Countdown to Israel’s land theft

Although it is still not entirely clear whether it will happen, or more precisely whether the USA will permit Israel to get away with it, we are now on the final countdown to the illegal annexation of Palestinian land by the Israeli state. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to annex up to 30 percent of the occupied West Bank —as described in the Trump so-called peace plan — as soon as July 1st, or four days from now!

Wellington Palestine will be discussing with our members the steps we might take to support the Palestinian people over the coming weeks and months. We were heartened to read the positive response from the coalition government’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Winston Peters, to the letter from our member John Hobbs.

However, the New Zealand government needs to do more than “follow developments closely”. They need to take steps now to affirm their intention to sanction Israel should it proceed to annexation, as the Belgian government has done. That would show true leadership on the international stage.

In the meantime, we urge you to act now – before the 1st of July – to encourage your local MP to support Palestine.

The letter below is based on one prepared by the Office of the General Delegation of Palestine to Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific.

Please feel free to personalise it (it is more likely to be read if you do so) and send it to your local MP. If you have time to meet with them, please do. If not, omit that part. For your own information there is a very helpful factsheet on annexation produced by Australian Palestine Advocacy Network.

You can find contact details for your MP here.

(Insert date)
Mr/Ms (Insert name here) MP
(Insert MP address here)

Re: Israeli unilateral annexation plan.

Dear Mr/Ms (Insert name here),

The new Israeli government’s plan of unilateral annexation of West Bank settlements, Jordan Valley and North of the Dead Sea, is entirely illegal under international law and a flagrant violation of the human rights of the Palestinian people.

The consequences of such actions would immediately result in the abolishing of any possibility for self-determination of Palestinian people and statehood. Such actions would not only be catastrophic for any prospects for peace with Palestinians but would also undoubtedly severely threaten any prospects for the advancement of peace and stability in the region and worldwide.

Based on this, we call on the New Zealand government and Opposition to support the following clear positions:

  1. To reject and condemn the Israeli future plans to annex West Bank settlements, Jordan Valley and North of the Dead Sea, as a violation of International law, UN Security Council Resolutions and Palestinian people human rights and freedom. If this plan is implemented, it is our expectation that New Zealand would impose sanctions on Israel (such as those called for by Palestinian Civil Society).
  2. To support the establishment of a sovereign, independent and democratic Palestinian State on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital and a just solution to the Palestinian refugee’s plight.
  3. To work with the international community, the Arab League, Organization for Islamic Cooperation (OIC), European Union, UN and others, to support a multilateral approach to solve Israeli Palestine conflict based on international law and UN Resolutions.
  4. Finally, to recognize, without delay, the State of Palestine on 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.

I kindly request a meeting with you to further discuss these matters and the possible implications of the annexation plan.

I look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience.

Sincerely yours,
(Insert your name here)
(Insert your address here)

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