Gaza

Maori Television reporter deported from Israel

One of the two reporters from Maori Television on board the terror-supporting protest flotilla has been deported from Israel.

Maori Television reporter Ruwani Perera has been deported from Israel after she and cameraman Jacob Bryant were filming a story onboard a flotilla of ships detained by the Israeli military.

Perera contacted relatives on Tuesday morning (New Zealand time) via satellite phone to say she was being deported, her partner Tim Werry said.

Werry said she was safe and that she would be flying back into Auckland on July 1.

It was only a brief message, he said, and he did not hear what had happened to Perera’s colleague Bryant.

“It’s all happening so quickly,” he said.

Werry said he was initially relieved to hear the news that she had been released by the Israeli military.   Read more »

Maori TV journalists detained by IDF as they take control of ships

The Maori TV journalists who were aboard the “Marianne av Göteborg” have been detained after the ships were intercepted by Israeli Navy Commandos.

The Times of Israel reports:

Israeli Navy commandos boarded a ship that was headed for the Gaza Strip overnight Sunday-Monday and took control of the vessel.

The interception occurred without incident and there were no injuries, the IDF said.

The Swedish-registered Marianne of Gothenburg will now be taken to Ashdod port, after which the activists on board will likely be deported, as Israeli officials have warned.

“In accordance with international law, the Israeli Navy advised the vessel several times to change course,” the IDF said in a statement.

“Following their refusal, forces visited and searched the vessel in international waters in order to prevent the intended breach of the maritime blockade of the Gaza Strip. The forces have reported that use of force was unnecessary, and that the process was uneventful. The vessel is currently being escorted to Ashdod Port and is expected to arrive within 12-24 hours,” it went on.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu congratulated the commandos on “their determined and efficient action in detaining the passengers on the ship that tried to reach the Gaza coast in contravention of the law.”

“This flotilla is nothing but a demonstration of hypocrisy and lies that is only assisting the Hamas terrorist organization and ignores all of the horrors in our region. Preventing entry by sea was done in accordance with international law and even received backing from a committee of the UN Secretary General,” Netanyahu said in a statement released to the press.

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UN report on Gaza is flawed and dangerous

Richard Kemp, a retired British Army colonel and the former Commander of British Forces in Afghanistan, writes in the New York Times about how deeply flawed and dangerous the UN report on Gaza is.

AS a British officer who had more than his share of fighting in Afghanistan, Iraq and the Balkans, it pains me greatly to see words and actions from the United Nations that can only provoke further violence and loss of life. The United Nations Human Rights Council report on last summer’s conflict in Gaza, prepared by Judge Mary McGowan Davis, and published on Monday, will do just that.

The report starts by attributing responsibility for the conflict to Israel’s “protracted occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip,” as well as the blockade of Gaza. Israel withdrew from Gaza 10 years ago. In 2007 it imposed a selective blockade only in response to attacks by Hamas and the import of munitions and military matériel from Iran. The conflict last summer, which began with a dramatic escalation in rocket attacks targeting Israeli civilians, was a continuation of Hamas’s war of aggression.

In an unusual concession, the report suggests that Hamas may have been guilty of war crimes, but it still legitimizes Hamas’s rocket and tunnel attacks and even sympathizes with the geographical challenges in launching rockets at Israeli civilians: “Gaza’s small size and its population density make it particularly difficult for armed groups always to comply” with the requirement not to launch attacks from civilian areas.

There is no such sympathy for Israel. Judge Davis accuses the Israel Defense Forces of “serious violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law.” Yet no evidence is put forward to substantiate these accusations. It is as though the drafters of the report believe that any civilian death in war must be illegal.

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Has Maori Television disavowed its reporters?

There are two Maori television reporters aboard the boats planning on risking life and limb to run the blockade of Gaza.

Ruwani Perera (Ngati Sri Lanka) and her cameraman are in grave danger and it appears that the Maori Television management and board have not completed the appropriate risk assessments to protect them and the organisation from legal action if either of them are injured or killed.

The media are all over this because, as is usual, they are taking sides. But what they are not telling you is the following:

  1. The blockade of Gaza is legal.

    The blockade of Gaza by Israel and Egypt was put in place in 2007 after Hamas came to power and started to attack Israel. 

