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Asia Pacific Report

An open letter to The New Zealand Herald has challenged a full page Zionist advertisement this week for failing to acknowledge the “terrible injustices” suffered by the Palestinian people in Israel’s seven-month genocidal war on Gaza.

In the latest of several international reports that have condemned genocide against the people of Gaza while the International Court of Justice continues to investigate Israel for a plausible case for genocide, a human rights legal network of US universities has concluded that “Israel has committed genocidal acts of killing” and sought to “bring about the physical destruction of Palestinians in Gaza”.

The University Network for Human Rights, along with the International Human Rights Clinic at Boston University School of Law, the International Human Rights Clinic at Cornell Law School, the Centre for Human Rights at the University of Pretoria, and the Lowenstein Human Rights Project at Yale Law School, conducted a legal analysis and the 100-page damning report, “Genocide in Gaza: Analysis of International Law and its Application to Israel’s Military Actions since October 7, 2023.”

The Israeli military have killed more than 35,000 people — mostly women and children — and more than 78,000 people and the UN General Assembly voted by an overwhelming 134-9 votes to back Palestinian statehood on May 11.

The full page Zionist advertisement in The New Zealand Herald this week
The full page Zionist advertisement in The New Zealand Herald this week, 14 May 2024. Image: NZH screenshot APR

In the full page Zionist advertisement in The New Zealand Herald on Tuesday, senior pastor Nigel Woodley of the Flaxmere Christian Fellowship Church in Hastings claimed “the current painful war is another episode in Israel’s history for survival” with no acknowledgement of the massive human cost on Palestinians.

The open letter by Reverend Chris Sullivan in response — dated the same day but not published by The Herald — says:

An advertisement in the Herald supports the creation of the State of Israel.

For the same reasons we should also support the creation of a Palestinian state; don’t Palestinians also deserve their own nation state?

Just as we decry Hitler’s Holocaust, so too must we raise our voices against the killing of 35,000 people in Gaza (most of them innocent civilians), the destruction of 70 percent of the housing, and imminent famine.

It is disingenuous to focus solely on the Arab invasions of Israel, without looking at their cause — the killing and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians which accompanied the creation of the modern state of Israel.

It is never too late for both sides to turn away from violence and war and build a lasting peace, based on mutual respect and a just solution to the terrible injustices the Palestinian people have suffered.

Rev Chris Sullivan

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