to prevent citizens of foreign countries from offering humanitarian support to millions of Palestinians living under Israeli occupation. What the State of Israel cannot tolerate, it seems, is the fact that women and men who come to visit here between 15 and 21 April are not going to lie or hide. They refuse to pretend that Palestine or the Palestinians do not exist.

The State of Israel may call it "de-legitimation" and spread various lies about those who are coming to visit here these days. We, on the other hand, are appreciative and grateful to all those visitors, who are striving for the same things to which we aspire - peace, humanism, mutual help and honesty.
The International Community recognises the fundamental right of the Palestinians to receive visitors from abroad, as well as the right of the citizens of all countries to visit the Palestinians without hindrance. Where the State of Israel tries to silence and isolate us, we call upon others to join us, openly and unafraid, without fear. At this time of Passover, known as the Feast of Libert, we will strive with the many others – locally and internationally – and strive to achieve the goals of freedom and equal rights for all, the same basic values we all share as human beings.


Press Release from the Welcome to Palestine Campaign

From Mazin Qumsiyeh:

We did not have to show our 1500 visitors Israeli racism, arrogance and human rights violations; the Israeli government showed them and also showed the whole world. Calling itself a democracy, this outlaw state denied the right of people from around the world to come visit us and see for themselves the reality of life under occupation. We the Palestinian people are 11 million normal human beings, seven million are refugees or displaced people simply because they are natives of a land that was wanted for a Jewish state. Five million of us are living in increasingly shrinking ghettos on a tiny fraction of our land. We remain here despite an illegal and brutal occupation that includes land confiscation, movement restrictions, home demolitions, illegal imprisonment of thousands (many now on hunger strike), and countless other inhuman conditions. Visitors who wanted to come and see what reality is like here were certainly shocked at Israel's behaviour. Those who wanted to welcome our visitors and were brutally assaulted will remember how the same Israeli police let right-wing fanatics sing and disrupt at the airport. The whole world is now seeing Israel for what it is: a police state that fulfils all the definitions of an apartheid pariah state as per the International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid (1973).

Countries that once supported Apartheid in South Africa had people who mobilised against it. Now people of conscience mobilise to challenge this apartheid that is now so explicitly expressed. Those airlines and governments that acted as subcontractors for the Israeli apartheid regime are being challenged by their own people. Denying boarding to a passenger, Air France gave as the reason that she is neither Jewish nor Israeli! (see in French, English:
In claiming in writing that we called for disruptions and for challenging the "security" of Israel, the Israeli government was exposed as lying. In forcing a Swedish passenger (unrelated to our campaign) to sign that he was not going to meet with any "pro-Palestinian" individuals or groups, the Israeli government was shown to be racist. Imagine if a similar requirement were posted to visitors to any other country about visiting or meeting with "pro-black" individuals or organisations. In sending a letter to that claims activists should worry about Iran and Syria before worrying about this system of apartheid, the Israeli government showed the bankruptcy of its arguments. In denying us the right to visit, the Israeli government showed the world that it has a lot to hide. Examples of profiles of those denied their right to visit us in Palestine: At the end of our press conference in Bethlehem, we passed out Easter coloured eggs. We Palestinian Christian and Muslims are grateful to all who act on their conscience, Internationals, Israelis and Palestinian volunteers. Thousands of us say loud and clear: We will not be silenced, we will continue to organise campaigns until we have freedom and until
Israel complies with all relevant international and humanitarian law.

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Welcome to Palestine 2012 Campaign websites






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Palestinian Resistance

Ali Kazak's newsletter Today in Palestine contains many news summaries that include both armed and non-violent methods of resistance to the Occupation. The newsletter also contains much other useful reporting. This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it


Behind the Wall

Rich Wiles is a photographic artist who has been living and working in Palestine for some years. His photographic work has been shown around Europe, the US, Australia and in Palestine itself. Since 2006 he has been writing from Occupied Palestine under the title Behind the Wall. Much of this work is based in and around the refugee camps in Palestine, highlighting daily life and memories of refugees who still live in forced exile for over 60 years since Al Nakba (The Catastrophe).


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