    The UN-commissioned ‘[Sir Geoffrey] Palmer Report‘ regarding the Gaza Flotilla Incident of 2010 deemed the naval blockade by Israel to be a legitimate security measure to prevent weapons from entering Gaza by sea and to protect the Israeli population: “Israel has faced and continues to face a real threat to its security from militant groups in Gaza. Rockets, missiles and mortar bombs have been launched from Gaza towards Israel since 2001. More than 5,000 were fired between 2005 and January 2009, when the naval blockade was imposed. Hundreds of thousands of Israeli civilians live in the range of these attacks … The purpose of these acts of violence, which have been repeatedly condemned by the international community, has been to do damage to the population of Israel. It seems obvious enough that stopping these violent acts was a necessary step for Israel to take in order to protect its people and to defend itself.”

  2. Breaching the blockade is illegal.

    Violation of a lawful blockade constitutes unlawful activity, as reflected in paragraphs 10, 67, and 146 of the San Remo Manual on International Law Applicable to Armed Conflicts at Sea, 12 June 1994.

  1. The UN recommends governments should dissuade activists from these activities.

    The Palmer Report clearly states: “Attempts to breach a lawfully imposed naval blockade place the vessel and those on board at risk. Where a State becomes aware that its citizens or flag vessels intend to breach a naval blockade, it has a responsibility to take pro-active steps compatible with democratic rights and freedoms to warn them of the risks involved and to endeavour to dissuade them from doing so.”

  1. Aid is being delivered to Gaza on a daily basis via Israel.

    According to the Israeli Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), there were 1,252 crossings from Israel into Gaza, including 14,533 tonnes of goods, on Wednesday, June 24th, 2015 alone, consistent with previous days.

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These stupid people are going to get hurt…or worse

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Super Dvora class fast patrol boat leaving dock in Haifa. Photo/ Cam Slater, Whaleoil Media

Two Maori Television staff are going to try and break Israel’s blockade.

They’re foolish and in grave danger.

Two Māori TV staff are aboard the “Freedom Flotilla III” currently steaming to break an Israel-controlled naval blockade.

The flotilla set sail from Messina, Italy this week on a humanitarian mission to take an undisclosed tranche of supplies through the Israel Defence Force (IDF) blockade to the Palestinian territory in Gaza.

Journalist Ruwani Perera and camera operator Jacob Bryant, facilitated by Kia Ora Gaza Trust, are on the Swedish former trawler Marianne av Göteborg, which will meet up with other boats shortly.   Read more »

Who is telling the truth? A tale of two maps.

When I was training to be an English and History teacher at Auckland Teacher’s training college I had a really good teacher.He handed out a sheet of paper for us all to read containing a factual historical argument about Israel and Palestine. He gave us time to read it then asked the class who the land belonged to.

One half of the class said Israel one half exactly said Palestine. We looked at each other in confusion as it was clear from what we had read that we were right.
He then revealed that half the class had been given one document and half a different document.

With my teacher’s clever experiment in mind here are two versions of the same thing. One is used on left wing blogs when attacking Israel and one is not. Can you tell which one they use?

shrinking_israel2

shrinking_israel2 IMAGE-themuslimissue.files.wordpress.com

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Senior UN official meddles in local issues

A senior UN official has been caught meddling in domestic New Zealand issues.

She is as usual unrepentant and feels that she can ignore the usual protocols of UN officials refraining from entering local political debates on issues…especially on an issue that is actually a private property rights issue.

Former Prime Minister Helen Clark has weighed in on the battle to stop a 500-year-old kauri from being chopped down in Auckland.

Ms Clark – now the Administrator for the United Nations Development Programme – posted her views on a photo of supporters at a protest in Paturoa Rd, Titirangi, where the centuries’ old kauri is due to be brought down.

“Extraordinary in this day and age that a permit would be given to fell a 500 year old kauri tree,” she wrote.

The comment was made on a photo posted on Facebook by Waitakere Ranges Local Board member Greg Presland. He is pictured with fellow member Saffron Toms and board chairwoman Sandra Coney.

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UN Kangaroo Court head busted for his anti-Israel bias

A kangaroo court established by the UN to only look into Israel after the 2014 Gaza conflict, started by Hamas hurling thousands of rockets at civilian targets in Israel, is facing embarrassment after their head has been busted for his anti-Israel bias.

Canadian law professor William Schabas resigned this week as chairman of the United Nations Human Rights Council’s Commission of Inquiry into the 2014 Gaza conflict. He did so after Israeli diplomats revealed he was paid by the Palestine Liberation Organization to render an opinion on the legal consequences of a U.N. General Assembly resolution upgrading “Palestine” to a nonmember state. Now there’s a nonsurprise.

