BREAKING NEWS: Open Letter to Foreign Secretary Regarding MFAT Censorship
Kia or Nanaia,
We have been advised that Wellington City Council has been advised by the Foreign Office not to light the Michael Fowler Center in the colors of the Palestinian flag tomorrow – which was organized by Councilor Tamatha Paul and approved by Council – because Aotearoa New Zealand does not recognize a Palestinian state and this will offend the Israeli Embassy in Wellington.
This is outrageous advice. We want you to step in and immediately rescind this notice from your ministry officials so that the Fowler Center can be illuminated tomorrow.
First, it is official New Zealand policy to support a “two-state” solution in historic Palestine and this policy in effect recognizes a Palestinian state. You cannot have a “two state solution” with one state. Second, it is deeply insulting to Palestinians to see official recognition of their national holiday – Nakba Day – effectively denied by ministry officials and Israeli embassy “sensibilities”. It is Israel that refuses to allow the formation of a Palestinian state. Current Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has said he refuses to meet with Palestinian leaders, refuses to negotiate a peace deal and will refuse to recognize a Palestinian state as long as he is prime minister. Why should Israel’s veto over a Palestinian state dictate Aotearoa New Zealand’s support for the Palestinians?
Why should we heed the “sensitivities” of an embassy that supports and promotes what every international human rights organization has declared to be an apartheid state?
Parliament has flown the Ukrainian flag in recent weeks over Russia’s invasion and occupation of Ukraine, so why shouldn’t New Zealand fly the Palestinian flag in recognition of the occupation? ongoing brutal military by Israel of the entire region of historic Palestine.
Over the past 10 days, an Israeli court has approved the eviction of another 1,000 Palestinians from their lands and homes in the occupied West Bank and the Israeli regime has announced that it is ready to approve the construction of another 4,000 homes. reserved for Jews – also in the occupied West Bank.
And just last week we saw the brutal ‘cold-blooded murder’ of Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh and the shocking sight of pallbearers and mourners at her funeral being brutally attacked by security forces. the Israeli state.
Aotearoa New Zealand is bigger than the venal and self-serving advice of cowardly MFAT officials.
Please ask your ministry officials to approve tomorrow’s lighting by Wellington City Council of the Fowler Center in the colors of the Palestinian flag.