COMMENTARY: By John Minto
The Aotearoa New Zealand government announcement of $5 million in humanitarian aid to “Israel, Gaza and the West Bank” is a cowardly, shameful response to Israel’s ongoing genocide of the Palestinian people in Gaza.
The priority for Gaza is not bandages and aspirins — they need loud voices condemning Israeli genocide. They need the bombing and killing to stop.
Early last week Hipkins condemned the killing of civilians in the Hamas attack on Israel but has refused to condemn Israeli war crimes against the Palestinian people.
The “collective punishment” of Palestinian civilians in Gaza; the withholding of food, water, electricity and fuel; the intensive massive bombing of densely populated civilian areas of Gaza — these are all war crimes. Genocide is the only name that fits.
More than 700 children have been killed so far by Israeli bombing with civilian casualties of more than 2800.
Green light to orgy of killing
By refusing to condemn these killings, Hipkins is giving Israel the green light to continue its orgy of killing in Gaza.
Hipkins says he is “deeply saddened” by civilians deaths. But not deeply saddened enough to call out the colonial, apartheid state of Israel whose racist policies against Palestinians are the cause of the slaughter in Gaza.
Similarly, when Hipkins says “we call on all parties to respect international humanitarian law, and uphold their obligations to protect civilians, and humanitarian workers, including medical personnel”, it is a meaningless gap-filler in a government media release.
Hipkins’ announcement will be welcomed in Washington and Tel Aviv but will be deplored by decent people around the world who call for human rights for Palestinians and accountabilities for apartheid Israel.
The Prime Minister has our loudest voice — we demand he use it to help end the slaughter of civilians in Gaza by sheeting home blame where it belongs — with the policies of the racist, apartheid state of Israel.
John Minto is national chair of the Palestine Solidaity Network Aotearoa.
Article by AsiaPacificReport.nz