When the conflict of interest came to light last week, Mr. Schabas insisted his 2012 work for the Palestinians was purely “academic.” But by Monday he had resigned his U.N. post. In his resignation letter, he blamed his departure on “Israel’s campaign against the Commission of Inquiry on the Gaza Conflict” rather than his own failure to disclose a material conflict of interest.   Read more »

A Gay perspective on Islam

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I have given this article the title  ‘A Gay perspective on Islam’, but after re  reading both the blog post quotes and the advertisement I realised that both have failed to link Sharia Law ( Which is Islam ) to the way homosexuals are treated in Palestine, Syria and Iran. It is this liberal failure to gloss over the root cause and to instead pretend it is a terrorist/autocratic thing that deeply concerns me. Why this fear to say what is so obvious? Saudi Arabia is held up as an almost perfect example of Islam and we all know how they treat women and gays.

The rights of LGBT people in Saudi Arabia are unrecognized. Homosexuality is frequently a taboo subject in Saudi Arabian society and is punished with imprisonment, fines, corporal punishment, capital punishment, whipping/flogging, and chemical castrations.

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I think people are confused because they see Islam as a religion and separate from politics/government. It is the fact that religion and politics are the exact same thing in Islam that is the problem. The Islamic activists are very honest about this. They say Islam is Sharia and Sharia is Islam. Historically and now there is no shortage of hard evidence that this is the case, so why are the victims so afraid to name their oppressor? I think that the below advertisement is great but it is like the victim of child abuse speaking out against the social worker who placed them with the pedophile rather than speaking out against the pedophile who abused them.

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Matti Friedman on the Media’s Obsession with Israel

This speech by Matti Friedman, a journalist, explains much about the manipulation by media organisations against Israel.

It is being liberally published and has appeared at Honest Reporting and Quadrant Online.

I doubt it will get published in any mainstream media here, so I will.

Read it and understand how you are being manipulated, particularly over issues concerning Israel. It is quite long but very revealing.

One night several years ago, I came out of Bethlehem after a reporting assignment and crossed through the Israeli military checkpoint between that city and its neighbor, Jerusalem, where I live. With me were perhaps a dozen Palestinian men, mostly in their thirties – my age. No soldiers were visible at the entrance to the checkpoint, a precaution against suicide bombers. We saw only steel and concrete. I followed the other men through a metal detector into a stark corridor and followed instructions barked from a loudspeaker – Remove your belt! Lift up your shirt! The voice belonged to a soldier watching us on a closed-circuit camera. Exiting the checkpoint, adjusting my belt and clothing with the others, I felt like a being less than entirely human and understood, not for the first time, how a feeling like that would provoke someone to violence.

Consumers of news will recognize this scene as belonging to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, which keeps the 2.5 million Palestinians in that territory under military rule, and has since 1967. The facts of this situation aren’t much in question. This should be an issue of concern to Israelis, whose democracy, military, and society are corroded by the inequality in the West Bank. This, too, isn’t much in question.

The question we must ask, as observers of the world, is why this conflict has come over time to draw more attention than any other, and why it is presented as it is. How have the doings in a country that constitutes 0.01 percent of the world’s surface become the focus of angst, loathing, and condemnation more than any other? We must ask how Israelis and Palestinians have become the stylized symbol of conflict, of strong and weak, the parallel bars upon which the intellectual Olympians of the West perform their tricks – not Turks and Kurds, not Han Chinese and Tibetans, not British soldiers and Iraqi Muslims, not Iraqi Muslims and Iraqi Christians, not Saudi sheikhs and Saudi women, not Indians and Kashmiris, not drug cartel thugs and Mexican villagers.

Questioning why this is the case is in no way an attempt to evade or obscure reality, which is why I opened with the checkpoint leading from Bethlehem. On the contrary – anyone seeking a full understanding of reality can’t avoid this question. My experiences as a journalist provide part of the answer, and also raise pressing questions that go beyond the practice of journalism.

I have been writing from and about Israel for most of the past 20 years, since I moved there from Toronto at age 17. During the five and a half years I spent as part of the international press corps as a reporter for the American news agency The Associated Press, between 2006 and 2011, I gradually began to be aware of certain malfunctions in the coverage of the Israel story – recurring omissions, recurring inflations, decisions made according to considerations that were not journalistic but political, all in the context of a story staffed and reported more than any other international story on earth. When I worked in the AP’s Jerusalem bureau, the Israel story was covered by more AP news staff than China, or India, or all of the fifty-odd countries of sub-Saharan Africa combined.

This is representative of the industry as a whole.       Read more »