Focusing on issues back home

July 28th, 2016 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

ACT point out:

Green Times
According to her Green Party bio, Green MP Marama Davidson is ‘an online activist.’ She is now travelling to the Middle East to protest the blockade of the Gaza strip. We can only assume she has paid her own way including carbon credits, and she will be speaking out against the homophobia and misogyny in Gaza as well as the Israeli blockade.

Good to know everything is so good here that the big focus is Israel trying to stop suicide bombers.

Hamas, who control Gaza, are real friends of the people. Their record includes:

  • seizing union property
  • killing the union deputy general secretary
  • torturing people for being gay
  • banned girls from riding on motor scooters with men
  • banned women from doing marathons
  • banned a book of Palestinian folk-tales
  • beaten people for wearing hair gel

Will Marama Davidson be protesting against any of that?

Why are taxpayer funded Maori TV journalists on a flotilla?

June 30th, 2015 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Two New Zealanders have reportedly been detained by the Israeli military after the ship they were on attempted to break a blockade on Gaza.

Maori Television reporter Ruwani Perera and cameraman Jacob Bryant were aboard one of the ships in the Freedom Flotilla III, when it was boarded by Israeli forces, One News reported.

It’s understood the ships are carrying solar panels, medical supplies and other aid items.

The flotilla was trying to breach Israel’s exclusion zone on Gaza, and take supplies to residents on the Gaza Strip. The Israeli blockade has been in force since 2007. 

What has this got to do with Maori TV? Shouldn’t they be spending their money on shows like Native Affairs, not being activists in the Middle East?

Maori TV is funded by the taxpayer. They risk a backlash if they spend their funding on stunts like this.

A reader has sent me a summary of what no less a person that Sir Geoffrey Palmer found over the Gaza blockade:

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. The report stated that “people may, of course, freely express their views by peaceful protest. But to deliberately seek to breach a blockade in a convoy with a large number of passengers is in the view of the Panel a dangerous and reckless act. It involves exposing a large number of individuals to the risk that force will be used to stop the blockade and people will be hurt.”

 The Palmer Report goes on to recommend that “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.”

So a state owned television station is sending its staff into a highly dangerous situation.

Some issues for Maori TV:

  1. Māori TV has put its staff’s lives in imminent danger. Māori TV staff are on-board the Marianne av Göteborg on official Māori TV business. Deliberate attempts to breach a lawful blockade represent dangerous and reckless acts that could result in people being hurt. A previous attempt to breach the naval blockade of Gaza resulted in nine deaths;

  2. Māori TV’s participation in the flotilla likely breaches its obligations under both the current Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 and the proposed Health & Safety Reform Bill exposing its directors and the company to unnecessary risk and exposure;

  3. Māori TV’s participation in the flotilla is inconsistent with Māori TV’s stated purpose. There is no clear link between the flotilla and Māori language or culture.

  4. Māori TV staff risk breaking international law through its willing participation in an illegal act. The United Nations has declared the naval blockade of Gaza as being legal and legitimate. Under international law, violation of a lawful blockade constitutes unlawful activity.

I’be long been a supporter of Maori TV and their funding. If they keep doing stuff like this, I’ll be joining the ranks calling for their funding to be diverted elsewhere for public broadcasting.

No mention of affiliation

November 21st, 2012 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

Stacey Kirk at Stuff reports:

Nowhere in the Gaza Strip is safe from Israel’s “terrifying” bombardment, a New Zealander living in Gaza City says.

Speaking via Skype while military drones could be heard hovering over her house, freelance journalist Julie Webb-Pullman said it was an “absolutely terrifying” place to be. …

She said yesterday a group of people were targeted by an Israeli drone which killed a nine-year-old girl and her brother.

“It’s a crime against humanity what’s occurring, kids are being targeted, [Sunday] alone 31 people were killed – 10 of those children, six were women and five were babies and toddlers,” she said.

“They are not military targets, they are civilians. Israel is committing war crimes plain and simple.”

Now I am not suggesting the views of Ms Webb-Pullman should not be reported, as she is able to report first hand.

But surely the media have an obligation not to present her as a disinterested freelance journalist!

She is a long-standing political activist for the communist regime in Cuba, the revolutionary leftist Zapatistas, and the Kia Ora Gaza and NZ Palestine Human Rights Campaign. She disputes that Israel even has a right to exist as a legitimate state, and people can judge this statement for themselves:

New Zealand’s Prime Minister might have his own personal reasons for choosing to forget such behaviour and welcome a Zionist embassy in New Zealand

This is short-hand for those Jews stick together.

Now again I am not in any way suggesting no one should be reporting what Webb-Pullman says. What I am saying is that merely describing her as a freelance journalist, and the implication of neutrality is grossly misleading and does readers a disservice.

Obama on Israel

November 19th, 2012 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

The Washington Post reports:

At the start of a three-day trip to Southeast Asia, President Obama said at a news conference in Bangkok on Sunday that Israel has a right to defend itself.

“There’s no country on Earth would tolerate missiles raining down on its citizens from outside it’s borders. So we are fully supportive of Israel’s right to defend itself from missiles landing on people’s homes and workplaces and potentially killing civilians. And we will continue to support Israel’s right to defend itself.”

It’s funny how weeks and weeks of missile attacks on Israel rarely warrant even a minor news story. It is only when they strike back that the world’s media give it 24/7 coverage!

But, the president added, “we are actively working with all the parties in the region to see if we can end those missiles being fired without further escalation of violence in the region.”

It is sad when people die on either side. I note however that for Hamas their definition of success is killing as many civilians as possible while for Israel, it is killing as few civilians as possible.

No doubt many from the safety of their homes, advocate that Israel should do nothing about rocket attacks on them from Gaza. Maybe they believe that they threaten only a few homes near the border. Well thanks to the Israeli Embassy, here is some perspective.

A peace settlement on 1967 borders is only possible if there is actual peace for land. But when the land already given up is used to launch thousands of rocket attacks on civilians, then it hardly provides much of an incentive to give up even more land.


Pallywood Returns to Gaza

November 17th, 2012 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

Looks fair

September 2nd, 2011 at 4:24 pm by David Farrar

YNet reports:

UN’s Palmer Report says Israel’s Gaza blockade legal, slams ‘reckless’ violence of Turkish activists facing IDF soldiers; however, Israel’s deadly raid on vessel characterized as ‘excessive, unreasonable’

A long-anticipated United Nations report on Israel‘s deadly raid on a Gaza-bound ship in 2010 justifies Israel’s blockade of the Strip, but accuses the IDF of using “excessive and unreasonable” force to stop the vessel.

 The UN’s Palmer Report was first published by the New York Times Thursday evening. The full report is available here.

Addressing Israel’s Gaza blockade, the UN’s Palmer Report notes that the Jewish state “faces a real threat to its security from militant groups in Gaza.”

“The naval blockade was imposed as a legitimate security measure in order to prevent weapons from entering Gaza by sea and its implementation complied with the requirements of international law,” the report says.

The UN panel noted that Israeli forces who boarded the Mavi Marmara in order to prevent it from breaching the blockade faced “organized and violent resistance from a group of passengers,” adding that the violence required the IDF to use force.

I thought that Sir Geoffrey would do a fair job, and without having read the full report, it looks like he did.

The summary that the blockade was legal, that the passengers were armed and violent but that the Israelis used excessive force in responding is pretty much what I expected would be the situation.

Sadly Turkey is rejecting the recommended settlement.